The great thing about London

Today was the first day I walked over London Bridge since it reopened. Maybe because I have done a dozen times already and I don’t actually need to. Just for photos. Maybe it was the uncomfortable feeling I still have inside me about this specific bridge following the recent stabbings. Probably a combination of both.


December has been pretty uneventful for me. London looks stunning at Christmas (I posted here about the Regent Street Christmas Lights), but a combination of flying back home and needing to buy gifts leaves all my exploring and discovering until 2020. That being said, I have been able to see some friends and enjoy the winter markets.


This is Ola, both heading for the mulled wine after a crazy shift. This was in a rotating bar in Winter Wonderland, a huge Christmas market I will link at the end of the post. It is great for all ages… families and grown ups with no kids. Rides for those that love a little dose of adrenaline often seen at your local fairground, cute little stalls selling everything you would want to find in your Christmas stocking.


And massive people…

With their flies down, apparently…

A whole Christmas dinner in a burger…


More huge people, this time a hillbilly enjoying a bit of VR. I dread to think what’s playing…


London is full of mini versions of this market too, all dotted around the city. Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, South bank and all the ones I haven’t found yet. I am not sure if they are all owned and organised by the same people but they look pretty similar. Not that I mind, there is only so much they can do to stand out. A cosy wooden hut selling mulled wine from a cauldron, what more would you want?


This is Marcio and Maiana, a beautiful couple I met in the UK a good few years ago. My then flatmate and still very good friend Paul had them stay over our place when they visited the UK, travelling Europe and taking some time to visit out small corner of England. Paul and Marcio met during an event in Disneyland Florida. After spending a very fun few days showing them Newcastle, Durham and our regions castles I was very grateful to be a guest at their wedding in 2016 (they even gave us a shout out during a speech!) in their home of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

This time, we met in London.

And back to my post title. What I love so far about London is that it is such a popular destination for both Brits and international visitors, anyone that I have met on my global travels will probably visit this city if they come to the UK. It would be weird if they didn’t. Being as hectic and crazy as it is some people think it is too much, and this is something I hate about London. For those making a first visit to the UK this may be the only place visited, and if they don’t like it’s fast paced, car honking, crammed, occasionally rude and expensive nature, this is the perception of the UK they take back home. But the UK isn’t one city, even if it is by far our biggest. Whatever you don’t like about London, another British destination is begging for your attention.

But I am pleased we have London. For everyone that doesn’t like it there is a million that do, and it’s attraction is a very good reason as to why I have seen some people I probably wouldn’t have if I was living elsewhere.


Above is my friend Laura. We met when I started working at Sofitel in Melbourne, she recently moved to Sweden and waited in the UK as her visa was pending. She got it and off she went. I was also meant to meet my a colleague from Brisbane however unfortunately my shifts wouldn’t allow it. A couple of other friends are heading this way in the next month or so too which is great. I hope to see them.

As I have said in the past, what I love about smaller cities is that it is so easy to make arrangements to see friends. A reason why I loved Brisbane so much. Every possible meeting place is relatively close by and it isn’t unusual to bump into friends in the street. But these are people already living in the city. I never expected to meet so many friends from outside of London, in London in just a couple of months. I had a coffee chat with my previous manager from Newcastle last week as well, now working just a couple of Northern Line stops up from me near Old Street Underground Station. Bumping into people in the street is rare among the millions of tourists. But in this age of social media meeting up is easier, especially in one of the worlds most visited cities.

No matter where you are, take a moment to check social media. You never know who is around the corner!

Thank you for reading, and I hope your lead up to Christmas is more merry than manic. Let me know what you’re up to, and I will see you all in the comments!



Winter Wonderland- Hyde Park



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What’s your Hogwarts House?

I was hoping my next blog post would be celebrating England winning the World Cup in rugby, but after South Africa beat us 32-12 that isn’t going to happen. Still, it was fun to head to the pub at 9am to watch it with a bunch of other England supporters.

And one South African fan that made sure he could be seen from anywhere in the pub…

I was working that day at 2.30pm, so I only had a coffee. Honestly. The weather matched our mood as it poured down, a good day to work. This was the 2nd November, a few days ago so apologies for the late post. And thank you to everyone that commented on my last post regarding the logo. I am always thinking of ways I could add to or improve my blog, and was considering something visual that could be associated with it. I am not very artistic but it is fun to try new things.

Another reason for my absence (as you can maybe see above) is that I have bought a new camera. It is the GoPro 7 Hero Silver, a cheaper version of the still pretty new GoPro Hero 7 series, the Black edition being the best of the bunch. I haven’t used a GoPro before so couldn’t justify the £280 ($360 US) pricetag, Silver has less features but over £100 cheaper. So far I am really enjoying using it, creating time lapses and testing out what it can do.

So far I have done the most trying out on the 4th, as I am now on a weeks holiday and decided to see my mum and sister back up north. This meant taking a train from Kings Cross to Bishop Auckland, from the south east to the north east of England.


For anyone on Instagram I have uploaded my journey to the story, full of quick clips on route. As it has been over 24 hours the story has disappeared, but what I like is that you can permanently save the story to the user home screen underneath the bio section.


Annoyingly when I try to upload video clips onto my blog it takes forever to load and eventually displays an error message. The national anthem video above worked, but since then I have had problems and even that took forever. For that reason I will probably add photos on here and leave the clips for my Instagram. Smaller clips may be possible, I will have to see. But as this is more of a blog than a vlog, I am happy to stick to photos to accompany the writing.

First stop, Kings Cross.


Kings Cross is in easy reach of my current base. From London Bridge Station it is only a couple of stops north on the Northern Line, and once there just a couple of escalators up to ground level and to Kings Cross itself.


The first thing that you notice upon entering the station is the roof. It was part of a £500 million restoration in 2012, and is visually very impressive.

A giant poppy can be seen at the time of posting, representing the poppy worn in respect to those that sacrificed their lives in the First World War. Remembrance Day is on the 11th November, and a two minute silence is held at 11am on this date every year.


Tens of millions of people enter and exit the station every year, as well as St Pancras station across the road from it. Eurostar operates from St Pacras, taking travellers to Belgium, France and the Netherlands. Kings Cross is the station that links London to the rest of the country.


Another thing that Kings Cross is known for is Platform 9 3/4, introduced to this world through the Harry Potter books. A cool feature is permanently located close to platforms 9 and 10 in Kings Cross, with a big line of excited tourists ready to make the magical journey through the wall.

What is your Hogwarts House? I would like to know as I have no idea what mine would be, maybe you can tell through my blog posts? I am sure I fit into one of them! Also, I have a timelapse from this very spot on my Instagram page linked below.


The journey time from London to Darlington is roughly 2 hours and 46 minutes. Paris is in fact a quicker and closer destination, the average journey time being 2 hours 16 minutes.


From Darlington, I would board a smaller train through County Durham, taking around half an hour.


I managed to get first class for a good price from London to Darlington, £37 which includes a little bit more space, breakfast, lunch or dinner (depending on the time of journey) and a couple glasses of wine to go along with it. I boarded just before noon meaning I got to enjoy lunch, which made having a glass of wine just a little bit more acceptable. That and the two Geordie girls on the food cart that convinced me to go for it.

I happily obliged.


Being back in Bishop was nice. Much, much quieter than London but I am happy with that. I took to the almost desolate streets to take a few photographs on my GoPro. Some of these streets may look familiar to you from this post when I first got back from Australia. This time around the weather wasn’t as good, but at least it didn’t rain.


One thing I love about British weather is the ever changing cloud patterns. It is possible to get a new shot every few minutes with the sun constantly being blocked and bursting through the clouds again, brightness levels and cloud colours constantly changing. I love a good gaze out of the window back home and over the rolling hills, watching the sheets of rain make their way through the fields and hitting the window pane, wave after wave.


Below, an abandoned path and stairway that I never knew existed. This is taken on a viaduct that crosses the River Wear, I didn’t jump over the fencing but I’m still intrigued to know whether it still takes you somewhere.


I enjoyed this journey north. The train journey was great, the sun came out towards the end and I loved getting out and taking a few snaps. And from here, a couple of days with my mum before another train journey north again to Edinburgh. We are spending time with my sister to take in some sights and some quality family time.

Thank you for reading, Edinburgh blog coming soon!




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How to deal with your team being knocked out of the World Cup, national pride and ignoring online trolls

So at 1am Eastern Australian time, the final game of the 2018 World Cup was played and France won the competition. Congratulations France, a very good team and hardly a shock result. This didn’t make me look forward to my 77th day of farmwork today as I work with a French girl that I knew would be more than happy to boast about it. I also work with her friend, a Belgian girl that beat England to third place the day before. The French girl was more upset she wasn’t at home celebrating with her fellow Frenchmen and women.

I’m honestly happier with our performance at this World Cup more than anything. This was the joint-best performance by England in a World Cup on foreign soil, we ended our penalty shootout curse and made it to the final four. 

Also, football helps inspire me to do as well as I can in my personal life. It is times like these that make me realise that I cannot solely rely on others for bragging rights, if I want to achieve I have to put my own effort in. The England players, as well as the players from all 32 teams, are representing a nation but also being the best they can be, making the most of their own lives. Losing helps remind me that we have to be the best we can be and probably have to rely on ourselves if we want to be successful and victorious as individuals regardless of the paths we choose to go down. 

But back to the recent tournament. The majority of England thinks that the team did very well and are happy with that. But that doesn’t prevent many people making their voices heard on YouTube videos and England’s social media sites. 

‘No one cares’

‘Without the trophy though’

‘At least something came back…’

‘You were lucky to get that far’

There are some very bitter people in the world. It takes effort to be negative online- first, I have to search the page I want to be negative on. That is unless I have already followed the page and get regular updates, which confuses me as to why someone would ‘like’ something or someone in the first place if they prefer to insult. Secondly, I have to hit ‘add comment’, type away and spread a little poison. This procedure takes a little time, enough time to make me think ‘Do I really want to spend my time doing this?!’. 

Admittedly I have been a little salty on occasions in my life, and I have been drawn in to respond to people too. Now I refrain from such comments altogether, instead I prefer to let them inspire a new post on my blog. It’s healthier and more productive.

I understand some of the hate, some people get their kicks from negativity for a number of reasons. Some are bitter they may have been knocked out by England, as I’m sure many England fans are and have been in the past. Every country is prone to this. Some see England as a big footballing nation (despite many England fans being more than willing to disagree due to our bad World Cup and Euro record) and take great pride in seeing Iceland knock us out in 2016 and Croatia this time round in the semi finals. 

In my opinion, we were much more humble during this tournament than many would think. Yes we chanted ‘it’s coming home!’ endlessly throughout each stage, a song we have sang since its release 22 years ago to no avail. If you haven’t heard it or seen the video, take a look. It’s pretty catchy:

It is a song we sing with great optimism and a little humour. If you asked many people in recent decades if they truly felt it was coming home as they belt the lyrics out in chorus, it would seem apparent that we know we aren’t the greatest football nation to grace this earth. If we are great at something, it is laughing at ourselves. It is a shame British humour doesn’t always seem so apparent outside of the border. 

But with this in mind, how many other nations have anthems that actually envision the glory seen by the eight teams that have won the competition in its 88 years of existence? I’m sure a few. Can you imagine any teams chant being humble? 

‘La la la la… we may potentially win with a good performance… La la la’. 

Not in a million years! 

Sport is about competition, and having the belief in winning surely helps it become reality. It doesn’t bother me that nations convince themselves they will be victorious. It’s a football game, not a world war. But then again, I guess I am being over dramatic. It’s only a few comments after all. But it does seem to be aimed towards the more dominant teams in world football. If Iceland’s fans shouted at the top of their lungs how great they are, it is seen as cute. National pride. If it’s a more dominant nation, it is arrogance. I guess that comes with it, everyone roots for the underdog. 

But that is what many of us think we are. Underdogs! We never expected to get as far as we did, the hope of winning something that we haven’t won since ’66 has us dreaming but not expecting. We are in that weird place between seeing ourselves as underdogs (not to the same degree as smaller footballing nations of course) and being seen overseas as an overly optimistic country that thinks it is a favourite, when really it is an underdog. 

Gary Lineker, former England player and now TV presenter for Match of the Day for the BBC, tweeted a great response to the accusations of England being ‘arrogant’ with the song:


Just having a laugh, guys…
Just another laugh, he didn’t really buy a trophy cabinet. I don’t think…

So these are my thoughts on this. Maybe I’m being too bitter myself, it’s only football banter after all and boy did I love seeing our European and South American football rivals leave the competition early. But I wouldn’t bother searching their national teams Instagram to talk shit. If we spent as much time being creative as so many people do being negative, we would all be winners.

What do you think? Do you feel certain nations of the world are seen as arrogant whilst other nations get away with it? How does your country compare and was it in this years World Cup? 

As always, I would love to hear your opinion and personal perspective wherever you are.

See you soon, Euro 2020!

The English finally have an excuse to celebrate the Fourth of July! (Is beer acceptable at 6am?)

Many of my followers will already know that I am English. More often than not I describe myself as British (I’m half Scottish and prefer to say British the majority of the time) however I was born in northern England and when we compete in the World Cup, I’m a very proud Englishman. That is until we go out on penalties, almost tradition in recent decades.

That was until today. 

This morning at 4am, July 4th on Australia’s east coast, a bunch of us woke up from our early alarms (to the inevitable anger of those that had work later than morning) and headed to the pool room to watch our nation play on the hostels only television. We played Colombia, a strong team from a football-mad continent. That is never a walk in the park. 

It was tense. We looked like we were heading for the win until (there is always an until) Colombia suddenly came to life in the dying minutes. 1-1 led to extra time and then penalties. I grabbed a beer at this point, the time wasn’t a factor considering how on edge I was. My friend on a Facebook status described my situation very well when he posted to his news feed that he was ‘shaking like a shitting dog’ towards the end. It is as accurate as it was funny. 

And then we won. I’m still processing this. We really came out victorious on penalties?! This is something I have never witnessed in my life so far, despite plenty of shootouts.

So here I am in the picture, celebrating with a cheap beer at 6am. 

Who says the English can’t celebrate Fourth of July? 😉

I had two more, one with a friend before he dashed to do his days farmwork before I stopped and realised it wasn’t even 8am. I went for a stroll to burn off the energy I had built up and went to a lovely local cafe for breakfast and watched the highlights of the game. 

Work tomorrow, another day closer to completing farmwork. But for now, a moment of celebration on a great achievement. I hope everyone is having a great day, I hope my American followers are having a great Independence Day. 

It’s great the English can finally celebrate with you!


The result, England were beaten 18-4 by Australia. It’s cool though, I met a few great people in the bar, Aussies and fellow Poms. And an American from Idaho. I never see a trip to the bar as a trip made alone other than the journey there. Once you are there, it is pretty hard not to chat to other people.


Also, I love the reflection I am getting from the sky above onto the table. It reminds me of the Salt Flats in Bolivia, a place I haven’t been but would love to.


Photo Credit: Farsai C- Unsplash


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.