Today 3rd September is my birthday.
Birthdays like New Year offer a time for reflection.
Looking back at different decades:
1967: Aged 3, I move (with my parents and baby brother) from my birthplace: Hillingdon, London to Slough. I was born at home not in a hospital. Living in many countries it is easy for me to communicate where I am from by saying I was born in London. I was born in the sixties but don’t remember much about the decade.
1977: The year of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. The Sex Pistols single “God Save the Queen” released in this year is my current ringtone. I started at Slough Grammar School, where I would be educated for the following 6 years.
1987: I went to Australia, the first time I had lived and worked outside the UK. I loved Australia, visiting all the states except Western Australia. I worked in Sydney. My favourite part of Australia was Kuranda in the tropical rainforest of Northern Queensland. I wish I still had the photos of my Australian days, I took many but only a couple have survived my many moves.
1997: I returned to UK after six years in France. My first wife was ill, we moved first to Corsica then to mid Wales to give her a quite place to get well. The time in mid Wales (Llanfihangel Nant Bran and Llangammarch Wells) was probably the nadir of my life.
2007: Living in Worcester, England. Teaching at Worcester College of Technology and sorting mail at the Worcester Mail Centre. In my four weeks of holiday, I tried to visit as many places as I could, travel has always been a passion, I hoped to visit every country of Europe by the time I was fifty (I didn’t achieve this aim) but I did visit Sweden, Finland, Israel, Spain, Poland and the Czech Republic in that year.
I have visited Austria, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Greece, Croatia (when part of Yugoslavia), Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia (but only in transit), Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, Turkey, United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and the United States (New York, Niagara Falls, Ohio and Chicago).
2017: Now I live in Tbilisi, Georgia. I don’t travel as much as I did, this year I have only been to Cappadoccia in Turkey outside Georgia. I have a wonderful wife, we will soon celebrate our eighth wedding anniversary. I teach English, I collect model cars, take a lot of photographs and spend far too much time online (mostly Facebook). I really need to learn Georgian, it is a tricky language.
2027: Will I still be alive? Who knows? If I am, I expect to be still here in Tbilisi, Georgia. If the Russians invade again, I might have to move to yet another country. I hope the world is more peaceful.
This first blogpost is rather self indulgent but it is my birthday 😉