Category Archives: Spirituality

unjustly accused

The average man ~ mostly harmless.

All men must have experienced that utter bewilderment when they thought they were doing something good, and that those they cared for would appreciate it, only to be accused of a wrongdoing they cannot comprehend.

I had that yesterday.

So now I don’t know what I did wrong, or where I went wrong, or even what I can do to put it right.

It hurts.

You know what that does to a man of any age?  We get defensive.  We mentally circle the wagons.  We can become difficult.  We can get the ‘go away and leave me alone’ and ‘I don’t love you anymore’ thing.

At heart men never grow up.  At heart men are not so tough, all we want to do is be around people we like and who like us in return.  Men are continually looking for approval and positive reactions.  Men are always trying to impress and show that we can do good things.

Yesterday I bombed out of all of that by mentioning in this blog that I wanted to go on a Caribbean cruise at Christmas without getting approval in advance from everyone close to me.  Wish I could have done, but people are not always just a ‘phone call away.

I got some passive aggression and some downright rejection in response to my innocent idea and blog post.

So now I feel dirty and worthless.

I’m not in love anymore, that was just silly phase I was going through.

I am just a lost soul, looking for my home.

Man the lifeboats men, this ship is sinking.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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Food on Friday ~ American

Foreigners cannot enjoy our food, any more than we can enjoy theirs.  ~  Mark Twain

Go to almost any town in the USA and you will find a Mexican place, a pizza joint, and a bar selling a mixture of ‘Italian’ and ‘English’ food.  If you’re in a larger town you will probably also find a sushi restaurant, (Sakura in St. George UT is pretty good),  and likely there will be a Chinese place, and a Thai restaurant.  Sakura in St. George has a super entrance doorway.

Is there such a thing as ‘American’ cuisine, or is it merely foods borrowed from the rest of the world?  I would aver that real American food consists of steaks, burgers, hot dogs, french fries, salads, and of course lots of bad cheese and ketchup.

On my recent US road trip I ate the best steak I’ve ever had, and didn’t eat the very worst chilli dog I’ve ever been served.  The quality of the food in the USA goes from very, very good to stuff I wouldn’t give a dog.

In the same joint that served that great steak, (White Mountain Mining Co, Rock Springs WY) I also had a truly boring salad that was 90% iceberg lettuce, and a baked potato that was left over from the day before.  On the same trip I also enjoyed a really good pizza from a place called Craftsman Wood Fired Pizza, in Placentia , Orange County CA.

In California, in the western USA in general, they also have a buffet thing going.  My friend and I had a pretty good meal at a buffet place in Primm Nevada.  On the way back to civilisation, Primm, just like every other town in Nevada, is totally devoted to casinos, gambling, and gamblers.  I don’t gamble, my friend loves the slots, and that can be a little annoying for both of us.  If you don’t like gambling, don’t ever go to Nevada.

The most impressive buffet I’ve ever been to, in my whole life, was the Champagne Sunday Brunch, aboard the RMS Queen Mary, in Long Beach California.  If you’re ever in Southern California, I would strongly recommend you take your girl there for Sunday brunch.  Just don’t eat much the day before, and make certain that one of you is the designated driver, (or book a room).  There is a fabulous cocktail bar aboard her too.

A few things for the unwary traveller to bear in mind when eating at a Restaurant in the USA; try to go during their happy hour, to European eyes places close very early, remember to add sales tax to the prices when you’re budgeting ~ and on top of that the standard tip anywhere is 20%, (and I hate that).  Don’t expect to be given cutlery, (Americans are like children and eat with their fingers), and if there’s a wait for a table, you can always eat at the bar, where it’s first come first served.  (I hate eating at the bar because brash Americans will talk to you while you’re eating.)

In bars that serve food the beer is generally pretty good, but the wine and margaritas can be of very variable quality ~ they will still get you very drunk.  The food in most American bars is garbage.

Americans can eat garbage, providing you sprinkle it liberally with cheese, ketchup, mustard, chilli sauce, Tabasco, cayenne pepper, or any other condiment which destroys the original flavor of the dish  ~  Henry Miller, American Writer.

All in all, eating in the USA is a different and sometimes unnerving experience for a well-mannered Englishman.  But then eating in France, Greece, Italy, Spain…  has its own idiosyncracies.  Close your eyes and enjoy the experience.  Some American food is fabulous, and sometimes the dining experience is even better.

Just don’t eat Mexican food…

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Marmaduke home alone

Marmaduke has seen me looking at the internet ~ making plans for this year’s Christmas and New Year Holidays.

As I’m not taking him to Barcelona next week he’s worried that I won’t be taking him along this Christmas, so he’s been making his own Christmas plans.

Where ever Marmaduke is thinking of going for his Christmas Dinner, I’m thinking of a Christmas Caribbean cruise~ providing I can find the right girl to take along.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

America is mostly empty

The clearest way into your own mind is through Wilderness

Once one gets away from the big cities, the USA is mostly wilderness.

On my recent road trip, sometimes the only thing in the wilderness was the road, a broken down fence, and a distant power line.

Sometimes there’s a road sign.  Zzyzx is actually in San Bernadino County, California, and you get there by the 4.5 mile long unpaved Zzyzx Road.  We didn’t go there, because there’s bugger-all there.  However, Zzyzx does feature in music and films, (movies).

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

pictures taken by the girl riding shotgun with a Lumix

music from a friend

The past is over, nothing reminds me of you.

~

I’m a guy.

I’m a bit older.

I’m very English.

My tastes are solid, maybe staid, and perhaps a bit inflexible.  Art, Cars, Clothes, Food, Music… I seem to be one of those guys who thinks he knows what he likes and is reluctant to try something new.

Sometimes the new is surprising and apposite.  As luck would have it, it just so happened that a friend sent me a couple of albums by a guy I’d never heard of; Ben Taylor.  I liked his dad.

A track has the lyrics;

She always wants what she can’t have

Life is so cruel

She’s always good when she’s so bad

What can’t she do?

~

the killer line is;

She’s always thinking of someone, that’s how it goes…

~

Story of my life.  All the women I have known always seem to be thinking of someone else.

~

Sometimes, just once, I’d like to know someone who wasn’t always living in the past.  Who wanted to show me their colourful shoes, just because it’s me, and not because they really belong to someone else.

Letting yesterday affect today will only destroy the excitement of tomorrow.  ~  Michelle Cruz-Rosado

Sometimes, it’s more than I can take.  Life goes on regardless.  The best is yet to come.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

some long wide roads out there

 

Marmaduke and I went to the USA to witness a total eclipse of the sun.  To Marmy and me, the USA seems to be doing pretty well right now.  We saw quite a lot of people driving Jaguars.

Nations, like stars, are entitled to eclipse.  All is well, provided the light returns and the eclipse does not become endless night…  The reappearance of the light is the same as the survival of the soul.  ~  Victor Hugo

During our trip we travelled some 16,000 miles, including driving 3,282 miles in our rented SUV.  (We needed an SUV rather than a Mustang convertible to take all the luggage the Girl Riding Shotgun brought on this long road trip.)

Marmaduke and I visited Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK, Dublin in Ireland, Amsterdam in Holland, LAX, Orange County, drove through California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and into Wyoming, (then back again to Orange County in sunny Southern California).

We also visited the Queen Mary in Long Beach for a champagne Sunday brunch, went up to Big Bear Lake, and kicked back at the Southern California beaches in Little Corona, Aliso, Laguna, and best of all Crescent Bay.  Went shopping in the local Mall and sundry thrift stores, checked out the Parks in Orange county, and generally hung out in some cool bars.

Finally flew back to the UK from LAX, via Paris and Dublin before arriving back in the UK on September 10th ~ broke, exhausted, and filled with amazing memories.

Right now, and back in the garret, Marmaduke and I have 1,111 unread emails in my inbox, 3,970 pictures on my camera, a good suntan, a little jet-lag, and a pile of laundry from our trip.

Marmaduke also wants to know why he couldn’t stay in SoCal… dude…

My advice?  Go on a very, very long road trip in the USA.  But, whenever and where ever you travel, take half the luggage you think you will need, and at least twice as much money as you think you could possibly spend.

It’s best not to stare at the sun during an eclipse. ~ Jeff Goldblum

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Pictures taken with a Panasonic Lumix

Scenes on Sunday ~ Marmaduke USA

It’s Very Nice To Go Traveling.

But it’s so much nicer to travel home.

Carrying a teddy bear from England to the West Coast of the USA isn’t quite as easy as you would think, what with curious Homeland Security sniffer dogs and all….

On the other hand, I know Marmaduke did better than me when it came to exploring the romance and attractiveness of California Girls.  Although that wouldn’t be so difficult. I can be so very stuffy, preppy-style, repressed even, some of the time.

On the other hand, poor Marmaduke struggled a bit in the desert ~ what with his fur coat and everything.

~

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~

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

all these shots taken with a Panasonic Lumix

Vacation

We see the same moon, you in your world and me in mine.

The reason I haven’t posted anything for a little while is that I’m vacationing in; California, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming.

I won’t be back in the garret until Sunday September 10th.  Look for some very cool posts from me right after that.

Take care everyone.

~

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net 

Health, Wealth, and Happiness

All happiness depends upon courage and work.

For a little while I’ve been trying to work out what is really important in Life.  In as simple terms as possible, what is that we all strive for, what do we really want, what is life all about, really?  So help me, I came up with; Health, Wealth, and Happiness.

I don’t think these desirable states of being are even on the standard Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  However, I believe that you can’t have good health, sufficient money to live reasonably well, and sufficient contentment to deem yourself happy, unless the criteria within Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is also being met.  You know, Maslow was much smarter than just drawing pyramids, he was also a deep thinker when it came to the science of happiness.

The only happy people I know are the ones who are working well at something they consider important.  ~  Abraham Maslow.

Wishing people health, wealth, and happiness used to be a very common toast in my part of the world.  Perhaps these days some people may turn their noses up at the ‘wealth’ part ~ most likely those people have never know what it is to be dirt poor.

  • Health.  By this we really mean having Good Health, for the great majority of your time on this Earth.  But, like all things, good health is a paradox.  In comparison to our forefathers we are all in good health, but future generations may well look back and pity the standards of health and fitness we know today.  For my personal health I like yoga and long walks.
  • Wealth.  Conspicuous wealth isn’t so important, but having enough money to comfortably meet the criteria of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is desirable.  Money may not be able to buy you love, but money will get you a fair amount of sex.  Money gives you freedom from many worries.  Having a little spare cash creates opportunities.  Personally, I’d rather be miserable with a few pounds in the bank than miserable and broke.
  • Happiness.  The great imponderable.  For many of us happiness comes from being fit and healthy, and having enough money to be free from many worries.  Happiness is also not having a host of negative emotions; anger, envy, fear, jealousy, lust…  There are as many ways to real happiness as there are people on this planet of ours.

I found real happiness the day I stopped being a wage slave.  Happiness also comes from not being pestered by idiots, such as your boss.  Phone calls from telemarketing people, Google filling my screen with crap and not what I searched for, Facebook targeting me with advertisements for things I’ve long since moved on from, and people with clipboards wanting to talk with me in the street ~ all of these things seem designed to disrupt my health, wealth and happiness.  I have a simple answer for those leeches~ fuck off, and please don’t keep in touch.

Perhaps there is no nirvana, perhaps having Health, Wealth, and Happiness is an oxymoron.

Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.  ~  Shakespeare.

Being at peace with myself, knowing that I’ve not been a leech or a jerk, means that I can go to bed at night feeling somewhat happy.  But, like most people I’m never totally satisfied with my day’s endeavours.

On the other hand, I can easily walk a dozen miles a day, I can do yoga on the beach in the sunshine, I eat well, I have no money worries, and don’t go to bed feeling like crap.  So, perhaps real Health, Wealth, and Happiness is possible after all.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

yoga for men is cool

Life Is No Fairy Tale

The true beauty of a Princess is measured by her purity.

Snow White isn’t supposed to die in the opening scene.

The Handsome Prince is meant to be one of the good guys ~ he isn’t supposed to have an unseen silver dagger underneath his cloak.

Nowhere in the fairy tale does it say that the prince plunges the silver dagger into Snow White’s alabaster breast so that her crimson blood stains the purity of her dress and drips onto the green, green grass of the seven dwarfs’ garden.

The fairy tale does say that Snow White and the Handsome Prince will be linked together forever in broken dreams.  There is no way the Prince will ever be able to forget that he murdered the Fairy Princess he was supposed to love.

He did love her.

He will spend the rest of his life trying to forget her.

He will die trying.

At least the Wicked Witch Bitch will live happily ever after.

There never was a poisoned apple, that was just a story put about by the Seven Dwarfs.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

get your own silver dagger here

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