Urban Life: The Little things that matter

Living the urban life comes with its daily challenges for many. From travel in crowded trains and other public means of transport, to achieving a work-life balance, or just simply raising children in urban communities, one has to be fully engaging and equipped to make good one’s time.

Whilst waiting on the train platform this early Monday morning, with my two daughters, on our way to school, I observed a young mother struggling with a rather huge buggy, trying to find a space on the platform, as it was quite packed with commuters. Heaving and puffing, she looked out of breath, obviously from being in a hurry as not to miss the train.

Continue reading “Urban Life: The Little things that matter”

Sex and Singlehood: A Cultural Shift – Part 2

“Hey Shaun, can I have a cuppa please”, Sofia said as she walked into the lounge, dressed in one of Shaun’s white shirts. She had woken up about 20 minutes earlier, but had decided to stay in bed, reminiscing on the encounter with Shaun.

Continue reading “Sex and Singlehood: A Cultural Shift – Part 2”

A View through the Wire ~ A Short Story pt2

A View through the Wire ~ A SHORT Story

Samantha rolled off the bed, suddenly aware how late it was. ‘Gosh!!, that was meant to be a short nap!’. It was now after two in the afternoon and she had slept for good three hours. She looked around and wondered where Jim was. She could still smell his masculine scent on the sheets. Throwing on her housecoat, she walked lazily into the bathroom and turned on the tap. “A good hot soak is what I need right now”, she thought. She looked out the little window, misty from the freezing cold outside, and wondered why loving was such a painful experience. Suddenly she felt vulnerable, like she was fighting a battle only she could lose.

She remembered that first night with Aileen, Joe and Kenya. It was a fun evening. Joe had just been promoted onto the company board and he and Aileen were ecstatic. Joe and Aileen were such great company. They all had been talking about relationships when suddenly Joe mentioned he was expecting a friend Jim who had just moved back to London from Brisbane with his two little daughters. He was a single dad, mid fourties and ready to mingle, so Joe believed.

Later on that evening when Jim walked into the bar and headed straight to their table, Samantha knew instantly there was something about this man. She immediately felt his eyes all over her, running through her length, and back to her eyes. She could see he was checking her out with such intensity that she suddenly felt naked, as though he already had a good peep into her very soul. She wanted to turn away as he drew closer to the table, eyes still fixed on her. It was like in a dream, like everything had stopped and she found herself trapped in a room with no escape. As he got to the table, hand stretched out to her for a handshake, she almost passed out. That was seven months.

As she soaked in her scented bathwater, still reminiscing on that first meeting, she wondered what future she could possibly build with Jim. She closed her eyes once again and let the sweet smell of lavender take her away into a world full of hopes and dreams.

Jim had left her to sleep and had buried himself in his work. ‘Damn!’ He swore under his breath. He loved that woman. She was everything he desired and wanted in his woman. He had abstained from having any intimate relationships for close to two years, focusing instead on being a dad and mum to his little princesses. They had formed a close relationship, he and his daughters, and he didn’t want anything to destroy the bond he had built with the girls. He loved them so much and was afraid starting a new relationship could alienate the girls. He knew at some point the girls would need a mother, so he had been told oftentimes by his mates. He was not sure if he wanted to change things as they were. He was beginning to enjoy his own company and space, until that night he set eyes on Samantha. Now seven months on, he knew he was in love, or was he?

To be continued……..

Travel – An Escape from Reality

Lifestyle Choices

Back in December 2014 I took some time off from my London life to enjoy the sights and sounds of beautiful Turkey. It was a holiday I was looking forward to with eagerness as I needed some time away to relax from a rather challenging year.

Turkey is one of the most exciting countries I have ever had the privilege of visiting. An 8-day guided tour saw me travel across some of the most beautiful locations and breath-taking scenery you could imagine. From Instanbul through to Antalya to Izmir, Kusadasi and Pamukkale, visiting ancient ruins of Aphrodisias, Ephesus/Kusadasi, the UNESCO world heritage site of Hierapolis-Pamukkale and many other sites of astounding beauty across the mountains and coasts.

We had landed in Istanbul from Stansted Airport and caught a connecting flight to Antalya. Antalya is one of those old ancient cities lining the Mediterranean coast with some famous waterfalls such as the Kursunlu Waterfall, the 13th century Seljuk Bridge, and a few mosques, one of which is the Yivliminare Mosque, which was first built in 1230 and then reconstructed in 1373. The present day mosque was built around the 14th century after the destruction of the original mosque and today, it houses some fun and exciting stuffs like the ethnographic museum. There are displays of clothing, kitchen utensil, tapestry, embroidery etc. That place left an impression on me.

The entire region is surrounded by the Taurus mountains, with winding roads and views to die for. Driving through the winding roads up the mountains, I remember our guide telling us how for hundreds of years, the mountains were a place for many ancient temples of the storm-gods. Alexander the Great was also said to have defeated Darius III Codmanus at the Battle of Issus down at the foothills of the mountains along the coast.

In Ephesus, I was struck by some monuments such as Odeon, Temple of Hadrian and the Scholastica Baths. This ancient Roman city, which is now ruins, left me thinking how folks back in those days lived such beautiful lives, with pillars of marble lining the streets, on the ground, everywhere.

The highlight of my tour across the Southwest of Turkey was my visit to Pamukkale, a natural site in the Denizli Province which contains hot springs and travertines, a white bed of carbonates covering the size of more than three football pitches. Everywhere is white as snow, extremely beautiful and awesome to behold. Pamukkale sits nicely in Turkey’s Inner Aegean region, in the River Menderes valley. The climate is mild for most part of the year, making it one of the most ideal places if you want to escape from a freezing cold December winter.

Back in Antalya on my sixth day, I went into Antalya. The ancient part of Antalya magically transports you back into the ancient times. The beautiful little shops selling native wares and tourist jewelleries, ornaments, textile etc was just a tourist delight.

Tried some of their local foods, sweets and some stuff like yogurt which I thought was nice.

Back at the hotel, we were treated to some fantastic belly-dancing and I had to join in the fun dancing after a few drinks and some strong Turkish coffee.

I do hope when you go on your various travels, you do make out time to enjoy the locals and what they have to offer. See things not just with the eyes of the tourist, do try to blend in and be one with the locals. That’s how best I enjoy my travels.

Travel – An Escape from Reality

Lifestyle Choices

Back in December 2014 I took some time off from my London life to enjoy the sights and sounds of beautiful Turkey. It was a holiday I was looking forward to with eagerness as I needed some time away to relax from a rather challenging year.

Turkey is one of the most exciting countries I have ever had the privilege of visiting. An 8-day guided tour saw me travel across some of the most beautiful locations and breath-taking scenery you could imagine. From Instanbul through to Antalya to Izmir, Kusadasi and Pamukkale, visiting ancient ruins of Aphrodisias, Ephesus/Kusadasi, the UNESCO world heritage site of Hierapolis-Pamukkale and many other sites of astounding beauty across the mountains and coasts.

We had landed in Istanbul from Stansted Airport and caught a connecting flight to Antalya. Antalya is one of those old ancient cities lining the Mediterranean coast with some famous waterfalls such as the Kursunlu Waterfall, the 13th century Seljuk Bridge, and a few mosques, one of which is the Yivliminare Mosque, which was first built in 1230 and then reconstructed in 1373. The present day mosque was built around the 14th century after the destruction of the original mosque and today, it houses some fun and exciting stuffs like the ethnographic museum. There are displays of clothing, kitchen utensil, tapestry, embroidery etc. That place left an impression on me.

The entire region is surrounded by the Taurus mountains, with winding roads and views to die for. Driving through the winding roads up the mountains, I remember our guide telling us how for hundreds of years, the mountains were a place for many ancient temples of the storm-gods. Alexander the Great was also said to have defeated Darius III Codmanus at the Battle of Issus down at the foothills of the mountains along the coast.

In Ephesus, I was struck by some monuments such as Odeon, Temple of Hadrian and the Scholastica Baths. This ancient Roman city, which is now ruins, left me thinking how folks back in those days lived such beautiful lives, with pillars of marble lining the streets, on the ground, everywhere.

The highlight of my tour across the Southwest of Turkey was my visit to Pamukkale, a natural site in the Denizli Province which contains hot springs and travertines, a white bed of carbonates covering the size of more than three football pitches. Everywhere is white as snow, extremely beautiful and awesome to behold. Pamukkale sits nicely in Turkey’s Inner Aegean region, in the River Menderes valley. The climate is mild for most part of the year, making it one of the most ideal places if you want to escape from a freezing cold December winter.

Back in Antalya on my sixth day, I went into Antalya. The ancient part of Antalya magically transports you back into the ancient times. The beautiful little shops selling native wares and tourist jewelleries, ornaments, textile etc was just a tourist delight.

Tried some of their local foods, sweets and some stuff like yogurt which I thought was nice.

Back at the hotel, we were treated to some fantastic belly-dancing and I had to join in the fun dancing after a few drinks and some strong Turkish coffee.

I find travelling to new sites and locations quite exciting. Learning new cultures and ways of life of others gives me an immense buzz.

I do hope when you go on your various travels, you do make out time to enjoy the locals and what they have to offer. See things not just with the eyes of the tourist, do try to blend in and be one with the locals. That’s how best I enjoy my travels.

ROUNDABOUT OF LIFE!!

You are driving and you come across a roundabout and have three options: indicate your exit and follow through, stay put where you are, for as long as you want, until you can figure out where the heck to go or continue on your journey, taking a chance and if you discover you’d taken the wrong turn, retrace your route until you get it right.

The problem with the second option is not only will you upset other road-users, you could cause an accident if remaining immobile for a bit longer than necessary.

On both second and third options, time is indeed wasted and you might just look like a right old pillock!! GREAT!!! And mind you, Satnavs do make errors!!!

Okay, having said that, the second option shows a high level of indecision, which in many instances leads to failure.

Failure due to inaction!

Quite often we find ourselves in the roundabouts of life, unsure of which way to go and what decisions will take us on the right journey. We hesitate, procrastinate on very important life-changing decisions. It is crucial that when you do get on that roundabout, you take one decision and get on with it. Yes you may go the wrong way, as in option three, but you do have an opportunity to try again until you get it right. Consider it an opportunity to learn something new! The second option shouldn’t be an option really because you stand to go nowhere.

LEARNING THROUGH EXPERIENCE.  LEARNING BY DOING!

He who never acts never learns!!! Get off the roundabout of life and move on!!!