Thursday, 31 December 2009

Happy New Year everyone!

As I look back over 2009, I have to say that it has been a good year. In fact all of the years seem to be pretty good at the moment!

First of all a bit of news! I have decided to move to weekly updates... I'm sure some of you are bored enough of monthly updates, never mind weekly ones, but this way I feel I can keep the length of the posts down, without having to skip over any of the interesting details of the things that happen to me in my travels...

I was going to make this post about the last week of travelling, over christmas and the lead up to new year, but it seems fitting to do a little review of the year, looking back over 2009, and looking forward to 2010!

It has been a funny old year. At the start of the year I was still in south east Asia, in Singapore, officially the most anal city in the world!

For most of the rest of the year I have been in Australia. I have travelled around 3/4 of Australia. Met some old friends, and made some new ones! I have had many different jobs. The first one was in sales... Not something I'd expect to excel at, but what do you know... it turns out that I can do any job that I set my mind to... It took a good 2 months to get any good at it, and i can't say that I'd recommend it as a job for travelers. Especially if you are wanting to save up any money at all... On the positive side, it came with a built in social life...

The other jobs this year were all farming related. Sometimes hard, sometimes unrewarding, but I managed to enjoy even most of these jobs. I especially enjoyed meeting people from many countries (mostly Germans,French and Koreans).

Aside from the work I have seen lots of stuff. I have been diving and snorkelling in the great barrier reef, an unforgettable experience. I have seen many interesting animals for the first time, and even (accidentally) run some of them over!

Apart from that I have of course been in a (semi) long term relationship of over 6 months... a first for me, and I have to thank Nam for putting up with all of my nonsense over the last year... I think she enjoyed it all really though... ;)

All in all it has been a fantastic year, and as we leave the noughties I realise that I couldn't have had it without all of you, so thank you.

Have a great 2010, and keep on keeping on!

Trev

PS, next week I'll update you on my Christmas and New Year shenanigans... not to be missed!

Monday, 21 December 2009

Merry Sunny Christmas 2009!!

First things first...

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

That is to all of those of you that are following my travels. Thanks for your support. It means a lot to me whenever one of you tells me that you are reading this stuff...

So, on with the travelling update...

At the end of the last update I had just started work in Kunnunura. I liked it in Kunnunura. The people were friendly, the work was not too difficult and easy to find, and though the weather was very hot, and very sweaty, it didn't rain too much... We also saw our first wild snake here!

Pictures of Kunnunura can be found here...

Eventually we had to leave Kunnunura and head west... again! We left on the 4th of December... I think... Whenever it was, we left just in time. From what we hear, it started raining in Kunnunura just after we left, and hasn't stopped since...

The journey west was fairly uneventful. We arrived in Derby 2 days later and made ourselves comfortable. There wasn't too much to do in Derby. We got some fish and chips, and checked out the sunset. We also checked out the jetty, which was pretty around sunset...

Broome was next after Derby. Broome was mostly about Macdonalds... Our first Macdonalds in over a month, and we were mostly interested in te free wifi... In fact we spent over 5 hours in Macdonalds, eating only an ice cream and an apple pie...

Broome also had a chinatown, and Roebuck bay... It is somehow the most popular tourist resort on the west coast... but I'm not sure how....

Heading furter south we came upon 80 mile beach... The name is a little misleading, as the beach is actually 220 km long... It was absolutely exquisite. There were very few people around, and the beach was also a turtle hatchery... In fact we saw turtles laying eggs there the night that we were there! Very cool!

The next place we stayed couldn't have been more different... Port Hedland was a dump... It had 3 caravan parks. All of them more expensive then we were used to paying, and all of them without the facilities that we were used to... There were flies everywhere... all the time... The peak of Port Hedland was the Kmart as evidenced by this job advert we saw...

We left Port Hedland as early as possible (about 5am) and headed onwards to Point Samson. This was fairly nice, with some historical sites nearby (historical by Australian standards anyway). I liked honeymoon bay as well. It had some crazy rock formations in it, as well as one rock in particular that sent me into a little zen trance. There might be more to follow about that on my blog...

It was also near Point Samson that I had my surgery! I had an infected sucutaneous cyst which had to be sliced open. I only had to wait for 3 hours in hospital, and they dealt with it there and then! Very efficient...

After the eventful Point Samson we headed south to Exmouth. This is in te Ningaloo national park, and is mostly notable for the snorkelling. The coral reef comes right up to the beaches here, and we took full advantage of this. The pictures of this snorkelling will have to wait though, our underwater camera takes films, so we have to get them developed somewhere...

Coral bay was next. This is a beautiful little town also in the Ningaloo national park, and also with excellent snorkelling. Highlights here were seeing a sea turtle and also some rays. There is also a reef shark nursery in the shallow water just offshore, so we got to see sharks as well!

It was in Coral Bay that we heard about the cylone that had been following us down the coast! Cyclone Laurence is a category 5 storm and had visited Darby, Broome, and 80 Mile beach less then a week after we left. It is currently heading inland, so we managed to out-run it, but if we'd have set off even a week later it would have caused us lots of trouble.

That brings us to where I am now. We are currently in Carnarvon. It has some cool beaches... of course, but we are mostly here for the shopping. We are currently stocking up on food and presents in preperation for christmas. Later today we are setting off to Shark Bay, which is where we plan to spend christmas. It is also supposed to have great beaches, and awesome snorkelling. We have a cabin booked for a couple of nights over xmas, so we will be very comfortable.

I'll let you know how it went next time, but until then, have a very merry christmas, wherever you are... and be sure to let me know how it went... :)

Trev x

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Monthly travel update :- November, The Wild Wild West...

Hey guys.

Its time for another update on my travels. In the last one I had just left Kakadu national park and was thinking of heading towards western Australia... The good news is that we made it!

After Kakadu we spent a couple of days around Darwin, mostly checking to see if there were any jobs in the area. Finding no jobs available we decided to head south towards Katherine with it in mind to travel on westwards from there.

So waving a teary goodbye to the last K-Mart and Macdonalds for 2000km we headed south.
The trip to Katherine was uneventful enouagh, except that our van started to make strange squeaking noises as we were driving... Thinking it would be better to get that sorted out before we traveled any further we made the decision to stay in Katherine and fix this problem.

By visiting all of the garages in Katherine (six) and all of the parts shops (three) we managed to get our van fixed in 5 days and for less then $300! For these 5 days that we were forced to stay in Katherine (honestly it isn't a very nice place) we mostly checked for jobs (unsuccessfully) and hung out in the tourist information center... mostly because of the free air conditioning there...
As soon as it was physically possible we left Katerine and set off west, towards the border of the Northern Territory and Western Australia... It was 2 days drive to the border, and the place that we stopped off overnight had a crocodile show every evening. I got to feed a crocodile, which was kind of exciting. After the show we found out that this was the last show for this year as the bridge had to be raised for the wet season! As ever our timing was excelent!

We stayed around after the show to watch the spectacle of te bridge being raised. This mostly seemed to consist of Aussie guys standing around, drinking beer,and offering each other such advice as "try hitting it with a hammer" and "last year we got it up much faster...".

The bridge raising was pretty entertaining, and culminated with the camp owner's son being stranded on the other side of the river, throwing his shoes across, and then jumping in to croc infested waters and swimming across. As if this weren't enough, one of his shoes ended up in the river and the owner of the camp site also jumped into the river, compete with his mobile phone and wallet in his pockets!

The next day we knew we had to cross the border into Western Australia. This is easy enough, but you aren' allowed to carry any fresh fruit or veg over the border... Luckily we knew about this in advance and all we had to give them were a few cloves of garlic and a pot of honey...
After adjusting our watches (there is a one and a half hour time difference between the NT and WA), we continued on to Kununnara. We arrived very early, mainly because of the time difference, and immediately found a job! Before noon we had our new home, a camp site called "the Hidden Valley" a new job, picking mangos, and had re-stocked our fruit and veg. Life was looking good!

It became quickly apparent that life in WA has a slightly different pace to life elsewhere in Austraia... or anywhere else in the world. We got a break every hour and a half, then a bigger break every 3 hours. The pace of the work was steady, and the people were friendly. I was going to like it here!

Our two work mates were english and were nice fellas. One of them was from somewhere near Birmingham, and the other one was a true cockney geezer... Unfortunately they didn't heed the advice of everyone around them and decided to pick in short sleeved shirts, and one of them even picked topless!!! The regretted this soon enough as the mango rash struck! Within a few days neiter of them could work, and one of them even had to go to hospital!

We are still working at that farm now. We have been transferred to sandalwood, which is not too tricky, and have made loads of new friends.... most of them Korean! It seems that WA farms, like the rest of australia, are full of koreans. Less Germans and French here though... I think I've found where all of the English people are... for some reason we are all in WA!

Anyway... that takes us up to the present day. Did I mention we only work 5 days a week!?! I like WA... :p

Pictures of all of this can be found here

Take care people.

Trev x

Sunday, 25 October 2009

October 2009... Mango Madness!

Hi guys,

Time for another update on my traveling progress.

Not too much to report this time. I have spent most of the last month attending one of the worst mango harvests in living memory! It wasn't my fault... promise...

So I spent about 4 weeks on Tous Garden mango farm, in the Northern Territory, about 100 km south of Darwin... (That is in Australia for Americans and other geographically challenged people out there ;)

I did one day of picking, but most of my time was spent in the packing shed. I had the most important job in the shed (so my boss told me). I was in charge of pouring mangos into the sorting machine and making sure the correct mix of chemicals got sprayed onto them. Luckily this meant that I didn't have to take any responsibility for the grading of the mangos (very tricky and boring job), or for the packing the mangos into boxes (even trickier and boringer).

The photos from this time can be found here...

Apart from the farming I pretty much kept my head down on the farm and took advantage of the air conditioning in my room. I didn't get involved with any of the scandals in Tous Garden in this time. Not too much to tell really... just some people getting drunk and rowdy... The usual...

The problem with this being one of the worst seasons in living memory was that there wasn't too much work. In a normal season once the season starts properly the work is full on, ten plus hours a day, six days a week, until all the mangos are gone. This season the work was very start-stop, with some half days, some days off and some days when we were working sun-up to sun-down, and beyond. This all also meant that we didn't make quite as much money as we would like. Thus we will have to search for another job sooner then anticipated... never mind.

After leaving the farm we spent a couple of days in Lichfield park, seeing magnetic termite mounds and swimming under beautiful waterfalls... pics here...

So... the plan over the next few days is to get my van looked at, and then to do a loop through kakadoo national park, and from there head south to Katherine and then West to Western Australia... and maybe even find a job there...

Until next time guys...

Trev

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

An update on the last month of travelling...

Hi guys.

Its time for another update on how my travels are going. At the time of my last update I was just finishing up in Munduburra and waiting to set off on the next phase of traveling... (at least thats where I think I got up to...)

Anyway, eventually we successfully set off on the road again. The last few of my farming pics went up ( http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=107687&id=673491291&l=fe0b06808b ), and a whole new album was started!

The pics from the new album are here ( http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=120860&id=673491291&l=3ca85267a9 ) though I haven't finished uploading them yet (the internet is a bit patchy around here!)

So the first couple of days were a bit of a slog. We travelled over 1200 km over these 2 days! Skipping over large parts of the middle of the coast of queensland. Our first major destination was Airlie Beach. From here we took a cruise to the Whitsundays. This was expensive, but worth it! And it also warranted an album all of its own! ( http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=116649&id=673491291&l=54f9fd2d1b )

After this we took it fairly easily... heading up the coast until we reached Townsville. We took a couple of days out to explore Townsville... and also took a diving trip to the SS Yongala shipwreck, which was an amazing experience all of its own. There were huge fish down there (as big as a car), rays, sharks, turtles, sea snakes... pretty much anything you could wish for!

After this we continued our journey North along the coast... stopping off at various beaches along the way. There are some beautiful deserted beaches to camp on along this stretch of the coast.


The next major stop off was Cairns. This is a glitzy place, and very expensive... so we didn't stay for too long. We did stop for long enough to check out a jazz concert in the botanical gardens though...


North of Cairnes was Port Douglas... we stopped there, but only briefly. It seemed very nice, but time was pressing by this point so we continued north to Tribulation Point... We travelled as far north as you can get with a 2 wheel drive car, so we decided to head back south and start the journey west...

The atherton tablelands is the first place that you arrive at. This seems like a very nice area. Very green and lush, with lots of waterfalls dotted about the place. We had a day when we saw 4 waterfalls in one day!

Past this things started to get dryer and less populated. The towns that looked big on the map turned out to be a few houses and maybe half a general store. The economy of these small towns seemed to be supported mostly by the petrol stations...

Worth mentioning on this route is Gregory Downs. The official camp site here is not too impressive, but down by the river is a beautiful place to camp and go for a swim. People kept on talking about the crocs... but we didn't see any.

Another couple of days saw us cross the border into the northern Territory. The first impression of this place is of nothing... as far as the eyes can see... in fact we passed an information board that said that what the place was notable for was that nothing had happened there geologically for over 500 million years!

ding North once more the landscape became slowly lusher and lusher. The camping here was amazing. It seemed like every day we were camping near a thermal spring and daily swims seemed almost normal!

Finally we approached civilization again. Katherine was a bit of a disappointment. We were so craving a Macdonalds! If only for the free internet there! There was a thermal springs, so that kind of made up for it.

We took our time to the next few places, travelling a couple of hundred km a day, visiting places of interest, slowly making our way to Darwin.

That was a couple of days ago... now we are living on the mango farm... waiting for the season to start properly. Life seems pretty good here, and I'm certain that we will be EXTREMELY busy pretty soon... but that is all for the next update (and photo album)

Thats you all up to date now. Take it easy y'all.

Trev x

PS. If you haven't recieved your post card yet it is on its way. If you haven't requested one yet... then feel free to send me youre address, but it might be a while before I have enough time to sit down and write cards....

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Update on the last 6 months!

Hi guys.

After a long time of neglecting my travelling group, I've decided to keep you up to date on what I've been up to recently.

I've now been in Australia for the past 6 months. It has made a refreshing change from Asia. Much as I love South East Asia, and spending time there, it was only when I arrived in Australia that I realised how crowded, dirty and, to be frank, smelly much of Asia is! Arriving in Sydney was like returning home, but returning to a much hotter home. :)

I attended the Salsa Congress in Sydney ( http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=74878&id=673491291&op=18 ) which was lots of fun. Then after a couple of weeks of trying to get a job I gave up on Sydney and deciced to head up the coast to Brisbane.

I was excited to arrive in Brisbane because it ave me a chance to finally meet the infamous Jan, a girl that I had spoken to a ridiculous amount over the previos year, but never actually met (due to living on the other side of the word...).

In Brisbane I picked up a job inside one week. It wasn't the most glamorous job ever, but it got me out in the fresh air, gave me plenty of excercise, and allowed me to improve my people skills. I was door to door selling electricity around the suburbs of Brisbane. ( http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=79336&id=673491291&op=12 )

I was doing this for around 3 months, in which time I found myself a flat to live in. It was a great job, and I met lots of interesting people, and even sold them some electricity.

At the start of may I was pretty excited because Nam was coming to Australia for the next phase of my travelling. We first met (in Australia) at a Latin Dance Camp in the Gold Coast. Loads of fun, and it was fun to be finally dancing again. :D

Then Nam came up to Brisbane and the last half of May was mostly taken up with trying to find a camper van to take us around australia!

We finally picked up this little van ( http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=2327753&l=b3184bd13c&id=673491291 ) and it was time to start our adventure.... Well, it would be if it wasn't for the little matter of getting the van roadworthy and transfering the registration over to our names. Australians are crazy for red tape! It took us almost a month and a half to sort out these little bits of paper!!

Once we were finally free to travel we were just about running out of cash, so we decided to head north and start doing some fruit picking. And that brings us pretty much up to the present. We spent a month in Gayndah, picking and packing oranges. Then a couple of weeks in Mundubbura, thinning peaches.

Over te next few weeks we plan to head to the Northern Territory an do some mango picking. The weather will be even hotter, and sweatier, and the work will be hard, but it should be fun, and of course I will be taking lots of pictures to show you all what I'm up to.

Anyway, I really must be off. I hope you are all enjoying your lives as much as I am enjoying mine. :)

All the best.

Trev

PS. I will be sending out some post-cards soon, so if any of you want one then can you mail me with your address and I'll send one out to you as soon as I can.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Teddy bear orgy...

When we got back to the van one time Trevor was hanging with his bi@ches...

What can I say? Naughty Trev!












Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Strawberry fields forever.



I went strawberry picking the other day. it was a fun experience and it made me think of going strawberry picking when I was a kid. Sunny days, school holidays, all that stuff.

It occured to me while I was there that going strawberry picking is a bit like an all you can eat buffet... with only one course. In fact you could buy a kilo of strawberries for $10, or pick your own, for $11... So of course you have to make it worth your while.

Another realisation that struck me while I was there is that strawberries are much like people. In that the really tastey ones are often the ones that are shaped slightly strangely, wheras the perfect looking ones are somehow bland tasting and hardly worth picking in the end.

Just thought I'd share those insights with you, and also let you know that if I see another strawberry in the next few months I may throw up/explode/eat it... one of the three...

Trevors Travels

I'm not sure if you guys are aware but I have been sharing my travels with someone very close to me. He has been at my side the whole time, climbing up mountains, flying in planes, riding on trains, camping in jungles... in fact, he has seen it all.

This little guy is the same age as me, and remarkably he also has the same name! Here is little Trev.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Integral awards night...

Last night was the Integral (or Smart group) awards night.

For those of you that don't know this is the company that I am currently working for, doing direct sales, door to door, selling electricity.

There was a huge bar tab laid on, so obviously everyone there got pretty drunk. The pictures can be found here.

As you can probably see, a good night was had by all... Unfortunately I didn't get an award, but as I pointed out, if I was to win an award then it would be a pretty poor lookout for the rest of the company, baring in mind my average sales at best!

What I did get was thrown out of the bar! I think this is the first tie this has happened to me since my uncles stag party in Glasgow. And this time, like that time, I was thrown out for being with the wrong person...

At my uncles stag party the wrong person was my uncle! He got himself into some trouble (I think he threw a drink over someone) and the bouncers saw and threw him out. Unfortunately (or possibly fortunately, because if I hadn't been with him we would have had no idea where he was), I was with him, and so I also got thrown out. It would be more accurate to say that I followed him out, but of course the bouncers wouldn't let me back in to the club once I was outside. My uncle managed to get himself arrested that time! I had managed to stop him from attacking the bouncers, and turned my back for a split second to try and get a message passed inside, and my uncle had thrown himself at the bouncers once again! Idiot! So I had a fun night waiting in a police station trying to get him out before his wedding started!

Anyway, back to last night... I was with one of my friends (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty), and he was totally wasted! I dunno how much he had had to drink, but he was attracting attention inside the bar from the barstaff and security. I managed to persuade him that it would be a good idea if he stopped drinking and probably left the bar, and was walking withh him to the door, to make sure he got out safely.

However, when I was within about 3 meters of the door one of the bouncers, grabbed my arm and told me that i was to leave as well! I can asure you that I wasn't THAT drunk... I was drunk, sure, but certainly not to the level of being too drunk to be in a bar. You try telling that to a bouncer though. He manhandled me to the door, and as I was stepping outside he gave me a shove on the back so I missed my footing and ended up twisting my ankle! My friend (the nameless one) wasn't too impressed with the way i was being treated, so he started to have a go at the bouncer. Luckily my experience all of those years ago payed off, and I bundled him away, across the road, and round the corner. Never argue with bouncers... it is pointless...

After various shenanagans in the center of town, I decided that i would walk home. A decision I've come to regret since waking up in the morning with my foot in complete agony, and looking like it has been through a mangle!



I'm really hoping that it gets better quickly! I'm supposed to be going to a theme park tomorrow, and I don't fancy limping around all day!

Thats not to mention if it is still bad next Tuesday, work will be no fun at all!

So... does anyone know if it is a bad sign if your twisted ankle brings out bruising?

Sunday, 5 April 2009

All about myself...

I found these interesting. Various web sites trying to tell me all about myself based on the most tenuous of evidence...

This one is "New Astrology", which is basically combining Western and Chinese astrology to create more detailed predictions...

The Aquarius/Goat
Vibrant and enchanting, these Goats are able to convince great crowds of people of their usefulness in politics, the arts or even in big business. Unlike most Goats, these people carve out their own destinies. They are likely to marry early and often. [sounds good so far]

Detailed Description
THE INVENTIVE FUTURIST
Aquarius weds the Goat. Clarity and sensitivity, knowledge and whimsy. This solid marriage of complementary signs is rich with possibilities. Aquarius brings a dowry of independence to the inconsistent Goat, whose byword is dependency. Goat carries emotional depth with him to the wedding. This Aquarius can feel more profoundly than most. And his Goat identity benefits from an electrical charge of true Aquarian autonomy. This person will be gifted for futuristic planning, oblivious to social criticism, and capable of maddening individuality. Invention belongs to this person. He or she can imagine novel solutions to common problems and work through weeks night and day getting the concept on its feet. And Love? The poor Aquarius/Goat never seems to get enough of it. He gobbles sex. He is known to be fickle and further not to understand why his mate is jealous. He's not jealous. He's openhearted and free thinking. Marriage for this person is iffy at best. [Also scarily accurate!]

Positive Traits
VISION
WHIMSY
ORIGINALITY
INVENTION
INDEPENDENCE
PERSEVERANCE
INDIVIDUALITY
GOOD MANNERS
CHARITY
SENSITIVITY
TOLERANCE
TASTE
Negative Traits
THOUGHTLESSNESS
WORRY
ECCENTRICITY
PARASITISM
CRUELTY
TARDINESS
NEUROSIS
LACK OF FORESIGHT
SEPARATENESS
PESSIMISM
DISOBEDIENCE
IMPRACTICALITY

My Chinese Element
EARTH
Earth's favorite color is ochre which represents the equanimity between beginnings and endings. The weather of Earth is mild or temperate. In the human body, Earth influences spleen, pancreas and mouth. Earth's two opposite but equal forces which need to be kept in constant balance are impovement and meddling. In general, Earth gives care and allows for growth and improvement. But, Earth may also seek to control, hence snuffing out progress. Earth people are gifted for fairness and have the ability to commit themselves to protracted projects and complete Herculean tasks with ease. They must struggle against a penchant for worry. [This sounds good, like the sort of thing I'd like to believe]


To be honest I quite like this one (apart from the negative traits!). It seems reasonably accurate. Comments welcome.

As for the next one, you'll have to thank Jan for this one. It is based on Numerology, which can be reliably used to predict anything about anything!

How they figure out these number isn't worth going into. But here is what mine said about me...

What Does Your Life Path Say About You?

Many number ones stumble early in life because they have a habit of biting off more than they can chew....

Trevor, your Life Path of 1 ...

Your life path number is number 1, and so you are probably also blessed with a great drive and burning desire to be "number one" at whatever you do. Unfortunately, your competitive spirit sometimes gets you into trouble with friends and family, as work and ambition take precedence over emotional relationships. [Anyone that knows me knows this is clearly bollocks]

You have a great faith in yourself that often achieves result despite great odds ... yet at the same time, has you often accused of having an enormous ego. However, in your defense, it is that enormous ego that gives you the daring and courage to change everybody's life for the better. [Sounds good, I'll go along with this]

You have probably been born into one of two life paths. Either you have been born into wealth and privilege and coddled by lucky circumstances into becoming "great" in some way or you are thriving despite great challenges such as poverty and war. The number 1 is the number of the hero and this is why you find many disabled as well as super achievers (such as military leaders and business magnates) born under this life path number. [sounds good, like the sort of think anyone would want to agree with]

You are also usually blessed with good health, vitality and endless inspiration. Your number is very connected with the divine and you often feel especially connected to God or your subconscious mind. However, as you are such an individualist, this insistence on listening to your hunches often make you appear irrational or even insane to others, that is, until the direction of your gut instincts pays off and all benefit. [Another one that 90% of people can agree with]

Although you are capable of rising to great heights when it comes to career or athletics, you are also capable of great falls. However, as you are also an innovative and resourceful individual you have the uncanny ability to "make lemons out of lemonade" and start again from scratch. [again, probably applies to anyone]

Despite your main personally blessing, you might also feel as if you face more challenges or obstacles in life than others do. Karmically, many number 1's spend their early years learning not to be dependent on others as fate throws difficult relationships and situations their way. If you feel cursed or that you have a bad luck, that is very characteristic of number ones whose life lessons are usually about "letting go", "releasing control" and "overcoming great odds." [Another universal quality... can anyone say that they didn't face challenges when they were young that they had to overcome...]

As a number 1 you may also need to watch a tendency towards arrogance or over confidence. Many number ones stumble early in life because they have a habit of biting off more than they can chew. Often you are perceived as odd, controlling or self-centered by others. However often these are traits are forgiven as others also recognize that your talents outshine those of the ordinary mortal. [I think some may agree with this one :^p]

Of all the numbers, you are the one that values individuality, privacy and ethics more than anything. This is why so many of you become business, political and spiritual leaders. You tend to have faith in yourself, more than you do others, and make a better leader than a team player. You are best suited to occupations that allow you to work on your own or be the big boss. [maybe]

Being a number 1, you are also likely to achieve some measure of fame in your life. This is because you are destined to be "the one that is loved by all" as opposed to "the one that is loved by one other." It sometimes takes number ones a lifetime to realize that being adored by many is not such a bad thing. [sounds awesome... must be true!]

What a Number '6' Expression Says About You

You are naturally full of vitality and enthusiasm. You exude a personal charisma that makes members of the opposite sex consider you to be a "catch."... [hahahahahaha...]

Trevor, your Expression of 6 ...
Your Potential Natural Talents and Abilities

You are a peace loving, harmonious individual who is a natural born diplomat. You detest conflict and will bend over backwards to make others happy. The ultimate height of your personal self expression is healing. Nothing gives you more satisfaction then knowing you have corrected a situation that was whirling out of balance. [Yup, well, maybe making a good meal gives me more satisfaction...]

You express who you are by caring for others. This is why so many sixes are doctors, healers, counselors, psychologists, policeman and therapists. Your philosophy usually relates to the idea that the world can be healed of all its ills if we heal one person at a time. [i always knew i should have been a doctor... pfft]

You have a brilliant, creative mind and many different talents but chances are you will forsake a career in the limelight to work in humble, yet helpful occupations. You are quite philosophical and believe that one should sacrifice oneself for the good of all. [no idea about this]

You excel at making others feel good about themselves and have the ability to instill new hope in lost hearts with a kind touch or wise words. You are also a very affectionate person and comfort others with your easygoing nature. Others are attracted by your empathy and your friends often seek you out for advice.

You make a wonderful parent and teacher and have a way with children. At some point in your life you may find yourself coaching, mentoring or adopting a child or a teenager.

You are naturally full of vitality and enthusiasm. You exude a personal charisma that makes members of the opposite sex consider you to be a "catch." Once you are caught you are usually loyal to that one person for your entire life. [note how this contradicts the top section...]

Honesty and openness is very important in your relationships and if someone breaches your trust you are not likely to speak to them ever again. You consider yourself to be a very ethical and moral individual and are deeply pained by any situation that falls into a moral gray area. [nah..]

You are also deeply spiritual and have a great faith in a higher power. However when that power seems to let you down you have the power to spiral down into a deep depression. As you are all about balance, you are a nightmare to be with when life knocks you out of balance. You may express your bitterness at being let down by God with addiction, codependent or destructive behaviors.

Sometimes you may also mistakenly believe that your mission on earth is to set things right. This can lead to a fanatical need to prove a point or get revenge on the individuals or organizations that you think are causing the disharmony for yourself and others in the first place. Many activists and cult leaders are number 6's who have succumbed to this kind of black and white thinking. [wtf?]

On a less extreme level, your concern for others may be perceived as interfering or meddling as you just can't help yourself when it comes to helping others. One of your life challenges is to let others make their own mistakes rather than trying to save them from themselves. [*shifty eyes...*]

You often dress conservatively and are humble in your appearance. This is because you spend so much time focusing on others rather than yourself. Ironically, you may be good at caring for others but not so good at caring for yourself. If you are a six it is important for you to take time out to pamper yourself every now and then as your tendency to overwork yourself can lead to health problems in the future. [about as wrong as it is possible to be!]

Trevor, your Soul Urge of 6 ...

What You Desire To Be, To Have, and To Do In Your Life

Your soul urge is to nurture and take care of others. You love people and believe the greatest expression of your inner divinity is through teaching and guidance. Many of you are very maternal or paternal at an early age and are often regulated, by default to the role of advisor or therapist in your social life.

Unfortunately your willingness to take on other people's burdens threatens your romantic relationships. This is because you are often perceived as a friend or a helper rather than as an object of desire. The result is that many sixes end up with broken hearts simply because others simply could not recognize their empathy as being an expression of love and desire.

Part of your challenge in life is to learn how to make yourself more sexually attractive to others. Often this means learning the brutal rules of the game of love, which in courtship often mean practicing a certain kinds of power plays and being mysterious. The mistake that you often make is letting yourself be too available to the person you are trying to attract. As the object of desire realizes that you are willing to be there for them no matter what, they take it for granted that you will settle for less. It is often a six who will spend a year comforting someone they are attracted to in the hopes the person will recognize their good heart, only to be dismayed when they are thanked for all their kind support and the person moves onto a romance with someone else.

Your candidness and forthright manner is also a drawback romantically as others are turned off by your dogmatic approach. As you tend to discuss everything about yourself with a member of the opposite sex, there is little mysterious or sexy about you. Spilling your guts does not help you professionally either, as it encourages others to steal your ideals. Part of your inner struggle might be fighting your urge to connect so intimately with every single person you meet. One way to combat this is to make an effort to be a little more stand offish and play your cards close to your chest, especially when it comes to romance.

As you are a very sensitive and compassionate person you tend to take things very personally. When others let you down you have a tendency to retreat from society and nurse your wounds. Often when a six decides to play the victim in a relationship he or she is met with very little sympathy or help. This is ironic as sixes are so eager to help others and comfort them when they are down and out. The cosmos presents you with this type of situation so that you are forced to heal yourself with the same type of focus and devotion that you use to heal others.

If you feel yourself succumbing to a tendency to isolate yourself or find yourself succumbing to addiction or depression your best course of action is to forget about yourself entirely and go out and make an effort to help someone less fortunate than you. This teaches you to be helpful to people you are not attracted to as sixes have a way of only making themselves useful to individuals that they find attractive or desire.

The very highest calling of your soul urge number is to renounce sex and relationships altogether and devote your life to a religious or spiritual practice. [actually.. this all sounds about right... apart from the last bit!!!!]

As far as I can tell this is about as wrong as it is possible to be while making up a load of random statements and trying to apply them to someone..

So, the moral of the storey; Astrology is ok, i guess (and can be found through my profile on facebook)... Numerology is bollocks... but feel free to check it out..

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Working to live, or living to work?

The observant among you may have noticed that I haven't blogged in a long time...

The last post was in support of my application to the best job in the world. I have long since discovered that I failed to get that job, so my continued lack of blogging isn't down to that...

So, I hear you ask, "Why haven't you been blogging then?"

Well, the clue to that question is in the title of this blog. I found a job eventually. It wasn't the best job in the world. It wasn't even the second best... I suspect it may be among the worst jobs in the world in fact....

So, the reason that I haven't been blogging is mostly because I have been working 6 days a week until 8pm every night. So this brings me to the point of the post. I've always been the type of person that works to live, meaning that work isn't the most important thing in my life. It is something that I do so that I can have enough money to get on with the real business of living... Spending time with friends, spending time with myself, appreciating the world generally.

The problem with this new job that I've found is that it is taking over my life It is the type of job that makes itself into a job that you have to live for. If you aren't giving it your life it makes you feel like you should be, and because it is in sales, the people that are running the job are extremely good at convincing people of what they should be doing/feeling/saying...

Luckily I'm a very strong character. I'm resisting their attempts to brainwash me into a sales machine. I think I'm going to give them a portion of my life for a month or so, then I'll get out of their and hopefully I'll never have to sell anything again. The training has been useful though. Once I was considering paying good money to have the sort of training they have been giving me for free (OK, so it wasn't the same training, but effectively the same...). Always finding the up-side, that's me.

Maybe there is even an up-side to giving your life up for a job... If there is, for sure I'll find it!

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Best Job in the World

Ok, so now I've applied for the best job in the world. The video is here. This blog is a little post in support of my application.

This is for the things that i couldn't show you in the one minute of video that I was allowed!

First a little bit of my history. I'm from a town called Guiseley, in the north of England. I've lived there for most of my life, though I've had stints of living in Wales and Scotland as well as travelling round the world.

I got a degree from the University of Edinburgh and I've worked in many roles from selling candy in Edinburgh Zoo to delivering post for Royal Mail and designing things for a design consultancy firm.

I have many and varied interests. My most recent passion is salsa dancing, and Latin dancing generally, though I have always loved any kind of dancing... Apart from the dancing, I love to scuba dive, reading is a real passion, though i struggle to fit it in these days. Also all of the usual stuff, movies, TV, socialising with friends, and seeing the world.

I love to travel, and I love the outdoors. There is nothing more rewarding to me then climbing up a mountain in the middle of the night to see a sunrise (one of the reasons I loved living in Edinburgh), or even sitting by the sea watching a sunset, or trekking through a jungle to find an unspoilt village, or finding some new, possibly insect, delicacy to eat. I like to spend as much time with the locals when I travel, I find that it gives me a much better time, and allows me to find things that I'd never find on the usual tourist trails.

I like pushing myself to try new things. When I was younger I tried abseiling and rock climbing, also as an air cadet I got to fly both two person planes and gliders. Other things I have enjoyed have been canoeing, kayaking and white-water rafting. And surprisingly... bamboo training!

There are many things that I haven't tried yet that I'd love to give a go. I'd love to have a go at parachuting. Also bungee jumping, though I think it would be scarier then the parachuting. Going for a dive with sharks sounds fun as well... with or without a cage! I was thinking that some of these activities may be available around the great barrier reef somewhere....

If so, bring it on. As you can see I am ideal for this role, I even have previous media experience! I can't wait to hear back from you all!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Sydney Salsa Congress!

I have to say that the Sydney Salsa Congress was definitely the biggest one that I've ever been to. In some was it was the best as well...

The shows were excellent, the quality of the teachers was amazing, and there were lots of other people there to meet and share the salsa with. On the other hand it was almost too big. The classes were very large, so you didn't get the close attention that some people needed. The shows were amazing, but unless you had bought a VIP pass you weren't going to be very close to them, and you weren't allowed to take videos of the evening shows... which I thought was a bit tight...

I don't want to sound negative though. Overall the event was amazing. The venue was superb, with the largest dance floor I've ever seen for a salsa venue. There were over 80 shows on over the 4 nights, 75 workshops over the 3 days, 2 salsa bands and thousands of people from all over the world... I even met a few from the UK!

After all of this, by Sunday night I was happy that it had come to an end, salsa fatigue had set in and all I wanted to do was to sleep for 48 hours straight! Unfortunately this wasn't an option as I had to check out of my hotel the next day, but resting I have been, and I might even be able to go out for some more salsa towards the end of this week!

There were also other styles of dance represented at the congress... In addition to the usual salsa and bachata, there was cha cha, and zouk, both of which I tried for the first time. Zouk is particularly interesting, as I had never heard of this before I left England. Zouk is a Brazilian dance and seems to be very big in Australia, so I think I'm going to pursue this new style of dancing, and maybe take it back to England with me...

This video gives a good idea of what zouk is all about. As you can see it is a very passionate dance, and flows beautifully...
video

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Bali on a shoestring...

For the last few days I've been in Bali. Well, I was here for 2 days before Malang (where my laptop was stolen), and have come back here for a few days after.

I first stayed in the Kota area, which is the main tourist area. It is packed with bars and clubs that stay open until the early hours, catering to all tastes. It is also full of loud Australians. I get the feeling of a more chilled out (and much cheaper) Asian version of Ibiza or something. But without the drugs...

They have market stalls selling everything that a tourist could need, from sunscreen to large wooden penises...













I have no idea...

When I returned from Malang I went to Ubud, also on Bali. Ubud is much more chilled out. My room, while right in the center of Ubud looked out onto a rice field and you could hardly tell you were in a settled area...

There isn't too much to do in Ubud. Unless you like shopping and eating. The shopping there is very varied. All very artistic, locally produced stuff. In many ways Ubud is an interior decorators dream location. All kinds of art, from paintings to sculptures are to be found there. Also lots of clothes and local cloth and things like that.

The food in Ubud is awesome! I ate somewhere different for every meal, and was never once disappointed at the quality of the food. The serving size leaves a little to be desired, but I guess that is good for me! ;^)

The only real tourist attraction in Ubud (apart from all of the art galleries) is the monkey forest. I went there, it was cool. Lots of monkeys running around. You could feed them bananas if you wanted. Lots of photo opportunities to be had. The atmosphere of calm in the forest was also quite touching. Even with the shrieks of the monkeys all around...

I'm sure Bali has much more to offer (I haven't even mentioned the massages yet), but my funds have been running too low for me to take full advantage of the options available to me...

I'd quite like to come back sometime, possibly with a friend, and probably with a lot more money....

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

The aftermath of being robbed...

In my blog from a few days ago I mentioned that there were reporters present when I reported my laptop missing to the police. Rumour has it that I was featured in 3 papers, with my picture in 2 of them. However this was the only one that I saw, and I made it on to page 2! Pretty big news in Malang!This is quite handy. All I have to do now to get slightly cheaper prices from the locals is to show them this news-paper report...

On a slightly related matter I bumped into the guy that was sat next to me on the bus on the way to Malang when I had my laptop stolen. He told me that he had had his camera stolen as well! Seems like there were thieves operating on the bus! Bastards! Unless he was lying and he actually took the laptop and told me that to hide the fact... He was quite forthcoming about his details though... I took a picture with him just in case...
Does this look like the face of an honest man?

PS. Could any Indonesian speakers translate what the news article says for me?

I got a translation... The transcript is as follows...

trev says:
you should do a full translation
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
lol
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
u want every single line translated?
trev says:
erm... will it take long?
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
i suppose not
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
but the rest are not that funny
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
ok here goes
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
malang
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
be careful when u take long range bus
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
just like trevor howland, 29, an english tourist who lost his laptop which was kept in his bag when he went on a intercity interprovince bus
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
his case was reported to the police in malang, daytime yesterday
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
to Radar, the guy who works as an Atm machine designher, he confessed that his laptop which was bought in his home country was stolen when he was on his way from denpasar to malang on the bus po restu mulya
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
interestingly
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
the thief only stole his laptop which was an Asus type eoc 901
trev says:
lol, they got that wrong
[It is an Eee Pc 901]
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
the case which was made of thick cloth was replaced with lipatan kardus
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
i'm not so sure what that means
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
mayb mag or something
trev says:
it was a magazine
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
from the outside it looked as if his laptop was still there
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
but actually it wasn't a laptop but a mag
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
he suspected that the person who sat beside him at chair no 7 was the thief
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
the guy with "cepak" ( idk what) hair seems to be very suspicious
[That is the guy in the photo above... I don't remember saying he looked suspicious! Funnily enough I showed the guy the newspaper report when I met him... lol]
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
"he didn't talk much and when i woke up, he wasn't there anymore," said trevor
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
The brown haired alien said that during his journey, he slept from around 1am-3am
trev says:
brown haired alien???? lmao
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
i realized that my laptop was already gone when i reached terminal arjosari, this morning" said trevor in a not so smooth indonesian.
[This is just a lie.... There is no way I was speaking Indonesian!]
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
lol
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
yea
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
bule berambut pirang
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
pirang is brown
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
rambut hair
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
bule means alien
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
as in someone not from the country
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
lol
trev says:
lol
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
His girlfriend in malang sent him to the police station
trev says:
lol
[Desy will be annoyed about this one, no wonder she was embarrassed at the article!]
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
The laptop which is estimated to be around Rupiah 5 million was kept carefully in the bag and put under the seat when he was on his journey
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
the moment he stepped down from the bus and looked inside the bag, he started suspecting becoz the shape of the laptop was not as flat as the surface of laptops
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
after opening the bag, it was proven that there was a mag inside the black laptop bag
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
the problem is not the price of the laptop but the photos of his journey and his notes/journals of his journey around asia
[I definitely told them that I had all of my pictures separate from the laptop, but they made it sound worse then it was, so it is all good!]
٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶yingoying٩(●̮̮̃●̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃ •̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:
the end

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Some of my core beliefs

  • Weird things happen all the time.
  • You can't explain all the weird things, so probably best not to try.
  • Anyone that thinks that they have all the answers to why the weird things happen is wrong.
  • People are often happy believing their wrong beliefs... leave them be.
  • Unless they try to convert you to their weird beliefs, in which case it is open season.
  • You reap what you sow.
  • We all create our own private versions of heaven and hell with our lives. It is a choice which we live in though.
  • We are all changing all the time (in fact everything is), so any attempt to keep things the way they are will fail, often with very bad results.
  • Bearing in mind that we are all changing all the time, we can chose on a moment by moment basis whether we will change for the better or worse...
  • As long as we are changing for the better more then 50% of the time we will be ok in the end.
  • If life throws us an opportunity we should seize it with both hands. We never regret the things we do, but we do regret the things that we don't do.

I think that is about it... I may update this as I go on...

Monday, 19 January 2009

The Truth...

I'm a big fan of the truth. It infuriates some of my friends. I insist on telling people the full truth, even if it will hurt them in the short term. Well.. this isn't absoluteley true... I do have some tact...

However, the fact remains that I prefer to know the truth in situations, and I also prefer for other people to accept the truth in their situations... I truly believe that the truth will set you free...

I have no problems with people believeing all kinds of crazy things, I'm fairly open minded in this respect. In fact one of my core beliefs is that weird things happen sometimes, that are either unexplainable, or not worth going to the effort of explaining. However, when someone believes in something that can be proven, with physical evidence, to be true... I have very little patience for this.

I also see the truth as being a challenge to us all... Like when people don't want to tell someone something bad about themselves. I see the truth in this case as being a challenge to the person to step up and take responsibility. Sure, someone may be hurt by the truth, but I see this as being preferable to them continuing to delude themselves. An example of this might be telling someone that they have bad breath... It may hurt someone to hear this in the short term, but in the long term... if they step up to the plate and do something about it (rather then just licking their wounds and feeling sorry for themselves) then they can become better people in the long run...

So come on, be truthful... what do you think of the blog? I can take it.... ;^)

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Losing my.... laptop

Have you ever felt an absolute rage that you just couldn't do anything about?

I have...

My story started last night when I got on the bus from Bali to Malang in Indonesia... The bus set off at 6pm, I didn't think too much about it. I had my usual setup of 2 bags with me, one full of books, and the other containing miscellaneous stuff, as well as my laptop. There was some random guy sat next to me. I didn't think too much about him either, apart from wishing that I had a pair of seats to myself.

I set myself up for the journey, read my book for a while, slept a bit, and then woke up at about 10pm. I thought I'd write a few blogs while I had some time, so I got out my PC and got to work, typing away to myself. Then I watched Anchorman. I love that film...

I was always slightly weary about getting my laptop out on bus journeys at the start of my travels, but time, and repeated journeys without incident made me a bit laissez fare about the whole situation.

Anyway, we stopped at about midnight and had some food (free buffet... travelling in Indonesia is pretty cool), and then got back on the road again... I blogged a little more and then thought I'd get some sleep, so I packed all of my things away, including my laptop in its case into its bag, then tried to get some sleep. This was at around 1am.

The next thing I know it is about 3.30 and someone is shouting "Malang, Malang..", so I get up, using my superior sense of intuition to detect that we are at my destination, pick up my bags and get off the bus. I get my backpack from under the bus, and then start going through my bags to check that everything is there. As I'm doing this the bus is pulling away...

It doesn't take me long to discover that my laptop case, instead of having a shiny white laptop in it, has an old magazine...

To say the least I'm pissed off. The bus is driving a few hundred meters down the road... probably with my laptop still on board in someone elses bag, and here I am powerless to stop it.
My first thought is to call the police and get them to stop the bus at the next town somehow. This hope is dashed when one of the people I befriended on the bus informs me that the police are closed until about 7am....

I call my Malang contact and tell her the news. In the meantime I'm sorting out a taxi to my hostel, and saying goodbye to the acquaintance from the bus....

Eventually I get to the hostel, wake them all up because I'm 2 hours earlier then I thought I would be. And tell them what has happened. They tell me the same as the girl from the bus. The police are not available until 7am, and any thought I have of trying to track down the bus myself and exact some vigilante revenge are soon put to bed... as well as me, as I try to get a some sleep with all these thought of impotent rage flowing through my head...

Surprisingly I managed to get some sleep somehow, and woke up to the news that my friend was at the hostel (it is owned by a friend of hers). We plan out the day... including a visit to the police station and set off.

After the mornings activities it is time to go to the police station, so we head there, myself, my friend (Desy) and the owner of the hostel who is her best friend. The whole reporting the incident to the police turns into a bit of a circus... First of all it is just us 3 and 2 police guys, with my 2 friends translating for me...

Then, suddenly 2 guys turn up and start taking loads of photos of us, and especially of the laptop bag with the magazine in, which I kept for evidence... Then one of the new guys interviewed me, another guy showed up and also started taking photos... The upshot of all of this is that I am going to appear in a local paper... It seems that a foreigner in Malang is big news, especially when he has something stolen! I made sure to give the reporter my blog address, so hopefully I will get some publicity in Malang, and he has already commented in my cbox! (see left)

One of the police guys is clearly trying to get in the action, and we end up with lots of photos being taken of him and me and the magazine. Finally I decide to get my camera out and take a picture of everyone there... like it is some kind of family outing or something...
From left to right we have the main police-man, the reporter that didn't speak English, the reporter that turned up late, me, the police man that loved the camera, and the reporter that could speak English...

Friday, 16 January 2009

Queuing...

I had a realisation recently... Maybe even an epiphany... Or maybe it was just a thought.

Anyway, whatever it was it had to do with the humble queue. It seems like the British are obsessed with queueing up. It is almost an automatic reaction. We see a queue, we get to the back of it...

I think this had a lot to do with the collapse of the Northern Rock (a building society in the UK). As soon as a few people panicked and wanted their savings back a small queue formed, and then the British, being the British just joined on the end of the queue, and before you know it you have queues round blocks and a run on the banks... I bet if you asked the people in the queue, half off the didn't even have Northern Rock accounts!

But the British obsession with queuing isn't all bad. You see, I think it lies at the very heart of out democracy. You see; in a queue everyone is equal, implicitly. If you arrived last, then you get served last. It doesn't matter how rich you are, or how important you think you are, in a queue you just wait your turn...

So the equality of everyone in Britain (as in a Democracy, one man = one vote), is enshrined in the very attitudes of the population. I have a suspicion that those countries that don't really understand queuing, and we've all been in one (as British people we are infuriated when we see someone cut in the front of the queue and also as British people we politely don't say anything for fear of offending someone...), have a weaker grasp on democracy and the idea that everyone should be equal then those fellow countries where a queue is sacred...

Actually, on reflection, I think it was just a thought...

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Chocolate & Cinnamon Edible Body Scrub

I found this recipe for edible body scrub... Can't think why anyone would want that, but I thought I'd share....

6 tsp cinnamon
6 cardamom pods
1 vanilla pod
6 tblsp good quality cocoa powder (Charbonnel et Walker or similar)
3 tblsp honey
1/2 cup apricot or almond oil
2 cups brown sugar

mix cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla in a few teaspoons of water and heat. stir in cocoa, honey and oil until smooth and glossy. add brown sugar.
massage into skin all over, leave on for 5 minutes, rub and rinse. smile!

Or I'm sure that if you don't have any water you could find some other way to remove it...

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Dancing fish...

I was at Seaworld the other day, and they played some music just before they fed the fish...

I'm not sure how the fish knew, but they seemed to be dancing to the music...

Check it out...
video

Incidentally, I thoroughly reccomend the Jakarta Seaworld to any visitors to Indonesia... If you can find it (they don't seem to be strong on signs here) it is a very good afternoon out, and located in Ancol park, which has lots of other attractions to see...

Monday, 12 January 2009

Becoming a thrill seeker...

I'm not sure quite when it happened...

When I was a younger chap I was never the type to take a risk. That's not actually true... But if I decided not to do something, then I wouldn't do it...

And I often decided not to do things.

I was watching Yes Man the other day, and it suddenly occurred to me... I say yes a LOT now! At some point in the last couple of years I have become the kind of person, that not only embraces new experiences, but seems to seek them out! If I go to a theme park i have to go on the scariest rides, I seem compelled to find new experiences, and have new adventures in all the parts of the world that I go to.

I can't even walk into a mall with a 7 storey slide without feeling a sudden and compelling need to slide down it!

I guess that the challenge is to find bigger and bigger thrills... Paragliding, surfing, sailing, scuba diving, parachuting, bungee jumping.... just to give me that adrenaline rush...

Seems like Australia could be quite an exciting place....

Thursday, 1 January 2009

2009.... a whole New Year!

Ok.... It seems like everyone is blogging some deep and meaningful new years blog... so like the sheep that I am I thought I'd write one of my own!

First of all I guess that I should look back on the year that has just passed...

I always had a strange feeling that 2008 was going to be a good year for me. 2007 was kind of a transitional year, (I have to admit that this was at least in part down to facebook,) I was chatting to lots of people through facebook, started going out a bit more, meeting and dating women (something that had never really happened in my life before), I gave up weed for a large part of the year (before one of the aforementioned women got me back onto it) and towards the end of the year I started approaching women in bars (something which I had never done previously, and which is still a pretty daunting prospect for me).

So with all of these things coming together in my life I felt a real buzz of energy coming up to 2008, and had a really good feeling that things were going to continue to get better...

With the new year last year I made some changes to my life. I stopped the pot pretty much, I started dancing salsa (why did I wait so long?), I started going out even more, and I started planning the next phase of my life... I call this phase Traveling...

The stopping pot was essential I think. I have nothing against the drug, and I know people that if they didn't have it would be unable to relax, but for me it just sapped my motivation to leave the house and talk to people. This also enabled me to start going out to various salsa nights, and going out to see my friends more often. The sociability that this gave me also let to me getting more dates, and enjoying myself even more!

The other part of the awesomeness of 2008 was of course the setting out around the world to go travelling. The fact that I had my salsa to give the travelling some shape, and a network of people around the world to meet from facebook gave me further purpose and has helped to make my travels unique and always fun. I have seen some amazing things in the last 6 months of 2008. I dived the Xenobia off the coast of Cyprus, I saw the Pyramids in Egypt from the back of a camel, I hiked in the Himalayas wearing a pair of beat up trainers, I saw Angkor Wat, I've dived off Koh Phi Phi and I've seen some awesome citys and met a really cool bunch of people while doing it.

Now as for 2009... I'm also feeling pretty good about that. And my hunches often turn out right... I'll be spending most of it in Australia... back in the world of work, as my cash will run out soon... I have a few people to meet there... as well as one special girl that i can't wait to meet in real life... you know who you are...

All in all i think my life is going to get better and better. I told Kathryn that life seems to be like a perabola these days, for her 2008 was the bottom point... for me I think it was 2007, but the line keeps on getting steeper and steeper, and life keeps on getting better and better...

So here's to 2009. May it bring you all happiness, and everything that you need...