Wednesday, 28 March 2007

The difficulties of English

Writing a book leads to unexpected delights and new connections. When a Romanian lady (who lives in Japan) read my book she contacted me and said that she would like to translate it into Romanian. Neither of us quite know what the point of this is going to be yet, but it sounded like a fun project. I suppose that, because
do a lot of work in Romania, I hoped that the book may have a success there that they could help them. Anyway, all that is beside the point. We are trying to get my book turned into Romanian.
Mihaela is doing brilliantly at what must be a really hard task, but she recently sent me a a list of words she was stuck on. It is a good example of the vagaries of English, but also the powerful, descriptive nuances of so many of our words. Here is the list, jam-packed with fabulous words!

pull it off, tarmac, to run the gauntlet, clarion, chisel-jawed, take stock of, scrum, snogger, snog, quiff, brogues, wonky, gawpers, dump, I could not stick it out, bucking, jack it all in, beeping, I would be having a ball, hemmed, dodgy, con, mojo, prosy, in treacle, swanky, cringing at, bail out, bobbed, clime, swathe, overwhelmed, uncluttered, clouting, think only this of me, to have a crack, to take a bearing on, blancmange, grotty, swilling, scrummaging, wangle, sod it, lee, Greensleeves, doing bugger all, taut, fu**ed up!, woopee cushion, mead, glugging, fledgling, tout, swill, excarpment, psyched himself up, gauntlet, jarred, Foofighters, all worked up, smoke joints, ganja, wiggling, red-hot cattle prod, joystick, the King's Road, been tipped off, shambolic, red herring, boaters, faze, succour, do over, fast-tracking, panel beater , wellington boots, pandemonium, spuming, takeaway, squirming, feistiness.


Tuesday, 20 March 2007

A year chasing birds

I love this adventure: a 15 year-old boy, Malkolm Boothroyd, and his parents are setting off from the Yukon to follow the migrating birds south for a year on an exciting fossil-free expedition, by bike, boat and boots. Read all about it
. It is good to see expeditions with a point and a cause.

Labels: ,

Bike Helmets for Kids

Screenshot_1 I was recently doing some work for Sustrans, trying to get children off their ever-broadening bums and onto their bikes. The specific aim was part of a plan to quadruple the number of children cycling to school.
I was really shocked at the number of children who did not ride to school simply because they did not have a helmet. We were working in some quite run-down areas and I was really saddened by such a simple problem. Especially when Aldi are selling safe helmets for just
So, if you want to buy a child a helmet that would be brilliant- you can really make a big difference in a kid's life. Just send a cheque for £3 to Kathy Bashford,
Bike It Officer, Sustrans, c/o Engineering, Town Hall, Marine Road, Morecambe LA4 5AF


Sunday, 18 March 2007

Strange Maps

I really enjoy maps; for the ideas they give me about future journeys, for what they tell about the past, and for all the different things they can represent. Here is a whole website of strange maps- click around randomly on some of the different months and you will find all sorts of random gems. Click here.

Round the World by... WHEELCHAIR!

Screenshot_2 Rick Hansen did a lap of the planet in his wheelchair! Plus he got a cheesy 80's song written after him (St. Elmo's Fire...). Read all about his incredible story here.

Labels: ,

No VAT on Bikes - a Petition

An important step towards increasing people's activity levels and decreasing congestion and pollution would be to remove VAT from the cost of bicycles. If you believe that this is a worthwhile cause please sign the Downing Street petition here.
Thank you.


Monday, 5 March 2007

When travel goes wrong

Here is a shocking story, of a man on an adventure -crossing the Himalayas on horseback- that has gone horribly wrong. Dan has been arrested and thrown in jail by the Indo-Tibet police. Read more here.


A sad story

Adventure, life-enhancing travel, and exploring your limits all have risks attached. The risks enhance the rewards. But when something goes wrong the tragedy is all the sharper, for to lose one of those shining lights that inspire and enhance all around them is truly sad. Andrew McAuley -kayaker, adventurer, climber- died within sight of the end of his latest, boldest expedition. Very sad news, and I sympathise particularly for those left behind. Have a read of his website and soak up some inspiration and positivity from the tragedy.

Cycling through Iran

I always dreamed of cycling through Iran. Sadly I could not secure a visa. Since then Iran has become public enemy number 1, yet I remain convinced that it would be a wonderful place to ride.
Two friends of mine, John and Sally, have just cycled through Iran en route to India. Click here to read about their journey.

Labels: ,