Category Archives: Cars and Motoring

Monochrome Monday

a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Without a Woman

without a woman and alone again, naturally

Maybe some relationships were just never meant to be.

Well, my latest and last certainly ended in a total fuck-up.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

it was good while it lasted

some cool road trips

Scenes on Sunday ~ Arizona

It’s a big wide world out there

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

There’s a lot of world to get lost in

Hobbies for Health

for me, saving the world and everyone in it is only a hobby

Now that I’m recovering from a bloody awful mental affliction, a good friend has suggested that I take up a hobby.  You know what?  After a moments reflection I decided that was a brilliant idea.  So I will take up a hobby.

But what is a hobby anyway?  Where do other ordinary normal day-to-day pursuits become hobbies?  And does a proper hobby have to be mostly harmless, inefficient, laborious, and useless?  I confess I googled hobbies and found a few incredibly long lists of hobbies, some of which activities I would have just taken to be everyday pursuits; like watching television.  No!

But I have a first stab at a short list of potential hobbies which may occupy my time, give me pleasure, be relaxing, and stop me having suicidal thoughts;

  • Art, and I mean doing it, most probably painting.  Thus far in my life the only things I’ve painted were walls, doors, cars, and boats.
  • Angling / Fishing.  I used to fish and gave it up because I felt sorry for anything I caught.
  • Calligraphy.  As it goes I have very good classical penmanship ~ but calligraphy takes that to a whole new level where writing in pen and ink becomes art.
  • Model making, although this seems a bit of a kids pastime.
  • Photography, which I already do a lot of but I could do more and do it better.
  • Reading.  I do a hell of a lot of that, but I’m certain there’s a way to turn casual reading into a constructive hobby.
  • Survivalist.  Not that I live in an earthquake zone, but add some of the other hobbies I’ve already thought about and I’m already a fair way to being a survivalist
  • Travel.  I love to travel, but is it a hobby for me, and could I turn it into one?  Maybe by mixing it with photography and writing.
  • Walking.  On average I walk 5 miles a day, but that’s not serious hobbyist walking.  More serious walking includes hiking, backpacking, and trekking.  So I have joined our local Ramblers Club, (how very English), who meet a couple of times a month and do some serious miles in all weathers.
  • Writing, and I already do some of that too, including being in a local writers group.

I’ve already realised that if you want your normal everyday activity to become a hobby you have to add a lot of time, money, and obsessiveness into the mix.  I can’t even turn my 5 miles a day walk into a hobby without buying a lot more expensive kit.

But, if you have any other ideas for a healthy, relaxing, challenging, difficult, self-improving activity, then please just tell me.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

also, I do like making practical things; such as this planter

Scenes on Sunday ~ Cool Cars

a car isn’t a cool classic just because it’s old

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but some cars are always cool

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

a connection to place,

to the land and the sky,

any long road trip is very special

Desert Journey

the immense desert, empty and inspired with spiritual promises

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Like many Englishmen, from that green and pleasant land, I have a strong personal affinity for the desert.  I like the high plains and the heat of Red Rock Country in the late summer.  There is a simplicity about the desert, you are either right or you’re in deep trouble, and there’s little ground in-between.

And now, when England cowers cold beneath our autumn mists and morning frost, I yearn to be back in the blazing sunshine and heat of California, New Mexico, Arizona, or Nevada.  Preferably on a long spontaneous road trip, driving a Mustang convertible with a cool lady riding shotgun.

Sweetheart, yes it’s true, I’m so happy to be stuck with you

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

deep in red rock country

in that desert we pray to God

but we trust in ourselves as men

 

Taming Expectations

if you expect nothing then you can never be disappointed

the sun doesn’t always shine

Yesterday, once upon a time, my life was complicated.  So many things were on my mind and I had so many extreme and conflicted feelings that I struggled to find peace and balance.  I was impulsive yet indecisive.  I had bursts of intense energy followed by doubt, lethargy, and procrastination.  Although I didn’t know it everything was leading to better outcomes for me.  It was alien to me, but all I needed was a little patience, and the insight to take a couple of simple steps to get me onto a better life path.

The first step I needed to take was to use my charm and diplomacy as much as possible ~ no matter how bad, negative, and angry I felt inside.  No matter how defensive and threatened I felt by people close to me I had to avoid saying and doing things that would come back to haunt me later.  I had to learn to compromise my black and white thinking, especially with those closest to me and whom I cared for.

Black and white thinking took me down the path of wanting and needing 100% of my desires and expectations.  Yet when if I could but find a way to compromise greater harmony and contentment was there for me.  My heart may have strong desires, but oft-times I needed to tame my expectations.  I was demanding affection, admiration, love, and respect from people who were resistant to giving it to me ~ because of the way I was.

I also needed to uncover and nurture my deeper internal wisdom, to learn how to face my demons and extreme psychological conflict, to resolve the constant confrontations between the different parts of my psyche.  I am not bipolar, but I do suffer from violent, vicious, and fast mood swings.  If you’ve ever been there you know how hard that makes even the simplest things in life ~ like holding a normal conversation.

I needed to learn to pause before I reacted to my extreme feelings, and before I acted upon my negative thoughts.  I knew I had to always weigh up all the options and come to some sensible next step in my life.  I needed always to act coolly and unhurriedly with care and consideration for others.

In my life there have been heartaches and pain, and sometimes I didn’t know if I could face the unfriendly day again.  Yet, I have been able to change myself, and in changing myself the rest of the world has changed around me.

Some say that I have to be true to myself.  And that I have to learn to love myself before I can possibly love another.  All I know is that being a really cool and self-confident guy doesn’t work for me every single damn day.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

sometimes it even snows in New Mexico

Relationships, Travel, and Self-Development

self-affinity, self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-development

Life is better for me today, and looking back I can see why things didn’t always happen the way I hoped and expected them to go.  Partly it was because my expectations were unrealistic and depended upon others acting the way I would wish them to, (and that almost never works out).  Partly it was because I suffered from a lot of negative character traits such as judgementalism, jealousy, and impatience.

By accepting what were my downfalls in the past I can work on developing better ways of living, and also deciding consciously what I don’t want to be, what I don’t want to do, and where I don’t want to go, (in a literal and figurative sense).  This is the right time for me to push on through with no regrets and no hesitation.  This is the time for me to re-evaluate some of my life path choices so I can drop everything unsatisfying and toxic, and instead concentrate on that which adds to my success and happiness.  People, places and things that have just ever taken from me, giving little in return, no longer have a place in my life.

I am very aware of what I don’t want in my life, but I think I need something like a bucket list, or a vision board, or maybe a mind map to help me to decide what I do want in my life.

There’s a list of places I want to visit in the next year or so; starting with California, and maybe Arizona in the USA.  In England I would like to see Stonehenge again and some of the other weird places such as Lindisfarne.  I have no desire to spend much time in London, but seeing Amsterdam, Paris, Rome again might be cool ~ after I’ve been back to Florence, Sienna, Pisa, and San Gimignano.  I do so love Tuscany.

The Mediterranean might well be the most favoured region on the planet; the Greek Islands are fabulous, as are Crete, Cyprus, and Malta ~ maybe I’ll take a cruise.  And of course it’s been a long time since I’ve been to the West Indies ~ and the islands are a great winter destination.  Never, ever go to the Caribbean during June, July, August, or September ~ unless you really like hurricanes.

I have no issues with finances nor responsibilities back here in the garret, (apart from Marmaduke), but what hold me back a little is the ultimate joylessness of travelling alone.  Maybe the first thing I need on life is a new friend and travelling companion, or to change my relationship with an old friend for the better.

Some say that no matter where you go you always take yourself with you.  And that freedom is not just a long holiday.  All I know is that the world is my lobster.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Marmaduke likes travelling with me

 

Scenes on Sunday ~ Clouds

my goddess of the moon rides high above the clouds

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

not everything is always going to be the way you think it ought to be

but I will always be here

Problems Just Don’t Go Away

the only way our problems will go away is if we solve them

Most of us, myself included, tend to ignore problems unless and until they step up and smack us in the face.  If something bothersome, or a bit irritating, or mildly inconveniencing is going on in our lives it is very much easier to close our eyes and ears and ignore it, rather than deal with yet another piece of crap.

So; the check engine light has come on in our car….. and how many people will just ignore that for days or weeks until the next regular service is due?  Or, we are fed up with opening the mail, which is always just bills and junk anyhow, so we stop opening our mail altogether.  Or, in my own case, sometimes I would feel so bad that I would get blind drunk for days and days just to escape the emotional pain, rather than work on the causes of my torment.

I can absolutely guarantee that if there is a problem, no matter how slight, then unless we accept that there’s a problem and do something about it, that problem will grow and grow until a minor issue becomes something fucking extremely serious.  In my own case, my getting drunk and insensible was nothing to do with alcoholism, or liking the party life, it was because I have a very serious mental illness called Borderline Personality Disorder, (BPD).  I’d, (sort of), known that for a few years, and so had my doctors, but did anyone actually do anything about it?  Hell no.  The easiest thing to do was ignore the real problem and get me some easy alcohol counselling instead.  Controlled Drinking is an oxymoron.

About 10% of people suffering from BPD commit suicide, which is about a thousand times higher than the norm across the whole population.  Booze was never my real problem, Borderline Personality Disorder was.

Same with car problems, the easiest thing to do is ignore them and assume they will all get sorted out at the next annual service….. whenever that is.  That check engine light could just be a little electrical fault.  Of course some real problems with your car might leave you stranded on the interstate in the middle of the night.  Or kill you.

If you notice a small problem, or you’re unhappy about something, then you could just ignore it and assume it will go away of its own accord.  And it might.  But it’s more likely that in a while a small problem, that would have been so easy to fix back then, has turned into a very serious issue indeed.

I have learned that there are no shortcuts in life.  That all the bad things that we feel, all the suffering we go though, and all the shit that happens to us are usually not the real problem ~ rather these are merely the symptoms of some deeper and more serious issue.  Unless we put in the hard work, dig deeper until we understand our problems, then every now and again something fucking frightening is going to happen.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

smoking and drinking in a bar alone solves no problems, and neither does casual sex

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