Month: January 2015



Well, what a roller-coaster of a Christmas.

I had a fantastic time, but like so often, it seemed to fly by, and before you know it, its January and I’m back walking to work in the dark.

Its difficult really, as I’ve always suffered from Seasonal effectiveness disorder (ironically, normally called SAD).

I can still function and achieve the same things at this time of the year, it just takes a lot more effort, at a time when most animals are wrapped up warm underground in hibernation.

Still, life’s for living, so lets move on. Speaking of which, here are 2 quotes I  heard recently by Sherlock Holmes.

1. My life is spent in one long effort to escape from the common places of existence.

2. Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.

Saloman Quest 4DRohan valition daysack

Some people ask me why I buy such expensive outdoor gear and clothing.

The truth is, I dont so much now (well not since 2008). The days when I could walk in the Rohan shop and spend £300 are long gone and I’m just as likely to buy £6 jeans from Tesco.

However, there are some things I just won’t compromise on. My boots are Saloman quest 4D, the best I could afford, and my daysack an Rohan volition, extremely high quality and made without compromise.

Amazingly, they both developed small faults recently. The daysack had a jammed zip and one of the rivets came loose on my boots.

The outcome:  Although 3 and a half years old, The Chester Rohan shop, replaced the daysack with a brand new one, on the spot.

As a Cotswold explore more customer, anything I buy has its guarantee automatically extended to 2 year.

Once again, I pop into the shop and leave with a brand new pair of boots (in this case the mark 2 version which have only been available to buy for 2 weeks).

So, you see spending a bit more with a quality supplier pays dividends in the end.

One other thing. In neither case, did I have to rattle around looking for the receipt. By registering with both suppliers, they have the details of everything I’d purchased and when, right there in the shop !. That’s why I’d always recommend registering for peace of mind.

Gareth at my house (in the middle).

Sad news.

I recently heard my old friend Gareth (in the centre of this picture, larking about outside my house, when they went to visit Chester races) is leaving Sonova.

The famous “mithering” Gareth is a special kind of mate. Although I dont work for Sonova anymore, I’m genuinely sorry that he’s leaving.

Take care of yourself Gareth, and congratulations to Phil and Lisa, who are getting married soon.

Oh, and my house doesn’t look like that any-more, it has a new front door and new windows 🙂

Meetup with Lyndsay in Macclesfield

Speaking of old friends from Sonova.

During Christmas, I took my yearly pilgrimage to Macclesfield to meet up with Lyndsay Lomax.

Regular readers of will remember we worked together for a while, then she took a job at the head office in Switzerland.

Brilliant catching up, and I got to see a few more pubs in Macclesfield (although I didn’t get to meet generic mum).

As a proud Mancunian, I can remember the days of Madchester (although I will always believe the best music to come out of Manchester was a few years before from the Smiths).

Anyway, I’ve always been proud of my home town, and 2 stories about a particular band (the Happy Mondays) bring a warm feeling to me, as they represent some of the value’s I as a Mancunian try to adhere too.

1. Being offered a recording contract, they were told that their friend Bez (famous for eccentric dancing and presently making anti fracking noises, all those years later) couldn’t be on board with the deal.

This wasn’t like the kind of poncy music scene you have today with 1 direction. This would be the difference between being millionaires or simply being unemployed and making music in your garage. But they said no, and wouldn’t desert their friend. And in the end, they got their way.

2. Sean & Paul Rider (Sean was the lead singer) were in their house on a Sunday afternoon.

Their father was berating them about being failures, saying how he was embarrassed they were his sons and he was ashamed to know them (with a comment about wasting your time playing music in the garage !).

At this, Sean turned to his father and said no dad, your wrong about that. We will be SOMEONE. Then pointing at the TV said, and when we do, we’ll have that guy on the TV appearing with us.

The guy on the TV was the famous Canadian yodeller Carl Denver.

Above is a video of the Happy Mondays performing at GMEX. They paid Carl Denver £30,000 to sing with them, and their dad was in the audience.

Christmas card for 300 criminals from Chester police

Reading in the Chester Chronicle (I only ever read it in the takeaway, there’s only so many school gymnastic displays I can be bothered to read about).

In operation Blue Christmas, Chester police targeted 300 key offenders. In a slightly sarcastic (but effective) way, they had Christmas cards printed for potential criminals.

They showed the picture above, wished them Happy Christmas and explained that if they didn’t behave, that’s what their Christmas dinner would like like, from inside a cell.

Better still, they were individually hand delivered by the local police officer.

My council tax paid for that, and honestly I think its one of the best things they’ve ever done with the money :).

Apparently, crime over Christmas was at a record low !.

DVD of a fireplace.

I’ve put this picture up from Christmas day.

I know that you can get dvd’s of fish, that make your tv look like a fish tank.

The problem with dvd’s that try to turn your tv into a fireplace, is who exactly has a fireplace halfway up with wall ?

Dinner at the Tropeiro

I’ve been working on the house a lot, and in the evening, studying loads of new computer skills.

But, all work and no play makes John a dull boy (and that would never do).

So, I was delighted the other evening, to have dinner at Tropiero.

Its a Brazilian restaurant, they have a massive salad bar, and all the quality cuts of meat you can eat.

Washed down with fine red wine, what a superb evening.

One thing I find awful at the moment. At the end of a meal, I have to ask people if they get to keep the tips or if they just go in the till.

I can’t believe that someone can run an establishment and think that’s fair ?

Scene from the James Bond film Skyfall

Well, bags of adventure planned for this year, and a final planning meeting, this coming Friday.

One thing I’m especially looking forward too, is visiting Scotland.

The picture above is taken from the James Bond film Skyfall.

I’ve actually managed to find out the exact GPS location of this picture, and I’m going to be sure and visit it and take a picture.

Snowdon in the rain

And just to show that adventure isn’t always fun.

This is a picture of me on Snowdon last Sunday.

The weather was absolutely appalling. We soldiered on, but once we got above the col, the wind speeds were 60 mph.

Since we were already cold and wet, the wind chill made for a potentially dangerous combination, and I had to lead everyone back.

Very frustrating, as according to the GPS we were only a quarter of a mile from the top (we were walking the Watkin path).

No matter, better safe than sorry, back down the hill, we were drinking warm coffee in Capel Curig shortly afterwards.

I’d like to thank Pete, Astrid and Christine for coming along, and making it fun all the same.

Especially, I’d like to thank Nikki.

She must surely question the wisdom of some of my hair brained schemes, but always supports me.

On this occasion, driving everyone to the mountain, and marching around in the driving rain, without a single complaint.

Love you.

Near and far, the search for adventure continues…