Well, I arrived at Bournemouth hospital in the UK very apprehensive about my upcoming hand surgery. The last time I had any type of surgery was in Toronto 35 years ago.

I have something that is called Dupuytrens Release. My little finger on my right hand has been very crooked for 3 years. I couldn’t straighten it and my next finger was starting to be affected, the tendons were shot, so I thought I should try and get it fixed.

I had discussed it with my Doctor in Toronto a couple of years ago and was told it wasn’t covered by OHIP, and it would cost $8,000 to do. I decided to live with a crooked finger.

I was visiting a Doctor in Cambridge a few months ago, he looked at my finger and asked what was wrong? When I told him, he said “We can fix that!!”

So, here I am with anesthesiologist discussing why I need to be put right under. I am requesting a local after he describes to me, they must drain all the blood from my arm and cuff it very tightly. I give in. (sounds like a Frankenstein procedure to me).

I have had the surgery. I can’t fly for 6 weeks, have cast on right hand and am learning to use my left hand, (tough going), but feeling good. I won’t have any idea if surgery has worked or not, until I can see my fingers.

I really appreciate all the messages I have received from my friends from both sides of the pond.

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seasons greetings Betty

Thank you to everyone who follows my blog,  much appreciated.

All the very best for 2019.


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Just Pictures!!

This gallery contains 16 photos.


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Life in the UK!

Back in Dorset, my surgery is booked for December 18th. I am a little nervous about this, I just don’t know what to expect!

My trip to Barcelona was fun. I stayed with the BK’s in their beautiful 17th century home in the centre of town. I held a book interview with Sister Marta. A very solid and committed young woman.

I also met with my great friends from Newfoundland, Denise and Peggy for lunch. They are on a cruise and stopped in the city for the day.

It looks like I will be spending extensive time on the rock this summer, which I really missed doing last year. I will be going on a trip in the summer to the northern part of the island with friends, where apparently, I am staying in soldier’s barracks, just like they did in past times with one bathroom for 12 people. (Not sure if they had a bathroom)

I told my friend, that we should take a number, just like a supermarket.

Next is my trip to Venice in a couple of weeks. I hope the city is no longer flooded. I have added a trip to Brussels on the Euro Star train which only takes 2 hours to Brussels from London.

I will be going to Norwich with my friend Jenny to go vintage and Christmas shopping. Then a visit to Cambridge to visit Paul and Cambridge friends, all of this before my surgery.

I may go back to India in February. I have a wonderful offer where to stay. It would be good to work on the book there.

Here, I am catching up with friends and of course my movies.


P.S For Meredith!

I want to dedicate the final Series of Netflix House of Cards to my best friend Meredith, who passed away last year far too young. We would chat, discuss politics, and laugh after we watched every episode. I miss her so very much!


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Well, I have been in India for 19 days. It has been extremely busy; gathering interviews for book and making arrangements for assistance with book, it will probably take most of 2019 to complete. I was delighted to have Sister Shivani agree to an interview. She is a BK, but is known worldwide as an inspirational speaker and draws thousands wherever she goes. Shivani is a very clear young woman, who is very logical and practical in her advice. She has quite a following on Television all over the globe.

I have stayed in a new part of the BK complex that I have never stayed at before. It’s at the bottom of the mountain, and it is not my favorite. It is very busy, large, with many people and because most of my work was up the mountain which is an hour straight up, I was spending a lot of time going up and down in taxis.

But in saying all that it was also lovely to see everyone from the BK’s and also my friends in Mt Abu.

I was treated to many lovely lunches and experiences.

Dadi Janki, CEO is here as busy and active as ever giving classes at the tender age of 103, with a mind that is sharp as a tack. I leave in a few days. I am going back to Dorset and awaiting time for a little hand surgery. My little finger is very crooked and my tendons are affected, so am told it is better to get it corrected. I will be in the hospital for a day, sling for 2 weeks, some therapy and I can’t fly for 6 weeks. I am hoping to have this done early December.

In November, I will visit Barcelona and Venice for few days. In Venice I will meet up with friends Greg and Victor from Canada, as well as travel with UK friend Pauline.

Believe or not I just had my teeth cleaned and polished for 500 rupees, about 8 Canadian dollars, at the Global Hospital. The dentist was excellent. Also a little warm 40 degrees, hot, hot.

PS: I decided to add more on India, every time I am here I ask myself, WHY?It is difficult and also magical! Food, travel, and heat, can test every part of you!

I have just finished meditating for an hour on World Peace, which the BK’s do every month right around the world in 150 countries.

I have an air conditioned room with a private bathroom, a shower with buckets, and 3 mattresses on my bed, without that my back wouldn’t survive the trip. The environment for the campus of the BK’s, extremely clean and minimum of dust, with thousands of people,  who somehow all get fed and housed, not all in the type of room I have.

My breakfast consists of fruit, which I have in my room, yogurt , toast, tomatoes, and cucumber usually, as everyone knows Indian food and I do not get along.

When I get a longing for a green salad, I sneak to the best hotel in town: The Hillock Hotel and they will make me a wonderful salad.

India for me, I love the sunrises, sunsets and the sun in general, I always say you get different suntan here (as crazy as that sounds).

I am not a BK, but am a close friend and they allow me to be part of their community which for me is special.

But, every time I come I always question WHY? It isn’t a walk in the park!!



Poem I love, written by a Canadian
The Invitation

by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed
from fear of further pain.
I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.
I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.
It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.
I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.
I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

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2 weeks in Toronto and New York State

I am at the airport heading back to the UK after a very busy 2 weeks on this side of the pond. To my Toronto family where I stay, lovely visit, great to see kids, grand-kids, and friends. I attended a wonderful Call of the Time retreat in the Catskill Mountains with people from all over the globe to discuss Peace and Inspired Action, where I saw many old friends.

I did 2 interviews for the book One with my friend Kathy (a writer), who lives in Woodstock NY and one with Margaret Trudeau, Prime Minister Trudeau’s mother. What a lady and what a story of resilience.

I am on my way back to Dorset, with a turnaround time of 6 days before I travel to India.


My daughter Jody got engaged to a very nice man; Laurie. I wish them all the very best!






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House where I was born 71 years ago in Luton UK! (I can’t count)


In September 2013 I set off as a Nomadic Intern, This name was given to me by Australian friend Tam. That’s the year I was hit by a car (not seriously), and I decided to sell or give away everything and travel.

Friends in Toronto gave me room in their home where my bedroom furniture, some art and my few possessions are stored for when I travel back to Toronto which was just wonderful.

I have traveled to over 50 locations. Some more than once, such as India, Toronto, Newfoundland, Penang Malaysia, and many parts of the UK such as Cambridge many times.

My style of travel has been to visit a place for a month or so and rent accommodations. It could be an apartment, a hotel, private home, or be invited to one of the wonderful homes of the Brahma Kumaris, throughout the world, or stay with friends.

Where have I traveled?

Switzerland, Glasgow, Palma, Mallorca, Brussels, London, Canada, where I went on speaking tour across the country under the sponsorship of the BK’S.

Arizona, California, New York, many places in UK, Leeds, York, Devon, Cornwall, Cambridge, Bath, Dorset, Bakewell, Luton, Barcelona, Spain, Paris, France, Rome, Athens and many Greek Islands.

Iceland, Israel, Trinidad and Tobago, Myanmar, India, Mt Abu, Goa and Puri, Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Bali, Java, Dubai Kuwait,  Bosnia, Croatia, Columbia, Sweden, DRC, The Congo, Rwanda, Belfast, Edinburgh, The Hague Netherlands, South Africa, Lisbon Portugal, Germany,  as you can see there is no order to this list.

My purpose has been to see, experience the people and the culture. I have met many wonderful people on the way. I have been safe. The only difficulty has been some places I have stayed at weren’t as they promised, but then some have been far beyond expectations.

The most difficult was when I was asked by a friend to stay at their beautiful country home in the UK for a number of months and all of a sudden their daughter wanted the space. I was asked to leave after 2 weeks by email, with a full schedule of travel and no time to find another location.

The local Community Bus and Mark, their driver, found me another house 2 blocks away through Facebook and contacts, which worked out very well. This is a very special community bus, and this was the only time I panicked! This house was in the countryside in the middle of nowhere.

My most exotic or unusual locations

Myanmar; I am so glad I went in between the trouble. It is such a beautiful country and seems to operate in slow motion and with such gentle people. For the most part Myanmar reminded me of my visit to Bhutan many years before.

Mauritius, another beautiful country with a French influence where I walked in the jungle with 2 Lions for 45 minutes. Once in a lifetime experience! You realize very quickly who the bosses are.

Democratic Republic of the Congo; Where I trekked to see the Silver Backed Gorillas. This was a Wow in every way, tough, beautiful, hard work, and dangerous! But just amazing.

My Freighter journey across the Atlantic navigating around 3 hurricanes, again amazing.

Some comments on travelling. Ideas are by travel writer Paul Theroux, which I agree with totally: 

  • Travel is a state of mind, it is almost entirely an inner experience.
  • Travel is at best a solitary enterprise, to see, to examine, to access, you have to be alone and unencumbered.  Other people can mislead you or crowd you.
  • Travel holds the magical possibility of reinvention, a new place to love, to begin a new life and never go home.
  • If ones feels free and has gotten to know the world somewhat, travel is simpler and happier.
  • Tourists don’t know where they have been, travelers don’t know where they are going.

In Mumbai tourists would have been in a temple, I want to go where the people live.

My thoughts, people tell me I have freedom, am fearless, love people, different cultures, and love to learn without judgment (most of the time).

I don’t think I am fearless. I have developed a 6th sense and plan very carefully every aspect of my travel.

You go away for long time and return a different person, you never come all the way back.

Life is what we make it!! I believe that 100 percent.

We lost several special people to the world during the last 5 years and I lost several people close to me.

The world lost:

  • Nelson Mandela
  • David Bowie
  • Phillip Seymour Hoffman
  • Leonard Cohen

All the 4 above impacted my life. I was fortunate and blessed to meet President Mandela of South Africa and Phillip Seymour Hoffman the Actor. I had followed his work since first seeing him in an acting workshop in New York performing with John C Riley.

People that impacted my life personally,

Anthony Strano; a wonderful spiritual teacher, who had such clarity about life and taught me much over the years.

Karl Kinzinger; Former Director of Education in Canada. I worked for and with him for many years. He was my mentor and a very wise friend.

Ted Gould; also someone I worked with for many years in the community, and a very good friend. Cute story, when I bought my house after my divorce. I fell in love with a house I couldn’t really afford. Ted dealt with the real estate agents and the offers, I couldn’t cope. I sat in the corner and drank red wine.

Robert Jarvis; A friend for many years. A lawyer, tough on the outside, jelly on the inside, you just had to get past the yelling. He was very smart and loved talking about Winston Churchill, his idol.

Annie Steinhauer; My niece. She was a very sweet lovely soul who died far too young.

Meredith; My friend. One of my best for many, many years, much younger than me but so wise. I received a letter from her after she passed telling me to still talk to her, so I do. I still hear her words in my head and in my heart.

On the happy side, I went back to Canada for 3 family celebrations for my grandchildren, Megan, Dawson and Benjamin plus I visited Spencer my oldest grandchild at University in Nova Scotia.

 Lessons I have learnt and comments.

I enjoy being by myself, but also enjoy people, that is Ying and Yang.

Everyone in the world looks the same to me, I don’t notice color etc, if someone is pleasant wonderful, if not that’s fine too.

I try not to be judgmental and enjoy people wherever they are at. I haven’t quite perfected this skill totally yet.

When I started my journey, I was looking for my mountain top. I now realize I have several mountain tops, wherever I go I feel at home very quickly. Good place to live, good food, coffee, cinema, BBC or CNN news, good communications and nice people, that’s all I need.

I realize I love the movement, walking, driving, flying, I just love the adventure and the newness.

I get bored easily!

My friends all over the globe are very important to me and I do my very best to stay in touch. I start my individual Holiday greetings in November, it takes a while.

In many ways my friends are my lifeline to the world.

When I started my journey, I met with Dadi Janki, my mentor. I told her what I wanted to do, she said wasn’t I too old? I was 70 at that time. I said I really needed to do this. She just waved her hand and said GO.

There is a massive amount of unjust activity, and mental illness across the globe. Poverty happens at many levels, from the poverty that we all recognize, to the tough every day survival by many people that is hidden, and I believe is a form of poverty.

I have also seen, depending where I am in the world, different levels of respect and involvement with the aging population by their families.

India, the UK and the Caribbean seem to be the best as far as respecting, involvement with and taking care of their elders.

A very special thank you to the Brahma Kumaris community all over the globe for putting me up, giving me a meal, being at the other end of a phone, organizing my travel and just allowing me to be part of the family, whenever I needed to. The Bk’s understanding of diversity is like no other organization I have experienced. The BK’S for the most part try to get it right! I spent a month in Australia. Charlie who oversees the country arranged all my visits and travels, and every Friday afternoon he would call me to check in without fail.

Just brilliant! To the Toronto Bk’S who always welcome me back to Canada whenever I appear, and to my Toronto family where I stay, massive thank you for being there.

Also, another big thank you to Paul. My friend in Cambridge, who stored numerous suitcases for me. Paul would just nod his head when he counted the suitcases, the number was constantly changing.

I am working very hard on my book. I have completed 28 interviews. Now the hard work begins; reviewing each interview and making decisions.

I am always asked if I am independently wealthy. Absolutely not.  I must manage very carefully and am not sorry at all about the risks I have taken. I never thought I would be still alive!

Do I want to settle down? I can’t, as I said I love the movement. At some point my body will give out, but for some reason I am not worried.

Plans for the next few months are, Toronto Canada, New York for BK retreat entitled Call of the Time, back to UK for week, then India, Barcelona in early November and Venice later in November to meet Canadian friends.

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