In Greece and
France I got lots of kisses which is the Mediterranean way of greeting
family and friends. But in Kingsbridge I got lots of hugs which isn’t
an English custom, it’s the Loxton’s way of greeting family
Michael and Helen
Loxton are a loving couple in their 50’s. They are both Kineisiology
therapists, heavily into healthy living, numerology and new age lifestyles.
And they’re into hugging in the morning, hugging in the evening
and hugging at supper time! And they’ve developed a friendly
way of preparing their (sometimes unsuspecting) hugees for one of
these warm, welcoming hugs. First of all they give you a big smile
and then they come towards you with out-stretched arms (right arm
higher and left arm lower, so you know where your arms are supposed
to go). I was with them for a whole week. It was awesome.
a small town in what Helen refers to as her “Heaven in Devon”.
But even though
Kingsbridge is a beautiful town (the view from their 3rd floor apartment
was breathtaking) the memories I’ll keep will be of the people
I met and the things I did. And my agenda for Sunday, Nov 9, was the
most hectic and the most memorable.
After a busy morning
rehearsing my play and sending emails, I accompanied Helen and Michael
to their Circle Dancing class. In the middle of the dance floor was
a small arrangement of flowers, and all the dancing revolved around
them. Luckily, the first dance being taught was of Greek origin. And
being Greek, I was able to keep up with everyone during that dance.
But I’ve always had a sense of rhythm, so I didn’t look
foolish at any time during the 90 minute class.
and at the same venue, I gave a performance of my humorous and inspirational
play, The Glory Of Athens. Most of the audience had been given some
red wine earlier on, so the audience response to my jokes was instant,
and very encouraging. Maybe I could suggest this to my producers in
A night of pampering
had been arranged for me, so after dinner at the Loxton’s, we
visited Nola’s for a steam shower and Kineisiology Balance.
The Kineisiology session was interesting. By placing pressure on different
parts of my arms and legs, Nola was able to determine which parts
of my body (head, heart, kidneys, liver, etc) were suffering. I breezed
through this examination with a clean bill of health, and once Michael
and Helen had got out of the steam shower, it was my turn.
long as you like,” Nola said.
So as Nola and
her husband chatted away with the Loxtons, I ventured into the steam
room for a unique experience.
is also a Bed And Breakfast business, and one of her suites has a
steam shower installed. It’s like a cross between a Turkish
Bath and a sauna. The glass shower is large enough for 2 people and
sealed to retain the steam and keep it from spreading to the adjacent
bedroom ensuite. It was suggested that setting a temperature of 40
degrees celcius would be best, so that’s what I did. But sitting
naked on the seat inside the shower was somewhat challenging, as the
hot steam became a little too hot for my er, extremities, but I managed
to overcome this problem quickly by using my hands as a ‘protective
covering’. The steam shower was bliss after that, and I stayed
in there for about 30 minutes. All the while I felt a clean sweat
oozing out of my pores, and the following day I was 2 kilos lighter!
Once I was out
of the steam shower, I lay down on the queensize waterbed for a rest.
It was nearly 9.00pm and I could’ve fallen asleep for the rest
the night! But as they say, all good things must come to an end, so
15 minutes later I was dressed and ready to go back to my own waterless
bed, where I began to dream about having my own steam room one day.
A chance meeting
with Conrad B Born, the first Western man to declare non use of conventional
money in 2001.
My first encounter
with Conrad B. Born was from an email he sent me back in 2001, soon
after I launched LETS-Linkup.com.
Western man to declare non use of conventional money in 2001 - As
of the 16th. March 2001, I Conrad B. Born have ceased to use the common
accepted currency of any nation. That is to say, I will not use money
in any way to enable my life. Instead I will use the means of "Complimentary
Currencies", or barter.”
So you can imagine
my surprise when I arrived in Kingsbridge, and Michael Loxton told
me that Conrad was a member of his LETS group. Instantly I decided
to make ‘meeting Conrad’ a top priority during my stay
there. And the opportunity arose on the very next day, though not
exactly as I’d imagined.
On our way back
from Burgh Island, we drove through Modbury when the Loxtons noticed
Conrad walking into a charity shop. I couldn’t believe my luck,
so I asked Michael to stop the car and drop me off.
go inside alone,” I told them, “and you can come in afterwards”.
So into the shop
I walked. Conrad was at the back of the store looking through some
clothes on a rack.
I said to Conrad, with my arm stretched out to greet him.
Conrad shook my
hand politely, but looked very puzzled. “Hi,” he responded.
you been?” I asked, determined not to give away too much too
name doesn’t come to mind right now,” he said, desperately
hoping I’d give him a clue.
Conrad, isn’t it?” I said, just to make sure he knew I
hadn’t mistaken him for someone else.
Well, this absolutely
floored him, because he knew that I knew him, but he still wasn’t
able to return the recognition.
your name again?” he asked, with an uncomfortable look on his
James,” I replied, trying to stretch his confusion a l lot further.
he said, hoping that my surname would put him out of his misery. And
form Australia,” I said, with a huge grin on my face.
he exclaimed, “I was looking at your web site just last night.
But you’re wearing different clothes. How did you find me here?”
At that point
I turned around and pointed to Helen hiding behind some bookshelves.
eyes gave her the ‘I’ll pay you back later for this’
look. And when Michael arrived, I got him to take a photo of ‘LETSaholic
meets First Western Man’.
There were several
other meetings with Conrad over the next few days, and I got to know
more about this amazing man. A carpenter by trade, he’d spent
much of his life traveling the world (by boat!) and surviving by trading
his carpentry services for just about everything. And now, in his
50’s, he was about to marry and settle down. A happy ending
to a life of travel, intrigue and adventure.
article is taken from the ebook,
400-Day LETS Odyssey
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