The challenge has always been to surf. It’s been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember fuelled by seeing early skateboarding films in the ’70s. Then came movies such as Big Wednesday, The Endless Summer, Blue Crush, Lords of Dogtown and the oh-so-quotable Point Break. I even read books: Andrew Martin’s cult classic Walking on Water was particularly inspiring as (like Keanu in PB) a fellow journalist gets the ultimate assignment – he’ll be paid to go surfing, in Hawaii, for The Times. ‘Awesome.’
My heart was practically tachycardic as I entered the blackness. They (if they were there) could easily see me nipping off-path and slipping between the large conifers edging the park into the expanse of darkness beyond. I was banking on no one of cruel intention waiting for me there. All I wanted to do was to be able to see the full moon undiluted by surburbia’s glow.
This Christmas break has been a feverish, fog-brained, sinus-filled and jelly-legged two weeks, due to the most fluey of cold viruses (but not the actual flu because when you’ve had the flu, you know!). And so, the Christmas alcohol remains to be drunk, I’ve dropped three lbs and our post-Christmas walking holiday has been postponed. But I have a history of broken festivities so I’ll just add 2015 to that list. When you work from home, the winter office viruses find you just in time for the holidays and are all like: ‘Wayhay! Fresh meat!’
Recently I sold my DSLR with every intention of replacing it with a new hybrid camera. Instead I’ve been pretty pleased with the output from my iPhone 6 and so, for the first time ever, I took all my trip pix using just a cameraphone. Here are some shots from our honeymoon to Iceland. Many pics are straight out of the camera or with just a little adjustment for the confused white balance of snowy landscapes.
Five holidays may seem like a lot but most were long weekends rather than week-long breaks. And only one flight; the rest were by train, kicking off with a 14-hour journey from Bournville to Derry/Londonderry.
Just back from a week in the centre of France in a little known area called the Cantal. It may be “one of the most sparsely populated and geographically isolated French departments”, according to Wikipedia, but it does have one big claim in that the region encompasses Europe’s largest volcano. Snowshoeing a sleeping volcano seemed an irresistible storyline. Continue reading “Cantal press trip blogged – and a travel request”
Travmedia, a press release and journalist alert service which connects journalists and PRs, has just made a very smart move (I hope) by launching a Facebook-style social network, that will facilitate many more travel trade connections and work opportunities, and make travel freelancers like myself more visible to travel editors.
‘My Network’ is a little clunky to use at first – a beta feedback option would be good for members so that they can improve the user experience. And there are currently some privacy issues – if you are a Travmedia member you should immediately update your default profile so that your full address doesn’t show, for example.
But I think this might be the first useful work-oriented network I’ve joined since Twitter, which has become a little noisy of late.
The success of ‘My Network’ may be dependent on whether others adopt its usage and how Travmedia develops the service. But it’s already been helpful to me in finding PRs for areas I want to cover, for reconnecting with friends I’ve met on press trips and for posting feature pitches and commissions.
We shall see how our relationship progresses after the first flush is over.
Having different blogs for different subject areas means that I am a slave to them all. So if it’s quiet here on my central hub then it’s probably because I’m over on one of my other workday or spare-time blogs. As a quick roundup, here’s what I’ve been posting elsewhere of late:
31 Destinations in Time – because it’s not just about the place but the era in which you visit it. I’ve just posted number 11 in the series on Dumaguete City, capital of Negros Island, in the Philippines in 2007. The series also includes Bali, Iceland, Venice, Jordan, Slovenia, Paris, Gili Trawangan, Austin, Texas and San Francisco.
Subs’ Standards – lately in my sub-editing blog I’ve been picking up on a few funnies that have made it through to publication. I also published my first guest post – from multimedia journalist Andy Bull on the subs-friendly art of curation and live-blogging. I’m now thinking of asking other sub-editors to write about their experiences of digital subbing.
Debauched Teddies – rounding up bad teddy bears from around the world. There are LOTS.
Katchooo Mix – a scrapbook of stuff that is relevant to my interests.
Flickr news – fresh up are holiday pics from Llangollen canal and the Isle of Purbeck, plus shots from Mostly Jazz Festival weekender who kindly gave me a photo pass.
Grant Thornton Thinking blogs – I help write and edit four blog channels for Grant Thornton UK on/about: business leaders and entrepreneurs, the high net worth community, international markets and boardroom issues. Recently I’ve researched online business networks in China, live-curated the UK Budget and set up a Scoop.It for female finance directors. I’m lucky in that the firm’s online channels are open to exploring new ideas for business and financial content.
The Firehead blog – I’m also blog manager for this European content and comms recruitment company. They let me post LOLcats among the more serious business content. This makes me happy.
OK, this is possibly the laziest blog post in the world evah as I did want to document today’s trip to Ironbridge in Shropshire, an hour or so west of Birmingham, but fortunately the work has already been done perfectly well by my co-traveller. So, yeah, what he said:
Visiting Lord Ron Ridge by Pete Ashton.
Here’s my favourite photo from today’s jaunt, a shot of the cooling towers of the power station somewhere beyond Coalbrookdale…
I also quite liked this private pontoon with painted blue decking…
The full set can be found on my Flickr.