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!



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.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

In London week before the Olympics

Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2293738
Hi everyone,

I usually blog from Athens, Greece but have a lovely trip planned home to the UK to see friends and family.  I will spend a few days in London with friends, but am wondering if this is such a good idea, with all the Olympic hype!

Anyway, for the next few days I will blog from there - let you all know the atmosphere, the weather (!) and whether those queues at LHR really are as bad as they say.

Speak to you all soon.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Five Minute Friday - Story

Source: http://cdryan.com/blog/living-the-dream/
Today's topic for Five minute Friday is...Story Write for five minutes, no editing, uninterrupted on this topic...OK...


The other day, I saw a trailer for Matt Damon's "We Bought A Zoo" . Now, I'm not a 'weepy' kinda film gal, but the part that made my ears prick up was when the little girl asks her dad

"Daddy, why don't you read me fairy stories anymore?"

"Because we're living a fairy story sweetheart."

I got to thinking about this concept of living your own story, living the dream.  Is it selfish to create your own story and live it?  That's exactly what I'm doing now: teaching and living in a foreign country.  I feel I'm living in a fairy story.  I've been living it for 3.5 years now (learning the language slowly, getting to know the locals, loving the kids and adults I teach and occasionally writing about it) - but because it's not a 9-5 Monday to Friday existence in drizzly rain, I feel like my life is one big fairy story, and I will awaken with a rude bump one day.

But life doesn't HAVE to be like that.  I am slowly coming around to the fact that it's OK to live your life as YOU want, not how others perceive it should be.

So if there's always something you've wanted to do, make that change in your life, live YOUR life.  Make and create your real, living story.

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