Tuesday, 25 August 2009

The Gods must be crazy

After recommending Into the Wild I couldn't help but suggest having a look at a film I heard about through the DitchMonkey - The Gods Must Be Crazy. The fact that a lot of things said in this film (1980) still ring true, to me, shows how strong it really is and how before its time it was, certainly underrated, if not under the radar.

Both films made me really think about how we live our lives, how I want to live my own in the future, and how ridiculous a lot of our "normal" routine really is. How absurd are some of the now normal aspirations? Do I really want a 9-5 with all the trimmings? Why are people in this day and age so fascinated with becoming famous, appearances and materialistic things; when behind the facade many of these people unfulfilled in a lot of ways, and things generally don't make you happy? Something for another post, maybe.

Anyways, below is a small quote from the narration in the film:
Civilized man refused to adapt himself to his environment; instead he adapted his environment to suit him. So he built cities, roads, vehicles, machinery, and he put up power lines to run his labor saving devices. But somehow he didn't know when to stop. The more he improved his surroundings to make his life easier, the more complicated he made it. So now his children are sentenced to 10-15 years of school, just to learn how to survive in this complex and hazardous habitat they were born into. And civilized man, who refused to adapt himself to his natural surroundings, now finds that he has to adapt and re-adapt himself every day and every hour of the day to his self created environment.................

Below is a wee snippet of The Gods Must Be Crazy, and yes it does look like it cost less than a tenner to film, but its still quality and worth following through with.

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Monday, 24 August 2009

New Ulster Way website - now live

Just had a Jeffrey at the Walk NI Ulster Way page and it appears that the webiste has finally been launched and at first look it appears to be pretty much on point, impressed one is. I haven't spent too much time annalyzing the content but it looks accurate, and exactly what the Ulster Way has been deserving, I could be wrong but I don't know of any other long distance path to see such support.

The revised Ulster Way has been unveiled with every section being covered and receiveing free OS mapping, availible to download, all be it in black and white, but still very usable. Where else is it free (and legal) to obtain OS mapping? Top marks there!

Walk NI (or the powers that be, above them) have split the Ulster Way into quality and link sections; the quality routes have received a descriptive guide as well as the downloadable mapping; the link sections give advice on how to get to the next quality section by car or public transport, but still give free mapping if you were to walk it. Like others I don't really aggree with this link and quality system, as it makes a farce of the whole concept of a continuous waymarked path. On the one hand it removes you from a continuous journey, and means you will miss out on some great sights and views (Stormont and Scrabo Tower spring to mind off the top of my head) but on the other hand it does remove some of the more tedious parts of the way. I suppose they must be looking it from Joe Bloggs' point of view, that he won't want to walk the boring sections so why bother; maybe most normal people drop the more tedious road walking sections in any case. I'll have to have a close look at where the route is getting changed and see how much it differs form the "classic" one I walked.

If any one is to walk the Ulster Way this would be my first port of call, you might even get away without shelling out on a whole load of maps! With the rerouting in certain parts, this is definately the most cohesive source of information for anyone out there thinking about attempting walking it, I just wish it had been active before I had started.

Will I walk the new rerouted Ulster Way....

.... well not in the next six months.

P.S If anyone in NIEA wants me to "proof walk" the new route for a small fee, I'd be more than happy, and am free around the end of Jan 2010 :)

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Newsletter Article (Ulster Way)

Another cheesey article for you all to have a laugh at!

Meant to get this up sooner but just haven't got round to it, so here it is in all its scanned in glory! Its also availible on the newsletter website for anybody thats interested, surprisingly someone actually asked for it to be put up as they hadn't seen it yet. A chopped up part of the telegraph report has also turned up online, and can be seen here.
Its a bit surreal when you get phoned up out of the blue by a newspaper, get quizzed on your trip and then they ask if its alright if they send a tog out to get some snaps, nice, but surreal. I never thought I'd have a photographer to myself, does it mean that I have made it?

Well I think thats all that will be getting printed about my good self for a quite a bit.

Working on a weather mixtape a la Kitsune Noirs great eclectic mixes, however won't be just as good or varied one thinks. Will hopefully finish piecing it together within the next couple days and you can all critique it, hopefully not too harshly.

P.S If anyone works for Gore, I do not want to go to court after declaring your membrane technology defunct and useless, I didn't expect that to get printed

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Sunday, 9 August 2009

Read this - Ditch Monkey

It was when he lived in a forest for a year with no tent and trying to hold down his job in Sotheby's, that I first came across the Ditch Monkey, AKA Hugh Sawyer. However unfortunately it was an excerpt from his blog that ended up in a broadsheet's weekend magazine and after reading the article I misplaced the magazine and never saw it again. Google for some reason wasn't able to track down "man living in woods for a year while holding down a job" and so I hadn't been able to read any more of his exploits since some time in late 2005. That was until his blog got put up on outdoorsbloggers, and so I am now currently making my eyes go square, reading through his blog from June 2005.

It would appear that living a year in a forest outside London was only the start of Hugh's bush crafting type lifestyle and he is now again living without a tent for a year, above a ski resort. I am certainly interested in getting off the grid and being self sufficient, but even to me that seems a bit hardcore.

Fair play to him all the same, it takes balls to do something as outrageous as this, it certainly reminds me of a great, lesser heard of film, Into the Wild and is nothing but purely inspirational .
Maybe when I have some spare money I'll throw him a couple of pennies for his efforts.

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New/Final slideshow

While there hasn't been very much posting going on, I have been going through all the pictures of the trip and doing some basic tweaking to them. I've also been trying to get an accompanying song, but this was more time consuming than filtering through the 14G gig's of photos. I really didn't want to use the same song used on the imsodave slideshow, but nothing else seemed to fit just as well. Maybe its quite fitting for me to use the same song due to his journey being quite an inspiration for my own?

Either way here it is in all its glory (or not) I hope you enjoy some Mercury Rev (music) and my snaps.

Just as before it is availible in HD, so click on "HD" for greater quality and and go full screen

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Ulster Way - Day 28

After pottering around the house for nearly half the morning I decided it was time to get going, or I wouldn’t get very far at all. Leaving my house after a swift repack and ten minutes later I rejoined with the sea, it would be over my right shoulder for next ten miles or so. The next couple of hours would be spent with the sound of waves lapping on the sand and battering the coastal geology, following the North Down Coastal Path a route I’ve walked manys a time.

The Path meanders in and out finally taking you into Holywood and after negotiating some pavements you enter the splendid Redburn Country Park, perched on a hill and offering expansive views of Belfast Lough.

The Ulster Way spits you out from the tree lined paths of Redburn onto a car park, and for the next hour and a bit, time is spent navigating Belfast’s suburbs, before entering the grounds of Stormont, the seat of Northern Irish politics.

It was the first time I had been on the grounds of Stormont, but I fought the urge to explore the expansive gardens as time was getting on, and in the grand scheme of things I felt I hadn’t achieved a great deal. Passing the statue of Edward Carson, and walking down “the mile” I returned to rather busy roads, before stopping for a cone of Maud’s Pooh bear delight.

For the next hour I was walking pavements passing an incorrectly placed Ulster Way signpost and finally rising up Gilnahirk Rd. With over 15 miles done and my sister in the area I decided it was time enough to call it a day. Another night in a proper bed with all the modern conveniences at my finger tips, not exactly how I had expected to spend my nights, but there again why not, no point in “roughing” it for no reason.

For the next hour I was walking pavements passing an incorrectly placed Ulster Way signpost and finally rising up Gilnahirk Rd. With over 15 miles done and my sister in the area I decided it was time enough to call it a day. Another night in a proper bed with all the modern conveniences at my finger tips, not exactly how I had expected to spend my nights, but there again why not, no point in “roughing” it for no reason.

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