Monthly Archives: May 2012

Whole lotta Rosie

Looks like rain today, and today is also a running day. I like running in the rain, almost as much as I like running in a thunder storm so could plug a new personal best in this evening.  Last day of the month too so will also be setting my best month ever after a super hero start in Florida earlier this month.

Back to the States again next month.  Accepted a job on a sailing boat that is sailing the east coast for the summer and maybe even the northwestern passages too before heading to the Caribbean for the winter.  Getting paid in US dollars  – the implications of this may be wasted on you lot !  Normally with yachts its euro but I am convinced the value of the euro is about to dive dive dive – so 18 months on the dollar will suit me just fine.  Speaking of dive dive dive, my salary request for the new build in Holland with it’s own submarine was a bit rich for the multi millionaire owner (but the owner of a 10 year old sailing boat can afford me!). They also took so long to come back to me that I had accepted an offer elsewhere.  Now here’s the thing, you are that multi millionaire owner and you are trying to get an engineer on the cheap.  The engineer on board any vessel is your best line of defense for safety and also to protect your investment (I would estimate for this one, around 45million euros), better still, you’re training your engineer to drive your submarine and also maintain it – now, would you want me in there at 100metres below the surface knowing it was meticulously maintained or would you want some giri that you got on the cheap?

Enough boat talk – I will be stateside again from 13th June – sadly this may mean I will miss two summer weddings which I was really looking forward to.

So, AC/DC.  For some reason, I was thinking about Brian Johnson the other day and punched them into youtube. I watched them on their live performances and felt a little sad.  Sad because we are loosing entertaining acts like that to talentless wank stains the likes of which are churned out in droves by modern media and rich record producers. Of course it will go full circle.  If you are old enough to remember punk, it rose out of a platform of disco and new romantics.  Better still, think back to when the big hair of the 80’s turned into the 90’s and Liam and Keith hit the stage (The Prodigy) – it was a rave sensation – trip to trumpton? suit you sir!

Anyway – here’s a link to whole lotta rosie – turn it up and remember to shout ‘ANGUS’ at the right time.

She’s a whole lotta woman – all 19 stones of her!

Last night was a bike night so I headed into the forest again on the outskirts of Brussels.  Why is it that the best tracks to ride are the ones that they ban bikes from ? And I can’t claim language barrier either because they use simple signs. Regardless of them, I rode them anyway – for the second time, and would you Adam and Eve it – not a single person out walking, thats twice now.  How about walkers loose their access rights if they don’t use the paths? Knowing I am breaking the law makes me cycle faster anyway, it’s just that naughtiness in me – I can’t resist.

I also found a track that wasn’t labelled or listed so took it – it was almost free riding until I happened upon a fella looking very guilty all alone in the bushes (thankfully there, i refrained from using the phrase ‘came across’). I wonder what was going on there.  The woods are huge out here and I have only managed to explore the northwestern tip of them. Lack of phone signal meant that google maps didn’t work so I had to navigate my return using only the sun as my position indicator – and guess what?  For the first time ever, I found the correct exit to ‘Avenue Louise’. This of course caused more confusion than I expected.  I had never hit ‘Lousie’ directly before so the road looked unfamiliar and the junctions confused me.

Let me tell you though – driving in Brussels is a real shit fight, there seem to be no rules, and even when there are, they can change without notice so it is a real challenge.  Get on your mountain bike and it is a different kettle of fish altogether. Suddenly these dick head drivers grow extra eyes and know you are there.  As I approach red lights at speed – you should see them panic – will I continue out and they will have to avoid me, or will I stop? Have to admit, I normally do as much as I can to piss them off when I am on my bike, when I am in the car it is the most frustrating time ever – and remember, I have spent much time in Portugal and Spain.

To finish off, let me say that I did finally get ‘that shot’.  I am of course referring to Cawston Spinney and all of its glorious bluebells! Now, feel free to call me a flowery twat, but I do very much like all that nature has to offer, and bluebells in the woods just amaze me.  Better still, fields of rape, catch them at the right time as they are changing from violet to yellow and it can be spectacular to watch the field change colour day by day – this photo still eludes me, but it will come eventually.

I have uploaded some photos from last weeks trip to England – be sure to have a look, there are 4 ‘that shot’ photos, I struggle to decide which is best. I called it ‘Cawston Spinney’.

Where is the work ?

Firmly back in Belgium until the morning, after a monster week of road trips.  Last Saturday night I left Brussels and headed to Imperia in Italy, crossing Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland and finally popping out in the Italian Alps.

One thing crossed my mind – Luxembourg, what is the collective name for its people?  I mean, France has french people, Portugal has portuguese, Spain spanish etc – but what about Luxembourg???

I saw a couple of jobs in Imperia and have since turned them both down, one not paying enough with a captain I was suspicious about, the other, just not ringing my bell – it felt like a compromise, and I rarely do that ! So I am still looking.  The submarine job is playing the delay tactic, which kind of makes me feel like they are holding me to randsom, something I rarely tolerate.  Unfortunately for them, I hav e had several contacts today from other dutch builds, two of them sail boats so their games may well backfire.

So the trip to Imperia was a massive 700 miles, punctuated by 2 interviews before I began the next leg of my journey from Imperia to Sagres, crossing Italy, France, Spain and of course Portugal, another 1270 miles.

Finally in Sagres, I got to take a little time out, surfed a bit, went for a scuba, drank cheaply and ate cheaply before heading back to Brussels on saturday morning – another 1500 miles.

Now, I know the british public poo poo anything british in favour of foreign muck, but my trusty 2002 Rover 75 Estate has munched those miles up with ease, almost 3000 of them in a week, cruise control on, air con on and I was in bliss.  I even got flashed by a camera in France.

I know she is getting old now but she just goes and goes – almost 180,000 miles on her now, a few rattles and shakes but nothing serious, which is a good thing because tomorrow she is heading back to blighty once more, in search of LED televisions at sensible prices, with my mountain bike hooked on the back.

I hope to razz some of the local country tracks again with Mr. B and Yates in tow – I wonder how they have been keeping up with their fitness?


Maybe next time – I will have something interesting to write





Cinco de Mayo

So, for those that haven’t kept up, I am leaving the States on Monday and heading back to Belgium.  On Thursday, I have an interview for what I am billing as ‘the best job ever!’

A new build motor yacht that is currently being fitted out, aiming for launch in November 2012.   A big hefty thing, right on the edge of my licence limits,  and on the job description, ‘maintenance of the submarine’. Yep, this private yacht has its own 3 man submarine on the back deck – any you will never guess what colour the sub is???

Yellow of course – I am expecting to find Sir Paul at the helm too!

Being based in Europe until the end of the year has huge bonuses for me – needless to say, I WANT THIS JOB!

Always a surprise when you get a notification on runkeeper that you have set a new weekly best for a certain discipline.  On Thursday, after my run, my notification told me that I had achieved a new weekly best mileage record. I was of course very pleased.  Last night, I pumped in a quick mile and a half and was expecting another congratulations but sadly nothing.  Tonight, I pounded for another 5 miles and blow me, if i didnt get a new ‘monthly best mileage’ notification.  Aparently I have set a new record for a month of running – 19 ish miles so far this month, and that my friends is a new monthly best – AND I AM ONLY 5 DAYS INTO THE MONTH !!!!  So either all of my other months so far have been piss poor or this month has been spectacularly good.

I did find a nice little 5 mile loop to walk first thing in the mornings, then on Tuesday of this week it thought to myself ‘fuck it – I’m gonna run those 5 miles tonight’ – and I did, and again on thursday and again tonight, and I am actually surprised that I don’t ache at all – well maybe a tinsy winsy little bit, but nothing like I was expecting.  I have been fannying around with mile and a half or maybe a two mile run and feeling the pain, wondering if I will ever get back to where I was in 2004 before I left England.  Back then, I was running around a total of 25 miles a week – so right now, that seems within reach again, even though I am 8 years older ! I had hit a pain barrier/fitness barrier/mental block and it would appear that the only way to deal with that is to pass it, not by a gnats whisker either, you gotta blitz it – focus through the pain and don’t worry if passers by hear you swearing at yourself to keep you going. The single most surprising point to mention here is that I haven’t shit my pants yet either – for the serious runners amongst you, getting the poo stations right is a serious thing, as serious as eating nutritious food. I remember well, banging on my grandma’s front door in urgent need of a turbo dump at only 1 mile into my run – I remember even more clearly after a 6 miler, making it to my front door, butt cheeks clenched, key left in the lock as I flung the door open and began to take the stairs 2 at a time, so urgent was my need to get on the pan.  Sadly, the 2 steps at a time splits meant that I could no longer clench my butt cheeks and I very quickly filled my running tights with what was a ‘far from solid’ stool, jumped straight into the shower, peeled my tights down and hosed them out !! There litterally was shit everywhere !

Running is more addictive than crack cocaine – don’t ever start !

Sadly for me, what was America’s best ever export ‘The Beastie Boys’ are no more. The death of one Adam Yauch has put an end to that. These guys I admired for many years, not just for their music but their videos too – they always seem like they are having shit loads of fun, a bit like The Foo Fighters or better still, Ant and Dec when they used to do CDTV live on a saturday morning. I remember in the 80’s when they appeared on ‘Top of the Pops’ with those VW bonnet badges around their necks, then for the next few weeks, there wasn’t a Volkswagen in the country that hadn’t had it’s badge pried off with a screw driver! I was scouting through my music library earlier looking at what I had of theirs – I never realised but I have 9 albums by the Beastie Boys, that is 1 more than the mighty Foo’s – best of all, I think there are 3 that I don’t have !!!  I will of course be wondering for many years what kind of tunes they would have been churning out, in the same vein that I wonder what kind of music Cobain would have been playing – and of couse, what would the mighty John Peel make of it all ?

I leave you with 3 links to youtube videos of the Beasties – my 3 favourite videos they ever made.  Do me a favour, turn up the volume, click the link and at the same time start recording with your web cam – do your best ‘gangsta’ moves and send me the video……….but most importantly, just enjoy acting the fool for a few minutes – life is so preciously short !!

and saving the best until last


Choose life mofo’s!




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