Bruce Foster

Retired Accountant & Administrator

South Brent, Devon, UK

Cruise ship trips, Penny and noisy beds

Who is "you"?
A big friendly giant, 1.95 metres tall, 150 Kg.  What is called a baby boomer in UK, Dad came back from WW2 in 1946 and so did many others, hence a baby boom in 1947 when I was born.  Worked in private industry after qualifying as an accountant, first in steel making then light engineering from 1972 to 1994.  Made redundant twice, liquidated once in those years so in 1994 headed for safer jobs in the public sector first in further education and then the police service, retired in 2012.  Met my wife Penny in 1969 on a ski-ing holiday in Scotland.  There was no snow so we concentrated on other activities and I proposed 4 days after we met, that was 46 years ago.  Along the road of life, two children Adam and Naomi.   Adam met Hanna in London in 1997 and they moved to Helsinki in 2000 (Hanna’s hometown) and they now have 2 daughters Seraphina & Isadora aged 10 & 8.  Naomi settled in Devon in 1997, where she still lives with her partner Ben and their daughter Willow aged 4.

Wich is the thing you love the most in your city?
We live in rural Devon and I love the change of seasons with colours and life around us.   Very peaceful except when the November storms arrive from the South West.  At present in the fields below my house, lambing season has just ended and there are young lambs bounding around chasing each other, and a display of spring flowers everywhere.

What makes you travel?
To see new cultures and always to enjoy the delights of a country’s cuisine and alcohol.  To meet people from all over the world and sometimes to enjoy a meaningful discussion with them.

Places you´ve been in the world?
USA, So large and so different from anywhere else in the world.  The peace of a sunny summer afternoon on a beach in Martha’s Vineyard where Penny & I were the only people on the beach (at least anyone else was at least 200 metres away) enjoying an impromptu picnic.  A baseball game in New York which went to the 13thinnings in overtime, drinking light beer and eating hot dogs and Penny spent the whole match talking to a lady from Queens about nothing important.  A business trip across the southern states in 1976 where the hospitality was fantastic ( they did really say “yo all come back yo hear” but all the time the racial divide was so obvious and offensive. Scotland in 1984, staying in a holiday lodge in Loch Oich, just below Loch Ness.  Family holiday with Penny’s Dad Jack and we went all over the western highlands to the Silver Sands of Mallaig, to the Isle of Skye using the ferry from Kyle of Lochalsh, swimming in the black waters of the pools running down from Ben Nevis with my son.  Every day was sunny and temperature was in the mid 80s F.   Every evening Jack and I would go to the local bar and have “ a pint of heavy and a wee nip” or maybe two.  In English that was a pint of beer and a dram of Glenfarclas 105 where the 105 was the alcohol content of the whisky.  Happy Days! France in 2003, last holiday with Penny before she suffered severe brain damage in November that year.  Incredibly hot, about 40 C most of the time, stayed in a gite near Limoges.  Croissants & coffee for breakfast, steak and red wine for supper.  Superb French countryside with small auberges for lunch.

Tell us a smell, a taste, a color, or a sense you remember from a place you´ve been?
On that trip to France we visited Oradour sur Glane, a ruined village maintained by France as a shrine to all that died there.  In June 1944 , just after D-Day, the Nazi SS as retaliation for some perceived resistance rounded up all that lived there and massacred all of them, men women and children.  They then torched the whole village just leaving ruined buildings.  We went into the church which was where the SS first imprisoned all the women & children and then shot all of them.  The feeling of sadness and loss was tangible in that church.  I cannot explain my feeling but it was definitely there.

What is the silliest thing you ever bought in your trips?
Sorry I do not do silly or if I did the memory has faded

If Lisbon was a person, who does it remind you of?
A grand old aristocratic lady who has fallen on hard times.  She has had a wonderful life but now she has not got the income to support what she would like to do, so has to sell of her family jewels to survive.  But she is happy and will enjoy her life no matter where it takes her.

We hate tourism tours?
Cannot say since we have never been on a tourist tour (except for WHTT).  Wherever we went with family or on our own, we explored on our own and had some wonderful experiences

Have you ever fell in love with someone when you travel?
Of course, the love of my life, a small beautiful Geordie hinny (look up on Google) called Penny, who was easily the best thing that ever happened in my life.  I met Penny on 29 December 1969 in Blairgowrie in Scotland, proposed on 2 January 1970 in Newcastle upon Tyne, married 19 September 1970.  46 years later, I still love her so much.

The most embarrassing/funny moment you had while travelling?
A small hotel in the Lake District in 1971 where Penny had a great dinner and lots of wine.  Retired to bed in shall we say a playful mood and ignored the awful noise that the bed was making.  When we came down to breakfast the next morning and silence fell amongst all the other residents, it was obvious that our youthful exuberance was not appreciated !!

Next stop?
Nothing earth shattering, booked on a cruise next year to Ireland and Iceland, really looking forward to Belfast so that I can take Penny to the Titanic Experience.  She has always been a Titanic fan both before and after her brain damage.  Also have never been to Iceland.

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