Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New year, New ....

Hey Readers,

Sorry I have been AFK for a while but life has been pretty much none stop lately.

As I look back at 2009 I am filled with a genuine sense of achievement and truly feel that I have final managed to pull my life together and am getting alot more out of it than I ever have before. This is possible why I have a pretty hectic schedule and am in dire need of a decent diary system!

Now I could tell you about this here however I feel I need to bring a close to this blog, as it has served its purpose and is now to some extent obsolete. However I have enjoyed blogging so much I am hoping that I can continue on doing so but in a different setting, this has lead me to the thoughts of setting up my own web site. This slightly continues the voyage of this blog as it is something I have wanted to do for a while but have never quite gotten around to setting up.

This will take me some time as I need to learn a few things before I sort out my personal presance on the internet but I hope that when it is sorted it will be something I can truely be proud of.

So until I reach my keyboard again, Good bye fair reader and I will see you again soon!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

5. Pass the Mini-Bus Test

This happened a few weeks back now, but i did manage to pass the mini bus test and have been able to take a few trips out in the universities bus!

I am actually really proud of this one, not because I passed but because it is an item on the list that has helped me to try new things that I hadn’t tried before, which as this was the ethos of the blog fits really well.

Now the above in my opinion is too short for a post in my opinion, so let me share this small anecdote with you. My University’s Student Union provides students with the opportunity to take part in volunteering activities, now I had never considered taking part in these as I never thought that they would quite be my cup of tea. On this point I was very very wrong! (This is why I am adding volunteering to the list!) On one of the MAD days I volunteered to help out by doing the mini bus driving for I arrived at the uni and the battery of the bus was flat, cue an hour and a half of stress, failed attempts to jump start a ford transit with a ford ka, a failed attempt to warm people up with hot chocolate from a closed bar, and a panicked phone call to the breakdown assistance people! Luckily we did manage to eventually get the bus going and got to Swanage, but more on that later!

I hope in the coming year to take many trips in the mini buses and that these will lead to many more experiences that I can blog about!

18. Play World of Warcraft

Now this one slightly goes against the ethos of the blog. The idea was I tried things I always wanted to but ever had. Now WoW was always one of those things I had mocked my friends for and had decided I was not sad enough to waste my time on something so trivial.

However recently as some of my friends may have notice I have been MIA from the internet for a little while and this is down to my discovery of WoW. Now in a rare set of circumstances it was actually my girlfriend who badgered me to give the game a shot and once I had I was hooked.

I had always had the sneaking suspicion if I tried it I would like it as  I had been addicted to an MMORPG before which was very similar, and I was right. The difference this time is that i am not a lonely 12 year old with way to much time on my hands.

My only hope as I try to level my new character is that I do not loose sight of the real world and this list and its aims as I seek out new adventures both on Earth and in Azeroth.

I wrote this a while ago and never posted it, and as a new post soon will affirm there are many items I have not accomplished, and I can honestly not blame WoW for these failures!

Monday, November 16, 2009

14.C Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Now i have a mild confession on this, I have read book one before however I had never read the entire collection because as I have said in a previous post I am not the biggest reader so decided that all five books would be a fitting challenge to be added to the list.

Now I was surprised going through the books that I did not enjoy all of them as much as i thought I would. I love the first book however the next two though still very much in the same vein as the first to me just were not as enjoyable to read. It just felt like I was reading it but not truly taking anything in. “So Long and Thanks for all the Fish” was however a great way to end the quadrillogy, it is a joy to read.

Now I have said end but it is not truly the end of the story, after Douglas Adam’s unfortunate death the contents of his Mac hard drive was collated after a herculean effort onto a CD-ROM and much of it was collated into the final instalment of the book “The Salmon of Doubt”. When you start reading you find a lot out about the character of Douglas Adams and how he became the person he became. Unfortunately while you are reading this section you are slowly wondering where the next section of the H2G2 story is, and i can tell you in my copy at least this starts on page 203.

However what starts on this page is not a hitchhiker book but a dirk gently book. A slight disappointment but never mind. This had lead to me now wanting to read the entire Dirk Gently series but that will probably have to wait till the new year!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

2.B Ireland: Drink a pint of Guinness and do the Liffey Descent

Now just to get it out the way yes I have had a pint of Guinness before and I am not the biggest beer drinker so I am not overly fond of it but this was the first full pint I had ever drunk in Ireland.

Now that's out the way onto the Liffey.

The Liffey Descent is an annual canoe and kayak race which this year celebrated its 50th year. The race itself includes 11 or so “obstacles” including various different drops over weirs, rapids and a jungle area complete with rogue logs that like to jump out and surprise unsuspecting paddlers.

Now I was very nervous at the start of the race, even though we where not racing I do not have a huge amount of white water experience and was relying a lot on my team mate to get me down “dry”. Which after all I had head from the members of Staffordshire Canoe Club I was with was something that we should have been able to accomplish.

The race is divided into two with a portage (moving the boats out of the water) in the middle. The first half of the race features a few weirs and finished with “The Lake” which is a huge slog across open water which removes the last traces of energy you have, but after some lucozade, chocolate and a cereal bar I was ready for the second half.

The second half features what I believe to be the harder, or more terrifying, weirs. You start by getting into a boat and immediately trying to get through a set of rapids under a bridge, if you get this slightly wrong not only could you be swimming but you may end up with a boat wrapped round a bridge which isn't very useful to anyone. Once through you move down river dropping down each of the four remaining weirs. The most worrying weir we faced, which according to my team mate was the one on which we where most likely to swim was Parmeston. Once you drop you break through the first standing wave. once trough you can put in about 2 paddles before being thwacked head on by the second, at this point your sinuses are clear and the front man (in this case me) is completely hidden under the wave from the person in the back so if you are not read you are washed straight out of the boat and out of the bottom of the weir. Lucky we survived the waves sinuses clear and continued down the river.

In our Class we came in 55th place with a time of 3:43:26 but more importantly we got down dry! Which for my first Liffey was a brilliant achievement and my heart felt thanks goes out to all those members of Staffordshire Canoe Club that helped me in this endeavour.

There are a couple of photos of me in the boat which can be found here

Friday, September 11, 2009


Now I have completed another item on my list, however I felt I would write a general post before I updated the blog again.

It occurs to me that there is only three and a half months left of this year and I am imminently returning to university to begin my final year, this has lead me to think a lot about the possibility of failing to complete items on my list. Now this does sadden me but not as much as I thought it might.

You see I proposed this list to make myself get off my bottom and take my life into my own hands and make things happen to me instead of waiting for them to come along, and in completing all the things I have I have had a much more active and memorable year than any other on record. Now my hope here is that this will of course continue on into the future and I will not be limited to just 21 things to do in one year but instead hundreds of things across my(hopefully long and healthy) lifetime.

So as the clock strikes twelve this year I hope that I will not return to my usual depressive stupor wishing for something to come along and throw my life up and bring me some much needed excitement, but will instead look back at this blog and my accomplishments and will look forward to 2010 and all the new adventures it will bring.

1. Visit a New Country - Venice

So this i thought for a while would turn out to be one of the items I might fail at the end of the year. Turns out I was wrong.

A few weeks ago I decided I had had enough of being the one stuck at home and would go away for a weekend with my girlfriend. So I started looking round the internet for a few deals eventually I found a nice deal in Venice. Well what we thought as Venice but actually turned out to be a half an hour train ride from Venice.

So we packed our bag boarded our plane and where on our way to Venice. The first night we took a wonder around the area of the hotel and realised that there was nothing around! So we got a Pizza (I ordered in appalling Italian but we did get what we asked for) and went back to the hotel.

The second day we where going into Venice so asked for directions to the train station and started to walk. After 2 hours of walking around, asking 3 people in Italian for directions and then meeting a very nice man who drove us to the station, he was also kind enough to tell us that our hotel was terrible, and we boarded a train to Venice (without a ticket!).

Now Venice is a beautiful City there was lots to see and we walked around for several hours in the gorgeous Mediterranean, however we soon realised that we had basically seen everything! Now as i said it was all very beautiful and I am very glad I have seen it (before it sinks) but we soon realised that this was by no means somewhere to spend a weekend. So my advice is that if you want to see Venice then definitely go, but only as a day trip when you are touring other parts of Italy.

Our third and final full day in Italy was a Sunday, now unfortunately as a catholic country (and because our hotel was naff) everything was closed. We spent the day in the hotel room playing cards mostly popping out briefly for a walk around the streets of closed shops. This was also the day I finally worked out the Air conditioning system, which we could have done with when we first arrived!

In all it was a good trip, however it has also taught me a lot about booking your own holiday and hopefully next time I will be able to book something slightly less eventful!

Photo’s to follow!