Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Reflection: Excerpt from Promise Me You Won’t Go To Beirut! Part 1 by George J. Thomas

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 As I begin the winter ritual of pruning, wiring, and the general tidying up of my bonsais after their summer growth, I reflect on the size which many of them have reached as they have grown and matured during the many years I have cared for them. Along the way, some of my bonsais have died, afflicted by old age or disease or inclement weather. Some trees have withered, branches covered in lichen mingling with living limbs, aging much like their human counterparts. The deciduous trees have lost their leaves, just as I have lost my hair. This work, and this particular winter have induced in me a certain degree of melancholia, having recently suffered a potentially life threatening illness. At the age of 72, I decided that I should commit to paper my life experiences, for my three children, and to give my eleven grandchildren a record of their grandfather.

This will be an intriguing journey for me, delving into my mind, trying to resuscitate memories of the many and curious incidents in my life, particularly in some of the remoter parts of the world. Out of interest I took the trouble to count the number of countries I have visited during my many years of travelling across the globe and it totalled 67. Apart from Britain, this includes the countries, where I lived for some years, Saudi Arabia, British Virgin Islands, Spain and the Czech Republic.

George J. Thomas running in
the desert in Saudi Arabia (1982)
Due to the nature of my career, and the constant travelling, there was little time to pursue hobbies or other leisure activities, apart from long distance running which I took up in my 30’s after quitting smoking. I became quite addicted to running and clocked up my first marathon (3 hours 22 minutes) at the age of forty. During the period when I was spending a lot of time in Russia, the company sent me on two intensive Russian courses at Birmingham University, then again for an introductory Czech course prior to moving to Prague. However since I retired, these fifteen years have been a period of self-discovery and to my surprise a flourishing of hidden talents. 

George  J. Thomas is an author/artist
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Originally, from Glasgow, Scotland, my business career enabled me to travel extensively internationally over many years, especially in Europe, Russia, the countries of the former Soviet Union and the Middle East.

Have lived in Saudi Arabia, the British Virgin Islands, Spain and the Czech Republic. Now I live in Xàbia, Spain.

                                                      -George J. Thomas

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