Tuesday, 31 August 2010

100+ Things To Do List v7

I have started adding over 100 now. I have rephrased some things.

Items on the list are things that either I want to achieve, grown up thinking I couldn't achieve or wanted to achieve, things that I find meaningful, things that when I think about or hear of make me feel good, but most of all, it must be possible, and if all were completed and I die, I would feel I lived a full life.

1)
Do a 1000 piece jigsaw
A difficult one of a bull attacking a football game, which didn't have a picture on the box. Had help from mom, dad and nan.
2) Learn 3 guitar songs & 1 solo.
3) Scam my way on the radio
4) Be on TV
5)
Be an extra
Extra in Souled Out, and a government training video.
6) Ride a motorbike
7) Go jogging in a foreign country
8)
Outrun the police
Young, drunk and streaking
9) Ride a banana boat
10) Volunteer for charity
11)
Be on front of magazine
SixtyNine Magazine December 09, and BMs company magazine July 08.
12) Paraglide
13) Attempt an Iron Man Triathlon
14) Skydive
15) Paint a painting
16) Cut my own hair
17) Be on a TV gameshow
18)
Go on holiday on my own
Sweden, July 2009
19) Climb Ben Nevis
20) Visit a big African jungle. Congo style
21) Cycle 50 miles
22) Break a world record
23) Run a popular website (over 1000 visitors a day for a week)
24) Learn to play steel drums
25) Live a day blind
26)
Go to Stonehenge
Story here.
27) Get something published
28) Get to be in the top 10 at something in the country
29)
Camp in a foreign country
Norway! May 2009
30) Build a house, or at least a shed, but not a packaged one
31)
Get a degree
Completed September 3rd, BSc Computer Science (Software Engineering) at the University of Wolverhampton
32) Make a fire with sticks
33) Learn to backflip
34)
Get a lift home from a police man
While walking back drunk from Stourbridge
35) Climb to top of Macchu Picchu
36)
Make a good snowman
Me and Joe, January 2009
37)
Have an IMDB profile
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3090538/
38) Have a Wikipedia page
39)
Start a clap after a plane landing
Story here.
40) Learn to juggle
41) Get a word in the dictionary
42) Build a boat
43) Make an acapella song and video
44) Get something patented
45) Go to John O'Groats
46) Go to Cameroon
47) See Greek temple ruins
48) Be part of a mythology role play (orcs and magic and stuff)
49) Walk into a country pub, dressed as a cowboy, saloon style.
50) Join a protest
51)
Get on Google Street View
Story here
52)
Go to a random gig
Patrick Wolf, with Melissa, May 2009
53) Join a riot
54) Get another middle name
55) Make a Macho Man costume
56) Have an MMA/Boxing fight
57) Go to a rave in a foreign country
58) Campaign for something
59) Befriend a big issue seller
60) Rock climb
61) Start a business
62) Complete a marathon
63) Crowd surf
64) Go to the Aral Sea
65) Learn the International Phonetic Alphabet
66) Get in the credits of a TV program or film
67) Set up a charity
68) Grow a proper beard
69) Learn sign language
70) Create a decent family tree
71) Go camping in Canada (proper camping with bears and stuff)
72) Fly a kite
73) Become a moral investor
74) Sit in the cockpit of a small aeroplane or helicopter
75) Go inside the pyramids
76) Go over a waterfall
77) Go in a hot air balloon
78) Fly a plane
79) Go wakeboarding
80) Build a card tower with 4 on the bottom
81) Explore 10 derelict buildings
Part 1
82)
Go white water rafting
My 21st bday!
83) Go white water rafting... abroad (always more dangerous)
84) Make a film
85) Make wine
86) Make jam
87)
Find way around the UKs longest hedge-maze
Story here.
88) Find way around the worlds longest hedge-maze
89) Learn another language
90) Learn to ice skate backwards (and complete a lap)
91) Buy everyone in the pub a drink
92) Eat noodles in London
93) Hug a panda
94) Learn to pick some locks
95)
Own a Bansai tree
Melissa bought me one, September 2009. Still alive as of January 2010
96) Go on a safari
97) Go to Asyut, Egypt
98) Be in a band and play a gig
99) See the Northern Lights
100) Complete 99 things on the list
101)
See Infected Mushroom
Friday 21st May, London. Story here.
102) Survive a visit to North Korea
103) Go exploring in the Amazon Rainforest
104) Own an Aston Martin
105) Make a sand car as good as my dad used to
106) Drink Vodka in Russia
107) Go to a big festival
108) Learn to do Rubik's Cubes in under 2 minutes
109) Get married
110) Have children
111) Read The Odyssey
112) Read The Bible
113) Find 10 geocaches
Part 1
114) See a tornado
115) Cycle 100 miles
116) Complete a half marathon
117) Make a cookbook with 50 recipes

113) Find 10 geocaches: Part 1, Edgbaston Reservoir

Recently, one of my favourite blog friends, Brandi, told me about this thing called 'geocaching'. For those who don't know, I will give the brief explanation from the website.

"Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online."

That explanation doesn't do it justice. There are thousands of geocaches. For example, in the hills near my house there are about 15. They are literally everywhere, and unless you knew about the website you would never know they were there. The geocaches sometimes have items in them... whoever finds it is allowed to take the item, as long as they replace it with something of equal or greater value.

By some people geocaching is seen as geeky, but others love the idea. I am in the latter group, and so is everyone I have told.

Anyway, on Saturday, Melissa came over and we decided to try and find a geocache. We didn't really know what we were looking for, so we got the coordinates of two of them. The first we gave up quite quickly, since we had another to go on to.

The second was at the Edgbaston Reservoir. One thing I love about the idea of geocaching is that even though I have lived by the reservoir for 3 months now, I have had no reason to go there. Geocaching has gave me a reason, and I imagine there are loads of places it gives a reason to go to.



We walked around the reservoir, which was nice. I haven't been to one for years. I didn't even know what they were, so I googled it and found out "a reservoir is an artificial lake used to store water"... you learn something new every day.

While walking around, Melissa noticed something, that I thought was a ball of fluff.

It was so cute. We weren't quite sure what it was, but it looks like a Dormouse. It kept closing it's eyes, and had no problems with me getting close to take a photo.

Melissa pointed ahead of us, where you could clearly see lots of rain, literally a few metres ahead... but we weren't getting wet at all. It was really weird! Then we walked a little bit ahead (a few steps) and was being rained on. I suppose rain has to start and end somewhere, but I have never seen something like that before. Amazing!


We got to where the geocache was meant to be. It was near one of the towers that inspired J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. For those who didn't know, he was from Birmingham and based lots of the places in the book on areas around Birmingham.

The website clue said it was behind a loose brick in a house. Melissa quickly found the house and started searching around. I got lucky, and the first loose brick I pulled out had a little container behind it. It looked like a camera film case. Inside the case was lots of pieces of paper, each with even more names on, and the occasional little message. Although this one was too small to have anything good in, it had a 'happy birthday' glitter thing, and a McDonalds Monopoly voucher.

We wrote our names and the date in it, and Melissa put in a Hello Kitty charm, and we put it back behind the loose rock.

It was a nice day, and a nice way to start number 113, 'Find 10 geocaches'. Without this first one I wouldn't have gone to the reservoir, seen a cute little mouse in the grass, and walked under a rain cloud, cartoon style.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Malia, Greece: My Memoirs

- Planning fairly quiet drinks on the first night, walking into the first bar, then their being a bit of a misunderstanding and ending up with 5 drinks and 5 shots each.


- "He's got one mate" from Jamie whenever a gypo tried to sell Leigh a cowboy hat.

- The amazing Nutella and Kinder white-chocolate ice creams.

- Getting hammered the first night, and everyone asking how the Full Moon Party was (because of the vest I was wearing).


- 'Sharking' around, though I didn't really try and pull anyone! Though there were lots of hotties!!

- Trying to sleep next to the pool at 3am, but the hotel guy kicking me to wake me. Then stumbling into some nice Scottish girls room, until they too kicked me out (mean!).

- Going down to the beach on my own, thinking I wouldn't have the courage/ability to swim to the little island... and then forcing myself to do it!



- Three girls trying to steal my wallet and camera. They took it out my pockets but I grabbed it back. Then one offered me a blowjob for £5. I should have taken it out of spite. Then another woman trying to pick pocket my camera

- Randomly going to the beach to go boob-watching (sorry :p).

- Cruising around on the quad bike. Picking up some locals and taking them back to their rooms.



- Accidentally, and illegally driving the quad bike on to the big main road that is 70km/h, and having almost every car beep at me as they went past. I couldn't figure out how to get off it!

- Doing a drinking game the reps organised, and downing the beer pretty quick (if I do say so myself)!

- The Greek guy teaching me his dance.


- Leigh vs The Bug Beast. Manning up and trying to catch it with his cowboy hat... while I ran around the room to avoid it... then pushing the hat outside and down the corridor. Eventually having to leave the hat behind.

- The girls from Glasgow.



- Annoying the Albanians that try and make you pay to take penalties by keep challenging them for free, then drunkenly going in goal and diving and saving a shot.


- Wandering around Old Town to find some good, locally made Raki.

- Going on my quad bike for a few miles down the road, going through some scary farm places.

- Smashing some glasses in a drunken rage... one of which badly cut my hand. I was forced into a medical centre by some girls (one of which was cut while she was trying to get the glass out my hand)... then trying to get the doctor to stop helping me because I thought the girl next to me was dying.


- Olivia and Laura helping me (thanks!).

- Somersaulting off the booze cruise top deck into the sea. Doing it a second time, but landing face/chest first and feeling like I was hit in the face with a bat.

- Meeting the two girls (hottt) and going to some clubs with them, until I wandered off and lost them.


- Wandering the streets at night listening to my audio book, decided to listen to the last few mins on the sunbed at my hotel, but the hotel person thought it would be amusing to turn the sprinklers on. I was stubborn and wouldn't move till it finished.

- Going on the water surfer thing. Not falling off even with my bad hand, and then doing the final bit standing (until the girl next to me pushed me in the water).


- Swimming between the boat and the beach a few times (I've started to enjoy this swimming in the sea business).

- Seeing Tiny Tempah. Wouldn't know it was him unless he was wearing sunglasses. Nobody else can get away with that in a club.

- Seeing the clone of me, also called Andy.


- The girl that kept seeing me when I was on my own, and calling me James Blunt.

- A drunk guy showing me his 'really good banter' that makes him pull, and demonstrating it by shouting "Fuck off, you fat Geordie slut" to some girls we had just spoken to... and genuinely thinking they would turn around and laugh.

- Driving to a quieter beach and watching the sun set.


- Dave's arm breaking when we arm wrestled. The worst noise I've heard.

- Running back to get Dave's insurance details, and putting two Welsh guys in their place that tried to push into me.

- Dropping my wallet, losing my bank cards, drivers license and quad bike keys, but not stopping because I felt I needed to run back to Dave.

- Realising I had just lost my bank cards, drivers license and quad bike keys, then trying to push my quad bike into some bushes so nobody could find it and charge me for it (not sure where the logic there was).

- Sobering up at 6am, and thinking I really need to go out and find my bank cards, drivers license and quad bike keys. Successfully finding all buy the license.


- The epic bus trip to the hospital to see Dave, and the bus guy making us get off at the wrong stop, nasty man.

- The disgusting hospital.

- Raving it to 'Killing In The Name Of' with Martin the rep.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Malia with the Lads, and my Moms Comment

Wow! I am going on a 'lads' holiday. As I am now 23, I might be one of the older people in Malia (a 'party place' in Greece), but hopefully that just means I am more experienced. I will return next Friday with my memoirs.


On another note, I just recieved maybe the best text I have read from my mom:

"Have a great, safe holiday, rememba we love u, rememba stds should only relate 2 u in the telephone sense n if a girl will let u bonk her on hol shes a slapper n u likely 2 get more than a notch on ya dick! or put anotha way - if u bonk with a slappa use a wrappa"

Ps. My housemate has just started blogging and made her 100 things to do list. Have a look if you want (http://amytraveller.livejournal.com/966.html)

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Paris, France: My Memoirs

On the 29th of July I went to Paris, France to see Melissa. She has been living over there for a few months now, working in a 'PGL' place (somewhere children go and do activities). She is pretty fluent in French, and needed to work abroad as part of her course.

Although we have been apart for over 4 months, I thought it would be nice to see her, and generally I don't find meeting up with ex's awkward at all.

I boarded the second ever flight from UK I have taken alone and sat (slept) in silence. When I woke up there were three young boys pulling faces at me. They were about the same age as my nephews, so, well equipped with the art of pulling faces, I set to work pulling faces back. Eventually they started talking to me. They mocked that I could barely speak French while all three seemed fluent in the language.

Melissa met me at the airport. She looked very pretty, tanned, and with darker hair. We got a train to Lésigny, where she was staying. When we got there she told me that we would have to walk about 5 miles to the 'chateau'. I am quite the walker and didn't think anything of it. After 5 miles I wanted to cry. It had gotten dark, and was quite late by the time we got in, so we watched a film and went to sleep.

The next day we walked the horrible distance back to the train station, and went in to Paris. The whole holiday we didn't buy and train passes, as the gates could easily be jumped (and there was no security). I felt quite the rebel.

I had forgotten quite how expensive everything is! I am not a huge fan of the Parisians after last time I went (people generally seemed quite rude despite my best attempts to speak the language, and I found all the food to be over-priced and under-quality), but I tried my best to keep an open mind. We spent the day wandering around Paris, looking at the Eiffel Tower and pottering around. On the night time we got drunk and watched another film.


On Saturday we were both pretty tired, and it was rainy (as opposed to the 25 degree weather the rest of the long weekend). We decided to try and play a bit of tennis, where we quickly found neither of us could actually hold a bat and hit the ball convincingly. We decided to spend the day lazing around, which I was quite thankful for, since for some reason I was incredibly tired.

The following day Melissa had the idea of going to a tree place. It is a large forest, where the trees have ropes between them, and different climbing things, and equipped with a harness that you must attach to each place yourself you try and get from start to finish. This is the kind of thing I love. Naturally I was eager to progress quickly to the expert course, and was surprised to find Melissa matching my ability.

For the expert course we were asked to supervise another person because he was under 18. I decided to show off my amazing French by saying to him "Hello, I am from English".

After we had completed the course, which consisted of monkey bars high up in the trees, a net web you must swing into, and a zip-wire which couldn't have been less than 70 meters, we had sat down, eat, and then walked back to the chateau.

On the way back we took a detour, bought some alcohol and sat drinking by a lake. It was very pretty.

The final full day spent there I decided we should go back in to Paris. I still wasn't a huge fan, but wanted to give it another go. The problem with this is that it meant we, again, had to walk the huge distance to the train station. This time though, a nice woman pulled alongside us and asked (in French) if we wanted a lift. It was very nice of her!!

In Paris we rented the extremely reasonably priced bikes and cycled around. My usual bird-like sense of direction left me as we appeared to be cycling out of Paris and into a bit of a ghetto, but we soon got on track (not before being told off by police for running red lights, something which Melissa didn't feel it necessary to translate to me until they had left, angry at my my response of 'eh?').

Realising we were close to the Champs Élysées (which leads to the Arc de Triomphe), I had made it my mission to cycle around the crazy, crazy roundabout, and survive. For those who don't know, I'm not sure which of these things I have heard are true, but apparently there is a crash every 12 minutes, nobody is insured to be on there, and normal roundabout rules don't exist since it is too hard to navigate. Having heard this I felt it must be done.

Cycling up to it was fairly painless, there was quite a lot of cars, but the constant traffic lights meant nobody was going fast enough to hit us off. Going around the huge roundabout was another matter. The first 1/3 was okay... but then a car cut us up, forcing us to stop, we slowly peddled on, when another car cut across us... but this time we were unable to continue cycling, since we were stuck at an exit with cars randomly cutting across to leave. We had to wait till there was a bit of traffic and we could sneak between the cars. It was all worth it though!

Hungry after our work-out, we decided to go to a café for food. From looking at them all, I realised I wouldn't be able to eat for less than 17 euros (money which would ensure I would live for a king in Thailand). I have no complaints though! When we arrived we were told the chef was just leaving so we could only have salad, but then he went back to talk to him and on return told us he would stay and make anything on the menu. I decided to go with steak... a risky choice, knowing how they don't like to cook meat. It was possibly the best steak I have ever had! The crème brûlée desert was also amazing!

After the great day we headed home. To my surprise, in the same place as earlier in the day, another car pulled up and asked if we wanted a lift back. These French people are actually really nice.

The following morning I had to be up at 5:15. Luckily Melissa was there, and we were early enough to get the rare bus that goes to the station. It was a really nice weekend spent with her... but I feel I can not really put much else on my blog about my feelings (sorry!).

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

100+ Things To Do List v6

I have started adding over 100 now.

Items on the list are things that either I want to achieve, grown up thinking I couldn't achieve or wanted to achieve, things that I find meaningful, things that when I think about or hear of make me feel good, but most of all, it must be possible, and if all were completed and I die, I would feel I lived a full life.

1) Do a 1000 piece jigsaw
A difficult one of a bull attacking a football game, which didn't have a picture on the box. Had help from mom, dad and nan.
2) Learn the guitar
3) Scam my way on the radio
4) Be on TV
5) Be an extra
Extra in Souled Out, and a government training video.
6)
Ride a motorbike
7)
Go jogging in a foreign country
8) Outrun the police
Young, drunk and streaking
9)
Ride a banana boat
10)
Volunteer for charity
11) Be on front of magazine
SixtyNine Magazine December 09, and BMs company magazine July 08.
12) Paraglide
13) Attempt an Iron Man Triathlon
14) Skydive
15) Paint a painting
16) Cut my own hair
17) Be on a TV gameshow
18) Go on holiday on my own
Sweden, July 2009
19) Climb Ben Nevis
20) Visit a big African jungle. Congo style
21) Cycle 50 miles
22) Break a world record
23) Run a popular website (over 1000 visitors a day for a week)
24) Learn to play steel drums
25) Live a day blind
26) Go to Stonehenge
Story here.
27) Get something published
28) Get to be in the top 10 at something in the country
29) Camp in a foreign country
Norway! May 2009
30) Build a house, or at least a shed, but not a packaged one
31) Get a degree
Completed September 3rd, BSc Computer Science (Software Engineering) at the University of Wolverhampton
32) Make a fire with sticks
33) Learn to backflip
34) Get a lift home from a police man
While walking back drunk from Stourbridge
35) Climb to top of Macchu Picchu
36) Make a good snowman
Me and Joe, January 2009
37) Have an IMDB profile
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3090538/
38) Have a Wikipedia page
39) Start a clap after a plane landing
Story here.
40) Learn to juggle
41) Get a word in the dictionary (maybe a word for nephews and neices? .. sublings?)
42) Build a boat
43) Make an acapella song and video
44) Get something patented
45) Go to John O'Groats
46) Go to Cameroon
47) See Greek temple ruins
48) Be part of a mythology role play (orcs and magic and stuff)
49) Walk into a country pub, dressed as a cowboy, saloon style.
50) Join a protest
51) Get on Google Street View
Story here
52) Go to a random gig
Patrick Wolf, with Melissa, May 2009
53) Join a riot
54) Get another middle name
55) Make a Macho Man costume
56) Have an MMA/Boxing fight
57) Go to a rave in a foreign country
58) Campaign for something (maybe business profits to be more freely available to the public?)
59) Befriend a big issue seller
60) Rock climb
61) Start a business
62) Complete a marathon
63) Crowd surf
64) Go to the Aral Sea
65) Learn the International Phonetic Alphabet
66) Get in the credits of a TV program or film
67) Set up a charity
68) Grow a proper beard
69) Learn sign language
70) Create a decent family tree
71) Go camping in Canada (proper camping with bears and stuff)
72) Learn to fly a kite
73) Become a moral invester
74) Sit in the cockpit of a small aeroplane or helicopter
75) Go inside the pyramids
76) Go over a big waterfall
77) Go in a hot air balloon
78) Fly a plane
79) Go wakeboarding
80) Build a card tower with 4 on the bottom
81) Explore 10 derelict buildings
82) Go white water rafting
My 21st bday!
83) Go white water rafting... abroad (always more dangerous)
84) Make a film
85) Make wine
86) Make jam
87) Find way around the UKs longest hedge-maze
Story here.
88) Find way around the worlds longest hedge-maze
89) Learn another language
90) Learn to ice skate backwards (and complete a lap)
91) Buy everyone in the pub a drink
92) Eat noodles in London
93) Hug a panda
94) Learn to pick some locks
95) Own a Bansai tree
Melissa bought me one, September 2009. Still alive as of January 2010
96) Go on a safari
97) Go to Asyut, Egypt
98) Be in a band and play a gig
99) See the Northern Lights
100) Complete 99 things on the list
101) See Infected Mushroom
Friday 21st May, London.
Story here.
102) Survive a visit to North Korea
103) Go exploring in the Amazon Rainforest
104) Own an Aston Martin
105) Make a sand car as good as my dad used to
106) Drink Vodka in Russia
107) Go to a big festival
108) Learn to do Rubik's Cubes

109) Get married
110) Have children