Life begins at fifty

I could never imagine myself making such a statement thirty years ago. My impression of someone of that age is quite different from how I feel about myself right now.

I also acknowledge that this feeling will not apply to everyone. I think that there are so many factors involved. Things like health, marital status, whether or not you have had children, the amount of children, there age or ages, grandchildren, parants, grandparents employment situation, financial situation, geographical situation, cultuur etc etc.

Marital status is also a big issue in life. If you have been married or in a relationship or relationships for large portions of your life ending up alone can be quite a challenge. Loneliness and getting older can give the impression that life is coming to an end. The chances of finding an appropriate, compatible partner are greatly reduced due to the fact that we have become more set in our ways and an increasingly diminishing time factor.

Many of us fear growing old and worry about all the things we won’t be able to do anymore, losing our youthful looks and beauty and this is true to a certain extent. We won’t be able to do everything we did before and we can’t avoid grey hairs and getting bald.

But we have finally gained a wealth of life experience, knowledge and wisdom. We learned this through decades of mistakes and successes and I would not give that up for the whole world.

This in turn has helped us to view and live life differently because we have learned to appreciate the things that our more important than money, wealth and fame. Things like family, love, friends, health, faith etc. This inevitably leads to a more contented, calmer and happier life.

Because of our age and circumstances a whole new world of opportunities and challenges open up to us giving our lives new goals and meaning. The pain of loneliness can also be greatly reduced when we can use this wealth to help others which in turn can create new found friendships.

The writing of this very short and simple blog is also an example of a new found opportunity.

So if we can concentrate on what we can do from this point onwards instead of complaining about what we can’t do anymore then at least for some of us can truly say “life begins at fifty”.


A film about Depression

This is a blog by Libba Bray.

After reading this blog it reminded me of how I felt after watching the 1997 version of the film “The Titanic” and the 2009 film “Avater”.

Glued to my seat, mouth still wide open watching the credits rolling down while everyone else was exiting the cinema hall.

I was just so impressed with how they depicted the hughness of that ship as it slowly sunk into the ocean. I had fallen in love with that beautifully depicted colour intensive world of Pandora and so disgusted with this invading army of mercenaries destroying everything in there path.

Yes this is how well I feel Libba Bray has written her blog on this horrible disease of depression.
This one of those must read blogs.


A Bloggers Paradise

A Bloggers Paradise

A newly bought Samsung Neo S5 smartphone, a WordPress app from Google Play and an incredible Digicel Island wide 4g network coverage with a 2 Gb, 30 day data packet for approximately 2250j$

I am a complete blogging novice (… did I just swear at myself??)

So please forgive my spelling mistakes, grammer, format of my blogs and the look and feel of my WordPress account.

Just trying to pick up something that I really enjoyed doing over 40 years ago in my good old school days, in junior and secondary school in the United Kingdom.

Anyway I have no university degrees, no high profile job experience. I did not start a company from scratch, or do any voluntary work in a third world country.

I just have a couple of O-levels and CSEs, and a working trade City and Guilds Diploma, with over 30 years working experience in that trade.

I am basically a fully employ but retired as a full time family man, divorced with two grown up kids. What I mean by retired family man is all the stuff you usaully have to start doing when your the first parent that comes back home from work. I call this the second shift.

Anyway with this new found freedom I took a recent trip to the land of my roots. On holiday in Jamaica or should I say visiting my parents, (there is a subtle difference).

Despite having to do the odd jobs in and around my Mums house as best as I could (if you know anything about Jamaican parents you will understand my dillema). I am finally winding down (took about three weeks though) to the point that I feel I don’t have to do anything. (The fact that my mother was not present that day has nothing to do with it!) (Please tell my kids to contact missing persons Jamaica if I don’t show up for work next month)

I don’t have to use every living second of daylight hours to visit and see every hook and cranny of this beautiful Island. I don’t have to visit every living relative on the Island from second cousins to my uncles aunties sister in laws nephews brothers son.

I can just sit here in the hills of inland rural Jamaica and just listen to the deafening sound of quiteness, the sounds of birds chirping away in the almond and pomegranate trees , the buzz of strange flying insects, the scurry of creeping insects in the long uncut Brachiaria grass, the wind blowing thru the unkept orchard of nickel, apple, pear, jack fruit, mango, banana and palm trees, a very slow moving 4 x 4 pickup truck passing by (very badly maintained parochial roads do have some advantages)

The sound of a motor bike or the claxon of a red numberplate route taxi in the far distance, a women up the road expressing herself quite vocally about the drought and the lack of produce to sell at the market or the periodic sounds of reggae music blasting away in one of the many brightly coloured bars somewhere in the valley.

This is the background that has inspired me to try and start writing again via this new online method called blogging.

Defense Mechanism

When my second relationship ended in a second divorce within a year I was talking to my son about how I had moved in with my suitcases half unpacked because you have to be prepared that things might not work out.
I think my son would be a better blogger than me because he does not say much but when he says something its bang on target, bulls eye etc. He answered that it might have been “a self fulfilling prophecy”. Because you think it might happen, then you inevitably do things unconciously to make it happen.

What has this got to do with Defense Mechanism?
This was and probably still is my technique to protect myself emotionally and mentally. Always be prepared for the worse case scenario. If it does not happen fine but if it does then your prepared and it won’t hurt so bad. It is an inherit belief that anything good that you experience will be taken away from you.
If I watch to much daily news and see and hear all the bad stuff going on around me I reason if it has happen to them then it is bound to happen to me as well.
Anything that makes you happy will be removed. You are not allowed to be happy. This is getting really depressing isn’t it? I’ll stop. I know I need to go to the shrink…. again.
Anyway despite this technique I was in shock, sad and disappointed when our relationship came to an abrupt end (might have to do with the fact that I was slowly shutting down my defence mechanism and completely unpacking my suitcases)
However I opened a cover above my left ear just under my skin in the side of my skull and turned off that switch again for a second time confirming my convictions. I felt that I recovered reasonably well and quickly in comparision to other people dealing with break ups.
There is obviously something wrong with me on that score and not the women because two women can’t be wrong can they? O.K. don’t answer that!

Despite my seemingly successful quick recovery I don’t think that this is the right way to go into a relationship but at the same time the immense pain and sadness in breaking up is also not a pleasant thing to deal with either.
My son quoted something else from one of those Batman films I think, when he was stuck in some kind of deep hole or pit and every time he tried to climb out he failed. (Your going to have to help me out on this one) There was some other guy in the pit that said your attitude or disposition is all wrong. You have to climb in a way that you are positive that you will succeed, go the whole way, don’t think about failure. Lo and behold he succeeded in his next attempt.
I guess thats how you should go into a relationship, your in love, and you are going to stick together no matter what, there is no consideration of failure. Maybe similiar to athletes in competition. All contenders are aiming for gold and they convince themselves that they are going to win gold…. ..despite the fact that only one contender can win gold.
How do you deal with losing in competition and more importantly in love? What type of defence mechanism can you set up that does not affect your goal to succeed but protects you from the pain of failure?
I don’t think that formula exists.
This is apart of being alive.
If the fear of failure stops us from doing or starting something then we are as good as dead.

I quote the well known saying;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

Alfred Lord Tennyson

Seeing as my son played an inspirational role in this short blog I would like to share a link to a song he made recently onder his artist name LTGL with the same title “Defence Mechanism”, but I have to warn you its not everyones cup of tea. No sorry I will correct that statement your going to love this song.

Salsa dancing and your relationship

Salsa dancing.
I discovered this form of dancing just over 5 years ago and I just don’t know how I did not discover or see this form of music and dance earlier in my life. But one thing I have discovered in my relationships and salsa is that it is a good indicator of your relationship with your partner
I honestly believe that how well or bad that you dance salsa with your partner indicates how good or bad your relationship is.
I am learning cuban style salsa and one of the fundamental rules of this form of dance is that the man leads and the woman follows. This is Cuban and Latin South American cultuur. The macho man who is strong, dominant and shows his partner he can lead and can lead well and the woman who is willing to submit and follow the signals of her partner. If the woman plays a dominant role in the relationship or marriage then more than likely it won’t work when you dance Cuban style salsa. Also if problems start developing in the relationship it will also affect how well you dance together. I then assume (but have not actually proven it personally) if you dance very well with someone it could be a very good indicator that you could have a successful relationship. ( looking forward to hearing your viewpoints on that latter assumption)
I also have noted the importance of personal contact while dancing. If done right it enhances the dance experience. During the dance it is just you and the person your dancing with. Your attention or concern should not be with your other friends or the  people present, whether they can see how good or bad that you or your partner is dancing. Your focus is the person in front of you looking at him or her periodically, concentrating on leading or being lead and listening to the rhythm of the music. I found an interesting clip about cuban cultuur and dance.  Please note the comment of one woman being interviewed in that clip about how she dances Cuban cultuur:

Anyway I am still a novice because the more I read up on Salsa the more I realise how little I know. I have just discovered another wordpress publisher that discusses Cuban rhythm and and its history in depth and turns my articles into sesame seeds. So if latin music touches you and are learning to dance salsa then you have to read his blogs.  Here is his link;


Your always on your smartphone

This was a comment I frequently heard from my second wife and still hear from my mother, but I am still planning an appointment with the psychiatrist if the tablets don’t work that my doctor prescribe.
But the reason why I am on it all the time is that it does about everything except opening a bottle of beer ( but I am sure they will shortly have an app for that by the end of the year)

Before smartphones, tablets, laptops and pcs we had different appliances for different purposes.
If I wanted to listen to some music I would go to my shelf with all my various black vinyl records and choose a single or LP from the Jackson 5 or the Beatles and then walk to my record player opening the lid putting the record on the turntable and if I had a really modern one press start and the needle would automatically come up and position itself just inside the edge of the disc, or I could use my cassette player or simply turn on the radio. So now the music is sorted out and playing.
Now I want to write that letter to my insurance company. So I go to the typewriter on the desk find some blank or sometimes even lined paper and start typing, but I will have to look up the address and I will find that in the shoe box full of letters and bills in one of the cupboards onder the tv. Gonna have to buy a stamp from the post office before I can post it.
That reminds me I want to see that funny comedy series ” some mothers do have them” at eight pm so I better program the video recorder. But I am not sure if the time on the video recorder is correct so I better go and check the clock in the kitchen. But I am not sure if that one is correct either. I could wait for the news at seven on the radio or I could ring the automatic “seriously accurate” greenwich mean time speaking clock person thing.
While I am on the phone I could ring my cousin Andrew to see if he is up to a game of chess or backgammon. I hope he is at home.
I might have to pop to the bank before closing time to pay my electric bill, otherwise no tv radio or lights next week, just imagine if the lights suddenly went out. Oh that won’t be such a problem I have got some candles in the cupboard and a torch….. somewhere??. I wonder how much my boss is going to pay me this week and how much I got left in the bank to pay that bill and the rent.
Maybe I will have to get those shares I bought in BP paid out, I haven’t got a clue how they are doing because I didn’t buy the paper today.
I also wanted to check if there were any used cars for sale onder 3000 pounds. Talking about my cousin my Uncle came back from his holiday in Jamaica he has been asking me for ages to come round and see the photos he took. He told me on the phone how he and his wife got lost driving to an inland waterfall on the other side of the island. He didn’t have a local map of the area on him.
Boy I am getting hungry, I wonder what I am going to cook tonight. I am so fed up of that old cook book I got…….oh that record has finished already I think I will just turn on the radio. Or should I just order pizza? I can never figure out what to choose and I always lose their folders.
I still have to brush up on my Spanish, and I also want to finish my article about “cb radio versus ham radio” because I want to publish it in that monthly magazine “Popular Electronics”.

You know where I am going with this don’t you?


I don’t make dogmatic statements anymore

I don’t make dogmatic statements anymore. I have discovered the more you know the more you realise you don’t know.
Gradually growing from my strongly, know it all,  opinionated teenage years to the point where I can only say “I think so”, “as far as I know”, “don’t kill me if I am wrong”.
Due to the countless times that I have been proven wrong. Some of the most humiliating moments was when the correction came from my own children.

I now acknowlegde that no matter how convinced I am on a certain subject or matter I could be wrong.
At the same time you have to believe in something or have some convictions to be able to go forward, but I think you have to be willing to consider other thoughts and ideas and compare them with your own inorder to grow, progress and develop yourself.
Even ideas that at first glance seem unacceptable. I am sure we have all found ourselves doing at least one thing that we never imagined we would do years earlier.
I will conclude with a quote from the bible without any intention of wanting to influencing or convert anyone.

Proverbs 1:5 “A wise person listens and takes in more instruction; man of understanding acquires skillful direction*