Welcome to my new blog!

I already run a successful blog: www.leavingcairo.blogspot.com - a blog about an English girl the wrong side of 35 who finds herself settling (for the moment) in the beautiful country of Greece.
But there's more to Bex, the author - hence "The this 'n' that blog".
Documented here will be every day ramblings and observations - enjoy!



Saturday, 18 August 2012

Five Minute Friday - Stretch, Cat Yoga

It's that time again!  Write for five minutes, unedited about a topic.  Today's subject is - STRETCH.

One, two, three...GO!

Er, God, this is a difficult one today!  What to write about?  Well,  I have an obsession with cats and can waste many hours just watching them.  One that I looked after recently, Branston, was found in Athens Airport and I looked after him until he was re-homed permanently.
You can see him here, enjoying a Stretch (and Yawn as it turns out).

Cats are great eh?  Very versatile and can STRETCH into all sorts of places.  I often wonder if there's a cat equivalent to yoga - some of their 'poses' look like Yoga ones.


Friday, 10 August 2012

Five Minute Friday - Connect

This week, Five Minute Friday is all about Connect.  Five minutes to write.  No pausing, editing - just full on writing.  OK:


We all connect in different ways.  Which one is your favourite?  I now live in Athens, Greece away from my family in the UK and find the best way for me to connect is via Facebook, my blog or email (especially to my father who is clueless about blogs and Facebook).

Others prefer mobile phones.  Sometimes technology can be a bad thing though.  How many times have to witnessed (or done this yourself?) people sitting at a table in a cafe/restaurant all texting and not conversing with each other?  I've been guilty of it - but now when I meet a friend, I turn my phone off so I can give him/her my full attention.

Email is an interesting one: you can say so much more without FEAR.  Without fear of confrontation, recriminations and be a lot more expressive.  I've noticed my 78 year old father is much  more comfortable telling me he loves me in an email.  And ironically, this helps him when he sees me!  He has also become more affectionate & huggy.  I suspect the email has helped him express his emotions.

Me?  I prefer face to face where ever possible.  Things get lost in translation, communication can break down.

How about you?  How do you Connect?


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Where did all the REAL, GOOD men go?

At the end of the day, all a woman really wants is the
hunter type who'll keep her safe!  Forget this "new man" bollocks!
Source: http://www.philamuseum.org/collections/permanent/42498.html
I mean, where are they?  You know the ones: they'd catch a rabbit, skin and cook it if they had to (we are coming to the end of the world this year, supposedly, after all).  They are so comfortable in themselves, they lack ego & don't need a bevy of women around them to flirt with them, to keep that ego inflated.
They talk to you without looking at your breasts, they hold an intelligent conversation yet can throw you around the bedroom (if you get what I mean).

Am I asking for too much?  Is there a certain age range I need to be looking at (IE: older men)?  I've been told older men are more comfortable with themselves...but I don't want a geriatric!

Eleni Zoe, a Greek blogger/author of "Hope Dies Last" laments these issues in better detail than I do.  I will ask her for some advice.  But if anyone has any in the meantime IE: where to look?  Nationalities preferred (I have to say, the Greeks are preferable as they're a lot rougher round the edges, less prissy and don't moisturise as much as the 'modern' man).


Friday, 27 July 2012

Five Minute Friday - Beyond

Today's topic for Five minute Friday is...Beyond. Write for five minutes, no editing, uninterrupted on this topic...OK...


Well, as you can see from this gorgeous skyline picture, I have spent the last few days in London, UK.  I am very excited by this picture because it doesn't just depict the City skyline, but what lays beyond is the Olympic Stadium!  And we all know the opening ceremony is tonight.

Now then, I was privileged to be invited to a tech rehearsal and show around the Olympic Stadium last Wednesday, but have been sworn to secrecy!  You'll just have to watch tonight.

There's a little lesson here too: always look 'beyond' the obvious and see the other side...look through the immediate to see beyond what's in front of our noses.  This will teach us tolerance and respect, make us better people in the long run.


Saturday, 21 July 2012

Five Minute Friday (but writing on a Saturday) - "Enough!" with negativity

Today's topic for Five minute Friday is...Enough. Write for five minutes, no editing, uninterrupted on this topic...OK...


Well, what should I blog about?  I like to try to keep my blogging upbeat, sometimes it'll stray into negativity at times though.

For example, "ENOUGH!" I say about all the negative twaddle that is coming out by the media about Greece & Spain.  Greece is a LOVELY country and perfectly safe for holidays!  I love Spain too - unfortunately these countries have been caught up in a maelstrom of negativity and it's like something/one is trying very hard (doesn't need to try too hard!) to discredit them for some reason.

OK, what else?  "ENOUGH!" about the Olympics! There has been a lot of negative hype in the newspapers about the 2012 Olympic Games regarding security, queues at LHR airport, etc.  But as my recent post shows, I think the up and coming Games might be quite exciting, especially the Opening Ceremony.

So, ENOUGH with the negativity people!!!


Dress Rehearsal of London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony

Yes!  Bex has been privileged to be invited on Wednesday 25th July to the Dress Rehearsal of the London Olympics Opening Ceremony!
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bensutherland/5595806897/

Don't ask me how - it is through a six degree of separation process. And I doubt I will be allowed to divulge much afterwards, but I can give you an indication, at least, as to whether it'll be any good (unless I am made to sign something! Spooky!)

Nevertheless, apparently the play list has been 'leaked.'  I know I have been sceptic of this Olympics, what with Border staff threatening to strike on 26th July and the debacle over Olympic security, but I have to say - I am excited about the prospect of a preview of the Opening Ceremony...if not because, let's be honest, I don't particularly feel patriotic (sorry, but I don't) - more because of the fact it'll be like going to an outdoor concert!  And I was looking for a good festival or concert to go to whilst visiting the UK, why not this one?!

I'll write what I can on Wednesday.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Queueless & British drunks

Yes!  I take my cap off in apology to the Olympics.  Due to recent media hype about immigration queues at LHR, I feared I would miss my train down to the West Country. 
But my fears were unfounded!  Arriving at about 7:45pm last night (Monday 16th, incidentally when an extra 10,000 people were supposed to pass through London for the Olympics), not a queue was in sight at Immigration.  I wanted to take a photo for you all, but that would NOT have been a good idea really now would it? (Especially as I have changed so much from my passport picture as well!).

Off I trot onto the uber efficient train system to Paddington station, to whisk me away to the West Country.  But NOT so uber efficient are their food or coffee outlets.  I was helpfully informed by a smiling barista in Starbucks that they close at 9pm, so I couldn't order (CLOSE AT 9??!  Don't forget I've been living in Greece, people - where things START TO OPEN at 9pm).

At least Costa is open 24 hrs.  I sit in the grim, chilly station - observing the world around me.  Alas Costa does not offer free Internet (unlike their Athens branches).  Ho hum, being internetless would probably do me good anyway for a bit.

I board my train - it pulls away at 9:45pm.  As it's the last train to the West Country that night, it stops at every single tiny station you can think of.  If the weather wasn't reminder enough that I was back 'home', at Bristol Temple Meads on jump about 7 youngish people (in their 30's) who've been to a concert and are absolutely rolling drunk.  And yes, they choose to sit opposite me.

Source: http://pixabay.com/en/sign-people-person-cartoon-danger-40363/

"I bet they get off at Bridgwater" I silently said to myself.  For those of you familiar with the West Country and Bridgwater, you'll understand why I thought that.

Actually, we had a really interesting chat and once I'd managed to ignore the overtures of one guy (and he got the hint that he wasn't really getting anywhere anyway), they were an interesting group.  They kept repeating how NICE I was, and how non-judgemental.
Well, to be honest  - they made my journey quite interesting and certainly gave me a lot to think about regarding cultural differences.  You see? Not even in the country 24 hrs and ALREADY subjected to drunkenness and potentially threatening behaviour.  They WEREN'T threatening at all, once you just spoke to them - but on the face of it they were.   BTW they did, indeed, get off at Bridgwater.

All this: weather, drunken people in their 30's shows me even more that I've made the right decision to stay in Greece - where people don't become aggressively drunk, where they don't PLAN to get drunk, are FRIENDLY drunks (if they do happen to get drunk) and where the sun shines almost 365 days of the year.

Still, it's good to be back for a while.  I will report back more when I go to London next week.  I'm looking forward to seeing my friends and attempting to get into Olympic mood.
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