Days 974-984: Conspiracy Nut Cornflakes

01.09.11-11.09.11: I was a kid in the eighties. I grew up with the distinct possibility that at any moment the Russians might take a dislike to the latest Madness single or something and destroy the entire world. Films like Red Dawn and When The Wind Blows didn’t help. My brother Alex and I would waste entire summers digging fallout shelters (which invariably ended up as two foot deep puddles of mud) and learning to fend for ourselves in the field across the road, seeing if we could live off ‘rations’ of sugar and ketchup sachets stolen from Little Chef, you know: just in case. And then one night, suddenly and unexpectedly, the Berlin Wall collapsed. All that fear, all the paranoia and all the neuroses that the Cold War had instilled in my and my parents' generation had gone. The sword of Damocles that had dangled…

Continue Reading Days 974-984: Conspiracy Nut Cornflakes

Day 137: The Road To Casablanca

17.05.09: The plan was to get the 7.30am bus to the coast. However, however, however... we got a taxi to the southern bus station (a good bet as we where heading due south!) but the bus to Algeciras wouldn't let us on, and then drove off while we were trying to buy tickets from the CLOSED ticket window! The rotter! It wasn't until the information post opened at 8am that we discovered we were (once again) digging in the wrong place! - The bus left from the Eastern bus station (silly Graham), so wasn't picking up passengers from our bus station (well, he could have given us a lift, the big meanie). The next bus for the coast wasn't until 10am - I really could have done with those extra three hours of beddy-bo-bo's. Oh well. Matt and I sat off drinking coffee until we were…

Continue Reading Day 137: The Road To Casablanca

Day 136: Travel Rules

16.05.09: After last night's antics, I'm surprised I stayed awake but then I have got a personality disorder. Matt and I jumped on the mega-mega fast train to Madrid (300kph! - whoosh!) and I drove him up the wall with my crap jokes and constant spouting of my random brain garbage. Madrid train station is BEAUTIFUL - old school golden age of steam with a tropical garden in the middle of it. I could have stayed all day, but we only had time for a coffee before hopping on another mega-mega fast train to Seville. We were there before you could say Jaffa Cakes. Now, Matt - top bloke, wouldn't have a word said against him. However, talk about throwing someone in at the deep end - he hasn't travelled much (just Oz and New York) and in a few days we're going to be ankle-deep…

Continue Reading Day 136: Travel Rules

Day 135: Thanks for that, Dad

15.05.09: Early-early-sickly-feeling start to the day, and onto the 5:20 bus to the Andorran border. Quick change of buses and by about 8am I was in Andorra - another of Europe's pub-quiz-winning, micro-states. It's slap-bang on the border with France and Spain, and until recently, was jointly ruled by the President of France (as proxy for the king) and a Spanish bishop. But being a nation of Two Princes is a little too interesting for the people of Andorra and in 1993 they got their own parliament. I was last here in 1986 (in the days of Two Princes, pop-pickers). I was seven and on a camping holiday adventure around Europe with my mum, dad and brother Alex. I remember it well. It was bloody hot and we listened to Harry Chapin on the tape player. Today, however, was a cool spring day in the mountains…

Continue Reading Day 135: Thanks for that, Dad