The South of England!

Here I am in Christ Church UK, between Southhampton and Bournemouth. It is very beautiful and very friendly. There are lots of tourists.

My friend Carol has a lovely old English Cottage she has restored and has given it to me for very good price. It is located just behind the high street. The town has a quirky cinema, which shows everything. The town has good restaurants, and the sea is very close.

I am spending my time on the book and doing many interviews on Skype. As I get into this, I realize what I have taken on and the responsibility and trust that people are giving me with their information. This will be a very long term project. I am interviewing about 35 individuals around the globe, so lots of work. I feel it is a real privilege to be doing this. I will take the train to London next week for the day to see Dadi Janki, who is now 103! I first met Dadi about 30 years ago and she has been a part of my life ever since. As I have said before she speaks Hindi, which I don’t speak and is one of those things in life that I can’t explain why this relationship is so important to me.

I am interviewing about 15 Brahma Kumaris and many other people that I have met on my travels that are offering and have given much to the world.

I have also sent letter to Pope Francis, The Dalai Lama and Prime Minister Modi asking for quote (a long shot, but you never know).

I wasn’t surprised to hear on the news today about the British Tourists that have disappeared in the jungle of the Democratic republic of Congo, trying to see the Gorillas. If you remember when I was there I left early.  It was far too dangerous, but I did it and the Gorillas were spectacular! I hope the tourists are as safe as they can be and are just being held somewhere. The DRC is a very scary place and on the world stage it just seems to have been forgotten.

My Cambridge friend Paul will pick me up and take me to Cambridge for month of June, after that I don’t know, UK, Canada. Stay tuned.

 

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Perea, Greece and Writing!

I am on the sea just outside of Thessaloniki in a village called Perea (as it is called ).

It is very quiet. I don’t think the tourist season has started yet and it reminds me of being in Nicaragua where I said, it was like watching paint dry. But, it is sunny and 24 every day, perfect for me.

My friends Anna and Velko have been lovely and supportive. They involve me in their life when it fits for both of us. They are wonderful parents and are very concerned about the well-being of their children. The children are polite and caring!

I also have to say, it is so sad what happened in Toronto. I started out my career at the North York Civic Centre (where this happened) when Mel Lastman was Mayor. The BBC is covering news every hour as well as  German and Russian TV. I have said for years the Mental health system in Ontario is second rate. The resources have been slim as long as I can remember. When I was dealing with my Mother’s illness, I ended up on the Board of Directors of a large Mental Health Hospital, as requested by the Minister of Health, and it was fight every year to acquire resources from the Government.

I also feel the dark side of the net is very difficult to detect and it deals and promotes how to be secretive. I was taken on it once and was absolutely terrified by what I saw and heard. I should also say as this world gets more complex, mental illness gets much more difficult to detect.

My job here is to write and work on my book…..the working title …In Search of Spiritual Intelligence…most of my time here has been arranging interviews with people all over the globe. I plan to do about 35 interviews over the next few months. I am taking it slowly and thinking my way through the maze of connecting and time zones.

Writing is a very isolated job and is all absorbing!  But I am very excited about the possibilities.

I am on my way to Christ Church Dorset in UK for the month of May. They will have a Movie House!!! EXCITING STUFF

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MACEDONIA

Well, I travelled to Skopje Macedonia which is new country for me.  My friends Ana and Velko were going for 2 days to visit family and they had appointments and invited me along. The trip takes about 3 hours. Velko arranged a hotel (The City Centre Hotel) for me in the centre of the city which was 50 euros for 2 nights in total. He is very well connected here, and the hotel was just lovely plus it had CNN, so I got caught up on Trump News!

This city was full of surprises for me. First of all, Mother Theresa was born here!

The city centre looks all new with many statues, fountains and new fronts on the buildings. It looks very European and impressive. Many cafes and restaurants, the food is very good and very inexpensive. I took 5 people out for lunch with a bottle of wine and it cost 25 euros.

I went to the history museum. I had an excellent guide that told me about the wars and the relationship with Greece, which isn’t good. The Museum cost 2 euros with an excellent private guide.

It is very poor in Macedonia and people are not happy that the Government has spent all this money on the grand centre.

My biggest surprise was a very large Holocaust Museum. It is a beautiful large new building in the centre. It is about the same size as the one in Washington. It was closed, and no one knew quite why. The museum was built on a site where the Jewish community lived, but sadly nearly 8,000 were sent to the camps from this community.

Many trees surrounded by mountains, all in all a delightful surprise plus friendly people.

I also had excellent teeth cleaning for 20 euros!!

P.S

Another surprise

I met Luke on the street, a morman. He was a very well dressed young man. He has lived in Skopje for 2 years. He had received this mission from church in Utah and will be going home next month to attend College.  He was funny and said when he received the letter from church saying where he was going for 2 years, he had never heard of or had any idea where the  country was.

Below are pictures of the vibrant centre of Skopje, Capital of Macedonia

 

 

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BIG DAY!!

Here I am in Peraia Greece, just outside of Thessaloniki.  I am here for the month of April. I have spent the day with good friends sitting on the beach in the sunshine. (not hard to take) I will be 75 tomorrow! It is difficult for me to believe since both of my parents died much younger, so at this point I am beating the odds.

My friend Brenda from California has given me her flat for reasonable rent. It is on the sea, so I can pay full attention to my writing in the quiet and the beauty.

Last week I had 2 lovely days in snowy Montreal with my friend Eric. It’s always good to catch up. Then I was off to Halifax to see Judy, who has offered to be my book coach. Judy made me work and think very hard, which was great. I also drove to see my Granddaughter Spencer at University. It was lovely to see her happy in her new surroundings.

Flying to Greece, I flew Turkish Airlines just excellent in every way!

I am having my birthday lunch with Ana, Velko and their 2 great kids Gorazd and Bisera by the sea in the sunshine. It’s PERFECT!

Velko is a business man and has the Maserati Car Dealership. He also is awaiting a very important posting in Greece, which will allow him to take his skills to other parts of the world.

A lovely friendship and sharing has developed!

So, tomorrow I get back to work on the book, enough fun for now.

PS – the outfit I am wearing is a beautiful silk outfit I received as special gift!

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THE OUTLIER

I had lunch with a friend last week he used the term OUTLIER to describe me. The dictionary definition is a person or thing situated away or detached from the main body or system.

In 2005 Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book called The Outliers, tag line, Story of Success. His definition is a person that is very different, words he uses are non-conformist, Eccentric, Original, Maverick, and Bohemian! Two things I remember, one being that it takes 10,000 hours to become a master of anything and two, mentor ship and a sense of community are very important in life. (l agree) Boy oh boy, I guess I have passed anything that is in the realm of normal.

I attended my grandsons Bar Mitzvah, Ben did an amazing job. He was very relaxed and had done the work. As part of the service he had written a piece about humanity and getting along in the world, way beyond his 13 years. I was very proud and will include it somewhere in my book.

I am starting to get serious about my book, setting up interviews, and figuring out how this will all happen! I have about 25 people on my list for interviews so far.

I am travelling to Montreal next week to visit Eric. It is always wonderful to spend time with him. Then I will be off to Halifax to visit my friend and coach for the book Judy, as well as visit with granddaughter Spencer at University.

Until the next time!!

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CANADA!

I arrived in Toronto on February 9th and it has been a whirlwind of appointments and seeing everyone. I am still trying to decide where I should use as my base, Canada or England? My decision doesn’t have to made in a hurry or maybe not at all.

I did accomplish getting a 10-year visa for India, which took 13 hours over 3 days, and 3 visits to various Indian government offices. I started with the downtown office where I was told they just handled emergency visas. They sent me to the office in the west end where they thought a 5-year visa was enough. On top of that, they wanted my passport for a week, which wouldn’t work because of trip my to Tampa.

I had met the Consul General over lunch before and had done a very small favor for his wife, so, I sent him an email requesting an appointment. He replied very promptly with a yes. This gentleman holds an open house for 2 hours on Friday mornings, so I went downtown again where I waited for over 2 hours, and for those who know me, patience is not my strength! I told the Counsel General (lovely man by the way) why I wanted a 10-year visa. I want it because, maybe as I age, India would be the place to settle. Within 2 minutes, 3 gentlemen descended in front of me asking for my passport and 20 minutes later I had a 10-year visa in my passport. I was very pleased. I see this as another possible option for my life.

I am planning away for the writing of the new book and received a wonderful opportunity. Brenda, a friend who lives in California and works all over the world has made me great offer! We met on plane 4 years ago flying from Athens. We have kept in touch and have even met in Cambridge for dinner a couple of times.

Brenda has an apartment in Thessaloniki Greece on the sea and has offered it to me for month of April. This is great because I need a place to go where I can be disciplined and write. I can also do interviews for my book in a beautiful setting on the sea. The apartment looks lovely and apparently has received a 5-star air bnb rating. So, back to Greece I go before going to Dorset in UK for the month of May. I will also look at other options in the UK when I am there.

As far as the book goes, I will spend few days in Halifax in the middle of March with my friend Judy who has offered to be my coach for the book. Judy will push me and keep me on the straight and narrow. My granddaughter is in University in Nova Scotia, so, Spencer and I will spend some time together, which will be special.

I am on plane on way to Tampa to see old friend Betty. Betty was on city council many years ago with her late husband Bill. I ran her first political campaign when I was a young Mother. I haven’t seen her in a couple of years because of my travelling. It will great to spend time together. Betty is an 88-year dynamo plus the 80 degrees and sun is never difficult to take!

Where I am in Florida!! Hot, Hot, Hot!

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My Thoughts!!

As you know, this year I have to make a decision on where to live because of medical coverage. I don’t think I want my base to be Canada, travelling is much easier and cheaper from Europe. The Grandkids are all growing up very quickly, so, not the same involvement as when they were small.

Having a base in UK is very doable. l have a passport. The trick is to find an affordable space to use as base. My criteria is a city with an international airport and a city that has culture and my cinemas of course. I would also want a space that is in walking distance of a city centre (none of this will be easy to find)

I plan also to try and acquire a 10 year visa for India. That will also give me another option. People ask me if I am interested in another relationship. It would have to be just very spectacular. I have male friends around the world, but settling  down is difficult for me now. For years people would say to me I wasn’t normal (whatever that means); well now I agree. I enjoy the movement, different cultures, people and just enjoy most things I do and get involved in.

I have committed to writing another book. The working title is….In Search of Spiritual Intelligence…and will include essay type interviews with people all over the world using my travels and my own spiritual journey as a backdrop. I must admit I am very excited about this and I will need piles of help and it will take at least a year, if not more.

So, for now, back to the cold in Canada!

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