I am 80 this month (November) but it doesn’t stop me travelling, although the last booking (courtesy Silver Travel Advisor), doesn’t even leave Tilbury! It seemed an excellent way to celebrate my birthday with a five course dinner and floor show with breakfast included on the Marco Polo cruise ship.
But, since retiring, we have been quite a lot further, as you can see from my travel website at www.silverhairs.co.uk/help40.htm. My website deals with a lot more beside travel and is aimed at helping the mature set to master that essential, these days, the Internet.
I have been using desktop computers since 1981 and PCs since 1982. As a Careers Officer my interest was in developing computer systems which would help careers advisors and students to overcome the problem of career choice. Towards the end of my own career I developed a computer marked interest questionnaire which would eventually help thousands of Cambridgeshire youngsters by suggesting careers and pointing them towards the information required. After retiring, I took up the hobby with a vengeance and this resulted in the 50-page website offering free help. It has become quite popular and recently a search with Google on a word such as Pensioners would show my page on the subject on the top page of 8 million! Companies (including Silver Travel Advisor) like to place a link on the site and I ask them to donate to a charity which enables youngsters from a poor South African Township to attend school. I am pleased to say that, so far, companies have donated over £3,500 to www.theoliverfoundation.com.
Of all the holidays we have booked I think the most enjoyable have been off the Turkish coast. Although on one occasion we had the privilege of sailing on a private yacht, we have also enjoyed two trips on Turkish ‘gulets’. These are the beautiful pine-built boats which accommodate about a dozen passengers and two crew. They sail from several ports, such as Marmaris and Bodrum, and call in at many little bays, where one can swim in the warm Mediterranean or soak up the sun on deck or on one of the beautiful beaches. We prefer to have a two week holiday, with one week on the boat and another in an all-in hotel. We like smaller boats with only a few passengers. On one occasion, on the way back from New Zealand, we stopped off in Fiji for the express purpose of going on www.bluelagooncruises.com/ which had been recommended. The ship visits to remote Yasawa Islands, where life goes on in the traditional way, with no motor vehicles or other signs of modernity. The usual method of communication is by the chief of the island making announcements after the islanders have been summoned by the beat of a big wooden drum. They live by fishing and selling things to tourists (like lobsters and shell necklaces). The money is shared between everyone. Fijians are very welcoming and love to dance and sing. It is an experience I would recommend to anyone who visits the Pacific. Nearer home I recommend Morocco, which has a pleasant climate, even in the winter, and is a short flight from the UK.