Please forgive me if I don’t respond? like, agree, disagree or copy, paste and pass on your posts concerning “real issues” about life, lost, suffering, injustice and our dying planet here on Facebook. When someone writes at the end of their post “….. I bet you won’t share this….” that’s just what I do. I don’t. I never share anything when someone tries to coerce me or try to make me feel guilty. That just has the opposite effect on me.
However my lack of response does not mean that I don’t care. Its just that I still cannot view this platform as a reliable and worthy source of factual, unbiased and non manipulative news and information source. Combine this with the sometimes very emotionally charged discussions that arise
involving large amounts of ……basically complete strangers posting a large percentage of comments that have no real proven factual backing or basis. Then I try not to get involved.
For me Facebook will remain loyal to its name and synonymous with the word “SELFIE” 😆.
A place where my face sticks out trying to get your attention to “look at me!” “look at me!” with yet another “selfie” photograph.
It’s also a great medium of escape from that harsh reality of life where we can forget all these troubles for a moment and yes, even share are selfie holiday and family photographs, or something funny and something positive and upbuilding, that gives some hope showing that there is still some humanity and goodness out there.
This is just my personal viewpoint. I am not mocking or criticising anyone else in how they
choose to use social media. Many have accomplished great things by means of it.
Always viewing and treating everyone with RESPECT.
Well known favorites and off the beaten track spots in and around Tokyo to see cherry blossoms and enjoy hanami just like locals do.
It is the blossoms season again with many people visiting the fruits tree vineyards of Haspengouw from Alken to St Truiden Hoepertingen, Vechmaal, Heks and Borgloon regions in Flemish Belgium, to admire the breathtaking views of clusters of trees engulf in their sunday best costume of blossoms.
In addition Hasselt has its own compact Oriental Paradise in the form of the Japanese Garden with its own explosion of cherry tree blossoms at this time of year. A yearly treat for locals and tourists alike.
My only slight problem with this blossom phenomenon is that I don’t know where to look…… it’s like an optical overdosis of colours filling up the whole spectrum of my naked eye. It’s like having to eat a whole jar of honey in one go or being plunged into a swimming pool of smarties and being asked to immediately figure out just how many different colours there really are. Dare I say it’s too intense, it’s too beautiful and because of the huge numbers of trees involved that are all fighting for your attention you just lose focus. These individual trees actually get lost in the masses to the point that we don’t actually see them individually anymore.
Being the very odd and eccentric person that I am, I have discovered a new way to enjoy the blossoms with greater appreciation.
By stepping out of my front door and going for a walk or jumping on my bike and start riding around my neighbourhood. The concrete jungle of my home town. In any street, alleyway, open town square, shop, church, house, office block, or the other side of someones garden wall or fence can be a breeding ground for these seasonal appearances. Naturally I would have to include the small playgrounds and parks with my town center.
Before you look at the examples shown below let me hasten to add that I have absolutely no professional or amateur photography skills in addition to the poorest possible photographic material ever created ….. my smartphone. These primitive photos cannot compensate visually to being able to observe these flowering trees in blossom with the naked eye or through the lens of an amateur or professional photographer. Its merely an additional visual aid in trying to convey a simple point. The second disclaimer. I did not pay enough attention at school several decades ago so I don’t know the difference between a fruit tree and a non bearing fruit tree and if that even exists. All I know and can see is that a particular tree is in flower. End of disclaimer.
Anyway the first two examples are from Haspengouw and the rest are situated in various locations in and around Hasselt town centre.
I purposely choose this first example in the town centre to demonstrate a point about the amazing effect that a flowering tree has on it’s environment. It seems to somehow erase any ugliness in it’s vicinity and redirect all visual attention to itself.
It’s almost as if you can hear the tree saying “Look at me, Look at me!!”
…….it’s either that or I am going through the second stage of schizophrenia!!
But even when the physical surroundings our acceptable, a tree in blossom still stands out.
It’s like a subtle street battle where these trees always wins.
And whats your home town blossoms like??
It’s just a another working day in a simple suburban town somewhere in Belgium.
Its cloudy, cold and damp and you can almost feel it through the photograph, with the droplets of rain still resting on the body and windscreen of the car revealing the last recent shower.
But all off this just fades into insignificance as we behold the stunning appearance and beauty of this employee, a woman that somehow does not seem to belong in this background that she finds herself in, smiling very subtly, holding a lovely bouquet of flowers that although seemingly small are filled with just the right combination of colours perfectly arranged to match her hair, makeup and outfit.
No it’s not just a another working day its;
“International Womens Day”
If you want to describe the extremes in opposites we sometimes talk about the day and night, being black or white, the highs and lows of mind altering substances, the politics of far right and far left and the list goes on but when it comes to Jamaica’s private regional transportation provisions we have the ability to talk about anothe type of extreme contrast or experience in travelling.
In this first article I want to share my recent observations and personal experience with the Jamaican minibus service.
Backpacking, student, and budget minded world travellers are very familiar with the transportational standard of local minibus services as regards seating (or in some cases and standing or standing only arrangements), comfort, average speed of travel, punctuality of departure and arrival times.
Well Jamaica is no different. A minibus with a minimum age of at least 10 to 20 or more years and that was original designed to seat for example 25 people will simply not depart from the marketplace Bus Station until at least another ten people have and been squeezed into the bus with just enough space so that half of the skinny of the ‘bus conductor’ skinny body can hang on to the railing by the bus door entrance, with the other half acting like some sort of wind breaker, but as far as I could see having completely no effect on the top speed capabilities of this vehicle.
The aisle that originally existed allowing access to the various seats in the middle and rear of the bus suddenly vanishes. Makeshift planks are now being placed on every row of seats half resting on the two end seats instantly transforming the vehicle into a 25 + + seater minibus. Believe it or not having an additional passenger wedge in next to you like this completely nullifies any sideway inertia momentum. This force can become quite extreme at times due to the fact that Jamican minibuses travel at the same speed around corners as they do on the straight runs, maybe due to the fact that using their brakes could have some possible negative effect on the ecological environmental footprint of the planet…. ( increased production and disposal of brake blocks.. ?) or maybe it might have something to do with a possible slightly later arrival time (already running behind schedule due to later departure time waiting for that one last passenger to fit into the last bit of breathing space left in the bus) .
I love the storage management capabilities these minibuses and I cannot understand why people say there is no place to store your luggage. Despite the fact that the bus is now completely full there is still a large amount of storage space left for your suitcase and it’s staring you right in your face ..………the space inbetween your chest, the back of the seat in front of you and your lap upwards,…. provided of course that you have had the first class luxury of a seat….no sorry of a seated position. And I must say that this arrangement does increase your transport safety considerably due to the fact that you now have the modern services of an airbag in the event of an accident.
This was my actual experience during my last visit to Jamaica when I decided to catch a minibus in the morining as opposed to waiting until the late afternoon for the first Knutsford express service from Montego Bay to Mandeville. I knew what to expect based on previous experience and what I have seen and heard from others and strangely enough I did not have any personally issues with the whole trip, I knew what to expect, it just seemed like the normal Carribean minibus driving trip.
However I did begin to get a bit concerned when the ‘local’ passengers, native Jamaicans that use these services on a daily started reacting basis we reacting to th: bus drivers riding style. Shortly after departing many started of them started openly complaining to one another and the driver for his erratic driving style. One woman was begging the bus driver to stop the bus so that she could get off, stating that she wanted to get to her destination alive and demanding a refund. Another woman was relating how she had been driving for seventeen years with that particular driver and she had never experienced anything like this. Apparently even local people on the side of the road were making disapproving gestures at him for his dangerous driving style.
He was certainly overtaking every moving vehicle on the road including smaller Red number plate Route taxis that are also known for their formula one driving styles. I am quite sure he even overtook one motorbike rider. Well at least he did not swerve from side to side trying to avoid the many potholes…….he just drove right over them at the same speed, one after the other with the accompanying banging of the shock absorbers and woes and cries from the shocked and imprisoned passengers.
And no, this had absolute no effect on the driver, despite all the complaints, woes and screaming from his customers. He just muttered and laughed to himself periodically while overtaking yet another Taxi .The only time he started drive at a more reasonable speed was the final long uphill crawl going up Spur Tree Hill. This somehow had a calming Alzheimer effect on the passengers because everyone went quiet, all the way to the final slightly downhill descent into Mandeville with no one seeming to remember what had just taken place in the previous 2 hours.
We had all paid our 800 j$ ticket and arrived in Mandeville alive and in one piece in record time……so what was all that all fuss about ??
So what is this sharp contrast with ‘Knutsford Express driving experience’ ? What moral did I get out of this experience?
Well that’s my topic and theme for part two and thats going to be for another day.….😃
Thanks for reading.
I wrote this piece originally on my smartphone while sitting at the kitchen table. Originally intended to serve as an “about me” description in my new facebook account but as usual I got a bit carried away. :-\
Hello everyone. I have reached a crossroad in my life where I feel the need to follow a totally different career path after working for employers mainly in the industrial electrical installation sector for nearly 40 years.
In 2014 while visiting my parents in Jamaica I discovered something called “WordPress” and promptly opened an account on my mobile phone and started reviving a long suppressed passion of writing without any thought of the possible income opportunities in this field.
Inevitably ‘Wordpress’ lead me to what I previously considered to be a female oriented website ‘Pinterest’ and that in turn lead me into the whole world wide web of E-Marketing and online Entrepreneurship.
From that time on I started looking into the various possibilities of actually making a living from something that I naturally enjoy doing.
However I am still sitting on the fence at present. I started one course with SFM,
but I hacked off due to the monthly subscription plan which virtually forces or pressurises you into promoting their own company and business plans, using the supposedly “earning while you learning” principle. However I am very grateful for what I did learn in that short time period. I will mention one of the points that I learned later on in this short blog.
After that I stumbled across an individual Blogger / Mentor
“I am Dawn Marie”
I found her method of teaching through her website and a number of her ebooks more suited to my circumstances and allowed me to learn and apply the information at my own pace. Basically I cannot stand to be pressurised or rushed into anything. I have had this my whole life and to be able to do things calmly is more important to me than any possible money or profit that I could lose. In the end we work to be able to live a comfortable relaxed lifestyle and not living a constantly rushed and hectic life for our work.
My personal philosophy is we will always have to and actual need to work not just for financial survival but also for our own self worth and purpose in life. In general it occupies a large percentage of our daily or weekly routine and you may as well enjoy it as best you can regardless of how boring and monotonous it may be. It’s the same thing when I get home from work, I have to take a shower, I choose to cook my own meals in general, eat it and then tidy up afterwards on a daily basis. So I do everything in a calm manner, I put on some good music very loudly in the background and focus on the positive. For example instead of being depressed that I can’t afford to eat out every night or hire a young beautiful maid servant to cook and clean for me, I concentrate on the fact that I still have the strength, ability and health to cook this meal and that I have a job that can finance the means to cook this meal, I have a dishwasher to reduce and ease the cleaning up afterwards, and I was able to hear another beautiful new song on Spotify that I can save and add to my ever growing personal playlist.
I guess this is one of the reasons why I am still sitting on the fence because I apply this same attitude to my work. I do not focus on how little I earn compared to Richard Branson or Bill Gates, or some of the unfavourable working conditions, or having to get up so early every morning or on the feeling my employer takes me and my work for granted.
I focus on the fact that I have a job to go to, that it has supported me and my family to at least live a reasonably comfortable and secure life compared to millions of other people on this planet, that this job has actually kept me physically and mentally fit and active, that many of our clients do show appreciation and gratitude for our work.
However this inner desire to move on and change refuses to disappear and I will not try to suppress it but slowly move forward at my own pace to try and fulfill its request.
That’s why I decided to create this seperate business orientated facebook account. It’s just another step on my continued path to that destination of finally becoming my own boss,but I guess it’s more to do with feeding my own self worth and respect than any possible annual six figure income possibility. That was one of the very important lessons I learned at Six Figure Mentors. If your primary motivation is money you may have great difficulty in succeeding. The main emphasis should be doing something that can increase your own self worth as a human being and that can be fully accomplished when you can help others. “Providing something of value to others” be it a product , service or advise. The feeling that it creates when you realise that your personal input has made a valuable difference to another human being is a feeling that you cannot put a price tag on.
Hopefully through this account I can create a large network of like minded friends that can support, encourage and advise me on my journey and maybe vice versa.
Also providing possible links to persons or organisations that could have interest in any services I could provide or products that I may offer in the future. Maybe my account can just serve as an internet highway service station where travelers can stop by, take a break and read something of interest that can refresh, encourage and motivate them on their own personal journey.
There you have it “about me”
Recently a friend of mine commented on a photograph that was taken of me dancing at a salsa party. He said that I had a very serious expression on my face while doing something that should actually make you smile profusely,……dancing to rhythmic Latin music with a beautiful woman.
Although I do actually smile very profusely in general while dancing I had to agree with him on this occasion that I did have a very serious, none smiling exrpession on my face.
But as usual I have an answer for everything and I felt like sharing it with with you briefly
“Yes Koen its true. My colleagues at work are continually teasing me about all the beautiful women that I dance with at these parties , but I always reply defensively saying;
‘yes I do dance with some very beautiful women but I have to concentrate on executing my salsa turn patterns in such a way that I can lead them properly, keep in time with the rhythm and be prepared for my next pattern combination so that the dance remains a pleasant smiling experience for them in such a way that they will be prepared to dance with me again in the future.’ “
Hence that moment ot intense serious concentration caught on camera………but even then I my heart beams with joy inside while I am enjoying the moment of at least being able to do at least one thing right with a women.
Mixed feelings about this last minute trip to England. as regards friends, family and even strangers.
Sometimes we connect, get help and encouragement from the people we least expect.
A friend of my late mum and myself that I have not seen for decades insisted that I stay to eat a meal with them despite me just popping in unexpectedly.
My cousin exhausted from a hard days work still took the effort with her equally tired daughter to pop by on the bus to her mums where i was staying just to greet me.
Complete strangers connected, smiled and danced with me last night and changed an otherwise boring lonely evening into a great night out.
An old school mate from 38 years ago has just spontaneously decided to come and fetch me from the train station on my journey back down to London for breakfast.
The moral of this story? Who is my brother? Who is my neighbour? Who is my friend? Well its not necessarily the initial meaning of those words.
Even seemingly small and insignificant acts of kindness and attention can have a very big, powerful impact.
Make time for people because we might not get a second opportunity in this uncertain world and life of ours.