life

#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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(Untitled thoughts of one who has been away for a year and counting)

Well, what a difference a year makes! A year ago today I had just landed in New Zealand and was scrambling around trying to find away to find my phone, ID, and credit card, having left them behind in the car of the people who had driven me from the airport to my hostel – it was made all the harder by the fact that I had only met these people on the flight itself!

It is strange to think that it has been 12months since I last stepped out on English soil. So much has happened since then, however it is safe to say that (more…)

(Untitled thoughts of a boy and his shadow)

All through his life, the boy had one companion who never abandoned him; his shadow. His shadow kept him company whilst he faced his ups and downs, danced with him on his good days, comforted him on his bad days. Although he was not always visible to the boy, he was always there, watching over him, day after day, week after week.

However, the boy would often take his shadow for granted. He was a silent friend to the boy, even if the boy didn’t realise. He never asked for anything and never received anything in return for his contributions to the boys life, not even a simple thank you.

See, what the boy didn’t realise is that whilst he could pick and choose other companions to spend his life with, shadows don’t have that choice. They choose their partner at the point of birth and stay with them for life. Furthermore, whilst their partner may forget various aspects of their lives, their shadow will always remember.

This boy and his shadow had gone through many journey’s together and his shadow knew that there were still many more to come. After all, the boy was young and eager to push himself, to see the world, to explore, to create, to develop… to live. And so his shadow was surprised to realise that they boy was scared. That he was feeling

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(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…)

(Untitled thoughts of one who is feeling inspired)

Inspiration truly can come from the most unlikely of sources when you least expect it. It’s not like I have been in need of any inspiration recently, because I feel more focussed and more driven now than at any point since leaving the UK. But it’s always nice to find something that will push you just that little bit more.

Which brings me on to something I came across this morning, which hits home harder than it may have done this time last week, due to the events in Manchester.

Whilst scrolling through FB to see how my friends back home and across the world are getting on, a trailer video for a Ch4 TV show – “First Dates” – popped up (odd premise in my opinion but hey, I don’t get reality TV at all). Anyway, this video focused on a first date between an older gent and lady. The gent was discussing how he’d lost his wife 7 years previously, as well as one of his children who had been in their 30’s. This was then (more…)

#30 – Get a Piercing

I wouldn’t say getting a piercing was a mistake, or a regret. It was something that, at the tender age of 18 I needed/wanted to have done.

Both ears. One piercing in each. A second piercing added to the left ear during the Olympic Flames tour through the UK in 2012.

I don’t wear them anymore of course, I removed them in the autumn of 2013. It was time.

Still, it’s one of those things isn’t it? They are still open mind you, if I ever decided to stick some metal back through them again.

 

To see my complete bucket list, click here

#20 – Visit Hobbiton, New Zealand

‘I picked up The Hobbit. And I began to read.
I was swept off to a green, green Shire in a far, far land, and my soul has never returned.
I suppose it never will’
– Steve Bivans

Back when I was a  young boy, my Dad took it upon himself to introduce me to Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. A special limited edition release of The Hobbit was gifted to me, and very quickly became one of my most favoured possessions. Being at an age where reading such a comprehensive piece of work was a difficult task, I have memories of my Dad reading it to me, bit by bit, every night I would stay over at his. This went on for months, and was the beginning of a long-standing love-affair with the world Tolkien depicted.

Naturally, once Hobbiton was created in real-life for the filming of both LotR and The Hobbit, my desire to visit grew ever stronger.

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#15 – Bungy Jump

‘Jump and you will find out how
to unfold your wings as you fall’ 
– Ray Bradbury

Ah, bungy jumping. You’re a special one aren’t you? Me and bungy jumping, we have a special thing going on these days. It’s love. It really is. To date I have completed the following bungy jumps:

And the plan is to, at some point, complete these ones too:

  • Last Resort Bridge, Nepal – 160m/524ft
  • Vidraru Dam, Romania – 166m/545ft
  • Kolnbrein Dam, Austria – 169m/555ft
  • Niouc Bridge, Switzerland – 190m/623ft
  • Europabrucke Bridge, Austria – 192m/629ft
  • Sochi 207, Russia – 207m/679ft
  • Bloukrans Bridge, South Africa – 216m/708ft
  • Contra Dam, Switzerland – 219m/720ft
  • Macau Tower, China – 233m/764ft

I would have the Royal Gorge Bridge bungy in Colorado included in this list, but it is no longer open to the public.

But this post is about my first bungy jump. The Cairns Tower Bungy in 2015.

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(Untitled thoughts of one who has been away for six months)

‘The two impulses in travel are to get away from home,
and the other is to pursue something’
– Paul Theroux

On Wednesday of this past week I celebrated my six month ‘travel-versary’. That’s right. Six months ago I left my family, my friends, and my country behind in order to start afresh. To go on an epic trip abroad. To see and learn as much as possible of the world around us that I can.

Like many others, it’s a trip I decided to do alone, but not a decision I made lightly. Yes, I am having an amazing time in a country and culture that I continually learn about every day, but being so far away from the people you love and care about isn’t easy. Still, thanks to various forms of social media, it’s easier than ever to stay in contact and even though it might not be as frequent as some of them would like, every conversation satiates me and helps me push on.

Creating goals has helped as well. Of course, these goals have taken form in some sort of extended bucket list which, in turn, is going to become a new extension of this blog page.

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(Untitled thoughts of one who strongly dislikes saying goodbye)

I haven’t posted in a while I know. That isn’t due to a lack of possible content, but more because I feel there hasn’t exactly been anything to post. Until now that is.

What you’re about to read won’t be pretty, elegant or eloquent – after all, it is part of my ‘Untitled’ collection – but it will be brutally honest about my opinion/feelings on goodbyes, drawing on personal experience with the odd observation added in.

First of all, I would like to make one thing clear, goodbyes suck. At least, in my opinion they do. The dictionary definition for goodbye is: “an expression of good wishes when parting or at the end of a conversation”. To be honest, I think this is pretty weak. I believe that J.M Barrie hits the nail on the head in Peter Pan when he wrote “never say goodbye, because goodbye means going away, and going away means forgetting”. It is a poignant line that has stayed with me for many a year. Why? Well, because it is true.

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