Short blog post People.

Oh my giddy Aunt!  Have I nearly finished it?  Have spent about 27 hours over the last 2 days writing up and rearranging my blog into an e book.  The word count, not that that is what counts(!)…is close to 40,000.  That’s a book isn’t it?!

Chapters on Litter, Human Rights, Travel, Litter and Human Rights, Travel and Human Rights, Travel and Litter, Travel Human Rights and Litter.

Probably quite a bit more to do, but I’ve bloody done it.  Nearly there now, nearly there!

(It was pretty messy here at the motorway services yesterday!!!).

Rownhams

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“Doing the right thing”.

This is the first time I’ve created a blog post via my mobile phone. Never thought about it before. Very liberating!

Last Monday or Tuesday I spoke about escaping to my caravan to write ‘that’ book, (within 7 days).  I could only afford to stay in her for two nights, but fortunately I managed to get a lot of writing done.

I downgraded from there, packed my pushbike up and found a delightful campsite just an hour away. A fiver a nite, w.c, no showers but plenty of fresh water. I bought a decent sunlounger mattress from the tip for £1.50, a sun shade canopy from Aldi for £7.99 and with what I have already, camping is rather fun really.

The book is being sorted, researched and compiled between Costa’s in Romsey and a McDonalds in a motorway service station. Good coffee, loos and wifi in Costa’s. Cheap tea, 24 hr wifi and showers at the service station.

I keep getting new ideas for the title of my book. It started with “Stop Swearing-Start Earning” and has transformed through many stages, to at the moment “Doing the Right Thing”, which seems pretty appropriate, because if I don’t do the right thing,  this book will not get done! Cheers for now, Simon.

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Along with lottery scratchcards and the plastic rings you get holding drink cans together I am adding a new product to start picking up on my litter picking duties-smiley face car fresheners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Following on…

This is a follow on from my last post of two weeks ago. Have I got a book written, or at least part 2 of the book written within the two week period I had hoped for?

No. Simple as that, no!

But I have been trying!

A story centred around my short e book “Chemical Warfare?” is forming in my mind.

I’ve just booked another two days in my caravan. Two days isn’t a long time to write a book in but if you google ‘write a book in two days’, ‘write a book in 3 days’, ‘5 days’ or ‘7 days’ you will see that people have done it.

I reckon that if I can find ‘7’ free days I can do it too. The book wouldn’t be written in haste. It would hopefully be a free flowing rush of words that have been trying to get out of my mind and into print for years.

I once escaped to an uninhabited Greek island for 5 days to write. I need to do it again, but this time I need to visit an uninhabited island in my mind, and from a place with a roof over my head, with food to eat, bed to rest on, facilities at hand.

When I am flush with cash I can bound off to another uninhabited island for as long as I like, but for now I need some security.

Caravan-can you help me?!

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Time to stop.

In my December 2015 blog post I said I may not say much in 2016, but I’ve broken that statement many times, and added a number of posts since. But I think I mean it now!

I have had numerous ridiculous travel episodes in my thirty years of mostly mad travels. The last one was last week. And they have to stop. I’ve said that before, but God willing that was the final one. They happen because I plan nothing, nothing other than come up with a destination, and more often not with little resources to aid me.

I was aiming for a deserted beach. A £12 megabus ticket on the train took me from London Waterloo to Wareham in Dorset. It was pouring with rain. I had a very heavy backpack and the cross country walking route to a scenic, barren beach was ten miles long. Not so long, but it really was raining hard. I was soaked in seconds.

I got to the bay in a number of hours. I slid down the steep and long walkway to the bay. I fell twice. I was slightly scared as my back pack took me fully into the bushes and out of sight of anyone searching for a missing hiker. Looking back on that bit, thank goodness I didn’t bang my head on a rock or twist/break an ankle.

I arrived at the beach. I had no tent, no sleeping bag. I had hoped to find some discarded plastic sheeting on the beach. There were plastic bottles of course-but no sheeting. It was going to be a long cold, wet and miserable night ahead-I thought.

I started collecting wood for a fire-if it would light!

The beach was beautiful. The bay was large and sweeping. The cliffs were high and steep. I was alone-again!

I looked for cover from the rain. There were six or seven boat huts, a couple in good nick, the others pretty weather worn. But there was no cover.

I carried on collecting wood for the fire.

The sun came out. It was about 7 pm. Black clouds loomed though. I was still in trouble.

Until out of the blue two chaps came down to check out their huts. We got talking. We sat on a bench made from an old sleeper. One of them drank a beer, the other some homemade wine. I gave one of them a round of cheese I had spare. It was fun. We philosophised. We laughed. We smiled.

In short, as the clouds welled up and another downpour loomed, one of the gentleman gave me a key to his shed. “Stay the night if you want to,” he said. “There’s a new sleeping bag hanging on the wall. There’s a new camping bed as well. The gas stove’s ancient but one ring works. Clear the wood out and you’ll probably have enough space to stretch out”.

I said my thanks.

I made tea. I moved the wood. I set up the bed. I rolled out the bag.

It absolutely poured with rain.

But I slept for six hours. I was warm. I was rested. I was extremely lucky.

I walked the 4 miles back to Swanage in the morning. I applied for a few washing up jobs, talked to an interesting furniture shop owner who might take some of my stuff…and yet again borrowed a £50 note from my Mother to get home and save my aching hips.

A day’s worth of Ibuprofen later and my spine is straightening up again.

Time to pay the fifty pounds back. Time to stop borrowing. Time to stop talking so much. Time to write that travel book. Time to travel properly.  That’s if I need to do anymore travelling!

Posted in 20.Nearly there now., Litter and Travel | 1 Comment

OPO/VOOM publicity photo!

Voom winner

Here’s the photo I spoke about.  It is of the Olympic rings above Portland Bay in Dorset where many of the London 2012 sailing events took place.  To the left hand side of the photo is the stretch of Chesil Beach.

With the help of some family members we photo shopped the picture.  OPO, the top line is my #VOOM competition title, (Operation Perfect Organisation), and as I’ve mentioned often in the last few weeks VOOM is the name of Richard Branson’s competition.

Just thought it was a good bit of work!

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Richard Branson’s #VOOM “People’s Choice Award”.

A quick post for the moment.

Voting opens again today, facebook and linkedin accounts needed though if you wish to vote!  No other way to do it!

I have discovered this site, http://www.preciousplastic.com  A young man, Dave Hakkens from the Netherlands has designed simple, inexpensive machines to shred beach plastic!  At last, I have been looking for something like this for years!

With the £10,000 “People’s Choice Award” prize I could set up my own ‘small’ beach plastic recycling plant in weeks!

Just got to find quite a few thousand votes to do so!  I have until June 24th to get more votes than anyone else!  Here we go!  Where will the journey take me?

Please revote below if you wish too.  Voting starts from zero again-today.

https://www.vmbvoom.com/pitches/opo-operation-perfect-organisation-1

(ps. Will update with what I term as a ‘classic’ publicity photo tonight.  I think it’s good anyway!).

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I don’t know…

Thank you to those that voted for my pitch in Richard Branson’s #VOOM2016 competition…and thank you also to those that wanted to vote but didn’t want to create either a facebook or linkedin account to be able to do so. I don’t blame you!

I didn’t get through to the next round. Although making the sort of laudable claim that I could win the competition I suppose it’s not surprising I only managed to find myself in about 500th position out of about 2000 entrants.

The 80 highest voted for pitches in the ‘business start up section’ now get to run the rest of the course until whittled down to a final 6 contestants that pitch to RB and his gang in the ‘pitch to rich’ finale.

Although going no further in this part of the competition I had a funny feeling that I would somehow be given another chance. I received an e mail from VOOM this morning, and I wasn’t surprised to read that they are offering an extra opportunity to all that failed to get through to the next round.

From June 3rd to June 24th each of us ‘failures’ have the opportunity to go for “The People’s Choice Award”. For those that wish to enter, the voting starts again from zero. The highest voted for project by the 24th June receives £10,000 to put towards their business idea. Shall I do it? I don’t know.

The week’s publicity I arranged for the competition didn’t go as planned. I did the Yellow Ferrari hitchike. Didn’t get a lift-No Yellow Ferraris passed me. Kimmeridge Bay was as clean as a whistle. I collected a carrier bags worth of plastic bottles. Chesil Beach was the same, very little litter-for once.

I cancelled my two day planned pick at Porlock in Somerset and instead went back to work and finished off my Folks pergola. I didn’t do Chesil on the Friday-because of the lack of litter. I cancelled the second Yellow Ferrari hitch. It didn’t seem worth it. (It’s time to stop hitch hiking for Yellow Ferraris).

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At Kimmeridge Bay there is a stone bench dedicated to a man called Bill. He was a surfer, and the letters inscribed on the front of the bench read “No Smoking- Enjoy-No Litter“. Sounds like a good bloke was Bill.

 

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“The #VOOM2016 People’s Choice Award“. Shall I have a go? I don’t know.

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Posted in Litter, out of book. | 2 Comments