At Rest

I have a week long holiday ahead! Isn’t that great!

I have been working hard you know!!! It is so great to be able to go to sleep without setting my alarms for the next day.

Morning Girl, Woman, Bed, Tee, Morning

Normally mornings are hard because of the head pain I have. So a whole week of being able to cooperate with my head, instead of bullying it is so appreciated.

There are a long list of things I want to catch up with this week. But right at the top of that list is: REST!

Finding French Charming Has Nominated Me For The Liebster Award

I have noticed that there have been a lot of posts about the holidays recently and it is clear that holidays can be a very different experience for many. I personally don’t observe any traditions that have origins I don’t feel comfortable with. But I love time off work with my family and great friends. It’s nice to have some naughty food during these cold dark gloomy days.

It was interesting to see the questions from Finding French Charming as some of them are about the holidays, and as I looked through them I thought about all the posts I have seen about the holidays – for some bloggers, they seem to be having a whale of a time. But for others this seems to be a time that can provoke stress, loneliness, heart-breaking memories and a forlorn longing for something that every human being should have – genuine warmth, security, love.

The world just ain’t right! Never mind politics and economics…there are too many people out there without what makes humans thrive regardless of your economic circumstances.

Take a look at the fabulous Liebster Award post from Finding French Charming. I think a lot of you are familiar with her posts, but if not…please go back and look at her posts from earlier this year – they are so much fun to read through.

Liebster Award

RULES

  • Acknowledge the blogger that gave it to you and display the award
  • Answer 8 questions that the blogger gave you
  • Give 8 random thoughts about yourself
  • Nominate 8 other bloggers and notify them of their nomination
  • Ask your nominees 8 questions

The Questions From Finding French Charming:

Is there a famous person you strive to be like? (Style, accomplishments, attitude)

celebrityThe thing about most famous people is, I only see a glimpse of them, often a carefully coordinated glimpse that is controlled by their media agent. They have very little interest to me. I did not have a television for over ten years, so I am not very up to date with who is famous anymore, there seem to be a lot of “celebrities” whom I have never heard of or seen before.

I only strive to be like the people I know well, mainly my parents and some of my wonderful friends who have spent years or even decades working as volunteers. I have a few famous friends. I strive to imitate wonderful qualities like kindness and compassion in any of my friends whether they are famous or not. Fame is a very fickle thing indeed.

I truly admire my ex-flatmate Jack, because he gave up so many opportunities to enrich himself, when he became a full-time volunteer. Instead he has used his fame to be a positive influence on young people. I applaud that.

What is the craziest color your hair has been?  Was it an accident or on purpose?  How old were/are you? (add a pic if you have one!)

me at 9I have never dyed my hair.

This was my hair colour at around nine years of age I think. And this is my hair colour today. I do notice the odd silvery hair though. My Dad who is seventy has the same colour hair and he has a few whisps of silver. I am wondering if I will be the same.

Mandy my sister has been dying her hair since she was eleven. She loves to change her image regularly. I always say to her “Go light in the summer and go dark in the winter!”

My mum once left us with Dad one afternoon so she could go to a hair appointment. She came home with an unusual shade of red and a perm. We were all a bit shocked to be honest. Mum now has beautiful long golden white hair. It’s not white, and there is no hint of grey or silver and it’s not blonde, it’s almost platinum blonde I guess. Anyway whatever it is, her hair is in gorgeous condition. She normally wears it up when she goes out. But around the house she might have it down and it is very beautiful.

As the holidays are around the corner, do you have a favourite decoration?  Where did you get it and how long have you had it?

Me – no, not at all.

carriage lightBut I remember when we used to visit my Grandparents during December, they always had quite a large tree in the corner of the front siting room, near some French doors that led through to the larger living room at the rear of their house. I was quite taken by the Cinderella carriage lights they always had in gold, blue, green and pink. They were kind of pretty.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life in regards to how you celebrate the holidays?

Well, for years I have worked during the holidays because I have been working in healthcare and that requires staff 24-7-12-365! My oldest sister is a nurse. My brother is a Doctor. Mumma was a nurse and always worked on the bank holidays.  She could get either double or triple pay on bank holidays. Dad was a window-cleaner, and so it made sense for him to take time off during the winter holidays when the weather was rotten.

Because Mumma was out all day, Dad allowed us to have one duvet day. We were allowed to stay in our pyjamas and watch cartoons, but only for one day. He did not want us wasting the whole two weeks school holidays by being lazy. He made sure we were active and had fresh air. We have always been summer kids. When the weather was bad and we were stuck indoors we would all suffer from cabin-fever. We could read and play games, but we longed for outside and Dad would have to make sure we were all wrapped up. He then took us out on brisk walks around town, so he could keep us active and make sure we were tired out and would sleep properly. He used to get us running and climbing and having races with him. Dad could make anything fun.

There were a lot of older ones we knew who might be alone over the holidays, so Dad would often take us to visit some of those he knew would be alone. At the time, I don’t think we understood how much it meant to some of them to have my Dad turn up with his young crew who invaded their home for a couple of hours before he took us elsewhere. We thought it was great because we were fed cake and pie and chocolates everywhere we went. So we were well up for it. We chatted away to our hosts who apparently would have spent the holidays on their own. Dad couldn’t bear to think of older ones without any family being all alone. It was a mutually beneficial arrangement – I think. I don’t know if it was odd. But I do know we were a very popular little crew.

On days when we were all together we would visit my grandparents. They would give us a parcel each with one “big” present and a host of other things like a new year diary, embroidered handkerchiefs, a jumper, gloves, sweeties etc. Other days we would meet up with lots of other friends and their families and go for a walk, sometimes there were about a hundred of us. Either in the Lake District or North Wales. Or a couple of times we went somewhere like Chester Zoo. Then we would split up into smaller parties and go to someone’s house for food and games.

When I used to go back to school the other children would boast about all the expensive gifts they had received. I didn’t like that. But I do know, we didn’t miss out on anything important. As I grew older, and especially once I left school and started working, I noticed people would come back to work after the holidays grumbling about their family and were clearly stressed from over-spending and over-indulging.

What was the worst holiday disaster you’ve experienced?

There are a lot more heart attacks, mental health break downs, suicides during December and January, so of course that is one of the reasons why working in healthcare, this time of year is dreaded. I have often worked long hours and come home completely wiped out.

The worst was one year when I was working extra shifts for a local nursing home and we had half of the normal staff levels because of illness. There should have been two nurses throughout the day, with ten carers during the early shift and six during the late. But there were six of us during the early shift and only three of us during the late shift. Then we had a call to say there had been an outbreak of the Norovirus at a local hospital and they were bringing eight patients from that ward to our facility. I was utterly exhausted after those few days.

This year I will be off from December 24th right through to the following Monday. I am so so thrilled to have almost a whole week off. I think it might be the first time for over fifteen years. I will be in Wales, but will be seeing all of my direct family and a lot of the in-laws.

Are you a “Black Friday” shopper?  If yes, explain your strategy.  If no, how do you do your holiday shopping?

I have only heard of Black Friday within the last couple of years. But so far I have not had chance to make the most of the sales. I think we have just had Black Friday – I worked for fifteen hours that day and was not involved with any shopping – except that I did pick up some vegan fish-style burgers. But they were not in any kind of sale. I just really wanted to try them because I am curious as to what they might taste like. I have not had fish since before I was six years old, and the only fish I actually remember is fish-fingers.

What place of business do you frequent so often they know you by name? (besides where you or a spouse works)

The post office staff are so lovely. They all know my name and where I work now and where I used to work. I have noticed they always look a bit fed up with some of the customers who take out their frustration about the long queues and not being able to obtain the service they had queued for. So when I appear, their little faces light up. I always try to cheer them up with a little friendly chat and a joke (I don’t know many jokes). It seems like a nice little token towards someone who has spent the morning having customers shout and grumble at them.

What kind thing has a stranger done for you recently?  Did you pay it forward?

There was a man at a railway station I went through who was randomly giving out beautiful roses to people passing. One rose each. I thought he was selling them at first, but he said to me, he just wanted to do something kind. People do look very stressed at this time of year. Maybe he wanted to try to brighten someone’s day?

Have I paid it forward? Well, I have not been giving out roses to strangers outside railway stations myself no.

But I did give those chocolates I was given by a young man who should not be giving me chocolates to my workmates. They enjoyed them very much as far as I could see when I was back at work.

Eight Random Facts About Me:

  • Before my head injuries I hated hats – the only hats I was willing to wear were hard-hats on construction sites. But now I have twelve wide-brimmed hats, a couple of bucket hats and eight woolly hats. I feel a lot more confident when I wear a hat.
  • I have been too scared to drive since I had my head injuries, although before then I drove up and down the country with confidence.
  • pestoI love my food processor. I love making my own hummus, pesto, coleslaw and how much easier it is to make parts of other dishes – for example a biscuit base for cheesecake. It’s really hard to imagine not having a food processor now.
  • I have taught several adults how to swim, including three women from Pakistan who had never been a swimming pool before they came to England.
  • I live in an area where there is a lot of limescale from the water. To combat it, every time I have a shower, I spray a solution made of water and a little white vinegar all over the glass and then squeegee the glass and the tiles and wipe everything down with a terry-towel. My walk-in shower always looks perfect.lawn mower
  • I used to drive a ride-on lawn mower to keep the lawns of a rather grand estate where I lived immaculate.
  • I love having cookery lessons from friends from other countries. I have had cookery lessons with friends from Ethiopia, Germany, Ghana, India, Iran, Italy, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Spain and Thailand – and I am always eager to learn more.
  • After Goldfinch has left, I am thinking of moving closer to my family, because I am giving up hope that I will ever make it back to my home and career on the other side of London. I am having too many problems since my head injuries. It is making me despondent. I don’t think they can accept me as a full-time volunteer. If I can’t be here in that capacity, I think I would rather be where my family are – which is difficult because they are spread all over the country. But I like idea of spending some time in North Wales for a start. I would love to see my nineteen month old niece growing up.

Eight Question For My Eight Nominees:

  • How long have you been blogging for and why did you start blogging?
  • What kind of food do you enjoy during the colder winter months?
  • Do you wear hats and if so – what kind of hats?
  • Have you ever had any unusual jobs or ways to earn money?
  • What do you do to cheer yourself up when your heart has been broken by someone?
  • Have you ever worked on a construction site?
  • Have you ever had an overnight stay in hospital? How was your experience?
  • Have you always lived in the same area? Or have you relocated within the same country or abroad?

My Eight Nominees:

 

 

 

The Shimmering Jane Ridgewood Has Nominated Me For The Sunshine Blogger Award

I have been nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award by the talented writer and blogger Jane Ridgewood as you can see from her post below:

https://janeridgewood.com/2018/10/24/sunshine-blogger-award/

Sunshine Blogger Award

Just in case you are not familiar with this blogging award, here is a reminder of the rules that come with it:

The Rules

• Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to them – thanks Jane!
• Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
• Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
• Notify the nominees by commenting on one of their blog posts.
• List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post.

Jane’s questions to her nominees:

01. What are you currently reading right now and are you enjoying it?
Life in River Hollow: A Short Story Collection

Ooooh I am so glad you asked! I am a huge fan of brilliant blogger Teresa Grabs aka The Haunted Wordsmith.

Recently, I bought two books from Amazon that were written by Teresa. The first I loved…and I am working on a book review (I have not attempted a book review since I was at high school so it is taking me ages to perfect it).

I have just started reading the second book I bought “Life In River Hollow” and yes, I certainly am enjoying it. I absolutely love Teresa’s flash fiction. I think she is a huge talent and I wish her every success in her writing. She seems to be an endless fountain of ideas and I love the twists she consistently throws in to her short stories.

02. On average about how many books do you read a year?

ringwormThat has changed a lot. I was working in healthcare and I had to read a huge amount of training books and manuals to keep myself updated. I had to keep a record of my reading and I still have it. Here is a friendly looking training booklet. A lot of what I have read was rather grim.

I am going to go and count how many medical books I read in the twenty months I worked directly with patients in healthcare in a role where I had to offer advice on minor ailments and lifestyle habits. Right I have just counted – I read 176 medical training books and manuals in twenty months. Sigh!

Because of all the reading for work I had to wade through, my reading for pleasure dwindled, but for pleasure I have read the classics “Heidi” (Johanna Spyri), “Persuasion” (Jane Austen) and “Howard’s End”  (E. M. Forster) and also “Me Before You” (JoJo Moyes) in the past year.

03. When was the last time you sent a handwritten letter in the mail?

lettersI still do so regularly. I write handwritten letters to family, friends and Goldfinch. The last handwritten letter I posted was on Thursday.

Although I do use e-mail a lot (especially for family and friends who live in other lands) I love a hand-written letter.

04. Do you know how to write and read in cursive?

Yes…I love cursive handwriting. Reading and writing in it.

I loved that at school I recognized everyone’s handwriting. When I receive a letter in the post, I can usually tell by the way they have written my name and the postal address I use, who has sent it to me.

05. How do you feel about schools having stopped teaching cursive?

I did not realize that schools have stopped teaching cursive. Is that in America? I can’t imagine children in England not learning cursive or joined up handwriting. But I guess some may feel it is no longer necessary in this modern technological era.

06. What is your favourite holiday?

My brother-in-law’s family try to have a massive family get-together once a year. They have it in the summer and have a BBQ and massive buffet feast. There are sports, games to include everyone (all ages) and lots of laughing. Bear in mind there are at least one hundred of them.

 

Other than weddings and funerals, it’s the only time the entire tribe can be together at the same time. Milly says they call it Family Day. I think it is a fabulous idea. I have only been there for it twice and had so much fun. I loved the chance to get to know members of my brother-in-law’s family I had not met before.

That is what holidays are all about – being with those you love. Being able to relax and have fun and enjoy lovely food together.

07. Do you have any fun Halloween traditions?

No, none at all. I have nothing to do with it.

I have heard that it tends to be fairly popular in the the USA. It is still not that popular in England compared to some other holidays. Throughout my school years there was no mention of it. The first I heard of it was when I lived in an area where there are lot of stone circles and a henge. But it was not observed the way I think it is in America. There was a very different atmosphere.

vandalismAt one stage when I was living in a town with lots of families, I was shocked at how many front doors were covered with eggs. flour, paint, soil the day after Halloween. One year some youths demolished all of the drain pipes on the terraces houses in one street and vandalised every single car. There was a community project to build a flower garden for people to go and relax in. One Halloween a gang completely destroyed it, trampling all the plants and setting fire to the benches. When I lived in that town, I decided to just go away for a holiday to escape the terror. It was too disturbing.

What was heart breaking was how many cats and other animals were mutilated on Halloween. One year the local newspaper reported the remains of forty cats who had clearly met their demise by human hand were found. The police said some of what they found appeared to be some kind of “sacrifice”, which is one of the practices I saw evidence of in that town. My sister keeps her cat indoors for a whole week because during “Bonfire Night” or “Guy Fawkes Night” which is a few days after Halloween, some kids would try to attach a firework to cat’s tails. The photo here is of one of the cats that sadly did not survive the cruelty of some thugs who tied a firework to it’s tail.

I find all sorts of cultures and traditions fascinating, but Halloween has had me baffled since I realized what goes on that night. I don’t understand how people could be so cruel. I just don’t understand Halloween. Neither the encyclopedia explanation of how it originated nor the acts of terror carried out against people. The only tradition I have had is helping older neighbours to clean up all the mess the day after Halloween and debating what to report to the police.

I can only guess that America celebrate some kind of Disney-fied version of Halloween because otherwise how could it be so popular? Unless you don’t like cats or your neighbours? I am guessing Halloween in America is all candy and pie and “harmless fun” and fancy dress parties and watching creepy movies. That is not what I have seen of it in the areas it is popular here. I think that is what retail chains are trying to promote. That just about sums up a lot of holidays now…a big commercial bonanza.

08. Tell me one random fact about you that others may find odd.

ironingI love ironing! Love it!

Ironing is not just a chore to me, I actually look forward to it and enjoy it. I feel a great sense of calm descend over me and find instant satisfaction in it. I love all cleaning and house-keeping tasks really. But ironing is my favourite.

09. Have you ever given advice to someone else that you did not follow yourself?

Probably…let me think about this one.

AmbulanceHmm…how about don’t go to the park on your own…!!! Yikes! I mean how many times have I lectured friends when they have first moved to London on their personal security? Then I completely lost my senses and put myself in a dangerous situation…and well, as I have mentioned on numerous occasions, I woke up the next morning in an ambulance on my way to hospital!

10. What is your favourite activity in the fall season?

I guess walking in the woods with friends (especially Goldfinch) and seeing the pretty colours of the trees and then after being outside in the crisp air, heading back somewhere warm for a huge cuppa and some hot buttered toast….if it is really chilly, throw in a steaming hot bowl of soup – yum!

11. What kind of music do you enjoy listening to the most?

Oh deary…how hard to answer that question. My taste in music is very diverse. Because I am so in love with the adorable Goldfinch, I love listening to love songs.

I think if I had to pick my favourites to listen to…it would be a mix between the crème de la crème of karaoke crooners from the sixties mainly and movie soundtracks. Here is one that I have had in my head all day and I am loving it!

My questions for my nominees:

(A lot of my questions are food orientated, because I am hungry! I have not eaten because I am on my way to a ceilidh tonight and will be dancing for the rest of the night!)

  1. WHAT IS YOUR OWN FAVOURITE POST FROM YOUR SITE OR THE ONE YOU WOULD RECOMMEND READERS CHECK OUT FIRST?
  2. COULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM CAKE?
  3. IF YOU COULD INVITE ANYONE ROUND FOR DINNER – WHO WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
  4. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE TIPPLE?
  5. DO YOUR FRIENDS KNOW ABOUT YOUR BLOG SITE?
  6. DO YOU EVER FEEL DISCOURAGED ABOUT BLOGGING?  WHAT DO YOU DO TO KEEP YOURSELF MOTIVATED?
  7. WHAT IS YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING MEMORY OR EXPERIENCE?
  8. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE CELEBRITY CHEF OR BAKER?
  9. ARE YOU A VEGETARIAN OR VEGAN, AND IF SO, HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SO?
  10. WHEN YOU HAVE TIME WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE BREAKFAST?
  11. IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE PERFECT DAY – WHERE WOULD IT BE? WHO WOULD YOU BE WITH? WHAT WOULD YOU EAT?  (That is several questions rolled into one – but we would love to know what would make a perfect day to you.)

My nominees:

Adventuring We Will Go!

adventure photo.jpg

I think I have about an hour before I really ought to climb into bed and let my weary head rest up a bit.  I am going to use that hour to start a post with my answers to Game On – S2 Created by A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip!

Take a look at Rory’s original post for find out all the rules and see his original questions:

Game On – Series 2 – Adventures and Travels

Are you ready for an adventure?  Well, if your bag is packed and you have your passport and boarding pass ready, I think we should embark on our journey along these fabulous questions!  I am not going to make this journey without you!

Q1] What is the last holiday you took?

Back in July, I spent two entire weeks visiting friends and family in the North of England and North Wales.  I tried to keep up with blogging and filled my posts with holiday spam!

All my holidays now are spent on visiting family.  I have not been on a “holiday” holiday for many years…I think it was Texas USA perhaps…but even that was not a holiday as such, though we had an amazing time out there.

Turkey…was the last time I went on a beach and relaxation orientated holiday…although we were bored after a day and went gallivanting every other day.  We went scuba-diving in Turkey which was pretty awesome!

Q2] What is your most favourite place in all of the world that you have seen?

Oooooh la la….how could you ask a question like that!

When I was in the north of Sweden our friends took us to see a frozen waterfall.  There were icicles all the way down.  It was one of the most exquisitely beautiful sights I have ever beheld!

Q3] Do you think travelling enriches your life, your learning, your wisdom or it’s just time off?

Oh yeah..of course I think travelling is enriching.  It often opens your eyes to looking at the world in a way you have never had the opportunity to do so before.

All teenagers should travel to Africa.  It would stop them complaining about not having the lastest phone or sneakers.

Q4] What is your favourite mode of transport?

That would have to be boat for me.

PQ5] In your opinion what is a great quote that symbolises adventuring and travelling?

I have never thought about quotes other than “LIFE IS ONE BIG ADVENTURE” but while I was researching quotes to see if any were familiar, I found this:

That’s quite an inspiring little ditty – is it not!

Q6] Since you have begun travelling have you noticed any change in who you have become as a person?

I think I can say yes to that.  Especially after visiting West Africa when I was about twenty-two.  This is going to sound really stupid, but as a teenager, I started to think our family were poor, and that we were missing out on so many things our school friends had.

I realized when I first left Europe that perhaps half of people on this planet do not have a flushing toilet.  Things that I have had my whole life and take for granted like a shower with warm water, electricity to boil the kettle, to toast a slice of bread or central heating, not to mention all the services the local council provides like refuse and recycling collection…there are literally millions upon millions of people who have never had those things and yet…from what we saw, many of them were happy, healthy and incredibly kind to us.

Life was so warm (literally, it was roasting hot!) colourful and people were so friendly and gregarious.  I picked up the journal I kept during my time in Ghana when I was at my parent’s home recently. I still plan to write some posts about our adventures out there and the very special people we met.

When my sister Mandy and I returned to England, we had a completely different outlook on the world than the one we had before we left.

PQ7] What is a great song to get you in the mood for adventuring? [provide link please]
Q8] When on holiday, travelling or adventuring – do you take books/kindle to read or simply rest on the knowledge that your time away is enough to provide all your stimulation anyway?

reading book on beach.jpgOoooh very rarely have I had chance to read when I have travelled.

It seems like a nice idea, lying on the beach and sunbathing and reading a book, but my holidays have usually been to visit friends abroad and they always arrange a jam-packed schedule of trips and excursions.

I think I took a book when I went to Turkey because my friends said they wanted a beach holiday to relax – but it didn’t end up that way!

Q9] Five best holidays you have had and list why?

Oh dear…

Ghana because we had the most incredible dive into African culture and art and music and food.  People made that holiday very very special (well, we did a lot of work out there, but we had chance to spend some days relaxing so I am going to count it as a holiday)

Sweden was spectacular and full of surprises – an adventure beyond all our expectations!

Romania was beautiful and so interesting.  We had so much fun out there and made some amazing friends.

Houston, Texas, USA  when we were staying with friends who lived there. We just happened to plan our first ever trip to the States when it happened to be “All-Stars” basketball weekend in Houston.  I mean “Hello! Welcome to America!”  I have to write a post about that trip one day…it was memorable – to say the least!

Belgium with Mandy, Milly and my mum – we bought so much chocolate.  Then when we came home we wrapped it all up into little parcels with ribbon to give to friends.  It was really nice to have a girly holiday with my sisters and my mum.

Q10] Do you have a favourite blog that deals with adventuring or travelling that you read before you go?

I have not been abroad since I started reading blogs.  I have been reading the posts of several travel bloggers regularly.  Their posts are often quite stunning and they put lots of ideas in my head about where I would like to travel to.

My Dusty Flip-Flops is my favourite travel blogger though!

Q11] Are you a soloist traveller or prefer company?

If I had to, I could travel on my own (as in the transport part of it) but what is the point of travelling without someone wonderful to share it with?

PQ12] What is the most significant lesson you have learned when adventuring?

Don’t forget your toothbrush!  Nah…

I think I would have to say that my travels have confirmed that the mod-cons of the western world do not make us happier.  I have often found that in lands where there was less in a material sense, people were so much happier and friendlier.  I am dying to tell you about a family from Liberia we met…I think I will save it for another post.

Q13]  When in a new location, what are the first five things you check or do to ensure your adventure/holiday is successful?

Ha ha – define successful!  The only thing we worry about is making sure we don’t forget which date our return flights are back because we are having so much fun.

In Africa – drink lots of water! (3-4 litres a day)

In Northern Sweden – don’t go outside without your hat! (in the winter of course)

In Spain –      Cereza =        Cerbeza = 

In USA – don’t eat for three weeks before you go, and don’t eat for six weeks after you go!

In Germany – rules are made for breaking! (Ooooh er – there is a post I need to publish to explain that.)

Q14] Are you a rigid planner for adventures, or just throw a few things into a bag and let the day take you wherever?

At one stage I think I would have been a planner, that was in my nature.  However, almost every holiday I have been on turned out to be an adventure because I let go of worrying and let others whisk us off to the most unbelievable places – way off the tourist route.

When we trust our friends and let them surprise we have been amazed at what they have arranged for us.

PQ15] In your opinion what do you think is needed to make an adventure/holiday really successful?

Friends or family abroad who know the area, and have the time to introduce you to the delights of life in that land. I would rather be in a sleeping bag on the floor of my friend’s living room than in an all-inclusive hotel.  Friends abroad make travel wonderful.

Q16] When adventuring do you have a traditional routine or just go with the flow?

I like trying things I have never tried before!

I go with the flow…some of the friends I have travelled with have a bit of a routine or holiday customs.  But I am happy to “go with the flow” so long as that means seeing new places, eating new foods, singing, dancing, fascinating culture or history or art, lively people, gorgeous scenery.

Q17] Are you totally relaxed when holidaying/adventuring as in let your hair completely down, or hang on to a sense of reticence?

During the day, I love anything outdoors, any opportunity for climbing, hiking, swimming, sailing, scuba diving or anything active is something I would grab.  I love feeling like a kiddo and availing myself of any energetic and unforgettable activities.

I have had a lot of fun when travelling…there is something about being “on holiday” that makes me even braver.  I have done a lot of singing and dancing when abroad and I certainly do have some tales to tell!

Or maybe I will tell them in future posts!

Q18] How important is adventuring/holidaying away to you?

travelerI have always loved opportunities to travel.  Of course I want to travel again in the future.  Right now, my desire to get back to my home on the other side of London is far greater than any desire to travel elsewhere.  I feel lost at the moment.  I hardly have the appetite for anything like adventure until I am feeling settled back at home.

You see it is a wonderful thing to travel knowing you have a home to return to.  I have a very sweet abode currently, but it is not MY HOME.  I need to be home before I have the appetite for travelling.

Q19] Are you completely and utterly true to your personality when ‘away’ or do you become someone else?

I don’t think I change as such.  But the playful side of me is allowed more fun and expression.  I seem to laugh a lot when I am abroad.  For years I have had a jam-packed schedule (don’t we all) where I am always thinking of the next task ahead and it is nice to be on holiday and not to worry about what my next job is.

For some reason I have always felt the need to be a bit of an “entertainer” with friends. When I am abroad on holiday I think I need very little encouragement to get the party going!  I like to see my friends enjoying themselves as much as I am!

PQ20] Are you deleting any questions, if so which ones?

Q4] Recently l read, and it’s not new about windowless aircraft which will be the future of air travel, what are your views on this?

Windowless planes???

Q21] You have been gifted a 42 day holiday of your dreams all expenses paid – where would you choose to go?

Six weeks!  Ask me this month…. I think I would say South America because I never have been and I would love to go!

Ask me in December and I would say Australia to see my wonderful Goldfinch!

A Lorra Lorra Laughs In Liverpool

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By the time I reached Liverpool with some friends who I grew up with, I finally started to feel I was relaxing.  It has been a long time since I have had a two week holiday.  Maybe ten years or so.  Normally I spread out my annual leave and have long weekends or take a random day off because a friend is passing through London and wants to see me.

At first I still had the pent up “places to be, people to see” rush rush mode switched on inside me.  But after a couple of days of realizing how incredibly slow the public transport routes are, I accepted you can’t rush outside of London.  I am not insured to drive anyone’s car at the moment.  In London, I don’t miss having a set of wheels at all. But outside of London, you have to accept a different pace enforced by the schedule of the buses and trains.

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The day in Liverpool was great fun.  We did a bit of a whirlwind tour of some of the locations I was keen to see and then we relaxed with a phenomenal feast in a restaurant up in China Town.

My ear was delighted to hear very strong Liverpool accents again.  I have a few friends in London who grew up in Liverpool but their accent is blending with a southern hue. But hearing raw scouse is fantastic!

If you are a tourist visiting Liverpool, I am more than happy to recommend to you a visit to the Albert Docks.  It was so pleasant to be near the river on a blistering hot day. Walking through the colonnades provided plenty of much needed shade.  There are great museums and a myriad of little shops and cafes.

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This photo came out rather blurry I am afraid.  The boat was just moving so quickly, I found it hard to focus.  It was packed with passengers at their leisure who were waving at us.  It looked so colourful in the sun today gliding along the River Mersey.

We did not take any boat trips today…we had too long a list of other places we wanted to visit.

Liverpool seemed very vibrant and lively today.  I think we were as well.  We laughed so hard, I felt I had a pain developing in my side.  I notice immediately the propensity Liverpool people have to laughter.  They truly like a chuckle and it is so easy to ignite what turns out to be a conversation of pure comedy.

And we were singing, we sang songs we knew off by heart that “The Beatles” were famous for.

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It is so so good wandering around a place that you have been visiting since childhood, arm and arm with friends who you have known since childhood.  To have no time limitation because you are on “holiday” and can explore and play like a child.  Oh we did!

I don’t want to overload you with holiday spam!  But, if you can tolerate a few posts about my travels around the North West of England and North Wales this week…while I am on my hols!  I would love to show you around.  I could do my whole “Tour Guide Barbie” thing and tell you facts and figures that would probably give you more of a laugh than impress you.

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We had a lorra lorra laughs in Liverpool.

 

That Will Be A Turkish Apple Tea For Me

apple teaI have been gifted by a friend.  A friend whom I shared a rather memorable holiday with in Turkey a few years ago.  We fell in love with drinking this beverage when we were out there:  Turkish Apple Tea.

What a holiday it was.  I have been on two “package” holidays in my entire life.  Turkey was one of them.  Normally we just book flights and stay with friends.  But a friend wanted to try Turkey and she didn’t think we knew anyone out there, so she arranged for us to stay in an all-inclusive hotel.

The weather was gorgeous throughout.  Everything I saw of Turkey’s landscape was beautiful.  The food – yuuuuuuuummmmmmmmy!  However, there was a fly in the ointment.  We felt pretty much harassed by some of the waiters.  I was warned about this before we went, but it was quite frankly exhausting.  I do not like to be rude to anyone, but we had to be very firm, positively unfriendly night and day…and I found it all pretty disagreeable.

What salvaged the holiday was that we did in fact have friends out there.  A family we had grown up with were living in Turkey just a twenty minute drive away from our hotel.Olu Deniz

Our friends helped us to escape from the atmosphere within the hotel which was causing us so much stress.  They took us under their wing and they took us to many stunning locations.

I cannot remember the names of the locations we went to.  I know we visited a Gorge and walked up through the clear water. There was a hammock cafe at which we idled away an entire afternoon.  We were taken to some amazing locations to dine.  It was great to meet some of the friends of the family we had known since childhood.  We were spoilt rotten!  Plenty of invitations to dinner that meant we did not really utilize the “all-inclusive” hotel deal we had paid for.

Our Turkish speaking friends came to the hotel and spoke to the hotel manager and the waiters explaining in Turkish that we wanted to be friendly but if we were harassed we would go out of our way to avoid them.  We noticed a big difference after that.  They were polite but they were not inappropriate as they had been before.

scuba divingOne of the highlights of the holiday for me was scuba diving.  I had always wanted to…and it is something I would love to do again and again and again for the rest of my life.  My sisters and I are total water-babies.  I was transfixed by tiny colourful fish who were not at all shy of our presence.  They swam all around and in between us.  It felt as if they were greeting us with delicate little kisses.  It was one of the most special experiences I have enjoyed.

Aaaaah….sigh!  Paradise!  Everyone should be able to explore this beautiful planet.  What a home we have.  One day!

Turkish Apple TeaSo when my friend came over to visit me, the gift she brought me was a tub of Whittard’s Turkish Apple Flavour Instant Tea.  I opened it and we had it chilled with ice-cubes.  Tonight I had some with steaming hot water.

One of the holiday experiences she reminded me of was the last night we were there, the evening we flew back to England.  She laughed reminding me of my karaoke antics and the reaction of the hotel staff and fellow holiday-makers.  I will write a post all about that bizarre night one day.

In the meantime, I am going to sip apple tea throughout the rest of the summer and remember that eventful holiday and our taste of paradise.

 

 

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