No Golden Ticket This Year…

We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Well, that was some year wasn’t it? Goodness…

It felt like my Brexit tears had only just dried – going to sleep on June 23rd in Great Britain and waking up on June 24th in Little England – and then November 8th happened.

Usually at this time of year, one can look back upon the previous 51 weeks and, at the same time, ahead to the weeks next year has to offer, doing so without too much concern for the 52nd of this year. But in the current world?

So to us all, let me start by saying happy 52nd week of 2016.



On this, the 22nd of December, the day of the extraction of the Spanish Loteria –

known as El Gordo – the fat one – 99.9% of those who ‘played’ instead of tearing them up, place their losing tickets back into their envelopes – for just maybe the website is wrong? – and then sigh as the ‘suerte’ or lack thereof spells another year of work ahead.

As for S and I, our tickets and combined 80€ investment have brought no immediate change to our lives either; S is still sitting by the fire working from home, before heading off to her Christmas staff party tonight, and I have interrupted my long overdue catching up on emails, to pen a few words on my site.


It has been awhile – the last insert here, speaks of a spring marathon. Not impressive. There are (many) stories in the pipeline, which I am hoping the winter’s dark evenings, fireplace’s glow and gentle days of Guajar Alto, will release. Currently many a note book sits adjacent to the fireplace, scribblings captured, waiting to be released into published tales.

I (still) want to tell you all about my ‘research’ in Switzerland earlier this year into the history of Absinthe, then there’s a true story of lost luggage from Brittany you might find amusing, or perhaps how I was followed to Seville by the memory of a lost love, there is a half completed fantasy of the garum makers of Baelo Claudia or my latests investigations into the Robin Hood-esque bandits of Andalusia… watch this space.


This year more than 4800 people visited 2nd Cup of Tea and 221 readers will receive this post by email – I am eternally grateful to those of you who read and comment. I thank you for your patience and gentle judgement.

As much as I love life here in the Andalusian hills, my month off, dedicated to writing will no doubt fly past and it will be time to set off once more to share wonderful places and moments with so many people. I look forward to seeing many of you on the roads of Europe next year… 2017 will be (all being well) the year I finally set off on my walk to Rome – I cannot wait for that adventure.


But meanwhile, as I turn off my phone and shut down internet for Christmas and I take my own private British Exit until 2017, I wish you all the very best and safest of 52nd weeks of any year.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things can not be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain

Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle.

Hugs and thank you for reading and sharing…



~ by Support on December 22, 2016.

18 Responses to “No Golden Ticket This Year…”

  1. Tom, it’s wonderful to hear from you. Yes, 2017 and then some will be fraught with unknown terrors, especially from President Donald Trump, who will wreck the country. In fact, those of us in our 70s have been waiting for the Democracy Wrecker for decades. We thought it might be Barry Goldwater in the 60s, Richard Nixon in the 70s, Ronald Reagan in the 80s, or George Dubya Bush in the 2000s, but it has finally come to pass. And, always, it is the irrational, intolerant extremism of the Republican party far right-wing zealots that constitutes the wrecking ball.
    As you can see, this is what is uppermost in our minds, with extreme dread, “fear and trembling” (Kierkegaard). I don’t know if we can survive this time. Certainly, things will never return to the way they were before, where conversation between — what is now — a liberal party and a nativist xenophobic far-right party is possible.
    Sorry for the downer on your site, but we have no optimism over here……

  2. So good to see this post, Thomas! Please do update us on Absinthe, lost luggage and all the rest. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!

  3. Hi Thomas,
    I was just visiting your site a few days ago so I could start making some 2017 travel plans. I’ll be making some decisions over the next few weeks and touring with you again is at the top of my list.

    I share your pain regarding recent politics! Here’s a small ray of hope–Hillary won the majority of votes in my very ethnically diverse county here in Texas – Fort Bend County. She also won nearby Harris County which includes Houston and of course she won in Austin.

    I hope your marathon training is going well. I’ll be doing my 21st half marathon on January 29.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too.

    Peggy DeMarsh
    Sugar Land, Texas

  4. Pehaps next year will be the year of your golden ticket in the sense that all you have been hoping for for so long will be within the grasp of you both.I wish you peace ,contentment and all the good ,gentle things in life in the coming year and over the festive season.Baci e cari abbracci.X

  5. Merry Christmas and glædelig jul! Yes, it has been a stressful year and I fear that stress will continue. We will try to put that aside and enjoy the next few weeks that will be filled with laughter of grandkids and fun taking them to the mountains or a museum to two. Then it’s off to New Zealand for four weeks on a RS trip with friends. Your first Christmas tree and the elf are lovely – simple and happy. You’ll have to take a look at Dave’s website and see all the wonderful things he’s been turning Now to see if we can sneak some wood back to the US from NZ!!! Maybe another grape vine. Happy holidays, safe travels, and love and hugs from both of us – Dorothy and Dave

  6. Thomas, Good to hear from you. Let’s hope for the best in 2017…Our warm wishes for a peaceful and bright Christmad. Good luck in training for marathon and the walk to Rome. Edith & Tom

  7. It has been far too long since i saw you. Very Happy Christmas and happy travels in 2017.xx

  8. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Thomas! I hope to see you somewhere in Europe (again!) soon. Enjoy your well-deserved respite from the rigors of traveling. – Sue Minor

  9. Merry Christmas Thomas! Wishing you a great festive season and look forward to your stories! Hope your travels bring you to Australia in 2017!

  10. Loved reading your email. Last year was so fabulous with you. Hope I can plan another trip with you.

  11. It’s so good to hear from you, Thomas. I was beginning to worry that something drastic had happened. Well, in fact, something drastic has happened in our country, but it has nothing to do with you. Unfortunately, it has a lot to do with us. I share your concerns.
    We took the family to Ireland this summer to celebrate my 70th. It was lovely but I’m sure it would have been more wonderful with you as our guide. I’m still hoping to put together a trip with my girlfriends with you in the lead. That would definitely make for an awesome memory. Vic has slowed down quite a bit but we’re looking forward to a loving Christmas with our family. May it be likewise with you.

  12. Thomas, I’m looking forward to reading more of your stories. Enjoy your holiday break! Let’s hope both of our countries muddle through the new year safely.

  13. Well then young Thomas, all in all a good year. Love your site, it’s always fascinating. I hope that you are well. I wish you a great time over Christmas. Colin

  14. Have a wonderful Holiday Season. You were our bright light in 2016 for my granddaughter and me leading our unforgettable trip to France. So good it was that I am planning a couple of weeks in Paris this summer. hanks again!

  15. Sounds like some wonderful stories….. can’t wait to read them. Good luck in the coming year. Look forward to traveling with you again sometime.

  16. Thomas, It’s so good to hear some of your new news. I wish you many golden tickets in the year ahead, including wonderful trips and your long-hoped for walk to Rome.

    I’ve always been more familiar with the first half of that quote by Mark Twain: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” It’s a bookend to one of the PBS travel shows (Burt Wolf, host). I like knowing the rest!

    Happy trails to you — and a blessed holiday season, Laverne

  17. Greetings Thomas,
    It was so good to get your email. I enjoy reading your posts, and look forward to hearing about your research on Medieval pilgrimages. We plan to join you again at the end of May in France. Hope it is a “go” this time. In the meantime, safe travels and enjoy health and happiness in 2017.

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