Birthday & New adventures


Well, two weeks at home and pursuing adventures, then I started my new job. Its been a pretty exciting and busy month.

The picture above is taken on the Rock of Gibraltar where I retraced the steps of James Bond in the 1988 film – The Living Daylights.

Years ago I had a Ninja suit and found the deluge of 80’s films fascinating. Last year I visited feudal castles in Japan where Ninja grappling hooks must surely have seen action. I saw this article, and for a brief moment considered applying for the job !.

My new boss is a keen fan and participant of Rugby. I read this article about someone who’d suffered a horrendous mauling during a Rugby game, but just got on with it.

As a plain speaking man (if you know what I mean) the BBC have had to substitute some of his phrases with the names of vegetables. Hilarious.


This year, I’ve decided to go away for the weekend to celebrate my birthday and I’ll be doing some more pub walks in the Lake District.

I’m still going to have a bit of a day out around Chester, and I’ve decided to hold it on Saturday the 30th of April.

If anyone is around then, it would be fab to see you.


Talking of things happening on a Saturday, this Saturday is the Chester Globetrotters talk.

This week, there are 2 different talks about Africa. It costs £3 for 2 talks and tea/coffee (in most of Chester its £3 just for coffee, so a real bargain).

Best of all, this time, Nikki will be the compere which should make for a smooth running and interesting afternoon.


On Sunday, I’m going back home to Manchester for the day.

I’ve always wanted to see the new theatre/cinema/cultural centre called home: which is on a road called Tony Wilson way.

I’m really interest to see a 3 part creation by some guys called Al & Al.

Off special interest is the middle section is called the Creator. It tells the story of intelligent machines from the future who travel back in time to meet Alan Turing near the end of his life.

Made me think. If you believe (as I do) that intelligent machines will evolve beyond humanity, one day, won’t they “naturally” want to know something about the person who created them ? (although whether they’ll have “cracked” time travel is another matter 🙂

You can read what they’ve said about it here.


I knew all those years ago, when I started working in IT, that the jet set life was just around the corner. Visits to the worlds most exciting places would be simply another day at work.

Well, not exactly. I remember spending a week in Hickory while working at Corning. You may not have heard of Hickory, but put simply, its where the phrase Hick Town comes from. Grim.

I’ve done several site visits since I started my new job (the company I work for really is massive, competing in 9 major markets on a global scale).

Last week, we spent 3 days in a place called Grangemouth, in Scotland.

Not exactly Florida, but a really interesting project and the accommodation, food, drink and local people were excellent.


Well, I’m off to Pembroke with the Chester and District Walking group over Easter.

I’m really looking forward to it as the area has some of the best coastal walking in the world.

Were based out of St David’s, a place I visited many years ago with Fairbridge Drake.

There are still places available if any of my friends want to come.

* this is a stock picture I found on the internet. If you join the walking group to meet this girl, you’re going to be disappointed (although there are lots of other nice people in the group).


In between leaving Moneypenny and starting at SGS, I had 10 days off.

The first weekend, Nikki and I visited in Hayfield in the Peak district and did some fab walking there.

The 4 days of the following weekend, we visited an area of Spain and spent time in Gibraltar.


I’m going to do a more thorough write-up about Gibraltar, but for now I just wanted to say a quick Thank You to Nikki’s sister Lyn (picture left, at a tunnel on the way up the Med steps).

I’ve visited Gibraltar previously and had a big list of interesting things I wanted to see.

As a native of the Island, Lyn had organised a really smart tour and in an exhausting day (well for me at any rate) I got to see all the things I’d planned.


On a school trip, we travelled on a coach through the Black Forest.

Since then, the only Black Forest I’ve come into contact with, was served after a meal !.

I was delighted when Nikki and I booked a 10 day walking trip there in May. I may even eat Gateau while I’m there.


I always enjoy meeting Nikki’s parents.

I know I’m supposed to say that, but honestly, its true. Nikki’s father was in the RAF and afterwards designed aeroplanes and can tell you anything you want to know about just about any kind of aircraft.

I’ve been invited to go on a family holiday to Orkney. A relaxing couple of days and a chance to connect with people ?

Well, years ago, I watched a program that inspired me. A guy and his daughter climbed this massive rock obelisk somewhere.

I now know that guy was the famous Joe Brown and the rock was the Old Man of Hoy, first climbed 15 years earlier by Sir Christ Bonington.

As well as all the family stuff, I’m really looking forward to visiting the Old Man (there’s a walk around there, I certainly wont be trying to climb it 🙂


I got a call from my friend Tony a couple of months ago (former landlord of my favourite pub and good mate).

I wasn’t sure what he wanted. He’s originally from down south, so he may have wanted to go out for a curry, come round to my house and practice swearing together or perhaps print emails, since he doesn’t have a printer.

But then I remember. A few weeks before, Tony asked me what my plans were for this years “big trip”.

I told him Thailand (to catch up with Frank) , Laos, and Burma (which has been closed to tourism for 20 years and represents a real adventure opportunity).

A couple of weeks later we meet up and he tells me he’s going on holiday. I’m fascinated by travel, so instantly ask him where he’s going.

The cheeky bastard has stolen my entire trip, and he and some “press ganged” mates are doing the whole thing several months before me.

When he finally arrived that evening, it turned out he needed to get a visa.

I found a suitable wall, took his picture and organised the visa.

He’s back home now and had a fab trip.


Tuesday night, I’m going to the Chester film society to watch X & Y with my ace friend Dave Emonds.

The picture above, isn’t actually the cinema, its us at the Snowdon Ranger Youth hostel several months ago.


On Wednesday night, its one of my favourite places, Urbano 32 (on Bridge Street, Chester) for wine tasting.

Its  20 quid for 4 courses and 4 nice glasses of wine (that would be good value if it was being served in my back yard).

Their website is here, its well worth a look.


Before signing off, I just wanted to take a moment and flag up some annoying people I’ve experienced while travelling.

I don’t know their names (and have no wish too) so I’ve made up my own.

Plane arse (pictured above) decided to stand up for the whole of my flight to Spain.

Despite being asked several times to move by the hostess’s who were trying to serve drinks, he didn’t seem to care.

train nob

Here, Train nob thinks its clever to lie down on a parcel shelf.

Look closely at the picture. His friends, the “kids having harmless fun” seem to think it’s hilarious.

Now look at the woman holding a toddler, who had to move due to concerns over safety.

I deeply regret taking this picture. I wish I’d just yanked him of the shelf and watched him land on the floor 🙂

Well that’s it for now, the search for adventure continues…

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