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24 September 2014

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You are in: Isle of Man > People > Traa dy Liooar Mandatory

Douglas Bay

Our busy metropolis, Douglas

Traa dy Liooar Mandatory

Manx woman, Helen Kinrade has just returned from living and working in London, only to discover that her city-slick approach to life is not appreciated in the Isle of Man.

Let me get something straight before I begin my rant: I like my new office job. It’s the best one I found since moving back to the Isle of Man from London last year and when they offered it to me, I was thrilled. I like the fact that I start the day with a stack of work in my in-tray and that I’m always busy. So busy in fact that up to a month ago I’d sort of assumed that my employers would like me to work at a reasonably fast pace – it turns out though that, in my boss’ opinion, I’ve been breaking the Manx speed limit.

A procession of P50 cars made in Peel.

Rush hour in Peel


“Now dear,” she said, tapping her biro on her notepad during last month's appraisal, “I’ve noticed that you’ve been walking very briskly around the office.” Had I been?

I’d certainly been enjoying the chance to wrest my bum off the office chair in order to photocopy something, or to pop a letter into the post tray, but surely that was normal practice for an office worker? My boss continued. “I must ask you to slow down and not walk around so fast – it’s a health and safety issue and the other people in the office might find it off-putting.”


How fast had I actually been going? Were papers flying off people’s desks in my slipstream? Did they have to comb their hair back into position after I’d gone shooting past? I stared back at my boss incredulously, my mouth opening and closing like an enormous goldfish. “Er,” I managed, finally, “I was just taking the opportunity to have a bit of… exercise?” My retort hung limply in the air.

"All this torpidity in the land that invented the Parish Walk; I just don’t get it."

Helen Kinrade


“Well, just promise that you’ll walk slower in future, dear,” my boss replied, popping the lid back onto her biro. My appraisal was clearly over. I slunk out of her office and back to my desk with steam coming out of my ears.


I hadn’t noticed up till then how popular it is over here to stroll. I have to pick my way between Saturday afternoon shoppers on Strand Street, who are moving in the same direction as me but incredibly slowly; as though I am actually some kind of character from the Matrix, moving at warp speed in order to save, not the world but my fish fingers from thawing out before I get home. Young Manx teenagers wear trainers with wheels in the bottom so that they can perambulate around whilst pretty much just standing still. I can understand as much as the next person why it might be lovely to saunter down a beach or a lovely glen, but sauntering through the supermarket?

I admit: I’m not the skinniest gal in the land. If I moved as slowly as these people, I’d have so many extra, unexpended calories turning to fat that I’d be in one of those electric wheelchairs for the morbidly obese by the end of the year. All this torpidity in the land that invented the Parish Walk; I just don’t get it.


Bewildered and feeling like I had nowhere else to turn, I confided in my mum. I told her about my boss’ enforcement of traa di liooar in my office.

Douglas Port

A commuting alternative

 “Hmm,” she said with a half-smirk, “I think she’s got a point, actually.” This was not the response I’d been fishing for; I’d have been grateful for at least one eye-roll and a few tuts in my favour.

 “Yes,” she continued. “You don’t so much walk as… dart.” I took this information in. I could feel a strop coming on. Dangerously for her, poor Mum had warmed to her topic. “Yeah, ya blink” – she demonstrated at this point by doing a big blink – “and whoosh! You’re gone!” Her arm whooshed through the air in an unintended Nazi salute. What kind of a mother sides against her daughter with the enemy?

Can my whole view of the world really be based on a terrible sham? Even now, one month later, I’m hanging on to my old philosophy by the fingernails. At work I might have to stroll or get my marching orders; but out there on Civvy Street, I’m still fighting for my right to dart.

last updated: 04/04/2008 at 12:19
created: 04/04/2007

Have Your Say

Is Helen right? Do we move at the pace of snails over here? If so, why - and what's the point?

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Manxypoos
The 'pace of life is slower' is a euphemism for 'time drags due to boredom'Its a beautiful place for sure, but the finance sector has sucked the soul out of the Island, there's nowhere decent to go anymore (since Bushy's closed and they recently outrageously stopped families camping on the point of Ayre) Hopefully the recession will enhance the creativity in society that has been sadly lacking in recent years

Caroline Yorke
Get a grip! If you want to move back to the country and take advantage of everything that country life has to offer (cheaper housing, fewer stomach ulcers, etc) then you need to accept how people live. When in Rome, and all that.....I live in deepest rural Mid Wales, having moved back here from a stressful job in the South East, and getting re-accustomed to the pace of life was the best medicine ever to be doled out.

Jace
I say all things in moderation! WORK - slow pace SHOPPING -medium pace(there is so mauch food out there that you'll miss if rushed. Save all your energy for the things that YOU would like to do.

KManx
It is very frustrating when you are trying to whizz around strand street in your 1/2 hour lunch break and people are moving so slowly!speed up people!

Tim
Don't worry Helen . It just takes time to change

Chris Finlay
The pace here is great. I'm over her from Northern Ireland nearly two years and my blood pressure hasn't been so low for ages. Long may it continue

JackDaniel
If you want speed at Man go to the TT.Traa dy Liooar: Time Enoughis just perfect, every circunstance needs its time."There is more to life than increasing its speed". ~Mohandas K. Gandhi

Sherley
I came to the Isle of Man from near London. It's to fast in London but I am pleased to say it's a bit slow here at times which can be a problem when you want to get things done. But I won't go back to London.I WON'T GO BACK there. Life on the Isle of Man is fresh and can be wonderful.

wish
Nice unintended comment on the quality of the Manx Education by someone

someone
If you have a young family, you may find the island great, education is limited to little class wish bring a more personal approach. If you don't meet this criteria, forget about it. The weather is always poor. Locals are very strange and not very open minded. And there absolutly nothing to do apart from a walk in the glen under the rain. My main objective is to save enough money to get out. cheers

FRAN BARNES
WHY WALK WHEN YOU CAN RUN?

A Come-over
It can be terribly frustrating to hear the boat line at every turn. We moved here in search of a better quality of life and found it, but settling in does take a while, and there are always those who make it harder. We love IOM, and can't think of going back, but sometimes....

Soft Southener from the big smoke
Please don't change the pace of life, I think the big finance firms are guilty of this, just look at the what most of them do on Manx Bank holidays, thankfully the finance firm I work for does not even have a skeleton staff in on those days, but there are many that insist on having the office manned because the UK or elsewhere has a normal working day. Been here 4 years now and have only just started to slow down from 19 years doing the 'commuter walk' in Ldn

Paul I.
I went to the IOM last year for the first time in nesrly 30 years. I noticed straight away the difference in pace of life; here in the mainland we think perhaps we are smart chasing our ever more frantic lifestyle whereas in Douglas where I was based the whole place was so relaxed in comparison to the Fylde in Lancashire where I live.The coastline in the IOM is very beautiful, and I am vey keen to go there in the near future. I hope the island keeps it's traditions and ways in contrast to the mainland which seems to live a lifestyle of constant frentic change and novelty which is increasingly tatty and superficial.

a worn out worker from london
i have been to i o m twice on holiday, boy what a cool fab chillout isle i am pigsick of the uk an new labour give me monas isle

Paula
Dear people of this lovely island please don't start whizzing around like mad because stress could easily come into it. Why not take your time, why rush? Why not do things in a relaxed way? Here in London is like being plugged in, it's shocking! Pressure, pressure and again pressure! I would like to work in a more calm and slow environment and the atmosphere will be much nicer, I bet. So relax and enjoy life to the full whatever you are doing. Bless you all!

French Manxie
I was Home a couple of weeks ago and was again sorry to leave. I live in France and unless you adapt to their ways you would be very unhappy. There are many Brits who want to change the French way of life just the same as they do on the island. Why bother moving to a different country if they want to change it? By the way - the Seacat leaves at 07.30 - they'd get back to the God forsaken U.K. a bit quicker. Don't let any comeovers change our way of life - they'd be much happier if they adapted to the Manx way of life and they would be welcomed with that sort of attitude rather than the British one.

ken(across the water)
wish my pace of life was as relaxed as the Manx, dont change a thing have spent many happys slow pace times on the island its great. ken

John of Peel
There once was a woman called Kinrade,Who wrote a disparaging tirade,Don't know what London's taught her,Must have been something in the water !Its by Quality not quantity "Mann" is made.

Swoop
Thw pace of the Isand is perfect

Keith johnson
The Manx may seem to be at a slow pace but a bit of thought lets you get the job done right first time.I am Manx and have lived and worked in England for 42years but its nice to return and relax.

JohnO
Well I am not getting the boat back until a week on Saturday, I will rush around while I am here despite the locals and keep coming back for holidays if thats ok with the manx. Just love this place despite you all, some people like fast :)

Steph
To Bill, that's fine, I don't have a problem with that, to be honest I was getting at people who come over then complain about our motor sports! I think motor sport is a big part of our Island, and without it it wouldn't be the same! plus business people trying to change our farming, when they haven't really experienced our culture fully!

Bill from Castletown
In response to Steph. What about if you are Manx and have lived here all your life but know and believe that the people who move over here have alot to offer the Isle of man about how we should develop in the future. I don't mean ruining the beautiful countryside or changing the culture but perhaps improving service standards and the quality of life. Keep an open mind if you are able.

Steph
In response to the person not happy with "there's a boat in the morning", I think this is a brilliant phrase, as I am fed up with people coming over here and trying to change our culture! If you don't like the way we live, don't come here!!

Tommy Tittywinks
Been here 13 years now, wouldn't go back to the uk ever. It's heart attack land over there with people dashing everywhere and road rage. Keeping up with the Jones's. Give me the IOM everytime

John S Shaw
Yes you do move at a snail's pace, only until they (Manx Young People) get behind a steering wheel!! As a born and bred Yorkshireman I embrace and enjoy this laid back attitude PLEASE don't change.

Pete
Errr, I'll tell you tomorrow ....

Vicky
I think the the pace on the Isle of Man is just right - everyone has time for everyone else and we all have time to admire our beautiful island! I don't think Helen is sayng against this - it is just a different way of life to across and will take time to get used to and slow down to.

Sherley in Peel
Yes I understand and you really ought to slow down it is more restful

Warren Ballaugh
I moved to the Isle of Man 7 years ago and on the whole I think it is a great place to live. It does take some getting used to though and the work ethic is one area which is challenging. I have also met with that "Boat/ Plane" response which I agree is rather pathetic. But really the thought that there was a boat and plane in the morning was the one thing that kept me sane in the early days of moving here.

SpungeRob
There is also an excellent air service from Ronaldsway Airport!

John Wade
I had to have a look at the date of this article to make sure it wasn't an April Fool! Perhaps she should take some time out and smell the flowers. After all if she doesn't like it, there's always a boat in the morning and also nowadays several planes which can get her whizzing off the Island back to the longtail race she clearly wants!!

Tony Warren
The boat line is wearing very thin nowadays. I am a proud Manxman and quite frankly I am sick and tired of hearing the "boat in the morning" line. It is nothing but a sure fire way of making sure the Isle of Man fails in its bit to be a successful nation. If we continue to use it whenever someone offers constructive criticism we will never move on. It's a poor and rather ignorant arguement used by people who have no capacity to accept constructive criticism. I for one would like to seperate myself from people like that. Message to the world: "Not everyone here has a closed mind"

SpungeRob
There's a boat leaving in the morning 9 O'Clock.

Catherine Ellis
Brilliant!! I work for a UK company in the Isle of Man and when our boss comes over from London every month he always comments that nobody is rushing around the office. He actively encourages running in the work place. This doesn't go down well with us locals who can't wait for him to get back on the plane at the end of the week. He does however have a point. We probably get paid as much, if not more, than our counterparts in London and why should they put in more effort than us?? It sounds as though Helen would be more suited to working at our place!

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