My job is mobile and I split my time working alternate weeks in Norfolk and Nottinghamshire. I drive down country roads, enjoying rural England through the seasons.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Seaside musings

Summer Holiday - Turkey

It's a little after 4 pm and I'm sat on the beach, eking out the last few hours of my holiday. To my right, my sister is snoozing on her sun lounger, and dotted around are a few disparate family groups, mostly Russian and Turkish, all enjoying what is left of the afternoon sun.  The sign at the far end of the beach says the temperature is still 35 degrees, but I can feel a slight breeze coming in from the sea, cooling and refreshing. The water is clear and blue, a few heads nodding and bobbing among the waves, and on the shoreline an informal crèche of toddlers, some paddling, some making mud pies, with parents and grand parents standing proudly by.

And this is one of the many things I have noticed and enjoyed this past 10 days. Many of the people here at the hotel have come in big multi-generational family groups, children, parents, both sets of grandparents; they eat, swim, relax and play together, with members joining in and/or briefly splintering off for a while, but all the time the children remain the focus of the groups. Yes I've seen plenty of iPads and such, and quite a few children playing on them, but on the whole they seem to be reserved for rest and siesta breaks, and for the rest of the time there seems always to be someone ready and available to swim and play in the sea with the youngsters, to change and coddle them when required, and just as many men as women taking part in it all.

Our hotel is a bit out of town, on the way towards Icmeler, is Turkish owned, and only used by Thomsons in the UK, and seems more popular with the Russians and Turks than the British tourists.  I like this - somehow it makes it seem more exotic, more like a proper foreign holiday when everyone around you speaks a different language.  This is our 2nd year here, I suspect it may be our last, but would nonetheless like very much to come back here again.  The hotel itself is living a little on its reputation and is starting to look a bit frayed at the edges now, but our room is comfortable, the food ok and plenty of it, and it has been really pleasantly easy to be veggie this week, so much Turkish food seems based around fresh vegetables and salads rather than the traditional English meat and 2 veg.

The beach and the sea is what it's all about here - and frankly all I have wanted this past 10 days has been to spend lazy day after lazy day down by the sea. I swam, snoozed, read 2 and a half books, swam and snoozed some more, made up histories and tragedies about the people around us, swam and snoozed...  Well, that's how it's been. The sea is blue, warm, clean - lots of little fishes swimming about in it, the skies have been clear and the light has been perfectly bright, burning away the English grey for a while.

But it's nearly over - just finishing this off later in the evening now, although I may not get to post it on the blog till the morning now. Our suitcases are packed, we've had our last supper, and K is threatening to drag me down to the beach bar for a final cocktail when she finishes on the phone with R.  This time tomorrow I'll be filling the washing machine and sorting my kits out for Tuesday's clients.

I know holidays can't last forever, but just a few more days would be nice...

Thursday, 16 August 2012

New iPad, new blog

I can't believe that I've had my lovely new iPad for nearly a month now and I'm still not finding or making time to write my blog, flesh out my stories and generally do all the things I said I would in order to justify the expense!  To some extent that's me I suppose. I've always been big on the planning not so big on following through and actually completing things.  

But I also think it's a bit about not feeling comfortable abut my subject, which in terms of my blog is me.  When it comes down to it, I'm just not exciting and I don't find writing about myself interesting or inspiring. 

So I'm not going to.  I'm going to write about what I see around me, the people I meet and the stories they tell me, the picture they paint of England - my England. Sometimes I feel that I live in a very different country to the one shown on tv and the media - I don't live in "cool" Britannia, don't see kids with knives hanging around in gangs on inner city street corners, don't recognise either the extreme right UKIP / countryside alliance or the urban new labour as representing my world. 

My England is semi rural, small town - rapidly disappearing into new-build suburbs and commuter belt new towns.  It's a world where online shopping, Facebook, and edge-of-town retail parks compete with farmers markets and dying  high streets; where older people still remember a completely different pace of life - often without most of the conveniences we take for granted as home essentials. I'd like to record some of their stories and histories, post pictures of the landscape I see and pass through every day going about my work, record some of my thoughts and impressions on everyday mundane life in this country. 

And that's what I'm going to (try to) do.

Starting tomorrow...

Wednesday, 18 January 2012


Annual tax return.

Why oh why didn't I do it sooner?  Any why oh why did I think that just because I had it all nicely filed, instead of chucked in a shoe box, that it would only take a couple of hours to type and total it all up?


Friday, 6 January 2012

Fat fingers and thumbs

Sat here in bed and thought that I'd make a quick blog post and try to keep at least one of my new year resolutions going to the end of the week. It's just 7 in the morning and I've been up since half 5 - here in Norfolk Chris goes in the bathroom just after 6 and stays there forever so if I want an early shower I have to be up with the larks to beat him to it.

So I cranked the laptop up and then paused - why not use the wordpad-type app on the iPhone I thought. And that way I can also practice this 2 finger typing that I see my nephew, niece and god daughters doing all the time. It looks so much speedier than the way I do it - with the phone laying flat over my right palm and typing with my left index finger only. The way James etc do it involves cradling the phone loosely between the fingers of both hands with index fingers aligned either side of the phone - leaving both thumbs free to type.
Sounds so easy and I wish it was. But either my fingers and thumbs are just too fat and clumsy - or it's another example of the iPhone keypad being a bit of a letdown.

Running out of time now so I'll just say that the dentist went as well as could be expected yesterday - although the temporary crown she fitted broke and fell off last night! But it's comfortable enough without it so I think I'll leave it as it is.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Biting the bullet

I've got to go to the dentist tomorrow morning, and the thought of it has been ruining my mood all day today.

It's stupid really, as no dentist has ever really inflicted real pain on me - I've had worse (self inflicted) hangovers, endured monthly cramps far far more painful and long lasting, and even the sprain to my ankle last summer was worse than any of my fillings or even the one and only extraction I've ever had.

I was talking about it to one of my customers today and I think there's 2 sides to it.  The first is that it's an inherited phobia from my mother - who really did endure horrific treatment in her childhood and youth.  She simply didn't take us to the dentist at all when we were very young, and my first trip was to a school dentist when I was about 9, after our return from SA.  I was lucky and didn't need any treatment then, or at all until I was in my 20's so I continued the pattern, visiting the dentist only occasionally for the odd filling and random checkup.

The second, is more personal, and I think really it's that embarrassment factor - it's just not comfortable to be laying in the dentist's chair, feeling that my feet are higher than my head, mouth wide open and spit and dribble pooling in the bottom of my mouth, as the dental nurse never seems to put  the extractor-thing in the right place.

It'd  be better all round - for me and for the dentist I  think - if I could just have a general anaesthetic and wake up  later when it's all over.

But that's not possible, so tomorrow I have to go and endure whatever it is they have to do to start the process of crowning one of my teeth, knowing that I have to go back yet again in 2 weeks time.

Not happy.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

first post, 2012

I don't know, it's the 3rd of January already, albeit only half 6 in the morning and this is my first blog of the year - that's my second resolution broken already (the first being when I put 2 spoons of white sugar in my  coffee 5 minutes ago).  I really do want to get back into the habit of blogging but the white box of a new post is as intimidating as a blank white sheet of paper and all the things I want to write about, the words and sentences that just a few minutes ago were jostling for expression in my mind melt away leaving blanks and blandness behind.

In the end I had a good Christmas holiday - at home in Notts for Christmas day and the week after, and then down to Norfolk for New Year and the next week.  I didn't take as many days off in the end as I had planned due to quite a few late bookings, but at least I start the year in a fairly solvent position.  I put a few of my Christmas expenses on the credit card, but not many and should pay them off  by the end of this month.  But I haven't completed and submitted my tax return - and won't know my tax bill until I do.

So what are my resolutions this year?  Well, in no particular order:

  • Give up sugar, specifically refined sugar initially but eventually all sugars, chocolate, sweets etc
  • Related to the above really - get fit, lose 2 stone in weight
  • Do at least 3 athletic/keep fit activities a week - on top of the dail dog walking which doesn't count unless we run part of the way
  • Read A La Recherche du Temps Perdu - in english or/and in french.  I want to know what the fuss is all about.
  • Save some money and pay off my credit cards
  • Be vegetarian again, wherever and whenever possible

And finally...

Be less bland, more spontaneous - go for it and stop worrying about the consequences or other people's opinions so much.  Grow younger in actions and wisdom not older.