I’ve been very remiss as it’s been nearly three years since my last post, not something I’m proud of considering I made a promise to our family and friends to keep them informed whilst we were on our travels. But then sometimes there isn’t enough hours in each day to do everything, especially when you’re on holiday.
Let’s think about this logically (and hopefully I’ll give myself a damn good excuse for my tardiness)
Most of our travels are cruises and one of the main reasons for the drop in posts initially was the increase in the cost of using the internet on a ship. Back in 2015 I was paying, on average, around £30 for a 24 hour pass…that being the total time available to be online split into as many sessions as it would facilitate. A single pass would certainly last for the duration of even cruises of 3 weeks or more, with an hour or two left over to donate to a friendly crew member at the end.
These days though, internet packages have soared in price (on the cruise lines we use that is) and even the simplest packages are so expensive and not really worth it.
But having said that I think I’m offering a bit of a diversionary excuse to be honest, because the real reason for the decline of my blog was probably because of the developing feeling of obligation to post, no matter what.
Back on the ship after a beautiful day out, in some really wonderful places, it’s nice just to relax with a glass of wine, take in a show or movie, indulge in delightful culinary fare or just sit and chill as you watch the sun go down.
But that’s not what I was doing, because I had a task to complete…a piece of writing to compose (with a photo or two) to let the folks back home know what we’d been doing, and that we were okay. The modern day postcard if you like…but with a lot more space to fill and an expectation that daily communication was required. Well that’s how it felt to me…but I was probably mistaken, and it’s extremely likely the obligation I felt was more a matter of my own pride.
Bloggers live to engage readers and collect things such as likes and comments, and I was (am) no exception. We crave that others see what an interesting life we lead…a kind of ‘look at us’ mentality…a desire for that Andy Warhol 10 minutes of fame. Don’t get me wrong, there are many great bloggers out there whose writing deserves an audience…but for me I needed to realise that there is, in fact, a time for every purpose under heaven (as in the great song ‘Turn Turn Turn’)
A time to relax, a time to enjoy. A time to Blog and a time not fret that you haven’t posted for a day or two (or a week, a month or nearly 3 years)
So I’m going to make an effort to recommence this online journal, but maybe a bit in arrears of any actual events…that way I’m free to enjoy every moment I’m fortunate to experience without feeling guilty if I forget to commit it to script immediately.
15th September 2015
Sea Day….time to reflect!
I’ve been out of the habit of writing for the past few months because my days have been taken up with a ‘slightly more’ demanding project. Life has certainly been hectic so far this year (something I’ve not been used to for a long while) so I haven’t had much spare time to put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) and the desire to be creative has been severely beaten into a corner by apathy and fatigue.
But now things are different and I find myself returning to a more acceptable state of lazy limbo again. This being the ideal opportunity to re-establish my relationship with my reliable companion and boredom buster, ‘writing’ (or technically….typing) I charge the battery on my neglected laptop and begin the search for inspiration.
Now if someone had told me that writing is a bit like exercise, meaning the less you do the harder it becomes to get back into a functional rhythm, I would have seriously laughed at them for suggesting such an absurd notion.
But at this moment in time I have to admit I couldn’t be more wrong.
I’m sat in the most ideal place, surrounded by a million and one things to take pleasure in and yet I’m struggling to string together a single coherent idea. I’m even starting to wonder if maybe my lack of attention has ticked off my abandoned friend and companion and it has no desire to return to this heartless traitor.
I reflect on the times when ideas had come so fast that many were forgotten long before being recorded. They ended up in limbo somewhere in the back of my mind with a hope of their resurrection on a barren day, but even these little gems have deserted me.
Inspiration is definitely like a snowball, the more it rolls the more it grows. But it has to be cultivated and supported because if neglected it may very well roll off down the hill, taking all the good ideas with it, and that means the process has to be started all over again.
Where is that inspiration?
It’s such a fickle friend.
Sometimes it overwhelms me
With ideas that have no end.
Another day it taunts me
And tells me many lies,
Promises an insight
But delivers nothing wise.
Why won’t the words come quickly?
I’m stuck with no idea.
I need you Inspiration
Right now….I’m over here.
Give me mountains not a molehill,
I need a new intent.
I promise to stay faithful,
If you help me I’ll repent
And I promise not to leave you
Just like I did before.
Please help me Inspiration
Come feed my mind once more.
Growing old is certainly better than the alternative……dying young
Not sure who should take the credit for this quote……but it’s definitely not me……still a great quote
Before my book was published last October I spent a good part of my days writing (exactly what you would expect from an aspiring writer) It was great because I could stretch my imagination, create characters and mould their lives, which then inspired me to develop the process further, build relationships, assign personality traits and generally……have fun by my own rules in the world I designed.
This was great fun, and it gave me that tingle of excitement which encouraged me to continue on a daily basis……until the inevitable happened, and as the last chapter concluded there was a feeling of loss, a conclusion to my fun. My characters had finally served their purpose and it was time to let them meet the world (hopefully)
Then a new kind of excitement came along in the form of the finished product, brilliant, but as a self-published author little did I realise how my days would now be taken up.
I still have many ideas racing around inside my head and I long to once again take the ‘Storyteller’s’ chair, return to my desk and create anew, to feel that tingle once more…but I can’t.
Why? well because if I want the world to meet Freddie and the lovely Lisa then I have to market the product. (It’s like the old joke about Dennis Waterman….write the theme tune, sing the theme tune) So I spend my day trawling Goodreads, Authinomy, Booklife, etc…….writing reviews for other fellow dreamers in the forlorn hope they may do the same for me.
And I have to ask myself……what am I doing?
I’m in a quandary because I want to write more, create more, it’s what I enjoy doing. But what’s the point if my efforts won’t be appreciated by others. I have to admit it’s all a little soul destroying but what choice do I have?
Oh well…….tomorrow……maybe……just maybe 🙂
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported, followed, liked or commented on my posts over the last year, it really is appreciated.
The launch of my first book ‘The Other Side of Me’ happened in October and It was a very exciting time, especially holding the very first copy which is something I’ll never forget. Although initially sales were quite slow I’m not disheartened and I’m feeling really positive for the coming year.
So a Happy New Year to you all, my wish is for everyone to achieve their own personal dream, big or small, and just remember……every day can be a new day with a fresh start and renewed hope, don’t waste a single one of them 🙂
Available from Amazon as a Kindle edition or paperback
1st December 2014
Another Sea Day…or just a rumour?
Cruise ships are one of the greatest places in the whole of the civilised world for rumours, which range from the simply obvious to the incredibly and unbelievably ridiculous.
They’re going on all the time, but there’s always a crescendo of some of the more bizarre ideas as the trip draws near to its conclusion.
Early on there were the stories about certain individuals and their status or occupation, and apparently we had a world famous and well respected fashion designer on board as well as a very well known comedienne and even a Nolan sister. Turns out the designer was just an eccentric with strange hair and very little fashion sense, the comedienne was the least funniest person you could ever meet and the Nolan sister hasn’t been seen again as she’s gone into hiding (or maybe she never existed in the first place)
At one point the ship had a crack in the hull, the crew were working to rule and a whole gang of passengers had been arrested for nicking stuff from the shops (now that one I could believe) The weather was going to stop us getting into Cuba, someone was suing because of a splinter and rum had actually been discovered in the free punch served during the sail away party (that’s just silly)
With reference to an earlier post there is now even one tale being distributed about some members of the crew receiving in excess of $2k in gratuities each month. But I can categorically state that from all the whispering and scheming I’ve heard on this subject it’s more likely that they’ll get much less than that from this bunch to share between everyone.
Maybe I should start a rumour that folk who don’t pay their gratuities are going to be put on an international ‘tight wads’ register and are likely to be banned admission into any of the bars or restaurants on any cruise ship.
Anyway the latest rumours are that we won’t get into Ponta Delgado and we’re due to get hit by a force 10 storm as we make a run for home. And when we reach the UK we’ll be greeted with three foot of snow and Christmas (like all Christian festivals) will be cancelled in favour of a more politically correct celebration. But there’s nothing left in the shops anyway because of the black Friday lootings and all the turkeys have had to be destroyed because of deadly bacteria lurking in the skin.
Well I just don’t have enough space to list any more of them as there are so many.
Let’s just wait and see…..this could get even more stupid!!!!!
30th November 2014
Another Sea Day
The sea has started to cut up a bit rough over the past 24 hours and those who haven’t taken to their beds yet are looking for things to keep themselves occupied and entertained. There are still a few who are lamely wandering around with their latest batch of t-shirts, bags and coats announcing where they’ve been recently….trouble is everybody else went there as well, so the game is now to prove you paid less for your goodies than anyone else did.
I feel slightly cheated because I didn’t buy anything with the name of a location on it, so I’m not allowed to play because…..well because I’m just a cheapskate (and proud of it)
Others are now scheming on how to get out of paying their gratuities to the well deserving crew members who’ve looked after us all so well (and they call me a cheapskate?) It ranges from cancelling the automatic additions to their cabin account with the intention of feigning illness on the last day and therefore avoiding any contact with the staff, to outright deviousness by claiming they’re unhappy with the service they’ve received over the past 34 days. That has wider ranging consequences that they either haven’t considered or just don’t care about.
One couple stated that as they’d seen their waiter ashore at one of the ports and he was in possession of the latest iphone, was wearing designer clothes and shopping for jewellery then he was obviously paid far too much and didn’t need their hard earned cash.
I am truly amazed by some of the excuses…but somehow I’m not surprised…and you wonder why I hate people!!
Yes, for us Brits, tipping is always a bit of a hot topic because it’s not a culture we’ve been used to, but come on meanies you know the situation and you should factor the cost in with the holiday. I’m so disappointed to hear you criticise the efforts of the guys and gals who work 10 to 12 hours a day/7 days a week and yet you’re too tight to reward their genuine attention to your needs…yet you’ll spend $10 on a tatty t-shirt in every port…shame on you.
Next I’ll hear some poor soul claiming that they’ve had to cancel their gratuities owing to the heavy loses they’ve suffered at the gaming tables, or that they need to be careful with the pennies because they’ve just booked another two cruises.. ….oh too late…I heard those two tales last night.
Look folks if you can’t afford it then just say so, it’s not a crime you know. But please don’t rubbish the hard working staff just to save a few bob.