Hello Peeps, sorry my report for May is a couple of weeks late but I had to go to Spain with my Commanding Officer. We spent a few days with some very good friends of ours at their villa in Moraira on the Costa Blanca and then drove back up country to spend a couple of weeks in a hotel in Santa Susannah on the Costa Brava – sheer bliss. Nice to be with friends, but sometimes you need to be pampered for a while. We used to go on holiday with relatives or friends and I really didn’t enjoy this. I hated those words in the morning “Right then - what are we going to do today” Grrrrrrr. My answer should have been “NOTHING! I have done all the tourist stuff - I AM ON BLOODY HOLIDAY I DON’T WANT TO DO ANYTHING. What I want to do is sit round the pool with a book, have an occasional Cuba Libre and do a bit of people-watching OK!” But we don’t want to upset anybody so we go with the flow. But my goodness me, I am so glad those days are over.
When I am at home I am constantly working, I rarely watch TV. I am usually working on some project or other, but when I am on holiday I really do like to relax. I like cruises as that slower pace of life is something I can appreciate and of course being a Cancerian, I love the sea. As it happens, I am working on a series of lectures for a major cruise line but I don’t think its going to come together this year, just watch this space.
Whilst on the road in May, I stayed in a rather curious place that was bordering Cambridge and Newmarket. I normally stay in Premier Inns if at all possible but the training venue I was in was too far for one of these. So when I booked up at “The Green Man” for three nights I thought I would be well and truly looked after in an English country pub, with visions of home-made steak & kidney pie and roast beef. Well, bloody hell, that didn’t work out. When I got there it turns out the pub is no longer open. The business is now just centred around Bed & Breakfast, so nowhere to get an evening meal without travelling twenty miles – great! However, the bar in the pub is still open; as an “honesty bar”, that is help yourself and write down what you have in a book! So there I am, the ONLY resident in the building (no staff live on the premises) with a complete bar to myself. I did have a little drinkie to keep myself company and try not to recall that ghost story “The Green Man”. Did you know that the Green Man precedes Christianity in the UK? That is why the image is often found above old church doors - a grudging recognition of pagan roots. Anyway, I fell asleep in an armchair of the bar in a deserted pub and woke up a 2 0’clock in the morning trying to figure out where I was – an experience not for the faint-hearted!
The above experience has happened to me before. The last time in a country golf club in Surrey. However, it is not my intention to make this a regular event.
As Spain was calling, I only spent half of May in the UK so my travels this month only covered Slough, Lydney, High Wycombe, Trowbridge, Hounslow, Cambridge/Newmarket and Crawley.
Lydney is a bit odd though isn’t it? It’s like Wales but in England. Definitely a bit behind the times, but very quiet. Whilst there I stayed in a country house hotel that was run by a kind of Christian group. The food was well, interesting (if you like risotto and kale) but they did rather generously I thought, invite me to evening prayer, which I unfortunately couldn’t attend due to a prior engagement. If you are looking for a getaway break though this place was brilliant, right down to the wood panelled Library and Drawing room that was straight out of an Agatha Christie.
The best thing that ever came out of May is my daughter Emma-Louise. It was her birthday this month and it has been a delight to watch her grow from a lovely little girl into the devoted mum she now is. I am very proud of her and it is a good job she has such a great husband or I would have to deal with him. Happily, I am equally pleased to have Sam as my SON-in-law as he would make any father proud.
With regard to the 18th Edition I have been following developments since the announcement of its release, spoken to key players in its development and discussed points of rationale. I will shortly take the exam myself and after that point I will be able to offer 18th Edition training according to client requirements.
My “Pause for Thought” slot this month is dedicated to my old chum Tony Abberley, who I made friends with when I started day-release for my apprenticeship back in the 1970’s. I was immediately attracted to this kindred nutcase spirit and between us we were a complete waste of time as all we did was fool around. We eventually grew up and lost track of each other as the years passed by. However, with the advent of Facebook I eventually tracked him down living in Scotland and funnily enough also working in further education (teaching IT) I was delighted to have finally found my old friend. That delight was short-lived though as he passed away only a couple of years later. Nonetheless, I was grateful to have made contact before he checked out.
There remain one or two others that I would like to make contact with again, and some I would really like to say sorry to for being a prat, some I would like to punch in the face and some just to give a hug, but Ce la Vie.
Make the most of each day folks, don’t put up with crap, say what’s on your mind and say sorry to those who deserve it. We are only here for the twinkling of an eye.