Weymouth – Hotbed of positivity or just the microcosm of the macrocosm?

The big city streets of London are well behind me now. Having been in the town of Weymouth for the past two or so weeks has been quite a change of gears indeed. As a matter of fact, I’ve been changing gears on a car I bought for a friend. Thinking it would be tough to find a used car that fit all his requirements at a certain price range. I didn’t let the task seem overwhelming and slipped into that groove I have experienced many times in my life. I remembered back to eighteen months ago trying to find our RV, Janey-Rae, for our epic journey across America. I almost let the job at hand back then seem daunting, but after I relaxed into it and decided to enjoy the journey of finding the right camping car, Janey-Rae, nearly came up and bit me on the bum.

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Ahh, kinda miss Janey-Rae and all the adventures!

Here in Weymouth, I let go of all the possible stress that could go with finding a used car with no means of transport myself, and took up the kind offer of my friend Steve. We drove around to a few lots in the pouring rain finding nothing that suited. We had a good laugh then found a possibility about 200 yards (meters) from the place I was staying. The price was perfect, but the wrong fuel and body type. Tempting all the same. More importantly I felt it was the universe nudging me saying, “Yoo hoo, don’t worry mate, we got your back!”

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Just not perfect!

I made a phone call to someone else selling a car that fit the description of what I was looking for, ah bummer, sold. But wait, he was picking another one up the next day. As he was literally driving past the place I was house sitting on his way back, we exchanged numbers and the next afternoon he drove into the driveway with the perfect car, plus well under budget! Our test drive to the bank procured the funds, we arrived home to sign over the papers, and as Steve was coming by so we could go for a coffee in town with a friend, as soon as the last paper was signed we gave the car seller a lift to town where he then took the bus home. Wow, easy for all involved!

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I do hope he likes it!

So what does this have to do with anything pertinent in the world? Nothing and everything. Britain is going through a tough time at the moment. Brexit and all its repercussions are being felt, some people are nervous and the future is a bit uncertain, but the feeling on the ground is still that same feeling I felt when I first walked into Weymouth twenty two years ago, friendliness coupled with that slight British conservatism I have grown fond of over the years.

 

 

 

Having my trusty microphone and smartphone on hand always, I have caught some interviews with people I am friends with and some I have met for the first time. They range from talented musicians, small business owners, alternative economists, to a friend who worked on steam trains in the waning years of that bygone era. These folks represent the Britain I know and still love. Does Britain face tough times ahead? Maybe we all do in certain ways in this time of transition. Will the future of the world be determined by politicians behind closed doors? I say no. Even though they may try to steer us down some silly roads that seem to lead to dead ends and destruction, the people I have met on this short trip alone while enjoying some of the beautiful villages and towns along the Jurassic Coast; Weymouth, Portland, Swanage, Dorchester, Bridport and Lyme Regis, fill me with the hope that the human spirit is alive and well. Uncertain times and questions should not be waiting for answers from the body politic because we have them right inside us, we all just need to realise it. Once we start treading those paths of optimism and positive change, it makes it much easier for others to follow those roads that lead to a brighter future full of possibility.

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Optimism at its best!

For those of you who read my last blog about my walk through London, I realised that face to face conversation and meeting new people on the street or in the pub etc. could be a quaint memory of the past if we let it go that way. So in Weymouth after a similar walk I had an idea to help try to start up something to create a small portal for people to disconnect from technology from time to time and reconnect with each other in real time. It’s been a fun journey and in a few short days we have some interest locally with a facebook group and, who knows, a small Grass Roots idea that could even go global. Share it if you like, improve on it, own it yourselves, send some ideas. Click below and let’s all ‘Give It A Go!’

Give It A Go

With my trusty TeleMontbrun channel still alive and kicking I have created a playlist with nine attached interviews of positivity from my British friends. I know watching nine interviews is not something you will do in one sitting, but maybe you can watch one or two and bookmark the others for later. I promise it will be a fun journey. While watching them feel empowered by the positivity and optimism. It’s nice to know so many folks out there are facing the future with wide open arms and smiling. If you do like the interviews, why not subscribe to my youtube channel and even share it with a friend or two? Let’s start spreading a bit more of the love that’s out there and watch how the world becomes exactly what we make of it.

Enjoy.

Peace, Joe

Man oh man, my friend Robbie has played with some of the best!

Meet my good friend Steve, positivity is what spurs him on.

A new shop for me to walk into, but I felt right at home.

I know Neale a long time, but found out quite a bit more on this chat.

I met Simon a few years ago, and so glad I did, just a nice guy doing his thing.

Just walked into this shop and thought, “Okay, what’s the story with this place?”

My second meeting with Jonny, chatting about alternative, interesting economics!

Met these two and thought, “Hey, that’s a cool idea, literally!”

 

These were previously uploaded. Maybe you missed them last time.

Stayed with Chris and Cordelia in October, a great farming project.

Saw John again up in London this time around, thought I’d re-share this one.

I hope you have enjoyed the journey, thanks.

Peace, Joe

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A Walk Through London

I am in the northwest part of London as I write this. Yesterday I decided to take a walk through London from where I am in Willesden to the centre of the city in SOHO. It was a long walk taking me through many different neighbourhoods along the way. As the landscape and the amount of people slowly turned from the outskirts of the city to a more densely populated inner city buzz, the one constant that remained was the ubiquitous mobile technology attached to people’s ears and hands in every small nook and cranny of this wonderfully confusing maze of a city.

I didn’t take any photos, and as my phone remained firmly in my pocket with no available data anyhow, I was thrust back to a romantic time in the past when people used to speak to each other walking along the city streets.

It was a social experiment that never really was meant to be. For me I was headed to the London Palladium to meet up with a friend, it was a bitterly cold but dry day in winter, I had time on my side, so why not bundle up and trundle in.

About an hour into my walk the cold got the better of me, so I stopped in a hookah bar, for a cuppa. Now Let’s not confuse the two words here, the two letters at the end totally changes the type of bar I went to for a respite from the cold, and much like the mobile technology that has infiltrated every part of the city, these hookah bars seemed to be nearly everywhere along my six mile walk as well.

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A Hookah Bar

I remember being in Tunisia in a different life back in the 90’s and being coerced to join in for a drag on a hubbly bubbly as the locals called them. Not being a smoker I felt light headed and spent half of the time coughing. The mixed cultures and races in these places I saw along the way didn’t have any novices like I was back then. Everyone was puffing away without a cough to be heard. It sort of gave an otherworldliness international feel to the streets of London.

Every so often I had to stop to ask directions. Being a New Yorker I am used to a grid city, straight means straight in New York City. In London straight means follow the main road you are on, if it happens to veer off left at a roundabout, don’t continue straight, on the road that would seem to be the road you should follow, go left young man. Even the darn Thames River makes a ninety degree turn amongst many other wiggles and squiggles as it wends its way through the city. Oh for the wide straight Hudson!!

I must say Londoners are out there on the street, the few I was able to pry away from their screens asking for yet another point in the right direction were a bit astonished I walked from Willesden to where ever it was we stood at that precise moment. The interesting note for me was the vast majority of the people I asked how to get to the London Palladium, upwards of 95% of them, had never heard of it, and sadly, no one cheekily answered, “Practice”. I guess that is once again the New Yorker in me looking to get to Carnegie Hall!

I got magnificently lost in the city of Westminster. I was not near the opulent houses of parliament, but in an area that was tucked away somewhere on Edgeware road kinda reminding me of being in The Bronx in a strange sort of way. Walking through a common, which is a green space or park, then passing lots of independently-owned small shops and friendly shop owners who were very keen to put me on the right road to SOHO, but even there, they had never heard of The Palladium. My leisurely walk and stop for tea was now getting a bit longer because of my wrong turn, or should I say lack of a turn where I was told to go straight. Hmm would I make it by 7 to The Palladium, more to the point, did the venue really exist?

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Westminster

I was getting closer now and learning not to take directions too literally. Straight meant maybe straight. The road ends meant the road got smaller and changed names, but really didn’t end, but turned left for some random reason, or was it? London has organically grown over the centuries and streets and neighbourhoods were just added on as the city’s needs grew. So nowadays it can seem like a higgledy piggledy mess. Many Londoners profess not to know how to navigate their own city so well. Unless you are a cabby with “The Knowledge” that you studied many years to acquire, or a cycle courier with “The Guts” to get out there in the fray, just maybe that ubiquitous phone in everyone’s hands is London’s only way to get people to their destinations in this modern age.

To add to the confusion the tube map for the London Underground network, although excellent and cleverly depicted to aid anyone in getting around London by train, and the streets above have really not much to do with each other in reality. The London A to Z (pronounced ‘Ay to zed’) used to be tantamount to The Bible in America’s southern states, nobody would be without one. Every Londoner had one lurking in their flat or house somewhere for sure. To navigate the conundrum of streets, commons, circuses, parades, roundabouts and whatever else this wonderful place could throw at you, it was a must. The tube map would get you exactly to where you wanted to be, but never overlay the maps to compare or your head will start to spin faster than a London cyclists wheels!

I was also too aware of being in an international city, so many of the people could have been tourists. Plus London, like New York, has a pretty diverse population. So besides tapping on shoulders of many people who hadn’t heard of The Palladium, I also came up with quite a few blank stares from people who seemed like they never heard of English either. Although I must admit it was quite comforting to hear so many languages being spoken on the street, another similarity with that other big metropolis just over the Atlantic a few thousand miles from where I stood, set out in a nice easy grid system!

My other experiment, besides the cultural difference between New Yorkers and Londoners, was trying to find people without headphones in their ears or a phone glued to their hands. Interestingly when I did find someone who wasn’t plugged in the conversation seemed more fluid and genuine. The few times I had to interrupt someone from their screen, I was definitely the rude intruder, but was always given an answer, albeit abruptly so they could get back to the person firmly attached to their screen somewhere else. I met a few people that were open for a conversation or to walk a block or two with me and have a chat. Inevitably every time they were a bit older, and weren’t plugged in, but were definitely tuned in, if you know what I mean.

I eventually made it to The Palladium, and thankfully when I got to popular places like Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square or Marble Arch people started to recognise the name Palladium. Although when I knew I was really close and right in SOHO with the hour quickly approaching for my rendezvous I nipped into a shop and asked the young security guard where The Palladium was, funnily enough he never heard of it, but very obligingly got out his mobile phone clicked onto Google maps and walked outside the door with me and pointed to a road 25 yards from the shop and said, “Go right at that corner, and then your first left and it should be right there.” Ah, technology, would we all really be lost without it?

Thanks for walking with me, until next time.

Peace, Joe

 

 

 

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Democracy Wow!

Hi there everyone.

Democracy is a word that gets thrown around quite a lot nowadays. What did the ancient Greeks have in mind? Well Patrick Chalmers has spent a lot of time and energy finding out and has been kindly sharing his research with the wider world. Here is an interview I recently had with him. (We were also experimenting with a new electronic hand held stabilizing unit. Thanks to my daughter Francesca for being our camera person Guinea Pig). Steady now!

Enjoy.

Here is a link to the film he mentions in the interview.

When Citizens Assemble.

Peace, Joe

 

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Ska – A musical melange.

After my introduction to Ska in the eighties, I didn’t give much thought to the roots of the music. Little did I know it had been around for over twenty years already by then. Here I speak to Ken Stewart, the manager/keyboardist of the Skatalites, some of them playing together since 1964. The concert was in a small venue in Toulouse called Le Rex, but it was certainly a big night of music.

Enjoy the interview.

Peace, Joe
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Nice Quote & Interesting interview.

 

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“I think everybody should get rich and famous and get everything they dreamed so they can see that’s not the answer.” – Jim Carrey

Here is an interview with two friends who are doing some great things to a few acres of land in England.

Peace, Joe

Posted in adventure, Africa, America, camping, Children & Parenting, Climate, Cycling, diversity, Education, fear, Health & Well-being, life and death, Life on planet earth., Religion, Spirituality, travel, unschooling, War & Peace | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Chat With John Bishop

I met John Bishop in 1992 while cycling throughout Europe and Turkey. Our lives have certainly taken different roads since then, but the common ground we share is still strong. Enjoy this quick chat we had after one of his performances in Bournemouth, England.

Hope you are all well.

Peace, Joe

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The End is Only a New Beginning!

Winding down the journey has seen us ‘Stepping it up a Notch’ as for unknown adventures lurking around every corner. A friend of mine says in one his songs, “Born inside a cage you ain’t going far”, well this trip we brought our cage along with us and went very far. We didn’t let the RV bind us in any way at all. It took us from adventure to adventure, but I still feel the sentiment he sings about is so true, we can’t let ourselves be bound by circumstance. Especially if our circumstance comes from a place of health and we only let our minds limit our possibilities. We live in an era where we can let everything going on in the world get us down, or empower us to keep our beliefs and spirits running free to explore the endless possibilities that await us. If we choose the latter, life is one big adventure, and the earth a magical, natural, cultural wonderland.

Back to the journey of Janey-Rae & company. We finished up our projects in the Quebec countryside while enjoying some peaceful times on a small lake, a pleasant Sunday enjoying taking in Montreal, then it was back on the road.

 

Coming across the American border is always a bit intimidating. Borders have that way of making the innocent feel guilty. When we were told to pull over we knew we had done nothing wrong except lived life outside the box for the past year, but our border guard, although just a man doing his job, had the ability to make Angie squirm questioning how such an adventure was possible without her working illegally. She assured him that we had been creative in our spending and, although camping free on BLM land, Native American gambling casinos and Walmart parking lots is absolutely legal, we daren’t mention it, that guilty feeling rearing its head. Although with really nothing to hide I pulled out my computer to show him this blogsite (no free wifi at the border, so that didn’t work) and then a copy of my book to prove where we lived, and thankfully Angie was let back with us to wind down our journey together with a last visit with friends and family in the New York area before flying home.

 

Louis had some more mountain biking racing ahead of him, we had flights to book, a few friends to visit in upstate New York, and oh yes, Chessie had some unfinished business. She wanted to leave a small piece of herself in the land she had done so much traveling in for the past year, so while in the Albany area of New York State, we stopped in a local hospital so she could donate her appendix. Fortunately we had some friends to drive to not so far from the hospital for a tranquil recuperation. Frank and Christiana are the parents of our good musician friend Dan who we know from France. We stayed at their house last year in the beginning of our journey, but they were in Europe so it was so nice to finally meet them in person and share some quality time and eat some scrummy food together while listening to Dan’s excellent CD. Here’s a song from Dan’s CD. What a voice, and pretty good banjo strumming to boot!!

Catching up with their neighbors Bruno and Bruna, whom we met last year, felt like a nice way to wind down the trip. Meeting Bruno and Bruna’s one-month old baby brought home how long our journey had really been, wow!!

 

Now we are at my brother’s house, Chessie is on the mend, Louis is squeezing in as much riding and racing as he can – bagging a 1st place last weekend in Vermont – and we’re all getting ready for the new phase awaiting us back home. We are still managing to do some fun things here like seeing Sheila E in concert in New Haven for free with some old college friends. Angie, Kathy and the kids are at the beach now soaking up some Connecticut sun. I opted to stay back and chill out to write my blog. I split open my knee while mountain biking in Massachusettes, so am giving my wounded knee a rest.

 

We probably could have thought of a better way to wind down the journey than Chessie’s appendix wanting out, but hey, we were never in control of any of it from the beginning. Angie and Chessie will fly out first, Louis and I will tie up loose ends and try to sell Janey-Rae. It’s kind of sad, she feels like more a part of the family than just a vehicle. I hope someone who really appreciates what her possibilities are for adventure winds up purchasing her, but again, it’s out of our hands. The ending of this adventure will lead to the beginning of our next one, and I hope Janey-Rae will have lots more exciting miles exploring as well.

See ya up the road! Wanna buy an RV?

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Janey-Rae looking comfie.

Listen to the words of this song and get inspired for your next move.

Peace, Joe

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