Saturday, September 21, 2013

Two Steps Forward, Ten Steps Back

It’s been one of those weeks. Normally, since I returned from Spain and began my work life again, it’s been two steps forward and one step back. My only goal is to save enough money to enable myself to live for a year without income when I return to Spain in 2015. After my walk from Barcelona to Rome I’ll return to Granada and work at finding students to tutor in English, and hopefully, by that time I’ll have developed at least a small business in editing and proofreading. Maybe I’ll even have sold a few books. But I want to have the resources, the money, to last a year without feeling under the pressure of poverty.

But here I am, 25% of the way through my self-imposed exile and I’ve hardly managed to save little money compared with what I'll need. I was falling short of my plan, but I finally accepted that my budget had been a little on the frugal side. So, I adjusted. Then my short time of unemployment bit into the plan a little more, but I figured, such is life. I kept plodding along with less in savings, but still saving.

Then, this week, I had to shell out $1,500 for my car and a day later received the bill for my portion, after insurance, of my recent appendectomy – about $3,500. And all the bills aren’t in yet. Two steps forward and about ten steps back.

I have to admit, I’m more than a little depressed and angry. Angry at what, I don’t know. It’s an adverb – it doesn’t necessarily require an object. I know it’s stupid. I know it doesn’t do me any good. It’s counterproductive, but I’m not always in control of my emotions. What can I say? I’m human.

I’m looking at my countdown calendar, which says at the 80-weeks-to-go page,

Jesus said, “I tell you the truth when I say that the heavenly realm is within you. Only when you have established the divine realm within, and overcome the demons of doubt and fear, will you discern the key to the establishment of the realm of the Eloheim on the physical plane.” (The Gospel of Thomas)

I’ll think about that, concentrate on those words this week, try to overcome my doubt and fear, and see if I can climb out of the pit of depression and anger that I’m feeling. All I want is to get back on the road, to start walking. But there’s a time and a place for everything, and I guess the time for that is still 80 weeks away. Who knows what can happen in that amount of time.

I won’t go with the resources I had planned, but I’ll go, come hell or high water.

80 more weeks.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Barnes and Noble

Quick update: Sauntering to Santiago is now available for download to your Nook at Barnes and Noble

Click on the book title or go to

I hope you enjoy it.

P.S. I'm hoping to get the book translated into Spanish. It will take a while, but if you prefer Spanish, I'll have it for you hopefully by year end.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Moving on

My countdown calendar shows 81 weeks remaining until I leave for the next pilgrimage – Barcelona to Rome. My equipment is all prepared – I’ve replaced whatever I’ll need and was lost in the mail, as I related in an earlier post. I had given away my one-man tent in LleĆ­da, figuring correctly that I wouldn’t need it on the Camino de Santiago. But, looking at the route between Barcelona and where I’ll join the Via Francigena in France it looks like there might be some days where I won’t be able to make it to a town with a hostel or pension; something cheap enough for my budget, so I replaced the tent for nights I’ll have to make camp. 

When I was on the Camino de Santiago I didn’t write much, didn’t even think about writing a blog or a memoir after I’d completed it so I didn’t bring a PC and barely wrote in a journal. For the next trip, though, I’ll be writing a regular blog which I’ll make into an e-book later. Thus the need for a notebook PC. I was going to wait to buy a notebook PC, one that I could carry in my back pack, until close to the time I left to take advantage of lower cost and increased performance. But my old one was needed by someone else, so I decided to go ahead and buy a new one. I bought a Microsoft Surface. It’s only a little over 2 pounds (1 kilo) and has a four-hour battery life, or so they say. I found that if you have USB devices connected to it the battery life is significantly reduced. Windows 8 is taking some time to get used to, but I’ll adjust. 

I’m also on round two of adjustments to the custom hiking boots I bought from Esatto, LLC. Alex, the cobbler, has been very accommodating and is working with me to make sure I have a perfect fit. After the first adjustment they fit very well, but then I remembered that my feet actually lengthened after walking a few hundred miles so I’ve asked Alex to add 7mm to them. That will probably require major surgery and I can’t expect him to do that for free. After all, he made them to fit the specifications I gave him the first time. Such is life. It’s only money. (sigh) 

I’m trying to keep in shape, taking strenuous hikes in the Cascade and Olympic Mountains. I don’t get out enough, though, and I’m embarrassed to say I’m putting some weight back on. Thinking I’ll get rid of it between Barcelona and the border of France makes it easy to be lazy. Sitting in a chair at a desk all day doesn’t help either.

So, five days a week I’m back at work, trying not to think about how nice it will feel to be walking from town to town again. At least I have a window seat with a nice view.
 The view from my desk is actually spectacular some days, but I liked this one with the top of the Space Needle looking like a flying saucer.

P.S. Don't forget to check out Sauntering to Santiago, available in all e-book formats. Available at, and soon available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony, and all other e-book distributors

Friday, September 13, 2013

Now available in e-book format

I've just published a revised, edited, and expanded version of my blog posts as a memoir in electronic format. It's available at,, or you can wait a week or so for it to be available to download directly to your e-reader from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony, and all other e-book distributors.

Thanks for reading. I'll continue posts concerning the planning for the next pilgrimage to Rome. Work life and other writing projects have taken time from this blog, but I promise to return soon.