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Retired - What's that ?

My attempts at not retiring

Lonely in a Crowd.
Thursday, October 20, 2022

Is it possible for someone to actually feel lonely when surrounded by people ?

As Christmas draws nearer I always start to think and wonder how lonely people are coping.

From a very early age I started observing behavioural habits of fellow humans, probably when I was aged about 6, the same time as I started to take great interest in history and collecting, I wonder if they are all linked ?

Many of my family were elderly and I always noted how pleased they were to see me if I called on them and in turn I really enjoyed their company and listening to the fascinating stories that they had to tell probably inspired my interest in of my greatest passions, social history.

Loneliness of course isn't the exclusive domain of elderly people, many young people including small children have moments of loneliness and despair and often teenagers become withdrawn and are very vulnerable at this point.

I remember when as a youngster I retreated to my bedroom with my pets for company, driven there by the bullying tactics of one of my elder siblings, my pets were a great comfort and seemed to understand my sad moments.

One of the big problems is when our daily busy lives distracts us from spotting someone who really is suffering from loneliness and depression, if only we could all make the time to stop and chat to the old lady or man who stand at their front door hoping that someone will notice them and maybe stop for a few minutes to chat with them, that could possibly be the only human contact they have that day,

Makes you think doesn't it ?

There are so many things that can be done to help vulnerable people and of course it's worth remembering that one day you could be in the same position.

I'm aware that there are many kind and caring people out there, who invite lonely people into their homes for an occasional meal or take them shopping and I know just how important and appreciated small acts like this are to so many.

And if you are feeling lonely or maybe neglected you really can do something about it.

Have you thought about joining a group, so many different organisations are out there to help you, but often you need to make the first contact, and even if you are feeling depressed or down ,why not try helping another person who you recognise as being 'in the same boat ', fantastic therapy, helping other people and you also benefit.

I worked many years ago as a social worker, just for 3 years and only part time, but what an eye opener it was for me, meeting such lovely people in their homes who just wanted and needed to have a little contact with another human being.

Even in the short time that I've had my museum running I've had several people, including couples , who desperately needed the chance to chat and I've tried to encourage them to take up new hobbies and pastimes and actually introduced some to start collecting.

Collecting is really a fantastic way to meet people and even just corresponding with people who have similar interests can be a fantastic therapy.

And what could I collect, I hear you mutter, well the list is endless, it could be old favourites like stamp or coin collecting, or something really obscure like my probably most bizarre collection-- airline sick bags, empty and unused of course.

 Of course if you need help in choosing a new hobby please just ask me ,I'd be more than happy to help,

Take Care Everyone and Remember to keep your eyes open for people who might be in need of a little help...




Like 2        Published at 3:38 PM   Comments (3)

Do You Really Know Who Your Neighbour Is or Was ?
Wednesday, October 5, 2022

I wonder how many of you have thought about what a neighbour has done in the past, maybe the elderly gentleman who doffs his hat as he passes you or the elegant lady who smiles but never speaks.?

I've often spotted mysterious characters living near me and tried to guess about their past lives, were they famous or infamous or could they be mega rich ?

 When I first visited Spain in the early sixties there was of course lots of fugitive type people hiding their former identities ,high ranking officers and officials from the Nazi regime who had been welcomed by General Franco and allowed to live in Spain without question.

Many left after a few years to live in various places like South America  but others did manage to continue living quite comfortable lives in Spain.

When I moved to live in Spain in the 1980's I actually lived opposite a very mysterious elderly German couple who really did keep to themselves however they did say hello occasionally but we never had any real conversation until tragically we lost our youngest son in a road accident and the elderly couple knocked on our door with a bunch of flowers and a card and in perfect English expressed their condolences.

Many months later we actually sat next to them in a restaurant and we did have a 5 minute conversation and he commented that he'd heard that I'd served in the Royal Navy in submarines and he went on to tell me that he had also been a submariner during World War Two in the German Navy, and that was it, we never really spoke again and he passed away about a year later.

Shortly after, we moved to live in Alfaz del Pi near Benidorm, on a small urbanisation which was predominately occupied by a Scandinavian community and  I learned that a very famous Norwegian - Swedish actress had lived there until she died a few years before we arrived.

Her name was Sonja Wigert and apart from her appearing in 34 films she had also been a spy, a double agent by all accounts and was actually working with the secret services and the resistance, such a brave lady.

Unfortunately she was seen by many to be a traitor because of her liasons with several leading nazi officers and it wasn't until the year 2000 that the authorities actually cleared her name, 20 years after her death..

Her actions undoubtedly saved many lives and I was told many stories about her by my elderly Norwegian neighbour ,who had been a close friend of Sonja and she told me that Sonja had been very unhappy about the fact that she had been labelled a traitor by some and she died aged 66, some say from alcohol abuse, I don't know how true this is,though.

Because of my interest in history my neighbour gave me some of the personal belongings of Sonja, including a small silver filigree bon bon dish with her name inscribed and dated 16.3.1943, the inscription is in German and I was told she received it in Berlin.

I do have the Sonja Wigert items on display at my museum,' Museo Gordon' ,and I often look at them and think what a wonderful courageous lady she was and how lucky I am to have some of her personal belongings.

There are many more facts available about Sonja Wigert on Google, should you be interested, I've just related the information given to me by my lovely old neighbour.

I'm absolutely sure that many people in Spain will have come across interesting people and would maybe like to share the details ?

Like 2        Published at 5:39 PM   Comments (0)

How Covid Actually Helped Me.!
Monday, September 26, 2022

I'm aware of how devastating Covid has been for so many people, losing family and friends and suffering much pain both physicaly and mentally and of course the huge amount of inconvenience caused when travelling and trying to visit family and friends.

Early on when the Covid problem started I decided to lay low, keep out of the way and just to try and get on with life as best as I could.

I knew that we would have to keep occupied and at first I thought no problem for me, I've got so many hobbies and my wife loves cooking and reading, so we will be OK.

Of course we didn't expect Covid to drag on for so long and after 6 months I decided that we must do something more positive, and that is when I decided to organise and open a Museum, easy I thought.

But my new lifestyle wouldn't have happened if we hadn't been shut down with the pandemic,so something does sometimes happen from otherwise bad situations, methinks ?

Well not as easy as expected, but I plodded on, often burning the 'midnight oil ', hard work however I was really enjoying myself and didn't let Covid stand in the way.

We went out most days ,early in the morning and late at night, long walks with virtually no contact with other humans, and we actually didn't leave our village for over 12 months.

17 years ago when we decided to move to a different part of Spain we were quite determined to find a place where we could walk out of the house and have shops, bars, medical centre etc all close by and the 'shut down' really proved how lucky we had been with our choice.

I know that we've been very lucky to avoid any real complications with Covid , but I'm constantly wondering how other people coped during this dire situation, not just the physical side , but the long term mental stress etc.

What does amaze me is how quickly Covid seemed to disappear from the news and how the focus suddenly switched to the war in Ukraine etc.

The situation of the past few years really does highlight how important it is to choose the right place to live and that's quite difficult when moving from another country, and how  to switch from holiday mode to permanent living in Spain mode.

Spain really is a wonderful place to live however it does require a lot of thought and planning about housing , location  and how to cope with extreme weather conditions etc. and  keeping occupied after the 'honeymoon' period which for most seems to last for about 12 months.

So many questions, which require so many thoughtful answers.

I do urge newcomers to really 'think outside the box ' when choosing their new home, very important to think ahead and remember that we don't know what is around the corner.

I'm sure that many long term residents in Spain could tell so many happy and sad stories

I send my Best Wishes to everyone..



Like 0        Published at 8:10 PM   Comments (4)

Retire-What's That ?
Saturday, September 17, 2022

Surely it's  time that you retired, my family and friends keep asking me.?

Well I decided a long time ago that retirement wasn't for me, I enjoy working, and I really do enjoy keeping busy.

So for more than 10 years I've kept involved working with various voluntary organisations and I've run English classes for local Spanish people who needed help with practising English.

But I really needed to do something different, a project that would use my experience and knowledge and keep me active.

So recently I opened a Museum,' Blimey'  I hear you say, that's not what I expected ' !

It took me about 12 months to sort and arrange my massive eclectic collection of vintage and antique items,lots of display cabinets and displays, most from my own personal collection started when I was age six, so more than 70 years of hoarding ,I'm told..

I'm lucky that we live in a fairly large modern town house, bags of space at ground floor level and we live comfortably above, so whenever I feel like working  I just 'pop' downstairs,'' keeps him out of mischief'' my lovely wife tells everyone.

Covid shut down gave me a perfect opportunity to really put my heart and soul into my latest project and it actually came together quickly during the final stages, no interruptions, and even our neighbours didn't have a clue what I was doing.

I really immersed myself in cleaning and preparing my exhibits and I spent many hours researching and refreshing my knowledge, and now my museum has over  1000 exhibits of Social History with a hugh time span from prehistory to the 1980's.

My exhibits range from coins to clothing, covering all types of social history , with quite a big section of Militaria and clothing from early Victorian to Mid Twentieth Century, something for everyone many visitors tell me..

I've tried to include exhibits which will interest all ages and gender, and I'm so pleased when I watch my visitors pointing at exhibits and stating ''my Mum, Dad, Grandad, Grandma etc., had one like that '', many memories reactivated and new memories started, and I hear laughter and have noted a few tears in eyes.

Since I  opened about 6 months ago I've had over 1000 visitors, individuals, couples, small parties and large parties, 75% non locals from all parts of Spain and the world, and I've really enjoyed every minute of it.!

Luckily  in our lovely large village / small town we have a recently discovered 'Villa Romana', a fantastic Roman Villa complex which still has many treasures to discover, only a fraction of the beautiful mosaics have been uncovered, but all really fabulous, well worth a visit.

So many of the Roman Villa visitors arrive at my museum, a little extra bonus for them and we also have in the village a Arab watch tower and a Palacio, at present under renovation, and I must also mention our beautiful church with so much history from sad and happy times.

I must mention that my museum really is only my hobby / pastime, I don't charge any entry fee but I do have a collection box for anyone to add a few coins to help with my other projects, such as helping our local dog and cat rescue group.

 May I suggest that if you are retired ( at whatever age ),  you could take up a little hobby, maybe not a museum, but you probably all have skills and knowledge that you could pass on, what about starting a little group ,so many subjects available, it really doesn't matter about your age, just do what you feel comfortable with..

Museo Gordon is situated at La Parata, no 1, Salar, Granada Province ,18310 and it's open by appointment ,most days and times  available.

Please contact by message or what's app on number 650 359 557, if you wish to visit.

Entrance is direct from the street , just one small step - for the museum...and mankind !.

Wheelchair friendly and plenty of seats for you to relax.

Toilet facilities available.

We look forward to meeting and greeting you...




Like 5        Published at 6:57 PM   Comments (2)

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