Ray Mears, The Queen and Coastal adventures.


OK, so everyone’s heard about the Queen’s birthday, the main thing  I want to mention here, is mine.

Its starting from 12 lunchtime at the Mill Hotel in Chester, on Saturday the 30th of April !.

It should be a far more low key affair this year, as I’m spending my actual birthday in the lake district.

That said, a day around town in Chester is pretty fab, and something I’m really looking forward too.


Another thing I’d like to point out is on the right hand side of the page are some “open outs” which list some of my pages of the amazing countries I’ve visited.

If you click on Europe for example, it will list most of the pages about places I’ve been in Europe.

I say most, as I’m still catching up on the 9 other places I’ve visited and not got around to putting up yet (I’ll be doing 3 of them this weekend).

I absolutely love this video about the Royal Navy.

One of the few regrets I have is that I never joined up when I was 17.

That being said, the escalation of the advert is a bit of a stretch.


Well its Easter time again.

That usually means 2 things.

1. I get lovely Easter Eggs like the ones above.

2. Its time to use the time off and plan an exciting break away for a few days.


We stayed at place called St Davids in Pembrokeshire.

We found a nice hotel and were joined by several friends from the walking group.

It was quite a drive down there, and took 5 hours (we stopped for breakfast on the way at The Starling Cloud in Aberystwyth to break up the journey). We normally use the day/afternoon of the first day to “acclimatise” and see a bit of the town, visit some shops and get a drink.

The weather for the trip didn’t look good, but it was ok at this point.

After briefly stopping at the visitors centre for advise, we headed straight out.

We walked from Solva -> Porth Clais.

During our 3 hour walk, we actually ran into Sue and Aled who’d had the same idea but were walking in the other direction when they met up with us.

Back to the hotel, got cleaned up, then dinner and drinks for the evening.


The following day, the main walk is cancelled due to appalling weather (and I mean appalling, storm Katherine was passing over and was tearing roofs from buildings !).

So we wandered around the town and visited the Cathedral (where we had some nice lunch in the refectory, a local dish called Cawl).

Not much to say about this day, apart from the inside of several pubs were visited.


Day after we do the long coastal walk we’ve all been looking forward to, from Abereiddy -> Rhosson.

The views of the coast were incredible, although it was still quite windy.

On the way back, we stopped at White Sands and I saw the campsite I’d stayed at with Fairbridge Drake almost 30 years earlier.

After completing the walk, some fish and chips from a local chippy and a quick pint.

In the evening we’ve booked dinner in the Bishop restaurant in town. Although packed inside, the food is excellent.


It’s bank holiday Monday.

Everyone else has headed home, so Nikki and I do a 3rd walk on our own, Rhosson -> Porth Clais.

It’s been commented that I “buy loads of gear that you never use”.

I’ve taken this on board, so on this walk I took my amazing Jetboil stove and was able to make some nice coffee for us.

Half day walk complete, we head home. Another amazing Easter weekend.


I’ve been getting out on my bike recently (it was a gift from my friend Dan).

We did a “20 miler” a couple of weeks ago, and I noticed that at the halfway point, I was in real pain.

After some research (I googled the problem) I have replaced the saddle. I’ve also bought some “proper” cycling shorts. They’re incredibly comfortable, although I do look like a sex worker 🙂

We’ve done a couple of fun rides recently, but just like me, I’ve made a list of rides to do this year taken from the ones listed on the Cheshire tourist board website.


  • Hockenhall Hobble

To do:

  • Dodleston Doddle
  • Capenhurst Caper
  • Backford Beat
  • Zoo Circular


I’ve been a team leader in a number of my jobs (I was first promoted when I was 25).

However, I’ve never been interested in “Management” personally.

I saw an article recently, displaying different types of management style on a grid. I could instantly place most of the people I’ve worked for, both good and bad.

Have a look and see if you can do the same.

Managerial grid model.


I went to see an event about Alan Turing at Manchester Home: (I’ve mentioned it before, so wont bang on about it again, suffice to say, it was really good).

As we had drinks in the lounge, I saw this poster. I don’t know what it was advertising, but it shows Manchester right after the IRA bomb.

Really took me back. I was actually at work that day in the City Centre. I remember the police came into the Andersen building and told us we had to leave (I remember distinctly noticing that they were wearing overalls and tactical belts and vests !)

Its hard to describe the injustice I felt (and still feel) about that day, but peace only comes about when people move on, and I think I have.

Since we were in Manchester, we decided to get lunch in Rusholme’s famous curry mile.

The curry mile on Sunday afternoon/evening is legendary (and quite chaotic).

We chose a Lebanese Restaurant called Beirut and just as you’d expect, the food was amazing (competition there is cut throat).

On the way back, we pop by the old Fairbridge Drake building where I worked as a volunteer so many years earlier.

I don’t regret getting old. As I always say, its not the number of years, its what you did with the years.

That said, youth has the advantage of simplicity, the world is so black and white and the solution to all life’s problems so obvious 🙂


I’ve always been a fan of Ray Mears. Bear Gryls is a well documented phoney (just google it) where Ray is an expert bushcrafter of world renown.

Although I’ve trained with various bushcraft and survival instructors (including a few who have worked for Ray) I’ve never actually met him.

He was giving a talk in Liverpool so Nikki and I decided to attend – Tales of Endurance. An unforgettable evening of stories from the edge.

He basically told 3 stories, 1 about exploration and 2 about war time heroism. all were excellent, but I couldn’t help wondering what the relevance was (things like this are on TV most evenings).

I had expected him to talk about himself and his own adventures. I thought I would get 2 hours of the stuff that didn’t make it onto his tv shows. Overall a bit disappointing and went on longer than needed.

The evening was rescued by a brief section where he answered questions and demonstrated some rescue equipment.

Some of the rescue equipment was very high tech, but I was most interested in the whistle and the mirror and their use in emergency situations.

He commented that whistles had saved countless lives. Five hundred metres from help when your in a forest with a broken leg can feel like five hundred miles. He said since they were so cheap, just buy a few and put them in every jacket you own.

I’ve worn a whistle around my neck on every outdoor trip since I was 19 (I’ve even added a small torch to it now).

He then talked about what to do if you hear a whistle while outdoors.  Stop whatever you are doing and point where the sound came from.

Then, mark your position and the exact direction where the sound came from (if you have a compass take a bearing). Really good advice and well worth remembering.


I have 2 really good quotes/poems framed at home that I look at every day.

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing” by Helen Keller and “Don’t quit” by Edgar A. Guest.

I recently saw this knocking around on Facebook.

I liked it that much, that its now joined the other 2 on my shelf.

Bellow is a less philosophical picture from my Facebook trawl, but quite funny all the same.


Near and far the search for adventure continues…

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