Category Archives: Travel

An Englishman in New York

if you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere

Back in the day I spent a lot of time in New York.  Why?  It’s where the money is.

Some say you haven’t lived until you’ve died in New York.  And that somewhere between living and dreaming there lies New York.  All I know is that New York may be the city that never sleeps, but it certainly sleeps around.

Please listen with care ~ The Big Apple can be dangerous to the unwary.

~

 

some sights you just have to see

to get around New York, rent a limousine

Scenes on Sunday ~ Zion

you cannot describe Zion, you can only experience it

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

get the girl riding shotgun to take the cool pictures while you do the driving

Stress #5 ~ Getting Out

that’s why I drink ~ escaping from the real world

Some situations you can find yourself in are uncomfortable, painful, difficult, dangerous, intolerable.  It might be work, family, marriage, living with someone, romance, an affair, a stalker…..  It could be as bad as gaslighting, where you are being psychologically manipulated so much as to doubt your own sanity.  Or you could be verbally and physically abused, bullied, threatened, and deeply hurt.

I myself was once bullied at work by my director, aka the Ginger Bitch, she was a woman and I was a very senior and very successful executive.  It made going in to work at all an immensely stressful thing, it kept me awake at nights, and I started drinking far too much.  Drinking too much is only a temporary escape.  For a while I fantasized about pushing her into traffic on a very busy London road, decided that wasn’t a good plan.  So, I did the only sensible thing I could, and left that job, got myself out of there, escaped.

If you are in an intolerable situation, then the most sensible thing you can do is leave, get out, escape, leave town, change all your numbers and email addresses…..

And this is where it will get heartbreaking for you.  Leaving home is a momentous decision you will shy away from making, put off for as long as possible.  You would rather live in misery than make the irreversible decision to leave your abuser.  Before that you will try all kinds of other ways to escape; booze, drugs, an affair, promiscuity, vacations on your own with all of the aforementioned.

It’s no good, eventually for your own safety and sanity you will have to leave.  Before that you need to prepare;

  • tell nobody of your plans, not family nor friends
  • stash away a lot of cash in a place known only to you
  • if you can find a place, say a storage unit, then stash away clothes, shoes, utensils, and anything else you might need in your new life
  • get a new cell, new email id, new internet provider, new tablet
  • decide where you are going to go, not to your family nor friends because your abuser will find you there ~ a woman’s refuge in another town is good
  • leave home when your abuser is at work, at a bar, with their whore, vanish, disappear, tell no one or your abuser will find you
  • buy a different car, preferably a van, pick up your stuff, and drive, keep to all the traffic laws, drive a long way in an unexpected direction

Sadly it might be more complicated than that.  You may have kids in tow, you might be reported to the police as anything from a missing person to a kidnapper of your own children, you have no job so you might go broke fast, if you tell a relative where you are then your abuser will find you.  Tell nobody, and I mean nobody where you are; send a postcard from another state to tell people that you are safe.

Some say that escaping is easy, it’s found at the bottom of a bottle of booze.  And that things are bound to get better soon.  All I know is that escaping takes bravery, determination, and a shed load of preparation.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

just think how good freedom will feel

The Electric Car Chimera

a thing which is hoped for but is illusory and impossible to achieve

Tesla Model S ~ from £81,200.00

Whenever the political establishment gets involved in anything to do with transport they fuck it up in a big way.  The latest monumental fuck-up by the British Government is to propose to ban sales of all new diesel, petrol, and hybrid cars from 2035.  This is in an attempt to meet a carbon-neutral target, which in itself is pointless as it’s designed to tackle the non-existent problem of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change, (man-made global warming).

You heard right, in the UK from 2035 you will only be able to buy a plug-in electric car.  This is going to be the most monumental disaster to hit Great Britain since WWII.

There are 32.5 million cars on the road in Britain today, of which less than 40,000 all electric cars were sold in 2019.  Leaving aside the myriad of other problems to do with electric vehicles and consider instead the issue of charging these damn white elephants.

Currently there are only 15,500 public charging points for electric cars in the UK.  Assuming that lots of people will want to charge their electric car when they are at work, shopping, and doing what we are wont to call living a normal life, then maybe another 20 or 25 million charging points will be needed.  These charging points are damn expensive, to install one means digging up the road, laying cables, and connecting to the local electricity network.  If this is to work at all it means the next 15 years will see British roads dug up like never before ~ how much carbon will all those diesel trucks, backhoes, road rollers, compressors et al produce?  How much disruption is there going to be?  We don’t have enough of all that stuff anyway.

It’s actually much, much worse than that.  Everyone gets home at night, and the first thing they do is plug their electric car into their home charging point, and the local electrical grid collapses because it’s not designed or built to take that kind of load on top of everything else.  So we fix that at vast expense and more digging up of roads.

That just pushes the problem up the chain until it hits the National Grid, which will collapse because it’s not designed or built to take that huge additional load.  So we fix that.  And every power station in the country trips out, and there is no electricity at all, across all of the UK.

To fix that we would have to build another 20 gigawatts of generating capacity, and that’s doubling the amount of all the electricity generated in the UK, and it will have to be instantly available electricity, which rules out wind and solar power.  It will have to be 20 gigawatts of nuclear and fossil fuel power.  It’s back to coal and oil again.

It’s madness.

Some say this is our last chance to save the planet.  And we should all be green, clean, and carbon neutral.  All I know is that the sky isn’t falling.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

there is no viable substitute for coal

Non PC Limerick

there is something about a train journey that makes it into adventure

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there was a young man from Darjeeling

who went on a train up to Ealing

a note on the door

said don’t spit on the floor

so he carefully spat on the ceiling

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the romance of steam

Scenes on Sunday ~ St. George, Utah

be steadfast in all your ways

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the best Japanese steakhouse in St. George

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I was intrigued because

St. George is also the patron saint of England

Scenes on Sunday ~ California Road Trip

the life you have led doesn’t need to be the only life you have

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

sometimes, only a convertible Mustang will do, with a very cute girl riding shotgun

Long-Distance Love Affairs

love knows no time, love knows no distance

Until very recently,  in historical terms in the blink of an eye, you were likely to love and marry someone from your own village / town / county / state, after all these were the  only people you were ever likely to meet.  Then came reliable mail, and I’m talking paper and the mailman here, together with the widespread use of the telephone, and people started to have pen-pals, and fall in love with them.

Fast forward to the late 20th century and we have instant emails, and now video chat, and it becomes perfectly possible to develop a deep and meaningful relationship with someone you have never actually met, who lives a couple of thousand miles away, or on the other side of the world.  Add in blogs, Facebook, Instagram, tumblr, and sundry chat / dating / sex sites and the potential for a long-distance love affair is as good as meeting the boy / girl next door.

But, all you have is electronic, and you can’t actually have sex with an electronic person…..  and I’m  not going into the esoteric and erotic world of remotely controlled sex toys.

How can you actually be friends with someone you have never met, and know only through their blog, and some emails, and online chats?  It turns out that it’s very easy, maybe easier than meeting someone from the office, or in a bar, or a friend of a friend.  To begin with if you meet someone online you are both starting with a clean slate, and there are no interfering family members or other friends to get in the way.  Also, and in my experience, it’s much much easier to be completely honest and open with someone you meet online than it is with someone you meet in any other way.  Perhaps most importantly, for women thinking of being online friends with a guy, he isn’t going to be a stranger expecting first date sex.

The bottom line is, your long-distance friend might just be the best friend you’ve ever had.

However, leaving aside the whole sex thing for now, there are a few downsides in an online long-distance relationship.

  • Time zones.  If you’re in California and he’s in England he is 8 hours ahead of you.
  • Identity.  Are you talking with who you think you are?  Who you think is a cute 30 years old woman in California might be a fat trucker from Detroit.
  • Marital status.  She may say she’s single, or he may say he’s divorced, but both of them could be married with kids.
  • Honesty.  It’s easy to lie if you are 5,000 miles apart, how do you check the truth?
  • Meeting.  That first meeting could be fraught, you will be nervous, it might never happen.  But that is no different from having a blind date.

It’s an on line relationship, so use the internet to your advantage.  Google the object of your affections is a good start.  You know the rest.

Some might say that it’s difficult to have a relationship if you’re a couple of thousand miles apart.  And, how can you have a love affair if you hardly ever see one-another?  All I know is that it happens all the time.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

at least she’s a woman

and not a trucker from Detroit

 

Christmas Fun ~ The Pretenders

Christmas is the day that holds all time together.

For the first time since he died, this morning I had a fond memory of my father, from very long ago.  It seems that Christmas transcends time and distance.

This song is another memory from long ago, something that would be played in my car on the long drive north from London to a little pit village in County Durham.

Please listen thinking of those far away this Christmas.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

for the girl riding shotgun

who will be far away this Christmas

Christmas is a Future Thing

Christmas is forever, not just for one day.

Aside from the whole birth of Jesus Christ thing a couple of thousand years ago, around dawn at some stable in the middle of the desert, why should Christmas Day be different from any other day in the calendar?  Maybe we feel we should be especially nice to people, be more giving and forgiving, be more loving towards ourselves and others?  Perhaps it’s the one day in the year we think of, email, telephone, or visit friends, relatives, or loved ones we haven’t thought of or seen since last Christmas.  Perhaps Christmas Day is the day that our heart breaks all over again.

Some people look forward to Christmas, thinking that the day will bring them the happiness they so want and need.  Trust me, looking for happiness in the future is a short road to misery ~ even believing that you will be happier at Christmas than the unhappiness you’ve suffered for the rest of this year might not be your best ever plan.

One result of trying to find happiness in the future is that we can wish our lives away, believing the future will be better than now.  There are some basic rules; nothing ever changes, the only thing we can change is ourselves, and tomorrow will pretty much be the same as today.

There are some supplementary rules, one of which is that travel over the Christmas holidays is going to be fucking terrible.  Flights will be packed and delayed, trains will be cancelled, and the roads will be full of Sunday drivers who have no idea how to cope if it even so much as rains.  And if it snows…..

My 5th or 6th worst memory of a Christmas is trying to drive the 300 miles from London to Durham, on Christmas Eve, in a blizzard.  That annual journey was one of the reasons I never looked forward with pleasure to Christmas.  It grew so that I dreaded Christmas Eve.

And yet, around midnight, I still searched the night sky, hoping to see the magic of Santa.

Christmas changes everyone and everything.  Christmas changes our memories of the past, our attitudes in the present, and our expectations for the future.  We each of us hope for a brighter Christmas and a better New Year.  So, Hallelujah ~ Noel ~ Be it Heaven or Hell, the Christmas we get we deserve.

Some say that Christmas has become too commercialised.  And there is no such person as Santa Claus, magical or otherwise.  All I know is that I have a friend who leaves a carrot out for his donkey and a glass of tequila for him.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

how will Santa cope when there are moms on the moon?

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