Fighting Fit For The Over Fifties
This is a guest post from a former colleague and good friend Paul Pasquale. He addresses a serious issue – possibly a life-or-death issue for some of us. The story starts in January 2019 when Paul was 51 and was written eight months later in August 2019. Hope it inspires you.

Fancy A Flutter On Las Vegas?
Have you ever wondered if a trip to Las Vegas is for you?
Isn’t it just an Adult Disney full of Americans Behaving Badly in some sort of modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah?

Bankan Bonanza
I have to start with a confession. I have allowed work to get in the way of my intention to travel and to do the things I want to do. What’s worse I haven’t always enjoyed the work I have been doing, so that’s all got to change if I’m to keep faith with the intentions of this site.
Anyway, with that out of the way, I have finally got round to working towards my goal of 100 countries see the list here, with numbers 80 and 81 on one trip, and number 82 the following week.

Vientiane, Chiang Mai & Yangon.
In contrast to my last couple of posts which were ostensibly about away-days, this is about a much meatier trip.  Although having said that, the manner in which it was planned and executed is still very much in the spirit of the Barefoot Bohemian.  I will also focus on the mechanics of the trip rather than on producing yet another tour guide, although a video of each location can be viewed at The Barefoot Bohemian channel on YouTube if you want a flavour on them. View the video here

More Than A Day Trip
Following on from my last post about day trips, Kraków might seem like another location which would be a possible location for a quick visit. It’s a small enough city to see most things in a day, flights are frequent and cheap with early morning and late evening departures and it’s fairly inexpensive once you get there.

Didn’t We Have A Lovely Day……
When I was young a day out involved a trip to the seaside, a fish and chip supper in a proper restaurant – with bread and butter – and falling asleep in the back of the car on the way home, especially if it was a trip to Blackpool Illuminations which mainly involved a massive traffic jam down the seafront and a lot of lights which looked remarkably similar after the first hour. Now a day out can be much more far-reaching and interesting.

Musical Chairs At St Albion’s School – A Monthly Newsletter
Things at St. Albion’s School calmed down a little in July, although not because of calls to ‘calm down’.  Never in the history of calming down has anyone ever calmed down because they were told to ‘calm down’.  No, it’s a little calmer because nothing has really happened, and as predicted in the last newsletter, it seems not much is likely to happen for some time.

Cheers. But Don’t Mind If I Don’t.
I’ve been considering stopping drinking alcohol for months now. Not necessarily forever, but for at least a few weeks, and afterwards, probably never returning to my pre-abstinence levels. What has prompted these cataclysmic thoughts?  A number of things really – some age-related, some health-related, some experimental.

Open System To See More Golf.
Tomorrow (Thursday, July 14) sees the start of The Open (note there is no need for the word British to be inserted before Open). It’s one of the four most prestigious golf tournaments in the world and this will be the 145th competition.

Flaming June at St Albion’s School – A Monthly Newsletter.
Well, what a month it’s been at St Albion’s School.  We started the month with our over-hyped football team heading off to play in the Inter-Schools Tournament in France and, as usual, we had over-inflated hopes of their chances.  We also started the month as a member of the Confederation of Schools, of which we are a pretty big cheese despite our size and school numbers.

Mud, Mud, Glorious Glastonbury Mud.
Glastonbury 2016 has been described as the muddiest yet.  It was certainly the muddiest I’ve seen.  It’s also the longest I’ve spent in the stickiest mud I’ve ever encountered.  But with a bit of planning and care, it doesn’t mean you have to abandon a ruined tent and immediately bin all your clothes afterwards.  I simply hosed off my wellies and it was as if there had been no mud.  But that much mud over the whole five days does change the Glastonbury experience, in ways I hadn’t appreciated.

Tickets & Trouble At Euro 2016.
So we’ve managed to leave Europe twice in four days – both in humiliating circumstances – but I’m not going to comment on either embarrassment in this post.  I would like to expand and correct a couple of things from the last article Plan To Succeed, based on my experience in Marseilles for Euro 2016.

Plan To Succeed.
Euro 2016 kicks off in France tomorrow (Friday June 10), and despite a warning against travel from the UK Foreign Office, I’ll be on a plane to Marseilles at the same time France take on Romania in the opening game – how rufty-tufty, devil-may-care is that of me and my mates?  OK not very, Marseilles is hardly Aleppo but I haven’t been anywhere truly exciting for a while so I’ll go along with the risk assessment of this trip to try to stimulate some adrenaline.

Do You Talk To Yourself?
“Hi. How are you?  Good to see you. Come in.”
‘Yes – welcome to my world. You can come inside but please don’t stay too long.
‘You see, I’m not really lonely but I am glad of the company. Although all of a sudden I’ll wish you weren’t here, because you’ll be stopping me doing all the things I wasn’t doing anyway, and I’ll want to be alone – until you’re no longer there when I’ll wonder why I wanted you to go.
‘So do your best to make yourself as comfortable as you can while you’re here, because you’re not staying long.’

Second Best Is Good Enough.
The other day I received a flyer through my door.  It was from a local estate agent telling me they had sold a house.  “Well look at you, cupcake, aren’t you doing well for yourself.” Isn’t that your entire reason for existing?  What next?  An email from the chippy when they sell a particularly well-battered cod, or a text from the barber when another shaved head hits the streets?

Regrets – I Have A Few.
Recently I attended the funeral of an old college friend.  ‘Old’ if mid-50s qualifies for that epithet, ‘college’ because that’s undoubtedly where we met but ‘friend’ – what exactly does that mean?

Ashes To Ashes – Lesson For Life.
So England have just regained The Ashes – something that prompted me to post a little friendly jibe at my Aussie friends on Facebook.  Why did I bother?  I don’t particularly like cricket.  I don’t follow it as a sport.  I don’t even know all the English team.  In fact, I only ever pay attention to the result of The Ashes matches.

And Then You Go And Spoil It All…
After a gap of far too long, it’s perhaps a little odd that I have decided to mark my return with an article about nastiness. But then if you didn’t appreciate ‘odd’ you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog anyway.
It was prompted by a reminder of how unnecessarily nasty people can get, often for little or no reason.  This got me thinking whether nastiness could ever be justified and whether being nasty says more about the state of mind of the ‘nastor’ than the contents of the nasty comments say about the ‘nastee’. (I know those aren’t real words – but they might be now).

Rio – Dancing In The Sand.
Rio has never been far from the headlines over the last few weeks.  It’s been ubiquitous as a former colleague would have been quick to point out.  Even The Mariachis (the Mexican band which advertises Doritos) did a cover of the song at Glastonbury – it doesn’t get much stranger than that!

Weight Off My Mind.
It all started when someone who has been called my ‘foodie friend’ told me she was going to go on a diet which claimed to help you drop 14lbs (6.4kgs) in 7 days.

Glastonbury For The Over 50s
As readers of my bucket list will be aware, Glastonbury Festival has been something I’ve wanted to go to for years, and this was the year I managed it.
First, let me kill the idea that it’s a festival for kids.  It’s not.  Far from it.  Even before I went I was unrepentant when faced with the “Aren’t you too old for that?” question.  My reply was: “If Mick Jagger is not too old to headline the Pyramid stage on Saturday night then I’m sure as hell not too old to stand there and listen.”

Living The Life – Featuring A Guest Post.
To be honest I have been nudged into action by a friend – and Barefoot subscriber – who is really about to live the life.
After a few years in the TV news business and a few more years in the Comms arena she has resigned from her job, bought a contraption she calls a car and is about to drive wherever her errant sense of direction takes her. I’m seriously impressed.

Mind Does Matter.
For those of you who do not follow me on Facebook or Twitter (if not, why not?) you may not be aware that I recently completed the Florence Marathon.
‘No big deal’, I hear you say, lots of people run marathons; many of them considerably older than me and some of them with fewer limbs than me, or some other physical difficulty to overcome.  So I appreciate this post is not going to be akin to a revelation on the road to Damascus (although I’m not sure if anyone is taking that road anymore).

What Drives You?
In a little over two weeks, I am due to run the Florence Marathon.  It will be my fourth marathon, and while I can’t claim I’ve ever done as much training as the schedules suggest, I have never been more poorly prepared to run 26 miles.

Say What You Mean.
I’ve just spent a few days with friends in Barcelona.  It’s a great city and well worth a visit if you haven’t been – it’s worth going again, even if you have been!  It was also a great chance to practise my Spanish, as English is not as widespread as it is in the resorts of Spain.  I even got to argue in Spanish – which was a first.

Are Festivals For You?
I’ve just spent the UK Bank Holiday weekend at Reading Music Festival. Admittedly it’s not on my bucket list – Glastonbury is – but a camping trip is on there so I guess four nights in a tent counts and gives me something else to tick off.

Olympic Legacy.
As the closing ceremony effectively hands the Olympic baton to Rio De Janeiro, it’s probably appropriate to reflect on the last three weeks which have hijacked news, sport, radio, TV and pub conversations in the UK like nothing else in recent years. Especially as the games have also put a brake on my travel plans as I’ve spent every chance I got going to events.

Lessons From The Open.
I’ve just returned from a couple of days at The Open golf championship (please note: not the British Open). What an amazing finish to what was looking like a fairly routine tournament.

Travel Within Budget.
If you’ve read my bucket list you’ll notice how much of it involves travel – even many of the activities are location-specific.  In fact, one item on the list is to visit 100 countries before I’m 60.  This could be both expensive and time-consuming.