Stop 5: Torquay, a well needed rest up before the big trip…

I’d been manic flying around the country for the last few weeks and was really looking forward to spending time with my family for two and a half weeks before heading off to Europe and finding out if I can make a life for myself in that part of the world as well…

Unfortunately for me most of my family left a few days into the trip. They had surprised my 10 year old cousin with a secret birthday trip to Disneyworld. I remember having breakfast with him wanting to scream “AMERICA!!!” in his face, as he was so oblivious to what was going on. Then he had a tantrum because he didn’t want to leave my nan’s house. It was so difficult not to say “We go to America…” like stereotypical immigrants in 90’s films…

So they left, and I was in Torquay by myself. Well, not totally by myself; My family have a small business down here and of course when that happens you get roped in to do free labour. So I spent the first week washing plates during the dinner service, and the second week covering on the bar to make sure everything ran smoothly. It sounds like I was doing a lot but in reality I’ve been turning radiator dials, changing light bulbs and pouring drinks until the early hours of the morning. I’m chuffed that I’ve still been able to write my books as well.

Wow, it took you a minute to start plugging your books, have you no shame?

What? This blog is about my travels and my books, and I’m keeping everyone up to date

Whatever helps you sleep at night… Go on then, finish what you were saying about the book and I’ll politely smile and nod until you’ve finished your plug…

Wow… OK I’ll make it quick then; I’m nearly 50,000 words in and have sent the fifth part to be critiqued. I’m hoping to finish this little nugget by the end of 2016 and after I’ll be celebrating by miming the trumpets in ‘Talk dirty to me’ by Jason Derulo

You done? I was doing a sudoku while you droned on…

Not yet, I also met a really cool girl at work who said she would download the books and let me know what she thought of them.

Hold on, that’s got my attention! What did she say? Was she brutal? I hope she was brutal… Did she use the words ’embarrassingly poor’?

No she didn’t! I don’t know why you think my books are so bad as they actually are really good!

Yeah but you have to say that for promoting them and shit…

Trust me if they weren’t brilliant I’d tell you because I’m my own biggest critic, but even though I’m incredibly harsh on myself I still know deep down that they are excellent, it just I’m not good at getting them out to the masses. If I could, then I know for a fact I would never have to worry about money ever again.

Ooh, confidence. I like it! So what did she say?

She said she really liked it! Of course I’m not that arrogant to think I’m the best in the world at what I do and am always looking for pointers to improve my writing so people enjoy them more. That’s why I’m always sending them to people I know will be harsh on me for constructive criticism. But when it’s someone I don’t know I’m always quietly anxious to find out how they will react as they have no connection with me and can be as blunt as they like. I hope she downloads the others and enjoys them just as much as she enjoyed The Butterfly Killings.

OK that’s enough book time! What else happened at your family’s business?

Some Scottish guy was aggressive to the staff for no reason and it was winding me up. It was his turn to have a go at me and my back was already up because of that, and he began shouting something about the buses in my direction. You know how this blog works by now so here’s the dialogue that you’ve all been waiting for:

Me: The town centre is a ten minute walk down the hill

Who’s Afraid of The Big Bad Scot?: Well that’s not good enough! It’s too far for me to walk!

Me: Well there’s a bus stop fifty metres down the road if it’s too much for you.

Who’s Afraid of The Big Bad Scot?: Fifty metres? That’s terrible, it should be closer than that!

Me: <saying very little, but thinking there’s not many bus stops that are closer than 50 metres to be fair…>

Who’s Afraid of The Big Bad Scot?: Do I have to walk up the hill 50 metres then?

Me: Yes I’m afraid you do

Who’s Afraid of The Big Bad Scot?: This place is ridiculous!

Me: <Beginning to get irritated> I’m very sorry, I don’t control the hills

Who’s Afraid of The Big Bad Scot?: <stares through me>

Me: If you really are struggling you can always get off at the next stop and walk down the hill, but I think it’s more than fifty metres away

Who’s Afraid of The Big Bad Scot?: Oh…OK… That’s all

He then was bitching later on that evening that he couldn’t reach the buttons on his TV. I pointed out that they were easy to reach and he said that he could reach the main button but not the others…they were less than ten centimetres to the left of the main button. I then stood in disbelief and said “I literally don’t know what to say…” He then shouted that he was never coming back and I smiled saying “Great!” And walked away. Some people are looking for reason to moan and I’d rather focus my energy on people who want to have a good holiday.

And finally I left Torquay with a new friend; It was a girl I’ve met before who works at my family’s business but I’d never really spoken to her before now apart from the generic hello here and there. My anxiety was shining through and I didn’t really speak to her at first, but one day I got really drunk and came out of my shell, and after that we were both relaxed around each other. She said that she’s going to travel through Europe next year so I’m looking forward to catching up with her in whatever country I end up in. It’s been a while since I felt comfortable around someone, especially a female, so it felt great to not have to feel nervous and just let the conversation flow. I’ll definitely be keeping in touch with her every so often to she how she is getting on.

Aww, bless… I bet you bombarded her about your books as well.

I did actually! And she’s reading the pornstar book as we speak so that’s another opinion I’m going to get from an unpublished book. She better not cross my name out and publish it herself…

And that’s it really. I did a lot more but if I tell you about it this post will be an hour long! I saw a lot of supportive friends who I haven’t seen in years and that positivity was just what I needed in terms of a boost before venturing into the unknown. Isle of Wight next, then off to Europe to meet my mate Matt. That’s if I can find him, as I’ll be flying in in the evening and will be shouting his name around Nice until he shouts back “Over here!”…

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