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Archive for February 18th, 2016

Just a day before I left for my current assignment a letter was being processed by the home office that was to change the course of my life.
I arrived in Bexhill-on-Sea on Thursday last week,

bexhill on sea

mural at the station

a place I had not yet been to and discovered to my surprise, that after saying there wasn’t much to write home about, in fact Bexhill-on-Sea has links to the Battle of Waterloo and in fact in 1804 it was chosen as an infantry depot, as well as which it is the ‘Birthplace of British Motor Racing’, and it’s now the place where, to my utter joy and massive relief, I received the news contained in that letter from the home office….my application to be become a British Citizen had been approved. Hoooorayyy!! and I have no doubt…bexhill on sea
I literally screamed when my daughter sent me the news. My only disappointment is that I wasn’t at home when the news arrived, it would have been so much fun to share the moment and excitement with her, but I’m not complaining…the news came 4 months sooner than I had anticipated and that alone is a massive thrill.
So next week I shall be swearing my allegiance to Queen and Country…I can’t wait! Once I have my certificate to say I am a bona-vide British Citizen (I get it on the same day) then I’ll be able to apply for my little red book….my passport – to freedom!!IMG-20160213-WA0014 That aspect is so exciting I cannot even begin to express what it means, except to say that being able to just jump on a ferry and cross to France is beyond amazing. No more stress of having to book appointments and apply for a Schengen visa, to pay for a lawyer to give me a letter to say I am who I am (£85!!) for 25 minutes of his time…I should have an income like that!! And then to make another appointment to collect the visa and meanwhile unable to work or having to cut short an assignment in order to collect it. Being self-employed is great and I love the freedom of it, however it’s very difficult to organise things where you have no control over the schedules/dates made by officialdom.
But all of that will come to an end shortly and I will have to freedom to visit all those places I so very much want to go to. I know there are some countries where as a British Citizen you have to apply for a visa, however, I’m not planning on going there, so it’s a moot point.
Meanwhile, I’m really enjoying my stay in Bexhill. Although there really isn’t much to do, I’ve been able to slip out early in the mornings to watch the occasional sunrise or just enjoy it from the balcony, I’ve taken a few walks along the promenade and spent some time just gazing out to sea.PhotoGrid_1455559692555

My client is lovely, so very sweet and has an interesting history linked to travel so she regales me with stories of places she has been; Middle East and Africa in particular. In some places they were some of the first European’s to go there and that was in the 40’s & 50’s – not that long ago! They were in construction…in case you wondered 😉
I mentioned in my latest video (see below) that she has the beginnings of dementia and this of course is quite a challenge. Her short-term memory is non-existent and she has great difficulty retaining information heard even a minute before. I’ll tell her something and in her very next sentence she’ll say ‘wait a minute….’ And the information I have just given her is asked about in a slightly different way, or she’ll say ‘what about this or that’. There’s no point at all in saying ‘but I just told you’ or ‘don’t you remember’ or anything similar, because no, she doesn’t. Try picture a bucket with holes in the bottom…pour water in and it runs straight through…well that’s how words are for someone with dementia…they just seep straight through. You can of course remind her of things like an appointment or a visit or outing….but be prepared to remind her over and over again…yet she can remember with clarity her days as a nanny for a titled family….even down to the child’s age and the colour of the uniform she wore…nearly 65 years ago!! But 10 minutes ago….nope it’s gone. Dementia is such a disturbing disease, for all concerned. At least she’s enjoyed my meals!!! After the resounding ‘most unsatisfactory’ judgement by the previous lady I cared for, it’s been a welcome reprisal of my cooking skills. LOL.IMAG1117 To be fair I’d say at least 96% of my clients like my cooking…..but now and then we get someone who considers they have a discerning palate and find my meals unsatisfactory. Thank goodness this doesn’t bother me, I know I cook nice meals. 😉
Bexhill-on-Sea is a lovely seaside town, quite large…certainly larger than I thought it would be with lots of Victorian and Edwardian architecture. The promenade is one of the longest I’ve ever seen.PhotoGrid_1455472278047 The views out to sea are far and flat. Perfect for a sunrise and sunset. What does surprise me though is that they haven’t built any wind-farms out to sea!! It seems the perfect place really…no shipping to speak of and it doesn’t seem to be on a migratory route for birds.

bexhill on sea

amazing sunrises

To the left and up the coast is Dover and to the right and down the coast is Beachy Head…in fact many of my sunset photos features this distinctive outcrop……of course Beachy Head has quite a notorious history; sadly it’s a magnet for people who wish to commit suicide and many have been only too successful.

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Beachy Head in the distance

I managed to persuade my lady to go out for a walk today…this has been quite a challenge as she doesn’t like the cold. But it was such a lovely afternoon that I insisted we make the most of it…and no surprise, she enjoyed it. We walked along the promenade to the café and stopped there for a cup of coffee. The sun’s rays were delicious. We’ve had some brilliant conversations and she thinks I’m a lovely companion….this is quite important really as I do try to make sure that my client’s experience are good and one of my daily challenges is to make them laugh….silly jokes, quirky comments, compliments, daft observations…anything to raise a laugh. But like the cooking, some people just do not take to it….however that’s more about them than me.
Later this afternoon I went down to the seafront to take photos of the sunset – just spectacular.

bexhill on sea

a beautiful sunset

The day started out very grey and misty, but oh my word, what a splendid end. The beaches are mostly covered with pebbles, not my favourite type of beach, but it is ever so colourful and interesting and I always enjoy uncovering some of the more unusual of these and discovering those fossils hidden within. The tides are fascinating to watch, and as with the river in London; The Thames, I find watching the incoming and outgoing tides quite amazing to see.PhotoGrid_1455539834205 I saw a motor-home similar to the model I want to buy for myself in 4 years’ time… I quizzed the owner about how comfortable it is to live in for an extended period, how spacious it may be within, how easy to drive, packing space, sleeping space, if light on fuel? It seems to be good from his account. I’m thinking something a wee bit bigger would be good for me. I shall keep looking. Most importantly I have to be able to stand up in it and have space for my computer and a stereo!! Oh and my helicopter camera.
Well that’s it for this catch up….within the next 7 days I shall finally after 14.5 years be a bona-vide British Citizen….Long Live The Queen. Hip hip hooray!!

IMG-20160213-WA0016

the Archbishop’s Palace where I shall swear allegiance to Queen & Country 🙂

Keep your eye on this blog….I am going places; why not come along with me 😉IMG-20160213-WA0019

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