Tag Archives: The Girl Riding Shotgun

Homeless

Your destination isn’t a place, it’s a new way of seeing things.

Being on this long vacation takes me back to my working days.  In the later part of my career I travelled extensively; planes, trains, automobiles, and hotels were my life.  Often when I woke up in the morning I would have no idea where I was.  It could be anywhere from Newcastle to New York, and after a while all hotel rooms were the same.

Here in California I seem to be back in that old routine.

Packing my bags, checking the room to make certain I’ve left nothing behind, checking out of the hotel, and then on the road again.

And you know what?  It’s a miserable life.  It always made me feel homeless, and that’s exactly how I feel today.

Some say that travel broadens the mind.  And, that it’s better to travel hopefully than to arrive.  All I know is that it’s very nice to go travelling, but it’s so much nicer to travel home.

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Advertisements

Make a New Plan

Never let failure break your heart, tomorrow is another day.

There comes a time when one needs to close the book on the past.  Things have changed for me – or rather I have admitted to myself that the world has changed around me.  More than that, I have accepted that my whole world was nothing more than a fantasy of my own creation.  My innermost wants, needs, desires, lusts, and obsessions have turned out to be nothing more than a chimera.

Reality has set in, and accepting reality has been a painful experience for me.  I feel very much a complete failure.

For months I have been trying to maintain an illusion, and taking this vacation in California has shattered my illusions.  I have realised that I can never have the life I thought I wanted, that I can never have the relationship I thought I wanted and needed.  I have admitted to myself that I have been trying to change reality into a fairytale.

Trying again and again to change what is into what I want is insane.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  –  Einstein

Therefore, what I need is a new plan.

The snag is, I don’t have one.

The upside is, I have realised that I’m a the bottom of a deep hole, and it’s time to stop digging.  My Life may feel like utter hell right now, but I’ve been here before, and I know that I can find my way out of here.

All I need to do is work out where the road out of hell begins.

 –

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

 

The Girl Riding Shotgun

Sometimes, even the perfect passenger can be a totally dangerous pain in the ass.

When you’re driving at night, on roads you don’t know, in an unfamiliar vehicle, in heavy traffic, on the wrong side of the road – well right then there are some things you just don’t need.  You want all of your concentration devoted to the road – and not 90% of it used-up dealing with your opinionated, over-critical, smug, and uncaring friend.

It turns out that from time to time, after she’s had a little beer and wine, even the girl riding shotgun is a less than perfect passenger.

While a guy is driving, a reasonable passenger doesn’t:

  • Criticise and then turn off your music
  • Complain about the air conditioning – and then fuck-up the settings completely.
  • Complain about her seat and headrest, and then take off the headrest all together, and then complain about that.
  • Fiddle with the interior lighting, and totally fuck that up.
  • Continually tell you that you’re driving too fast / too slowly / too far from the car in front.
  • Continuously tell you that you’re too far to the left / too far to the right.
  • Turn off your sat-nav when you have no real idea where you are.
  • Give dangerous and reckless directions.
  • Talk loudly and continuously about things you sincerely wish she had never, ever, even mentioned.

It’s that kind of behaviour that causes accidents.  Distracted drivers kill people.

But then, most people who regularly drive on California Freeways are just accidents waiting to happen.

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Other than that she’s the passenger from Hell, I quite like ‘the girl riding shotgun’.

 

Vacation Time

It’s very nice to be able to afford to go travelling.

I’m just about ready and prepared for my next long vacation, which starts on this coming Thursday.

Today I booked a car to collect me at the garret, for 06:00 on Thursday March 15th, as my flight leaves from Newcastle upon Tyne airport at 09:30.  I then have layovers in London Heathrow, and San Jose International in Santa Clara County, before I eventually arrive at John Wayne airport in Orange County California at 20.32.

I’m renting a Toyota Rav4 at John Wayne, and then I have a shortish drive, so I expect to get to get to my accommodation sometime around 22:00.

If you add in the 8 hour time difference between England and California, that makes the journey exactly 24 hours.  Why does air travel always take so long?  Even if everything goes to plan?

Poor Marmaduke isn’t coming along on this trip ~ because when I looked at the layovers I decided I’d just take one carry-on bag.

Poor Marmaduke has been in tears since he found out.

I expect to be back in the garret on Wednesday April 18th ~ after another 24 hours of travelling.

I will be in touch while I’m away.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Road Trip

Some places can’t be discovered without getting lost.

~

~

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Scenes on Sunday ~ Wyoming Wilderness

The clearest way into your mind is through a wilderness.

~

~

~

~

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

all these pictures were taken with a compact Lumix by the girl riding shotgun.

Food on Friday ~ Booze

Alcohol gives you infinite patience for stupidity.

Some of you may be giving up alcohol for lent, or to lose weight, or to control your cholesterol ~ in which case here are some cool drinks you may well be missing out on.

Or, some of you may be determined to have a good time now that we are really in the deep dark depths of winter ~ in which case here are some cool drinks to help you get the party going.

Whatever, please drink responsibly. Don’t end up feeling as though you need to give up booze for good and all.

First this week, and bearing in mind that we have just had Valentine’s Day, San Diego girl Averie Sunshine offers us this very aloholic kiss on the lips cocktail.  Who could possibly say no?

Kiss On The Lips Cocktail

Continuing the St. Valentine’s Day theme, Tieghan Gerard from Half Baked Harvest offers us this delicious looking rose and ginger paloma.  Nice if you like tequila and roses ~ who doesn’t?

Rose and Ginger Paloma

I’m not certain I’d ever have tried this cocktail from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats, but having seen some of the things The Girl Riding Shotgun drinks I’m pretty certain that spicy blood orange beergaritas will find a few takers, at least in Orange County anyhow. Highly alcoholic.

Spicy Blood Orange Beergaritas

Another blood orange cocktail, this time from Andrea at Cooking With A Wallflower; blood orange vodka soda ~ or you could substitute tequila for the vodka, if you don’t like vodka.  This is just so easy, but please squeeze the fresh orange juice for yourself.

Blood Orange Vodka Soda

One of the things about booze is that it plays havoc with your cholesterol levels and the triglycerides in your blood.  This recipe for Mumbai mules from the Bojon Gourmet could help a little, as it contains cumin, which is good for you.

Image courtesy of Alanna Taylor Tobin | The Bojon Gourmet

Mumbai Mules

On a really cold winter’s day there’s not much better to come home to than a hot toddy.  Cookie + kate have a very easy recipe for a classic hot toddy ~ and you can make this as strong as you like.  Also, try making a hot toddy with dark rum for a completely different and interesting flavour.  My favourite was always Woods 100 Old Navy Rum.

Classic Hot Toddy

I like recipe collections, and I hope that you do too.  From the chi-chi Town and Country Magazine we have a collection of 21 winter cocktails to help you survive the cold.  From their collection I’ve chosen to feature a Porto Santo, which rivals a Long Island Iced Tea for a total booze-fest.  You could always get your guy to take you to the Island of Madeira to try your first Porto Santo cocktail.

Porto Santo

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I hope that you,

and all the great drinks’ mixers

featured this week

had a lovely St. Valentine’s Day.

 

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

~

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

~

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

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Scenes on Sunday ~ Burning Skies

Sky above me, the earth at my feet, the fire inside.

~

~

~

~

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

all pictures taken by

the girl riding shotgun

using a Panasonic Lumix

 

 

 

Scenes on Sunday ~ Monochrome Utah Skies

The sky is everywhere, it begins at your feet.

~

~

~

~

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

pictures all taken by

the girl riding shotgun

using a Panasonic Lumix

 

%d bloggers like this: