Hi everyone. For those of you who already know me, you will need read no further. For anyone else…

I retired in 2012, then aged 60, and moved from a busy life and work in Central London, to Beetley, in rural Norfolk. I thought I would start this blog to share my thoughts about life in general, and my new life in Norfolk in particular. My wife Julie is still working, so I am at home most of the day, accompanied by my five year old Shar-Pei dog, Ollie.

My interests include local and global history, politics, and cinema and film. I also enjoy music; Motown, Soul, Jazz, along with many modern singers and styles.

After 22 years as an Emergency Medical Technician in the London Ambulance Service, followed by 11 years working for the Metropolitan Police in Control Rooms, it took some adjustment to being retired, and not working shifts.


I am updating this info on the 15th of June, 2018.Β  Ollie is now six years old, and is still a great dog to own. The blog has continued to grow, and I have now posted over 1800 articles. I currently write a bit about films and cinema, mostly short reviews and suggestions; and I did write a lot of anecdotes about my years in the Ambulance Service. I have written a lot about past travel and holidays, and also about architecture. I post a lot about music and songs, those that have a significance in my life for one reason or another. The core of the blog remains the same though; my experiences of my new life in Norfolk, walking my dog, and living in a rural setting.

Over the past couple of years, I have been adding a lot of photos, and they are always popular.

I have had my blogging ups and downs; attracted some followers, both loyal and fickle, and gained a great deal from the whole process. I have written articles that were published on other blogs and websites, as well as trying my hand at more than 100 fictional stories. I am pleased to report that I have had two of these published in a magazine.

If you are considering starting a blog, I would suggest you give it a try. I really would.

It may not change your life; but then again, it just might.

You can contact me at petejohnson50@yahoo.com

Me with Ollie  on the North Norfolk coast
Me with Ollie on the North Norfolk coast

182 thoughts on “About

  1. I had a feeling that the term “Renaissance Man” was complimentary, I just needed it confirmed πŸ™‚ I just read about the “Shar-Pei” breed and it is really fascinating. The “Star-Pei” looks kind of like a Pug to me, but that is just my opinion. I finally figured out that you are not a fan of Alfred Hitchcock. Interesting piece of trivia though, Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom was released the same year as Hitchcock’s Psycho and while Psycho was critically and commercially acclaimed, Peeping Tom was critically attacked and therefore suffered commercially. Unlike the black humor on display in Psycho, Peeping Tom did not comfort the audience with such a device and wanted us all to feel like a pure voyeur plain and simple. In many ways, it makes Psycho look like a Disney movie by comparison. Peeping Tom was just so ahead of it’s time and while it has since gone on to become a great film, at the time nobody treated it like that.

    I know this is off topic again, but you know who I heard was another great British filmmaker besides Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger? The late Ken Russell. I read somewhere that he got his start at the BBC directing TV documentaries of composers and his style was just unique all-around. Anyway, keep up the great work as always and keep those comments coming πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Compared to a Shar-Pei, Pugs are tiny. The closest relative breed to a Shar-Pei is the Chow. Not that similar physically, they are related way back.
      I have seen almost everything Ken Russell turned out. I think he was a very ‘different’ film maker, and something of a rebel in the industry. Never afraid to scandalise, many of his films have striking imagery. ‘Tommy’ could be considered his most widely-accepted and best-known film, but I would recommend the Gothic horror, ‘The Lair Of The White Worm’ (1988), and the overwhelming ‘The Devils’ (1971). He also got an amazing performance from Theresa Russell, in ‘Whore’ (1991).
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great site πŸ™‚ Very interesting info as well πŸ™‚ I hope you take this as a compliment as considering all of your interests, you sound like a Renaissance man πŸ™‚ Cute picture of your dog as well πŸ™‚ What breed is it If I may politely ask? πŸ™‚ Anyway, keep up the great work as always πŸ™‚ I enjoyed your comments today on Cindy’s blog regarding the works of director Brian De Palma πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. John, I had to look up ‘Renaissance Man’, and found this.
      “The term Renaissance man or polymath is used for a very clever person who is good at many different things. The idea comes from a time of history called the Renaissance which lasted from about 1400 to about 1600.”
      So, many thanks for a great compliment! πŸ™‚
      My dog Ollie is a Shar-Pei, a breed originally from China. http://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/chinese-shar-pei#/slide/1
      I am pleased that you visited Cindy’s blog. I have co-hosted with her a few times, and she is a great blogging friend. That said,we famously disagree about many things cinematic, including Tom Cruise, and Alfred Hitchcock. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was taken by a friend, in 2015, walking on the north coast, around 30 minutes from here by car. You can see Ollie’s leg had been shaved for the I/V, after another of his operations! πŸ™‚
      (An aside, that ‘Tintin’ coat I am wearing was bought in 1990, and still going strong. I was wearing it this afternoon! πŸ™‚ )
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love all the info on your life. I’m retired too and just like to share memories of a fantastic time in my teen years. Thanks so much for your visit and comment on Santana!


    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s very kind of you to leave such a nice comment, Maddy. I am indeed much happier in retirement. I live a quiet and frugal life with my wife and our dog in the countryside, and I never miss that ‘buzz’. I ‘buzzed’ for far too long! πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Pete! From one Londoner who moved to Norfolk to another – Norfolk is an inspirational place to live. I moved from London back in 1992 and have never looked back. I was drawn to your website by the ghost story posted on Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Pete, I came across your web site whilst looking at family history. My family name is Jude and I can trace back to mid 1700 in Beetley area. I am wondering whether you have come across the name in Beetley, and if so anything about them?
    Tim, Toronto, Canada.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry to have to tell you that I am not a native of Beetley, Tim. I only moved from London to Norfolk in 2012, and have never met anyone with your surname, at least so far. I have no doubt that you have looked yourself, but I can only find this reference relating to the church in Old Beetley, about one mile away. Apparently, it contains references to the surname Jude. http://tinstaafl.co.uk/nbp/Church_Pages/beetley.htm Have you tried contacting Beetley Parish Council? They have a website, but the contact details are as follows.
      Bryan Leigh
      Clerk to Beetley Parish Council
      Dawn Meadow, Fakenham Road
      East Bilney, Norfolk NR20 4HT
      email: bryan.leigh@btinternet.com
      Tel: 01362 861112
      It may also be worth contacting the museum at the end of my road, The Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse. This is part of Norfolk Museums Trust, and undoubtedly holds records of the local area. These are their contact details.
      Contact Us

      Email: Not stated

      Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse

      Write to:

      Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse, Gressenhall, Dereham, Norfolk, NR20 4DR


      01362 869263 – 24 hour pre-recorded information line.

      01362 860563 – for all other enquiries. Please note, this telephone is only manned during weekday office hours.
      There is a comprehensive website for this museum too.

      It is worth remembering that most of Beetley Village was developed extensively after 1979, when our house was built, and then again, in 1984/5. The historical part of Beetley is centred around Old Beetley, which was the original hamlet. You might also be interested in this short history. http://beetleypc.norfolkparishes.gov.uk/a-short-history-of-old-beetley-beetley-and-east-bilney/
      I am sorry I can be of so little help, but if you ever find anything that warrants investigation locally, I would be happy to do that for you. Just contact me at petejohnson50@yahoo.com, and ask. It might also be worth extending your search to the nearby village of East Bilney, which is the twin parish, and to the local market town of Dereham, four miles north. Many local families moved into the town, when it became prosperous.
      Best wishes, and good luck with your search. Pete.


  6. You and your dog look a lovely happy looking pair. I’ve just followed your blog, hope to read some posts later but from what I see so far, I like it! A few musical interests in common here and there… always happy to relisten and listen to stuff that has somehow passed me by.


    1. We got Ollie as a pup five years ago, when I retired. He spends his life by my side, and goes everywhere with me. (Except to Tesco!)
      I try to keep my blog varied, and have film and cinema, short stories, memoirs of my past, as well as the music and photos too.
      I left a message on your blog, thanking you for following.
      Best wishes from Norfolk. Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Just had a quick glance at your stuff. I swung by via cirdecsongs. The few sights i pop into are mainly music which is cool. I see that you do takes on film and that caught my interest. Especially when I see ‘Kes’ mentioned. I’ll pop in for a longer look in the next while. CB


    1. Thanks, CB. I have done a lot about songs in the past, and will get around to those again. They are all in the ‘Music’ category of course. The current film stuff is an A-Z challenge, but I also review individual films now and then.
      You baby head picture is SPOOKY!
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I took a quick glance at the music and I see Costello and Mayfield, that’s enough for me. I thought by your blog name it was going to be a Beatles thing. Nothing against the lads but they get lots of ink. Your takes look more my style. The photo might be a little Spooky but CB isn’t.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I really don’t like the Beatles that much, and cannot stand McCartney as a solo performer, or as a person. I also don’t like Metal (Heavy or Light), Progressive (pretentious) Rock (Pink Floyd, etc), and big stadium bands like Queen, U2, or Coldplay..
          The blog name is from where I live, a village in Norfolk, called Beetley. I moved here from Central London, five years ago. I am predominantly a Soul music fan, from the old school, but of course I like lots of different stuff, including Jazz, and more modern music, despite now being 65 years old!
          The ‘spooky’ about your photo was ‘in a good way’. I love it!
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Lots to check out. I think I’ll start with the Film Challenge “L”(Sounds like I’m ordering from a menu) then take it from there. First glance with the music looks like we are on the same page. I’m also looking for films and music I’m not familiar with. Looking forward to what lies ahead. I leave the Liverpool guys to others. I’m digging Grappelli while i throw down my first comment. No offence taken with ‘Spooky’ I like it.

            Liked by 1 person

          1. I was just talking to someone about Joe the other day. I know of Eddie from other people I’ve listened to. I’m a sucker for that music, especially with the violin. (I’m a sucker for any kind of good music) Thanks, always open to new leads and reminders.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. I love the way you write. I find it quite inspiring. Love the piece about your move to Norfolk. I will soon be a displaced Essex-er living in South Wales. It’s comforting to know that moving away from what you’ve always known can work out for the best πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It worked out for the best for me, but then I also retired from work. I miss the restaurants, and the cinemas in walking distance. But I enjoy the dark nights, the feeling of safety, and the peace and quiet.
      Thanks for your kind comment.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pete, can you please send me your e-mail address and I want to wish you a very happy and fulfilling 65th birthday. Mine is: john.liming783(at)gmail(dot)com. (You have to substitute the @ for (at) and a period (.) for “dot” in order to make it work.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Blow Out | vinnieh
    1. Thanks very much for following my blog, Jenny. Lauren and I are near-neighbours in Norfolk, so that’s how we ‘met’ on the blog.
      Glad you like Ollie. There are many more photos of him here. Just type ‘Ollie’ into my search box.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a pretty comprehensive list! However, much of the comment is conjecture. If even half of this is anywhere near correct, I have certainly seen no evidence of it from over here. As I generally do, I conclude that what Americans consider to be ‘Communism’, is better known by the term ‘Liberal Democrat’ in Europe.
      Best wishes, Pete.


      1. It’s all too correct, though I’d have to do a rather extensive post on the many ways this has occurred; especially in areas concerning our educational system, the so-called”art” that has replaced real art, and the willingness to accept that which is unseemly.


  11. Hello Pete! I found you via milly’sguidetohappiness. I notice here that you ‘updated’ your about page…I’m in the process of updating my own (way over due – but I did get the welcome page updated just yesterday!). So, this updated page is inspiring to me – HA!
    I’m following as there is lots to read here that interests me.


  12. I came across your blog via a comment you made recently on Marina’s Letters from Athens. You sound an interesting person, and I look forward to reading more about you. I love your beautiful river photo at the top of your page.


    1. Thanks very much for your kind words. I have to confess (as I have told many others) that I did not take the header photo. It is a stock wallpaper image, from an HTC mobile phone. Where I live, there are no distant hills or mountains, though there is an place very like the foreground, where I walk with my dog. I do post quite a few photos about the area though, which can be seen if you use the search box and type ‘Photos’.
      Best wishes, and happy new year. Pete.


  13. Hey Pete! Wow 900 articles is an impressive feat – I think I’ve only made it to 30 so far. Looking forward to following your blog and catching up with what life is like in Norfolk these days. Love your dog ! πŸ™‚ From Millie in the New England (Aussie version)


    1. That’s the only one of me on this blog. Sort-of Yoda meets Bob Hoskins and gives birth to Anthony Hopkins, if you get my drift. That one is two years old now, so only the eye-bags are bigger!
      I will always think of your Darko image, even if I saw a real photo…
      Cheers mate, Pete.


All comments welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.