When a man is weary of sunshine and the sea, he is weary of life.
I a little while I’m going on my first vacation of the year, to Olu Deniz in Turkey. I was there last year, and wasn’t brave enough to go parasailing ~ I’ll be doing that exciting activity this year.
the hotel has only about 20 rooms, but the pool area is really nice
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.
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.
I wonder if I’ve forgotten how to ride a bicycle too?
Life has many ways of testing a man’s will and inner strength.
Yesterday I joined a different gym here in my little seaside town. I had not been regularly using the ‘old gym’, and they had increased their prices. Often the walk there, around the marina, was so interesting and distracting that I never made the gym at all.
I’m pretty surprised that I just went ahead and joined a new gym, without hesitation, procrastination, or much thinking about it. But then, since my recent vacation in Turkey, I’m a changed man. In Turkey I had a bit of an epiphany.
I know that I’m now venturing on yet another important evolutionary step on the warrior’s path to discover what I am truly capable of, and I have come to know that I have an immense inner strength. Part of my journey along the warrior’s path is knowing what this inner strength and power is, and how I can use it, for the greater good, in my daily existence.
You have power over your mind ~ not outside events. Realise this, and you will find strength. ~ Marcus Aurelius
My goal is to unearth and understand this power and strength from the depths of my subconscious mind, my heart, and my soul. I have something to say and I need to learn how to say it. Perhaps I need to break away from traditional approaches and practices and accept that I am now a unique individual that deserves to receive more recognition and respect for who I have worked so hard to become.
As I was taking my leave from the new friends I had made on vacation, a very together lady said to me that; ‘You are a very different kind of man from most…..’ She said that and more in a very caring way.
However, right now I still do not feel as fully in charge of my own destiny as I could be. I know that I need a clearer vision of what lies ahead of me. I need to work towards more balance, acceptance, understanding. I need courage. I need to use my new-found self-awareness, self-confidence, inspiration and motivation. And, I need to eliminate negative energies and negative people from my life.
I know, trust, and believe that I am capable of forging my own path, that I have a manifest destiny to reach, a destiny that is not intended for anyone else, at least for no one who cannot share my vision, needs, wants, dreams, and desires.
It is time to explore my dreams and to experiment with the strength and power I suddenly possess. I need to become connected with who I really am, and I need to better connect with those I care for. I want and need to become the real Renaissance Man that some have thought I have always been. Until now I believe that I have always fallen short of that ideal.
Some say that we take for granted those things that are most deserving of our attention. And, that most people never show up for their Appointment with Life. All I know is that Real Life is what happens to you while you are busy making pointless plans.
Marmaduke likes to sunbathe on one of the historic ships moored in the marina
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
Oludeniz is a big centre for parasailing. From the top of the mountain to landing near the beach-side restaurants the flight is about 40 minutes. I didn’t go up there on my recent Turkish trip ~ I was too busy on the ground, taking pictures.
it’s quite fun to do the impossible
The blue sky in July trembles like a butterfly.
It’s high summer. I have just returned from Turkey and the best vacation ever. The food in Turkey was fabulous, and went perfectly with their hot summer sunshine.
These recipes may not all be authentically Turkish, but they are all the kind of dishes you would get in the better Turkish restaurants in the tourist areas, and they will all go perfectly with our long summer days.
First up this week, found by Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes, we have 4 Great Add-Ins for Hummus. Hummus is almost an essential component of a Turkish banquet, and these ideas from Katie Workman are just brilliant. I especially like the roasted red pepper hummus, and Katie even tells us how to make perfect roasted peppers.
Now, from at How Sweet Eats we have summer BBQ Quinoa Salad, which is a perfectly Turkish inspired side dish, or a lighter meal to take to work.
Summer BBQ Quinoa and Chicken Salad
Well now, OK, this recipe for orozo stuffed red peppers with lemony basil tomatoes from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest is actually Greek, but I had an exactly similar dish when I was in Turkey. This is a very quick and easy 30 minute vegetarian dish, (other than it has cheese, but you can buy vegan cheese).
Greek Orozo Stuffed Red Peppers with Lemony Basil Tomatoes.
From lovely San Diego girl Averie Sunshine we have this wonderful looking dish of Peach Chili Grilled Chicken, just the kind of thing you could be served in the better Turkish restaurants in the tourist parts of the country. This damn easy 10 minute dish needs no cleanup afterwards ~ how cool is all that?
Peach Chili Grilled Chicken
I almost never feature the same cook twice in one Food on Friday, but here’s another Dish from Tieghan Gerard, at Half Baked Harvest. Turkish fried eggs in herbed yogurt. You could have these at breakfast, lunch, or dinner ~ and the whole thing takes only 30 minutes to prepare.
Turkish Fried Eggs in Herbed Yogurt
For desert, this is another sort-of Greek dish: frozen honey Greek yogurt dipped strawberries, shown to us by Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower. But, there is nothing to stop you from using Turkish honey and Turkish yogurt to make this guilt free desert recipe.
Frozen Honey Greek Yogurt Dipped Strawberries
Finally for this week we have a great collection of Turkish recipes from Delicious Magazine, including this fabulous Lamb Kofte Tagine. This is an easy 30 minute dish that would make a super mid-week meal, or something fast for a Saturday night in with friends. Buy Turkish beer to go with it.
Lamb Kofte Tagine
we sat in an outdoors restaurant watching the parasailors landing.
how cool was that?
Inner tranquility ~ freedom from anger, anxiety, and fear.
There was something weird about my short stay in Turkey. Was it the place, or the people, or the blue, blue sky? Was it getting enough good sleep, good food, staying sober, staying calm? Or, was it the long, meaningful, and mindful conversations I enjoyed? Or was it some inner spirituality that was awoken in me? I suspect all of these things and more combined to wrought a significant change in my psyche.
For me this was a jumping-off point. I lost some things, I lost negativity, I lost the way I was used to seeing the world, I lost judgmentalism, I lost my mistrust of others, I lost my fear and anger, and I learned how to fly…..
Last night I lost the world, and gained the universe. ~ C. JoyBell C.
I had not been there long before I knew a radical freedom that allowed me to seek acceptance, humility, integrity, mindfulness, and understanding of myself, of those around me, and of those I care for. I was encouraged to take a new control and responsibility for my own life ~ I believe that most of us, (up to and including me), are not in control of our own lives. Rather most of us drift aimlessly through life, so that today is pretty much like yesterday, and tomorrow will be pretty much like today.
That isn’t really living, it’s just existing, and that’s no way to explore true happiness and well-being. To know true happiness and well-being we perhaps should strive to improve and enhance our own lives, the lives of those we care for, and society as a whole.
Within the real meaning of human happiness and enhanced existence, within our aims, significance, and overall purpose, we all have the freedom to choose what to do, to be who we want to be. Sadly so many of us never even try to grow into an enlightened being.
After a couple of days in the mindfulness of my Turkish vacation I began to seek to understand things, to understand the interconnectedness of all things, and the ways to find the significance of my own life among the chaos.
The real meaning of enlightenment is to gaze with undimmed eyes on all darkness. ~ Nikos Kazantzakis
I realised that each of us is what we take ourselves to be. But to live in an authentic, caring, and mindful way, we each have to take each situation as it comes and show our true nature through what we do, and not what we say. Talk is cheap.
I was always frightened to show my true nature. I was a shadow man, the man in the mirror, I was always conforming to what others expected of me, putting on masks that fitted the roles I was expected to play. I saw the world through a winter mirror, darkly.
After just one week in a small Turkish hotel, under blue, blue skies, among a group of friendly and supportive people, I was able to throw away the masks, stop playing a role, eschew the man in the mirror, and really take charge of my own life.
Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment. ~ Lao Tzu
Today, back in the garret, I am self-analytical, self-aware, self-confident, and filled with real self-control, and self-discipline.
Now I need to act in a way that reflects my new self-awareness, and the awareness of my own complete freedom. This is what I am, this is what I choose to be, this is the real me, and I will never again dodge responsibility for being true to myself.
I do not pretend to understand how this enlightenment came about. Probably it was a unique set of serendipitous circumstances, a synchronicity that has energised me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Some say that once in a lifetime your chance comes along, that once in a lifetime fate deals you the perfect winning hand. And, that we each have to be courageous enough to take that chance, to throw everything we have behind our one great opportunity in Life. All I know is that today I feel better than I have ever felt before in my entire existence.
My short stay in Turkey was the kindling of a flame.
each man is an island unto himself
It’s very nice to go travelling – but it’s so much nicer to travel home.
I have had the time of my life on this short little Turkish vacation.
Sadly, today I am flying back to England.
I will miss this place and the new but temporary friends I have made here.
I will miss the strange air of synchronicity this place has.
I will miss the ability to meditate I have learned here.
I will miss the Crystal clear skies and the sunshine.
Who knows, in the strange world of the solitary traveller I may someday come across some of the friends I have made here again.
That wouldn’t be bad at all.
Sometimes unexpected Magic happens.
Taking a vacation with no expectations, other than reading a book by the pool, has lead me down a surreal rabbit-hole of fun.
This sleepy little seaside town of Oludeniz has a street that comes alive at night time, when it’s called The Strip.
Last night, our organised excursion was to visit some bars and clubs, so come ten o’clock, 18 of us hit The Strip.
Starting at Oh Yes cocktail bar, via Reef Bar, we all ended up in Bitter’s Cocktail Karaoke Bar.
Turns out I can’t sing, but I can dance. 😈
Better than expected.
My expectations were low, but it turns out this place is brilliant.
There are 18 guests here, and the group dynamic is fabulous.
Before dinner this evening everyone stood or sat at the bar, talking, drinking and smoking. About half the group smokes, and you can smoke everywhere and anywhere in Turkey.
The buffet at dinner was good. And then we walked 50 yards into town.
The nightlife here is jumping. Unbelievable.
Day 1 in Turkey a 100% success.
The whole world is filled with news of violence and chaos.
In the United States of America the killing of white police officers by disaffected black men continues, with a new tragedy almost every day. The abortive military coup in Turkey seems to be the beginning of a Stalinesque purge by President Erdogan. An insane muslim petty criminal kills and critically injures over 100 people in the French town of Nice, with a truck.
The Middle East in still in flames with muslim fanatics in Iraq, (Daesh, IS, ISIL, ISIS, whatever), inflicting torture, rape, and murder on women and anyone they don’t like, (mostly non muslims, homosexuals, and women). The strangling of ‘selfie queen’ Quandeel Baloch by her brother is just the most recent and high profile honour killing in supposedly civilised countries like Pakistan and India. Millions of refugees are on the move, many of them trying to gain access to a better life in Europe.
Gentleness, self-sacrifice, and generosity are the exclusive possession of no one race or religion. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
In the European Union, crime by these self-same refugees is endemic, particularly rape and sexual assault. Meanwhile, England has decided to leave the European Union, (Brexit), and today the British Parliament will vote to replace our fleet of nuclear ballistic missile submarines with something even deadlier.
What strikes me is that the vast majority of this mayhem is committed by men. One has to ask if deep within the male of the human species is an hereditary propensity to aggression, violence, mayhem, jealousy, and conflict.
You know what? There is. Males are naturally violent and competitive. Look at the entire natural kingdom, from the tiny robin bird, to alpine goats, to man, and we see violent competition for territory, food, and females.
It’s only common sense and a higher, (almost altruistic), need to protect the survival of the species, as against one’s own gratification, survival, and the promotion of one’s own genetic heritage, that keeps species, (including mankind), from wiping themselves out.
In the past I have been guilty of aggression, excessive competitive urges, violence, manipulation, a need for instant gratification, and insane jealousy. But, do you know something else? The better part of mankind sublimates aggressive urges and instead cultivates serenity and a strong desire to do no harm.
The better man is safe, reliable, dependable, altruistic, friendly, kind, and protective. Women feel safe around that kind of man. Going to the extremes of available responses should only be resorted to for the protection of oneself and others, especially those you care for.
Some day you will find out that there is far more happiness in another’s happiness than in your own. ~ Honore de Balzac
Randomly killing people is the sign of a diseased and inferior mind, body, and spirit.