Category: Travel

Wisdom Before The New Year

As we are coming up to the New Year, I thought of funny topics to write about and want to share with you some pieces of wisdom that I feel may help you, in your journey along this rocky road laughingly called “life”. As far as I can tell, life is what you make it and what you make of it. In my case,

perfection has almost been achieved. I say “almost” because to say that I am perfect would be rather bold and would imply that I have nothing left to learn. Nothing could be further from the truth! I am constantly learning (for example, Spanish at the moment) and would never be so presumptuous as to think that I know everything (although some might accuse me of being a “know-it-all”, but I put that down to jealousy, pure and simple).

But that is by the way; here is what I have learned this week, which I hope will be of some use in your own miserable and worthless existences (and please do not think that I insult you by referring to your lives in such words; I use them only in a sense relative to the almost blissful state in which I exist). (Again, note the use of the word “almost”, showing my true humility.)


If you decide to go on a diet for the New Year (or, as I prefer to say, starving yourself to death), you would be wise to buy a packet of six corned beef slices from your local supermarket rather than a packet of three, since there are fewer calories in each slice in the six-pack – in fact, 10 fewer calories per slice, saving you 60 calories in all! This difference in calories I regard as one of the great unsolved mysteries of the world.

National Parks

If you visit a National Park with extensive grounds where the entrance is some distance from the car park, try to follow someone of “mature years” to the initial information point where she will ask if it is possible to have a lift on the electric buggy to the entrance. With luck (of which I have an inordinate amount), she will turn around and ask if you would also like a lift! I admit I may have been looking a little fragile (a practised look) and I may (just may) have exaggerated the limp slightly – so you accept (reluctantly, of course) and drag your younger friend along with you. At first your friend may be a little unhappy at being driven on what is, essentially, an oversized mobility scooter, but soon starts enjoying himself when we use the royal wave as we zoom past the hordes making their way to the entrance on foot. Indeed, he enjoyed himself so much that it was he who insisted on ordering the buggy for the return journey after we had spent an exhausting hour eating parsnip and apple soup and perusing the items for sale in the shop.

No calories were harmed in this activity.

Turkey Remains A Top Holiday Hotspot

Advice For FreedUp Travellers There

Turkey is a top holiday hotspot, according to tourism reports. It has a rich historical and cultural background and unspoilt beaches. It is sunny for over 6 months of the year. And in winter, there are always the ski resorts to go to.

So, what advice can I offer you if you are going to Turkey?

Do not assume that Turkey will be hot and sunny. We are told this (see above) but this is simply to lull you into a false sense of security so that you only equip yourself with light clothing, a pair of sandals and no raincoat. When the downpour starts, as it does most days you will have no protection.

Travel in Turkey’s capital is easy, if you have nerves of finest steel. The taxi drivers have only two speeds 100 mph and BRAKE! And there are unlikely to be seat belts that you can use. The best you can do is cling to the handle above the window.

Learn a little Turkish. You won’t need much. A little goes a long way. I tried “Thank you very much”  “Teşekkűr ederim”, pronounced  ‘teshkweredereem’ or something similar. It made people smile when I used it (in fact, the cleaner nearly collapsed laughing when I first tried it), although I am a little concerned that I may be putting the emphasis in the wrong place and I am actually telling people, “I am leaving you all my money when I die”.

Maybe that will do for a first lesson.

Alone In A Bar?

What If You Are Alone In A Bar?

Queue the song “You’ll Never Walk Alone” – not in a bar anyway! This post will help you find your way down those rabbit warren back streets and alleyways of life.

Take care if you see a woman or man sitting alone in a pub or bar. Not me, of course, because I keep myself to myself anyway and bring my own book to read if I am not meeting anyone.

But if someone (else) starts to listen to your conversation with others and then joins in with their own tales, you can be pretty sure that, before long, they will try to separate one of you from the general conversation. Next thing, they will be telling their life story. And then pretty soon you will want to lie down in the dark, maybe with a damp flannel over your head, listening to Leonard Cohen while visions of a possible afterlife float through your head.

One of those people came into my orbit on Saturday night when I went to meet friends in the local pub and we were discussing local affairs (as you do!) with a couple of other friends who just happened to turn up too.

Within ten minutes I had learned that my new Best Friend worked for a local utility, that the said local utility had saved millions by changing their location (fascinating!), that she liked camping out alone in rented motor homes on managed sites and that she was thinking of going to a local beauty spot for a  holiday in a couple of weeks’ time.

I also learned what other sites, National Parks and beauty spots she had visited and which ones were accessible by long distance bus services – remind me to travel by train in future! Totally nothing wrong with going to places on your own – I do it all the time – but keep it to yourself! Now, where did I put that Leonard Cohen CD…?