Category Archives: Travel

A short break in Wales

Or, how not to drown.

Not so very long ago, during a solo vacation in Turkey, I very nearly drowned in the Mediterranean.

These are my co-vacationers in Turkey- who didn’t almost drown.

As I’m going to Crete in a couple of weeks I thought I should do something about my non-swimmer status, (for all practical intents and purposes).  So casting around on the internet I found Sarah Kentish, ( http://www.swimwithsarah.co.uk/   sarah.kentish@btinternet.com ) who could give me some intensive, 1 to 1 swimming instruction, before my vacation in Crete.  And believe you me, finding some proper swimming instruction in the narrow time-window I had available was nothing short of miraculous.

Sarah said that she could teach me how not to drown every time I went in the water, and she was going to be teaching in the Imperial Hotel in Llandudno. And so, I booked a series of lessons and sent off my payment.  Snag was, I had no real idea where Llandudno is, other than it’s a seaside resort.

Llandudno is in Wales, and about 250 miles from where I live….. which doesn’t sound so bad.  Except I was travelling by train.  The journey there took six-and-a-half hours and involved 5 different trains.  (The journey home from Llandudno was not as bad.)

Still, I got there to find that the Imperial Hotel is a Magnificent Victorian Edifice.  My room was nice, the pool in the basement was nice, and Sarah was nice.  Under Sarah’s instruction, in 5 x 40 minute sessions I went from being effectively a non-swimmer to a chap who was more than just ok in the water.

Other than just how much I needed proper swimming instruction, the most surprising thing about this trip was that the main dining room at the Imperial Hotel is world-class.  They serve the most sublime food in elegant surroundings, (posh frock and expensive shoes elegant).  How they can have a world-class dining room in Llandudno is beyond me.

The downsides were; the trip cost a small fortune, the weather was dreary, and Llandudno by rail from my place may as well be on the dark side of the moon.

Llandudno is a pretty smart place, but it seems to attract the elderly more than cute girls in small bikinis.  On the other hand there is a hell of a lot more to do in that Welsh seaside resort than you’d think.  The Imperial Hotel is fairly pricey, but mostly worth it.  Individual, 1 to 1 swimming instruction is also fairly pricey, but very, very worth it.  It might save my life one day.

And, that’s why I took a short break in Wales.

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

The pool at the Imperial Hotel

Sleeping in Hotels

Alone and on the road again…..

I’ve just enjoyed the first decent night’s sleep I’ve had in about a month, and I’m in a hotel……

In my long and mostly disreputable life I have spent more nights than I care to remember in all kinds of hotels, in most of the major cities of the world, (and some towns that would have to work hard to qualify as a bomb-site).  And in all that time I never hardly ever slept well in an hotel.

One solution to ‘hotel insomnia’ is to get good and drunk…..  But these days I am utterly sober.

So, what’s different this time?

I believe it’s that I’ve put my worries, resentments, and anger behind me…..  And nobody can possibly sleep with a mind racing like an evil train crash.

I also believe that a few hours in the hotel pool taking the strenuous exercise of swimming lessons, and then going for long walks by the sea, also helps.

And, on a cautionary note, sharing your hotel bed with a woman you’ve just picked up at the hotel bar will not help you sleep either.

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

I have never in my life ‘picked up’ a woman in a hotel bar.

Hooker, or otherwise.

Swimming Lessons

Some things are much more fun than you would think.

I had my 3rd swimming lesson this afternoon.

Seems that I am doing ok because my instructor has stopped teaching me to swim…..  She is now giving me instructions on how to swim properly.

Lots and lots to remember.

At least I am much more confident in the water now.

Shame the weather here in Llandudno is so dull.

You can’t ever have it all.

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Llandudno

Llandudno isn’t pronounced anything like you’d think.

But I like it here.

I like the Imperial Hotel too, it’s like going back in time 100 years or more, and it’s very smart.

I had my first swimming lesson here today ☺☺☺☺☺

And now I’m totally exhausted.

I’ll tell you more when I’m not using a tablet to post with.

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Where I had my very first swimming lesson ever.

Almost Drowning in Turkey

Always look before you leap.

When I went on a day’s boat trip in Turkey I jumped into what looked like fairly shallow water.  Turned out it was about 60 feet deep.  It also turned out that I’ve just about forgotten how to swim.

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I almost drowned before I made it back to our boat.

As almost drowning on vacation is not a good plan, I am taking a week’s 1 to 1 professional swimming instruction, from a lady called Sarah Kentish.

This will be in the pool of the Imperial Hotel in a British seaside resort called Llandudno.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I wonder if I’ve forgotten how to ride a bicycle too?

Scenes on Sunday ~ Beaches

A beach is not just a stretch of empty sand.

One of the things I like about Orange County are the fabulous beaches.  I like the women too ~ of course.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

there’s a kitten I would like to take there

Wisdom and Courage

Knowledge, intuition, and self-confidence aren’t always enough.

Yesterday I reacted very badly to what I felt was negative criticism, from a very close friend, of some posts I had recently written.  I took the critical comments from my friend both personally and probably more negatively than she meant to sound.  And yet, looking back, I still feel that her comments about my blog were a thinly veiled attack on me, which was really about something else entirely, something else I had done.  It would be nice to know what…..

Yesterday, I broke two of my own rules;

Rule #9  Trust in your own opinions, but always be prepared to listen to the other person’s point of view.

and

Rule #10  Be accepting, understanding, and compassionate.

It’s all very well my not liking what people do or say, but I should have the wisdom and courage to accept and understand that her thoughts and opinions are not my thoughts and opinions.  I should be able to rise above the shit that life and other people throw at me from time to time.  I should not be dragged down into the mire by other people.  I should make a better choice than to feel so hurt and distressed by the things others may say to me.

If a man is going to let his spirit truly fly then he needs the self-confidence to spread his wings.  Sometimes a man also needs wisdom to make better decisions and wiser choices if he is going to realise his potential and manifest his true destiny.  If he is going to walk the warrior’s path to spiritual prosperity and inner peace, then a man needs to walk that path without scepticism, fear, or self-doubt.

I know that things do not get better overnight, that this is going to be a step by step, iterative process, and that to make positive changes in my life I first of all have to show up for life and actually have the courage to make some changes.  Not every choice I make is going to be a good choice, but a golden rule is that if things aren’t working out, then do something else instead.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  ~Einstein

I also have some new tools to help me; I am learning the power of truth, mindfulness, self-care, meditative affirmations and mandalas.  I know that I need to show more gratitude and care through my actions for those who matter most to me ~ including myself.   I know I need to listen to the guidance of those who care for me because they can show me the path I need to take.  I know that I shouldn’t listen when others are attacking me out of their own personal inadequacies.

There needs to be new challenges, new rituals, and new guidelines in my life.  I need to ask a lot of myself, and of those close to me, but I need to be patient, mindful, and caring too.

To make wise choices I need to consider the past, the present, the future, and look at potentialities with some wisdom and reasonableness.  What I need to lose is anger, bitterness, judgementalism, and paranoia.

I have made some changes, and taken some decisions.  I’ve joined a different gym, and I’m going there and exercising regularly.  I’m going to the pool regularly.  I walk everywhere, I’ve changed my diet, and I’m getting better rest and sleep.  I am going to travel more, I’ve just got back from Turkey, and in a little while I’m going to Crete.  After that, well if you can’t find me, I’m on vacation.

Some say that there are wonderful, warm, loving, powerful, indulgent, and courageous energies in the universe.  And, that all men seek and desire; love, happiness, grace, beauty, charm, and pleasure.  All that I know is that I have to act quickly to find my true life path.

The Best is yet to come ~ I may have seen the sun but I’ve never seen it shine, and now it’s raining in my heart.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

the road is long, and mostly lonely

 

 

Travel is Good for My Health

Do not tell me how educated you are,  just tell me how much you have travelled.  ~  Mohamed

The apartment I live in is called ‘The Garret’ and I feel very much at home here.  However, some recent thoughts, emotions, and events have convinced me that I’ve been spending far too much time in the garret.  Ergo, I’ve decided to get out of the garret more, travel more, take more vacations, and relax in the sunshine a lot more.

Travel and change of pace impart new vigour to the mind.  ~  Seneca

I have very few responsibilities, a hell of a lot of time on my hands, and more than a little money in the bank ~ so there is no earthly reason why I shouldn’t be taking 4 or 5 vacations a year, or even a round half-dozen should the mood strike me.

And, it’s not as though I want to travel to far-away and strange-sounding places.  The camel route to Iraq holds no attraction for me.  Neither do the madchen and the gay muchachas.  And as for Paris, London, and Rome, I’ve spent so long in those cities that they’re like a second home.

There’s a hell of a lot of the world I just do not want to go to, not ever again.  And you can include in that list all of Africa, the Middle East, the Far East, Australia and New Zealand.  As for the America’s, I’d never cross the US border going South again.  I caught malaria in Mexico.

The places I really like are the nicer parts of the USA, some of the Caribbean, and most of the Mediterranean.  I also really like Tuscany and the South of France.  Scandinavia isn’t bad either, (at the right time of year).  None of which destinations are so very exotic, or so very dangerous.  If I’m honest I like going to places where most of the locals can speak some English, and they serve really good food.

In a couple of weeks’ time I’m going to Crete, and after that probably back to California.  Next year Malta, Cyprus, and Turkey are on my list.  Who knows after that?  But a Caribbean Cruise is looking attractive.

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.  ~  Helen Keller

The one downside for me is that I will mostly be a solitary traveller.  But, who knows who I may meet along the way.  And, one never knows, I may even find an attractive travelling companion to take along with me.  On road trips, in a Mustang convertible, a guy needs an attractive and intelligent Girl Riding Shotgun anyway.  A road trip without The Girl Riding Shotgun just isn’t a proper road trip.

Some say that travel is good for the soul.  And, that a good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.  All I know is that I hate dull routine disrupting my life.

So, from now on, if you can’t find me, it’s because I’m on vacation.

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Santa Monica is pretty cool.

Scenes on Sunday ~ Piers

So, just how big is a pier?  Well, mostly it sticks out half-a-mile.

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Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Trust me, the various types of pier are interesting and fun.

Places to Go

Imagination and travel to places far away are my mistresses.

There are some place in this world that I would like to take a girlfriend.  And most women would like the places I would take them.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I love sexually confident women.

Not always so far away from my place,

I like women who smoke

 

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