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#110 – Volunteer at the Olympics/Paralympics

‘Long hours, no pay and a mandatory cheery smile…
why do people want to be London 2012 volunteers?’
Jenny Minard

Back in 2010, before I had even celebrated my 16th birthday, my Dad spoke to me one weekend about applying to be a London 2012 Games Maker. He had seen an article in the local newspaper about it and had done all the research for me – obviously he was very aware that 15yo me wouldn’t really have done anything about it – and all that was needed to be done was to fill out the application form.

Fast forward to January 2012 and I was invited to have both a first and second interview at the London 2012 HQ as part of the 100,000+ strong candidacy search that had been whittled down from an initial 200,000+.

A couple of months later the news then came through, I was one of the luck 70,000 volunteers to be selected to be involved at London 2012! (more…)

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#107 – Eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant

‘To Callum
Good luck and phone your mum.
Brum love
Glynn Purnell’

The countdown to my leaving the UK in 2016 for an unspecified amount of time was under way and, as part of my goodbyes, I was treated by my mum to a meal at the restaurant of one of my favourite Chef’s, Glynn Purnell.

The menu of choice at his Michelin star restaurant? The 9 course tasting menu.
To put it simply, it was a phenomenal dining experience.

Cornwall Street in Birmingham is the home of Purnell’s Restuarant. It is actually quite an understated building and, if you aren’t looking out for it, it is somewhere you could easily walk past without a second thought.

We were greeted immediately upon arrival, our bags and coats put to one side, and allowed to push the conversation (more…)

#104 – Watch a show at the Minack Theatre, Cornwall

‘Cornwall’s extraordinary Minack Theatre is testimony
to one woman’s passion’
Philip Johnston

The Minack Theatre is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most beautiful performance space I have ever had the pleasure of watching theatre in. Carved into the edge of Cornwall’s beautiful coastline, this seasonal outdoor venue stands strong against the elements to deliver unique theatrical experiences to its audience.

The Minack Theatre has wowed audiences since the 1930s, with the threat of neither wind nor rain able to keep willing patrons at bay.

(more…)

#90 – Be the ‘Best Man’ at a Wedding

On Saturday January 29th 2011, the evening before turning 50, my Dad proposed to Helen (my now step-mum) during a celebratory dinner at our favourite local pub-restaurant, La Collina. Present that night were myself, Helen’s parents, and Helen’s brother with his family.

On Friday 1st July 2011 I celebrated my 18th birthday with my whole family for the first time. However, unbeknown to me, a single present was held back by my Dad and was instead given to me at a small BBQ at his that following weekend. The present was a book titled (more…)

Callum’s 2017 Adventures: Phillip Island 1D Tour

‘Take a waddle on the wild side’Phillip Island Penguin Parade

Heh. Every time I see that quote it makes me chuckle. Anyway…

I won’t deny that my decision to take this tour on my 24th birthday was born out of pure nostalgia because, well, it was. And even though Phillip Island is home to more than just the Penguin Parade – it also hosts the Australian Moto GP on its Grand Prix Circuit – it is for the parade that I took this tour. After all, it is something I had seen when I was first brought out to Australia by my dad and step-mum on my 6th birthday, hence the nostalgia making me want to visit once more.

As with the Great Ocean Road and Grampians tour (pt.1 & pt.2), this Phillip Island tour was arranged through Wildlife Tours, although it didn’t require quite as early a start as the last tours! Nevertheless, I still ended up spending the majority of the drive fast asleep.

As the Penguin Parade doesn’t occur until after sunset (more…)

#85 – Drive a Jetski

Jetski’s. Are. Awesome. They really are.

As someone who doesn’t do much driving, hitting the waves on the back of a jetski was a really amazing experience.  I did this up at the Whitsundays in 2015 following an early morning skydive.

The jetski tour was all across the bay, taking us to several little tourist spots. Although you can fit two passengers on a jetski, since I was on my own I was riding by myself. The tour itself lasted for around 2hrs and, as I became more confident, I became more adventurous, taking more risks, including cutting across waves to get some airtime! (more…)

#71 – Visit the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

‘This bridge needs neither praise, eulogy nor encomium.
It speaks for itself’
– J. Strauss

The Golden Gate Bridge finds its home in The Golden City. A landmark suspension bridge, it is often acknowledged as a symbolic representation of San Francisco across the world.

Due to my aunt moving to the states for work, I found myself in San Francisco over Christmas 2009 where, amongst other exciting things on the to-do list, a visit to the bridge was at the top.

Unfortunately I wasn’t that much into photography at the time and (more…)

#52 – Watch the Paralympics Live

‘I lost my leg aged five…
now I’m 1.9 seconds behind Usain Bolt’ 
– Jonnie Peacock

Although 2008 provided the watershed moment for me in regards to the Olympics, the Paralympics still very much flew under the radar for me. That is, however, until my application to be a volunteer at London 2012 was deemed successful and I was appointed a London 2012 Games Maker for the duration of the 2012 Paralympic Games. As a result, I thought I’d look into the Paralympics in a little more detail and, the more I looked, the more excited I became. (more…)

#51 – Watch the Olympics Live

‘”Inspire a generation” is our motto. Not necessarily “Create a generation” …
which is what they sometimes get up to in the Olympic village’
– Boris Johnson

Although my sport of choice is football, there is something special about the Olympics. I know it, you know it, we all know it. After all, these are athletes at the very peak of their powers, performing in the largest – and one of the oldest – sporting events in the world. Plus the opportunity only comes around once every four years!

Although I know I watched some of the 2004 Athens Olympics, it was the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games that really captured my attention. (more…)

(Untitled thoughts of one who doesn’t say thank you enough)

“You don’t know what you have got until it is gone”. A common phrase that everyone will have been told at some point or another. It’s applicable to pretty much all walks of life as well, from the unsung hero, to the all-rounder at work, to that friend who may fly under the radar but will never let you down when you need them most.

Most importantly, it’s a phrase that should resonate strongly when it comes to your family, especially your parents. At least, it does with mine. All three of them. And it is especially prevalent when it comes to social media interactions. (more…)