Long Time Gone

As evidence might suggest: I've been gone for quite some time. This blog fell into a bit of disuse but I'm hoping to rectify that in the New Year.

Part of me wonders what I should include in these scrawlings now. I'm in and out of Canada on the regular so the name doesn't really make sense, I'm not interesting enough to warrant telling the common folk what I did in my day-to-day, and I don't care to be labelled as a someone who painstakingly labours over their food so that they can garner the praise of the internet. 

Or maybe I am.

In fact, it seems that Canada might very well be my permanent residence soon enough. After almost ten years (with me actually having lived there for about seven of 'em) I've finally decided to make Canada the place I want to stay. It's a truly wonderful place that I've seen about 0.00003% of and I'm probably being generous with that figure. From the breathtaking geography of the west to the subdued simplicity of the Prairies, to the populous and diverse Ontario, the culturally rich Quebec and on to the Maritimes which I know nothing about and that excites me! One day I shall get my derrière to that beautiful part of the country.

But I suppose that's it. I always say that I've got all this time in the world but I don't. That's not a mention of the stark realisation of mortality but an 'Oh heck! There's so many places I'd like to go' kind of deal.

Ma che cozz’u fai?!
Which does lead me to suitable segue! I did do myself a bit of travelling this year. I left the idyllic lands of Canada in the springtime to fly to Italy for a wedding. It was the union of two very lovely people who I've had the pleasure of knowing for 10 years. I did learn from my mistakes about driving in Rome and driving in Italy generally. The long and short of it is - don't do it. Good grief. All the stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason! Every time a car drove I would do the stereotypical hand gesture as you can see to your left here. I'd like to address a scientific notion of Italians driving and the speed of light. If there's a chance of us ever achieving a speed faster than then it will definitely be by the Italians.

The town, Conversano, was gorgeous! It's a very old, rustic part of the country that's main focus is Conversano Castle. In fact, that's where I stayed! Mother of mercy, it was wonderful. Tragically I did sleep a lot there as I wasn't feeling the best on account of the travel and also lack of eating. I did devour a plateful of cherries upon my arrival. That was perhaps the 3rd best thing I accomplished when I was in Italy.

I could bore you with details of the wedding but I won't. I'll summarise in 20 words or less. It was a divine experience to be involved with. Wedding was delish, people were great. Love was all around us. There we go! I think that's a bloody good summary.

Then some bad stuff happened and I missed a train that in turn made me miss a flight and I had to stay at the airport and get all sweaty and unhappy with TD bank. But on the bright side - THE BLOODY CHEESE WAS FANTASTIC. More about this and more in a later exposé! Hoo boy!

As a reward for my pain and suffering in Italy, I headed to the Netherlands. A place that I'd often talked about with fond gusto but had, in fact, never visited. All the woes and unpleasantness of Italy and me being lazy in terms of trying to speak Italian - I did converse reasonably well with an Italian gent in a car park. All I was asking was "Dov'è la Banca. per favore?" (where is the bank, please?) but don't let that detract from my polyglottism - was washed away within mere seconds of me touching down in the Netherlands. It truly was a country made for me! Cheese, beer, tulips, orange, canals, tall women, cheese, reclaimed land. It was all there! And I loved it. I will return as I feel like I was very focused on both avoiding and sneakily stealing a sniff of the coffee shops.

In between then and now there was also a summer camp which was pretty fun. I got to work in a role that I was pretty familiar with and that was enjoyable. There were new challenges and new capacities to fill this year as opposed to 2015 which was exceptionally pleasant. The folks I worked with intimately with were as good as good can be. I do hope to see a wonderous percentage of them return in 2018.

So, I suppose, that would bring you up to date to now. I've not done a real bunch more. I did sample some amazing ciders in Seattle, see the sea in San Fran, get asked by Willy Wonka and Edward Scissorhands impressionists to take a picture of them, and then celebrate Veteran's Day with an actual veteran. It's a very interesting ability of the brain to remember all the decent things that've happened to you. Even more peculiar that some people want to share those memories.

Well seeing as it's now 2 days until the New Year, I'd like to make a little resolution as it were. This year of 2017 was pretty lacklustre in terms of me adding to this. In fact, the only reason that I decided to do this post was so that the '2017' dropdown menu on the right wouldn't appear empty. The last 2 to 3 years have been pretty vacant as a whole and I really would like to remedy that. I don't want to treat this as a livejournal (some of you are too young) or a twitter (some of you are too ridiculous) but I would like to record a little bit more of my life. Online. Yeah, I see the stupidity in that but I don't think I've ever included anything scandalous in these posts.

Here's hoping that 2017 wraps up nicely for you and that 2018 has some wonderfully fresh and fantastic opportunities waiting for you. I may live to regret those words but only time will tell, I'm thinking.

Oh yeah, I forgot I add little videos at the end of the posts to reflect the title post! I'll admit that ELO is definitely not my favourite band. I don't think I could name 5 more songs of their repertoire but I do like this song. It has a distinctly George Harrison c.Wilbury feel to it and I'm okay with that. And I hope you are too! Enjoy!

† I barely suffered and Italy was good enough. I was just knackered! Thanks Italy. Thitaly.

Feel It All Around

I wouldn't expect anyone to still be checking this blog out. But the statistics tell me that there are still people who do. Nobody of note, mind you. It's usually misdirection from 'flowers toronto' 'these flowers in the dirt' (Paul McCartney album this blog is named after) or, surprisingly 'russian singles toronto'. I really can't complain about the last one.

As it has been so long since I updated, I needed to go back and checkout where I last left everyone. Seems I had just started a new job. Fantastic! Well as it goes I am still doing that job. It has the same tribulations as every job does. One thing I'm beginning to understand is that kids are pretty great. Not to say that I would like any of my own but other people's kids are often hilarious. It's very exciting to see kids desiring knowledge. It definitely takes a certain kind of person to deal with kids day in, day out. Thanks teachers. I never thought I'd say that but here we are.

Travel wise... well I've been fairly stagnant. I did travel to Ottawa in October. It was a blast but I wish I could have spent longer there. The only other times I've been to Ottawa were for passport reasons so it was nice to have a non-passport reason to go there. I suppose the other big travel I've undertaken this year was going back to Australia for Christmas. So far that little venture is going well. Cricket, beer, and flesh melting sun. I forgot what it was all about over here! (and people hating Muslims)

Overall I'm pretty happy. This year I will be turning 30. Bloody hell. I never thought I'd see the day. I feel the warm glow of the societal expectations searchlight being shone over me every day. I pointed it out before - it takes a certain of person to take care of a kid. It's just not for me at this current juncture in my life. Not that I'm picturing myself as some sort of transient, wanderlust struck person forever. No, that's not my ethos in life but rather a story for another day.

Something I'd like to start doing in the relatively near future is writing in a diary. I've probably spruiked that kind of ridiculous notion in years gone by but I'm actually a bit more serious about it this year. I'm rather envious of people who are able to catalogue their thoughts in a well organised way. Reading back on a lot of these posts gives me a headache. I've always accused myself of writing like I talk and I especially hate the way that I talk. In any case I'd best get on it while the year is still young!

Usually I wouldn't even mention celebrities passings on here but this is one that struck me a little deeper than others. I feel like it would be a waste of time to attempt a sentence of how amazingly talented David Bowie was. It seems like he has always been a presence in my life. Musically, theatrically, and even present in a video game that a 13 year old me did not quite grasp. Much like a candle the light has just been extinguished. Nothing in between. I think it's definitely a well intentioned spotlight on his music as we see many people posting 'RIP Bowie' on various social media. Perhaps this will spurn the lacklustre musical scene of this day and age. Or probably not.

Hopefully this year doesn't hold too many other surprises. I want to increase my travel, I want to be kinder to people, I'd like to increase my level of fitness, and I'd like to cook more. Being back home has given me some opportunities I might not have had back in Ontario. No slight on them but it's almost as if I feel like I have to cook here. It's great. I used to own a little book where I'd write recipes that I'd tried and enjoyed. I'd also cut the recipes out of the front page of The Times back in the UK. I must have had about 30 clippings. Sadly, I never got to making half of them. Wonder where that book went to.

This song might be familiar to a lot of you. It's the theme song from Portlandia. I'd say it's definitely a different direction from all the music that I've listened to recently. I'd never even heard of chillwave before I investigated this song. I'm not sure what 'it' is but the location of it is everywhere. So please enjoy this song!

Until next year!
(but hopefully not)

It's Late

Hah! Remember when I used to update this blog regularly? Oh, no? You either? Yeah, I don't.

But you know what? My life has been blessed to have been transformed. I say that because whatever it was that I had planned for myself has gone massive astray. Last time I updated this ridiculous thing I was in the kitchen and kind of hating my life. Since then I have strayed out to the wild outdoors. Did you know there's a bunch of trees out there that have different names? Every time I see a tree now, I reach for my book and describe that tree before it even had a chance to drop a leaf! Hooray!

So what else did I accomplish in those 612 days? The ones where I left you to act upon your own wreck and ruin? Well you know what? A lot. I left the kitchen of Camp Muskoka and it was possibly the best decision I have made. Not that I begrudge the kitchen at all but I just wanted to be out with the kids and the teachers. I wanted to be part of the Outdoor Education team. And, as quick as you like, I was part of that team!

But for only the briefest of times! I was then transported in to the delightful world of summer camp. I went from feeling very apprehensive around the kids to being quite comfortable. It was a very delightful experience. It was amazing to watch the less socially inclined kids blossom. The ones that already had a social presence were a blessing to watch. For two months I felt like I didn't have to work. I got to have fun for those 60ish days.

Now what I'm doing is more education based. A majority of the kids come from Toronto and we have to educate them about the outdoors. It's fascinating how much and how little the kids know about their outdoors. Everything I know about Ontario I've learnt on the job. It's great. I can not go to bed and not feel awesome about how much OR even how little the kids know. They are really great. Sure, there are hiccups with kids but that's what makes it all that much more interesting. I will not forget one line of this. I even keep a little log of the schools that come in. It's fantastic. Being able to impart knowledge on young minds is amazing.

Since the last update I haven't really done a whole lot. I did travel to Philadelphia. For 13 hours. That was great. The bus rides were longer than the actual time spent in the city but the occasion was pretty auspicious. I was pretty pleased with how that went. Must go back there one day and drink all the beer that I can.

Ah, yes. I also travelled to the UK. I had grand plans but ended up running out of money and had the weather against me. Flooding over there is pretty prevalent and caused a lot of my trains to be cancelled or unfortunately rescheduled to an inconvenient time. I had a blast though. I got to see my friends, people that I cared about and visit some old haunts. At the same time I reinforced why I did not live there any more. All in due time, I suppose. There's going to be an older version of me ruing some of the events of my life. Hooray.

That's about it, guys. I know that is a pretty underwhelming return but I hope that it is one that sparks my return. I figure that 2015 will have more updates. Just to let people know what I'm up to or where I am. It's hard being as transient as I am, ha!

In continuing the tradition I have of posting the music to go along with the title, here it is! It's Queen again. I have been in a very nostalgic mood for Queen recently. I look at my tattoo quite often and think about how big a part of my life this band has been. I've kept all good company.


Their Hearts Were Full of Spring

It ain't half hot, mum! The temptation that spring is indeed around the corner is just unbearable. Supposedly we're due for more snow tonight and I'm torn between what I want. I love snow but I also love not snow! Aieee! Please help me, meteorologists!

Just to let everyone know that from now on I'm not going to apologise for the lapse in time. I'll update when I want to and not preform to a circus! I've had enough! You are all not the collective bosses of me. Except me actual boss. He currently is.

What has happened since last update? I've moved back to Canada for a bit. I enjoy the familiarity and also the snow. For a person who comes from a country with a ridiculous climate, I do find it incredibly laughable that I enjoy the snow. Still it is receding. The normal ground is showing and the bleak reality that is summer approaches. The leaves reappear, the ground turns a reminiscent hue covered with wood chips and the fauna decide to return to the air. There's nothing worse than mosquitos or black flies in Canada. Not one thing. Erk.

My plans so far are: stick it out where I am until September, slide along west to Alberta to meet up with a very old, very dear friend and then, if funds permit, to slide over to the United Kingdom as a somewhat of a 'farewell' tour (as much as one can have at what will almost be 28) with stops definitely in Manchester, London and any stockists of real ale! Hooray! I must point out that at this time everything concerning England is still somewhat in the planning stage. But sally forth I must!

Aside from all that, I must start up my photography again. There's only so many snowbanks you can photograph in an artistic way. Summer, please fill me with your aesthetic delights!

Until next time I'm updating this blog: please enjoy this song by The Four Freshmen. I don't actually own this song but I have enjoyed a cover by The Beach Boys (I was going to include a link to this but apparently Mike Love has been on the trawl and removed any trace of it! Curses!). Listen to them vocals, son!

Keep safe everyone!

Poor Poor Pitiful Me

Poor Poor Pitiful Me
Seems like I did it again, eh? I'm becoming worse and worse at this with age. I'll blame that this time. I've done it with everything else so why not age? I'm back, I guess. I lied big time, didn't I? I said that I was going to be back sooner than this but I lead you all on. I have no recourse for this action. I am hoping that this picture of me looking like an A-class simpleton will help ease the pain and anguish I've caused!

However, as usual, I digress! I'm trying to pull the brain cells together to figure where I left you last in this cliff hanger of a blog. Hmmm. It seems that I promised to be back sooner than I was last time and that I was still in Australia.

So I guess the first thing I need to address is definitely my difference in geography. No longer do I reside in the Commonwealth of Australia. No, no. I have moved 17,262 kilometres to the East. I'm now in the United States. Yes, again. After the United States I am heading off to Canada. Yes, again! But this time I hope to at least adventure more. Pretty sure I've said that before too.  Maybe people could remind me this time?

I figure that's all I'll post for this time. I know it seems like I'm not relishing the idea of blog but I promise to take better care of this. My life was definitely more exciting. It kind of feels like the last rites are being read for this ol' thing.

Never fear for me! Have some Warren Zevon instead. This little track comes all the way from his 1976 album Warren Zevon. Linda Ronstadt also had a hit with this song but who cares. You can find it here on Amazon, there over at Google Play or even with iTunes if you're that way inclined. I ain't judging.

For now, adieu.

All Grown Up

It has happened again. What a terrible blog person I am! If this blog were a child... well I'd probably have been arrested due to my neglect of the childblog.

FORTUNATELY I have seen the ways of my error and am here to beg you all to forgive me. Alright. Mum, will you forgive me for not updating this blog? PLEASE. Hey, I gotta be realistic, y'know.

Last time I updated this shindiggery I was celebrating my uterian escape (birthday) and everything was well. Or well enough for me to lie about. Since then I've continued working and saving. That's about it. Not really all that exciting. I guess I have eaten some pretty good pizzas since then. Man, oh man. I could write literature to spell bind the future about pizzas. Why're they so good?

So having fumbled through my apologies and statement of Certified Blogging, I will bring you up to date with my travel plans. At this point in time it seems that I will, once again, be leaving Australia on December 7th. This time for an undetermined amount of time. Not to imply that last time I knew that I was going to be away for four years but I really had no idea that my sojourn would indeed extend that long. Having a rough idea of the plans I was keen on undertaking did me well. I think this time I'm rather a bit more excited to stay in Canada. I'm not overly sure where I'm going to call home. I'd like to enter Canada through Ontario but after that I can't say with any strong authority where I might head to. Alberta? Who knows.

I think this time I'm planning just a little bit better too. Not that I was blindsided on my last trip but having travelled just a little bit more, I think I've got a clearer idea of what travelling entails. Ideally I'd like leave my rather large backpack here and see if I can acquire a smaller one. 40 litres seems a little more appropriate for me.

I feel like I've become a little more mature. Maybe. Maybe not. I don't know if there's a specific scale to determine it but I do get the sense that I have hit a point in my life where I need to shape up or, potentially more to my liking, ship out. I do know what I want OR have a vague semblance of it. I initially detested my time in Australia but, having given it a little bit more thought, in reality this has been quite beneficial for me. Kind of a recharge. So... thanks, Australia. Thaustralia.

Might go away now and cook some leeks up. I love leeks. Kind of makes me want to be Welsh. I can only wish, eh?
The song today is fairly indicative of how I feel at the moment - All Grown Up. I don't exactly hate all the people that I used to adore. Well... maybe a little. But not too much. It's another Elvis Costello song but you're all really going to have to get used to that! Check out Mighty Like a Rose. You really, really, really, really won't regret it!

Well, cheerio. See you in another two months! (not really)


I really, really, really couldn't have featured a more predictable title for this inclusion. I feel a little bit embarrassed. All the other birthday related songs on Youtube were either somewhat saddeningunbearably morose, Delia Derbyshire (much love and respect) or probably not appropriate. No matter how much I love Conway Twitty, I just can't handle him calling me darling one more time.

Now that I'm 26 I wonder if I will magically get a life compass. Will I figure out what I want to do with myself? Even if I don't I really should be appreciative of what I accomplished while I was away. Four years is really nothing to snort at. I never really anticipated staying away from as long as I did. Two birthdays in England, two in the United States. And now twenty two in Australia.

I had a pleasant day yesterday. I woke up fairly early and did the 21st century routine - Facebook, twitter, tumblr, gmail. And I felt bad for it because I was simply skimming to see if anyone had said "Happy Birthday!". Given that a good 60% of my friends are in England/Canada/the U.S, it was somewhat of a forlorn attempt at boosting my ego. It wouldn't be my birthday for another half a day. Bother.

After I had decided it was time enough to get up, I was greeted with a cup of tea and a rather boisterous "Happy Birthday!" from mum and dad. Mum had purchased my present a couple of days before with my consent so I knew what I was getting. Still it was exciting enough to elicit a giggle of excitment from me. I'm now the proud owner of a Leatherman! Unfortunately it has a name yet. Everyone needs to name their multi-tools! All in good time I suppose.

Then tragedy struck. I began to feel rather lethargic and upset. My throat was starting to tickle, my eyes became incredibly itchy and my nose became home to what felt like the world's only supply of cotton buds. I had been hit with hay fever before but this was ridiculous. Of all the days that my body could decide to harass me! The nerve of it!

To battle this affliction I decided to go to bed and sleep it away. At this time I discovered headaches really hurt and that made me go to sleep a lot quicker. What I wouldn't have done for either a bottle of Laphroiag or just a whole load of Vallium. Yummo. I did eventually nod off and it was most pleasant. When I awoke the headache was still there but, unbeknownst to me, in somewhat of a dormant state.

I had mentioned to mum about going out for some food but wasn't quite sure on what I felt like. Although I guess it was always going to be Indian. There really is no other food I enjoy more than Indian. During my absence the number of Indian restaurants in Rockingham seemingly doubled. There's also one just down the road from where I live claiming to a "Neaplese" restaurant. Even the website goes with that spelling. How kitschy. In any case I decided upon Spices on Ocean. With a name like that it kind of reminded me of all the quaint English villages I used to visit. The meals were superb and, appropriately, I was in bed by 10pm. Can't say fairer than that for a 26 year old.

Right now I've got another year to look forward to. I'm unsure as to what I'm going to fill it with but, given the chance, I hope to make use of it somewhat better than I did my last one. I'd like to read a bit more, be a bit more savvy with my money, lose a little more weight and all matter of things. I've undertaken some of those bits already so at least I've got my head in the game. It's nice having my birthday in April because I can claim these are all New Year's Resolutions that I'm picking up again.

That only leaves with me to describe the music for this post. As I've already mentioned this song is by The Beatles. As far as I know this was almost a throw away track. The Liverpudlian lads wanted to go out and watch The Girl Can't Help It which featured Jayne Mansfield and had some ridiculous plot to go along with. They threw this together before hustling on out and watching it. It's some what enduring. I hope you enjoy!

Until next time!

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