Category Archives: Hobbies

Scenes on Sunday ~ Tiny Trailers

size isn’t everything
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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

It would take me about a week to build one of these things

well, maybe two

 

 

 

Marmaduke Monday

though soulmates aren’t looking for you, they will find you

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

home at last

Marmaduke is an adventurous bear

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

How to Build a Patio Planter ~ Video

There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.  ~  Janet K. Phillips

For me, building a patio planter, or raised bed, out of any materials you like, is a fairly straightforward project.  However, I know that isn’t so for everyone.

Therefore, in a spirit of helpfulness, here are a trio of videos showing how to make a few examples of planters you could use a prototypes for whatever you would like in your yard.  As you can see, it’s a pretty straightforward project.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

this easy wall planter

is one of my favourite ideas

Patio Planters

Gardens are not made by sitting in the shade and drinking wine.

I have a friend who would like me to make a couple of planters for her yard.

Perhaps she will get some ideas of the kind of thing she wants, needs, and desires from these pictures.  Hey, I’m just going to be building them and filling them with dirt.

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used railway sleepers (ties) make a great, everlasting planter

and they are strong enough to use as a retaining wall

but you should really line them with something

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

stone planters are a cool idea

this isn’t as difficult as it looks

Crete ~ another vacation

Socrates and Plato took a house on Crete in the summer months.

Another month, and another vacation planned.

This time I’m going to Chania on Crete, a spectacular island in the blue, blue Mediterranean sea.  I fly out to Crete on Tuesday September 4th for a week, and I’ll be staying at a small, family run hotel, the Pella Steve II, which is exclusively for the more adult single traveller.

Chania is the most beautiful, interesting, and evocative town on Crete ~ from the Venetian Harbour to the narrow shopping streets and waterfront restaurants.  Chania also has it’s own international airport, which is very cool when it comes to transfer times.

I’m fully expecting the weather, hotel, sightseeing, shopping, entertainment, food, drink, and company to be brilliant.

These singles holidays are something different and exclusive.  Always in a smaller hotel, everyone has their own double room, everyone is open and friendly, and there always seems to be a lot going on among ‘the group’.  These singles vacations are not just sitting by the pool and reading.  In my experience these singles vacations are fun from waking in the morning to getting off to bed early the following morning.  Luckily, these days I never touch booze and get by with a few hours sleep.

In my experience you don’t need to worry about not knowing anyone before you get there ~ on this kind of vacation, new and very interesting friends are made pretty quickly.  Anyhow, on this type of vacation everyone hangs out with anyone they wish to ~ starting at the hotel bar.

However, I was thinking that it would be cool to have a travelling companion to share the experience with, not as a couple, but as friends who travel together.  Being a guy, of course I’d be the one spending all the money.  That’s what guys of my generation do.

You never know, I may find a cool travelling companion yet.  And, after this holiday on Crete, there will be another vacation coming along soon.

My email is always at the end of these blog posts.

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jack collier

email:     jsckcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Crete is a very beautiful island

Teardrop Trailer Kits

You need time, effort, and creativity to build anything worthwhile.

I intend to build a tiny teardrop trailer sometime this summer.  These tiny camping trailers are built on a commercially built trailer frame, on top of which a plywood structure is mounted.

I could build this from scratch, just using half-inch sheets of 8′ X 4′ plywood I cut to shape for myself, or I could buy a kit ~ and I think I’m going to buy a kit.

Some of the available kits include:

http://tinyhouseblog.com/travel-trailers/teardrop-trailer-kits/ 

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https://www.theteardroptrailer.com/step-by-step-pg1

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Make: features 11 Teardrop Trailer Builds on its blog.

https://makezine.com/2015/09/23/teardrop-trailer-builds/

Including this, which I really like because of its squared-off shape, which will give more usable space than a ‘classic’ teardrop shape.

This is totally home built from scratch on a commercially bought steel trailer frame.

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This teardrop camper kit is from Fyne Boat Kits, and I really like its sculptural, upturned, boat-shaped design.

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So-Cal Teardrops has a range of kits, including this off-roader.

http://www.socalteardrops.com/gallery.php?g=12

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And, Little Guy Trailers has this 5 foot wide teardrop kit.

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Or, I could also build just from plans, like the Wyoming Woody.

http://teardropbuilder.com/plans-design-documents/wyoming-woody-teardrop-plans

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Tiny Teardrop Trailers

Little trailers for big road-trip adventures.

I have this idea to build a tiny ‘teardrop trailer’.  The size of one of these tiny trailers is based on a standard 8′ x 4′ sheet of plywood.  That size sheet is what forms the floor, the walls, and the roof ~ cut and moulded to give whatever pleasing shape you like.  I believe I can build one of these in a little over a week.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-5262527/Tiny-caravan-doubles-second-home-kitchen.html

There is  tiny trailer called ‘the Droplet’ which has a space-efficient shape.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-5262527/Tiny-caravan-doubles-second-home-kitchen.html

You can obviously buy a ready-made, off-the-shelf teardrop trailer.

http://www.teardroptrailers.co.uk

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https://www.homedit.com/camper-trailers/

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This is something I want to make as a project before I build a school bus camper.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Core Values

Core Values are who you are when no one is watching.

Appreciation of natural beauty is one of my core values.

I cannot claim to know, accept, and understand in detail what my core values about Life are.  In fact, I even had to check the definition of ‘core values’ before I could work on knowing, accepting, and understanding my own core values.  The various definitions seem to coalesce into;

Core Values are Fundamental Beliefs and Principles that guide a person’s conduct and relationships with others.

It would appear that Core Values can be positive, negative, or pretty meaningless and neutral.  I firmly believe that almost everyone has all three types of core values, and we all have more negative core values than we would like to believe.

My own negative core values include;

  • Everybody lies.
  • The world is full of fools, and 90% of the people I meet will be much less intelligent than I.
  • The world is a dangerous and brutal place, and a man has to be capable, knowledgable, and tough to survive and thrive.
  • Casual sex, first date sex, sex with multiple partners, picking up girls in bars ~ are all reprehensible behaviours.

My more positive core values include;

  • Treating my friends with kindness, consideration, acceptance, understanding, and unselfish love.
  • A belief that there is great beauty in this world, and it should be protected, celebrated, and appreciated.
  • Life is short, and I should therefore make the very most of every minute of every single day.
  • I should continue to strive for self-improvement and self-awareness.
  • We should treat all others as well as we possibly can, just as we ourselves would wish to be treated.

If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.  ~  J.K. Rowling

As it goes, I have a small problem with the quote from J.K. Rowling, as it makes the assumption that some people are superior to others, ergo some people are inferior.  Actually, this is true, but it is not a pleasant thought.

My wishy-washy, neutral and meaningless core beliefs include a belief that politics, and religion are pointless, dishonest, and self-serving.  Which may really be more negative than neutral.

There are some other words which resonate with me when it comes to my core values;

Honesty, Integrity, Individuality, Enjoyment, Trustworthiness, Reliability, Wisdom, Simplicity, Learning, Discipline, Truthfulness, Politeness…..  All of these words should probably form part of my written core values.

It’s actually all pretty difficult stuff.  I think I need to meditate, or take a long walk, or just let my subconscious mind ponder the whole subject of my own core values for a while.  It could take the rest of my life.  It should take the rest of my life.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Dawn seen from the garret.

 

 

 

 

Sponsored by:  http://www.amazon.com/shops/salinevalleyenterprises

 

 

 

 

 

 

English Weather

Climate is what we expect; weather is what we get.

The English love to talk about the weather; when an Englishman meets a friend or acquaintance they could spend a good hour or so discussing the weather.

The thing is, there are so many topics polite Englishmen almost never talk about; feelings, money, politics, religion, and sex to name just a few taboo topics.

The other thing is; we get so much weather in England.  American tourists in London can never understand that, no matter how sunny and fine a day it is when they leave their hotel, within a hour it will be pouring with rain.

We English also have many, many interesting words and phrases to describe our weather.  Brass Monkeys, Raining Cats and Dogs, A Bit Parky, Chucking It Down, It’s a Scorcher, It’s Just Drizzling, It’s a Bit Damp, Pea Souper, Sea Fret… to quote a few.

English weather is pretty clement, not usually extreme at all.  For us 40 degrees Fahrenheit is bloody cold, and 80 degrees Fahrenheit is bloody hot.  We don’t often get very strong winds, and even though it rains almost all the time, we don’t often get torrential downpours.

Mostly I like the weather in England, at least from April to September / October I like it here.  From October to April it’s bloody awful and everyone in England will have colds, or flu, or even pleurisy.  (I’m just recovering from a bout of pneumonia.)

So, if ever you’re in England, expect to be bored spitless by everyone always talking about the damn weather.

And, by the way, no sensible Englishman believes in Climate Change.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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