Scenes on Sunday ~ Lanzerote

An Island in the sun takes a man away from his cares and woes.







jack collier

Next time I need a cool girl to take on a long bike ride around the island.

English Winter

That’s just one of life’s bitter ironies…..

I remember when Beeching dug up our railway.

Winter in the North East of England.  Dark, cold, windy, and a time to get another blanket on the bed.  A well padded woman might be warmer.  Or a hot water bottle…..

The best part about an English winter is not being here.

But, when I was a lad it was much, much colder at this time of year.  Two pairs of socks inside one’s Wellington Boots, scarf, gloves balaclava helmet…..  And that was indoors…..

We had one coal fire to heat a big 4 bedroom house, donated to my dad by the N.C.B.  Except on Mondays when my mum also lit the fire underneath the big copper boiler in our back-kitchen, and that was the place to be when I got home from school.

School was fun, Bog Row Junior Mixed and Infants….. I kid you not.  The toilets were across the school yard, usually frozen at this time of year.

I’d like to say that those were happy days  Maybe they were.


jack collier


jeez I was a poor looking kid


Unrealistic Standards

I like American women.  They do things that French women never do ~ like showering.

It occurs to me that my expectations are usually way off what is likely to happen, my manners and mores are ridiculously old-fashioned, and my standards are way too high for any girl to reasonably meet.  Does that make me wrong, or stupid, or just English?

Being an older English guy isn’t always a bed of roses.  And being a cool English guy in the USA can make one realise why England and America are two countries separated by a common language.  More than half the time American woman have no idea what the fuck hell I’m talking about.

On the other hand, dating an American woman is so much better than dating a Parisienne girl.  Body odour and the smell of cigarette smoke tend to follow them around like a personal raincloud.

I love American women.  Just not necessarily in New York.


jack collier

the circle line is cool too



Norwegian Wood

What happens on vacation, stays on vacation…..

On vacation in a pretty nice hotel, six of us decided to find the very worst dive on Lanzerote.  Although it didn’t start out like that.  It started out as an ordinarily normal evening in an hotel bar.  And then we went out and caught a bus.

The bus driver got so fed up with the 3 women trying to pay in 20 Euro notes that he just waved us on board, and then made us all get off at the end of the line.  Where we found the very worst dive on the Island.

There was an ugly Spanish guy behind the bar, the black guitarist, and two other bewildered looking customers.  Without asking the barman brought all the women caramel vodkas, and then again, and again.

The guitarist was damn good!  He played all of ‘classical gas’.  Mind you he could have used a haircut, a wash, and a shave, a change of clothes, and a better attitude.

So there was a sing-along of beatles, stones, and the who.  After 4 or 5 caramel vodkas women cannot sing.

And then it went pear-shaped  My female temporary friend demanded that the guitarist play Norwegian Wood.  Not going to happen.  But it did

Eventually I went back to the hotel, walking, took me an hour.  My friends did not show up for breakfast.  I do not want to know what happened.  I guessed.


jack collier

Be Unique

Stop comparing yourself to other people, you’re supposed to be unique.

We are all very different.  We each have our own unique personalities, our different wants, needs, dreams, and desires.  And yet so often we try to ‘fit in’, trying to conform to the model that our families, friends, and co-workers expect us to be.  We try to conform in work meetings, in social gatherings, and with our families.  We seem to dress like others, speak like the people around us, and have similar opinions to our colleagues.  We go to the same places, week after week, and year after year.  In other words, ‘we play it safe’.

For many people there seems to be an inbuilt compulsion to be one of ‘the tribe’, as though being a loner or outsider is dangerous and wrong.  But, being one of the tribe means that we have to give up some of our uniqueness and individuality.  Worse than that, in every gathering, group, family, bunch of co-workers, there always seems to be a self-appointed leader who, by one means or another, makes the decisions and tells everyone else what to do.

Just how much of your freedom do you surrender when you are part of a group?  How many of your unique wants, needs, dreams, and desires do you have to give up just to fit in?

For a week, when I was on vacation in Lanzerote, I became part of a small group.  We ate together, talked, and drank together.  And, that was pretty cool because it sucks to be completely alone when one is on vacation in an hotel in an utterly strange place.

But, I did go off on my own, a lot.  And, while the others in the group shared the kind of secrets you only share with a stranger you are confident that you will never meet again, I talked a bit and shared bugger-all.

I prefer to be a loner, solitary, and unique.  And, if my close friends don’t like that, well, ‘have a nice day’.

Some say that it’s only being utterly alone that lets a man know himself.  And, that if you don’t like your own company, how can you possibly like anyone else?  All I know is that sometimes I prefer to be uniquely alone.


jack collier

I love the desert

Too Many Vacations?

Travel broadens the mind and the waistline ~ at least there were trains.

In the past year I’ve visited California, Turkey, Wales, Crete, New Mexico, back to England a few times, Lanzerote, and today I return to England for the Holiday Season.  And, I’ve seen more high art than you can shake a stick at.

The weather has varied from burning hot, to freezing cold, poring rain, and driving snow.

My favourite travelling companion is The Girl Riding Shotgun, and my favourite place, Balboa Island, in Orange County CA.

I’m glad to be going home to England today.


Jack Collier

Hyatt, near Albuquerque NM


The mythology of motorcycles is all about men who have never grown up.

Today I rented a little put-put bike and toured around this end of the Island for a few hours.

You know what, it was Fun!  Even though this little thing would only do about 35 mph, going downhill.  Yet I got to see bits of Lanzerote that most tourists will never see.

Renting this bike also got me away from my little group of fellow solitary travellers  ~ and after a week together we could all use the break.

Still, I fly home tomorrow, and I’m cool with that.

Turns out that motorbiking is also a very rude term.  Who knew?


Jack Collier

dramatic sky and steel-blue sea

Going Home

“Too much of anything is bad, but too much of a good time is barely enough.”

I had my flight back home to England confirmed last evening.  I leave this pretty, (and pretty weird), island at 15:55 tomorrow, arriving back in my local airport at 20:10.  So, I should be back in the garret at about half-past-nine tomorrow evening.

I enjoy being a solitary tourist, Lanzerote is cool, and the group of fellow solitary travellers I’m with are friendly, but something has gone a little bit wrong on this vacation. Perhaps I’ve had too much time to think, or too much sun, or I’ve had too many vacations this year…..  Whatever it is I am going to be leaving here feeling uneasy, dissatisfied, and anxious.  Which is not the point of a sunshine vacation at all.

Some say that you can get too much of a good thing.  And, that wherever you go you take yourself with you.  All I know is that I’m going to be glad to be home again.


Jack Collier

Why Do I Care?

It is better to give than to receive ~ the hell it is…..

so, I went on some cool trips…..

Something is telling me that there is no mileage in being a caring guy.  What good does it do me to care about other people’s feelings, to worry if they are upset, and to give a damn if they are happy, or not?

I know that some people go through life not giving a thought about the feelings, or wellbeing of others, and all in all it doesn’t seem to do those uncaring folks any harm whatsoever.  As a matter of fact uncaring people tend to be richer and get more of what they want than do guys who actually give a fuck ~ such as me.

Uncaring people don’t devote their energies making sure that others are OK, instead they spend their time and energy getting what they want, and the devil take the consequences.  Uncaring guys don’t buy their female friends cool and expensive gifts, or pay to take them on vacation, or always pick up the tab in bars and restaurants.  Instead uncaring guys just fuck lots of women like animals.

So, somewhere, somehow, I’m doing something wrong.  I care about other people a lot, and what does that get me, not a  lot.

Some say that a leopard can’t change their spots.  And, that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.  All I know is that I’m going to stop giving if I get bugger all in return.


Jack Collier

Cool hotels? A waste of money.


Solitary Tourist

Alone again ~ naturally.

At half-past-eight this morning I’m heading off on an all Island Grand Tour ~ although how much of 326 sq mile Lanzerote one can see in one day I’m not certain.

What’s just as interesting is why I’ve chosen to do this while nobody else in my little collection of vacationers wanted to take this tour.  It seems that I still have this odd desire to be on my own, doing my own thing, without ever wanting to ‘fit in’ with a group.  As it goes, I really don’t like being in a group.

I never ‘join’ groups, clubs, associations, or societies.  In fact, a lot of the time I live outside of day-to-day, ordinary ‘society’.  Most people both bore and irritate me ~ those people who blog here on WordPress are notable exceptions.  Perhaps that withdrawal from society is my loss, but I think I’m too late to change myself now.

It’s true that my lifestyle makes it harder to meet women…..

Oddly enough, the women in my little group of fellow holidaymakers seem to recognise that, and have suggested that I join a dating site ~  They were only half-joking.

Maybe I’ll think about that while I’m sitting on the coach during this Island Tour.  In-between taking lots of pictures.


Jack Collier

Lanzerote is pretty

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