Live like flags in the wind

Windy days. Terrible for outdoor lunch, great for flying flags. 


Will humanities love for flags ever burn out? I doubt it, so long as wind is a thing and I must admit they look great on a day like this.

The thing about flags is, they don’t look as good without wind. And they can’t stop being flags, even on a calm day. The beauty about being human is we can make the most of every day and the circumstances of that day. Calm, stormy, busy, quiet… everyday has a perk and we are adaptable enough to make the most of these changes. 

Only choose to be a flag if the breeze is there! I’m hoping that makes some kind of sense.

Moonlight

It’s times like these that I remind myself I need to buy an actual camera for photography. This was the most incredible moon I have ever seen and it didn’t show well on the iPhone at all. 


There are so many people behind me taking the same shot of the couple underneath the reflection, they will be in plenty of IG shots tonight!

They don’t make ’em like they used to

It is true that we sometimes don’t give something the true respect it deserves until it is gone… Maybe we did give it the right amount and just miss having it around today. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve reflected on this as I get older. 

One thing I hear regularly when looking back is how we ‘don’t make ’em like that anymore’. As if the engineers, soldiers, artists and ways of life of yesterday were light years ahead of today’s equivalents. Today’s thoughts are inspired by an old picture that was shared on social media today of Grey Street in the 1950’s, a Georgian Street that looks as pretty in the centre of Newcastle today as it did back then. As I am from this city, the majority of posts I see daily are about the region, full of snow at this moment in time.

This was taken in 2017, but hasn’t changed much since 1950

Firstly, I want to give praise to social media for allowing so many fascinating articles to be shared daily, in amongst all those food shots and click baits. To think how difficult it has been for past generations to keep in contact at all, I’m am sure they would have snapped up Facebook in a heartbeat.

Secondly, despite history gracing us with some incredible architecture, we would have to completely ignore today’s innovation and developments to suggest that great designs are victims to time. They didn’t leave us behind, they are rising up as we speak. 

I mean, I only have to look at my recent shots in Singapore to remind myself of this. 


Then, who could forget this building in Dubai?!


It would be pointless to even compare the monument on Grey Street to the Burj Khalifa in a side by side shot, the monument would be almost unrecognisable. Then we have the Jeddah Tower. Upon completion in 2020 will be well over twice the height of the Empire State Building. Insane.

Yes these buildings focus heavily on height. No these buildings aren’t as commonplace as the detailed architecture that line the streets of Georgian or Victorian England. But wouldn’t our great grandparents marvel at the sight of a building that pierces the clouds at the heights we see today? 

And with that, can we really say with confidence that they don’t make ’em like they used to?

Burj Khalifa photo credits: 

Clay Banks- Unsplash

Denis Harsch- Unsplash

This is not a post about Harry and Meghan

The WiFi in my flat decided to stop working today, so after sticking my head out of the window and feeling a good bit of sunshine hit my face I decided to head to the beach. I like to blog on the move. It keeps me busy, I find nothing less stimulating than being stuck in one place. That is what prisons are for.

As I closed the laptop to stuff into my bag, I noticed the loose change jar behind it looking pretty healthy. I have been taking loose change out of my wallet (any coin smaller than a 50 cent piece) and dropping it into the jar. A little saving and a hell of a lot less weight in my pocket. As I was leaving the door my mum, back in the UK, sent me a message over Facebook.

‘Prince Harry is engaged to Meghan Markle x’

I instantly went back to 2010, a 21 year old living in Texas. Kate and William were getting married and the first question I was asked by Americans that overheard my accent was ‘Will you be watching the Royal Wedding?’. I injured my back and called in sick for a few days around the wedding, so the answer is yes I did.

I am not one to winge about the news being ‘not news worthy’. Nor complain about the Royal Family in general. They bring a lot of money into the UK and they aren’t going around beheading like the royals of yester-century. They work, they seem genuine and they can’t really help the role they have been placed into. That being said, it must be crazy to have your face on a coin or for Harry, have your nan’s face on a coin… not just in the UK but worldwide. Back in September of this year I made the three hour train journey to London before departing on a 39 hour journey to Sydney. The round-the-world journey taking me to a far away land with different animals, accents, sports and seasons. One thing didn’t change. The faces on the coins.

To think, Queen Elizabeth II had no idea as she was being formed in the womb of the life she would lead. The status she would inherit, the wealth she would obtain and the life long-role she would see through. Typing this into a post reminds me how crazy this is. It seems so outdated yet this is still the case in the same year we have invented life-like robots able to perform back flips. She didn’t build this reputation in life like Elon Musk or Bill Gates, it was waiting for her. This doesn’t mean she hasn’t worked hard or neglected the role. We live in a world that doesn’t make sense and those born into it have as much of a say as we do, those of us born into a life of less wealth and power.

So that is my thoughts today, and often my thoughts as I look at the loose change holding me down. It could be worse, I could have been born with some crazy status that despite putting me on one of the biggest pedestals of all, limits my freedoms. It isn’t bad to be born with increased anonymity, it gives us the freedom to be whoever we want to be and wear the crown of our choice with enough work ethic.

I needed a little change

Change is not appreciated as much as it should be. Nobody likes change, despite the fact that it allows us to travel the world in under 24 hours and live past the ripe old age of 30 years. That being said, I needed a little change myself, although unfortunately not to the same world-changing standard. Not yet.

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I have changed my theme to really allow my photographs to stand out. I feel my photos are a big part of my blog and posts, it would be a waste to not display them. I love the added colour the large photo’s bring to the page I need colour in my life to keep me upbeat.

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I find it also simplifies the site. Do you want the daily ramblings? Maybe you want the travel updates only? The option is there.

Now, every time I go on a journey anywhere that is deserving of a dedicated travel post, I will add it to my Travel Diary. This means that it is easier to find the travel aspect of my blog, separate from the daily posts that highlight my current thoughts and opinions. I don’t want this blog to be purely travel-related, however as I am currently travelling why not have a dedicated section.

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What do you think of the change, for better or for worse? I hope it works for you!

Regards,

Sam

 

My 1000th blog post!

This blog post brings me a mix of emotions. Firstly, I cannot believe I have typed up one thousand blog posts on WordPress to get my thoughts, frustrations and opinions out there to the world. It has been a great platform for me to do so and I thank each and every one of you for following me whether it has been years, months or days. For me to dedicate my time to anything for a prolonged period is a challenge, so this achievement seems pretty surreal. It just shows that if you have a passion for something, you gain a work ethic.

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Coincidentally, this is also four years to the day of my fathers passing. I woke up to the reminder as a relative posted a compassionate message on Facebook to my mother, sending her love and thoughts. It would have also been my uncles birthday Wednesday, we lost him to suicide two years before my dads passing. I am not very good with remembering such dates, which to me isn’t needed as I remember daily anyway. My mum, she stores these dates as well as a computer does.

Now I don’t like to bring up such events too often, however it would seem very strange if I didn’t given the timing. I can recall two occasions I have posted about losing my dad, Has a Star Ever Told You it Loves You? and Fathers Day Reflections. Today over Skype I had a chat to my mum regarding many things and one was a pact that my parents made when they were younger. They decided to live their retirement days in their twenties and travel around the UK and Europe. This is something I choose to do as my dad did not make it to see his retirement. Life is too short and the world is too amazing.

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I cannot imagine having to work a lifetime in hope that I reach my retirement age. Why should I wait so long? If I have the energy now, isn’t today a better time to see the world? It is a gamble that I would rather not take and if today is a guarantee, I would rather do it now than risk saving it for a tomorrow that may never come. I am so grateful to learn this lesson from my parents and sadly, losing a loved one is often the catalyst in making decisions that were once considered ‘risky’ or ‘overly adventurous’. I would be lying if didn’t admit there are occasions when I feel like I have less reason to travel. On the other hand I have more reason now than ever. Right now, my sister is travelling through Spain, we both share a very similar mentality to what our parents adopted in their youth. Travel now, find a career later. Time is precious and we don’t get it back. I am tired of being told to wait for the right time or that good things are coming to those that wait. They don’t. Good things come to those that go out and achieve what they want to achieve.

My advice to anyone is that tomorrow is overrated. Treat today with a little more urgency as the potential you possess today won’t always be there. The sun will set tonight, make sure you do as much as you can to achieve your dreams before it sets as although it will rise in the morning, there is never the guarantee that we will be there to witness it.

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Staredown

I don’t know who the lady is in this piece of street art, but she looks like she means business.

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She probably just heard the news that Trump has reversed a ban on ‘trophies’ brought into the US consisting of elephant body parts killed in hunts. A move that has infuriated many people, including animal lover Ricky Gervais.


Maybe it’s not that. Maybe she wants gender neutral bathrooms. Maybe she doesn’t?

Who knows, there are so many avenues for us to vent anger and frustration in the world, maybe she just wants to climb down from the wall and have a beer in the Irish bar a couple blocks down. Heck, after a few beers there I may build up the Dutch courage to talk to her and ask how she is feeling myself.

Timezones.

Everyday is a reminder that I am waking up on the other side of this giant space rock of incredible velocity and mind boggling consistency. My alarm was set for 7am this morning, not for work but for the England vs Brazil game. Australia is not very compatible with live football on European soil however it is great for getting me up in the morning and beating that rush hour traffic.

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It still humours me that whilst I am getting out of bed for a new day, 99% of people I know are back home and reflecting on their day which is just ending. On paper I am in the future. For this reason I use my world clock/map daily as it helps to know when to put certain posts out and when to Skype friends and family. I have already been on the receiving end of an unexpected 3am whatsapp call and I don’t want to put anyone else through the same trauma.

This timezone difference gives me a little more freedom to be who I want to be. London to Sydney is currently 11 timezones. Like travel, I feel unashamed to do things that may be considered weird back or a little unusual back home. The ‘home etiquette’ just doesn’t apply in the same way. If a bar was open for the game this morning I would have went for a beer. Too early? Today my friend, I am on UK time.

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My aim is to live life how and when I want to. I want to experience the world in each and every timezone, all right here, right now. Whether it is a festival where I am standing, the Superbowl at whatever time that is shown in the Southern Hemisphere or Skyping the family back home, provided I haven’t passed out with exhaustion I want the opportunity to celebrate with the rest of them.

As the lyrics warn us in the song Knights of Cydonia- a song I have fell in love with all over again- ‘Don’t waste your time or time will waste you.’ A very fitting warning and words I try to live by. Time is a fantastic way to regulate our lives, but should never be used to rule our lives. In a world of so many unethical rulers, I am in no hurry to make time one of them, nor be an inevitable victim too early.

Featured image: Photo by Kevin on Unsplash

Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

This scaffolding almost collapsed today!

I was on route to work today when I realised I couldn’t get there. Well I could, just not down the usual street.


After speaking to one of the countless people gazing upward I was pointed to the building that was causing the road closure. Behind the black cloth was scaffolding that had collapsed outwards, only held up by the black material protecting pedestrians. You can see it in both shots, to the top right of the image above and top centre below.


Some would say the material wrapped around the building was health and safety gone mad. Personally, I’m rather thankful.