i am astonished at the large number of views this thread receives, and hope it's a postive sign. i have so many plans, so little time, so much inspiration. in a way i regret buying traveling tickets because this town, as small and sleepy as it is, is my home, and it's so beautiful here. norway's big cities such as bergen, oslo and trondheim cannot compare to the paradise in which i now live. i do miss the opera, 'la traviata
', things like that, but such pleasures can at least be enjoyed via youtube - and the season's final performance of 'the magic flute
' is playing in oslo on sunday, so if i am not too tired after arriving late saturday night i might enquire if there are any seats still available.
i do complain about having a slightly too hectic social life, people either calling by or inviting me here and there, but i think the reason i cannot do anything to curb this lifestyle has a psychological root. i was born in eastbourne on the south coast of england, but grew up on a farm near the border to wales, the tiny rural hamlet of uley, deep in the cotswold hills, population less than 300 at that time. a heavy dialected language was spoken by the local inhabitants. for example: 'er'll be yer drektly' is 'she'll be here soon/directly', and 'wur bist thee gwan, boyo?' is 'where are you going, boy?' - stuff like that. i was frequently whipped by my stepfather, with a long thin pliable branch that he'd break from a hedge. but it was otherwise a healthy life in the country, and i got to know the names of every bird and every wild flower.
circumstances changed during my final term at dursley secondary school (a busride from uley), and i had to leave everything behind, including all my schoolfriends, and move back to eastbourne, where i knew no one. it was my 15th birthday, i didn't know a soul, had not a single friend, was utterly lonely. a young lad about to embark on one of the most important phases of his life, on the threshold to exciting opportunities. instead i was forced to discover what it felt like to be totally alone, to have no one to give advice, no one to turn to or who cared that i existed.
i had a room, but to buy food i worked for an exploitative man who ran a maintenance business, mostly repairing hotel roofs. to cut expenses and get highest profit he refused to erect scaffolding. instead i was made to climb out of a window on the top floor and walk along narrow ledges while holding onto the rusty rain gutter above with one hand and a bag carrying tools and slates in the other. one time, during wet weather, it was so treacherous that i was extra fearful about climbing out onto the slippery ledge. my boss told me that if i did it he would raise my wages from one shilling an hour to one shilling and sixpence. so i did it, not for the money, but because i had very little choice.
maybe it is this experience that stops me from asking friends and acquaintances to stop bothering me so much. an ingrained fear of being alone in the world - i don't know. many people suffer from loneliness, both young and old, maybe even someone who is reading this. well, i know what it feels like, how depressing and hopeless everything can seem.
other paying jobs i have taken since? house painter, home help, hotel kitchen worker, milkman, factory conveyor belt operator, construction site labourer, caretaker, nightwatchman, office cleaner, church warden, kindergarten assistant, meals on wheels delivery, gigolo (only for two weeks), newspaper distribution, psychiatric hospital nurse, gardener, day centre for elderly, hanging meat in large deep freeze at a slaughter house, driving bakery van and working as carpenter making false antique furniture.
i had not intended to write so much about myself, but this thread receives so little feedback that i don't really know what is wanted, or indeed whether a cessation of this gallery would be preferred. in any case, some biographical information after posting so many pictures might not be deserving of a harsh reprimand. goodbye for now