Tag Archives: The Girl Riding Shotgun

Monochrome Monday ~ Utah Couds

Grey skies are just clouds passing overhead.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

It’s a big country

 

Road Trip Eclipsed

If you’re always looking back, how can you see the road in front of you.

talking

and laughing

towns passing by

sharing quiet intimacy

marvelling at the scenery

enjoying long roads’ rhythms

discovering unknown real America

driving through the country no one sees

California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming

witnessing the marvel of a dark sun at noontime

knowing those uplifting moments will be long gone

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Marmaduke really likes road trips

and so do I

Scenes on Sunday ~ Dramatic Clouds

There are no rules of architecture for a castle built in the clouds.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I heard their evils sounds

as they all tried to clip my wings

and keep my feet back on the ground

I don’t care, I’ve already burned my bridges

so don’t even look for me, I won’t ever be around

So, my friend and I have really fallen out

Perhaps every friendship needs an argument just to see how stable it is.

A serious long-distance argument blew up with my Californian friend and I yesterday ~ or the day before depending upon which time-zone you’re in.  This disagreement was / is so profound that it may prevent me from taking a trip to New Mexico in November.  This dispute may be so serious that it will poison our relationship for good and all.

And yet, seemingly it’s all about nothing.

My friend likes watching far-out science fiction shows on Netflix.  Alone among my friend’s family so it seems does her adult nephew.

Ergo my friend announced that she and her nephew were going to have regular Friday evening TV sessions watching weird science fiction.

Somehow, to me, it seems uncomfortably unacceptable for her to regularly spend a lot of time alone with her young, married nephew on regular TV ‘dates’ in her home.  And, I made the mistake of telling my friend of my feelings.

She said; ‘…..So you think me and my nephew are weird…..  Is that what you’re saying?  That’s really sick…..’

And that’s where we’re at now.  Not talking with one another enough to sort anything out.

Perhaps what is odd and unacceptable to my generation of Englishmen is normal in California where the culture is totally different from here.  I still don’t like it.

Am I utterly and completely wrong?  You tell me ~ please.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

perhaps I’m doomed to for ever being alone and lonely

 

Adventures New

Embrace the daring adventure your life was supposed to be.

I like the sea and great beaches, particularly in the warm, blue Mediterranean.

Having recently returned from having a great time on the Mediterranean Island of Crete, (which has the longest history and the oldest civilisation in Europe), I decided it was time to look for a new adventure.

So, I’ve found a trip which involves an intensive ‘Wisdom Retreat’ with the catchy tag-line of From Chaos to Coherence ~ The Power To Thrive In Life Extremes.  This retreat is to be lead by the New Age author Gregg Braden, and takes place in the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa, in New Mexico.

The hotel looks great, and the circular pool looks fabulous.

I’ve never been to New Mexico, especially not to a place that’s a 5,280 foot high desert valley.  The pre-reading for this retreat includes lots of stuff about how to be comfortable and survive while I’m out in the desert…..  It all sounds adventurous, educational, and fun.

And, I wanted to see my friend in California again ~ better known as ‘The Girl Riding Shotgun.

Ergo, I’m flying out to Orange County to spend a few days on the Californian beaches, and then flying to Albuqureque, and driving to the Hyatt where the retreat is being held.

It might have been fun to take the 800 mile road trip from California to New Mexico, but this time that was just not going to work.  So, I’ll get to experience all the delights of American short-haul flying, probably in a puddle-jumper.

This trip is not for a while yet, and I am really looking forward t it.  I’ll tell you all about it when I get back.

The trip after this one to New Mexico?  Back to Turkey I think.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

After New Mexico ~ maybe Turkey again

 

Deal Me Again

If you’re weary of Mediterranean sunshine, you’re weary of life.

Heading home to England from Crete today.  Looks like that’s the last of my Mediterranean vacations for this year.  I think I’m having far too much time at home in the garret, and not enough time travelling, enjoying sunshine and good weather, exploring interesting new places, and generally relaxing.

In the rest of this year I only have one more trip organised, (mostly organised).  In November ‘the girl riding shotgun’ and I are going to New Mexico, principally to attend a 4 day retreat lead by Gregg Braden and Dr. Bruce Lipton.  I am adding a couple of days in Albuquerque to that trip, and I will by flying in and out of Orange County in SoCal from the UK.  So maybe a couple of weeks vacationing in all.

I would take a cruise over the Christmas Holidays – if I could find a cool travelling companion to go with me…..  Although I don’t object to being a solitary traveller, I really do think you need to be with someone, if you’re taking a cruise – maybe especially over the festive season.

So, I need to re-prioritise my life; spend more time being in the sun on vacation, spend more time planning and arranging vacations, put more effort into finding that ideal travelling companion, and spend much, much less time being miserable in the garret during  the cold, dull, miserable English Autumn and winter.  And, I need to continue my worthy studies into philosophy, psychology, and the Meaning of Life – especially when I am on vacation.

Some say that life can’t be all about having fun, that we have to suffer in order to fully enjoy the ‘beer and skittles’.  And, that into each life a little rain must fall.  All I know is that I’ve suffered my fair share of fucking damn downpours.

It’s time to reshuffle the deck and deal myself another sunshine Mediterranean vacation.

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Sunshine and a great pool, what more could a guy want other than a pretty woman?

Monochrome Monday ~ California

Got on board a west bound 747, it never rains in Southern California.

But man don’t they warn you, man it pours, man it pours.  England is my home, I want to go home, I want to go home, where it rains but it never pours.  And, they say it never rains in Southern California.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Southern California is a cool place to be.

Pictures taken by The Girl Riding Shotgun.

Confessions and Mistakes

How many bad decisions seemed like a good idea at the time?

Over the years I’ve made some really bad decisions.  From time to time I got angry and subsequently did some reprehensible things I now regret.   I have reacted with nasty spite when I should have stayed calm, and I’ve felt resentful for no good reason, which usually turned me into a dangerous Mr. Hyde or a rabid black dog.

And when he was good he was very, very good,  but when he was bad he was horrid.  ~  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Not every time things went badly pear-shaped was my fault.  Not every person I’ve hurt was an innocent bystander.  Some of the people I’ve had uncharitable thoughts about actually deserved my condemnation.  And there have been some people I wouldn’t cross the road to spit on.  But, and here’s the thing, all the time I was an angry, judgemental, resentful, dangerous bastard person, I was still suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, and / or, Bipolar Disorder.  I was always afraid, and I was always running away.

Add the whole lot together, all the anger, resentments, mental illness, and it’s not surprising that I used to be hypercritical, lacking in understanding, and totally unwilling to accept anyone who didn’t measure up to my warped standards.  It’s not surprising that from time to time I could hurt the ones I love.  Sometimes the only things I was good at was causing pain and heartache.

It only takes one word to hurt a woman, a matter of seconds, one stupid, impatient sting of the whip.  But winning back her trust takes years.  And sometimes there isn’t the time.  ~  Nina George

I have actually made a list of all the people I believe I have hurt over the years, (that’s the difficult step 8 in 12 step programmes), and thought about the what, why, when, how, where, and if of making amends to those people.  Of my original list I’ve crossed off some names, because I’m not a saint, so I’m not making amends to everyone I’ve wronged.  And, I’ve underlined some other names, of women I really do need to make immediate, meaningful, and lasting amends to.  (my Goddess Aphrodite and The Girl Riding Shotgun spring to mind.)  But as the quote from Nina George says, sometimes rebuilding trusting relationships takes years.

I have spoken in haste too often, spoken from negative and dark emotions too often, and been thoughtless too often.  But, the recent paradigm shift that I experienced from being way outside of my comfort zone for a week should mean that I don’t make those enraged mistakes again.

Some say there is no such thing as a mistake or a bad decision.  And that the consequences of a really bad decision are a learning opportunity.  All I know is that if I go off the rails there is going to be a painful disaster, and someone will get hurt ~usually including me.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Nobody likes to be with a dangerous jerk.

Be that guy, and be alone in the dark.

The Fastest Car In The World

Some days you don’t want to be just a number anymore.

The Lotus / Caterham 7 is the fastest A to B car in the world.  Nine times out of ten a well-sorted 7 will get you to a destination a couple of hundred miles away even faster than a powerful motorcycle.  The only car that can come close to a 7 is a Porsche 911, but take one of those on an LA freeway and the gaps in traffic just aren’t big enough to make real progress ~ without you getting killed or caught.

A Lotus / Caterham Seven is SMALL.  You don’t turn the steering wheel, press the gas pedal, or reach down to change gear ~ you think the little car into gaps in traffic.  By the time you have had a conscious thought you are already a few hundred yards down the road.  A Seven is an extension of your mind, not an extension of your body ~ and for a guy a 7 is not an extension of your penis like a Porsche.

Both a Porsche and a well-sorted 7 will get you from rest to 60 miles and hour in a little under 4 seconds, but in any car other than a Seven you will need an open road, free of traffic, to make the most of that car’s savage acceleration.  In a Lotus / Caterham 7 you can just about ignore traffic ~ if you are brave enough, and if you are good enough.  And, you have no business sitting in the driver’s seat of a seven if you are not brave.

I don’t mean stupidly brave like motorcycle owners who are always just one tiny mistake from serious injury, or death.  Transplant surgeons love it when it rains, because they know there will be a motorcycle accident and they they will have some spare parts soon.

Brave in a Lotus / Caterham 7 means being who you truly are, embracing freedom, throwing away your ‘stand-in-line’ mentality, and becoming one with the moment.

Many women will not sit in the passenger seat of a Seven more than once.  They find the entire experience too visceral, too powerfully emotive, too fucking damn frightening.  Finding a girl to ride shotgun on a long road trip in a Seven isn’t an easy thing to do ~ but then what real man wants the first women they meet at a bar?  If you drive a Seven it’s going to take patience and time to find The Girl Riding Shotgun.

Anyway, if you are a real man you will have built your Seven yourself, and that takes time and patience too.  And if you drive hard, with the top down, (which is the only true way to drive a 7), then she can’t talk with you anyway~ it’s just too damn noisy.  The harsh bark of the side exhaust is overpowered by the flat roar from the Weber carburettors.  There is wind noise around the side-screens, tyre roar, and probably transmission whine.

There are some other things about a 7 most ordinary women don’t like.  It’s tiny, she’s sitting with her ass less than a foot from the road underneath, her hair is going to get blown about, every time you reach down to change gears you’re going to touch her leg, there’s limited luggage space, and when she gets out she’s got to be fucking damn careful not to burn her leg on the side exhaust, (if you’re driving a European spec car).

But real women, women who are not afraid of their own feelings will love a Caterham / Lotus 7.

Some say that they’re not a number, that they are a free man.  And, that they will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, numbered, and made to stand in line.  All I know is that of you drive a Seven you can do anything, as long as it’s what you want.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Me and my Seven.

Scenes on Sunday ~ Rock Stacks II

Every man is a builder who stacks one rock on top of another.

There is an urge, a dream, a desire in all of us to leave a mark behind for posterity, even if it’s just a small stack of rocks by the sea.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Marmaduke’s paws are not made for building rock stacks, but he likes rocks

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