My mate Chris, is currently in training for his half marathon to raise money and awareness for MND. Have a look at
for all the details.
As many of you will know, me and Chris have been mates for ages; around 20 years I reckon over which time we have many an adventure and consumed many more pints of ale. Chris was single handedly responsible for my expensive tastes in TVR cars. It was him buying his MR2 in 1996 that made me think I should endulge myself and not just spend everything on mortgages, pensions and savings. In hindsight it was a wise move and I am glad I didn't talk myself out of it with a promise of treating myself in my forties. Anyone reading this who is trying to justify a similar indulgence to their wife or girlfriend or indeed to themselves, please feel free to use my circumstances as ammunition.
Chris was also responsible for persuading me to jump out of a plane with no more than a fifty year old WW2 parachute and training which comprised of jumping off a crate and shouting "one thousand, two thousand, three thousand, check canopy" I'm not talking here about a tandem jump, but me, alone, dangling under an ex-army parachute high above the Buckinghamshire countryside (uncomfortably close to the M40). Although, unlike Chris I didn't pursue skydiving as a hobby it was an incredible experience.
Another unforgettable experience was our American Roadtrip. The formula was one flight to San Francisco, one flight from Orlando and one Hire car. Everything else was decided en route. Had blogs been around then it would have made great reading, but as they weren't, here is a summary. We discovered;
that just because you can see the Golden Gate Bridge doesn't mean it is possible to reach it on foot in under 2 hours.
that you really can't do justice to Yosemite National Park in ninety minutes
that you should always remember to remove passport from jeans back pocket before embarking on swimming in every private swimming pool on route from final bar of the evening to that nights motel.
that you can't dry underpants in a microwave
that you can dry underpants by hanging them from rotating ceiling fan
that you don't drive at 95 mph on interstate
that you DO always add the word 'sir' to the end of every sentence when talking to an interstate patrol officer
that you don't drive too slowly past run down shacks in Alabama with their gun toting owners on the verander, when in a hire car on California plates
that when in some southern state, shanty town bar, you agree with great enthusiasm when the bar owners response to discovering you're from England is "F**k the Queen "
that a diet of food consisting exclusively of McDonalds and a toilet in close proximity to your sleeping quarters is a combination to be avoided
That straying outside New Orleans safe French Quarter and playing pool with two armed and drunk guys from Baton Rouge, without letting them win a single game won't necessarily result in you being murdered.
that standing directly under a lampost in a thunderstorm is a very bad idea
that if you are going to board an aircraft 25 minutes after all the other passengers, don't do it on a packed Boeing 747
There have been less successful although no less memorable holidays including the ill fated Bulgarian skiing holiday. No snow, a mysterious illness that everyone got which we named BulgaRIA (as opposed to BulGARia ) and the discovery that Bulgaria is the final destination of ski lifts and equipment after Italy have finished with it. The only saving grace was us managing to coincide our visit with a meltdown of the Bulgarian economy which meant we could buy beer for 20p. Well we could until they decided to re-price in dollars.
Anyway, enough reminiscing. Chris is a top bloke and great friend. He will hate me for writing this, but its my blog, so tough!