WLM Monday Member – Elaine Beckham

Elaine Beckham MM

Victoria Twead:   Good morning WLM! Please welcome our own lovely (slightly crazy) Elaine Beckham into the Monday Member chair. She’ll be along later to answer anything you like. Two prizewinners will be chosen at the end of the day.

Alison Charlotte Moore: hi Elaine, we’ve not met i don’t think? have a lovely day here. so whats on your hit list as a must see when you start your travels?

Julie Haigh: Good morning Elaine Beckham!-(any relation to David Beckham?) Hope you have a right humdinger of a Monday member and enjoy it loads! Can’t help noticing the keyboard/piano notes cake- do you play piano/organ or keyboard? Do you think you got your love of traveling from being used to moving around so often as your dad was in the RAF or did you not like having to move so much then?

Shirley Ledlie: Morning Elaine, enjoy your day! I was just going to ask you if you are related to David but Julie beat me to it lol cant wait to hear about your trip coming up!

Jacky Donovan: Hi Elaine, look forward to hearing what made you decide to travel the world and which countries are on your agenda

Donna Trott: Where did you start the Women’s club & what did you do in it?

Cherry Gregory Hi Elaine, enjoy your day in the spotlight!

Ann Patras-Author: I say, Elaine, have you seen that our esteemed leader referred to you as ‘slightly crazy’? I would resemble that remark if I were you. Thinking about it, hate to imagine what she would say about me! I shall be following your Monday with great interest and ask you something when I see what everyone else has asked first. Enjoy.

Valerie Robson: Hi Elaine – is it about time to get up and have some coffee with us? xxx

Julie Haigh: It says it’s only 4.12am where she is if I’ve got that right from looking on the WLM map?

Victoria Twead: Very early for Elaine Beckham, don’t rush her!

Rowena Cardwell: HI Elaine Beckham, pleased to meet you. What has prompted you to decide to travel the world and are you doing it with someone or on your own?

Elaine Beckham: Thank you Julie Haigh for standing up for me Its now 4:48 am. Woke up, thought I’d put the kettle on and then decided to pop in here… but I will go back to bed with my cuppa’ and then wake up properly. But first to answer the questions here1

Julie Haigh: No rush Elaine, now how about some refreshments for us all while we’re waiting?

Elaine Beckham: Alison Charlotte Moore – I must see Tasmania again. I was there in 2005 and stayed with my best friend Sandra and her husband Peter. Am really glad I did because she contracted (does one do that I wonder?) cancer and died 3 years ago and her husband died of a broken heart 18 months later. I really miss them. They would call me once a month and be on the phone for an hour. Which was such a support when my husband Paul was going through his cancer and died. And later when my mother – who had lived with me for 19 years – died in 2009. Fifty plus years of friendship – I’d like to put some flowers on their graves.

Nancy McBride: Good Morning from New England! Got my cuppa Joe and ready to go…but off to water aerobics…before I go…. moving around in the RAF did you have dogs as a child? Now?

Elaine Beckham: Julie Haigh and Shirley Ledlie – how I wish I had a Dollar for every time I was asked if I was related to David – lol! Hang on – kettle’s just boiled. Got to get the tea bag…………ok, now its brewing . Yes Julie, definitely got the travel bug from being an RAF Brat! This is the longest I’ve ever stayed in anyone area or house…. we bought this house in 1990….. just Google 2096 Pineridge Dr, Cambria California and you’ll see something about it when it was put up for sale recently. And no, I didn’t like moving every 2 to 3 years, it was difficult for me to make new friends as I was very shy.

–Jacky Donovan I decided on this trip just over a year ago. I had been saying to myself What the Heck am I going to do? I’ve been very involved in my community…. currently the vice president of the local Arts Association and am a deacon in our local Presbyterian church…… but since my care giving days were over I was feeling lost. It was rather a long emotional haul the 2 1/2 years of Paul’s cancer treatments and all that went along with that – thank God for my mother living with us and her wonderful help. Then when she had to have open heart surgery at 89 and her 2 weeks of hell in the hospital I was rather depleted emotionally and physically. I’m going to hit Enter here and start again.

–So, maybe some of you have heard of Lynne and Tim Martin? Lynne was/is a friend of a friend of mine here on the California central coast, and I had known her slightly for several years. They are traveling “homeless” too, and she was the inspiration for me to have a go at traveling too. She has a FB page but I’ve just gone blank on what its called. I’ll put it up later – tea first, eh?

— So, after talking to, and hearing about, Lynne’s adventures and after having some medical issues plus going through the empty nest syndrome I decided I’d better do something – otherwise I’d sit here in this lovely area of California, still doing my volunteering but not having a satisfying life. I decided that I needed – really, passionately needed, to do my international travel before I turned 70. So, I am 68 and a bit now and 70 isn’t too far off.

–Donna Trott – the British club was a chapter of an organization that started here in the States back around 1908 and it supported British people who had to retire to assisted living. They started up 4 Homes, one in southern California, the others, if I remember rightly, in Texas, New York and WhoKnowsWhere. We started it off with 7 chatty women and it grew like Topsy, however after 10 years we were feeling under appreciated and opted out of the DBE and became a social group which we call the CHUMS. We meet twice a month – one is the real meeting and the other is the crafts Monday – that’ll be a week from today.

–Ann Patras-Author – our esteemed lady got that from me, when I told her I thought I was slightly crazy…… don’t we have to be in order to be in the Spotlight? LOL (wish there was something other than LOL – anyone got any suggestions ?

–Rowena Cardwell – think I answered your question, but I am going on my own… going solo as they say. I should be scared… the scary part has been selling my home as I’ve never done that before. The buyers are getting one heck of a deal but they are still asking for more, and last week I had a melt down one day – tears etc (and if you knew me you would know I don’t have tears, especially not when talking to my male Real Estate man). Once the house sale has been completed and I move out and over to a friend’s home for 2 months (they aren’t there) then I’ll get really excited, and once I’m on that cruise ship going out of Los Angeles on my way to Australia I guess I’ll have to stop myself from dancing around the ship naked with excitement !!

–Well, now my cup of tea tastes awful…. Packing has never been my “thing”. Currently there are items all over my bedroom floor and here in my dining/living room. I have whittled down a 2,700 plus sq.ft home into a 10 by 10 storage unit. I did that a couple of months ago because I knew I was only keeping a few items of furniture and I couldn’t visualize things…. knew they needed to be out of the way – but dammit! I’ve still got a lot of STUFF. It will be so liberating when I have nothing in the house. And that should happen over the July 4th weekend when I have a huge garage sale – otherwise known here as an Estate Sale

–Just realized, that I hadn’t answered someone’s question about where I’m going. First it will be 3 months in Australia – where I don’t know because I really don’t know where I can afford to live. Ideally I would love a little town where I can get to know the people, or maybe an area in a big town – anyone have any suggestions?

Victoria Twead:  Ooooh, go north and see the barrier reef, and the cost of living is much cheaper than around Sydney, etc.

Elaine Beckham: Then I plan on going to New Zealand. Thinking it will be good to rent an RV/small caravan and travel around the South Island, or parts of it for a couple of months. Wherever I stay in these two countries my plan is to use my accommodations as my home. In other words, if I want to stay in bed all day thats what I’ll do, and no one will be knocking on my door saying Room Service. But I’ll also leave my suitcase there, taking my backpack and going off for a few days or a week, seeing the country I am in. Or taking a tour to Bali. I definitely will go to Singapore, cause I lived there in 1957 -1960 and I know its changed.

Cherry Gregory: Sounds like you’ve had an emotional few years, Elaine, and the travelling will be very liberating, especially when you (very bravely) have got rid of your “stuff”! Australia and New Zealand sound fantastic.

Elaine Beckham: Victoria Twead – the Universe has been very good to me recently. I met a young Australian girl working in our Big Town about 45 mins away from me and she suggested just north of Brisbane…. anyone know about that area?

–I’m also planning on staying in Malta Cherry Gregory. I was there overnight a few years ago and liked it. And of course, I will return to my homeland for about 3 or 4 months…. I was born in Devon, went to school in Yorkshire and the London area. However, altho my maiden name was Kilgannon, I have never been to Ireland and I would like to spend a month there too. So many places! I guess if I run out of money I will stop and return to the States, but in the meantime I am being relatively flexible.

Rowena Cardwell: Elaine Beckham, it depends on what part of Australia you are interested in seeing. I know you mentioned Tasmania. Being the small place it is, you could probably hire a car and see alot of Tassie that way. You probably need to do some homework and make a list of what you are wanting to do. Every state is different and every state has something different to offer. Victoria Twead is right, Sydney is expensive. If you are OK with backpacker style accommodation, that would be reasonably priced. If you go to QLD, there are theme parks, Australia Zoo, Mooloolaba, Mon Repos (Turtles – depending on the time of year), Cairns, Great Barrier Reef and so on. There are some lovely beaches there too. If you are interested in climbing bridges, there is the Storey Bridge in Brisbane and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I don’t know Sydney very well but you have the Opera House, Darling Harbour is nice but expensive and has the Australian Madame Tussauds, Acquarium and the Wildlife Park. You can get discounts if you book on line and go to a combination of them.

Julie Haigh: Where in Yorkshire did you go to school?

Rowena Cardwell: Elaine Beckham, I’m from Melbourne and if you get here, there is the Great Ocean Road which is well worth doing. If I’m still job hunting in September, please contact me and I’d love to catch up for a cuppa.

Julie Haigh: And organ/piano/keyboard? (Re the cake on your pic)

Elaine Beckham: My legs and knees won’t let me climb the Sydney Bridge Rowena Cardwell, so I am glad I did it on my trip in 2005….I have rather short legs ! I think if I pick one place to settle for the 3 months, like using it as my home, then I can go out from that flat/apt or whatever and see the country in spurts. Altho I would like to take the train across to Perth where I used to have relatives and then fly back to where ever I am staying.

–Thanks Julie Haigh for pulling my mind back to your question…. finding my mind is all over the place at the moment! Think I’m going to disappoint you re the keyboard. I can’t play. Tried it when I was about 9 but we didn’t have a piano so the lessons weren’t much use for me. The birthday cake is a tradition in my husband’s family…. it is brought out each year, blown up and taken to a restaurant and everyone sings the appropriate song! Cuts down on the calories, eh?

Rowena Cardwell: LOL Elaine Beckham, I’m scared of heights so I would never climb it anyway. Also, the Apollo Bay Lighthouse down on the coast (Victoria) is an interesting day out. We hadn’t seen it until recently and the road was lined with koalas in the trees, something we had never seen. Only in zoos and wildlife parks. Also there is a zip line and tree top walk in the Otways as well. The way I worked out what I want to do is to ask myself if it is something I can do anytime at home or is it a unique experience. I often got my answer that way.

Elaine Beckham: Julie, we lived just outside of York. I was a little one and I went to the Bishopthorpe school…. I visited it just before I emigrated in 1976. It was a Boy Scout club house. Funny, but I don’t remember it being so small! We lived in Escrik, Acaster Malbis and Acomb. Oh and Harrogate. Do you know those areas?

Julie Haigh:   Ah, I had looked at your profile and seen the 4 manual 73 rank organ pic at the Nethercutt so I got a bit excited!-thought you must have played.

Jacky Donovan: Wow Elaine, sounds as if you’re on a real adventure, selling your home, hopping off to Australia and seeing what happens next. Amazingly exciting for you. Hope you’re going to be blogging as you go so we can hear all about it

Elaine Beckham: Rowena Cardwell, thanks for the great suggestions – I have wanted to go zip lining for ages, so that will be one thing I will do somewhere. Also I LOVE photography – just bought a new camera for the trip, so that road with koalas that you talk about would be a wonderful photo op.

–Sorry Julie – I really wish I had that talent – my next life maybe? I do appreciate good music though

Rowena Cardwell: Elaine Beckham, those places you mention are in the James Herriot series. I am an absolute fan of the series and desperately want to see a little of the places where the series was filmed in Yorkshire. Perhaps one day, I will realise that dream.

Julie Haigh: I mean this-now back to talk about your travels! http://www.nethercuttcollection.org/Collection.aspx

Elaine Beckham: Jacky Donovan and anyone else who can advise me – I would like to do a blog, mainly with photos…. I can get wordy, as you may have noticed, and that would be very boring after a while. So anyone know a good blog site, one that would be easy for me to handle and would be easy for people to access?

Cherry Gregory: Elaine, one of our WLM members lives in (or near?) York, Mickie Micki Stokoe. She might know of the places you mention in Yorkshire.

Elaine Beckham: The Nethercutt is a great museum to go to, mainly known for its old cars Julie.

Rowena Cardwell: Elaine Beckham, I LOVE photography too. It’s my passion and my hobby. Although I encounter opposition by some members of my family whenever the camera comes out, I am making memories wherever I go. I think it is such an important thing to do.

Elaine Beckham: I loved reading the Herriot books – I used to hang on the strap on the Tube going to work – well, one hand was hanging on the strap, seating being at a premium and standing was the only option – and the other hand holding on to my latest Herriot paperback. Every so often I would laugh – people would look at me nervously.

–Totally agree Rowena!

Julie Haigh: Yes, Elaine, I know all those areas, I’m from Huddersfield in Yorkshire, it’s near to Leeds, Harrogate, York, know all them very well.

Elaine Beckham: Julie an American friend and I went on a painting trip in Yorkshire a few years ago and we stayed in Leeds for a while. I’d never been there – I really liked it.

Cherry Gregory: When did you move to the States, Elaine?

Rowena Cardwell: Here’s a photo of the koalas I was talking about.

Photo#1-Koalas

Elaine Beckham: I emigrated twice to the States with the first time being in 1964. My parents didn’t know what to do with me I think . I really wanted to go up to Yorkshire and work with dogs – I’m mad about dogs – but the parents had a different idea and sent me over to be with my sister who had married an American. I was with her for a few months and then went to California to be with her in-laws.

Rowena Cardwell: And a cow in a regional town in Victoria called Shepparton. There are lots of different painted ones there done by different people. If you get there, you need to visit Beechworth where Ned Kelly, our outlaw came from.

Photo#2-PaintedCow

Elaine Beckham: In-laws…..the story I got was that I, being a really proper, quiet sort of a girl, would help calm down one of their daughters who they thought was mad crazy. She wasn’t, but she did wake me up a bit !! Unfortunately she got pregnant and apparently it was my fault! I spent 1966 to 1968 in San Francisco…. that woke me up too! Returned to London in 68 and didn’t emigrate again until 1976, and this time it stuck.

Cherry Gregory: Love your photos, Rowena! I used to take photos before digital cameras came along and now I don’t take any!!!

Elaine Beckham: Great photos Rowena… and I definitely will visit Shepparton. I used to live on an island in the Thames in Shepparton years ago.

Rowena Cardwell: Well Elaine Beckham, whilst I’d love to hear more about your upcoming travel itinerary, it is 11.15pm here and time to go outside and freeze whilst doing some exercise which I like to do late at night. Believe it or not, it helps me to sleep better.

–Enjoy the rest of your day in the spotlight Elaine Beckham. Night night all.

Cherry Gregory: San Francisco in the mid sixties must have been an amazing experience! What’s your most exciting memory of that time?

Charlotte Smith: Hi Elaine. Sorry I’m late. I’ve spotted that you love dogs. I like that about you – do you have any?

Elaine Beckham: the view from the top of the Sydney bridge

Photo#3-Elaine,topSydneyBridge

Elaine Beckham: I was looking for my photo of the koala I took shortly before I went to the Great Barrier Reef, but I can’t find it, so here is a collage that for some reason I put together. We’ll have to take photos together if I get to your part of the world Rowena Cardwell

Photo#4-CollageAUS

Rowena Cardwell: Definitely Elaine Beckham.

Elaine Beckham: Charlotte Smith – I don’t have dogs, but I will one day, after I get too wonky to travel but not too ancient to walk! When I was born there was a 6 month old corgi called Bryan already established in the household. He was lovely and I’ve always had a ‘thing’ for corgis. I’m the type of person you don’t want to be with when they see a corgi – LOL. I’m right there talking to the owners, oohing and aahing. I also used to go walking every day with the neighbors and I had one of their dogs on a leash. That way I got my Dog Fix. I also do a good dog massage.

–My most exciting memory of SF in the 60s Cherry Gregory ? Probably a boyfriend who had just come out of a notorious prison called San Quentin. He must have had his problems but at 19 yrs old I didn’t see them.

Charlotte Smith: If you would like to include Spain on your travels Billy would love a doggy massage I agree that dogs and travel aren’t a good mix. Your plans sound amazing – good for you

Cherry Gregory: I’ve heard of San Quentin prison, so it must be extremely notorious! Strange isn’t it, how at around 19 we often feel attracted to the “rebels”! I was the same until I was nearly thirty, Then I saw the light and dated my far more dependable husband (who is a rebel and exciting in his own way, but it isn’t so obvious and you have to delve deeper!)

Jo-Anne Himmelman: Elaine Beckham, just finished reading the thread. We have a few things in common. I love dogs, was an Armed Forces brat who hated moving every 3-4 years and had no long time friends, decided to travel when I retired and am selling my house to move back to the city. I came in late so most of my questions have been asked. OK, here is my remaining questions. After you moved out of the RAF environment did you yearn to settle down and establish routes or did you still have some of that “moving bug”? Will you being visiting any countries in Africa or Europe (I know you indicated you would be visiting the UK) or even possibly Canada? My sister and brother-in-laws have a Corgi and he is the cutest little guy named Sprocket. Re moving, I have established ” roots” in this community (30+ yrs.) so am finding it difficult. The real estate situation in Nova Scotia has slowed down tremendously. We have a large baby boomer population who are downsizing like my husband and I and the younger population is being very particular about the debt limit they want to hold. How long did it take to sell your house?

Susan Joyce: Elaine Beckham, good morning from Uruguay! It’s a crazy Monday morning here, but wanted to welcome you to the tell-all seat. Any plans to visit South America on your world tour? If so, I invite you to visit us in Uruguay.

Nancy Gould Gomoll: Good morning Elaine Beckham. I can’t believe you started your morning here before 5AM!! I thought my 6:45AM start was good several weeks ago!! You have had a very interesting life, filled with many ups and downs. You sound like an amazingly strong woman and I am proud of you. I will be most interested to follow you (blog or some how) when you start your new travel adventure. Once you return to North America, there are beautiful things to see in Canada if you wish to take a northern route across.

Dodie Shea: Good morning Elaine. I just finished reading all the comments. I am so totally in awe of your being able to head out and travel the world on your own! It sounds as though you have some great plans!.

Julie Freed: Hi Elaine Beckham – Love seeing your pictures! Can you tell us a bit about what is was like being an editor for the Sunday Tele?

Susan Jackson: I can’t wait to read about your trip! Are you going alone? I would do it when I retire but my husband would have a fit!

Susan Joyce: Elaine, I’d like to hear about how you met your husband.

Elaine Beckham: Charlotte Smith I do have to go to the Canary Isles and it wouldn’t surprise me if I went to Spain….. Love to give your dog a massage

— Sorry everyone I went back to bed, just for a bit, and fell asleep!

Charlotte Smith: Message me if you’d like to come and stay near the beautiful lakes of Iznajar Elaine

Elaine Beckham: Jo-Anne Himmelman my house sold quicker than I thought in this drying up real estate market – I say that with tongue in cheek because I live in a tourist and retirement area (google Hearst Castle, 6 miles up the road from me) but our town is probably the driest in California and in danger of running out of water in October. So, having said that, my real estate man suggested I put the house on the market for way less that I wanted – but, he was right, and in 22 days I had an offer. The buyers are getting one heck of a deal, everyone says so. But it depends on what one wants and in my instance I wanted to go on this trip. I doubt very much that I will be able to buy back into this town, but that’s ok, sort of. Life is to be lived and I was getting rusty – so, Adventure it is. I wish you the very best in your downsizing – its a very emotional thing until you realize that you don’t need those things!

— Oh Jo-Anne Himmelman, no I didn’t yearn to settle down until I got married at aged 41, but even then I didn’t know how to settle down. Like you, I have established many ‘roots’ in my community where I have lived since 1990.

–Susan Joyce don’t be surprised to see me on your doorstep ! But it won’t be until after this long trip – unless I change my mind, since I am going Australia/NZ over to the UK/Europe route. I’m am soooooo flexible that sometimes I confuse- s’orite though. As long as I get medical insurance to cover me…. buying it in the States seems to be more expensive than from Canada or other countries…. I’m guessing our insurance companies have something to do with that.

–Nancy Gould Gomoll – I love the bit of Canada I have seen. A friend has a little house in an out of the way town called Gold River on Vancouver Island. We used to drive up from the California Central Coast and spend 3 or 4 weeks on Vancouver Island. While I couldn’t live in Gold River I could certainly live in Sydney, just outside of Victoria !

Gramma Lupcho: Is your husband traveling with you??

Elaine Beckham: Dodie Shea thank you – I’ll accept all the compliments and encouragements I can get. Sometimes I think I am a little crazy – hey, didn’t our esteemed leader say I was? Anyway I’m not normally a passionate person about much. I usually let the world do what it wants, but for some unknown reason I feel I am being driven to do this trip. Its lovely, scary, confusing, emotionally draining – well darn! I think I do have emotions – LOL! For so long I felt I had to keep my emotions tamped down because of my husband’s illness and then my mothers unwellness – now – watch out World, Elaine’s going to be out there!

–Oh my dear Julie Freed – oh that I had been an editor – no I was just a lowly editorial assistant – but it was still a terrific experience for me. I worked for the Sunday Telegraph Magazine, which was pretty good in those days back in the 70s. Don’t know what it is like now. I had a wonderful couple of editors, the first leaving to work for the WHO and the 2nd whom I left behind when I went to work with a small company that designed 30 in house newspapers…. who knew that newspapers were designed, I didn’t. The editor I left went to work for Margaret Thatcher, so I have a lovely written recommendation from him written on Mrs Thatcher’s letterhead.

Jacky Donovan: I’m not a great blogger I’m afraid Elaine but am sure there are several WLMers who can advise you. Zip lining is fantastic! I did it last year in Mexico and it was so exhilarating to whiz over the treetops and have a real bird’s eye view of the world below

Elaine Beckham: LOL Susan Jackson – if my husband Paul were still alive he would have a fit too!! No, I shall be going by myself. We had no children, my parents are dead and my sister and I couldn’t live together let along travel together. I have a friend who will have 2 weeks vacation (Americans are so behind the rest of the world with their vacation/holidays) and she will come and stay with me for those days when I am in Australia. Another friend wants to do some Irish genealogy so she has told me she will stay with me for a month in Ireland (so, I guess I’m spending a month in Ireland!). Another friend who is a wonderful artist i.e. painter, hope to stay with me somewhere for some length of time. I am open to people spending a few days with me where ever I am, as long as they know they will be either sleeping on the sofa or sharing my bed (hope that does sound as weird as is does in print)

Susan Joyce: Elaine, think it’s time to celebrate your big trip! Here’s to you for having the courage to get up and go!

Photo#5-Celebrate

Susan Joyce: And for all the cheerleaders …

Photo#6-Champagne4All

Cherry Gregory: Thank you, Susan Joyce!!! It’s a lovely sunny evening here in the UK, so that will go down very nicely!

Elaine Beckham: Susan Joyce I met my husband in the safest of all places – church. I didn’t like him. One of the things I didn’t care for was that he was an engineer and all engineers are slightly odd, plus he was a scientist who wanted to be an Episcopal priest….. Just think, you could be hearing from a priest/minister/s wife right now! Thats one of the hardest jobs in the world. I knew a lot about Paul before we went out and was even friendly with one of his ex-friends! He was a very persistent man and I think I was the hardest project he’d ever had to work on, and he’s got something up on the moon. Dead now after all this time. The moon project I mean – and Paul, I guess.

— Thank you Susan – I love champagne, and I love all the cheerleaders here

— OK everyone – anyone – what is your advice on how I can do a blog on my trip…. where do I find the template or website?

Gramma Lupcho: Elaine, Selling your home is difficult and the sorting through! You will find you have done away with things you will wish you kept, and things you’ve kept will be useless!! Travel light, you can always find interesting clothing as you visit other area.

Cherry Gregory: My husband is an engineer, Elaine and I agree, They are certainly that bit different. After my mum met him for the first time, she told me”Well, he’s not run of the mill, is he!” But he’s lovely and kind!

Susan Joyce: Elaine, my blog is on WordPress. Here’s info on how to create one. http://www.siteground.com/tutorials/blog/wordpress.htm

Micki Stokoe: Hello, Elaine – loved reading through the thread. Your forthcoming trip sounds great! I live in Acomb & know the other places you mention well. It’s a small world!

Elaine Beckham: Cherry Gregory you are so right ! My husband was a very kind man and I am constantly amazed and happy and grateful that I met him and married him.

— Gramma Lupcho It sounds like you have gone through what I am going through. Have to disagree about thinking I’ll wish that I’d kept some things though. I have already put into storage the things I love and am keeping, and I still have a little more room there to put a few more things. Anything thats not totally personal i.e. photos, I think can be, and will be replaced when I get back – to where ever I’ll end up

–Micki Stokoe – who would have thought someone here would know Acomb…. its part of York now isn’t it? We were in an upstairs flat while my father was in Air Ministry in London. We followed later. I got the most confusing advice from my mother at that time… think I was 8 or 9. “Don’t sleep with boys” she said. And then – probably that same night – she put a young boy of about 6 or 7 in bed with me…. she was babysitting him and his mother hadn’t come back for him. The little bugger kept running his sharp toe nails up and down my leg…… put me off the opposite sex for years !!!

–Thanks Susan Joyce – I’ve heard of it and will take a look at it later today.

Micki Stokoe: Yes it’s a York suburb now! Not surprised your experience put you off boys!

Janet Hughes: Here’s a San Juan snack Elaine Beckham … it’s PaRtY PaRtY Time here in Spain… tuck in and enjoy

Photo#7 -SanJuanSnack

Elaine Beckham: I’ll be there as soon as I can Janet Hughes – 2015 soon enough – lol!

Betty Sue Brewster: Your trip sounds amazing. I have visited Australia a couple times. Once we rented a small house in a suburb of Canberra for a couple months and really enjoyed the area. There are two things I still want to do there: One is to take the Indian-Pacific train across Australia, and the other is to visit Ayers Rock.

–Driving around New Zealand is delightful! (and nothing at all like driving in southern California :o)

Elaine Beckham: Betty Sue – did you get your Indian-Pacific ticket from the country you live in or when you got there? And how did you find the small house?

Betty Sue Brewster: No, I haven’t been on that trip yet – it’s just on my list of things to do if/when I return to Australia.

I think the little house belongs to a friend of a friend of a friend :o)

Elaine Beckham: Oh Dear Me ! Just thought I’d pack my back pack on wheels… it has a day pack you can zip off. Why do I have all these clothes still hanging up in my closet? Haven’t even got any bras or nickers in yet. Good job I’m practicing this far in advance.

Betty Sue Brewster: I travel a lot. Last year I purchased a backpack from ebags – it’s called a weekender convertible – opens like a suitcase, and has a divider in the main compartment so everything doesn’t slide down to the bottom. With that one on my back and a smaller backpack on my front I was able to travel in Asia last summer with everything I needed for 3 months. I’m 70, so I’m glad I didn’t need to walk more than a few blocks wearing both of them.

Elaine Beckham: That sounds a bit like mine Betty Sue Brewster. There is so much to this trip, when you are leaving the USA for a year. Banking arrangements, getting your tax person to be authorized to do your income tax next April. And any other financial ‘stuff’, plus arranging for the utilities to be cut off and having a forwarding address here in the States. Plus finishing off the sale of the house – Yep I’m one crazy broad, thats for sure! Plus I’ve just got new lenses and I’m getting used to seeing life through those.

–I realize no one has asked about the model agency in London in the 60s. I certainly wasn’t a model, altho my sister was. A few of the models were witnesses in the Profumo Affair – it was an exciting and yet sad time. My mother had worked at an agency where Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice Davies were models. One thing led to another and that agency was closed down and my mother was given a license to open her own agency – needless to say the Misses Keeler and Rice-Davis didn’t transfer agencies.

Susan Joyce: Elaine, I was wanting to ask you about that. Thanks for mentioning it. We’re in the middle of a severe storm with power going off and on. Not meaning to ignore you. What an interesting life you’ve had.

Elaine Beckham: Hope your storm isn’t too violent Susan Joyce – we could do with some of your rain – anyone’s rain – here in California.

Cherry Gregory: You say you’ve just got new lenses. Do you mean for glasses (or contacts) or actually new lenses in your eyes?! I am very short-sighted, so I take an interest in these things!

Jo-Anne Himmelman: Selling the house is stressful and so is the downsizing – not so much for me as I get rid of things quite easily. My husband is, on the other hand a huge pack rat . He is the stress. The garage -two car and two stories- is his domaine. I swear he has taken things to the curb and brought them back in several times. I keep telling him to get one of those big junk bins and just throw things in from the windows. He doesn’t think that’s funny. He is now talking about building a garage at the cottage! Oh my nerves!!! How great that you are travelling on your own. You make the rules – what freedom. If you happen upon Nova Scotia drop me a line. You are welcome to have a stay at our house.

Micki Stokoe: I admit to being a pack rat too, although there are times I’d love to shed a few possessions – generally when it comes to dusting! Just came back from choir practice.

Susan Joyce: Elaine, the storm has pissed hail and passed for now. Can I get you anything?

Elaine Beckham: Gramma Lupcho I missed your comment about Bali and Singapore – thanks for those suggestions. When we lived in Singapore the traders would come on their bikes selling Balinese carvings, so my parents bought some and I am lucky enough to have a round folding carved table and three beautiful heads.

–Susan Joyce I’m happy to let you keep the hail – unless of course you mail it to us and it will have turned into water by the time it arrives

–Cherry Gregory – you are funny…. I guess I should have said for my glasses – I really don’t and never have liked wearing glasses – been wearing them for the last 58 years so you would think I’d have taken to them by now. Tried all types of contacts but due to dry eyes they haven’t worked. Thought about the laser treatment but am too scared – and also too vain cause you can see the dark lines under my eyes – but with glasses the frames cover that up

–Oh Jo-Anne Himmelman that is so kind of you. I’d love to see Nova Scotia one day….. I’d bring you a gift, but wouldn’t want to add to the pack rat thing – LOL!

Susan Joyce: Elaine, time to sign off this end and enjoy dinner and reading. Thanks for being a wonderful member in the spotlight today. It’s so exciting to know you are going for adventure. Many thanks for sharing all with us today. xo

— Good night!

Jo-Anne Himmelman: Ha, ha Elaine. No gift needed. It would add to the pack rat thing too.

Nancy Gould Gomoll: Sorry I have been too busy today to chat but have loved reading this feed. When you were talking about down-sizing, I looked around and thought about all the things I have that I never use. It would be liberating to get rid of a lot of it, but I can’t imagine the work of it! I think it is wonderful what you are doing in following your dream. I wish you well and will love to see pics along the way and hear about your adventures. Thanks for spending today with WLM and sharing your life with us. Blessings to you.

Susan Jackson: Nancy Gould Gomoll and others, I think the easiest way to downsize is if the house burns down cause I don’t have enough kids to give all my good stuff to ;(

Terry Bryan: Elaine Beckham, I am so very excited for you! I just know you’re gonna have a ball. When you get back to the states, come to Virginia!

Photo#8-RoyalThankYou

Nancy McBride: Been cleaning out in batches, and know what I would take when I decide to shift abodes… but actually putting the house on the market and landing somewhere else… I’ll know.

Nancy Gould Gomoll: Susan Jackson, my kids don’t want any of my “treasures”! Things that had belonged in our family (old china and crystal) and things I saved are of no interest to my kids My art work is not their taste, and things I gathered in travels do not have meaning to them. Oh well…

Susan Jackson: Nancy Gould Gomoll, my son said he and one of his friends said they are going to open a museum–but he is keeping all of my husbands paintings (he doesn’t have any kids)

Jo-Anne Himmelman: We’re moving to a condo. My son tells me I need modern furniture and that I should sell everything I have now with the house! Humph no taste.

–Night all. Have good sleeps.

Elaine Beckham: Susan Jackson, I have often thought about the burning thing… we live in such a dry area that if the house burnt down I thought, well, that’d be ok! Don’t know if it really would – but its been a thought, thats for sure.

–Terry Bryan I would love to visit Virginia – I was in Virginia Beach one week in a February – really rather cold and windy but still very lovely.

–Nancy Gould Gomoll I live in an area with mainly older folk and they all say the same as you. Silver and china are not what the younger folk want nowadays – too difficult to keep clean. – But at least you can make some extra money by selling on Craigs List or eBay And the kids don’t have to know…..

–Most of you are probably all asleep – thank you so much for participating in this Get to Know You day for me. I wasn’t too sure about being on the Hot Seat…. believe it or not my mother used to talk of the time when I was so shy that I would hid behind her skirt – Life is an adventure, eh?

Cherry Gregory: Thank you, Elaine, it’s been great getting to know you. Life certainly is an adventure!

Victoria Twead: Thanks so much for telling us everything about yourself, Elaine Beckham, and best wishes for your coming journey! I know we’ll all be following your adventures, keep us informed! Let me know who you’d like to win prizes from the header.

Fran Macilvey: Dear Elaine, can I come with you on your round the world trip?? I’ll bring the teabags!

Elaine Beckham: Funny Fran Macilvey – of course you can as long as you can pack my bag or bags, so that I don’t take too much with me

Nancy McBride: Loved this thread, Elaine, and friends. The friendships that develop, here, are so sincere, and we are all living our eventual next memoirs out loud, in this moment and the next. If we were not adventurous in our minds, let alone our travels in body or mind, we would not be having these conversations. As I have mentioned before any of you are welcome in my home in your wanderings, and we can nosh, wile away the hours visiting, and I’ll even throw in a free painting lesson!

Elaine Beckham: Oh – you totally won me over Nancy McBride – I could never turn down a free painting lesson !!!

Victoria Twead: Elaine Beckham, you’ve given me itchy feet again, can I come too?

Elaine Beckham: the more the merrier Victoria. Depending on what size apartment/flat I can afford in the places I am staying for 1 to 3 months you are all welcome to spend a night or two – on the sofa probably tho

— Hope you all had a good day yesterday – I did SOOOO – drummmmmming for the Drum Roll……. And the winners are…… Nancy McBride – Rowena Cardwell – Cherry Gregory – and – Jo-Anne Himmelman I don’t know if any of you have won before, but you get to choose a book from the ones listed in the photo at the top of the page. Then, somehow, Victoria Twead magically gets it to you

–OH – do let us know which book you choose – Victoria is clever but I don’t know if she can read minds.

Cherry Gregory: Thank you so much, Elaine!!! And congrats to Nancy, Rowena and Anne too.

–Victoria, could I have Dog Days in The Fortunate Islands? I love the cover!

Nancy McBride: Thanks so MUCH! I have never won a book, before! Yay! I choose NAKED, please!

–Elaine, today I missed water aerobics I was so caught up in catching up with your fred. And, knowing myself I didn’t force it, not wanting to lose the roll I was on. And that eased me to a place I was already heading for… nearer to the corner I will turn to move on from my abode to seek adventure as an ex-pat in my own world (LOL). As most of you know, my mom died, recently. I will get eventually receive a modicum of an inheritance. It occurred to me from my time with this fred that she would want me to make this move and have more freedom to continue my adventures with less household concerns. The $ will be used to help me shift gears to step off my next edge and fly. Hugs…

Susan Joyce: Congratulations to the winners! Cherry! Nancy! Rowena! Jo-Anne!

Micki Stokoe: Well done, Cherry, Nancy, Rowena & Jo-Anne! And a big thank you to you, Elaine, for a great Fred!

Fran Macilvey: Getting ready to travel! It is the holidays from Friday – yes, already! – and I have quite a lot to do before then, but I’ll get there!

Julie Haigh: Congrats Nancy, Cherry, Rowena and Jo-Anne -hope you all enjoy your prize reads!

Jo-Anne Himmelman: So good Nancy. Fly to Nova Scotia. There is a bed for you at the house or cottage.

Nancy McBride: How close does the ferry from Portland come to Halifax? A bus ride away?

Jo-Anne Himmelman: About 3 hours by car. Never taken the bus but if you come we will pick you up. The cottage is only about 10 miles from Keji -about 2hours drive from the ferry.

Rowena Cardwell: Wow thanks Elaine Beckham, I have never won anything before, so I am stoked. Congratulations also to my co-winners, Cherry, Nancy, and Jo-Anne.

Elaine Beckham: Rowena Cardwell – You didn’t say which book you would like Victoria to send to you I guess you were that excited you forgot, lol!

–Delighted that you will have the chance to go traveling Nancy McBride – sorry about the water aerobics…. well, sort of sorry <gg>

Jo-Anne Himmelman: Elaine Beckham and Victoria Twead, could I have Paw Prints in Oman? Thank you Elaine – I will soon have a whole summer’s reading material.

Rowena Cardwell: Hey Elaine Beckham, you’re right, I was in such a rush this morning that I didn’t have time to even look. But I am so honoured to be one of the chosen and can’t thank you enough. I do look forward to reading all about your upcoming adventures and if it works out and I am able to, I would love to meet up with you. It’s amazing to realise that we communicate this way from across the other side of the world.

June 25

Victoria Twead: All prizes sent. Jo-Anne Himmelman, Cherry Gregory, and Nancy McBride will bring smiles to Charlotte Smith, John Searancke and Julie Freed.

Cherry Gregory: Thank you, Victoria! And once again, thanks to Elaine for this marvellous thread and for selecting me as a winner. Like Rowena says, it is a fantastic thing that we can communicate this way from the other side of the world and know, understand and appreciate each other more than we do our neighbours!

Victoria Twead: Cherry, that’s so true!

Rowena Cardwell: Elaine Beckham, just been conversing with Victoria Twead as I don’t have the relevant download. My teenage daughter is going to look at it tomorrow so I will choose a book when she has worked it out. Thanks again.

–Elaine Beckham, book now chosen with Victoria Twead’s excellent assistance. It is Paw Prints in Oman. Victoria is currently giving me instructions on how to access. LOL. Clearly I’m not tech savvy.

Victoria Twead: Yayyy! Rowena Cardwell has now received and downloaded Charlotte Smith’s Paws.

Charlotte Smith: Thank you Rowena. Enjoy Paws!

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