Friday, 18 October 2013

Amsterdam - the fun and a sad story

Two weeks ago while in Amsterdam for a few days I had a really interesting time. I am an avid sightseer so I proceeded to plan a few museum trips. I had visited Amsterdam 22 years ago but I went to see the Van Gogh Museum again as I am a huge fan.

I had a fun time in that city and we stayed out late but there was one place I visited that really struck me.

I went to the Anne Frank House Museum. What a sad story! For years I have not thought about the Holocaust but once again it was there in front of me. I was always interested and shocked in the subject even as a kid. This museum is amazing. The story of Anne Frank and her family who went into hiding for two years to escape the Nazi's. The museum told Anne's story and reminded me of how I had studied this at school. Her simple testimony makes it real for the visitor despite the many years that have past.

Well, two weeks later and I have read her diary and learnt more then everytime I open the television tere seems to be a documentary or film covering the subject. What interests me most are the feelings and thoughts of those involved. I am still trying to fully understand how so many normal people became sadistic and evil players in that history. Even worse, how many of the high ranking officials do not feel guity, only "sorry" and maintain the usual phrase "I was not responsible, I was just doing my job!"

We all need to take responsibility for the result of our actions and as I witnessed in a film I saw last night we can always do something to help. Those who helped Anne's family put themselves at huge risk and last night I watched a film about another hero of that time. Irena Sendler, a social worker who went into the Ghetto in Warsaw to save children and smuggle them out placing them in loving Polish families who looked after the and protected them.

Now I want to say something. I keep seeing comments like "we need to remember what happened during the Holocaust so it doesn't happen again. Well, guess what? It has happened again and again. Cambodia, Rwanda, World Wars and who knows what. It happens every day whenever one person is victimized for his race or beliefs. The Jews story is particularly sad and shocking but it is unfortunately one example among many of the cruelty of man.

Take a look at this website about what happened to Anne Frank and her family in the secret annex.

Let's not remember how fortunate we are to live now and not to have to face those times.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Another new experience - Unfortunately!

Having just completed a wonderful summer teaching Pre-sessional English to postgraduate students at Leicester University in the UK, I met up with my wife Elgiz to begin a short break after all that hard work and marking.

So I spent a week in London doing some sightseeing (I am now trying to see the less known sights in London).  Then it was off to settle my son Daniel into his second year a great five days or so there. Boy! Is that place ever fun! (Explain later).

London - Tower Bridge
We then went to Amsterdam for three or four days. What a beautiful place. So much to see and do, we had an incredible time...but...

Not without incident! I experienced another first time in my life situation. Unfortunately.

Let me explain, bit of a nightmare coming up here. You may wish to look away because I am going to explain about an awful reality now that is becoming a common problem in hotels everywhere.

Anyway, we booked a nice central hotel in Amsterdam and settled into the Hotel Espresso room 215. Cozy, I thought, a bit small and definitely overpriced as all of Amsterdam's hotels are. Rediculous prices actually. Anyway our first few days passed pleasantly (not normally because we were in Amsterdam but very nicely thank you). On the third day in the morning I woke up itching like I've never itched before. OUCH! Looked in the mirror - my back, arms and legs were covered in big red blotches. What could this be? Did I eat something and had an allergic reaction? I needed to scratch and then went looking for a chemist the next morning. The woman in the checmist immediate told me what the problem was. "Oh yes, she smiled, I've seen this a lot here..." A clue for you:

Worse than mosquitos and the real vampires. Ouch! I had been bitten by BEDBUGS. Yikes!

More than a week later I am still suffering from these itchy bites.

I have now found out so much about these things and how to treat the bites but I am worried now and getting quite paranoid about staying in another bed. I will soon be travelling to Paris too...

Facts about these horrible creatures:

1. They come out at night and suck blood
2. Growing problem all over the world especially in hotels
3. You can bring the damn things home in your suitcase so beware!
4. It is possible to carefully check the bed when you arrive - educate yourself
5. Bites take a couple of weeks to go and everyone reacts differently
6. I still got new bites appearing almost a week later, they dont comeup imediately

I hope the hotel will refund us and they have already made an offer. Was it worth going to Amsterdam and getting bitten? Yes, but this was not and still isn't pleasant. Ouch!

So remember: "sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite!"

Monday, 7 October 2013

A great summer

I truly had a great summer this year!

Once again I taught Pre-sessional English at Leicester University in England. It is so very satisfying to help international students prepare to study in the UK. The whole experience beyond the teaching is rewarding and I love the atmosphere of teaching at an academic institution in Britian.

It was really hard work once again and each year seems to get that bit harder. Late nights marking and preparing for lessons.

It was great to get back home to England and touch base. I also made many new friends and met up again with some from last year. It was also nice to get back to teaching full time if only for a short spell.

Leicester grows on me every time I find myself there. It is so diverse! All nationalities and cultures mixing and that has its benefits. So many indian restaurants to choose from!

I explored a bit more and went sightseeing again both in Leicester and York.

The above picture is just a taste of what you can find in Leicester town centre.

All told I was back in the UK for over 8 weeks.

Everyone in Turkey (where I live for part of the year), believes it always rains in England but this year the summer was HOT and SUNNY! Sometimes too hot...

It's back to my real life now but I am not too happy to be back in Turkey...

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Life is not perfect...

Life is not perfect. It never will be...

Stop thinking that your life should be perfect and accept that this will never be the case.

You should just allow your life to reflect who you are and if it doesn't then take small steps, (or large ones if you have the courage!), to change it so it does.

Life is not perfect. Neither are you...

Stop punishing or criticising yourself for not being perfect for none of us are.

I wish you a great day and hope that you will see the sense and hope that lies in freeing yourself of the stress that comes with chasing a perfect life. That perfect life doesn't exist.

Try and accept that you can change your reality but if you chase perfection you are chasing a false dream.

I hope that this message helps you today and I'd love your comments on how tis message relates to your life, please leave a commen below

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Familiar Places

This week I have returned to the UK and after spending a few days with my parents, (not as easy as it used to be as they have aged now), I am back teaching at Leicester University for six weeks or so.

This annual trip back home to teach has happened each year for the past six years. As we've discussed before it's good to get back home and touch base. But for me the most important part of coming back is to revisit my own feelings and thoughts and see how they have developed over the past year.

I love teaching. Why?

It is a chance to help someone and here in the UK I am helping young people who are far from home. As I return to the UK and work I am back home yet at the same time away from home because my family are back in Turkey. I miss them but experious the joy too of seeing the familiar faces and places where I've been before. This all brings into contrast the important things in life.

So I'm glad to be in Leicester but sad to be away from my dear family.

Keep reading my blog to find out more about how my trip goes and I'll try to include some lessons along the way that will help illuminate your life.

Please add a comment below and let me know what you think about my writing and the ideas here in this post. Have your say!

Monday, 22 July 2013

What excuses do you use?

When things get tough in your life what do you do?

Do you decide how best to take action and face the difficulties that lie in front of you or do you make excuses?

Excuses are the false reasons we give ourselves to avoid the danger we think is ahead. Is your head full of reasons why you can't do what you want to? Why your dreams are impossible?

I've just written a new article and added it to my site that will show you exactly how you use these false excuses and I'll show you what to do to overcome them. If you can break free of these excuses you create for yourself then you'll be on the way to finding freedom and happiness in your life. It will be a real awakening for you.

If you suffer from these limiting excuses in your head that sabotage your every step and decision then please go now and check out this new page:

Excuses - what is behind them?

Thursday, 18 July 2013

A new view of yourself...

This week my son bought something amazing. It was a wide angle camera called GoPro and films your sporting activities. Most people use them for extreme sports to take film from incredible angles. I enjoy windsurfing and so we attached the camera to the boom of our windsurf sail and after we got home we checked the film....

Amazing! But what has this got to do with self help I hear you ask..?

Life is, in my opinion, an extreme sport and we usually have a very fixed view of it. We see everything from the same view and that view is biassed. We do not see the truth and we do not see exactly what others see.

Like the camera I mentioned above the shots from the camera are like an entirely different world. We don't see how amazing it is what we are doing when we get into action. When you film it like this you see there is so much more to "reality" than what we normally see. Your ability to walk, run and navigate your world is unbelievable. The world is incredible, yet we don't notice the details.

The message here is that you should take a different view of yourself and understand that you are so much more amazing than you think you are. The reality you believe in is not a true picture of the world, it is so much richer and more amazing than you know.

Open your eyes to the wonder of life and to your abilities today!

To read more about how you view yourself and your world check this page: