Wednesday, 28 April 2010

An adventure?! An experience!!

I have now as you are aware, dear reader begun the next chapter of my life & what n initiation I have experienced!
One of the plans that I mused over pre retirement was to visit Australia & see one of old colleagues in Adelaide however financial constraints especially the decision to pay off my mortgage forced me to put that intention on the back burner.
Instead I chose to visit Spain staying in my sister in laws apartment for 5 days ("O yeah..." I hear you say)I planned,& subsequently went alone. My intention was to clear my head of work, to spend time reflecting, to relax, & to eat & drink the culture of Iberia. (as you would/do!)
Well the solitude was at times overwhelming, so much so that at these times reflection became a pressure which resulted in me becoming morose. I did relax, I discovered walking also I discovered that I am a 'people person' (not as I previously believed a loner). I would stop & talk with every person (especially those who spoke English!). The walks along the very long beach were exquisite with e warm Mediterranean lapping at my feet. Whist the wine was cheap & of excellent quality.
The food? Well, I discovered that cooking for one is a chore & I'm sorry to say that I grazed & ate out only occasionally ( x 1 in fact!)I read & watched satellite TV....&....then God & the Icelandic volcano entered the frame. Bollocks!! I was stranded alone with money running out & not wishing to amount debt. Monarch airlines had cancelled all flights, I was unable to contact them via phone as my sodding mobile had died, phone cards were expensive-I'd used them to keep in touch with home on occasion. Visits to Alicante airport via bus were like a trip into the 7th circle of hell, with people weeping, tearing their hair out, kids crying etc etc all trying to get home to the UK. I waited on one occasion 3hrs to be sen then thought "sod it" & decided to make my own way to the channel port & attempt to get a ferry to the UK. It was like Dunkirk C1940 all over again!!

Then..the Calvary appeared in the form of my brother in law who was holidaying in Mercia some 40 miles away. He & his wife called for a spot of lunch!! He was supposed to leave 3 days prior to coming to see me but was told that the earliest he'd be able to leave Spain was on the 8th May!! (NOW DEAR FRIENDS, THE AIRLINES HAD BEEN CONTINUING TO SELL TICKETS DESPITE FLIGHTS BEING BANNED & WERE PUTTING PASSENGERS IN SEATS ALREADY SOLD TO OTHER PASSENGERS)
We decided to go on line & book a ferry crossing from Cherbourg to Rosslaire in Eire for the 24th April. The plan was for us to drive thru Spain, France, Eire then to Belfast (where he lives) then I'd get a flight to Birmingham.We'd stop off x 2 nights in a hotel en route. The total mileage we calculated would be approx' 1,900 Km.

The trek began on Thursday last & ended on Saturday. I arrived in B'ham finally on Monday 26/4/10 after spending an additional £195 (after a cock up in booking my ticket on the hotel computer in Brittany) flying in. to B'ham via Belfast
What a journey!! But what an experience.
I visited a German war cemetery in France, practiced my French, ate some wonderful French food whist spending even more money on hotel bills which my insurance nor the airline refuse to refund.(Fascist money grabbing bastards)

So Woollie is home in the loving bosom of his family again.
And what have I learnt?? I've learnt how much I love the family. How much I love my wife. That I'm a people person.I've learnt that time is precious & that we ought to use every moment & put it to the best possible use.I've learnt that I love my home. But I have confirmed to myself something I'd forgotten: That I love France. Though Belfast too is a delightful place & I'd recommend that you take a trip there.

I brought back loads of Spannish coffee, (called 'Bonka' well, with a name like that it had to be brought, & its really lovely coffee)Sardines (in tins) & bottles of wine.

O & the mortage is paid off.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Free at last, Free at last...

Today I saw on television my first Jeremy Kyle Show. Jesus! I watched, listened and I can say that I feel so happy to be free of the dysfunctional claptrap & crap that was my chosen career. You see, there were a couple of Brummies on there, & for a brief moment in time it was for me as if I was back in the GP's surgery, stuck in my room hearing the yarns and justifications for deviant behaviour of people who quite frankly put the 'fun' in dysfunctional.
Ah, I free of that!! I've 'done my tour', be as dysfunctional as you wish, but not on my time, I don't have to listen mutely anymore.

Incidently I will not be watching again.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

I'm worried...

...but really I don't give a flying fuck!
You see the thing is I think. no I know, that I am now officially grumpy old man'.
Today I I felt aggrieved about something which perhaps someone younger (?not retired)might pass over. It was a traditional thing really but its all about the principal & I felt totally pissed off about it. I did however comment about it...whether or not my comment & displeasure was noted I know not (& that troubles me to!).
Then it about being taken for a complete fool, one who apparently has no/little knowledge about anything. I refer especially to my children, rather younger (know all) adults. "You shouldn't have that glass of Guinness,that's enough clotted cream, that's enough bacon (with my bacon & cabbage)" For God sake the level of cholesterol in my blood has gone down from 7mmol to 3.6mmol. Get off my case!! Life is to be lived. If I die I wanna die happy,I like my food, I don't wanna live 'til I'm 80years old, (more) demented & requiring total care, sitting staring out of a window in a pool of my own piss!

Then this General Election crap. It seems to me that there is a hairs breath between all three of the main gob shite parties. I'm even thinking of not voting! Never thought that I'd ever contemplate that.They all talk bollocks, they all want my vote to further their own personal money grabbing schemes. meanwhile the bastards price me off the road, allow fat cat wanker bankers to accrue massive bonuses & in the process bring this country & half the 'civilised 'world to is knees. Then have me et al bail me/them out afterwards! And what have I have I got to show for this debt that that I'm paying off??
No, I will register a 'protest vote'. But please, please please I wish just one of the major three (nose in the trough) political candidates to knock at my door & ask if they can "count on my vote". Pleaseee....

Finally, I can't take much more of my mothers passive aggression, lies & manipulation. Enough of that.

Yes, I think I AM a grumpy old retired old man!