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Ghost House

 

Yes it’s a door. It just seemed like the right time to use this picture as a talking point on here. I guess it could be to do with the fact that a lot of new doors have opened to me recently. Scouts being a major one, the possibilities and new things I can learn and do with the scouts are amazing. The thought of doing all those geeky camp and survival things makes me happy.Yes it’s a door. It just seemed like the right time to use this picture as a talking point on here. I guess it could be to do with the fact that a lot of new doors have opened to me recently. Scouts being a major one, the possibilities and new things I can learn and do with the scouts are amazing. The thought of doing all those geeky camp and survival things makes me happy.

I took this picture in Ireland. I decided to go for a long trek down some abandoned lane to see where it went. I was surprised to find this relatively new house a couple of miles down the lane in the middle of no where. I was even more surprised to see how overgrown the grounds around it had become, It was obvious that no one had lived there for the last couple of years at least. The contrast between the relatively new door and the aging thorn-bush growing up in front it really spoke to me. I wondered what the house would be like in the inside. It was set in an early spooky side of a hill with a small forest growing near by. There were no sounds at all which set my senses on edge. I could only manage a few pictures before running away with thoughts of ghosts watching me.

Every time I look at this picture, I think about the spooky house I found and wonder if any one has re-claimed it from nature yet.

DD

 

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Oh how I miss my Trek America trip. Every now and again I look back over my photos and remember all the god times I had, the amazing things I saw and the awesome people I met.

I honestly can’t remember another time in my life where I have felt so relaxed and at home. Yes the accommodation was basic but it was so refreshing just living on the essentials, not having to worry about anything. I miss the nights sat around the camp fire with a couple of Buds and a lot of good conversation.

This particular photo was taken on our second camp site, it was lovely. We set up right in the middle of a load of trees and even though it was raining we had a good time. We made chilli con carne that night and it was lovely. Usually I’m a fussy eater but it wa like a new me while I was out there, I ate anything anyone gave me and whats more, I enjoyed it. When life starts to get a little tough, I take a bit of time to sit and think about how I felt while I was over there. If anyone is considering going to with Trek America, I’d 100% recommend it, I can honestly say it was the best days of my life so far!

DD

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2011 in America, camping, friends, fun, getting away, holiday, likes

 

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Ding Ding

Hello again

I haven’t felt like blogging much lately. Up untill now, a lot of the things that have happened since I blogged last, have been things I don’t particularly want to remember. Looking back I suppose they weren’t that bad, they’re just not that good either.

I’ll focus on the good…. I got my new bike, (no thanks to you lot). It currently residing in my grandads shed until my new one arrives. I have the fear that it will be liberated from my crummy old shed. I’m looking forward to cycling again. Nothing more relaxing than cycling around listening to some good music. Therapeutic and good exercise!

A close friend of mine had a baby girl a few days ago. Little L was only 6 lbs and the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I managed to visit her and hold the youngest human I’ve ever held at only 12 hours old. I’ve always grown up around kids.I am the oldest in my family and have a number of brothers and sisters that I can remember being young, not to mention my cousins! I like having kids around. I’m sure I’ve said something along these lines before – They’re more open and easier to talk to, they don’t complicate matters and say what they really mean and to top it off, If you upset them, they’re really easy to make up with. Although I’m not related to L, I was ecstatic when A asked if I would be little L’s god father. I don’t consider myself to be big-headed about anything really but I think I’d make a very good god parent. I become attached to people very easy and little L is no exception. I’m a little geeky and generous so hopefully I’ll be able to help her out with things throughout her life if she needs me. I’ll always be there for her. (Easy to say now, I know). This is the closest I’ve got to having my own child which I’m looking forward to.

I’ve wanted a tattoo to commemorate my Trek America holiday for some time now. I don’t go into things lightly though and have to think over non important things way more than I should before coming to a conclusion. To me though, this wasn’t a small deal. This was my first tattoo and I wanted to make sure hat it was something relevant and would remind me of America aswell as being something that I hopefully wouldn’t get bored with. Did I mention I’m scared of needles too!!!! Another big factor in me dragging my heels on the tattoo matter. I watched A have his done a weeks back and decided that it wasn’t that bad and I’m muster up the courage and get it done. I eventually took a pic in of what I wanted and explained a few changes (I’d have drawn it myself but I’m crap at that sort of thing, my attempt came out like a bird that had gone 10 rounds in a ring with an elephant, made its way down a mile of fast flowing rapids and then cooked tenderly on a BBQ until medium – over down.)

This is the picture I gave Tattoo Guy and the tattoo I got in the end…..

  

I used my camera-phone so apologies for that bad image.

Anyhow, I’m glad I finally got it done.

Scouts training. Another thing that took up a lot of my time last week. This, although very tedious, ended up being good. I met a few new people with the same interests in me and had fun. I also managed to get a date out of it. Too early to talk about that though, I’ll leave that for another blog.

I’m determined to make next week a positive week!

DD

 

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I love you Lucy Liu

6 places you want to go

Finally , an easy one. I want to go everywhere! I’ll narrow it down for you though.

1. Australia – I’ve always wanted to go to the opposite side of the world. I have some weird notion that I’ll fit in there better than I do here. of course I have another reason to visit now… Would be amazing to go and visit Jemma and see her again. I dream a lot about her and my image of where she lives. I know it has its down sides though. Huge spiders and snakes that can kill you just for looking at them for one thing. Not to mention the loooong flight. I’d like to go and spend some time with Urbie too. I miss her terribly.

   

2. Madagascar – always wanted to go there. The fact that they have species of animals that can’t be found anywhere else on earth amazes me. I’d love to spend a week there with a tent and my camera. Maybe a few security guards and some weapons too. Wild animals scare me! I guess I could tie this in along with Africa as technically it’s an island of Africa. I’d love to go on safari some day.

 

3. Every continent – Obviously I have been to a few continents, Europe for one, North America, Oh that’s it! I thought I’d been to more. I’d like to visit everyone before I die. the main reason for this is just so I can tick it off on my mental ‘to do’ list. I’d like to spend time on my own in each place too. Time to go where I want and take pictures. I don’t like taking pictures when I’m with other people. It’s a very personal thing for me.

I really want to visit Canada too. Looks really nice from what I’ve seen. The scenery and natural wildlife looks amazing. I love canoeing and kayaking too!

 

4. Road trip America – It would be awesome to take a good year or so and travel all around America in a RV. I love America and have seen a few places there now but I know there’s a lot more of it that I haven’t and would like to see. Problem is, I wouldn’t want to go it alone but at the same time, I don’t know who I’d want to go with!

 

5. Hawaii – It looks so relaxed over there, who wouldn’t want to spend some time chilling with girls in grass skirts and coconuts.. wink wink.

6. China / Japan / Thailand – I’m going to put these into a group as they’re all around the same kind of place. (I know there are thousands of miles between them but they look close on a map and the people look the same to me). I love the orient. The food is nice, the buildings are lovely over there and they’re so organised. I think I’d fit in there mentally. I’m a bit short too so that would help! I think there would be some great photo opportunities. ooh and asian girls look nice too (some times)

    

DD

 

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scouts honour…

Not long after returning back to the UK. I decided that I needed more camping in my life. I know that there were other factors that made my trip so enjoyable like the people and the places but the way of life felt good. It was nice to live with the minimum requirements, food / shelter / company.

I looked into becoming a scout leader. I’ve grown up around children and have always got on well with them. Kids tend to be  much more honest than adults. They speak their mind and if they lie, it’s usually easy to  tell. You don’t have to second guess or doubt what they say. I consider myself to be a big kid, I don’t feel like I’m an ‘adult’, I don’t feel old enough to have my own kids. I still have fun when playing with my niece and nephew in the garden and playing with geeky toys.

It’s for these reasons that I thought joining would be a good idea. I’d have to learn a lot of camping things not to mention hiking, orienteering and basic first aid / survival techniques. The amount of things I’ll have to organise and sort out is secretly making me very excited. Currently I have been on a course that covered a few of the modules that I have to learn and been booked in for my over night camping course.

I’ve spent at least 3 hours today searching for a good tent to buy and a rucksack. I’m so indecisive though, still havent decided which to go for although I’m gearing towards this traditional looking one…

The thought of being in charge or a group while out on a camp site also excites me. I don’t think I’ve ever officially been in charge of a group of people before. Ohh and I get badges too. Going to some remote outdoor location while also provide a great opportunity to take some photos and see some more of the UK.

At the moment I don’t have any kids. myself and the guy I will be doing it with tag along with the next nearest scouts unit to see how they do things. Our scouts group will be a new one so we’ll be starting from scratch. I’m also going to be trained as a Duke of Edinburgh assessor, which means a lot of walking!

apart from supply hunting, this weekend has been pretty dull. I did out up a corner shelf in my bedroom. c said I should talk about this and how I did it as she hasn’t got a clue. I don’t do anything special really. So, if this next bit is boring, you have C to blame.

1. Hold the shelf up to the wall with a spirit level on it. Once you have achieved a straight balanced position, draw a line across the top and bottom of the shelf.

2. measure and mark on the wall where the holes will need to be drilled. Careful measurement is required, just a little wrong measurement will mean your screws wont line up to the holes.

3. Check your raw plug size and type. Make sure that you choose the right drill bit so that your raw plug fits snugly into the wall with a little persuasion from its friend the hammer.

4. Screw the screws into the raw plugs and check that they are tight. Hook the shelf fitting onto the screws. As the shelf I put up was a floating shelf or supportlesss shelf, I added a little ‘no more nails’ to the bit of the shelf that was to sit against the wall.

Job done. slowly my house is looking more homely. My plans will never probably be for filled, as I cross one thing off another takes its place. i like this though, I get a sense of pride out of fixing and doing things to my house and garden.

this reminds me, I looked into getting an allotment as well. I know this is a particularly old man kind of thing to do (or woman) but gardening is relaxing for me and  i get a sense of achievement when I manage to grow and harvest vegetables. Little things like these keep me from over stressing and becoming anxious when dealing with every day things in life that I have to do but don’t really want to do.

I’ll work on my vegetable garden plan and explain it all next time.

DD

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2011 in camping, DIY, gardening, scouts, shelfing, Uncategorized

 

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Why don’t Aussie’s ever seem stressed?

By the time we got back to the hotel in Newark, everybody looked really miserable. We had a few last photos together and gave Graeme our combined tip to say thanks for the wonderful job he did as out guide. Dave and a few others left straight away to catch their flight from New York and a few others had booked a night at the gateway hotel where we had started and finished our tour. I had two days in New York and nowhere to sleep. I didn’t want to book because I knew I’d make friends whilst out there and wanted to see if I could get a room in the place where the person I was closest to was staying. Jemma and Neil had both booked a room in the hotel and had a few days in New York too so I was quite keen to stick with them. I can’t remember how much a room was in their hote, but I remember it was a Hilton and wasn’t cheap. All rooms in America seemed to be double, whether that’s to accommodate the ‘larger’ guests I don’t know. Jemma asked if I wanted to stay in her room for the night and we’d hook up with Neil to share a taxi into New York the next day. I snuck into Jemma’s room worried I’d get caught. Luckily, it all went smoothly and I had a bed to stop in for the night. I don’t know what I would have done if I did get caught. There wasn’t another hotel around and it cost something like $80 to get into New York, I didn’t fancy doing it on my own.

The room was lovely, I enjoyed a hot bath, must have stayed in there for about an hour just soaking up the lovely hot water, I’d missed a good bath. We got room service and had all sorts of chicken and chips, it was nice but a little other priced.

The next morning we met with Neil and continued to the hostel we’d booked in New York. Both Neil and I were in a male dorm while Jemma was on a different floor with the girls. We dumped our stuff and headed out the door.

K had given me a list of cosmetic stuff she wanted me to bring back for her, I only had 2 days in NY so wanted to get them out the way quickly and not have to worry about rushing around trying to find them. We took a long walk through Central Park. I have never been in such a magical park. I’d seen it from the rockafella building before and it looked quite small but it took us a long time to walk through half of it down to times square.

   

We also went to see the spot where the World Trade Centre use to be. This was horrible, the feeling of knowing that thousands of people died where i was standing haunted me. There was an eery silence around the place. We visited the 9-11 museum, we decided after visiting that it wasn’t a good idea to have gone. The pictures of people pinned to the wall who had died and the artifacts that had been recovered from the site was just as harrowing as standing next to the spot where it happened. We heard horrific tales from people who were there on the day and people who had lost loved ones, it truly was one of the saddest things I had been to. I felt like joining the army just to make a difference and help fight against the people who did it.

We  went on the ferry to Staten Island. This is a free ferry that brings you quite close to the statue of Liberty. Another thing to tick of my list. We didn’t actually spend much time on Staten Island itself, it started to rain and we wanted to go back and get ready for dinner. We ate at Planet Hollywood in Times Square, the food was lovely but the cocktails were even better. We stayed there a while before hitting an Irish bar for a few drinks.

 

We traveled everywhere using the subway, this was pretty straight forward to work out once we’d got the hang of the numbering system that they used for the streets above us.I was dreading having to catch the subway by myself to Pen station. From there I had to catch a train to Newark airport and catch my flight home on my own. Neil caught an earlier flight to Manchester and Jemma was staying in NY for a little longer by herself. I felt really bad leaving her, we were both upset that we had to leave. I spent my last few hours in NY eating pizza and lying on the bed chatting to her. We swapped books too. I loved this idea, when ever I missed her or felt sad, I could just pick up her book and start reading. It reminded me of her and it didn’t take me long to finish it. Luckily there were two other books in the series so I got and read them too!I hope she’s taking good care of my book!

I managed to het to my fav photography shop while I was in NY. Everytime I visit America I seem to get something new from there. This time was no exception, I came away with a very geeky looking photography bag. I had been eyeing it up for some time and fell in love with it as soon as I saw it.

So that’s the end of my trek to America. I was definitely glad I went now and although I got off to a rocky start, I can honestly say I had the best time of my life there and I haven’t been happy since I got back. I hope to go on another trek some day. It inspired me to do a few things back at home aswell. I enjoyed the camping aspect of it so much that I decided to become a scout leader. Hopefully I will have loads of good times learning new things and camping in the UK aswell too.

I speak to Jemma every now and again although its hard when were on the opposite sides of the world. I hope to go over and visit her in australia some time, nut gathering the money together when you own a house ans pay all the bills yourself is quite difficult. I think one day I’ll move out there, you never see a stressed Aussie!

DD

 

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Fingers, Frights and Falls

We moved on from Cedar Point to the finger lakes. (supposedly called this as they resemble fingers on a map) The camp we stayed at was ok, it was secluded and in wood lands, only problem was, we had to pitch our tents on a slight slope. This was very awkward when it cam to sleeping, A number of times in the night I woke to find myself at the entrance of my tent towards the bottom! I practically had to dig a trench at the top of the tent incase it rained, there is nothing worse than waking up in a wet tent with all your clothes and things soaked! Jemma Stayed in my tent that night too. It was nice to have her company over night, she wasn’t feeling very well and we were talking. We stayed up so late that we were too tired to move so just fell asleep next to each other.

Earlier that day we went to a nearby town, I wish I could remember the name of the town, It was really quaint and cosy. I think it was a college town or something, there were a lot of students around. We all went into a small coffee and ice cream shop and ordered ice creams. The owner must have died of shock when 14 random customers came through his doors at the same time! From there we went to a liquor store. It was our last night together as a group so we decided to go over bored with the drinks and make a real celebration out of it. Once the drinks had been accounted for, we stopped at one of the finger lakes for a swim.

At first it looked a little scary but others were doing it. There was actually a life guard on duty and a sectioned off part of the lake to swim in. The water was dark though and the lake was huge, I’ve never been a strong swimmer so the thought of going out of my depth worried me a lot. A fair distance out was a floating stage where the life guard sat, there was also a small diving board attached to it. I decided that I’d try and swim across to it, It looked quite far. I knew I could swim the distance easily but it worried me that it was a natural lake and it was bound to me extremely deep by the stage(raft, what ever the hell it was) I had visions of underwater monsters grabbing my feet and dragging me down, the water was a dark green kind of colour. I swam around with Kerry, Benadikt and Adam for a while until we had to leave the lake. There I was concentrating on staying a float and looking out for monsters when the life guard stands up, grabs a loud speaker thingy and yells telling everyone to get out of the water immediately and it’s not a drill! I panicked bug time, I had no idea what was going on and how much danger I was in. Visions of Jaws flashed before my eyes, it was just like that scene where everybody realises there’s a shark in the water and swims to shore as fast as they can. Once safely on dry land, the lifeguard explained that there was a massive electrical storm coming and the lake would be closed for the rest of the evening. So no need to scare the life out of us and cause me to almost drowned, but hey.

We all played with a frisbee untill Graeme came and picked us up. We were prepared for a big storm (and a wet tent) but no rain came, there was a few minutes of thunder and lightning and it was over.

That night was an emotional one, everybody knew that it was our last night camping together and that we’d all have to go our separate ways late the next day. I hated the thought of leaving America and all the new friends I had made behind. I would miss the life style too, I had had the most relaxing two weeks of my life and knowing me, I’d have thought it would have been the most stressful two weeks. I sat in my fold away chair staring into the open fire thinking about all the amazing things I had seen and done while on my trip, I thought about life at home, the pressures and stress that work and just being in the UK cause me.

Morning came to quickly, we had to get off early to get to Niagara falls. I packed my tent away for the last time, apart of me wanted to try and sneak it home, I’d become attached to the thing even though it was a pain in the arse! In fact, I wanted to kidnap everyone and their tents, bring them back to my house and have them live in my garden with a camp fire.

Niagara falls was a bit of a disappointment. For one, there is no single water fall called Nigra falls. It is a collective group of waterfalls. To me, this was like being told that Santa doesn’t exist. secondly, the falls weren’t as big as I thought they would be. Yes the amount of water flowing that them was pretty spectacular and the sound was deafening but I just thought they would be taller. Still, it’s good to be able to say I have seen them and gone on the Maid of the Mist boat that floats right into the thick of it, that was good fun. cheesy moment… Jemma and I reenacted the scene from Titanic with Jack and Rose at the front of the boat, it had to be done.

   

I didn’t realise that Niagara Falls is in the state of New York or that New York shared the Niagara Falls with Canada. It was pretty amazing to know that Canada was only across the river from us. I’ve always wanted to go there.

From Niagara we drove back to the hotel where it all started in Newark. This wasn’t the end though. I still had 2 nights to go. I’ll save that story for next time though.

DD

 

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