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Has anyone done anything 'new' since lockdown?

David

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Hi all - so here we are, the beginning of a new year and this morning it occurred to me that apart from a brief lessening of restrictions during the summer I have been locked down for nine months now and have done nothing 'new'.

All these months with more time on my hands than ever in my life and I think that I may have wasted them.

I have a block re learning Spanish but surely if I had started a video or CD course back in March I would be able to speak adequate Spanish by now? - or play the guitar, or juggle, or learn photography, or sketch, sing, paint, mimic animals .. an infinite list - now, apart from being able to speak Spanish I don't want to do any of those things but have decided, as I will be severely locked down here in the UK until possibly Easter, that I shall buy a good comprehensive Spanish course from Ebay this evening and 'go to school' at home every day, only twenty minutes or so a day, but every day ... and by April? Who knows ...

So my question - has anyone taken on anything new? Learnt a new skill? Taken an online course to enhance their CV and/or job skills? Become a lion trainer? Tai Chi master? Sculptor? Pianist? Multi-linguist? Pastry chef? Anything? Or is it just me who has thrown nine months of opportunity away??

Oh dear - what a waste of nine months!!! :eek:
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I have learned to make sour dough bread, done more sewing and mending, grown my best veggie garden, read more, walked more and most importantly, developed friendships on the forum. I haven't yet made much progress on my family history/photos, but today would be a good time to start!

For me, it is important to break big challenges down into smaller manageable tasks so I can take satisfaction in small progress. Like walking - one step at a time. Otherwise, overwhelming projects can be, well, overwhelming. 🙂
 
Year of past OR future Camino
“It’s your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.” Rumi
It has been a challenging nine months!
I have always wanted to learn Spanish so with the lockdown being a reality in March, I decided it was time! I signed up with a free language course app, dusted off my Spanish grammar books and rolled my sleeves up. Today I have 297 consecutive days spend learning Spanish on the app.
I have been working during the first and second lockdown so I spend anywhere between 15 minuts to an hour daily. It has really paid off, I'm able to read children's books, women's magazines (mostly make-up and fashion) and I can understand parts of Spanish news/weatherforecast on tv. I do not know any Spanish speaking people and in order to make up for speaking Spanish, I write a daily dairy in Spanish to improve constructing sentences.

Also learning Spanish has helped me to keep up my hope that one day I'll return to Spain and walk the camino again. And this time I'll be able to communicate on some level with the local people.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Hi all - so here we are, the beginning of a new year and this morning it occurred to me that apart from a brief lessening of restrictions during the summer I have been locked down for nine months now and have done nothing 'new'.

All these months with more time on my hands than ever in my life and I think that I may have wasted them.

I have a block re learning Spanish but surely if I had started a video or CD course back in March I would be able to speak adequate Spanish by now? - or play the guitar, or juggle, or learn photography, or sketch, sing, paint, mimic animals .. an infinite list - now, apart from being able to speak Spanish I don't want to do any of those things but have decided, as I will be severely locked down here in the UK until possibly Easter, that I shall buy a good comprehensive Spanish course from Ebay this evening and 'go to school' at home every day, only twenty minutes or so a day, but every day ... and by April? Who knows ...

So my question - has anyone taken on anything new? Learnt a new skill? Taken an online course to enhance their CV and/or job skills? Become a lion trainer? Tai Chi master? Sculptor? Pianist? Multi-linguist? Pastry chef? Anything? Or is it just me who has thrown nine months of opportunity away??

Oh dear - what a waste of nine months!!! :eek:
Well, I have been more observant about choosing different varieties of Spanish red wine the last 9 months, balancing my diet.

If you want to learn more Spanish, check out www.enforex.com . I think they have online classes now. They are GOOD: I spent 1 (intensive) month with them in Alicante one year, and it has helped me immensely. It cost me less than 1.300 Euros for the month, including local housing & half board (!).
 
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David

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
I just bought the Michael Thomas complete 8 CD set Spanish course second-hand on Ebay -

- £4.39 and free postage - result!!!

"This 8-hour digital course will give you significant results in a remarkably short period of time, with no books, exercises, memorizing or homework. You will be able to construct simple phrases by listening and thinking out answers for yourself, making rapid progress as you are taught to think about the ideas that you are trying to communicate. Within the first hour you will be able to construct simple sentences. By the end of the course, you will have the confidence to understand and speak basic Spanish."

We'll see!! 👍👍
 

Ivan_Prada

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes 2021)??
Hi David: Have you tried Duolingo? It is very elementary, easy to use, and overall; it is “free”! Well, it has some advertising. You can download the App to your phone or tablet and practice where there is internet connection. It can also be used on a computer. I used it to learn basic Italian and now I am using another utility, which is more advanced, but it requires payment. This has been part of my lockdown activities, plus other things around the house.

Hope this helps in deciding you course of action in learning Spanish. By the way, is my main language. Any assistance you may need in your learning; just let me know. It would be a great pleasure.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I learned to use a variety of technologies to do my usual job. It is surprisingly complicated to reproduce virtually what I used to do as a matter of walking into a room and beginning with, “Good evening everyone; I hope you’ve found this week’s assigned readings interesting, perhaps infuriating... and we’ll see what I can stir up that you’ve not already thought about...”
I learned that I really do not want to do my current work for another 12 years, so the exit strategy is in play.
I‘m about to learn how to do collaborative work without being able to meet people in person...
I’ve learned enough Spanish that I did not miss a beat in the Monsignor’s relay of the Papal decree yesterday.
Last spring I learned anew how to start the water at my shack up north so that we could shelter in place in the remote woods, arriving 11 days before I could get our foot-valve out of the last chunk of frozen ice on our river...
I feel like it’s kind of enough...
And Spouse and I are watching BK Lee’s YouTube videos of real-time step-for-step Camino walking whilst one of us is on the bike and one is one the treadmill. We might make virtual SdC by the end of March — as work prevents us from taking 4-6 hours a day to walk.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances and Finisterre 2014
Camino Frances,Muxia and Finisterre 2015
Camino del Norte,Arzua to Ribadeo 2015
I just bought the Michael Thomas complete 8 CD set Spanish course second-hand on Ebay -

- £4.39 and free postage - result!!!
A friend unloaded his set onto me a few years ago.
After 15 or 20 minutes of Michel droning on I would doze off,maybe it's just me.
Good luck!
 

David

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
A friend unloaded his set onto me a few years ago.
After 15 or 20 minutes of Michel droning on I would doze off,maybe it's just me.
Good luck!

But that is intrinsically Spanish isn't it? Training you into taking regular authentic siestas??

(thinks: now I know why it was so cheap - dang ....)
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2017
I was supposed to retire last March but, SURPRISE, ....that was delayed. I finally managed to disengage in mid-September.

Even so, I was able to emplace a retaining wall on a slope in the yard. Then it was on to the construction of a "hugelkultur" bed for blueberries which I planted by the end of October. As the frosts deepened and snow began to fly, I built an expedient root cellar to test out some design ideas. Those efforts have weathered successfully to this point but I will know more in a year.

As the weather turned more raw, it was time for mastering soap-making from the odd scraps of leftover cooking fats around the kitchen. Not yet completely mastered but am far more along in discipline and technique.

Increasing the range of Spanish meals that I can prepare. Not yet either "expert" or possessed of a broad selection but everything's been edible so far.

Also have tried some new recipes for appetizers, more complex than my usual efforts. Goat-cheese stuffed dates wrapped in bacon has been the winner so far in these efforts.

B
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguese coastal (2021)
Hi!
Just listened to this back;sorry guys there's quite a bit of waffle to get to the Portuguese bit !

I did two eight week Spanish courses at evening classes; beginners September 2019 and an improvers course last January, it was hard but enjoyed it. (couldn't read the board or class handouts in the lesson;so had them scanned from tutor email a couple of days before and had to learn tracts of conversation to work with the class. They had it in front of them and were able to take notes. They thought i was a genius memory man and one said i blew her mind by what i remembered.
I said when you cant see stuff a good memory is a useful tool!!!!

Since then i have practiced Spanish with apps and by trying to type things in Spanish online into Google translate;and then listen to the translation in English for something to occupy the time.
But as with other languages where you haven't become fluent, you either use it or lose it!


For the last few weeks i have been using the Memorise app on my phone and Duolingo and Google translate on my computer to try and get the basics in Portuguese.

However i am finding the pronunciation of Portuguese harder than Spanish.( a lot of Portuguese has nasal and squishy sounds in words that i find hard to get anywhere near.)
You would laugh your socks off if you could here what Google comes up with as a translation;i don't want to get a punch in the face by being unintentionally rude to somebody!

That combined with the fact that there are quite a few similarities in the two languages;will make life a little confusing.
This i know will happen cos first two weeks walking in Portugal;i will slip up with Spanish. The second two weeks in Spain i guarantee i will have got into the habit of Portuguese that i have been using.
But i say to myself never give up;just keep plugging away and one day i will be able to order a sandwich and a beer ha!ha!
Woody.
 

edandjoan

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
St. Gallen to Muxia
2012-2018
We bought an RV and have been across the US twice. We have all we need in or self contained van...bathroom, beds, kitchen area. We have "seen" family...we arrive and set up our chairs and have a nice non contact visit. We have hiked many places. We seek out the lesser know National Parks, but have found many communities have great greenways and parks to walk. I have also sewn may masks for family. We are grounded right now as my man has had shoulder surgery. He injured it in February and it took awhile before he could get to see a doctor and do all the MRI etc.
Seeing more of the USA was something we wanted to do, but thought it would come a little later in life.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I tried my hand at my first garden in many years as I am normally always on the Camino in spring. It was a "marginal" success with tomatoes first(no surprise there), basil next, a few peppers and some cauliflower that didn't survive, but bugs loved stripping all the leaves bare.😃
I walked around a beautiful spring fed lake with a friend...22 miles, and went on a few mini vacations, but nothing else I'd consider "constructive".
Most of these other replies are putting me to shame, and unfortunately I have no interest in learning a new language.
I have already been to both coasts several times in the US and visited many of our national parks.
 

jozero

Been there, going again...
Year of past OR future Camino
CF x 3
Since my whole industry shut down in March and shows no significant reopening until widespread vaccination, I learned I wasn’t too old to go back to university and get my graduate degree. So far there has been anyone in my courses old than me... including the instructors!!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hi David: Have you tried Duolingo? It is very elementary, easy to use, and overall; it is “free”! Well, it has some advertising. You can download the App to your phone or tablet and practice where there is internet connection. It can also be used on a computer. I used it to learn basic Italian and now I am using another utility, which is more advanced, but it requires payment. This has been part of my lockdown activities, plus other things around the house.

Hope this helps in deciding you course of action in learning Spanish. By the way, is my main language. Any assistance you may need in your learning; just let me know. It would be a great pleasure.

Strange that you should mention Duolingo as that is what I am attempting. Now whilst I can read Spanish (to a greater or lessor degree) I still have trouble hearing and understanding. Its the speed that Spaniards speak at. Still as I have at least another 12-15 months before I am likely to return I will just have to keep on keeping on. Cheers
 
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hel&scott

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Life down on the farm hasn't actually changed that much, hard to get more isolated. But when fortress New Zealand pulled up the drawbridge and put us into lockdown it was right at the start of our harvest so no time to learn a new language, I had to bring in 10 tonnes of walnuts on my own...it was a bit like the Camino, you don't dare look at the herculanian task overall, just set off one foot at the time and start picking them up a bucket at a time.

Due to flour shortages I didn't get to crank out any sourdough. But I did learn to use what I had to hand, in my case that was honey, nuts and dried plums.... So I learnt to make nougat.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Well, back in March, 'she who must be obeyed' decided that the Zombie Apocalypse was soon to descend on us and that food and water would be in scarce supply :rolleyes: Who was I to argue.

So I started a vegetable garden. Never had much luck in the past.......... It has now taken over half of the back yard. Madam, is very happy. As she loves cooking and now has access to all the herbs she needs, including a few obscure Thai ones. And we've already harvested some potatoes, tomatoes, cucumber, beans and all manner of greens.

We never need to leave the house again! :cool:

I'm also having to learn about pest control and fertilizing! Killed a few plants with over fertilizing. More is not better :(


2021-01-02 08.57.04.jpg
2020-12-07 13.21.10.jpg

2020-12-07 13.20.58.jpg
 

jozero

Been there, going again...
Year of past OR future Camino
CF x 3
Well, back in March, 'she who must be obeyed' decided that the Zombie Apocalypse was soon to descend on us and that food and water would be in scarce supply :rolleyes: Who was I to argue.

So I started a vegetable garden. Never had much luck in the past.......... It has now taken over half of the back yard. Madam, is very happy. As she loves cooking and now has access to all the herbs she needs, including a few obscure Thai ones. And we've already harvested some potatoes, tomatoes, cucumber, beans and all manner of greens.

We never need to leave the house again! :cool:

I'm also having to learn about pest control and fertilizing! Killed a few plants with over fertilizing. More is not better :(


View attachment 90402
View attachment 90404

View attachment 90403
Seems like you’re just needing a Manchego sheep or two and you’re complete! 😁
 

David61

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Frances (2020)
I was in the Albergue A Reboleira in Fonfria and a pilgrim from America had bought a slice of tortilla which he wanted hot and was trying to convey this to the older Senora who works/owns it, a lovely lady. She did not understand but using my basic Spanish "Caliente, por favor" she slid it under the grill. He said he did not want it microwaved and I pointed to the grill. He was really impressed but some people are easily so!! Quite made my day!
 

witsendwv

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2015)
Strange that you should mention Duolingo as that is what I am attempting. Now whilst I can read Spanish (to a greater or lessor degree) I still have trouble hearing and understanding. Its the speed that Spaniards speak at. Still as I have at least another 12-15 months before I am likely to return I will just have to keep on keeping on. Cheers
Try listening to the Duolingo stories. We have also used the Notes in Spanish podcasts which start off very basic build on the previous ones. I studied spanish in Madrid back in 1975 and lost most of my “hearing” comprehension. Using these for the last few years had my husband and I both saying at the same time, “Did I hear that correctly- Holy Year until 2022? News in Slow Spanish is also helpful.
 
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witsendwv

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2015)
Well, back in March, 'she who must be obeyed' decided that the Zombie Apocalypse was soon to descend on us and that food and water would be in scarce supply :rolleyes: Who was I to argue.

So I started a vegetable garden. Never had much luck in the past.......... It has now taken over half of the back yard. Madam, is very happy. As she loves cooking and now has access to all the herbs she needs, including a few obscure Thai ones. And we've already harvested some potatoes, tomatoes, cucumber, beans and all manner of greens.

We never need to leave the house again! :cool:

I'm also having to learn about pest control and fertilizing! Killed a few plants with over fertilizing. More is not better :(


View attachment 90402
View attachment 90404

View attachment 90403
It looks beautiful, I had not had a garden in years and last summer we grew everything in pots on our deck. Between the tomatoes, squash and padron peppers it looked like “Jumanji” by the end of August. I have managed so far to over winter one of the padron peppers, hopefully I can keep it alive until spring.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
I do not know any Spanish speaking people and in order to make up for speaking Spanish, I write a daily dairy in Spanish to improve constructing sentences.
Great tip @Ekelund ...I'm going to start your diary idea today! I too do not have anyone to practice speaking Spanish with so anything we can do to reinforce the other aspects of language learning is very helpful. 🤗

If you want to learn more Spanish, check out www.enforex.com . I think they have online classes now. They are GOOD: I spent 1 (intensive) month with them in Alicante one year, and it has helped me immensely. It cost me less than 1.300 Euros for the month, including local housing & half board (!).
Thank you for the link @alexwalker ...especially as you have tried & tested Enforex. I've looked at their website & am very happy to see they hold courses for the Over 50's. As anyone who has tried to learn a language 'later' in life knows, although not impossible it does present a set of...er...'challenges' I wouldn't have had in my younger days...! 😄

👣 🌏
 
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Ivan_Prada

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes 2021)??
Strange that you should mention Duolingo as that is what I am attempting. Now whilst I can read Spanish (to a greater or lessor degree) I still have trouble hearing and understanding. Its the speed that Spaniards speak at. Still as I have at least another 12-15 months before I am likely to return I will just have to keep on keeping on. Cheers
Hi Saint Mike II:
Well, that what you mentions happens even to me. Every person has a peculiar way of speaking, voice tone, etc. To overcome this, you would need a deeper immersion in the target language. In the case of Spanish, it spoken very differently in Latin America, the Caribbean and in Spain, because of reasons already mentioned. If you are able to find a language course, the characteristics will be of teacher’s country on origin. This will affect your usage of the language. This phenomenon can be noticed within Spain, every Region has its “ways of talking”.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
October (2021)
I started selling skincare and nutrition products in August ... well, since I don't sell very much yet at this stage, I 'share' about skincare, etc. I used to use the example of the acquaintances that I knew from college that did this as people who needed to prove that they had something useful going on with their time, but several months into not having my previous job anymore, my brain was suddenly ready to create space for it, which is wonderful because currently it is all online :) Hopefully at some point it will make me some 'Camino' money 😄
 

David

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
For me the problem with Spanish is that they talk too fast and fluidly for me to separate words.
This is not just me, Spanish is the second fastest spoken language in the world (Japanese is the only one faster).
I have no problem 'hearing' French, nor 'hearing' German, I can clearly hear the words that they say, but my block would appear to be that I just cannot listen fast enough!

Previous learning with audio discs I fail more or less towards the end of disc 2 when sentences get longer and the speaker speeds up (and they always speed up!).
Tricky!!
 

witsendwv

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2015)
For me the problem with Spanish is that they talk too fast and fluidly for me to separate words.
This is not just me, Spanish is the second fastest spoken language in the world (Japanese is the only one faster).
I have no problem 'hearing' French, nor 'hearing' German, I can clearly hear the words that they say, but my block would appear to be that I just cannot listen fast enough!

Previous learning with audio discs I fail more or less towards the end of disc 2 when sentences get longer and the speaker speeds up (and they always speed up!).
Tricky!!
Audio discs do not seem to work for me either, but for some reason podcasts, and other audio with videos work for me. My latest is lightspeedspanish as there is beginner to advanced and you can start where you feel comfortable. When I am in Spain and getting lost when someone is speaking to me, I always ask despacio or lentamente. I am then frequently asked if I prefer English, but say no as I prefer to practice my hearing skills. It has always been greeted positively with slower well enunciated speech.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I have started to review my Spanish, using a free course from a public library website, which I have used before. I just started at the second section, as I am reasonably knowledgable in the introductory section. These lessons are from a series titled "The Great Courses." They are taught by an American college professor. Their major disadvantage for me is that, like all such courses that I have found in Canada, they follow the Spanish of the Americas, in pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammatical details. However, the instructor includes the vosotros forms in all sets of verb forms. He also speaks clearly and at a reasonable speed for my current knowledge, so that I can understand everything that he says in Spanish. For me, this is a very useful part of the review. However, to get all the details and absorb the vocabulary and grammar, I must sometimes stop and go back, so it can take me several hours to get through a lesson, even though it is material that I have seen previously. I, too, have challenges as a senior student. Must go now: back to class.
 
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hel&scott

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
We did think about Chickens!
But they attract snakes :eek:
Dude, you need to get those plants in the ground, gardening in pots is all well and good (and sometimes necessary when you have an inner city garden polluted by lead), but you are in Sydney and watering must be costing a bomb. Real gardener tend their soil and then the plants that grow from it,... Ohh that sound like a nasty real pilgrim debate, forget that, you have mastered the first rule of veggie growing, grow what you like to eat.

At the moment I have a glut of green vege and eggs, no snakes in Godzone and my 6 chooks are pumping out over 3 dozen eggs a week, I am awash with them and have taken to leaving random egg deposits in letter boxes on my way into town.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Dude, you need to get those plants in the ground, gardening in pots is all well and good (and sometimes necessary when you have an inner city garden polluted by lead), but you are in Sydney and watering must be costing a bomb. Real gardener tend their soil and then the plants that grow from it,... Ohh that sound like a nasty real pilgrim debate, forget that, you have mastered the first rule of veggie growing, grow what you like to eat.

At the moment I have a glut of green vege and eggs, no snakes in Godzone and my 6 chooks are pumping out over 3 dozen eggs a week, I am awash with them and have taken to leaving random egg deposits in letter boxes on my way into town.

That whole section of the back yard is the one bit that gets sun..........
And...........
It's paved :oops:

The few small areas of grass and beds are in the shade. :(
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguese coastal (2021)
Hi all me again!
Reference to gardening and the skills involved and so called green fingers during the last year!
I mentioned learning Spanish/Portuguese in my first post cos that's current,the beginning of last year and life then seems so distant!
Years ago i had an allotment which i shared with my father in law where we each planted our own crops.
I followed his lead as he helped me and was at the time much more knowledgeable.
Well the outcome there was even though we did exactly the same things on the same site;his grew prolifically mine didn't but i persevered for a few years and every year the same outcome.

Fast forward to 2020 i had moved into a little detached place with a small manageable garden that i rent from family.
With enthusiasm and the help of my kids i set about a new challenge, transforming the garden from an empty space into something pleasant and productive.
Typical Taurus male headlong at it, spent a mint on raised beds,shrubs,pergola,stacking potato planters,greenhouse etc,etc,etc!!!

The upshot of this; potato crop from the ground had scab,from four stacking planters potatoes the size of cherry tomatoes,11 strawberries my daughter and i cut each one that ripened in half and shared it.
CarrotS in a deep light soiled raised bed were left to grow all came out the size of my little finger or smaller.
However i did have some success runner beans they are foolproof (defo emphasise on fool in my case) leeks are now looking good and a goodly amount of outdoor tomatoes the last of which i picked ripened on the 10th of December.

Did i get pleasure from it that's a big fat YES! there is nothing like being in the fresh air to lift you.
Will i try and do it again this year of course i will!
Was it economically cost effective that's an obvious big fat NO.

I could have fed myself for a year on the monies i laid out,

The cost of something does not always relate to the value we get from it in life;those eleven strawberries were worth there weight in gold!!!!
Do i have green fingers i still think that's no!

All the best
Woody
 

Roland49

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Oh, something new?
I have learned to use a 3D-Printer and a laser-engraver / cutter. That is one of the benefits of the german education-initiative with big money well spent on the education-system all over the country.

I have attended several online-courses for imaging/videoediting-software like CaptureOne (new build).

BC
Roland
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés, Oct 2020
Hi!
Just listened to this back;sorry guys there's quite a bit of waffle to get to the Portuguese bit !

I did two eight week Spanish courses at evening classes; beginners September 2019 and an improvers course last January, it was hard but enjoyed it. (couldn't read the board or class handouts in the lesson;so had them scanned from tutor email a couple of days before and had to learn tracts of conversation to work with the class. They had it in front of them and were able to take notes. They thought i was a genius memory man and one said i blew her mind by what i remembered.
I said when you cant see stuff a good memory is a useful tool!!!!

Since then i have practiced Spanish with apps and by trying to type things in Spanish online into Google translate;and then listen to the translation in English for something to occupy the time.
But as with other languages where you haven't become fluent, you either use it or lose it!


For the last few weeks i have been using the Memorise app on my phone and Duolingo and Google translate on my computer to try and get the basics in Portuguese.

However i am finding the pronunciation of Portuguese harder than Spanish.( a lot of Portuguese has nasal and squishy sounds in words that i find hard to get anywhere near.)
You would laugh your socks off if you could here what Google comes up with as a translation;i don't want to get a punch in the face by being unintentionally rude to somebody!

That combined with the fact that there are quite a few similarities in the two languages;will make life a little confusing.
This i know will happen cos first two weeks walking in Portugal;i will slip up with Spanish. The second two weeks in Spain i guarantee i will have got into the habit of Portuguese that i have been using.
But i say to myself never give up;just keep plugging away and one day i will be able to order a sandwich and a beer ha!ha!
Woody.
My OH and I are both using Duolingo, he learning Portuguese and myself, Spanish; I definitely got the better end of the deal and was able to use a little on Camino in October. Apart from polite greetings, probably the most used were « sin carne? » and « yo quiero una cama para la noches, por favor ».
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés, Oct 2020
Apart from the Duolingo, mentioned above, we had a few weeks out of lockdown when a Dutch friend taught me how to weave and design simple patterns, we had a great veggie patch this year and I was so, so lucky to squeeze in a Camino. What I have missed is my family (they’re in the UK, I’m in France), especially our new grandson who is now 9 months old and I’ve only met via Skype.
 

Jackieduda

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF September (2018)
Hi all - so here we are, the beginning of a new year and this morning it occurred to me that apart from a brief lessening of restrictions during the summer I have been locked down for nine months now and have done nothing 'new'.

All these months with more time on my hands than ever in my life and I think that I may have wasted them.

I have a block re learning Spanish but surely if I had started a video or CD course back in March I would be able to speak adequate Spanish by now? - or play the guitar, or juggle, or learn photography, or sketch, sing, paint, mimic animals .. an infinite list - now, apart from being able to speak Spanish I don't want to do any of those things but have decided, as I will be severely locked down here in the UK until possibly Easter, that I shall buy a good comprehensive Spanish course from Ebay this evening and 'go to school' at home every day, only twenty minutes or so a day, but every day ... and by April? Who knows ...

So my question - has anyone taken on anything new? Learnt a new skill? Taken an online course to enhance their CV and/or job skills? Become a lion trainer? Tai Chi master? Sculptor? Pianist? Multi-linguist? Pastry chef? Anything? Or is it just me who has thrown nine months of opportunity away??

Oh dear - what a waste of nine months!!! :eek:
In the true Camino tradition, you might consider a quest to walk along each and every street/road in your town/city. I had begun this here in Northampton, Massachusetts, USA, and i am almost finished. It gets me outdoors and offers a new perspective on my community, looking at each house in the city. Start by getting a street map of wherever you live, then color in the streets as you do them. Better than sittin around...
 

Ivan_Prada

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes 2021)??
For me the problem with Spanish is that they talk too fast and fluidly for me to separate words.
This is not just me, Spanish is the second fastest spoken language in the world (Japanese is the only one faster).
I have no problem 'hearing' French, nor 'hearing' German, I can clearly hear the words that they say, but my block would appear to be that I just cannot listen fast enough!

Previous learning with audio discs I fail more or less towards the end of disc 2 when sentences get longer and the speaker speeds up (and they always speed up!).
Tricky!!
Hi David:
Reading your comments, made recall an old movie (Battle of Britain). There is an scene in which a British flight instructor is flying with a squad of Polish flyers; they see the German squadron preparing for attack. The instructor orders to maintain their formation; then suddenly, the Polish aviators began to abandon their formation and telling the instructor: “Repeat, please”. This is something that can be asked from our interlocutor when we do not “catch” to understand them. Kindly ask the other person to repeat again more slowly (Por favor, repita más despacio). When learning a new language requires patience, mainly within ourselves, don’t place obstacles in the learning process.
 

Phoenix

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
Well, I got a new knee in October. That is a pretty big action for me, and rather useful for camino walking. I am still working at getting it functioning.
I hope you have great results. I'm 17 days post-op TKR, L knee. R knee scheduled for late March. The grind of recovery/physical therapy-rehab/conditioning during 2021 should lead to walking a mostly pain-free Camino in 2022.

Re: other new things:
- Having made the decision last April, I head back to college in a few weeks.
- Working on first novel, appx 50% complete.
 

Ivan_Prada

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes 2021)??
I have started to review my Spanish, using a free course from a public library website, which I have used before. I just started at the second section, as I am reasonably knowledgable in the introductory section. These lessons are from a series titled "The Great Courses." They are taught by an American college professor. Their major disadvantage for me is that, like all such courses that I have found in Canada, they follow the Spanish of the Americas, in pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammatical details. However, the instructor includes the vosotros forms in all sets of verb forms. He also speaks clearly and at a reasonable speed for my current knowledge, so that I can understand everything that he says in Spanish. For me, this is a very useful part of the review. However, to get all the details and absorb the vocabulary and grammar, I must sometimes stop and go back, so it can take me several hours to get through a lesson, even though it is material that I have seen previously. I, too, have challenges as a senior student. Must go now: back to class.
Hello Albertagirl:
You are right about the difference in the Spanish (Castellano). There are very few countries in the Americas that uses the Third Person Plural version of Vosotros. Example of this is Argentina and Nicaragua. Mostly the rest use “Ustedes”. I encountered something similar in my Italian courses; the Second Person, could be either Tu or Voi. That depends on how close is your relationship with the other person. With a family member or close friend is used “Tu”, when talking to an older person, supervisor, or newly introduced person; then, “Voi” is used to show respect.

During my visits to Spain, I have kept using the Spanish (Castellano) that I normally use without any problems, using the “Usted” instead of “Vos” when addressing to a newly met person. Another point to make it harder to for the person not used to hear Spanish (Castellano), is the sound of the “S” in Spain as it sounds like a “Z”. That is one of the main differences between the Hispanic-American spoken Spanish and the one on the Iberian Peninsula. On my last visit, I met a Lady from Gran Canarias, her Spanish(Castellano) tone sounded like I’m used to hear. That’s because the Canarians emigrated in big quantities to the Caribbean Basin and were influential in the development of the peculiar Caribbean accent of Spanish(Castellano).
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Spring 2016: Camino Frances, Finisterre and Muxia
April 2019: Frances, Salvador, Primitivo
So my question - has anyone taken on anything new? Learnt a new skill? Taken an online course to enhance their CV and/or job skills? Become a lion trainer? Tai Chi master? Sculptor? Pianist? Multi-linguist? Pastry chef? Anything? Or is it just me who has thrown nine months of opportunity away??

Oh dear - what a waste of nine months!!! :eek:

Early in this Pandemic Time, I dreaded the inevitable question: "What are you doing with your time?" Then they'd rattle off all the projects that they were beginning. For weeks and months I was very hard on myself, as new 'projects' were not something that I was motivated to do.

Only lately did I realize that, like winter, seeds were being nourished under the ground. My spiritual life has grown in ways that never would have happened in real time. My connections with good friends have grown tremendously too. I'm finding what I value most in life.

My point being, David, through your many wonderful posts during this time, I experience you to be a most thoughtful, resourceful, and caring person. My guess is that you have gained much in the past 9 months that will shine on in your being and becoming.
 

David with new Kit!

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF September (2019) SJPP to Logrono
CF May/June (2020) Logrono to ? (Delayed).
Well, it looks like quite a few of us have decided to learn, or brush up on Spanish. Should be no excuse when we finally get back on a Camino, eh!

I started with Duo Lingo in March also, but stopped using it very recently, for several reasons.

I started to get frustrated with the fact that it is “American Spanish” and not “Castellano Spanish”.

Close, but not close enough to avoid frustration. Still, I found it very useful. I also used Google translate, especially in “conversation mode” but again it swings toward American Spanish. But, also very useful.

I also found some very good web sites with Castellano Spanish and that suites me very well.

I’ve also recently taken up Spanish via Zoom with María Seco Piñeiro, who is active on this forum.

For my part, I find that a combination of all of these solutions work best for me and over the last 9 months I have progressed from asking for one beer to asking for two beers and a wine. Progress indeed!!

I’d also like to do an immersion course in Spain as some of you above have done, but all in due course………

Oh yes, I’ve also taken up computer gaming again and bought a virtual reality headset, maybe there is a virtual Camino walk I can join?
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I hope you have great results. I'm 17 days post-op TKR, L knee. R knee scheduled for late March. The grind of recovery/physical therapy-rehab/conditioning during 2021 should lead to walking a mostly pain-free Camino in 2022.

Re: other new things:
- Having made the decision last April, I head back to college in a few weeks.
- Working on first novel, appx 50% complete.
@Phoenix
All the best in your recovery. I am two weeks short of the initial three month recovery process and am approaching the vital full range of motion in the operated knee. My younger brother, who is a retired physical education teacher, had both his knees done in one surgery. Hard work got him back to full function quickly and he continues very active some years later. For me, the ability to walk caminos is my motivating force. I hope to set out on the Levante this fall. And may you enjoy many future caminos on your new knees.
 
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cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hi Saint Mike II:
Well, that what you mentions happens even to me. Every person has a peculiar way of speaking, voice tone, etc. To overcome this, you would need a deeper immersion in the target language. In the case of Spanish, it spoken very differently in Latin America, the Caribbean and in Spain, because of reasons already mentioned. If you are able to find a language course, the characteristics will be of teacher’s country on origin. This will affect your usage of the language. This phenomenon can be noticed within Spain, every Region has its “ways of talking”.
Thanks Ivan. I did some courses a few years back in preparation for my first camino. Our teacher was from Sth America and yes she spoke very differently from how they speak in central Spain (Castilian). Then you add Catalan and El Andaluse and don't even think about Galacian. Still its what makes Spain such an interesting country. As for "immersion" well that is going to have to wait - maybe until 2022 before I can travel again. (My oncologist - cancer doctor - has laid down some strict ground rules.) Happy New Year. Cheers
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Well, I will try when the audio discs arrive - at least I speak Esperanto like a native ;)
I just googled it and I still barely "understand" it..maybe I should look up a youtube video next.🤔🙃
 
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Ivan_Prada

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes 2021)??
Thanks Ivan. I did some courses a few years back in preparation for my first camino. Our teacher was from Sth America and yes she spoke very differently from how they speak in central Spain (Castilian). Then you add Catalan and El Andaluse and don't even think about Galacian. Still its what makes Spain such an interesting country. As for "immersion" well that is going to have to wait - maybe until 2022 before I can travel again. (My oncologist - cancer doctor - has laid down some strict ground rules.) Happy New Year. Cheers
Hello Saint Mike II:
Thanks for the comments. That’s is why I did mentioned that all depends of who your teacher is and the degree of immersion you do into learning a language. Here at home, when I’m in a meeting with people for first time, many try to identify my country of origin by my accent. After many guesses, they get a big surprise when I finally tell then.
At elementary and high school I was taught both Spanish (Castilian) and English at the same time in all grades. Then at University, I had a course on accent reduction and the teacher was educated in Boston; so, the pronunciation and intonation that I got was a semi British accent. When my wife and I moved to South Florida, when I addressed someone in English, simply was not understood. So, I had to make some adjustments, one day I took a machinery to be repaired and while I was explaining the person what was wrong so it could be fixed; the first thing the gentleman asked if I was French Canadian. So, after explaining him my origins, we laughed.
In conclusion, if you just the basics of any language, the rest will come easily; don’t be afraid of errors (they are part of the learning experience). There is was something that I said to my students (Accounting); on a pencil you have two ends, on one tip you have the lead to write on the other and eraser to get rid of the mistake and then write the correct answer.

My prayers to you that the Oncologist provides the best news and that we may meet on The Camino in a near future. BTW, I’m a Parkinson’s patient, so I hope that I could keep my muscle strength to carry a couple of Caminos before heading on the Francigena and visit Assisi. Take care.
 
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Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
During the last 9 months I have learned to cook..... (and eat, and eat, and eat...!)
From left to right - Ceviche, Canoli's, Manicotti, Pizzelle with fruit and ice cream, Seafood and sausage Paella
 

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Canada Wanders

Lost, but making great time...
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2015
CP 2018
Well, I have taken up Spanish wine comparison, by the glass(s). My wife has taken to Sour-Dough bread, which I support 100%, and mandolin playing.
My wife also came up with a plan about dramatically increasing the veggies in our diet...so my cooking chops improved. She seems to feel that if I increase my veggie intake I will live forever. I think it will only feel like it.
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
Since lockdown I’ve been watching Netflix movies more frequently. If the audio is available in Spanish (often European Spanish) I switch to that, and turn on the English subtitles. That way I kill three birds with one stone; watch the movie, pick up some Spanish words/phrases, and increase my reading speed.
 
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AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
please see signature
And this time I'll be able to communicate on some level with the local people.

Its the speed that Spaniards speak at.

I have no problem 'hearing' French,

I had five years of schoolboy French, but nothing conversational in all that time.

So two episodes in the general vicinity of Reims in September 2018 may amuse.

Late in the day (arrival at Laon would be the next morning) I walked in to a village pub and ordered a large balloon of the warm red beer on offer. It was lovely. Then I needed the services of their toilet. As I wear the kilt when walking the room I needed was locked. I went back and fixed the female bartender with a warm smile, held the fly of my kilt up and said, slowly "La clef pour madame, s'il vous plait". I could hear much laughter behind me: was my accent terrible (probably) or was the incongruence of a male wearing a skirt wanting to use the female toilet just too delicious. Whatever, the bartender reached behind her and gave me the key with a board smile.

Several days later I went into a large hotel near the Marne lateral canal. The receptionist spoke English, slowly. Which was good. She explained they were completely booked but would I mind waiting while she made enquiries in the town. I went out to the garden bar and saw two English couples sitting at a nearby table. As I was finishing my drink the receptionist came out and told me what she had arranged - it was brilliant. Then she apologised for her lack of understanding of English, saying the "English" all spoke too quickly. I smiled and said in a stage whisper, "we English says the same about the French". And the two couples guffawed.

Kia kaha (be strong, take care)
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Galicia!
For me the problem with Spanish is that they talk too fast and fluidly for me to separate words.
This is not just me, Spanish is the second fastest spoken language in the world (Japanese is the only one faster).
I have no problem 'hearing' French, nor 'hearing' German, I can clearly hear the words that they say, but my block would appear to be that I just cannot listen fast enough!

Previous learning with audio discs I fail more or less towards the end of disc 2 when sentences get longer and the speaker speeds up (and they always speed up!).
Tricky!!
I find "Más despacio, por favor" and "Soy un poco sordo" (true) both help.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Galicia!
Lockdown 1:
Learned how to fix a sewing machine
Learned how to use a sewing machine
Made a lot of masks
Tried cross-stitching (my daughter had left a kit here on her last visit)
Started a Virtual Camino Frances (still only at Ribadiso)
Improved my harmonica playing
Kept up my German studies
Made an awful lot of sourdough bread
Put on an awful amount of weight.
Made three note books with leather bound spines from scratch
Started an on line drawing class (learning not teaching)
Failed to learn to juggle (again)
Obtained a Ham Radio licence (M7KEC)

Lockdown 2:
Dropped out of German
Concentrating on guitar and ukulele instead of harmonica
Did refresher course in Spanish
Started woodcarving (c/o Doug Linker) - I now have a lot of IKEA pencils with wizard faces carved on them.
Dallied with birdwatching (new binoculars for my birthday)
Made more masks (plus 2 kites and a hiking kilt)
Stopped making sourdough.
Got into Middle Eastern cooking
Still can't juggle

Lockdown 3:
Ordered more material for next batch of masks
Started making kamikara mechanical toys out of paper
Restart German next week
Still can't juggle.

Since 23rd March I have read 74 ½ books
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Lockdown 1:
Learned how to fix a sewing machine
Learned how to use a sewing machine
Made a lot of masks
Tried cross-stitching (my daughter had left a kit here on her last visit)
Started a Virtual Camino Frances (still only at Ribadiso)
Improved my harmonica playing
Kept up my German studies
Made an awful lot of sourdough bread
Put on an awful amount of weight.
Made three note books with leather bound spines from scratch
Started an on line drawing class (learning not teaching)
Failed to learn to juggle (again)
Obtained a Ham Radio licence (M7KEC)

Lockdown 2:
Dropped out of German
Concentrating on guitar and ukulele instead of harmonica
Did refresher course in Spanish
Started woodcarving (c/o Doug Linker) - I now have a lot of IKEA pencils with wizard faces carved on them.
Dallied with birdwatching (new binoculars for my birthday)
Made more masks (plus 2 kites and a hiking kilt)
Stopped making sourdough.
Got into Middle Eastern cooking
Still can't juggle

Lockdown 3:
Ordered more material for next batch of masks
Started making kamikara mechanical toys out of paper
Restart German next week
Still can't juggle.

Since 23rd March I have read 74 ½ books
Wow,
It looks like you need to go on camino to have a rest.
 
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Canada Wanders

Lost, but making great time...
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2015
CP 2018
It isn't a threat so much as an Army mantra.
We have so many in the military..."Travel light, freeze at night", "Time spent in recce is seldom wasted...", "when in doubt, rack out..."so many that applied to the Camino.
I carried a pack, slept in a shared room with a large number of people, most who snore, showered with cold water, get up...walk, eat-walk-sleep-repeat.

Man- how crazy was that? 20 years in the military prepared me for the ideal Camino!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Lockdown 1:
Learned how to fix a sewing machine
Learned how to use a sewing machine
Made a lot of masks
Tried cross-stitching (my daughter had left a kit here on her last visit)
Started a Virtual Camino Frances (still only at Ribadiso)
Improved my harmonica playing
Kept up my German studies
Made an awful lot of sourdough bread
Put on an awful amount of weight.
Made three note books with leather bound spines from scratch
Started an on line drawing class (learning not teaching)
Failed to learn to juggle (again)
Obtained a Ham Radio licence (M7KEC)

Lockdown 2:
Dropped out of German
Concentrating on guitar and ukulele instead of harmonica
Did refresher course in Spanish
Started woodcarving (c/o Doug Linker) - I now have a lot of IKEA pencils with wizard faces carved on them.
Dallied with birdwatching (new binoculars for my birthday)
Made more masks (plus 2 kites and a hiking kilt)
Stopped making sourdough.
Got into Middle Eastern cooking
Still can't juggle

Lockdown 3:
Ordered more material for next batch of masks
Started making kamikara mechanical toys out of paper
Restart German next week
Still can't juggle.

Since 23rd March I have read 74 ½ books
Jeff, that is truly an amazing list! You sound like a very interesting and productive guy to get to know in person. 🙂
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Galicia!
That sounds rather threatening. Still, I am in a similar position with my new knee: "Train hard, walk easy."
Alexander Suvorov I believe.

In your case "I kneel before no man!" might be more appropriate ;)

After 69 years of hard usage I'm starting to get concerned about my own!
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Galicia!
Jeff, that is truly an amazing list! You sound like a very interesting and productive guy to get to know in person. 🙂
I confess that two years of retirement had left me wondering how I managed to fit working for a living into the equation. I now look back on them as training for a year of Covid!

Hope you and the Heffalumps are keeping well!
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Galicia!
It isn't a threat so much as an Army mantra.
We have so many in the military..."Travel light, freeze at night", "Time spent in recce is seldom wasted...", "when in doubt, rack out..."so many that applied to the Camino.
I carried a pack, slept in a shared room with a large number of people, most who snore, showered with cold water, get up...walk, eat-walk-sleep-repeat.

Man- how crazy was that? 20 years in the military prepared me for the ideal Camino!
Worth it though, nobody has tried to invade Canada since 1866! 🇨🇦 ;)
 

efdoucette

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2011 Camino Frances
Since 2011 - too many to list
I have supported our local craft breweries and YES!!! they deliver,
Learning guitar, finally understand the fretboard layout, notes and chords,
Trying to reconcile end of life suffering (live-in mother-in-law, she is 89)
Built a 8x16 ft greenhouse for my wife
Try to walk daily (keep the ticker ticking)
Daily dreams of Camino
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
I joined the Benedictine Order three years ago, and this September I took my first solemn vows. In the spring I wrote a "Rule of Life," which is basically a way of fitting prayer and spiritual reading into my life every single day. I have benefitted mightily from this structure -- I am way more productive, and I don't lose track of things nearly so often. Now I am learning my way around "Benedictine Daily Prayer: a Short Breviary," a 2,000-page prayer book that covers every day of the year in a rather Byzantine rhythm. It all sounds rather arcane and dull, but it is really intriguing and enlightening for me. It feeds the contemplative side of my character, and gives me a lot of peace.
 
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Seamus68

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Apr 2017
Camino Del Norte April 2018
Camino Frances - St Jean to Burgos 2019
Hi all - so here we are, the beginning of a new year and this morning it occurred to me that apart from a brief lessening of restrictions during the summer I have been locked down for nine months now and have done nothing 'new'.

All these months with more time on my hands than ever in my life and I think that I may have wasted them.

I have a block re learning Spanish but surely if I had started a video or CD course back in March I would be able to speak adequate Spanish by now? - or play the guitar, or juggle, or learn photography, or sketch, sing, paint, mimic animals .. an infinite list - now, apart from being able to speak Spanish I don't want to do any of those things but have decided, as I will be severely locked down here in the UK until possibly Easter, that I shall buy a good comprehensive Spanish course from Ebay this evening and 'go to school' at home every day, only twenty minutes or so a day, but every day ... and by April? Who knows ...

So my question - has anyone taken on anything new? Learnt a new skill? Taken an online course to enhance their CV and/or job skills? Become a lion trainer? Tai Chi master? Sculptor? Pianist? Multi-linguist? Pastry chef? Anything? Or is it just me who has thrown nine months of opportunity away??

Oh dear - what a waste of nine months!!! :eek:
I’ve taken up painting
 
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peregrino_tom

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
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1. Sourdough!
It wasn't until the 8th version I got the process right and I got a good rise. No kneading at all, just stretching at regular intervals through the day, which works perfectly when you are working from home. If you make your own starter it is probably unique to the flour you choose and the wild yeasts/bacteria circulating around you. Certainly my sourdough (spelt starter, coastal Somerset air) doesn't taste sour at all, but a little nutty/malty.
2. First time vegetable growing. Nearly all my outside veggies were eaten by hordes of snails. I used natural pest repellants which worked fine in dry conditions but washed off in rain - and the snails were waiting...
I know someone whose partner goes out at midnight with a sharp implement and kills them all and she has beautiful organic veg as a result - but I didn't have the heart/stomach for that. However the greenhoused tomatoes were amazing. Some of them didn't ripen on the cill until December, but still tasted delicious. Successes or failures aside I think that anyone who tries growing their own veg gains a much richer understanding of Nature. Certainly I now look at perfect bought veg in a completely different way.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
. Sourdough!
It wasn't until the 8th version I got the process right and I got a good rise. No kneading at all, just stretching at regular intervals through the day, which works perfectly when you are working from home.
You are patient to give it 8 tries before succeeding.
I tried my hand one time at making Yorkshire pudding at the beginning of covid confinements and they flopped. I'm now motivated to try again...maybe by the 8th attempt they will be perfect. 🙂
 

amorfati1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2014_Caminho Portuguese (Lisboa to Santiago_4 weeks in May)
Hi all - so here we are, the beginning of a new year and this morning it occurred to me that apart from a brief lessening of restrictions during the summer I have been locked down for nine months now and have done nothing 'new'.

[...]

Oh dear - what a waste of nine months!!! :eek:
Thanks David for asking - suitable question indeed. (Though I hope you'll cease to think that nine months of being alive is a waste :cool:)

* Finally started to listen to the 20+hrs long audio book (in german) of Das Glasperlenspiel - The GlassBeadGame - by Hermann Hesse - that I had purchased over 5 yrs ago. Got the book about 40 yrs ago. So, am a wee bit slow, but" am getting there". (wherever 'there' is). Also in the queue are 60 hrs of Goethe, and some equally marvelous Thomas Mann and Stefan Zweig. Audio books really help me to fine-tune my ears for a language. And as the readers are a true treat, it's a fab way to 'read by the ears'.
* Last fall dared my luck with fresh yeast cake. Mega YUM. Will hit the repeat button on that one for sure.
* Next week I might try something slighty fool-hardy: A trip into the high mountains - this morning the temps in the valley up there were minus 25C. Am a first rate "winter-wimp", we shall see if I will live to tell the tale. And I MIGHT even try an excursion on SnowShoes, but I won't push me luck.

Saluti - C
 
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Camino Frances 2017
Appreciate your question, David. I distilled a lengthy list of forgettable activity down to these two:

1) I teach global trade and cross cultural communications at two universities. When Covid-19 impacted all our lives and in-person classes were no longer possible, I needed to re-constitute my course material to fit into the Zoom reality. I had to learn more than the raw basics of Zoom to the point of discovering many of its idiosyncrasies and doing "work-arounds". Navigating the 9 hour time difference between the USA west coast and my university in Hamburg was a challenge as my classes started at 04:15 PDT. I no longer am intimidated by Zoom and feel that learning it was a solid accomplishment.
2) I completed the first draft of my 2017 Camino Frances experience, Cuckoo Me, that also wove into the narrative my 50 years of travel and advenure elsewhere in Spain. In its current manuscript form it sits at 461 pages. As all first draft writers know, at least half of that is codswallop. Next up: revision, refining, and professional editing. I'll get there.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
Hello Albertagirl:
You are right about the difference in the Spanish (Castellano). There are very few countries in the Americas that uses the Third Person Plural version of Vosotros. Example of this is Argentina and Nicaragua. Mostly the rest use “Ustedes”. I encountered something similar in my Italian courses; the Second Person, could be either Tu or Voi. That depends on how close is your relationship with the other person. With a family member or close friend is used “Tu”, when talking to an older person, supervisor, or newly introduced person; then, “Voi” is used to show respect.
English also used to be the same with the second person: singular was used with intimates, plural was used to show respect. But the English got so formal with each other that the singular (thou, thee, thy, thine) pretty much dropped out of usage.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
I don't know if you'd call it something new, but I've been scanning in old photos and old correspondence into the computer (and re-reading the latter). While doing so, I had the opportunity to look through the photos I took on my 1989 Camino. I was surprised at how much of the infrastructure (like the big signs at the entrances to villages on the Meseta, or the markers built into the pavement in towns) was already there, as I remember it as a time of much less infrastructure.
 

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