I love intelligent movies. But I am also weary of miserably realistic movies. I only want to be comforted by some positive vibes especially winter. I am glad that I stumbled upon the movie ” Colette ” from Netflix.
I found the movie very inspirational especially as a woman and a wanna-be-artist”. Colette was a young, innocent, strong country girl who fell in love with a well know author called Willy incidentally. Willy was 14 years senior and notorious of gambling, having an extravagant living and being promiscuous. He was also a talented artist who maintained his fame by employing various ghost writers who earned living by writing for him. Usually, he gave rough idea and plots to his ghost writers and got the benefit out of them. None the less, his lifestyle always exceeded his sporadic flux of various incomes.
It was surprising for Parisian community when Willy decided to marry a country girl. Colette was frowned upon by socialites for her choice of dresses in the beginning and her upfront personality. She detested people flirting with each other and people who take pride on adultery . Out of pleasing her husband, Colette tried to write short stories which were rejected instantly by Willy. Willy thought her stories were too honest to be liked by anyone.
When Willy’s financial problems became critical, bank people came and took their furniture to pay for his debt. Then only, they rediscovered her old writing and Willy decided to edit them for publishing. Eventually, her stories became wildly popular although the books were under the name of her husband. Willy also emotionally abused her and even locked her inside the room , forcing Colette to write more.
I really love the character of Colette. She was genuinely in love with her husband mostly because he was charming and very intelligent. At the same time, Colette was smart enough to her role and also beware of the mindset of her husband whose life was full of lies. Her mother persistently reminded her that Colette had a strong personality and nobody should be able to change her.
During the mist of financial crisis alternating with fame , they were invited by rich people and the wife of millionaire had an affair with Colette. At same time, Willy tried to muddle the situation and slept with the same woman. It became more interesting when Colette eventually fell In love with another woman who dressed like a man. She found someone who truly loved her unconditionally . The movie shows metamorphosis of Colette from an innocent teenager to a mature artist with confidence . It also gave us a glimpse of life style of cream layered people and artists in 1800s as the story is based on real life of Colette. The real actress Colette was also a very beautiful woman. Please watch the movie if you want to uplift yourself. It will not disappoint you.
It is winter in Isle of Man now which means it’s dark, cold , wet and gloomy. I barely see the sun when I finish my work at 5 pm. You might wonder why I am mourning so much about the weather. It’s because I spent 42 years of my life in warm , sunny , weather where I can feel and see the sun till 7 pm , even without mentioning about how fabulous to go and sit at the beach after 10 pm when street performers are strumming the guitars with the sound of waves at the beach called Teluk Chempedak.
I miss Home or a place I called Home for 12 years called Kuantan in Malaysia ( South East Asian country ). I don’t even miss Yangon ( capital of Myanmar ) although I was born , raised and lived there for 28 years. Yangon is a city with 8 million population and when I think of traffic jams, noises and stress of citizens, it makes me shudder to live there again.
I lived in Kuantan, a town near South China sea for 12 years and that was the place I loved and enjoyed very much.
I had beaches, rivers, mountains and waterfalls in Kuantan . I enjoyed tropical fruits like bananas, mangoes, rambutans, durians , I enjoyed sharing nature with monkeys and wild life although they can be annoying sometimes. Above all, I miss a place I lived, a terraced house with 3 bed rooms. The house is an old house and belongs to an elderly man called Uncle Yeo. My dad thinks Uncle Yeo loves me like his own child. He is also one of the kindest person you can ever meet. I can never leave his house without taking something from his house, like banana, apple, a packet of keropok ( fried fish crackers ) or cooked food. He also regularly drove me to and fro from airport or bus station for my crazy travelling. He behaved like my God father and for me, he is one of very few people who have loved me unconditionally. He never thinks me as a doctor, but in his eyes, I am just a clueless, reckless, girl with wild imaginations and crazy ideas. He is an old teacher and he used to tell me I am one of the bravest and smartest person he has ever met. When he hears something about me from patients, he beamed and told me immediately. He said he met patients telling ” that Burmese doctor is good ” and he told me he felt like telling them he knows me well. Whenever I had good news, I ran to his house and told him immediately because I know he would share everything with me. I still remember he hugged me , tears in his eyes, when I said I finally passed my PACES, a freaking exam after 4 times of attempts. I never thought he was sad about my failure before until I passed that bloody exam. Right now, I am starting to cry thinking of him .
In Kuantan, my house is a musical house, I had a piano and two guitars where people came and played along.
At one time, we even wrote a song together with Joy and Yeo ( my junior colleagues ) and that song nominated to our workaholic colleague called Tan. At that house, friends came and cried over my shoulder talking about their problems. At that house, friends have stayed over night, cooked meals, tucked me to bed when I got sick, brought their boyfriend as parents could not tolerate their dates. I have accommodated many couch travellers and friends who come over from overseas. I am an introvert, who loves being with people I chose. It is strange indeed, I need space but I am not afraid of sharing my space with people I love.
Girls are important part of my life who are always close to my heart. Even when they are married with kids, they love to spend time with me, picking me up from my house and walking at the beach with their kids. My close friend Nazlin lives near the beach and we usually jog near her house and her mom would usually wait for us when we come back home with a bowl of fruits or snacks. Everybody loves to feed me in Kuantan .My old lecturer Mama May Khin who is originally from Myanmar became a professor in university of Kuantan and she regularly invites me to have meals at her house while her son , Thar Thar entertained me with his stories.
When I left Kuantan, I cried many nights and even many days secretly, mourning about the place and people I love. Then I moved back to Myanmar and tried to create a home at a hilly place called Taunggyi. It was a lovely place with hills, rivers and very beautiful lake.
The weather was perfect and I finally renovated my flat into a modern home with open plan .
In Taunggyi, apart from beautiful weather , food is delicious and there are lots of fresh vegetables and fruits . In the morning, I could walk at the hill with lots of trees.
Unfortunately, my career was not satisfactory in my country ( I had a well paid job but I was not happy and what is the point of staying at job I don’t enjoy ) and I moved to Isle of Man . I still remember the first day I arrived Isle of Man. I thought trees were talking to me ” hey, look, Hnin is coming to live here, let’s look after her and greet her “. I remember I walked in a lane which was surrounded by old trees and I replied them ” thank you very much ” aloud . I know it was crazy. Isle of Man is alive and filled with voices of nature. Do not think me wrong. I am very grateful to Isle of Man for accepting me. I do believe you can not stay anywhere long if the place is not very fond of you. I respect this Irish sea, beautiful island and it’s resources of nature . I have walked along beaches, climbed hills, touched the wild flowers along the trails of glens, watched the sunset and I definitely love Isle of Man.
But I am missing to be at home, a home where I can accommodate people and do whatever I feel like doing. I love waking at midnight and start strumming the guitar. I am currently living at a flat and can even hear the foot steps from upstairs. If I don’t stop playing guitar at 8 pm, my partner would remind me to stop as my neighbour has a baby.
For past 6 months, I have been chasing a house to buy. I love apartments but it’s not very good for privacy and management fee is very high. And it’s not good to renovate as well. When I think of freehold houses, most of them are too expensive with my modest income . I tried to view many houses hoping I will find a place I can call home. In my mind, it doesn’t need to be perfect and very grand. I love minimalist style , easy to maintain house. We need minimum 2 bed rooms to accommodate friends overseas plus a room for study plus music . I can even create a nook for creative purpose like painting. If possible, I also want to have a sea view because it’s always my dream to have a house with sea view . I have collected lots of souvenirs for home decoration from different parts of the world and I need to put them in place soon.
I have been trying to find blogs about home owners and as I cannot find many blogs, I am starting to write this blog on my own. I did a blog called flat renovation previously and you can see how much effort I put into renovating my flat from zero standard to a beautiful modern home. I am really praying my dream will come true and I will eventually find a place I call Home. I hope I can share with you when I eventually buy my first property in Isle of Man. Do you also yearn to have a perfect home?
Castletown is the nearest town to the airport and you can go there either by train or by bus. If you use steam railway from Douglas, you can get off at Castle town train station. The town is around 20 to 30 minutes drive from Douglas town center. The live-action film version of Thomas The Tank Engine was partially filmed at the Castle town train station .
I have heard that Vikings pub at the castle town station has a very good food, but I have to try it one day.
From castle town train station, town center is only 5 minutes away. The town is compact and all shops can be seen in less than 1 hour.
One thing we regularly do is visiting old fashioned sweet shop called memory lane sweet shop where you can buy all the sweets in the world. It is indeed a dangerous place for diabetics. Just now, my friend from London rushed to the sweet shop to get a handful of sweets and greatly disappointed as the shop was close today.
There are some Chinese food shop and also a famous noodle bar called ” Time out IOM ” where you can try various noodles.
Castle Rushen exist at the heart of Castle Town and the name of the town was given because of Castle Rushen. You need to pay 8 GBP for entrance fee. It is a place you should go especially when the weather is not suitable for outdoor activities.
According to history, Isle of Man had become separated from Great Britain and Ireland by 6500 BC. The first people who ruled castle rushen are vikings from Norway in 1200 and the castle was built in 1265 for a Norse King. Later, Isle of Man became a possession of the Scottish and then the English crowns. In 1603, during the union of the crowns of England and Scotland through James VI and I, Isle of Man became crown dependency with democratic government.
The castle has been used as a fortress, a residence for the Kings and Lords of Mann, the site for production of coins and even a prison (past prisoners include a bishop and two newspaper editors).
Interesting thing is from 1849 to 1864, Castle Rushen was used as a lunatic asylum. Because of growing popularity, a lot of tourists came to visit Isle of Man and most of the time, the guards had to pay attention to tourists by showing them around rather than looking after the patients aka prisoners. It was written that it was impossible to make the tourists stop throwing tobaccos at the prisoners. The facility was so poor with iron bed, improper food supply and a lot of tragedy happened, for example, some prisoners who were kept in the basement died by drowning due to floods etc.
Below pictures showed how prisoners that time was tortured in various ways.
During 17th century, some royal families from England visited Isle of Man and the lord of man named James Stanley welcomed the royal family generously. However, later the King from England sent notice to Lord Stanley to surrender the island to England.
Instead of surrendering, Sir James Stanley went out of Isle of Man to defend his kingdom . During his absence , his wife, countless Charlotte tried to protect Isle of Man from invaders courageously. However, her life became at stake because of traitors who did not have faith in the Lord as they were afraid of being sold off by the lord to England. Upon the knowledge of betrayal of her people to Stanley family and execution of her husband , Countless handed the castle to the public.
If you do not have any mobility issue, one should climb stairs to look panorama view of Castle Town from the roof top of Castle Rushen. There are also display of statues in various locations and it is interesting to look at how rich people live at that era.
Scarlet visitor centre
It is located around 15 minutes walk from castle town centre and really worthwhile to visit to see the volcanic rocks formed 250 million years ago.
The shed , scarlet visitor centre opens only from May to September from 2 to 5 pm. I have never been inside and keen to go back there at the right time. It is a place where you can learn wildlife of Isle of Man .
Stop `1 is flooded quarry where limestone were dig out to make building, railways and fertilizer.
Stop 2 is Limeklins where limestones were burnt from bottom to reach temperature up to 600 centigrade for months to get lime powder which was mixed with water to be used as fertilizer.
There is also limestone pavement, a pavement composed of millions of marine creatures.
The Storm beach is composed of rugged basalt ( rock ) which was formed from volcanic larva 250 million years ago.
On the rocks of scarlet beach, you can see lichen ( organisms composed of fungus and algae ). These lichen are tolerate to acidity of the area. It is also a great place to watch wild life such as various birds.
St Michael’s Isle or Fort Island
It is one of the best scenic viewpoints in the Isle of Man. It lies to the east of Derbyhaven Bay and is approached by the same road which leads to the Golf Links Hotel on Langness.
Technically, it is no longer an island as it is joined to the mainland by an extremely narrow causeway, just wide enough for single file traffic. In size, it measures a bare quarter of a mile in length.
Apart from wild life and beautiful scenery, there are two ancient buildings to see. One is roofless old chapel which was named after St Michael dating around 12th century.
Second building is the fort constructed by James, 7th Earl of Derby and Lord of Mann. This dates from 1645 and was built during the civil war in England to defend Derbyhaven, which was then a major port, from the forces of the parliamentarians.
These are the places I like and I have been in Castle Town, I plan to update this blog every time I find a new place and hope you enjoy reading my blog.
real live experience regarding travels, meeting strangers and daily life.