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Friday, October 20, 2017

The real Marigold Hotel


Remember "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"? It's one of my favourite movies, so when I saw a DVD in my favourite shop labelled "The Indian Dream Hotel", I immediately thought it was a cheap imitation of the Marigold Hotel but it wasn't.

Instead, it's a documentary - made by the BBC and unashamedly called "The Real Marigold Hotel" - of a group of celebrity pensioners, actor Miriam Margolyes, dancer Wayne Sleep, chef Rosemary Shrager, darts champion Bobby George, singer Patti Boulaye OBE, actor Sylvester McCoy, comedian Roy Walker, and ex-news reader Jan Leeming, who head to India to see if they can set up a better, more rewarding retirement there than in the UK.

Even though I don't know any of those celebrities, I can relate to them because back in 2004 I tried to drum up interest in creating a similar group to invest in a similar lifestyle place in the still unspoilt north of Bali - click here. Perhaps I wasn't famous enough because I could never get a sufficient number of famous or infamous people interested in it.

Years later I visited an even better place, a tiny boutique hotel of just four exquisitely built bungalows in the cool hills of northern Bali. I revisited it time and time again, often being the only guest, which may have been the reason why the owners put it up for sale some years later. I again tried to drum up some interest in a buy-out - click here - but again without success.

Perhaps people don't want to have their lives managed by a retired accountant - see below:

Pity! I already had a name for it and had hired the man to run it for me: "Stalag 13" and Colonel Klink.



Thursday, October 19, 2017

Pearl Bay is now part of Australia's national psyche

Episode 1, Part 1   Episode 1, Part 2   Episode 1, Part 3
Episode 1, Part 4   Episode 1, Part 5   Episode 1, Part 6


Remember when I couldn't see the point in those 'study notes' on the Australian soapie 'SeaChange' which I wrote about on Tuesday? - see here. Well, I've done a bit more 'studying' and concluded that, if nothing else, 'SeaChange' teaches us to be careful when dealing with 'Bob Jelly Realty' or any other real estate agent.

Bob Jelly epitomises every real estate agent you've ever met, just as Pearl Bay epitomises every retirement place you've ever dreamt of. Its real life location is Barwon Heads, a coastal town near Geelong in Victoria, but Pearl Bay sounds so much better, don't you think?

'SeaChange' has become part of Australian 'kultcha' and I include the first episode here - there are dozens more - for the edification of an old boy from Sunshine who's stuck in the wilds of Connecticut. Enjoy, Des!



Morning has broken


I always write 'Wake Up' on my To-Do-List so I can accomplish at least one thing every day. Then I have another cup of tea while I consider what else to do for the rest of my retired and funemployed life.

Yesterday I wished someone 'Have a good weekend' on the phone. If it weren't for the fireworks, I wouldn't even know what year we're in.

There's no snooze button on the wilds ducks and parrots who want to be fed, so I'd better get out there and feed them. As for all the other jobs I said I'd do, I'll do them. There's no need to remind me every six months.



Skallagrigg. Is it a person? is it a place? Is it English?


Having latched onto William Horwood - see here - I carried on in my usual way, acquired over many years of forensic auditing, and came across "Skallagrigg" - and I'm not even going to tell you what "Skallagrigg" is other than to say that it is both a book and a movie.

In our society which promotes packaging over content, where the human eye and brain are programmed to seek harmony, to favour the lovely or noble visage, the gently undulating body, the graceful carriage, physically and mentally disabled people, while no longer locked away in institutions, are still outsiders.

Remember the Beauty and the Beast? And The Elephant Man? Well, "Skallagrigg" is about a special being with a keen empathy for people with disabilities – okay, so now I told you but it's up to you to read the book or watch the movie here.

It's a life-changing experience. After all, which of us hasn't, at some time, needed to believe in something greater than ourselves - call it "Skallagrigg", if you will.



Wednesday, October 18, 2017

In memoriam


born 7.10.1923 - died 18.10.2003


Do not stand at my grave and weep;

I am not there. I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn's rain.

When you awaken in the morning's hush,

I am the swift uplifting rush

of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry;

I am not there. I did not die.