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Character Building. Thursday January 12, 2017

When I decided to move to Suffolk last year I had no idea of the challenges that lay ahead.

Within two weeks of moving I was the third person on scene to find a body floating face down in the quayside. They had jumped in from The Orwell Bridge and floated into the harbour. All rescue services were in place within minutes and knew of the missing person as a family were trying to find him. His dignity was kept in place and people dispersed and allowed the recovery teams do their work.

This did upset me but I could not allow such a situation to hamper my new venture. Weeks went past and I soon allowed myself to realise life can be cruel but can also be very exciting. I chose excitement. It is within all of us to choose the positive. Then looking up each day and seeing and being aware of my new environment was suddenly becoming fun. There were many different characters in Ipswich and remembering Giles the cartoonist worked from his office here in the town.

I have never seen so many lookalikes and act a likes in one place. Just going to one of the local pubs I watch the guy who you could easily call the Grinch sitting at the bar with his beer or the guy who looks like Tommy Cooper and many other characters to enjoy such as the three local Roman Catholic priests doing their crossword on a Sunday evening in the pub and the gent who has severe OCD and has to rearrange the glasses on the table and put chairs under tables if no one sitting at them even if they have nipped to the bar.

Better still is the 50 year old fellow who looks about 30 and goes round the pub collecting empty glasses so he can earn himself a half pint of beer, plus when he speaks his mouth hardly opens and he may have certain issues but he is such a lovely person.

In fact there are hundreds of different people with so many different traits that life is actually full of richness we all miss from time to time because we get too busy.

When we look at ourselves how serious do we take our own traits or habits which have been formed from many years of different experiences? For example I never eat food in a café that's been on show with no cover in case someone has coughed over it. Another is I drink hot water only first thing in the morning and before going to bed. Both of the above are from my life on this planet as I was not born with these peculiarities. Some consider these good habits, others find them strange. To be honest I am happy with who I am so surely that matters more. Accepting who I am is what allows me to get through tough times or unexpected circumstances like the above. My Character is still building.

What are some of your more obscure habits you wish to share?

Frank from the Quayside
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Maria Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 5:19am

Thank you Frank for such a delightful blog! I'm happy that you're happy and accepting of who you are! It's late here so I'm heading to bed but wanted to say congrats :)

Frank by the Quayside Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 2:30pm

You are welcome and pleased you liked it. Accepting of things around us and happening to us is important. I will say that allowing things to happen to us is different. There needs to be a certain amount of self discipline and structure in order to keep your own world in order. Thats my opinion. Maybe thats how we end up with different traits too.

DAVE Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 8:29am

I enjoyed reading your thought provoking blog.
I too have some what others might call 'odd' tendencies.
1...The toilet roll has to be unrolled against the wall, as I think more paper is used if the end comes over the top, I always change it when away at other peoples homes.
2...The dishes in the dishwasher have to be stacked always from the back of the machine.
3...If I am unable to sleep, I get up, that can be 2 hours after we've gone to bed, or in the early hours of the morning. In my routine, I always empty the dishwasher, and put the dishes away. I then put a new dishwasher tablet in place, then I get the cats food ready for his breakfast and put it in the fridge. Then get two cereal plates and put Albran, grapes, 3 prunes on my wife's plate and some different nuts and raisins on each, and put them in the fridge. I then put a spoonful of chicory in two mugs, fill the kettle and switch it on.
I'll take a look at my emails, and sometimes respond in a blog to a moodscope members blog. I then go back to sleep.
I'm always bashing on about order in everything we do, and in so doing I feel I am always 'Prepared' and never leave anything to procrastination.
4...When in business under a great stress, if I couldn't sleep, I'de be out the door on my bike at 3-4am for a couple of hours, cycle ride. Saw all the birds getting out of their beds making quite a racket, just as the sun rose over the lake, it was beautiful, would then go back to bed to sleep, wake up at 8am and go to work feeling really refreshed.
5...At church I 'trace' in my mind the figures on the hymn board, a couple of times. Very odd you might say, but hey "it's my party and I'll do what I wanna, say what I wanna, you would cry too if it happened t you" !


Frank by the Quayside Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 2:32pm

Good to see your thoughts and others below especially the toilet roll. I like mine rolling down from the top to the outside and yes I change the round wherever I visit. Love the bike trips in the morning.

DAVE Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 8:30am

Just ruined my credibility, if there was such !

Mary Wednesday Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 8:40am

No my darling - you have just made yourself human. Thank you. Too much perfection is hard for the rest of us to live with! ;)

Jul Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 8:50am

I agree with Mary. I laughed and enjoyed reading about your inner life Dave. I love the thought of going for a bike ride at 3am. Roll on Summer. Julxx

Sally Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 8:46am

Enjoyed reading about your life in Suffolk, and the characters in your new environment.
I probably have lots of obscure habits...but I can't pinpoint any just at the moment !
Brain not working at full strength.

Frank by the Quayside Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 2:35pm

Aren't people wonderfully colourful when you open your eyes to see what they do. Had another one last night who stumbled out of a local pub. He was dressed in a silver grey suit with a tight fitting cap on his head and shoes which were pointed upwards at the toes and best of all he walked like Charlie Chaplin literally. My brother and I did laugh watching him but he was happy and at least we were entertained for a few minutes.

Sally Fri, Jan 13th 2017 @ 9:35am

Nice one!

Jul Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 8:49am

Hello Frank. I found this a very uplifting blog. I don't like to take food from uncovered food counters either. I don't like people plonking themselves down on nice cushions and squashing them out of recognition. I don't go as far as someone I know though who actually removes the cushion from behind or beneath the person and repositions it. I'd like to though. Suffolk is such a lovely county. I think you'll be happy there. Julxx

Frank by the Quayside Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 2:37pm

Hi Jul, Good know this and many other blogs have an uplifting experience for us all. its a great little community we have here and if a few words or true stories can help our day then its worthwhile. I just moving my cushion behind my back .

Mary Wednesday Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 8:49am

Welcome Frank. My habits: unlike Dave, the loo roll end always has to face the "sittee" and not against the wall. And yes, I will change it round in other people's houses. In the middle of the night I get up and make camomile tea. The dishwasher has to be stacked in order - especially the cutlery canteen. My spice drawer is in alphabetical order (in my defence I do have a *lot* of herbs and spices). My books are in alphabetical order by author with genre and then in chronological order by series. Again, with over 2,000 books I like to be able to find them. I would class myself as messy but quite organised. Well, that was until Tom came home to live! He takes messy to an art form!

Frank by the Quayside Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 2:39pm

Wow thats a good number of books and in alphabetical order is a bit special.At least you can get to any book at anytime. Organised mess is more like my eldest son. A Doctor who somehow copes with mess around him.

The librarian Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 8:57am

Suffolk is a wonderful place, and you have described some great charaters.

I, too, drink hot water every morning, but not in the evening. And, like Mary, the loo roll has to come over the top - and I, too, will change it at other people's houses! A strange source of stress.

Wishing you all the best for being where you are, and for being who you are.

Frank by the Quayside Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 2:41pm

Maybe you can help Mary Wednesday with her 2000 books if called the librarian? Its nice to choose where we live and I am sure I will be on the move again one day.

Susannah Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 9:30am

Hi FftQ
Welcome to Suffolk. I love living here because, whilst people may be slow to come forward, when they are friendly, it is genuine, not that superficial welcoming of everyone, without a true connection.

Ah loo rolls!
I used to believe in 'hang down the wall' until a friend's father, who was head of paper supplies for a major supermarket, explained that loo paper sides are different. Who knew? The side for 'on show' is the outside, so, according to the manufacturers, the loo roll should come over the top.
Also, it means that any germs on the hands are less likely to get spread via the wall.
From that moment, I became an 'over the top' devotee, and 'correct' rolls whenever possible!

When unable to sleep, I try to avoid any computer or phone screen, as, apparently, it excites your brain, making subsequent sleep more difficult. I do watch the telly, as I've found 'The House Doctor' to be the best cure for insomnia.

We all have our foibles, that's what makes us interesting.

Frank by the Quayside Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 2:45pm

Nice to be in Suffolk and hope you live in a nice part of it too. You are right about the computer screens etc because they have a particular light that affects the back of our eyes and will basically trick the brain to keeping us awake and therefore will take us longer to get back to sleep. I agree with genuine people and its lovely.

Leah Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 9:34am

Your blog was refreshing and honest. I don't like people reading over my shoulder.When putting a soft toy animal in a bag I always put the toy in feet first so the toy's head is not stuck in the bag!!

I am not sure what Suffolk is like as I live on the other side of the globe but it sounds like it is character building.

I enjoyed your writing. I hope to read more of your blogs.


Frank by the Quayside Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 2:47pm

Suffolk is an amazing hidden gem of England and hides many interesting places. Plenty of history which is linked to places as far as Australia and its descendants. Where are you from? I used to do that with the chidrens toy animals and ensure if they are packed for a journey that they could breath. Nuts.

Jul Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 10:01am

Loo Roll. Must come over from the top to the front. It looks nicer for a start. Julxx

g Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 11:01am

It has been awhile and I am running late but I had to sign in and put my three pence into this discussion about loo roll ! Is it not ironic which are the most important things in life ? I wish to invite the opposite loo roll devotees and have them rearranging the position of the roll each time they visit the loo - is there a movie scene in it somewhere ? but how revealing ! I never counted my books but they used to be in order till the time when I was very depressed and my husband decided to buy a new bookcase . I hid in bed when my life was turned upside down - I have not recovered to this day as there are more books and no order . Order ! Order ! - I can here the judge calling in my head but my life stays messy . There are so many little controlling rituals that I observe that I never let anybody do anything for me as it has to be done in a certain way e.g. : I always rinse the cup , mug , and it has to be a special one and a different one for tea or coffee and my favourite , with boiling water before making a drink for two reasons . One I do not believe that it comes rinsed properly from the washing machine - I hate chemicals ( allergies , poisons .. .. ) two : to warm it up and then there is an order of bag milk hot water and proportions and actually this would be a big compromise already as I do not like tea bags but loose tea and no instant anything , as for coffee I start with beans etc. .... my life is not easy but I am really lucky knowing that these are the ways that I try to order at least what I may control and then I try to relax and forget all the rules and it is like a holiday from self imposed prison - freedom ! And this is when I put the loo roll the other way round , on purpose , cause I can and the world does not end.

g Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 11:04am

oh , I forgot to write the most important thing - great blog ! brave , revealing , honest , ..... look fwd to more please Frank.

Frank by the Quayside Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 2:48pm

Appreciate your response and there are times in life that showing we are vulnerable is absolutely fine.

The Gardener Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 12:02pm

You've really opened the flood gates, Frank. We had a so-called experienced combine harvester driver from Suffolk - we could not understand him, and he certainly could not understand the machine. For seriously weird, try Brittany - anarchic, inbred, only know one flower, the geranium - and so brave in the war that the retribution from the Nazis was horrendous. What I think are my 'quirks' of character - double-checking (good pointer to old age and forgetfulness) are actually necessary. What I thought was a quirk cannot really be claimed as such - I have always insisted on having a nice view from my kitchen door - feel-good factor - a parked trike when kids young was one thing, but things waiting to go in the bin was another. I think I have become obsessive about it. While waiting for something to cook in the old house I would lean in the doorway, look right down my 'alley' of flowers, listen to the blackbird, monitor the birds coming to the bird 'restaurant' listen to good back-ground music. I came back from the bread-shop this a.m and looked INTO my new kitchen - have achieved the same in reverse. Loo rolls? You learn something every day! Mary Wednesday - please come and put my kitchen drawers in order. Recently fitted, I still can't find anything. Then we had a big party - and brought another load from old house. Grand-daughter did her logical best - but, real sin, never has been logical. Just interrupted by a 'cold'call, electricity - yet another 'enquete' he wanted to know my age! Cheek! Something I thought would never enter my character - rudeness - but these cold calls really bring out the aggressiveness in me!

Frank by the Quayside Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 2:52pm

Thanks The Gardener and cold calls are great if you can be on form to string them along especially the electric companies. Just tell them you have your own generator and don't need any billing.

DAVE Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 12:04pm

Well Mary & Jul,
It appears that I'm bottom, of the list of bogs, blogs should I say, and now I'm feeling a bit outnumbered, but Susannah was a converted 'down the wall loo roll hangerer', but I think she has been influenced by the singer of the same name...Loo Rolls....Does anyone know him, and what he use to sing...a load of bumph I bet !

Dismal Dave may have to rethink his strategy, especially as there are Estate Agents around me who can't spell...Toilet is spelt 'to let' according to them.

I feel rather flushed, in two minds (typical Bipolar feeling) about handling the loo roll, and upon which way to hang it !

Frank by the Quayside Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 2:53pm

Dave you got me giggling about the loo rolls. Brill

Jane Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 5:44pm

Thanks Frank. I have to lock and check all the doors every single night before bed, even if someone has told me they have already checked them!

Jane Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 5:47pm

Also, and this is an embarrassing one, I had to return a scarf to its rightful owner today after borrowing it. The scarf has brought me a lot of comfort over the past few days and so I had to stroke it and kiss it before I gave it back! Not in front of the owner though!!!!!!

Eva Fri, Jan 13th 2017 @ 8:34am

I never knew so many people changed other peeps loo rolls! :) I arrange my books in order of colour, it is a thing of beauty, I ofter just sit and look at it.

Susannah Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 6:12pm

Rather late, but I just found this:

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