Our social upload commitments to you
So, what do we actually do every day while we’re based in Javea?
If you read my last blog, you’ll know I’ve realised that my physical health benefits from following a routine flexible enough to complete goals and also provide plenty of down time for resting, relaxing and basically stopping long enough to smell the bougainvillea (well look at it - it doesn’t have a scent).
Barry and I have made a weekly commitment to produce one video for YouTube, and one blog each for our website. Our blogs add the extra small but often interesting details that we can’t fit into our videos. We also spend time daily replying to comments on our various social media sites and in the evening upload photos that we’ve taken during the day. Baz will often upload photos from his camera onto A B Sea’s Facebook page and I’ll often add one or two pics from my phone onto our Instagram page.
Baz is an amazing video editor. I think his decades as a DJ has given him the ability to create videos with a very watchable rhythm, and I am in awe of how he does it. Give me a large flat wall and I’ll create you a 3D mural in a week, but give me 10 minutes of blank video time to fill in and I struggle. So at the moment, Barry is definitely at the helm of the YouTube department, although I am learning alongside him, so I will one day produce them too.
I personally love taking photos and sharing them on social media and as you may know, have been doing this for years, so many of our new retirement activities are fitting me quite well. I’m still getting the hang of Twitter and at the moment I’m mainly using it to tweet links to either our blogs or YouTube uploads. I’ve frankly never been much of a Twitter fan. I just don’t get it. Perhaps it doesn’t appeal because it isn’t as visual as Instagram, as detailed as a blog, or as captivating as a video. Having said that, for a while one of my duties in a previous job entailed tweeting about their products once a week. I must admit I quite enjoyed that, as I set myself the challenge of using exactly 140 characters per tweet; so perhaps that can be something I embrace for our @SailingABsea Twitter page. The limit is now 280 characters, but I'm up for the challenge! What do you think?
In a semi-related way, I also really take pleasure in the English form of Haiku. Basically Haiku is a blithe yet beautifully clever Japanese 3-line poem – often involving nature – using 17 syllables spread as 5-7-5 over the three lines. More can be found in Wikipedia if you’re a word nerd like me and are interested. Here's an example I've written for you.
Listen to the breeze;
Lying on the grass today
I see a leaf stir
And I’ve just tweeted another one about Javea.
Please let me know in the comments below (or simply type #haiku or #wordnerd @SailingABsea) if you want me to put in some creative mental effort to produce Haiku or attempt 280 character tweets. I may end up awake all night screwing up balls of paper in failed attempts (well, pressing delete on the keyboard), but I won’t hold that against you! And I’d love it if you feel inspired to reply with your own 5-7-5 Haiku poem.
We often go out for a daily walk. It’s a great way to offset some of the calories from Spanish table wine that is
available in the local supermarkets at very reasonable prices and which we probably drink a glass or two of more than we should. But moving right along, walking is also a welcome break from sitting at our computers for several hours each day. Plus, I can’t think of a better way to breathe in the amazing fresh sea air and collect beach glass for jewellery I’m going to make once I get my jewellery tools sent over (to the yacht once we buy one). There are also multiple opportunities on each walk to capture a photographic gem or two, and if we’re visiting a new area, we always take video footage.
Barry likes to use his large camera to shoot what he calls A-Roll, and I usually use our little camera to film B-Roll. The A-Roll consists of the main theme or story that we’re going to use for a YouTube video, and the B-Roll gives an alternate view and also adds interest to what would just be one viewpoint from one camera. The great thing is that we can lift single still shots from the video footage we capture, and that is often what Barry uses when he uploads photos to Facebook.
I do have a love of my Samsung S7 phone to capture great still and moving footage, as, for a phone it is amazingly clear. The main drawback for videos is that the audio does get muffled if there is anything greater than a light breeze. But again, it can provide some good background B-Roll. I’m playing with pre- and post-editing the photos from my camera and have been researching post editing phone apps for android. The best seems to be Snapseed, a free photo editor, followed by Adobe photo apps (especially Lightroom). I don’t have a problem paying for apps, but the drawback with Adobe is that some of the apps require signing in to Adobe Creative Cloud, so I’m leaning towards Snapseed as my first choice. I’ll give you feedback in another blog about the results. I would however, very much value your feedback on any android photo editing apps that you find give a professional result, if you feel like sharing your wisdom.
Shopping and Cooking
While we’re out and about, we will often call into the local Mercadona supermarket to refresh our supplies of sparkling water, wine, bread and other regularly consumed items. As Baz mentioned in his blog, water in particular weighs its equivalent in kilos to litres, so even a couple of 1.5L bottles of water can add up to a bit of serious weight lifting on the way home with our shopping. Not that we don’t need the muscle toning, but too much weight over a 15 minute hike up the gentle hill back home can result in us feeling like stiff old farts the next day!
As the apartment we’re living in is a holiday rental, there is reduced kitchen equipment – mainly of large pans. Whereas in Australia, we’d make a large batch of say, Bolognese sauce and freeze a couple of batches, that isn’t an option here, so we cook a different main meal each day, using local ingredients. This is turning out to be fun as we’re discovering ingredients here we wouldn’t have looked for back ‘home’ and main meals have a slightly different taste.
Tapas meals are entering our menu on a twice weekly basis, and Barry and I both love the variety of little plates that we’re concocting – based on traditional dishes that we’ve tried at local tapas bars.
We try not to eat out more than once a week though, remembering that we’re on a finite resource from our house sale and are limiting our budget until other sources of income kick in – thanks to you and our other followers. We are on an amazing journey, but even though we’ve kicked the mortgage into touch, we do still have to balance income with outgoings. In order for our lifestyle to prosper long into the future, “Sensible” has to live alongside “Adventuresome”.
As sensible as we may have to be though, lazy mornings, lunchtime siestas and relaxing evenings are a daily occurrence even if we can’t always squeeze all three into every day. Going out and about exploring new localities is fun, interesting and will often take up a morning or afternoon. As does typing and editing our work, and its amazing how quickly time flies when we’re in that creative zone! I have found that generally, if we have a late start in the morning, the rest of the day is taken up with our computer work. If on the other hand, we’re out early filming at a local site, we’ll then have a leisurely lunch afterwards which turns into a very pleasant siesta until later in the afternoon when we get back to our computers.
Most evenings involve down time, although that is definitely spent differently to when we were in Australia. Back in Beerwah we would either watch TV, research yachts, or follow sailing channels on YouTube. Here in Spain, TV is a bit of a struggle as neither of us can understand Spanish when it’s spoken that quickly. I have watched “Embarrassing Bodies” and followed the visuals as the medical terms in Spanish totally lost me, but it isn’t something I would do regularly as it makes my brain hurt.
YouTube videos would be an option on a regular basis if we weren’t limited by Internet data packages. We don’t have a permanent address in Spain, which is a requirement for unlimited data that comes with line and phone rental. We have found that by the time we’ve uploaded our weekly YouTube videos, and done various bits of research on the internet, our data usage is massive anyway. This month we’ve already chewed through 40GB at a cost of 60 Euros (AUD$92) and we’ve still got another 10 days to go. Add that up over a 12 month period and we may as well be paying for a mortgage, so watching added YouTube in the evening is off the agenda! We do have videos that we’ve stored on our hard drive that we watch, so it’s not all staring at the wall, picking lint off our jumpers. But there are only so many videos we really want to watch in a week.
Happily our busy days and the delightful (dare I say cheap) local wine mean we’re ready for bed at a reasonable hour, so we snuggle into our comfy warm bed and wake refreshed, ready for another carefree day filled with curiosity and creativity – and thankfully no hangovers due to fewer additives in the wine here compared to Australia!
Finally, all of our media sites aren’t called Sailing A B Sea for nothing, and so the one other significant part of our daily routine that I haven’t mentioned yet has been looking for our yacht. That however is a story in itself, so I’m going to leave you here and go and make lunch, which today is going to be ham and tomato sandwiches made on lovely fresh baguettes (called ‘pan’ here), which we’ll eat in our court yard, and wash down with a local beer.