Friday, 28 January 2011

Things To Do While Away...

Hello Again Guys!

As you are aware I'm going away to the USA, France and Spain leaving in March.  As you are also aware I have a nasty back issue and this is probably the last chance to do some interesting stuff before it becomes too much.  I want your opinions!  So far the following has been suggested to me:

USA - New York

Empire State Building
Shop til you drop
Walk around and get pissed with the locals - shoot the shit basically
Take a Broadway show dressed like James Bond
Take the train to Washington

USA - Washington DC

Take in a session at the House of Representatives
Walk around and get pissed with the locals
Take the train to Chicago

USA - Chicago

Take the view from one of the many skyscrapers with lunch of course
Walk around and get pissed with the locals
Get picked up by friends then relax for a few days

USA - New Orleans

See if I can play with one of the local bands - for those of you who don't know I can play the drums (badly!)
Guess what?  Walk around and get pissed with the locals!

France - Normandy, 2 weeks, a month maybe... (Love France!)

Enjoy the food and laid back lifestyle/culture.
Travel to the Cresta run and have a bobsleigh ride!!!!
Parachute jump
1st World War battle sites
Do the Eiffel Tower
Discover wines...with the locals...
To southern Spain via Milan to Florance


To the Opera!


Bask in the culture - what else!


Roman stuff!


Is there a volcano there?

Spain - Cordoba

The cathedral!!!!!
Fly to Cyprus to meet up with an old friend then continue on to Jerusalem then return
3 days in the Gothic quarter of Barcelona! - Like that one!
Ski in the morning, drink coffee on the med in the evening

Come on guys I'm brainstorming and all suggestions considered at the moment..

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Pre Travel Thoughts on Existence

The description of this blog has warned you... My Mantras!

1.   Never fuck your mates girl/boyfriends.

2.   Have as much fun as you can in life at noboby elses expense.  (This is not mine.  Cheers to Simon Russell.  The wisedom remains and is true now as when you said it when we were teenagers!  I hope you are doing well and you and Clare have a hat full of children.  RIP those that died before they were 25 - Yank and Dave, it was a pleasure.)

3.   Never get into a relationship/fuck with someone who is married or into something serious - It's not the outsiders place!  Obvious!! Families never forget, the hurt is deep and the vengence will overcome you sooner or later, in this world or the next.

4.   If you are doing something worthwhile and your heart is in it, never give it up as lost you may never have the chance again!

5.   Don't buy a Honda.  Motorcycles are just so much more interesting if you go somewhere else.

Ok, ok, its not 10 like Moses would have prefered but in the modern world It will do and if you are like most of us, therefore free from criminal intentions, it's a good "starter for 10".  Paxman and Bamber would be proud!  Being a twat i'm sure I will add more lessons as I learn the wisedom.  Love you! 

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Pre Travel Thoughts

The time has come to make some decisions.  Last year was interesting.  It finished with me without a proper job, in a house that I no longer have a need for and a step daughter who passed her 19th birthday.  On the positive side, I am fitter and stronger than any 44 year old has any right to be, a girlfriend who will give me space to live a small dream and although I have a nasty little back complaint I'm happy to chance my well being for one last run at life.  Anyway, that was 2010.

Today, 2011.  In addition to being as fit as I can be I do have a little money and i have the freedom to do something extraordinary with it.  Like most people of my age that come from a modest background, travel, especially prolonged travel, was not something I considered when I was a young man - alas no gap years before Uni for me.  Sure, I took a motorcycle across Europe in my early 20's but that was it.  Post parenthood and post career, an opportunity has presented itself to rectify this situation...and it is a little scary!!!!

The "how I got to this point" I will slowly divulge whilst I'm on the road - if anyone is interested - and it will give me something to do and give me a real-time record of my exploits that I can bore others with when I'm old!  I hope to include video and stills into the bargain.  What I can share today is my travel plan.

1.  USA - 3 weeks fly-drive starting in Boston, to Illinois then somewhere else (New Orleans?) then return to Blighty.
2.  After a short rest drive the car to France for several weeks looking at property, eating good food with good wine in a Normandy gite.
3.  Leave France and drive to southern Spain where, for several weeks, I can base myself and do "do southern Europe".

OK, you have the plan.  What of the objectives?  Simple.  This is about increasing my intellectual depth so I can appear even more overbearing at polite middle class dinner parties - you know the ones don't you!?  I may not have the wedding tackle of a Grand National winner but I certainly have the mouth of one and at such dinners that is all that counts - indeed one is interchangeable for the other within this context!  I haven't been to any of these for years - to spare the human race basically - but it is nice to know you always have the edge of experience if you wish to use it.  I haven't sharpened my edge for a year or two so here we go.

I'm going on my travels alone alas.  Not through choice but that's how that "excrement chip cookie" called life crumbles!  There are a couple of good things about travelling alone however;  I can make all my own decisions and run risks without the need to concern myself with someone elses welfare.  The downsides are of course the loneliness and the thought I will be gathering remarkable memories that my nearest and dearest will not be part of - that is a real bummer.  (See the sentence above that begins "Not through choice.....".)

So what is next?  Get the money in the bank for the trip, buy the car, book the flights, book the gite and book the house in Spain and say my good byes.  More to follow.