Twitter and other things
Three days until I’m off and away from Carlisle for good. Feels a tad bizarre but good. Very good. I’ve been here for nearly four years and it is definitely time to be moving on. I’m excited.
The opportunities back in the North East are all around and I’m going to jump right in. I intend to do a massive walk the week I’m back, say hello to the moors and Roseberry Topping again. It’s been awhile and I need a Northern gale. As I mentioned in my previous blog, I sent a load of stuff to charity the other day. Well, today I had an inkling that I’d see my clothes on a mannequin. And I did. One of my beautiful skirts was going for ten pounds and one of my tops for a similar price. It was heartbreaking and fabulous at the same time. I wish the damn things still fitted me, but also, I’d like to think that another person falls in love with the set, goes in to try it on and finds that both pieces fit perfectly. I felt better when I arrived home did some scribbling
and counted my kroner, which has been safely stored in a sandwhich bag since I returned my travels in august. I should be able to buy Tom and me a drink with my loot.
(Aren’t they just the greatest coins you’re ever seen!)
I finished a book last night, and I’m not entirely sure how to go about rating it. Twitchhiker: How One Man Travelled the World By Twitter by Paul Smith was a mixed bag. It goes something a bit like this. One day, this bloke (in Newcastle) is bored in Tesco and has this brainwave to try and see how far he can get around the world in 30 days by using Twitter and relying on the generosity and good will of people to help him. His goal is Campbell Island near New Zealand.
These are the rules that he had to live by for those 30 days:
• I can only accept offers of travel and accommodation from people on Twitter.
• I can’t make any travel plans further than three days in advance.
• I can only spend money on food, drink and anything that might fit in my suitcase.
• If there is more than one offer, I choose which I take. If there is only one, I have to take it within 48 hours.
• If I am unable to find a way to move on from a location within 4 hours, the challenge is over and I go home.
Now, he does really rather well for himself. Random strangers and businesses buy him train tickets, bus tickets even plane tickets. So, this Paul bloke is jettisoned around Europe, across to the States and over to New Zealand, without paying for any transport or accommodation. Now, Paul has an excellent sense of humour and made me laugh out loud many times, below are a few examples,
“An evening of gentlemanly excess enjoyed in the company of Captain Stella and his first mate Jim Beamhad resulted in the hangover from hell, and a thousand lunatics wailed and clawed inside my skull for sweet release. My heavy headedness meant I’d staggered out of bed far too late for a Saturday, and my punishment was to spend lunchtime among the living damned, known locally as Gateshead Tesco.”
“…a proper cup of tea solves all problems – from day-to-day worries to world wars – such properties are lost on our US brethren. Throwing tea into a harbour was a protest by your ancestors, America; it’s not how you actually make it.”
but I found his descriptions of people dull and unoriginal. They were all slim, had blonde or brown hair, etc, etc. He obviously didn’t want to offend anyone, and, to be honest, he could have left the descriptions out all together. They didn’t really matter to me. All they demonstrated was a lack in creative thought and/or fear of pushing the boat out with physical description. The routine life he led too became dull and, dare I say it, somewhat uninspiring. Yes, this man did have a job which meant he had to write daily to earn a wage, but if it had been me, I wouldn’t have got so pissed all the time, and would have managed to fit writing into the hours I wasn’t fully dressed on top of my bed. Much of the book, I’d say easily over a quarter was spent talking about pubs and drinking and being absolutely hammered and suffering the after effects of this. Paul didn’t venture out to discover anything about these people or the place he was in, really. Which disappointed me greatly. He needed Twitter to move around the world, but he did come across as being an internet addict. If a train or hostel didn’t have wi-fi, his life turned immediately to shit. Anyway, all in all, the book wasn’t as exciting as I’d hoped, but it did prove that there are wonderful people out there, with big hearts. Oh, and Twitter. Well, I haven’t had much success with it really. I thought it was going to be better than what it is. Oh well. Nevermind.