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"To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower; Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour." William Blake


Mad Moments

February 8th, 2007 by sunflowers

Does the thought ever flash through your mind what would happen if your body was taken over and uncontrollably did something wrong. Like pulling the emergency lever in the plane, jumping out of wicker hot air balloon basket, taking off your top in the middle of the office or say something totally inappropriate in a meeting. It isn’t even as if I want to do any of those thing but there is this fear that some alien force would momentarily take over and I would be left to deal with the consequences.

Snowing from my bedroom windowI thought that I was alone in these feelings but in a small poling of my friends apparently it is very common. I also checked someone at work just to make sure it wasn’t just my mates. I think that the thought scares me as I have an underlying illogical belief that if you try and be a good person that bad things won’t happen to you. I think that is why the book ‘The Wrong Boy’ by Willy Russell moved me so much. It is a book written as letters to Morrissey and described as ‘a desperate, poignant metaphor for all those who fail to fit in, and fail and fail again – although their worth may be considerable.’

ps. I skipped my motorcycle maintenance course tonight as it was snowing again when I woke up and my advanced riding manual says to avoid riding in the snow if possible.

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Don’t Drink and Date

February 7th, 2007 by sunflowers

I am seriously thinking about giving up drinking for a while. It is like this year my hangovers have just gotten ten times worse even though I am not drinking very much. Last night I went out with this bloke that I met speed dating. I had said to my date that I wanted to get something to eat rather than just drink, but all he wanted to do was drink and the bar snacks I ordered didn’t seem to help. The date was also uncomfortable as he kept on touching me even when I explained it made me feel uneasy plus he was misleading about his age (not a big deal). When I told a mate that I felt that I should see him again as I would feel guilty as my date had spent the evening telling me how wonderful I was. My mate replied ‘So he tried to grope you, lied and didn’t listen to you yet you’re thinking of giving him another chance?!’ Thank goodness for the clarity of a third party.

This is a little avi I took from the hot air balloon.


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Waitangi Day

February 6th, 2007 by sunflowers

Waitangi Day in LondonToday is Waitangi Day, New Zealand’s national holiday. There was a celebration at a club near Kings Cross so I met up with a couple of my old school friends but wasn’t feeling too well so left after the kapa haka (Maori culture group).

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Excel Centre Bike Show

February 4th, 2007 by sunflowers

Excel Bike ShowExcel Bike ShowAfter tidying up the house on Sunday morning I headed down to MCN bike show at the Excel Centre. This show is traditionally held at Alexander Palace where it is cheaper to show so there was definite a lack of stands as compared to last year but I did remember that my bike insurance had run out a few weeks ago so I signed up for some insurance about £100 cheaper than I paid last year which was nice. I asked about electric bikes at the electric scooter stand but apparently they are ten years away?

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All Hot Air (Ballooning)

February 3rd, 2007 by sunflowers

Foggy MorningPlus FoursBlowing it upThis morning in order to celebrate a milestone date my friend and I went hot air ballooning. It was quite difficult to find a flight going during the winter as it tends to be an April to October (summer) activity.

They had warned us that if it was foggy that the trip might be delayed until the afternoon which wasn’t really going to work for me as I was hosting a dinner party that evening for my closest friends.

Balloon ShadowFrost TreesCountrysideOn arrival at Shugborough Hall (former residence of Lord Patrick Lichfield the photographer) it was incredibly foggy but as the mist was sitting in a valley our enthusiastic pilot in his plus fours (otherwise know as peddle pushers or knickerbockers) said that it was all go and we started to inflate the balloon.

Other than my freezing toes it was an amazing experience to do in the winter. Going up through the fog, gradually flying out of it, seeing the frost on the ground and my favourite view was seeing the frost left in the shape of the shadows of the trees.

PollutionEnergy PlantQuite upsetting was seeing the orange layer of pollution trapped between the cold air and the warmer currents above (it was actually warmer at 1000 feet than on the ground).

Me in BalloonThere are lots of pictures I would like to put up as I love the English countryside but I only have room for so many.

After the ride we stopped in Warwick to have a quick lunch and look at the famous multi locked canal and then raced back to London where a few of my dinner guests had managed to beat me home and contrary to the common belief that I can’t cook rather than just don’t cook I whipped up a three course meal for ten with a little help from my friends.Balloon Shadow on WaterLocks

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Picture Perfect

February 2nd, 2007 by sunflowers

Every once in a while I get an email from someone planning a similar trip to mine. Which I really like receiving. The last one I received was passed on by Kickstarter who I did my DAS with and do an excellent job at it – 97% pass rate, including me!

This time a bloke wrote to me offering to help me with videoing my trip which I am keen to do except I have no idea where to start. I had some initial discussions with a New Zealand interest show called Sunday about doing a story on my trip and I had asked them to advise me with equipment needed but they never got back to me Sunday.

Anyway Ed and his mate Dom are planning to ride around Great Britain to raise money for Macmillan Cancer. Check out their cool video on the home page www.beyond-borders.co.uk

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Motorcycle Maintenance Again

February 1st, 2007 by sunflowers

I had my first motorcycle maintenance class in Hackney tonight. This time I am in the advanced evenings. It was pretty cool as I got to meet Mary who biked around South America by herself and was nice enough to spend a couple of hours on the phone with me at the end of last year when I was still going in December and slightly shitting myself. alaska2argentina.co.uk/blog/?p=191 She seemed really cool and I am looking forward to hearing more about her adventures.

I have also signed up for a couple of bike rides. One with the London Bikers for a day trip to France in March and another for a GS meet up in Holland over Easter. Though I am not sure if a ’94 F650 is allowed into the GS gang.

Update
Work is going well. I have my first presentation to the steering committee next week.
I decided not to tick anyone for speed dating, I did get 2 yes and 4 friendship ticks, but was quite despondent about the whole thing afterwards.
My business partner in Turkey said that she is going to start looking for a partner to buy me out.
I had more than 3189 unique visitors and 8032 in January, thanks to all my two friends for logging on from so many computers.

Question
Does anyone know of a PDA that will link to either google or yahoo?

Trivia
My mate sent me this link to a website about estimating which was quite interesting.
www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000625.html

Warning
It is the Waitangi Day circle line pub crawl on Saturday so there will be roughly 8000 drunk kiwis on the tube. You can go and see them do the haka at Parliament Square Westminster at 4pm.

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Arsenal vs Tottenham

January 31st, 2007 by sunflowers

I live within spitting distance of the new Emirates Stadium. In fact I almost bought a season ticket last year after Rebecca my mentee and I got free tickets to see a Arsenal vs Liverpool game.

Tonight walking home from work up Holloway Road was like walking into a riot zone. There were police vans lining both sides of the road as it was a Arsenal Spurs game and there is a special rivalry between these two teams both being North London teams. There was a bunch of Spurs fans surrounded by a wall of police offices, police dogs and being followed by mounted police walking up Holloway Road yelling anti Arsenal chants. It was pretty full on.

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London Lawyers

January 30th, 2007 by sunflowers

With Valentines Day coming up I decided to attend a speed dating event. This time it was City Professionals. I really don’t know why I go anymore as it is a bit like eating KFC. Every now and again you fancy trying it and then when you do although it’s ok you don’t really want to do it again until the next time. The funny thing is that the last few guys that I have met that have been fancable have been lawyers. I once met a Scottish lawyer (I love the Scottish accent) in a bar who chatted me up, took me for late night Chinese and wanted to move to NZ one day and I wouldn’t tell him my name. Duh! But when I woke up the next day I regretted it and tried to find his details by looking at London law firms websites were I was amazed that they tend to put up the contact details of all their staff. I didn’t find him though.

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Album Chart Show

January 29th, 2007 by sunflowers

Lady SovereignThe FeelingMy mate Lisa is the makeup artist for the Italian presenters of the channel four Friday night Album Chart Show so she invited me along to Koko in Camden to the VIP area for the taping of the show. We got to see Klaxtons, Lady Sovereign, some other bands and The Feeling. Quite a few of the bands came up to the bar after the show.

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