Toilet Talk

The Big Toilet Debate I don’t know if you remember the big toilet debate. I think I may have mentioned that the one thing that we have debated and debated and yes… debated some more, was the toilet situation at the new house. In fact, it was this issue that made me come up with the idea for You Decide - Design Dilemmas. I couldn’t take any more weeks of going round in circles, researching on the internet, surveying the land etc., etc.,. I decided to let you guys make all the difficult decisions going forward. For those of you that live in the UK and the US, most of you will think….well just plumb in a couple of units and off you go… what are you worrying about woman! That may be the case back in the western world but out here, in our village, mains sewage is not an option. Currently up at the Bee House we have a ‘long drop’. For those...
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Meet The Team – Part One

Meet The Team – Part One

Kristina I am writing this in two parts as there is so much to say about these wonderful women and I don’t want to cut it short for the sake of ‘blog’ restrictions. I am so excited to share our team members with you all. These are real women, living real lives, who are looking forward to helping me create something I just know is going to be so … what? How do I describe what I have planned? There are so many relevant adjectives: Relaxing, connecting, freeing, experimenting, fun, delicious, discovering… I am making it my aim before the end of this month to put together a guide to what it ‘actually’ is, please hold me to this! So, this is Part One of meet the team. Kristina WillsChef @ Bee You Retreats in 2022 I first met Kristina through her sister. We had helped Camilla move into her new apartment in Bansko and with her younger sister about to move over from Australia into our region, we exchanged...
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Christmas Presents

Giving & Receiving For some reason since moving out here, we don't do Christmas presents. We don't give them and we don't receive them. Does that sound sad? Well it isn't I promise, as it takes away a lot of pressure to find something that the other person hasn't got, that they want and that you can afford to buy. That's a lot of stress just because someone says you must buy a gift on this day. I Am Not A Scrooge! Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay I'm not a scrooge, I enjoy Christmas now. I love the lights, the food, the time together, the terrible repetitive TV, the winter weather, the carols, the cheesy films, the lights, the decorations and the extra tot of alcohol. But I hate all the commercialism - I can give or receive a gift any time of the year - and because Dan feels the same way there is no guilt trip, no pressure, no family tradition that we...
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Ask The Audience – You Decide!

Ask The Audience – You Decide!

Do You Wanna Play? Image by Ylanite Koppens from Pixabay Christmas is coming and it’s the time for parlour games… oh my God am I some sort of Victorian peasant or something… What I mean is the UK Government have outlawed board games and singing this Christmas so I have invented a new game to keep you amused. It’s called You Decide and like all good puppies it is not just for Christmas. As you know we have a new house. This house will become a retreat twice a year for women. Women that are at a crossroads in life (we've all been there). Maybe their kids have grown up and left home and they have the chance to discover who they are (other than a mother). Perhaps they are recently divorced and need to find out who they are all over again or maybe they are close to retirement and the ‘job’ had defined them for so many years. Whatever their story we want to...
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The Simplicity of Overwhelm

The Simplicity of Overwhelm

So Much to Do so Little Time Oh boy it is so easy to get overwhelmed when you have BIG plans! The new house is mine. The winter weather is on its way and time is limited to get cracking on the things that need to be done to make it ‘workshop’ friendly. I’m a planner, so laying out what needs to happen and estimating time and funds to do it is the simple part. Looking at that plan and knowing that there are only two of us, a million things to do and only 18 months at most to achieve it… Well that raises the heart rate a little. So much to do and so little time is the first part of the equation. What if? Then I start thinking about the amount of effort and funds I am about to invest in this property and new adventure and wonder, what if? What if I don’t finish it in time? What if I finish it and...
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Friday 13th 2020 – What Could Go Wrong?

Friday 13th 2020 – What Could Go Wrong?

Shit Just Got Real Oh my goodness – I am excited beyond belief. Did I say excited – I meant TERRIFIED. Not because it is Friday 13th in 2020 (of all the years). No, not this as I actually believe this day is lucky. Or more to the point the number 13 represents feminine power and if we're honest we could all use a bit of that! However, all this talk about finding out who I am, or managing the expectations of others and here I am shaking in my boots because I am soon to expose myself (not physically you understand, that would be easy in comparison, if not a little disturbing for you guys, but mentally). I have spent my life worrying about what others will think about me. It has held me back from being the person I think I am. As an example, many years ago I wrote a book whilst in an abusive relationship. I kept it hidden because I...
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Managing The Expectations of Others

Managing The Expectations of Others

Society Expects Image by silviarita from Pixabay In my last blog “When I Grow Up I Want To Be…” I talked about how we are expected to choose our paths at an early age and how we let this choice define the rest of our adult lives. It got me thinking (or actually one of the comments I received in response to that blog did), about how we are all expected to do and be certain things in this life and how difficult it is to manage these expectations. Those of us of a certain age grew up in a vastly different era. We accepted things we wouldn’t dream of putting up with today.We felt and took responsibility for things that happened to us. This sounds noble, but it is anything but. Hell, half of my childhood TV heroes are now in prison…way too late because victims blamed themselves and/or were too embarrassed, or frightened, to come forward. We were tricked by societal lies that...
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When I grow up I want to be…

When I grow up I want to be…

The Most Terrifying Question Ever. The question, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ was for me both the most boring, yet terrifying question ever. Boring because where I grew up, it seemed the only options were to go and work at the nuclear plant, the shipyard or learn shorthand and become a secretary, none of which excited me. Terrifying because the first time this question raised its head, I was around 13 years old. What subjects do you want to continue studying to enable you to become what you want to be in life? I was 13, how on earth was I supposed to know what I wanted to be when I grew up, I was a long way from being a grown up and all I knew was, I liked being outside and I liked being around animals. Neither of which really earned you good money, unless you were a vet or something…hell yeah, I’ll be a vet then!...
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Stop the World…

Stop the World…

I Need More Time! We are so busy renovating, gardening, cooking, kayaking, painting and generally enjoying this crazy life we chose... that I haven't sat down to write since January, when I laid out the plans for this year. Whilst the Western World appears to have gone a little bit mad, here in Eastern Europe (at least in my little part) things seem to be pretty much business as usual. Yes, we carry masks with us wherever we go, we avoid crowded spaces and only eat outdoors in restaurants, but there is no doubt whatsoever, that we are truly, truly lucky to have made early choices in life that now are paying us back in spades. Life has changed very little for us. We have achieved the best part of the three things that were on our list, with the exception of perhaps the continuous improvement in the garden area...which the cooling temperatures will help with immensely as the year progresses. But we have...
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Wrapping Up & Planning Ahead

Wrapping Up & Planning Ahead

Time Off for Good Behaviour Normally once it gets to November we down tools and get some time off for good behaviour. Maybe the odd day will be a work day if the sun shines or there isn't too much snow. 2019 had other thoughts! The weather was amazing, so here we are in January and we haven't stopped yet. This means we are getting a good jump on our tasks for 2020. Before I go into our three tasks for this year though let me sum up the third item on last years list. I have already covered the kitchen in this article here. And the garage floor in this one - just click to read them if you've missed them. Item Number Three You might be getting the theme now that only having three things on our list doesn't mean we have very little to do. Similar to the UK saying we will only 'save the NHS', 'build a high...
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