Unpredictability - Good for your health

Our modern life is based on organising an environment free from the unexpected. The house needs to be as stable and reliable as possible. The job as safe as possible. Nothing should break down. Nothing but what we predict, should occur.
This is the life of the zoo animal. Let's explore the life of the Nomad. Let's live the life of the Nomad.

Sunday, 9 September 2012


It was a return to Switzerland for the final few days of my holiday sabbatical.  There is something very comforting about Switzerland - a synthesis perhaps of the order, the stunning nature and a people blessed with intelligence and an appreciation of rules and governance.  I always enjoy a trip to Switzerland.  This time the lady I was staying with suggested I take a trip to a lake in the canton of Fribourg called Schwarzee.  This was to be a pleasant hike, only taking an hour but with some stunning views.

It was a surprise indeed to look up and see this dragon staring down with glowing red eyes and spitting water.

I was surprised to encounter this camping site.  You can see that the holiday homes are wooden chalets rather than the typical static caravan encountered in British camping sites.  There were various caravans and I could see that some of these were residential.  Even here in Switzerland, there will be nomads enjoying an alternative living environment.

Now in this blog of mine I have discussed various aspects of life as it is, for the nomad.  One thing I have not discussed is the dressing requirements for this sort of life.  As you can imagine, it is a pointless thing to invest in expensive designer clothing.  It is better to wear clothing that is tough, does not require ironing, will expel mud easily and is easy fitting.

And the lady of the house, in which I was residing put her eye to my dress sense and decided to take me shopping.  This was an interesting experience for me.  Being generally the master of my own time and maker of my own fashion regime - to have the Swiss lady walk around picking jeans and shirts and jumpers off the shelf.  Well this feeling was very unusual indeed.

As I stood there waiting for the lady to return with another size and item - as I stood there with another guiding the things in my life: I could see in my mind's eye a life that was changing.  This life of mine, the life of the solitary nomad; I could see all of this changing and changing for something special indeed.  I do not know what in my life's journey altered to make all this possible - but if life can seem full of angst and stress at any given moment; I can suggest a view to look beyond the despair.  Change and despair and change and joy - in this trajectory through life all is possible.

Peace to All

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Majorca - a week in the sun

I had agreed to take my two daughters, and my eldest daughter's best friend to Spain for a week.  I had previously been to the island of Menorca and also the Costa Del Sol.  And to use a well known saying - they offered "what was written on the can".  Sun, sand, water and heat.  This party of ours demanded plenty of hours of swimming and baking in the sun.  As for myself, I prefer to get about and do some hiking and also plenty of reading.  The holiday consultant recommended Majorca and so this is where we went.  I could see the potential for hiking on this island since our resort in Cala Bona was surrounded by interesting hills.  Here is a view from our hotel room.

Being responsible for the children, I could not really do any hiking.  I would walk around for half an hour or so in the morning before the children awoke.

The flights, both there and back, were to be early flights - 6 am.  So it was a very early start for us last Sunday morning.  Now the wakening of the children, or rather the difficulty in doing so, was to be a recurring theme throughout the holiday.  For myself, there is no problem since I cannot just lie in bed half awake.  I will eagerly jump out of bed and get moving.  But it was different for the girls.  I would resort to all sorts of tricks to get them out of bed - switching the lights on and making plenty of noise.  I decided not to hire a car - and so for most activities booked we would have to get on a coach at a specific time.  On the Thursday I had booked quite an expensive outing to a theme park called AquaLand.  We came rather close to missing this because of the wakeup factor.  I had booked the hotel on a half board basis, so breakfast and evening dinners were included.  Still, on some days it would be close to 10 am before I was able to get the kids out of bed.  When you have prepaid for food, you certainly want to make sure it is eaten.

I was very impressed by the hotel.  It was called the Catalonia Consul hotel.   The place was kept immaculately clean.

The food was fine, the hotel room's view stunning, and the swimming facilities kept in good order.  There were plenty of activities such as water aerobics, darts, and billiards throughout the day to keep the kids happy.  The pool area also had a kiosk serving good food at a reasonable price.  The sea view was really appreciated, along with the terrace.  In the evening I could sit down and read my book while the kids did their own thing.  Here is another view from the terrace.

Just a side note on the reading material.  One of the books I read was titled "Black Box - Inside the World's Worst Air Crashes", by Nicholas Faith.  This was a fascinating insight into the work of air accident investigators. If you do decide to include this book in your holiday reading list then please do read it while in transit on your twenty year old charter plane - it simply adds another dimension to the reading experience, and more so indeed when the plane hits some turbulence.

On the Monday I booked a Catamaran experience.  The girls were not initially overjoyed with this, but once we got under-way they soon got into the spirit of things.  It was relaxing and nice to view underneath the water from inside one of the catamaran's side hulls.

It was also nice to view the coast from the sea itself.

At one point the Captain stopped the ship so that we could all enter the water for a bit of a paddle.  The ship had two slides allowing easy access to the sea.  As for myself, I am a bit of a diver - so enjoyed catapulting myself from the ship's side, head first and arms outstretched.  When you learn the art of diving, you never loose it.

The ship also half entered an interesting cave.  We all got our cameras out to capture the moment.

As previously mentioned, another booked excursion was to AquaLand.   The was an hour's drive from the resort.  

I enjoyed some of the many water slides on offer.  And really the weather was so hot, it was great to be able to spend the day in bathers cooling off when required in one of the many pools.  For the most part however for me the time was spent finishing off the second book I had taken way with me.  "Tales of the GYPSY Dressmaker" by Thelma Madine.  This is not the sort of book I would normally read, not having a great fascination with dresses - but I do find the Gypsy culture fascinating.  And this book offered a great insight into the meaning of the wedding in Gypsy culture.  The writer herself has had a fascinating life - having at one point been sent to prison for claiming benefits while working.  The experience was so traumatic she decided to turn her life around completely.  So she made her dress making business a complete success and is also a television celebrity since the "Big Fat Gypsy Wedding" series was produced.  I have never seen this programme but have been informed it is worth watching.

The return trip was rather exhausting, having to be up at 1.00 am.  We flew back with an airline called Orbest.  The flying experience on these charter flights is very different to the business trips I am used to.  On the flight to Majorca, the passengers actually clapped the captain for the landing.  For the passengers, ofcourse, a flight is a rare thing in this instance, and the whole experience was very interesting to them.  When you take a typical trip where the plane is full of business workers, there is little that is different from taking a train trip during midweek peak hours.  It was quite a shock arriving back in Great Britain.  Without the heat and the sun, and with the cloud and the cold - we all had to endure that depressing feeling of life returning to the normal.  But for me, still having another week's holiday, I could start thinking about the next trip.  A return back to Switzerland.  Yes there is a good deal of travelling for this nomad on this holiday sabbatical -  but what is a nomad, if not a traveller by nature?  

Peace to All