Category Archives: Geography

Monochrome Monday

a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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

 

Tunes on Tuesday ~ Ladyhawke

a very sensual, strange, physically beautiful, dangerous place

Back in the day I spent a lot of time à Paris, la ville lumière.  I learned that, while Parisienne women look chic, they often smell of Galoises overlaid with a lot of Chanel #5.

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Love Paris and you’re hung up on something that’s never going to love you back.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

when good Americans die they go to Paris

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

 

Skills Men Should Have

learning is not compulsory, neither is survival

learn woodworking and gardening

There was a time when most men could turn their hand to just about anything; from growing their own vegetables to completing their tax returns, from plumbing to motor maintenance.  Yet I know some young guys who are so impractical they can’t even put up a shelf.  I once met a guy who didn’t know how to open the bonnet, (hood), on his car ~ let alone check the oil.  Hell, I once met a blonde girl who couldn’t open her fuel filler cap.

But we are not talking about girls here, we are talking about real urban survival skills for real men.  What does a guy need to be able to do to survive and thrive?  Leave out the whole surviving alone in the deep woods thing, (with a camera crew, doctor, and evac helicopter on standby).  Let’s concentrate instead on what a cool guy living a great life should be able to do, and most can’t even make a decent attempt at. In no particular order;

  • cooking ~ from making an omelette to an impressive signature dish. including doing the shopping and cleaning afterwards.
  • DIY ~ how to you loosen a bolt?
  • finance ~ budgeting, balancing your income and expenditure, completing official paperwork, negotiating a loan.
  • first aid and CPR ~ from the Heimlich Maneuver, to using a tourniquet.
  • health and fitness ~ fresh air, diet, food supplements, exercise.
  • motor maintenance ~ from checking the tyres, lights, and fluids to doing a complete exhaust rebuild, to building an entire damn car.
  • navigate from A to B without sat-nav ~ can you find north, use a compass, read a map, know how far a mile is?
  • read, write, and do arithmetic ~ do you read interesting and challenging books? can you write a letter in cursive script? Can you make change, approximate pi, and work out a right-angle?
  • safety and security ~ is your home safe and secure and can you walk the streets at night?
  • disaster recovery ~ what will you do if there’s an earthquake, or a wild-fire, or flood, or your home just suddenly becomes uninhabitable?

For once, I haven’t given you lots of links, because a man should be able to find appropriate stuff on the internet, and not just be able to find his own particular taste in porn.  So whatever you can’t do, start learning…..

There are a lot more things that a true Renaissance Man is capable of, from building and sailing a boat, to building a car, to building his own home from scratch.  In extremis a real man knows how to survive natural and man-made disasters.  There is even a list of 100 skills every man should know, (but no Englishman needs to know how to throw a good spiral).  And, a real man understands the art of attracting women and keeping her happy once he has won her.

Some say they don’t need to do anything because they can always hire someone else to do it.  And that guys don’t cook, clean, or do the laundry, real guys just have fun.  All I know is that I can’t bake a cake.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

learn car mechanics

Monochrome Monday ~ San Bernardino County

adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience

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jackcollier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Zzyzx, the strangest town in America

founded by a religious nutcase

Pictures by The Girl Riding Shotgun

Scenes on Sunday ~ Arizona

in Arizona they salt margaritas, not sidewalks and roads

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Watermelon Margaritas

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

in Arizona, nothing but a Mustang convertible will do.

 

Monochrome Monday ~ The West

nobody said that the West had to be fashionable, just big and empty

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the West is a big, big country

Monochrome Monday ~ Arizona

Arizona is beautiful ~ in an inspiring, rugged kind of a way.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

these rocks are all a dark red

it’s known as Red Rock Country

Scenes on Sunday ~ Sedona

Sedona is beautiful, but your eyes are even more beautiful.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

red rock country

full of very nice boys

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