This is life 

What is desired more than quality? Trends. The need to be like everyone else instead of what’s suits us best. After all if trends change, they couldn’t have been that special anyway.

The easiest thing to do is fit in. Simply look at what is popular and buy it. Listen to what we are told is cool by apparant experts and give them our hard earned money.

Customers queuing for food on Grainger St, Newcastle, UK

I have just walked by this burger van near the Greys Monument in the city centre. It may in fact be the best burger I will ever have. But what I have learned is that for a queue to be this long, quality isn’t always in the recipe. It could be average, the thrill of being in the cool crowd overcompensating for mediocrity. 

It is astounding how much money goes towards ‘keeping up to date’, another term for blending in with society. Why spend so much money on wanting to be unrecognisable? Another brick in the wall, another drop in the ocean living life with an aim to be accepted instead of glorifying personal strengths and interests.

Life is too short for that. The effort put into adhering to societal norms could be spent changing them for the better. 

Once again, this burger van may not be a culprit, it was just the inspiration for my post. If the queue goes down, I may give it a try.

Edinburgh crockery matches the geography 

I was having a drink in the beautiful Balmoral Hotel when I noticed the plate that we were served nuts, vegetable crisps and seaweed (in the style of a pork scratching, which was delicious) on.

It reminded me of Salisbury Crags, rising up from the surface, right in the city centre. The bridge seen below leads to the Balmoral Hotel to the left, just out of the shot.

The hotel can be seen below, viewed from that same bridge at night. The above picture was taken in 2012 and is probably floating around my blog somewhere already. The image below was at the Fringe Festival this month.


Notice the road sign/bollard trying to steal all of the attention.

Is it Friday yet?

Does anyone have a day of the week that they hate more than the usual suspect Monday?

I started typing this yesterday, hence the reference.

The fun part about leaving a job I have been in for a pretty long time is that those last few weeks are actually very enjoyable. I remember that Friday feeling in school, I still had to work but knowing the weekend was coming got me through. August is that Friday for me. I feel relaxed as the sun sets on this particular job and time in my life.

My aim is to live a life that consists purely of that Friday feeling. We all do. The days of the week were created by people and with that, the Monday to Friday work schedules. Working in hospitality I don’t often get the weekends off, if anything it helps me see how commonplace the 9-5 is. Seeing the waves of people pile onto the streets from the underground stations at 8.30am on Monday and fill the pubs by 5.30pm Friday, we really are fixed to a certain course. Friday is the day in which the lead is taken away from our neck and we get to run around with the other humans for a little bit.

But be back by Monday.

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It is great to have that mutual celebration on Friday afternoon cheering on the next two days of freedom, but the more we live like everyone else the less we get to tell a unique story. The less fuel to provide a story that is different from the rest and certainly less time to experience one. I find blogging is an escape from this as it is the channel in which I get to express the most freedom. I post when I want about what I want. No deadlines or word counts. This is also one of the reasons I am looking forward to travelling so much. The extra freedom to blog without the constraints of my working life holding me back, as temporary as this may turn out to be. If I ever get combine the two, I will be very happy indeed.

Have a great Tuesday… and make it as Friday as possible.

World, meet Diesel!

I’m looking after him for the weekend with my flatmate. What a cute puppy! 



He is two years old, and incredibly calm. He also loves treats from strangers…

Also….

I love how our Sun is 93 million miles away, but a few clouds are the difference between wearing my ski jacket and taking it off in a sweat. I’ve asked Diesel, he doesn’t have the answer.

Your time is now 

Sometimes it is worth looking at trends to determine if a great opportunity lies ahead, wherever that may be at that time. I have such an opportunity at noon on the 10th of August which I do not want to miss.

I have been reading fan comments whilst Muse have been on tour through throughout Europe and the States. I was able to see them in 2016 on their Drones Tour in Manchester, UK, Drones being their most recent album. It was incredible as I knew it would be from the three previous Muse gigs I have attended since 2006, the first being in my home city of Newcastle.

Newcastle, Nov 16, 2006

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My first gig. Ever. Matt the singer/guitarist played part of the song Assassin whilst laid on his back. I also thought that Dom on drums was wearing the Spiderman costume he tends to wear every now and then, looking back at the incredibly pixelated videos taken in 2006 it doesn’t seem so, although it is hard to tell when the video consists of about 50 pixels. Memories can be deceiving.

Leeds Festival, Origin of Symmetry 10th anniversary, 2011

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A truly unique experience as it was the tenth anniversary of Origin of Symmetry, and the first time ever that the whole album was played in its entirety. The stage was set up as if the band were playing inside the album cover, with images from the albums artwork animated onto the giant screen behind. Flamethrowers were used and had to be scrapped later in the gig as the flames were so tall it melted/set fire to parts of the stage. Classic Muse. I took this screenshot from their 360 app, which allows you to control the cameras 360 degrees of the whole set with multiple angles to choose from. This, was a very cool idea.

Manchester (Etihad Stadium), Unsustainable Tour, 2013

Despite the unique stage set in Leeds, this was by far the most impressive stage I have seen from these guys, or anyone for that matter.

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It was the biggest stage I have ever seen. I found this picture over at MuseWiki that helps to give a little perspective of this particular stadium tour.

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Charles the Robot can be seen in the last image, a 16 foot tall robot that sang the lyrics to Unsustainable whilst smoke fired from his ears. Matt wanted the robot to be taller, but was (again) blocked by health and safety. When asked by a fan on Twitter if he was finally able to get a robot to perform on stage, he tweeted:

Better smaller than never, I say!

Manchester (arena), Drones Tour, 2016

I loved this gig because the Drones album (largely relating to the controversial use of drones in war) had a darker vibe, and with this a heavier setlist bringing back some of the rock songs of earlier albums. They also had drones flying about the arena, as well as a huge drone of what appeared to be a black spacecraft or army plane flying around the stage that was in the centre of the arena. After a few beers, I just remember looking up and thinking ‘what the heck is that?!’ as it flew right by. A great memory.

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Gigs that were never to be.

Madison Square Garden, Resistance Tour, 2010.

I was in NYC, and my hotel was honestly right across the road from MSG. I could see the main doors to the venue from my window. Not just that, Muse were performing that night. I went over to see if I could get a ticket, very optimistically and remember one of their songs was playing in the lobby. There were no tickets. On the bright side, I did get to do a stadium tour that day, which granted me access to the venue to watch their stage being set up. This was another unique experience that I am chuffed I managed to have. Apologies for the grainy image, this is all I have. I don’t know why I had such a terrible camera back then.

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As we were lead into the Knicks changing rooms, I couldn’t help to notice Muse kit boxes along the corridors. I remember feeling a sense of excitement as I could walk around one corner and bump into them at any moment. Sadly, I didn’t.

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There was one room. A room with two people standing outside of it, as if something was taking place inside. To this day I am convinced the band were being interviewed inside, however I may never know…

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What are they doing in there? I have a right to know…
It was a weird feeling knowing that they could have been right there and all I could do is walk on by. 

Watching the gig back on YouTube, the light show was incredible.

Sydney, 2017?

At noon AEST, I have the opportunity to buy tickets for one of two Australian gigs they have recently announced. Sydney and Melbourne are the first Aussie dates since 2013, I knew it was inevitable from the amount of Australian fans desperately wanting a chance to see them, begging for some tour dates all over their social media. Sadly, I missed it on the pre sale so I will just have to wait for the general sale, but what great timing it will be with me moving to Sydney in September.

Roll on noon on the 10/08/17… I’ve bookedmarked the local timezone for maximum preparation.


I hope my Aussie friends don’t mind as I try to steal a ticket from their beautifully tanned, Muse deprived hands… I’ll make up for it somehow, I promise.

Travel Diary: Spain: 4 days to go

Today, it is all about the Euro. Many of you liked yesterdays post so I thought it would make sense to let you all in on my next few days worth of plans (or lack of), before boarding that plane to the Mediterranean.

For the record I am not taking much money to Spain. Roughly…hold up, where is the Euro symbol on my keyboard?!

*does a quick Google*

*Alt+E doesn’t work, grabs iPhone*

Roughly €500. €400 of that will be on a Travel Card, the rest you can see in cash. Now, back to the laptop.

I will probably take the least amount of money out of my friends, I don’t feel I will need as much money this time around. It is only for a week and it won’t be involving many costly activities or travel outside of the resort. I will buy cheap food, drink and the occasional taxi to and from popular districts. I also need to save £3000 for Australian customs later in the year, I have been warned that not having this amount in my bank account is enough for them to turn me away, and I don’t want to travel for 35 hours to be turned away.

It seems this isn’t often checked but that is not a risk I want to take. Sometimes in life risks are the best things we ever do, other times they are just plain silly and if anything, hinder any opportunities awaiting us. Can you imagine the awkwardness of a 35 hour flight back? I hate being rejected from a bar for being too drunk let alone an entire country.

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I have found Travel Cards to be very useful. Mine is operated by MasterCard and therefore can be used anywhere (in certain countries only) for up to three years. Any bars, restaurants, ATM’s. I was warned there would be a (grabs iPhone) €2 charge at ATM’s but with no charge for using the card directly anywhere this won’t be a problem. I would much prefer to lose a card and be able to cancel it instantly than lose a whole wad of notes with colours almost as bright as the sun. The kind of notes Hubble would be able to detect on the surface of Mars… whilst it was observing Jupiter.

Are you one to take plenty of money on a trip, or does it depend on where you are heading? I have never been one to take extortionate amounts, then again any long term travel I have done was paid for by working out there, thankfully I was paid by my current job half way through my months travel in Brazil last year. It has been a long time since I went on the typical week or two week holiday, in fact it is the first ‘lads’ holiday I have taken in my life, tradition for males in their 20’s.

27 isn’t too late, right?

Mr. Bean lived here! 

I’m attending a wedding. I say I’m at a wedding, I’m more of a plus one, sitting back and relaxing by the pool as the ceremony takes place. Basically I get all the benefits of the party tonight and have no responsibilities beforehand. Score.


It’s a wedding mixing British and Nigerian culture, interesting to say the least. Colourful too. The venue is right out in the countryside and looks great with the fields all the way to the horizon.


I learned after arriving that Mr Bean lived here at one point. It’s funny to think how a man acting stupid on television can be successful enough to own a place like this. Imagine living here!

We should all aspire to be a Mr Bean, well, a Rowan Atkinson.