When did it Happen!?

I’m going to come out and say it. Whats so bloody special about Fathers Day and when did it get blown out of perspective. In my lifetime, Mothering Sunday has always been quite a big deal kind off up there with Birthdays and Christmas. A day (although I don’t) to celebrate and treat your mum. Fathers day has always seemed to be a cheap add on, a day dedicated to them so they don’t feel left out.

But as I scan my Facebook and Twitter Feeds, I find they are flooded with pictures of my friends dads and messages saying what a top bloke they are or were. What I fail to understand is why and how as it become a big occasion… It seems to be as big if not bigger than Mothering Sunday.

I once again have refused to spend the £2 on a card to say ‘Thanks Dad’ I have even failed to wish him a ‘Happy Fathers Day’ and because of that I have been shunned. Really! Why? Why suddenly do we have this big expectation of this non event? Why do we put so much (Money) effort and time into these pointless days and at the end of it what does a Hallmark card and a new golf ball or some gardening tools actually say. Call me cynical but it is all about money, every shop pushing adverts and promotions with gift sets and even if it’s not wrapped up in a box with “dad” packaging then supermarkets have got posters above the Scotch, Whiskey, Ale or razors informing of what a great gift they would make. Here dad, thanks for being there for me have a Bic.

Oh well rant over.

Limbo

Get a job!

While no one has said that to me apart from a friend, I am still surprised that my parents are not chanting those very words outside my door at 8am. It has now been well over a six months and while I know I want out of the theatre industry and have almost completed that move by turning down work and people getting the hint not to phone any more the true fact remains that I do not have a career or a role to jump into.

I have a dream of working for Air Traffic Control. Almost succeeded apart from the final online test. The Rails, Airside, Teaching, The Outdoors.

Now I am trying, I’ve sent out my C.V and have applied for several positions but the way I see it is simple, why get a filler job. A job like bar work or supermarket work when it’s not what I want to do. I don’t after all want to be stuck there as that’s not my career and at the moment I am living on ‘Mum and Dad’. If I wanted to work as a check out person or store manager then sure that would be the answer. But the other fact is why start a job when I might have to write a letter to the manager to say I’m leaving as I need to start training for a new job.

I should also make clear that unlike my sister who is paying or contributing has not left home and is quite a bit older than I. Also my brother returned from Uni and lived in the house for a good number of months if not years. I went to uni and found my independence and only returned after the plane touched down back in Manchester, so as a spoilt younger child I am now using my unspent time at the nest up now.

Those jobs I speak off have a very long recruitment process. Some have been going on for four weeks now and I have completed the online tests and am waiting to hear if they want me to interview, all I can do is keep applying for other roles and other jobs in the area I want to work every one of them with this prolonged recruitment process. So while I sit at home, bored, being fed and watered I’m stuck in Limbo. Do I go out a get a part-time role only to give it up after a week, or maybe get promoted after a month to full-time hours and slowly stop applying for these other roles as I get stuck in a dead-end job (dead-end for me).

So as I write this I have just received two emails to say I am through to the next round and they’ll  be in touch shortly, Shortly was how long they would be in contact last time and that happened to be four weeks ago.

Oh well could be worse. I could be stuck in purgatory

Bike Shopping

So this is an open call for any cyclist to give me advice. I’m looking at getting into this road cycling business and to be honest I have not got a clue what I am looking for.

Off course I have gone into a shop and talked to people and sat on a few bikes etc. I thought I found one that I liked and told my cyclist mate who has a brother who works in a cycle shop. He now informs me that the bike they selected is not ideal and that I should pick one from his stock and he recommended some that would suit me. 

The argument that he puts forward is that the Focus Culebro SL 3 is not a built for comfort and the handle bars are quite low, so its less of a natural position. 

I am now confused as when I tried it in the shop it seemed like I was sat quite upright and they said they could do stuff to make it better in the bike fit,  but another mate says you shouldn’t make a bike fit you.

So what do I do? I want to get moving on this as any kind of cost I need to act quick otherwise I start questioning how much I need the purchase etc. 

So any cyclists out there, please help me out. 

Thanks. 

A Bag of Nerves To…

This time last year I was trying to see and spend as much time with family, friends and Manchester. My thoughts were ‘what happens if I hate it, I’ve sold everything to fund this trip and I’ll look a fool if I’m back in two weeks’ as nervous as I felt even with the reassurance from my mate in the back of my mind something was telling me that I’d be home sick and would not enjoy the year.

I had plans, everyone has plans. Those plans however have not turned out. The biggest plan has failed, I know this as in a week I’m returning from NZ to the UK, but unlike a year ago my mind isn’t nervous or scared it’s just, just unenthusiastic about the prospect. Sure I get to
see people but I’m back in the UK.

The truth is while I didn’t work for DOC or live in the hills partly as I allowed Wellington to trap me in its ‘Coolest little capital hub’. The truth is this is home, this is my city, and I think I was also suppose to stay here. Before I left it was on the list of possible place I’d lay down my bag and sleep. I feel that when I return to Manchester I will feel like a stranger, as I walk round my home country I will feel like a traveller.

Someone one said that you change once you travel, and only travellers know this, you have a different look on life, and to be honest the kiwi one rules. I always said, even thou nervous about the adventure that I’d like to live and stay in NZ and as I browse the shops for those gifts and pack my bag I know that I was right.

It’s not that I’m scared of my return, sure I’m worried or refusing to think about my job prospects, living arrangements and money its more the fact I don’t want to go back so I’m not allowing myself to think about it. Don’t get me wrong I’m excited about having that English pint next to a fire in a wood panelled pub in the heart of an English village with my best mate, seeing my nephew and my mum, but I’m not looking forward to reverting back to the British lifestyle, nipping to the corner shop rather than the dairy, ordering a pint rather than a handle, replacing pound for dollar and having to do the conversion the other way, going to a supermarket to buy everything instead of the liquor store for my drink and having to drive to the coast or mountains rather than taking a walk down the road. Wellies not gumboots, flip flops not jandles, mate not bro the list of culture change goes on.

Yes a year ago to day I was nervous as I was going into the unknown, now I’m scared and upset.

If someone at five thirty came on that plane to tell me I could stay then in all honesty I think I’d get off.

It’s funny how a year changes your view.

Home Sick

Well my dream of staying is slowly fading and in a surprising way I’m kind of glad. It was after all a dream to stay and work but now if I’m honest I’m a little homesick. Sure I miss my family and my best mate and there are a few others who I wouldn’t mind having a pint with not that we’ve really kept in touch.

But the true home sickness and this will be a surprise to many and a few may gasp and exclaim and argue that I’m daft especially with the landscape and scenery but my heart belongs in the hills and mountains of Britain.

Yes I’m homesick for walking Snowdon and Tryfan or taking a cold winter hike across the moors or a drive to a remote part of the peak district and rambling down country lanes and through English woods. Off course the views and landscape in the land of the hobbits is amazing and I know as I look down from Snowdon or view the Cheshire plain from Kinder Scout my brain will flash back to those pictures and images of the southern alps and the quite one horse towns and question which one is better. People said NZ is Wales on a larger scale and they weren’t wrong.

I still have some months left and with my time I’m going to see this country again to make sure I have a full memory of sights, sounds and stories stored in the old memory bank. Sometimes you have to be without something to realise how much it actually means and while I could happily make the move I need to go back to see if my true loves once more and put the world to rights with a good old fashioned drinking session with my bestie.

A friend once posted a song to my wall which I think I have shared with you all before called ‘The Manchester Rambler’ which sums up my affair and passion for the outdoors. While I have now found a way to come back and work over here in the future  I find myself missing the peaks and Snowdonia ever more.

I’ve made some good friends and have had partook in many an adventure and while there have been high and lows how will always treasure my time in NZ and hold it close but the time has come to return to the UK and who knows I may realise that NZ was for me after all. But at the moment Im longing to walk down Market Street and go into Greg’s for a steak bake or chin wag and complain over a warm flat beer with Matt, or redeem my nector points and watch the BBC and take a walk in the British rain and wrap up warm not put on sun screen in Janaury. But at the same time I’m loving my time away and the experiences I’m living.

See you soon UK.

Two More

Well it has been a big countdown and now it is just the final three days or two more sleeps. Three years ago, I decided that I will jack in my life in theatre and do something different, one of them was go off to New Zealand. For some reason I kept chickening out and putting it off until a friend instructed me to ‘Just buy the plane tickets as then you will have to go, but even if you don’t do the travelling you could just go for the holiday’ However it is going to be more than just a holiday.

The past 100 days has seen me try to fit in a lot of stuff, climbing the Welsh 3000’s and completing them (except I haven’t) walking Striding Edge and climbing Jacks Rake in the Lakes, camping with my best buddy. Getting my Marathon time down to a sub 4 and my 10K time to a sub 40 which I failed, but did mange to get a new PB in my home city and the race that started my obsession.

So now comes the real countdown. Now that I have packed up and sold out, squeezed the next 12 months into a backpack, printed the plane tickets, checked my Visa, transferred money into New Zealand dollars, said the final goodbyes to those you want them, the wait is finally over. Come Tuesday at 9pm I will be on a Boeing 777 waiting to take off from Ringway  where my adventure will begin.

Sure I’m going to miss my family, and my best mate. I will be miss the city of Manchester, the T.V shows and Radio comedies I have grown to love. I’ll miss my comforts and my flat. Driving around in my car, walking in Snowdonia and the South Lakes, running in Wales and around Manchester, working with mates and on some fantastic projects. But for all those things I will be missing, just think of what I will be replacing them with. Stunning jaw dropping views, a slower pace of life, an experience that will be locked in the memory for a lifetime, new friends, new loves, new walks, an education in a different way of living and time to stop and reflect and take a look at my life and where I want it to go. After all this has always been the premise of the trip. A way to explore how and where I want to live my life and what I want to do.

So with just two more sleeps… and a somewhat positive relaxed outlook as I don’t think the prospect of what I’m doing has actually settled in… I know that time will come as I board the plane and start to panic over what I am doing. But deep down I know its right.

So three days, 2 more sleeps, until I say goodbye to the UK and hello New Zealand.

Before I Go!

There are a lot of things. A long list if you will. I have compiled this list to help me get my affairs in order before I arrive at terminal one and board my plane. There are the simple things like selling DVD’s and CD’s, which now has a big tick by it. Move stuff back to my parents, sell some clothes, pack, transfer money, pay tax bill, cancel phone, cancel internet and so the list goes on.

However the one item on the list that I really want to see ticked off, is the Welsh 3000. For those not in the know, and even some avid walkers don’t know then the 3000’s are 14 or 15 (if you count the extra one) peaks in Snowdonia that are over 3000 feet hence the name.

Now I have done the Snowdon Massif, and only have two more to bag for the Glyders, which I am hoping to do this week and then I just have the Carnedadu to complete. Forget bagging Wainwrights and completing the Southern West Fells, my dream and ambition before I depart the UK is to complete the 3000 mainly due to that fact that it gives me an excuse to go to Snowdonia.

So hopefully as my time draws ever closer to 25th June, I will be able to give a tick to finishing the Welsh 3000.

My Dad Often Asks…

When I do return to the nest which hand on heart is not as many times as I could but since I got my car is more than the Christmas visit that I use to grace my parents with, my father would often ask me a question. This may be the first subject on the card, or it may be slipped in at some juncture during the days events.

I have never and will never answer the question and that is because I can’t. I’ve tried to detail the answer in a blog but failed. The failure haunts me every time I go to write a new entry as it sits in the drafts section waiting to be completed and finally published.

The question is not to be compared to one of life’s mysteries or indeed a question you want to shy away from. The question is pure and simple. The question is ‘What has been your best race?’

‘Best Race’ In terms of what. Personal Best, crowd, scenery, atmosphere, achievement. I have run many a race and find it hard to answer. I trouble with answering the question of what my favourite distance is.

The only way I could answer it is if I was to break it down. After all the Manchester 10K would be number one, as it was my first race and I enjoyed the atmosphere and passion of everyone who watches and participates. Plus the added bonus is it’s in my back yard. However the Conwy Half scores highly as it always see’s me smash my PB for the distance and starts under the gaze of my favourite castle in Wales and also takes me up the Orme. (Oo-er missus). But then Snowdon Marathon would come top as the crowd support was immense and I was under the careful scrutiny of my beloved mountain range the entire time. But the Liverpool Half would have to score a mention as I don’t think there has been a course which has carried support for the entire length. Manchester Marathon as it was my first for that distance and if I was to award the number one spot to Manchester for that reason then ‘The Great North’ would have to sit alongside it as that was my first half, with the added bonus I crossed one of my top 5 bridges and saw 6 others. It’s also on every runners bucket list as a must do race which I can now tick off.

So the simple question that my dad fields me every time I return to the Scott household may seem like a harmless innocent inquiry  but the boundaries and categories on what makes a good race are so far apart.

That question is about to get harder to answer as I am about to race again in Wales, what seems like the home of PB’s but in a race which if I run well could see it be catapulted to the top spot knocking Manchester and Conwy clear out of sight. For tomorrow is ‘The Island Race’

It’s 13.1 miles my favourite distance. It is taking place in Wales which followers of the blog do not need to be told is my favourite country. It’s taking place on Anglesey which is one of my favourite Islands (and there are others) and starts by running over The Menai Bridge which you guessed it joins the Tyne Bridge in my top five. Did I also mention I run around a castle which is also found in my top five castle list and I will be able to see the mountain ranges of Snowdonia. So all I need is for it to be a good course, a good time, and wonderful weather and I think finally I may be able to answer the question ‘What has been your favourite race’ Well until I run another event that is.

But even with all those ticks might see me choose to run it again but to answer the question is not just about, course, crowd, scenery, or even performance. It’s about how you feel. Every race has seen me run and become over powered by different emotions. Manchester Marathon has me believe I was going to die, I wanted out as the pain was too bad but the thought that only 1% of the world will ever run this distance spurred me on. Bangor 10K saw me run with passion as I crossed the line in shearing heat and almost a state of exhaustion. Snowdon taught me to pace and race well to cross the line for the first time feeling I had more to give, Manchester is the simple joy of running with people in their prime and those who entered in a drunken bet. King Johns Road on the Great North was only completed when the thought of those people who sponsored me and the way their kind contributions would help the Cancer Charity Christies to carry on their work allowed me to push on through my pain to reach the euphoria that is the ‘Runner High’.

So the very notion that I could answer the question is ridiculous. Every race, even a bad one will always be the best as I will be rewarded with the best drug in the world. That feeling of knowing you have pushed your body to the extremes and have survived.

Does it come with stabilisers

Now I have never been good with balls. I was hopeless at football when I was at school, so dreadfully poor at the sport that if I was at school now I could be picked for the England team. I was pretty useless at catching and throwing but did enjoy rugby and was slightly better than other people at this contact sport. I had trouble hitting balls be it with a tennis racket or cricket bat, and much preferred that of a shuttle Cock in Badminton.  So what is this confession of the lack of sporting prowess all about? Well it’s here to give  a background as for Christmas I asked for a stability ball or yoga ball depending on who you are. I didn’t get one partly because my father has one which is now sitting in my room after he made it redundant when his elbow/wrist improved. 

Now I was told to get one or to use one by my physio to really work on my glutes and get my core strength nice and strong… Now I have one and its taking up the majority of the living room… (Do they come in different sizes?) anyway I tried it out after spending a good two hours pumping the dam thing up and if I’m honest I don’t think it was 2 hours well spent as it still seems a little squishy. 

Anyway leaving the infallibility issue to one side I tried the exercises my physio had shown me to get my Hams and Glutes good and strong and then decided that youtube may have some good workouts as I thought I was failing  to remember the precise nature of the method Dom had instructed me to do. Now I fell on a good 30 minute video detailing several workouts, some were the ones my physio had shown others were new and some just saw me never complete them as I was for every falling off. 

Trying to balance on an inflatable ball whilst lifting your left arm, right leg into a superman pose is not my idea of exercise or fun. There is a reason why my core is weak and I get injuries as a runner and that is because I don’t cross train, I just run. Running is fun and I can do it, and do it easily. Sure there are mornings when I need to motivate myself into getting the trainers on but at least I do get them on in the end. The days trying to motivate myself into carrying out the physio exercises or going to the gym for a session never seems to materialise, however that may all change with the ball, or it would if it had stabilisers that way I might be more inclined to continue with it without the fear of falling off. 

For those runners who use one, tell me your best uses, if your are a runner with out one then get one, the 30 minute routine I did today used and stretched muscles in my legs I never knew were there or could never reach.

It’s Christmas…..

As Noddy Holder once said, ‘It’s Christmas’ and don’t we all bloody know it. The usual cut through to get to work was like hitting Birmingham at Rush Hour. Crowds of hopeless lost, mad, frantic people trying to get those last-minute bits and pieces. Lines for the checkout twisting around the aisles, queues to even get into the shops. The streets were packed with lifeless souls like zombies walking from one destination to the next and they call this fun. This is Christmas and Ba Humbug.

Rather than write yet another torrent of dribble that will fully depress you and suck any christmas spirit you may have I have opted for the cheaper option and will be good enough to post links of past Christmas and New Years rants. Over this year I have seen many new followers and I know as a blog reader myself there is not always time to search the archives so for those who enjoy the bitter ramblings feel free to click the links. While all anti Christmas and New Year a scrooge character I may be but the blogs are only the truth an insight to the real christmas we all face once you have stripped the Tinsel, lights and rubbed those drunken eyes this is what Christmas really is.

Ba Humbug 

Why should Santa get all the big hats

And all that Bollocks

Why we should get rid of Christmas

Riding in a yellow car and part 2 Congestion in the yellow car

No Life