7 Chakra’s This was good read, I agree with everything you have said too much isolation is not a good thing. We are social animals at heart, Thanks for this
The way the masses view the world is a farce. Every single mainstream perspective is either purposely deceptive, or completely misses the point. Even the people in places of influence who we’re meant to trust have either sold out, or are just plain ignorant to the facts. There’s no need to have a heavy heart though; the matrix of control is crashing because the truth-seekers are dealing heavy blows to the false narratives that have for too long shaped the collective mindset of humanity.
Of course the internet can be celebrated for being the primary mechanism which has amplified the sharing of information across location, race, culture and belief systems. In retrospect, the powers-that-will-no-longer-be would be kicking themselves for not trying harder to institute their insidious plan for humanity prior to the birth and growth of the world-wide-web.
Make no mistake though; they have been very…
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Well what a surprise within 8 hours of publishing the above blog HSBC have managed to open my account at last. The thing is I’ve already checked out another bank so should this post upset someone there, I’ll simply switch my tiny amount of business to them.
It always pays to keep something in reserve.
I would like to draw a line in the sand with HSBC who appear to have gotten too big for their boots in Malta/Gozo. I have been an HSBC customers since they took over Midland bank in the UK. HSBC (the Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation) not the High Street Banking Corporation as many believe (strike 1 for misrepresentation) are I believe either in a complete state of turmoil here on the islands, which I can only put down to their constantly absent Directors or complete incompetence (I wouldn’t trust them with my grandsons piggy bank). Now being angry is not good for my ‘Karma’ and normally I’m a very happy chappy but I would like to relate what has been a saga spanning months, to try and give HSBC Malta my money, and is now making me angry and when the Crazy Brit gets angry, step aside.
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In my last blog I talked about a Leap of Faith (my journey to Gozo). This may seem a crazy way of going about things, but I’m going to move backwards and forwards through time to explain how I got to where I am today, and about the CHANGES I’ve had to make. I always fancied being Doctor Who in his Tardis time machine, I’d love to own a Tardis, just think of all the interesting people you could meet from the past and even more interesting to find out what your future holds in store.
When I listen to other people’s advice they say it isn’t healthy to dwell on the past or to put too much faith in the future, even The Buddha said that. Well, I believe we should learn from our past so we don’t make the same mistakes in the future. And when it comes to making plans for our future, as a favorite singer of mine John Lennon once said: “Life’s what happens when you’re making other plans”. So whilst changes to our plan can and usually do happen, I still believe we all need an idea of what direction we want to go, even if we have to change course along the way.
Now as you will no doubt find out I’m a fan of The Beatles, they changed the music scene in an exponential way (I like that word exponential). Their music inspired my life “All you need is love” the list goes on. Paul McCartney helped me write a project for school, and both John and Paul came to my house twice! (That definitely has to be the subject of a separate future blog). So I’m in good company when people refer to me as a crazy brit, John Lennon was regarded by some crazy people such as Tricky Ricky also known as President Richard Nixon, he thought J.L was crazy when he put his life on the line and became a thorn in the presidents side. John Lennon was shot by another crazy American during his “Peace campaign” (conspiracy theories abound here). I learned stuff from John, like sometimes we have to take risks in order to move on and change, “change is inevitable without it we die” a slogan I used when I did a proper job.
Lennon “Tattoo” My Tattoo My Tardis
I’ve taken the Crazy Brit moniker for my “literary” pursuits. By the way I’m also on also on YouTube@ crazybritvideos. In time I’ll make available some old videos from years ago (look out everyone all will be exposed) and there’ll be new ones as I make them. Unfortunately so far I haven’t worked out how to make a video of the future (but I’m working on it) believe me I may be a little crazy but I will get by “with a little help from my friends”. As a well-known guy from Apple quoted:
Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do……Steve Jobs
Well I know I’m not gonna change the world, but with a little luck I can help myself and maybe others, to change their outlook on life.
So how did I end up here in Gozo? Well in part thanks to my ex Texan wife (more about her later hmm maybe?). I arrived back in the UK not in a Tardis on a 747 with 2 suitcases and $5000 in my pocket in September 2014. WOW! What a shock, my ex not only offered to repack my suitcases as “she was so good at packing”, (and guess what, lots of my things were missing when I unpacked), surprise, surprise. But she also managed to persuade me (well in the end I had no option) to come back to the UK at the start of winter. I arrived from Texas where it was 100f into Manchester airport in freezing weather. I know everyone said the previous 10 years had been crazy for me, and quite possibly for the people around me! But this was hard for an old geezer.
So here I was financially and emotionally buggered. Crap, I wouldn’t treat a dog like that, but I love dogs (and I’ll tell you about my girls Tasha and Munchie in a future post).
But I digress…. My family (thank god and my mum and dad for them), found me a small cottage in a place called Buckley in Flintshire, Wales. Talk about going back in time, I bought my first house here over 40 years ago, and now I was renting a tiny place within walking distance of the house I used to own, but now couldn’t afford to buy. I was cold isolated and depression set in, or the black dog as Winston Churchill used to call it. My psychiatrist said “anyone would be depressed after what you’ve been through and you are definitely not Bipolar” (I may tell that story in another post). I barely survived for over a year, I had no focus, I felt like I was a burden to everyone in my family, crap I’d never felt so low. My psychiatrist, Doctor Nirvani, now there’s a name for someone like me who describes himself as a Christian Buddhist (perhaps I’ll write a blog on that someday). But to continue, Doctor Nirvani was excellent, he cared, he listened and he treated me better than any of those “quacks” over in Texas who just dished out lots of meds and taking the money. There ought to be a law against that, street drug dealers end up in prison. But just because they have a certificate that allows them to give them out these quacks end up in mansions (that really does need to be the subject of yet another blog).
Doctor Nirvani convinced me that I really needed to get out and mix, well a lot of people had said that, so one day I did it, I’ve gotta say in the condition I was in it took a lot of courage, I really didn’t want to do it, but I did. I joined a group on an internet site called Meetup. Now for anyone who’s on their own and wanting to join a group of like-minded people without any agenda of dating or “hanky panky” (and it’ll be a long time IF and when I get to that stage) like someone once said “Trust is like virginity, once you lose it you never get it back” by this time I’d just about lost all trust in everything and everyone (including myself). However, someone else said “never say never”, who knows with time, anything can happen. Meetup was great for me and it brought back the old John, and that’s someone I hadn’t met in a very long time.
I eventually joined several Meetup groups including two here in Gozo even though I was still living in the UK, so I made friends before I even moved. That really did help me find my place here emotionally, making contact with people who appear so nice and welcoming, (I only hope it stays that way when they meet the crazy brit haha) Meetup helped give me the confidence I needed to make my change. I also joined expat.com and took part in their posts both giving and receiving advice. Expat really gave me the practical ins and outs of how to make the move to Gozo, and all from people who were either already here or considering moving. Health cover, financial planning, whether to bring a car, just about anything and everything is discussed online, all very confidential and under assumed names (mine is chalks not Crazy Brit).
We all should know that good preparation is key to the start of any new endeavor whether it’s painting a car or moving home, that’s something I learned when I did a real job. At one time I worked with a guy called Jon Kosmoski the founder of House of Kolor (and if you’re into custom cars click that link) Jon always said when you’re starting a job the most important stage is preparation. This time (unlike other times) I succeeded in making the change seamlessly because of my preparation.
Changing and getting out with friends really did save my life, I’ve invited everyone to visit me whenever they want to come, and for once I’ve got tons of room in my new place to put them up, no more inflatables on the floor (steady guy’s I’m talking mattresses’). The first good friend to come here is the attractive and clever LL, not Lois Lane, (although that would be a good match for a Superman, if only I was Superman and not crazy). Loopy Lou (as I call her) is a published author and really easy to talk with.
What on earth does she see in me? I know she’s not after my money, got none. My body? You’ve gotta be kidding.Perhaps it’s my extraordinary crazy charming wit Ha-ha! Well I’ll have to ask here when she arrives. LL writes serious stuff and is landing here in 4 weeks’ time. So now I have a real incentive to get my House in order.
Now after my ramblings lets get back to Gozo (are you still with me)? I’ve been busy shopping, exploring, moving furniture and of course writing, I’ve gotta say I’ve done a helluva lot and its only day 7. There are plenty of shops in Gozo from the upmarket Italian designer outlets, to local craft shops, today I ordered a handmade sign for my office/meditation room from Katrin Formosa in the nearby craft center, give her a call if you want something specially made to be ready when you arrive, tell her the Crazy Brit sent you and she’ll charge double (not really).
When it comes to grocery shopping well they have a Lidl on the island with their usual selection, you can be in a Lidl anywhere in the world and the selection is exactly the same. I prefer my local grocers and restaurants they offer good value and delicious food, besides I hope to get some of the local gossip for my blog when I eat or shop there. As far as being accepted and fitting in is concerned, Gozitan’s (natives of Gozo) are generally very friendly and helpful, and in my experience also trusting. I’ve been here 7 nights and my landlord Joe still hasn’t come for any rent, I offered it when he rang to see if I needed anything, after Betty gave me the keys, but he said no rush. See if you can do that anywhere else in the world, no contract signed and no money paid? Perhaps I just look honest, well honesty is the best policy when dealing with people or (writing blogs).
My next project now my internet is connected, is to produce a video of all of those out of the way places I’ve found. As I said in my last post I enjoy driving and getting lost, finding out of the way places, and there are some real gems here on Gozo, the GPS always gets me home when I turn it on, so I can relax and just do as the woman on the GPS tells me (nothing’s changed) but as Gozo is so tiny anyway it’s hard to get lost.
Some out of the way places (you need to explore to find them)
When my video’s ready it’ll be on YouTube just look for crazybritvideos. But don’t look yet it may make you cry, Ahhhh
It’s getting late and I think it’s time for another favorite pastime of mine (vino time), Hey the first word I learned here on Gozo was għada which is Maltese for tomorrow, (if you need something done now it’s always: sorry it will be tomorrow) but that’s all about the pace of life here, so very different to the UK or the US, I’ll be back tomorrow Cheers!
Hello again so now its day 6. Since I last wrote, I made myself a very healthy meal using my version of a “Mediterranean Diet” and followed it with a few glasses of local Gozo wine. Hey the wine is quite inexpensive here and good quality, but watch out for the kick of the local stuff, 1 glass and I was anybody’s (well not quite). Gozo being a devout Catholic country, and with my initials being J.C I have to watch my behavior and not stagger around the village drunk. But my conscience is clear, as I say I drink what Jesus drank (and the local’s haven’t objected yet) even the Crazy Brit needs a release now and then. Wine and olive oil, what a great way to keep healthy (or struggle to get healthy in my case).
Restaurants abound on Gozo and they all offer their own unique atmosphere, you can always check out Trip advisor, it’s a great resource for people on quick a visit and who don’t have the time to shop around and experiment. I’ve posted on Trip advisor myself it gives me a warm feeling giving advice.
Talking of advice, if you listen to some famous writers, you learn that writing really has to be disciplined. You have to be methodical, so I now get up bright and early each morning, just as the sun starts flooding into my office (well it used to be my 3rd bedroom) but yesterday I converted it into my office/meditation room, and it still has a bed for when visitors arrive. But now if I start to suffer from writers block, I can turn out the lights, close the curtains and meditate. When it comes to meditation I can learn all the techniques available, as just around the corner from me is the Lotus Tal-Qalb a nonprofit group of spiritually aware people, with regular guest speakers, therapists and teachers in many disciplines such as Yoga, Meditation, the Law of Attraction, massage, lots of my kind of “stuff”. My first session is in a few days’ time, who knows where that will take me.
By now surely anyone who’s got Google (if I said I had Google on Gozo the locals would think I was infected with something) you should have found my village (oh but I hope not) if you still can’t find it and you really want to find it, try meditation, if that fails send me a message, if you ask me nicely, maybe I’ll tell you “The Secret”.
So have I reached Nirvana? Have I found my Shangri-La? Will I continue to feel at peace in my new home? Who knows! I don’t have a crystal ball (I just walk funny). But I’ll continue to be inspired and guided by The Buddha and that well known poet, Rudyard Kipling and in particular his poem IF which became my mantra for life after my dad used to tell me it at least once a week (thanks dad a lot of good that did me ha). But this really is a way for any man to conduct his life.
IF by Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowances for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired of waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream-and not make dreams your master;
If you can think-and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’ em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings-nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run’
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And-which is more-you’ll be a Man, my son.
Until next time “addiju” as they say in Maltese or “Goodbye” as we say in English.
John Chalkley aka The Crazy Brit
The observations of a Crazy Brit
A Leap of Faith
Well I’m writing this at 7-30 am in the morning here in Gozo, its 6-30 am in Mold-Wales were I started 36 hours ago. When I left the UK it was hail and snow, and I just don’t like the cold weather, but the cold weather doesn’t like me so it’s mutual, that’s the big reason I needed to move it was literally killing me(COPD). I arrived at midnight after an uneventful journey on the budget airline Ryanair and waited 8 hours at the Hertz check in desk to collect my car at 8am (it was then that the girl on check-in said they would have come and to meet me 24/7 if I’d asked) Oh well bugger! So on Thursday morning I collected the car and I headed off to the Gozo ferry and the short trip across the Bahar Mediterran (that’s how they spell it here) on my way to Gozo. (I’m missing out much of the detail stuff to get to the point) the leap of faith.
I found my apartment quite by accident 2 months ago on my quick 1 week visit to Malta to check it out, I’d never visited Malta before but was intrigued by its history (and weather). Malta was very busy lots to do, but a little too “touristy” for me. After spending a couple of days driving around the island (believe me you can drive around the island easily in 2 days, we aren’t talking big here) I decided to take the car on the ferry to Gozo. Now if Malta is small (with a population around 400k) Gozo is positively tiny (population 30k ish). The island is around 15 miles long and 8 miles wide and is steeped in history, the world’s oldest structure the Ggantija Temples can be found on the island. So here I am driving around, trying to lose myself as I like to do, and I came across this beautiful village on the north of the island, population around 1200, although that will rise and fall according to the birth and death rate (I suspect the birth rate will exceed the death rate, again, more on THAT later). I decided to stop for a coffee in a quaint little coffee shop, the village was deserted, and it was a case of spot the person. I walked onto the balcony and the lady looking after the place said hello (with a very obvious English London accent).
I ordered coffee and croissant, the special of the day, 2 euros and sat in the sunshine to relax and enjoy this is February folks, (eat your heart out Wales). I started talking to Wendy and she asked what I was doing in Gozo, I explained that I was looking for somewhere to live, without another word she picked up her cell phone, actually mobile phone, I lived too long in Texas (everyone over in Texas agrees I did-puzzled) anyway she rang Betty. “Hello Betty” she said “I have a young man here looking for an apartment”, now either Wendy was short sighted or she was just trying to flatter me, but at 65 I’d hardly describe myself as a young man! Nevertheless my ego was suitably stroked and I met Betty outside the magnificent church (more on that in later).
Drama a bus in village View from my roof
She promptly marched off past the church towards a farm, and what looked to me as a really old, but well maintained building (actually as I found out later it wasn’t an old building, it was just that here on Gozo everyone kept their building in the traditional style, good for them) . Getting inside was a surprise, first of all the stairs to my 1st floor apartment (in Texas it would be the second floor, the ground floor would be the first floor), talk about two nations divided by a common language. The lobby and stairs were white marble and had a little sand on the floor, Betty said “Gozo had a sand storm from the Sahara that week”, THE SAHARA! (Well North Africa is just a few miles away). In the lobby were a couple of cages one with a budgie the other with some other exotic wild bird (I used to have a Budgie called Benny, don’t worry I won’t go into that in detail). So Betty strides up the stairs and by this time I’m exhausted by her brisk pace, I’m too much of a gentleman to estimate her age (ha-ha) but let’s put it this way she’s probably at least 10 years older than me.
So I get a very quick zip around the apartment, 3 bedrooms, 3 balconies a kitchen and all the bits you need to start afresh a 10 minutes maximum, (slow down Betty). We popped down the stairs (Betty popped, I wheezed), we stopped half way up the road to the church so I could get my breath. “Are you OK John” asked Betty “Oh I have a breathing problem only a little asthma and just need to catch my breath” I said. “I have asthma as well” said Betty. Well you could have fooled me, after I caught my breath and we continued on our way (only about 500 yards) Betty quickly told me a little about the apartment, “a lady who has lived downstairs for many years is English, and the rent is….” (Well I may let the cat out of the bag at some stage, I don’t need thousands of cheapskates like me invading my island paradise).
I said goodbye to Betty and told her I’d let her know my decision ASAP she didn’t have internet or email but gave me her local telephone number (I didn’t think there were people off the grid nowadays). Now OK if the apartment and the village was that good surely it was a no brainer, but unfortunately the UK had made the decision to have a referendum as to whether or not they wanted to stay inside of the European Union, and I really wasn’t sure where that would leave expats like me. I went back on the ferry to Malta thinking Gozo is more my “cup of tea”. Nevertheless the next day I set off again in my trusty little hire care (and we are talking little) and continued to explore Malta. I got back to the hotel exhausted, this really wasn’t intended to be a holiday just a fact finding week and it was hard work. I lay in the hotel that evening considering my trip so far and thinking….. Gozo really did suit my nature and Karma more than Malta, so I got up bright and early the next day and off we went (me and my now good friend, the Vauxhall Corsa) for another trip to Gozo. I drove around the whole perimeter had lunch in the village of Xlendi overlooking that special blue of the Mediterranean and enjoyed their catch of the day “sea bass” and what a lunch it was.
Sea Bass at Xlendi View from my table
I called in at the apartment on my way back to the ferry, no-one was there but I left a note in the letter box explaining who I was and leaving my email address (I made no mention of being a crazy Brit it might have given the wrong impression). After what was a fairly uneventful journey back to the UK I arrived and sat down in my small 1 bedroomed apartment in the cold in Mold Flintshire and considered what I should do. What the hell it was freezing here in February and I was sitting outside in the sun having lunch a few days ago, “am I crazy or what”? Then an email arrived, it was from the English lady downstairs from the apartment she explained more about my new home, but to be honest I was already sold after a quick 10 minute viewing (Betty was such a pushy salesperson-NOT). So what if the UK left Europe, so what! I’ve taken far greater chances in my life, only a couple of years before I was thinking of moving with my girls (Tasha and Munchie) to Ecuador, South America and the health care there isn’t anywhere near as good as the Maltese archipelago. Malta has the fifth best healthcare in the world according to W.H.O. (better than the UK and the US) besides Malta having once been part of the British Empire have strong links with blighty, yes we used to have an Empire before the US stuck here nose in the trough, (but that needs to be the subject of another blog). Talk about going back in time to how England use to be, here in Malta even the phone boxes and post boxes are red and the electrical system is the same as the UK, driving is on the left side, which is the right side (or correct side) as far as I’m concerned, am I making any sense here, I know I’m a crazy. So that was it I made my Leap of Faith, I threw caution to the wind (not for the first time in my life) and sent an email to my go between (who I’d never even met) and said I wanted the apartment.
A Gozitan phone box The restaurant in Xlendi
Now when I lived in Texas, my pet name (well I was treated like a pet) was The Crazy Brit. Point of order! I like to share a few thoughts here, firstly, I may have been crazy but strangely enough since I left Texas people have commented how I’d changed for the better, sure I went through one helluva time when I got back and I certainly experienced the money grabbing consumer society while I was there (I’m not sure I want to talk about that, but we shall see) but I was changing, I was getting back to the old me. Hey the Yanks had kept me comatose for 10 years (and that is definitely the subject of another blog). Secondly, you really couldn’t find two completely opposite places than Texas or Dallas and Gozo.
I think I’ve found my peace and tranquility and so far with the people I’ve met my other hope is harmony. Peace, Harmony and Tranquility. I used to wear a silver ring with those 3 words on it, but that’s gone the same way as all of my other stuff, and currently resides somewhere in Texas.
So what about my apartment in Gozo? Well I arrived yesterday, Betty brought me the keys while I finished a coffee with Wendy and she walked to the apartment (I drove, I really need to get more exercise and I will). She left me alone to explore and it was then that I realized I’d really fallen on my feet. While the building looks old on the outside the inside is fitted out with the latest fixtures and fittings, a brand new IKEA kitchen, Italian tiled floors and exposed stone walls with artwork painted directly on them, picture are hung in all of the rooms and there’s lots of homely little nick knack’ around. The roof is all mine, I could fit two of my previous flats in Wales up there, and I overlook the countryside on one side and the village on the other. I have a fully equipped kitchen with everything from a teapot (very important for the Crazy Brit) to a garlic press and a corkscrew (also important for the Crazy Brit).
But it didn’t have any dish washing soap (washing up liquid), shock horror, so last night I jumped in the car and headed off to find a shop, I passed the local village shop almost immediately but decided to have a little look around. I saw several ‘quaint’ little restaurants and was finally tempted by a little place which had an open air eating area La Stanza. The waitress asked if I’d like to sit inside as it was a little chilly this evening. “Chilly” I said. “Last night I walked home in hail and snow”, I was fine sitting just where I was, eating my fresh catch of the day, sea bass, well why give up on a good thing, but I’ve found that some people do (and that IS the subject of another blog). Talk about a leap of faith, I arrived with 3 suitcases in which I’d packed 65 years of my life.
One of my favorite comedians George Carlin talked about STUFF in a very funny stand- up comedy routine, and that also helped me break away from hanging onto my stuff, so it all worked out for the best. You know we all need to do this sometimes in our lives, take a leap of faith, it’s certainly better than being pushed.
Peace and good Karma to you all, it’s now 9-15am I need to get out in the sunshine, Yee ha! (Whoops that’s the bit of Texan that’s still inside me coming out, not long now and it’ll be gone, wow 10 years gone just like that).
As I’ve been told over here that, I “talka very mucha witha ze queenz English” actually I thought I had a tinge of scouse, but mum’s the word. TTFN.
John Chalkley aka The Crazy Brit