Seating Arrangements

Have you ever declined an invitation to a party because you were dreading who you are going to sit next to?

It matters (a lot) to some people where they sit and with whom when attending their own company parties. The person-in-charge of this task gets the most flak if perceived to be wrong. (my sympathies😊)

Notwithstanding all its positive intentions, seating arrangements can be alienating for some. When you notice that “a group of certain friends is seated together” while you are arranged to sit with those you barely know, the thought of being treated unfairly kicks in. Not to mention dealing with the awkwardness of trying to start and maintain an interesting conversation with an unfamiliar group. How you get through that party, it must be difficult.

Seating arrangements can also be deemed by others as degrading. When colleagues are seated with VIP’s and at the front, you suddenly feel undervalued because (you think) you’re just ordinary and worse, your table is further to the back. Of course, you’d swear not to attend similar events ever again.

Truth be told, seating arrangements do not bother me. I am with the idea that we ought to get know more about other people. I won’t deny getting worried about who I am going to sit next to but at the same time, I get excited in anticipation.  I have taught myself to adapt and just look forward to that part of the party when the music starts and everyone abandons those seats with pleasure to freely mingle with anyone. That part of the party where the goers just let their hair down.

Sod the seating arrangement. Enjoy the party!

My Morning Calm (weekly photo challenge: Silence)

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/2018/01/17/silence-2/

One of the things I always look forward to whenever I visit my hometown is the early morning walk that leads to this river on a mountain. It is a breathtaking retreat from a busy life miles away. The silence is beautifully broken by the steady flow of the water which brings about a certain calmness to the mind and readiness to face a new day.

The Kind of Writer I Am

My blog has been idle for some time now. It made me think of the reasons why. Thus, discovering who I might be as a writer/blogger.

Time constraints? It is a cliche but I simply lack the time. I was able to start blogging when I was off work due to illness. Back then, I have had all the time on my hands to write and contemplate about what to share.

Time is what I need

Being back at work full-time has made me just want to come home at the end of every shift and rest and relax. Oh, yes. I’ve tried to concentrate and write after work or on my days off. I have always managed a few sentences until I felt ‘I just wanna laze out as I’ve got work tomorrow’.

So to be able to write, I need THE time…enough time.

Writer’s block? It shouldn’t be. Inspiration abounds! Life never runs out of experiences to opine on. The problem occurs (I know that now) when I play safe on how to express these opinions. While others are bold and gutsy about a lot of issues, I’m not. I always have to rack my brains out to find the right and acceptable words to use for fear of reprisals. And when I can’t, I get frustrated, I stop.

There you go, that says a lot about me as a blogger. I have created my own ‘writer’s block’. When will I muster enough courage to tell it as it is?

Language barrier? Okay, I am lucky that in my home country, the medium of communication for teaching is English and correct grammar was strictly enforced. But, even so, English is not my first language. Finding the right words when writing means the right English version, too. It is easier to articulate one’s thoughts and emotions by using a familiar language or dialect. This is true to both writing and when in a normal conversation.

Therefore, in my attempt to get my point across clearly, my rough drafts get shelved for proofreading and editing again and again until they get dismissed and unpublished.

So maybe, this is the kind of writer/blogger I am:

I need time.

I hesitate to tell it as it is.

Perfectionist (if this is the right term) with words.

Does it matter if these traits are right or wrong if they do get me into writing?

Am I even a writer at all?

Go…

the way beckons

take the stride

do come forth

leave the hive.

 

halfway you go

doubt befalls you

keep the footstep

upfront, up ahead.

 

however it ends

shove any regret

bask in the pride

you’ve refused to hide.

Summer in and around Llandudno, North Wales

The Promenade and The Pier

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the view of the pier from the promenade

It was on a whim and a last-minute family decision to travel to North Wales and explore Llandudno which turned out to be a pleasant discovery of an old-fashioned coastal town in a first-world country.

After an exhausting but uneventful six-hour drive from the South of England, we arrived at our hotel that was conveniently situated on the seafront and just a few steps away from the scenic Llandudno Promenade. The whole vista was indeed a welcome sight to behold!

It got my expectations of the town all hyped-up.

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main entrance of the hotel

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seafront and beyond

Determined to make the most of our short stay, we were at the promenade just as soon as we have unpacked. Our leisurely walk along the pebbled shore was accompanied by the intermittent squawking of flying seagulls. They seemed to be everywhere and spontaneously appearing out of nowhere! Well, that was an inevitability we have had to accept. These seabirds were bound to be visible in their natural habitat and territory.

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seagulls were everywhere and they squawked a lot!

We then came across a sandy part of the beach when we realised we’ve reached the mouth of Llandudno Pier. A waft of freshly baked donuts filled the air. They were a temptation one couldn’t say no to.

We gobbled up our donuts with gusto as we made our way towards the end of the pier. Noticeably audible as we plodded on was the familiar sound of country music. Hmmm. Definitely American. And so, there it was; a stall selling music CDs of just that! (yes, CDs. I did say ‘old-fashioned, right?)

I would say that it is rather a rarity in England to hear this music genre.

Before settling abroad,  I lived in a place in the Philippines listening to the likes of Johnny Cash and George Strait. To have been able to listen to them again in a pier in far-away Llandudno brought wonderful memories of home.

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Llandudno pier, the longest in Wales

Midway into the pier was a mini kiddie fair where families with young children got fascinated with the rides and games on offer. Llandudno is also a definite if you are looking for a family-friendly summer retreat.

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coastal view from the pier

The panoramic view of the Llandudno coast from the longest pier in Wales was worth the trip. A glimpse of old hotel buildings lined up along the seaside is quite a landmark. No wonder Llandudno attracts a lot of visitors, old and young alike.

The same can be said about the view from a reasonably-priced boat ride that we took the next day.

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coastal view from the boat

Regrettably, the famous cable cars were not operational due to the windy weather.

A summer night stroll has revealed that Elvis Presley is a common favourite in Llandudno. Many hotels that we have passed by featured a nightly entertainment of an Elvis impersonation…his music, his moves, attire and all.

And guess what? Our hotel did, too.

Our room was above the entertainment hall and as it was an old building, we could actually hear the reverberating sound of ‘Jailhouse Rock’ as we slept and looked forward to another summer day in Llandudno.