Christmas 2012

December 20th, 2012

Well it has crept up quite quickly once more and as usual Kirst and I started really early this year; 3rd November… but we still have so much to do.
One blessing is I managed to wrap all Kirst’s presents yesterday which are sitting under the tree looking rather pathetic; wrapping is not my forte!

Hopefully have everything sorted by Saturday and actually have a few days rest which Kirst and I are overdue!

Paris 2012

December 12th, 2012

Every year Kirst and I like to treat ourselves to a weekend away for Christmas. Past few years we decided London was our best bet but this year we fancied something a little different. After naming several City’s; Cardiff, New York, Edinburgh, London, Paris… you know all the big ones! We thought as we haven’t been to France this year it would be nice to go to Paris.
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Most popular photos on Flickr

October 31st, 2012

Thought I’d use this new plugin to show off my most popular photos on flickr

Busy Times…

October 30th, 2012

Well it would appear I am really busy at the moment. I seem to be spending hours on all the websites and domains I own. Somehow through all that, this one seems to have been put on the side lines for ages.
Well noticing how out of date my old site is, I have tonight forwarded all my personal domains to my blog; maybe this time I really will start using it!

Whilst pointing everything to this, I thought I might as well spruce it up a little. Although it is only a default scheme, I think it is quite apt and I like it.

A new goal?

March 29th, 2011

Since purchasing my 1994 Land Rover Discovery 300Tdi back in summer 2010 I have slowly been modifying it for something big; with intentions of meeting my goal of going on a large expedition before I die.

I didn’t really know what that goal was, until now; Land Rover International Spring Issue 5 2011, March 23rd to April 19th.
An article by Ros Woodman, an unforgettable Mudrut Expedition through the Near Polar Wonderland of Northern Scandinavia could be the answer.

For years now I have been highly interested in seeing the Aurora Borealis, so why not combine my greatest interests all in one; Land Rovers, Expeditions, Photography and one hell of a driving experience to see the Northern Lights?

Ian at MudRut.co.uk seems to be a useful contact with a lot of experience of visiting Norway and the Arctic Circle…

A new adventure finally awaits me…These will be my footprints one day!

Tent and Aurora Borealis

Awaiting my footprints!

Courtesy of Geology.Com

 

It never happens until it’s almost forgotten!

February 1st, 2011

I never seem to find time to write here, maybe I really should start!

…It’s now 2011, over 12 months since my last post.
Since I last posted my world has changed somewhat!

I am now with the most magnificent person ever, Kirstine who I went through high school with. Despite our lack of conversations during our 3 years in the same class, we had somehow built up a good relationship through Facebook banter some 10 years since we last spoke, and after a few weeks of chatting I plucked some courage to take her out for a drink and walk down the canal.
…a month or so later, after a few more meals out and a mad bbq trip to Wales we decided to say we were a couple… and now building our relationship from strength to strength!

It was also wedding of the year for Mr and Mrs Sas, where I was honoured best man… I say honoured in the broadest terms, as I was bricking it loads!
Weeks leading up to it flew by and before long the day arrived, got more nervous than ever but thoroughly enjoyed it 🙂
…The speech despite being short, seemed to get all the laughs in the right places so I was relatively happy with it.

Later on in the year I decided to sell my MR2 as I was doing more and more miles, going to Worcester, Birmingham and Redditch. Selling it for a supebly economical Mini R56, 08 plate has been great fun, but I wouldn’t recommend Rybrook Worcester nor Knights South Stafford for servicing and repairs. What a nightmare they have been over some 7 visits.

With a little bit of cash flow improvements and the sale of the MR2 I also bought a Land Rover Discovery 1, 1994 and since that day I seen next to no money! …but it is keeping me busy and having lots of fun.

…I am sure I won’t put anything here for a while but I intend to because this short update makes my last year look crap as I haven’t written much for each event! 🙁

12 months ago already!

April 1st, 2010

матраци12 months ago today I had a 6th sense; called my grandad asking him if ‘he were scared’, ‘not really’ he replied in a brave tone. Wishing him ‘all the best’ and saying ‘I will see you the other side’; which was peculiar of me to say such a thing. I think to this day I had subconsciously realised ‘the other side’ would not have been of the operation but of my own death in years to come :'(
Those were the last words we shared and bless him he thought I was Porl Joynes, so never knew how concerned I was! Been a hard 12 months trying to get over it but writing this has finally drawn my first true tear and lump in my throat :'( …Maybe speaking out like this is what I have been longing for.

Good night all, treasure every moment; you never do really know when you are going to lose the best things in life.

Smiling Men on Dune

Reflections

January 1st, 2010

It’s that time of the year again that I reflect on the past 12 months and plan the next.
My past year has been very much a blur, partially through the amount I have managed to cram into it and partially because I’d rather forget about it.
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Too much thinking!

October 28th, 2009

I sit here wondering what it takes to get out of the rat race the majority of us seem to live in. There is so much of the world yet to be conquered, engineering to be admired and seeing some of it this weekend has made me wonder exactly what it is I need to do to achieve this. I feel this is a burning ambition inside me… Or is this normal of a human? I don’t know; all I do know is I refuse to let this slip for the rest of my life, I don’t want to look back and say I wish I had done that, not any more. Seeing so much from these great heights at tremendous speeds slips my mind into a trance.
I am missing a vital piece of my jigsaw to life, I know what I am, what I want, what I have; but that piece that puts ambitions and goals into reality is missing. I don’t see where or what I am going to be in 10, 20, 40 years time. Before long they will come and I need to do something now otherwise I will never be satisfied… or are we never satisfied anyway? How many times do we think the grass is greener when it really isn’t!
We all seem to be destined to buy a house, settle down, have kids, retire then live if we are still fit to do so.
Well by the time I will be able to retire there is a likely chance I won’t be fit to live, so is it really that important to get into the rat race of buying houses having kids? Although I love my creature comforts I am unsure if I am a settler. I know I need to settle with a female, but settle somewhere seems too laborious for the rest of my life, I couldn’t do it.
I admire what Christine has to say with regards to this matter and it stimulates the mind, but to a dangerous level maybe beyond my ability. She seems gifted in the sense that she appears to be able to say I am going to do that and manages it; does she work her socks off for it – maybe; just maybe that is where I lack stimulation; but that doesn’t seem possible – my ambitions are worthy of stimulation… So someone help me!

Over so soon

October 28th, 2009

We awoke normal time of around 9am and showered up before packing our bags. Around 10.30 we were all done and ready to leave. We were going into the city for one last breakfast but realised there were some form of parades going on in the city which meant many areas were closed off to traffic; so decided we would gt something a little later.
After writing an essay on the feedback forms we left the hotel and set off to the Airport; which we found a little difficult as the main road through had been closed so took what seemed like a long ring road around the city but saw very little signs of airport.
After 30 minutes of great driving by dad we spotted signs for the A94 which was the main motorway between Athens Airport and City centre, which was apparently confirmed by the toll being the same 2Euros 90 it cost us on the way in!!!

The streets seemed very deserted so we assumed it was a national holiday or those parades had some national importance, as we were going to visit the Ikea and Factory Outlet just before the airport but were too closed.
We filled up with fuel and went to the airport a little earlier than planned aiming to go around a few shops and grab a bite to eat before flying in a few hours.
We found a hot food self service canteen where we had some double decker style pizza and salad costing around 45Euros for the four of us. One thing we had learnt this break is that Greece despite its looks is by no means cheap wherever you go! We watched planes taking over whilst eating our luke warm pizza and salad that had tentacles and arms in; it turned out to have a mixture of sea creatures amongst the leaves which didn’t go down too well!

After going back and forth from shop to shop we sat down for another drink where Jodie half tempted a local cold coffee; until she realised the 4 inches of white froth above the coffee was in fact cream!
Desperate for the loo (which happened to be my first time this holiday) I set off looking for a toilet… What a nightmare; a disabled only toilet and a single sit down toilet seemed a little inadequate for a major international airport; or maybe it was just my eagerness that made it seem that way! Finally finding one not in use I felt relieved and set off shopping for the last time before boarding the plane at around 4.30pm.
We set off at sunset which over a murky Greece was most picturesque, it took a long time to go down and it was the most burnt orange look, glistening on lakes and ocean below. Saw little of the mountains before going completely dark.
Food started to be served immediately and comprised of a weird sandwich again and other various sweet compliments.
Well that is me done for now, we are not far off landing at Amsterdam where I can now see a few scattered lit up areas and not much else.
Seems to be a little cloudy but can still see the ground so the landing should be an easy one. We have about an hours stop at Amsterdam and then the last little stretch to sunny side Birmingham.
Landed safely at Amsterdam (obviously), went through the airport’s fast check out as we were just passing through again, this time we seemed to have a little more time so decided to go shopping. Jodie being Jodie couldn’t take the thought of us being late for our flight so the shopping was short lived. Nearly bought some miniature clogs for work, but no disrespect to them, at 4Euros each I decided against the idea. Why has the world become so expensive over night?!?!?
Once more we thought it would be a good idea to grab a snack, this time I decided to try a Baguette Flambee which was a hot baguette with onions, ham and two cheeses… It was nice to have something hot as the Greeks are not ‘hot’ food eaters.
It wasn’t long before we were boarding the final flight and to pass time as usual Jodie and I had a thick conversation with little outcome… If the world is 12 hours ahead towards the east, and 12 hours behind to the west of GMT, what happens when west meets east?
To top this boredom off we thought it would be a good idea to bring the number 23 to topic, our seat row was 23, my lucky number but Jodie’s unlucky – then to find out my seat was loose, the window curtain was bent and Jodie’s tray pin wouldn’t turn it was like a Final Destination moment. Which then led to the point of conversation about why it is sad to watch ‘How it is made’? I like it because I admire how things are made and it’s good to know how, where as I came to the conclusion Jodie is quite sadistic; she like Crash Investigation, Seconds from Disaster and Murder Mysteries – but somehow enjoys watching them because she admires how things are made too! All this because Jodie was called a Pratt by dad for not liking How it’s Made! – Not sure how he came to that conclusion but I’m not going to argue as it has been a good sense of humour to the break.
Just flow over the Norfolk coast sipping water and eating Chocolate and Vanilla biscuits. It’s a little weird I will be landing in Birmingham 10 minutes before I took off in Amsterdam, but that is the joy of travelling east to west!
Not got a lot else to say really other than it has been a great experience, but not one I would be willing to carry out again any time soon. Greece has been ticked off in terms of mainland / Athens.
I have now become a fan of both Florence and the Machine and Kasabian’s new albums thanks to my personal in flight entertainment whilst writing this.
It is now 21.06 GMT, flying over Norfolk and I have to be up in 9 hours for work – DOH!