I-Tales

My Stories – and yours too!

Frankie

Writing my stories is something I planned on doing for a long time. It was an idea that wouldn’t go away.  Stories often came off my tongue, but never got recorded. They were gone…

I-Tales now comes in response to those who have been urging me to write a book – a formidable undertaking. But I need to acknowledge that my memory begins to fade with time. Taking on a whole book is an enormous mountain to climb – but getting started is th emost difficult part.

By writing this in a blog it takes writing one step at a time. And I don’t want to keep it all to myself. My life has intersected with some of yours. You have also experienced many of the same things – and places – so you are invited too to share your experiences and versions of the same events. Click on the You Too? tab above…

The richness of our lives is contained in our stories. Memories are full of them – but let’s get them down in writing so that they can be shared…

As for the picture, it is one that I like very much – perhaps because of its clean lines, its symmetry and simplicity. But it has more than that because in some ways it illustrates an Englishman’s view of the world : it is all “over seas” and out there… When I went to Rame Head, near Plymouth, most of the places described here have happened out there – somewhere!

I need your help!  Thank you.

Narrow Escape…

It was not until Sunday morning that I was aware of any plane crashing. An Air America pilot in church came up to me and expressed such relief to see that I was alive. They were aware of my trip to Savannakhet, but had heard that the Royal Air Lao flight on Friday afternoon had gone missing – with all 23 people on board. And they thought I was among them. Praise God, I wasn’t!

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Life as Adventure

We left Cornwall after eight good years there. In some ways it felt like a foreign country even within England. It has been quite a marked difference from Dorset where we lived before. On the plus side we have enjoyed having a bigger house at less cost. it has also been cheaper to live here. The countryside has been magnificent – especially when the waves of flowers bloom every spring – daffodils, snowdrops, primroses, rhododendrons, magnolia, camelias…etc… Breathtaking views, and the wonderful vivid colours of the sea have been remarkable. There has also been a real sense of community with life lived at a slower pace. People know each other and their neighbours and look out for them.

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Finding Diamonds

It is not every day that one finds diamonds. But it is not every day that we lose them either!

But when one does find a diamond it brings unsurpassable pleasure… That has just been our experience this week!

The latest chapter in our ‘diamond saga’ began Sunday night. My wife, Hennie, looked shocked and held out her hand for me to see her ring finger. It was missing! The diamond from her engagement ring had been replaced by a glaring hole…!

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Another side of Bali

Another side of Bali

But I did discover a more exciting side of Bali when I visited there in 2011. I was taking a day off from a training workshop, together with my colleagues – and we had a fabulous half-day adventure – on bicycles!
It went like this: we boarded a coach that took us to the top of the volcanic Mount Agung.

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The Last Mile…

The Last Mile…

The ride began to get quite bumpy. Oh dear! this could get tricky I thought… A PA announcement advised us that we would have to start circling awaiting for the weather to clear. Violent turbulence threw us around and a heavy sense of unease settled. We scrambled for barf bags to pass to families with young children who were struggling. Anxiety crept in as the minutes ticked by. I was beginning to wonder what kind of landing we might anticipate – and weighed our chances of success.

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This Week’s Adventure

It was beautiful in that low, early morning light. The greens were brilliant, the birds were singing as the gentle breeze made the long grass and wild flowers bow gently in its caress. Aaaah! How privileged I felt. Could it get any better?

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Walking the Cotswold Way

Walking the Cotswold Way

Walking further we found ourselves being closely scrutinised by a contented bunch of cows lazing in the afternoon sun. They looked both intensely curious, but also extremely happy. They too had been eating that same butter-cup enhanced grass. Amazing that they should be enjoying the very same diet as the horses and eating it with great relish – yet they turn out completely different from the horses. Meanwhile the cat back home only eats grass when it wants to throw up…! There has to be a profound mystery there!

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Flying the Comet 4

Much joy is often derived from the totally unexpected. Such was my experience when I learned that I would be flying in a Comet 4 jet plane when I flew back to Laos via Thailand in 1971.

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Opium Encounter

As an early bird I normally had no trouble getting started at the beginning of the day. But it soon became apparent that I was struggling. In fact I often felt quite whoozy in the mornings – as soon as I woke up. Strange! The children made fun of me when I came down to breakfast…

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Making Life Difficult

My walk across town began down in one of the sois off Sukhumvit Road. In those days Bangkok was badly affected by flooding at high tide. The khlongs had been filled in so there was little place for the water to go when it rained. It backed up into the streets. I took my shoes and socks off, rolled up my trousers and started wading through the water to get to the main road

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