Wednesday, 31 December 2014


Christmas and New Year Greetings to you!

Where did November Go - somehow I have missed a whole month and now Christmas Sales seemed to have started without me!  Well, I just have to make the most of December before being faced with 2015; I don't want to miss out on Christmas and the New Year celebrations, so...I must put my skates on to catch up...oh no!   I just remembered - I didn't really learn to skate properly, as I was constantly picking myself up every five minutes - so no skates, but here's your Christmas and New Year greetings from the Romseys.  We wish you a very Happy, Healthy and Successful New Year.

Just to recap on how November was missed, my friend Genevieve and I went to Crete in Southern Greece for ten days at the end of October and were pampered in an all-inclusive friendly, family hotel 'JO-AN' on Rethymno beach.  Genevieve had always wanted to go there since she was young, many moons ago, and I was glad to have a little holiday as Roy and I didn't go on a trip for two years, both involved with catching up on our writing projects.

Crete is a most beautiful island with lots of history and museums, particularly about the amazing Minoan Civilisation of 16th - 17th century B.C.  Wow, the Museum of excavated treasures, featuring home interiors, pillars, porticos and art simply blew me off!  What a civilisation!  The Architecture!  Mathematical innovations! intricate pottery! Law, order, art, clothes, and ways of looking at style and at life itself! Everything was so modern-day!  Admittedly their slavery system disturbed us but they didn't treat their slaves in the harsh way that were practised around the world more recently.  There was not enough time to find out why this incredible civilisation disappeared as the museum closed before I finished exploring.   I must go back again to explore.

November did a vanishing trick on us as the diary was cramped with activities and I got back in the swing of things with painting for the Romsey Art exhibition, coffee mornings, eye tests and doctor's appointments punctuated by lunch with friends, family or neighbours, and sadly the funeral of a long-time friend Colin Courtice, who will also be missed by our Art Group.  Roy too was very involved with the Romsey Historical Society, researching, photographing every detail of the Romsey Abbey as well as attending their weekly meetings.

If you have been following my other blog you will have noticed my recent leaning towards the fourth political Party in Britain, the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) under the leadership of Nigel Farage, an MEP who has first-hand knowledge of how ineffective the European Union is in spite of EU Members paying all they could possibly afford for its upkeep, its voracious appetite for luxuries simply devours billions of pounds and Euros like manna from heaven.

As for the UK our National Debt has now escalated so high, that there is no sign of it abating despite so many austere measures to squeeze more money from the tax-payers and all Departments under the Conservative-Liberal Democratic Coalition.   So I have joined UKIP, the only political Party now capable of turning this situation around.  Read my reasoning in my other blog and join me in voting for UKIP in the next General Election in May 2015.  And if you can help this Peoples' Party to develop into a forward-looking sophisticated machine to govern our diverse cultural country, then there will be a happier tomorrow for everyone in Great Britain.

In 1965 I arrived at fog enveloped Gravesend by the P&O Passenger liner, Orcades on 25th March to find a very different United Kingdom.  There had been much improvement in London, such as the cleaning up of smog covered buildings and refreshing old architecture in the City, but the economy was stable, albeit still suffering from the effect of WW2, and tax was reasonable for any working man or woman.  Yes, we had immigration, but it was a controlled system of allowing those able to fill jobs and vacancies for the smooth running of the country.  Each entry was perused and passport stamped with status (I was a British Subject being born in British India) or valid time for visit or holiday.

This was a complete change of location for me coming from India, but having already travelled to many places previously colonised by Great Britain, such as Hong Kong and Singapore, I was at home in cosmopolitan London, and within a week I was a Temp working for the Nursing Council in Portland Terrace, giving me a breathing space to acclimatize to the weather, grey drizzly smoggy, commuting by bus or underground and finding my way around the city.  Working condition was not dissimilar to my last job in Calcutta, working in an open-plan office for the Personnel Department of Bird and Co's Paper Manufacturing Section.

The first time I tried to find the Piccadilly Circus Underground, I stopped a tall gentlemen striding along with his rolled-up umbrella for the direction, to which he replied: "Walk this way for 5 minutes, turn right and walk 7 minutes and you will see the Eros statue above a fountain in the circle. You enter any one of four entrances to the Underground trains below ".  I did get the job I applied for above the salubrious Cafe Royal, the London hallmark of the Italian conglomerate Fortes Holding, headed by the mustachioed Charles Forte, whose hotelier business acumen was second to none at the time.  I worked above the beautiful Regent Street's bustling thoroughfare and was paid to have lunch at their signature restaurant, the White Bear Inn, right below Eros and the busy traffic whirling around it.

Time to celebrate the New Year's arrival in a few hours' time I shall continue with my astonishing first experience of London in my next episode. Enjoy your New Year' Day and have a healthy year ahead!

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