Monthly Archives: March 2013

What I’ve been preoccuppied with – or why I haven’t been blogging

I haven’t blogged for a while as I’ve been struggling with things the last 5 or 6 weeks.

My job as the Admin Manager  (where I have been for over 13 years) was made redundant  on the 20th February.  I was called into the board room, given the news, asked to hand over my keys, passwords etc, was allowed to take my personal things and was out the door all within 20 minutes.

I have always reported directly to the Managing Director and knew he was a brilliant businessman but that he didn’t win any prizes for his warmth or personality but this was even lower than I had ever seen before. I was shocked, speechless and felt absolutely gutted by the way it was done. I spent the next five weeks beating myself up as to why they would do that, wondering what I had done so wrong that I could be treated like a piece of dirt.

He had a senior partner from the accounting firm that processes our salaries read me the letter saying they were reorganising the company and I was no longer needed. I was not even spoken to, by him, during the termination. Even though he could go away for weeks at a time and know that everything would be run just perfectly, even though in every performance appraisal since we started doing them he has rated me almost as high or as high as the scale goes, even though just that morning he had given me incorrect instructions about a huge amount of money to transfer and I had picked up the error, corrected it and completed the transaction, all without bothering him at all. It’s just totally wrong that you can spend that long working loyally and to your best ability for some-one and then out of the blue they can do that to you and not even thank you for your contribution over all those years or wish you luck or even give you some notice and explanation of what was going to happen.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I had lunch with my part-timer from there and found out they are going to employ a company accountant to undertake more than I would be able to – fair enough, but why not just explain that to me at the time.

I do feel better now, knowing the why behind it but I’m finding it really difficult to have any nice thoughts about the company or the people who own it – although in a way it has brought my dream of travelling for an extended period to reality.

Long story short, – I leave on Tuesday 9th April for London!!!

I’ve booked a return flight for late October so hopefully everything will go fine and I’ll be away for about 6 months doing the backpack and hostel thing around the UK and Western Europe.

Soooooooooo, I’m hoping spring arrives sooner rather than later over there because the temperatures at the moment are frightening. We’re still having daytime temps of 30 degrees here so I’ll probably have that many layers on I’ll look like the michelin man.

Oh well, if that’s the price I have to pay – bring it on!!


Filed under Mid-life travel

Taking the crash position on Santorini

3rd July 2013

Well, after my appalling behaviour yesterday about Sarah’s driving, I’ll never be allowed to live down today’s antics. This bloody so-called “smart car” feels like it takes up way more of the road than it should and is nowhere near as easy to handle  as our little “topless” model was on Paros.

I’m not sure how many times I wandered to the wrong side of the road but Sarah did assume the classic “crash position” with her head down and arms up protecting herself at least once – or, ummm, maybe twice. But, in my defence, I think she was giving me dodgy navigational information at the time of these lapses!! On the other hand, the driver of the car I almost ran into by being on the other (notice how I said “other”, not “wrong?) side of the road didn’t seem particularly fazed. It could be that my style of driving is the norm here – or maybe that’s just my story and I’m sticking to it, lol……

The beautiful Red Beach, Santorini

The beautiful Red Beach, Santorini

Even with my dicey driving we did manage to make it to Red Beach and Akrotiri and back in one piece. The track to the Red Beach was just that and so unlike anything I’ve ever encountered before. We followed another person who looked like they knew where they were going. We clambered up, down, over rocks and bits of wood sort of nailed together into a makeshift step and came to the amazing sight of the Red Beach. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before and just a tiny bit further along is another beach with some of the whitest sand I’ve seen here.What was even more astonishing was that the umbrella’s and sun loungers had been unpacked from their storage areas built into the red cliffs and were lining the beach at 8 in the morning – and there were people using them already. Talk about keen, but I do think it’s one of the places not to miss on Santorini.

It was only a short drive back to the archeological site of Akrotiri. Not much chance of car related mishaps you’d think, but even then I managed to drive into the car park via the exit, and of course bloody eagle eye Sarah didn’t miss that one either. thank goodness we were both seeing the funny side of things today, unlike yesterday.

Inside the Akrotiri site Santorini

Inside the Akrotiri site Santorini

On a more serious note though, it’s difficult to believe this city dates back to something like 4,000BC and was buried about 1,500BC by a massive volcanic eruption. It’s also harder to believe excavation of this site began in 1967 and that it’s still relatively not well-known. Like Pompeii the city was quite well preserved and the tour through the site was well worth the small cost. The drainage systems and three-story buildings must have been really something that far back in time – sort of makes me wonder if we really are as clever as we think sometimes. The site is enclosed in a huge building  which makes for easy strolling  so we spent quite a while there.

We bought some fruit from a vendor in the car park when we left and headed back to the hotel. I must have been all tuckered out from the early start and the excitement of scaring everyone silly enough to be on the roads – I tootled off to our room and had a nanna nap while Sarah calmed her nerves with a cocktail or two by the pool!!


Filed under Greece, Travel

Stunning Oia

Santorini port and winding road up the cliffs

Santorini port and winding road up the cliffs

2nd July 2012

Santorini is living up to my expectations already – the view while zigzagging our way up the cliff from the port was amazing – you run out of superlatives when writing about places like this. Even the road up the cliff was crazy, buses looked like toys from the port, hope you can see them in this pic.

Sarah in her smart car on Santorini

Sarah in her smart car on Santorini

A quick walk into Fira for dinner last night ended up in another photo shoot and a couple of quick purchases by Sarah. I swear that girl is secretly posting things home, she just keeps finding more room in her luggage where I just about have to sit on mine to get it closed. We booked a car for a couple of days and also booked a sunset cruise for one afternoon. Sarah’s turn to choose the car so we ended up with a little red and black “smart car”.

How close is that guardrail!!! Santorini

How close is that guardrail!!! Santorini

I do have to admit I was an absolutely TERRIBLE passenger today when Sarah drove from the hotel to Fira and then on to Oia – sorry chickie, but you were really, really scary!! Have a look how close we were to the guard rail – I almost got my hands taken off taking photos – honest. By the time we arrived in Oia we had ceased to see the funny side of things though so it was a bit frosty for a wee while – but you just can’t stay cranky in a place like this, so it wasn’t long before we were talking again.

Could it get any better? Oia, Santorini

Could it get any better? Oia, Santorini

Oia is stunning, captivating, amazing, friendly and totally gorgeous. We spent hours just walking all over gooing and gahing about everything we saw. I was looking for the museum but it was closed when we eventually got that far – another day hopefully. Stopped a couple of times at cafes to have a drink, (maybe something to eat, too), soak up the atmosphere and pinch ourselves to make sure it really is happening to us. I’m so pleased we didn’t just do a cruise around the islands but have spent a few days on each one and have the time to take it all in.

Eating again!! This time at the black beach, Santorini

Eating again!! This time at the black beach, Santorini

We dragged ourselves away late in the afternoon and took a scenic drive down and across the island to Kamari. Kamari Beach is one of the most popular on Santorini apparently, there were absolutely hundreds and hundreds of loungers lined up along the beach – and the sand is black! I was going to be  polite and say it was nice but I wasn’t a huge fan, it was great to see a black beach but it wasn’t something I’d rush back for.

Now, dinner on the other hand was worth the drive, the beachfront was lined with restaurants and we fell willing victims to another old sweet talking Greek waiter. Had a lovely dinner and made our way back to the hotel for an early night. Big day coming up tomorrow!

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Filed under Greece, Mid-life travel, Travel