Tag Archives: BBC television series

Do I Dare to Dream…..?

It seems incredible but, just a week ago, I was perched in the prow of a single-masted sailing boat, legs dangling either side of the bowsprit as I watched the blue Aegean sea skim beneath my bare feet.

With the warm sun on my back I watched for dolphins which I hoped might join us as we cruised to our next mooring, where I knew we could look forward to a barbecued lunch of fish or chicken washed down with cold beer from the ship’s ample refrigerator.

Some lazy chat and a bit of snorkelling would probably follow before we’d weigh anchor and sail on, heading for another secluded bay miles from the crowded tourist beaches and a lifetime away from the deadlines and ringing phones which have been part of our lives since … well, forever.

I know I ought to have been ecstatically happy, relaxed, completely at ease… but instead, all I could really feel was panic and guilt.

If you’re a fan of the BBC television series Red Dwarf, you’ll know what I mean when I say I have confirmed yet again that my default settings are similar to Rimmer’s in the Better Than Life virtual reality game. In other words, I struggle to believe that good things happen without paying a high price later.

I’ve had the good bit; now, inevitably, something is going to sneak up behind me and bite me on the bum – hard.

So, while I should have been savouring good food, an azure blue sky and the simple pleasure of watching brightly-coloured fish dart for breadcrumbs dropped from the table, my mind was chasing thoughts about what work I really should be doing instead.

The daft thing is, there wasn’t any. We’ve deliberately planned a few slack weeks between now and the Big Move to allow us time to adjust and complete the multitude of tasks involved in relocating to a foreign country.

But that doesn’t stop the words of the naysayers and doom-mongers creeping up on you in quiet moments or in the middle of the night, rotating on an endless loop, demanding to know just what makes you think you deserve to live in paradise.

The antidote, of course, is to get to work; to do something – anything  – rather than laze around. Fire up the laptop, scour the internet, fiddle about with files, tinker with pictures, even stalk the house looking for things to rearrange, tidy away or clean.

Such behaviour, I know, defeats the object of moving in the first place. One of the main motivations for doing all this was a desire to slow down, to have time for something other than work.

But it seems that’s going to be harder than I thought. It’s going to take time to adjust and to trust to the fact that 12-hour days are not strictly necessary.

In the meantime,  I’d better get on with cataloguing all the pictures on my hard drive in alphabetical order….


I’ve Got Something to Tell You…..

One of the most interesting things about telling people you’re leaving the country is seeing their differing responses.

Reaction has varied from “Gosh, how exciting – good for you” (our daughter’s headteacher) through to “What about me?” (one of our respective parents).

There are also widely varying opinions and beliefs about our destination, Turkey.

Anyone who watched Rageh Omaar’s excellent BBC television series, The Ottomans, has seen how the country has developed, how it’s become westernised, and the part that Islam, Christianity and secularism have all played in its history to date.

Turkey is keen to enter the EU and it’s been announced that talks will resume on this next month, but many people still seem to see it as “backward”. I’ve been asked whether “they” have the internet, hospitals, even running water. One of my aunts is convinced I’ll have to wear a burka.

To be honest, other people’s opinions don’t bother me. They might imagine I’m living in a shack with mud on the floor and goats roaming through whatever passes for my kitchen, but I know that’s not the reality. Yes, there’ll be power cuts. We’ll have to drink bottled water, certainly to start with. My high-speed fibre-optic broadband will be distant memory. It won’t be like living in the UK…..but then that’s kind of the point.

What’s harder is explaining to your parent that, while you understand they don’t want you to go, it’s a decision that’s been made and no amount of playing up or sulking is going to change your mind. We’re not doing it to ‘get away’ from them and we’re not abandoning anybody. We’re doing it because it’s the best thing for us and our own lives, and because we want to.

There’s a school of thought that believes you should stick around and be there for your parents as they get older. There’s another that says you should seize every opportunity while you can, because it might not be there later on.

We’re in the second camp. This was always our long-term plan and in all honesty it is happening sooner than expected. Part of the reason for changing our minds is realising that we shouldn’t wait – “one day” might never come.

We hope our families can understand that.