Okay, so the last dozen posts have been about far away places (historical, which I put up to make the website fully up to date).
I normally spend the summer adventuring in the UK, so its back to normal now and if you’re expecting pictures like the one above (Beijing tunnels I visited) then you’ll have to wait a couple of weeks.
Oh, and if you voted for Brexit, and there’s a filing cabinet nearby, do the following:
1. Open the draw.
2. Put your fingers in the way.
3. Slam the draw shut and hurt yourself.
Good, now we’ve settled our differences, we can move on.
First off all, some top flight news about johnsunter.com
We’ve noticed that more and more people are looking at the website on mobiles. Although It’s been designed to be easily accessible from phones and tablets, navigation has, in the past been a bit challenging.
That template, from which all great developers are cloned, Reggie has found/installed a solution.
In the picture above, the little box on the top right, made up of 4 parallel horizontal lines, is the key to everything.
If you press it, the above list of options will appear (familiar to anyone who’s used the website through a web browser).
It’s still got search, so you can type your name to see if your on there, but it also has the twitter feed, recent posts, country “open out” and archive “open out”.
Speaking of development, I’ve been doing some of my own.
There’s no point in having a fab kitchen just to stand in there talking while drinking wine (although that can be pretty good on a summer evening).
No. I got cracking and made Acapulco Chicken, from the first cookery book I ever owned Ainsley Heriots, Meals in Minutes.
I’ve not made it in several years, but it tasted just as good.
On the subject of food, just to prove that I do sometimes eat healthy lunches, here is a chicken salad of my own creation.
The big adventure of the year is just around the corner.
We’ll be doing an organised tour of Burma/Myanmar which has been closed due to its military dictatorship for a number of years.
On the way we’ll be spending 3 days in Luang Prabang, in Laos, as a scouting mission for future trips.
Our hotel have been really helpful.
Exploring the town by bicycle is popular, and they’ve even sent me this map of the town to help with my research and planning for the trip.
The main hub we’ll be flying into of course is Bangkok.
I’ve been there many times before, so we’ve just scheduled a few days there.
One thing I’m really looking forward too, is catching up with my old friend Frank, who moved there 11 years ago and is now happily married to Na.
If you watch the youtube clip above, of Life on Mars, you’ll see a chatty ambulance driver. Thats Frank (he was so good, I watched that episode and didn’t even know it was him).
Spent a Sunday exploring Liverpool to celebrate Nikki’s mum’s birthday.
Liverpool is still quite new to me, so I always find it exciting there with new things to see and do each time I visit.
I’m planning a trip to Antarctica and a few other places in a couple of years, to celebrate a significant birthday.
We’ve decided to do it by cruise ship, and seeing this Cruiser at Liverpool docks brought home just how much I’m looking forward to it.
It wouldn’t be right to “go on safari” out of Chester to Liverpool, without doing similar in Manchester.
Things went a bit south and I only got there quite late, but I got to tour the pubs of Manchester with old friends Nick and Gary.
Something I’d wanted to do while in Manchester was catch up with my Uncle Norman.
A chap I’ve always been fond off, the husband of one of my mums oldest friends, Auntie Margaret.
Uncle Norman had run a Butchers shop on Church street for a number of years and had decided to retire.
I was hoping to get up to see him, wish him the best and hopefully buy some really nice steak.
Above is Uncle Norm opening his shop for the first time.
And here, 32 years later, closing the shop for the last time.
I dont live in Newton Heath anymore, but I think its a real loss to Church street.
At home, I’ve been updating some of my outdoor gear.
I normally carry a very compact first aid kit, which has a dizzying array of things I’ve learned from experience to carry while travelling.
A recent accident where I fell in the Lake district (and destroyed my camera) convinced me that this “1 size fits nobody” solution wasn’t working.
I now use the small kit for overseas trips and weekends away, and the 1 above for walking.
It has “proper” bandages, a Sam splint, trauma scissors and a whole host of serious stuff like that while still keeping old favourites like plasters, blister plasters, Anadin’s and tweezers.
Its much heavier and bulkier but I think that will be worth it if anything goes wrong on the hill.
While travelling I normally use 2 wash bags.
A small single compartment bag, has my razor, deo, toothbrush, toothpast, and shower gell. I usually use that for weekend a way or longer trips where I’m staying in a hotel.
A larger 3 compartment bag, which has all the stuff above (in larger quantity’s) and includes trek towel, insect repellent, clothes wash, suntan lotion, nail clippers and foot powder extra.
Lately I’ve had an idea to create an ultra small/light wash bag for “daysack” trips between youth hostels.
While on holiday in the black forest, I saw this ultra small washbag above by Deiter which I bought and I’ve been kitting out.
It has small supplies of things which I bought at the airport “carry on” section, no razor (I can manage for 2 days) and a 12 inch square towel (about the thickness of a handkerchief).
Not content with that, I took a hacksaw to the toothbrush to reduce its size weight.
I also added a para-cord lanyard so I dont drop it on the floor.
I’ll report back on how well it works.
And just as I was writing this section, another invaluable piece of equipment arrived through my front door.
The Chester Standard. As a newspaper to read, it sets new standards in tedium and makes the Manchester evening news seem like Tattler.
However, after a day out walking, nothing can dry a pair of boots better than this thing!
Pages screwed into tightly compressed “balls” and then packed into each boot expand and draw out any moisture.
The small adds section can then be used as a base, to protect the kitchen floor while they dry.
Speaking of Chester, I’ve got really excited lately about the Chester Northgate development.
Loads of new, modern and trendy places to eat and drink and lots of big/bright indoor and outdoor places to congregate.
Among other things, a world class theatre, an 8 screen cinema and the library will be opened up as a kind of boulevard.
Should be fantastic with the whole thing including a new bus station, market and hotel completed in 4 years.
I really got into recycling about 6 years ago.
I have all the different coloured boxes, but rarely use them.
A block of flights near my house has a recycling station and I take my stuff over and process it every Thursday.
So much so, that I only use 1 black bag (things that cant be recycled) a month instead of 4 or 5 I used previously.
I was concerned to read the other day, that “box contamination” (where someone buts say a bottle in the biodegradable box) causes real problems and has to be completely resorted adding massive cost to the operation.
If you use recycling boxes, just take an extra second to check everything’s in order, it will save time/money and messing about for everyone concerned.
Well just 3 weeks of summer left and as mentioned earlier I’ve been pursuing loads of cool projects in the UK.
Last weekend I spent the bank holiday in Ambleside in the lake district.
With my rejuvenated book, 25 pub walks in the lakes as a theme, I had some great walks planned.
The actual pub walks are a bit short and basic for the stuff I do now, so I’ve used them as inspiration while staying true to the original route.
The Old Dungeon Ghyll which has a completely undeserved reputation as a nice pub was the basis for a walk up through Mickleden.
From here, we stop for lunch at Angle Tarn.
I was amazed at the number of people who’d just walked up, had no idea of the quickest way down and came over to ask us when they saw we had an OS Map.
The next day, a walk from the front door of our hotel, by the Stock Ghyl force waterfall and over tops to the Mortal Man in Troutbeck.
Continuing back into town, we wander through forests and hillsides.
Back in Ambleside, were able to visit the Gaynors outdoors, the Rohan shop, get pints at the Fino wine bar, and other essential activities like this.
Heading home on the 3rd day, we visit the Watermill at Ings.
A cracking circular walk, we finish at the pub, sit by the stream and have lunch before heading home.
Although quite a low level walk, it had spectacular views.
Overall, a fantastic bank holiday weekend in the lakes and 3 new initials in my 25 pub walks book.