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Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Location: Perth, Australia

Well, if anyone is still checking this page, I will apologise for the lack of updates....... I guess you are used to that now though?
As you all know I am working now, and have been for six months.
I can tell you the novelty has worn off already and I am looking forward to taking some holiday and checking out some more of this fantastic country.
some pics have gone live and as you can see I am happy to say the latest fishing trip has been a sucsess! (at last ).

I have a new project on the go, Suzi was sold and as soon she passed the first corner out of sight, I regretted selling her, all my freinds were off on trips with their 4x4's and I was left at home! So a new set of boots were needed, different requirements have meant I could have a little fun this time around though, and this is the new steed to be.
A beast with a V8 was the only real way forward and a beast with Character (old and worn out, but with potential) was required.... Lots of plans with the new steed but it will be a slow build as I am under strict instructions from Dad to do it right! and although he will only be a bush basher he will have some unique quality's. More on that later.
I hope this message finds all of my freinds well and happy, my thoughts are with you all often
Till next time


Monday, 05 January 2009

Location: Wedge and Busso!, Australia

HAppy New Year to one and all!

Well I hope 08 was as fun for you all as it was for me? I have had a ball, thanks to you all for a start.. thanks to all the people I have met so far on my travels, my framily...... (freinds whom I consider family) and of course my parents.. You know what though, 09, 10 ,11,12 Etc, I am going to make sure they are all as rewarding as this!

09 Eh! I cant bloody wait! and look out! this last year has taught me so much, I really cannot put it here in words, but I do know it will involve as much laughter as I can fit in without being arrested, and as much silliness as can be expected!
I just wish I could share this with all the people that have helped enrich my life in the way they have on a daily basis.

One very special person who I need to mention at this point is STAN!! Matthew Stannard, a dive instructor (and close framily freind) who, this weekend opened my eyes and, ( after what can only be described as 'A f--king scary moment!!!') Taught me to scuba dive, and at several points I didnt want to, but taught me a few very valuable lessons ; 1 when water is involved it best to find a dedicated ox supply..2; dont ever try and snort water through your nose/ mask and 3; as stunning as things look deep deep down they are not always safe and should be left to their own devices until such times as they decide to bite you! Stan i thank you!
As for now Happy New Year to you all

Monday, 29 December 2008

Location: Perth, Australia

Ok Ok if there is anyone still reading this page here is a very overdue update!!

So I will Start from the new job as there really is not much to report before that, it was purely a case of not spending money whilst I patiently waited for the job to start. Then the real fun started.... The new job!

The first week was here in Perth then over to Sydney! for 'onboarding' which was not the most exciting thing I have done before, but an eye opener it certainly was, I dont want to jepordise my new career befor it has started, but you would like to think the worlds largest water treatment co would have their act together........ well it would seem that I arrived just in time to save the industry once again.....

Thankfully I got off on the right foot by meeting the Asia Pacific director over dinner and then promtly got myself and another chap in a spot of bother for.... shall we say, admiring the local scenery..Enough said for now.
Once back in Perth I quickliy realised that all was not well, and I am clearly only going to add to that for the time being, but the future is going to be a lot of fun, and a hell of a challenge. I am lucky I have a boss very similar to Nick T, he does not suffer fools and he is old school, and that I can work with which is great..
It got better when my new ute arrived with a 4.0 V6 Petrol (Toyota Hilux) I know little things and all that, but, in a PICKUP its quick!!!!!!!!
Life in Perth is fantastic the beaches are wonderfull and the Swan river is just down the road from the house, which is great for fishing and for kayaking, even the dolphins come up for a feed which is really nice to see them. and the temp up until recently has been blissfull but it is starting to rise and should be in the regular 40's for January 1st.

Most weekends are filled with either camping trips or fishing and bbq's by the river. and this weekend we are all of to Bussleton to see a friend who is a dive instructor, and yep its my turn to learn to dive 1st lesson, so there maybe some underwater piccy's up soon.... lets hope its not of the inside of a sharks mouth!

Anyway its now 11.30pm, and I am knackered, I am sorry for the lack of updates but I am off to bed, I will try and keep the page going if there is an interest?

If not drop me an e.mail to; I wish I could say thank you to all the people that have helped shape the person that has undertaken this never ending journey, but the list is unending, and I am incapable of putting together the words that would justify my friends and family... so simply thank you!

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Again, sorry for the lack of updates, reasons for which are as follows.........
Three months in OZ is not enough!
You have several choices but as you now know my choice, as it turned out, was to see if I could get round the whole bloody country in that time, as much fun as it was, it had it's draw backs. After just a week back in Perth I wanted to set off for the middle towards Ularu (Ayres rock) and travel off road as much as possible, I still HAVE to ride a bike along the Pacific coast hyway. I could spend another two weeks just catching up with Jamie, I would like to travel further into the northern territories and the fabulous national parks up there, and I still havent learnt to scuba dive or surf!
So after a chat with a friend of Finns it was established that I should leave the country and get a business visa, this would allow me to work for a limited time as long as the work is of an important nature, but more importantly be able to add to depleted funds for some further travel. this was a great idea until you realise just how isolated Australia is!
Anyway as the title suggests six hours of free wine and some of the best airline food I have tasted, and you can find yourself in Thailand.... and with a last second booking you arrive at midnight, and after a 40 mins drive into downtown Bangkok, you arrive at the Sukhumvit Nut hostel.... which closes at eleven... Bugger!
This in the Uk would have resulted in either one pissed off hostel owner being woken, or alternative accomodation being sought! this however being Thailand no such issues, the Thai's are a very gentle race of people, they dont like to raise their voices,(this loses face for everyone involved) and show utmost respect until proven otherwise.
There are exceptions to this rule as I will explain later, but the upshot was the chap apologised for not reading the booking form which did in fact explain I was to arrive late, and insisted I join him and the now awake cook for a couple of beers and complementry dim sum!
I slept like a baby!
The Thai's are renowned for their curry.... but for breakfast!
Well when in Rome and all that, 'is it a hot currie?' "no, very delicate" came the reply Lie no1! The only thing delicate was my arse two hours later!
After establishing that a hire car would be a little hard work and a moped would be as much fun as hanging a pork chop round your neck and streaking through a synagogue, I opted for a public transport map and mooched off towards the main city, Imodium at the ready.
I hate public transport, but after a fifteen minuite walk in 35 deg heat and humidity to rival the greenhouse at Kew gardens, I was pleased to get on a very clean, air conditioned sky train, which is two storeys up and gives great views as you speed across town, this experience is made better by the fact it is filled with very short Thai's, even a short arse like me can see over the hoards of people, its great.
Bangkok, a reasonable discription is, its a bit like the film Blade runner, a the top level you have all the really nice resturants, clubs, bars and shops with great views without smog, in the middle you have the skytrain with great views of the lower level speeding through the smog but still a little isolated from the hubub. And at street level you have the chaos, street stalls, food sellers, elephants, hawkers, whores, cheats, liars, expats, traffic and the best traffic light system I have seen so far.
Not only do you get a six light set up, a bit like the grand prix, you get a count down, and the grid goes a little like this; Mopeds head up the front row, and they are made up of two riders, private and moped taxi riders, you can tell the taxi riders as they wear orange vests and have terrified passengers on board, and as the count down hits 2 or 1 they are already moving, the second row is made up of cars and cabs that were in this position as the lights had changed and a mixture of tuk tuk's, the third row is mainly cars, the fourth vans the fifth buses and trucks.
As I said the countdown starts and as it reaches about the10 second mark, every moped starts to rev up, the taxi rider pillions get ready and a decent hold of the rider, the tuk tuk drivers try to re start the ageing beast beneath them ( they are encouraged to turn the horrible two stroke engines off at the lights) the cab drivers start to rub the dash mounted Budda, and humm a sort of prayer, and the busses and trucks seem to light smoke grenades. As 2 is seen on the overhead gantry most of the line up dissapears in a cloud of diesel smoke! And they are off, its some of the most entertaining racing I have seen for ages! Especially fun if you can find a bar on a junction!
The best transport around town tough is a tuk tuk, here you meet some interesting characters, they are either high on cocaine or have red bull on an intravenous drip and for about fifty pence can turn a simple run to a temple into an extreme sport, but they are bad lairs and even worse hagglers, the trick is to say you would like to see some temples, but also do some shopping (otherwise the price is horrendous), this way the price is reduced to next to nothing, you get taken to the entire family's empire of shops which will be all over town, ( a good way to see downtown Bangkok) and eventually you will see a couple of temples. but the driver gets a little tip for every shop he takes you to.. everyones happy...... And I got a new suit, hand made with a shirt and tie for less than $250AD all delivered to my hostel two days later, bargain.
A coulpe of days later I met with a friend Milly who lives and works in Bangkok as an illustrator and art teacher for a local university and over a great meal found out the ways of getting round the 'farrang' prices, where and what to eat for next to nothing and the real low down on Thai life and culture. I also learnt about the sad plight of the street walking elephants, if you get chance check out her book, Bobo the street walking elephant, it tells a worthwile story and all proceeds go to the sanctuary at Chang Mai. The next day armed with new information and places to visit I headed off in the back and beyond but this time by boat. Longtail boat, these things are very narrow and (obviously) very long boats which are none to stable, so of course the best thing to do is strap a bloody great straight six turbo diesel engine to it! but it's by far and the best way to see the othe side of Bangkok, it's not exactly Venice, but it's facinating all the same.
I had hoped to get up to Chang Mai and even out to Phuket but the city has a lot to see and do and before I knew it I had run out of time, and to be honest a little fed up with the lies, it can get a bit tireing to be told every temple and attraction is closed, however my brothers auntie's cat's shop is open and today you get special discount!
But I would love to go back just to travel into the countryside and catch up with some of the characters I met it is a really friendly city and a great place to chill out.
The ex pats and the gogo bars are a whole other story! I will save that for another, time suffice to say its a place that really gets under your skin, in more ways than one.
I have found that deet is the only way to keep the mozzies (which seem to love me!) and other nasties at bay, this works well, but it would seem that even 80% Aussie bushman strength stuff is no match for some!
I returned to Perth with a few bites but nothing to worry about, until my leg swelled to comedy levels, and I found myself in the A+E dept of the local hospital, after five hours in the emergency dept and a course of antibiotics via intravenous drip it was decided I should spend the next 24 hours in hospital, well the fact that we were having steak for tea and I could walk (just) I drove back to Finn and Tony's, this was a great move because the Aussies have a reciprocal agreement with us Pomms, and this meant I got seen to by nusrses at the house twice a day for the next three weeks, ........Nice!
And am still being treated by a complete nutter (sister Joan) at the local Doctors surgery.
It turns out I was bitten by a spider, type unknown, but he was a fiesty little bastard, and I have two scars on my left leg and a healing wound on my right (see pic's). Still an adventure is not an adventure without a little drama, is it?

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Recent Messages

From ali
Well very interesting.
not even worth a mention :)
From H2O PRO
What the bloody hell are you driving? It looks steam driven!!!!!
You'll be glad to hear that all plans to put the reg plate on a Skoda have been shelved, Oscar wouldn't let me do it.
Anyway, speak soon,
Response: Glad to hear Oscar is growing up to be a fine young man with good tastes! And if your refering to the Landcruiser it's not steam powered, (although I would know how to treat the boiler with a decent tagged polymer now!)it's powered by Cheverolet all 5.4 litres of it, with a set of mild cams! Heaps more fun than steam! If you need a decent polymer for your Skoda let me know? All the very best.
From Lewis
yo bro, you still eating the roo's I havnt been able to get any contact with yer dad!! is it because he's jealous of my cars or my looks?

please forward him my email;- and moby number

sounds like your havin fun, well done mate, thos this country for the first time in ages is feeling great, 25degrees c does help
Response: Hey Bro, As many roo's as poss! he is jealous of both I am sure..... Well defo the cars anyway! Glad to hear things are good back home, I bet you are still working too hard tho? maybe not! We are experiencing a late summer here which is good too. Dad take note of the email address from this meaasage and for god sake go for a beer (or two with Lewis) even if it is just so you can both winge about me! So bro when you takin another holiday cos it must be at least two weeks since your last!? Dad call me on Skype and I will give you the mob no.
So what new toys or projects on the go? Take care Bro! Speak soon
From Dad
Great to see you have not aborted this message board, many people are still interested in your adventure. HOWEVER! I will Bush Bash your ar** if you even get near to trying that roll bar in SHORTY! take care and do your thing with pride Son, we are all with you in spirit.
Response: hahaha! Nearly tried it today we went East out of Perth and hit the old telegraph tracks. The pics do not do it justice but it was a lot of fun. After trying the tyres with a lot less pressure (16PSI) the ride was transformed on and off road. But with the much shorter wheel base every move feels like you are on the limit..... The Chev V8 performed through the water really well, no issues at all. but all that power is interesting on the gravel roads in 2WD!!!!! 3rd gear power slides a plenty!! Will use the 4WD next time.....
From Merv the Magic
I was on my way to the Halfway after catching five trout at Hawkridge lake, last night, when Good Vibrations came on the radio!. Thought of you and put the Mondeo into Sport Mode and shot accross Western Zoyland !!!!
Miss you, take care buddy.
Response: On the way to the pub with five trout in the bag, bloody good tunes on the radio......... Does it get any better?...... Mate every time I go fishing (and I am finding more time) My thoughts always come back to the great days we have spent together fishing. I am lucky to be near the swan river so I can just shoot down the road with a mate to bust a bag of river prawns and sink a few cold ones catching the tricky little Brim (Bream) we have here. or there are the long weekend trips we have recently done down south to Yeagurup beach, it takes an hour and a half off road to get to the beach but to catch the (Aussie Salmon) on light gear I can only assimilate to catching Bass at Sidford, they..... the salmon just dont taste as good. Take care Merv
From Kirstie
Hi Steve, just been reading your travel blog, it sounds like you have had a wicked time. I'm so jealous stuck here in blighty....
Have you settled in Perth now then. Do you plan to come back at any time? Speak soon my lovely . Kirstie xxx
Response: not comming back unless they make me!!!!! Dont be jealous make the break too...... best thing I have ever done. Hope you are all well x
From lewis
in NZ next month, might venture over to OZ,
where are you?
Response: I am in Perth, let me know what your plans are, best to email me on though
hey babe! your photo's look truly awesome. Its been chucking it down all weekend here.. so nice typical English weather for the two days off we are allocated by the establishment.

keep on smiling handsome XX miss you
Response: Thanks babe, be better when you get over and we can get some of the two of us together!!! So dont go to Milan come to OZ!? Miss you to x x
From Dad
The underwater pics are great, however do you not think you might frighten the fish looking like that, or is this so that you can put your own fish on your line? as you cant catch em? Please keep updating the page Son we all look forward to it!
Response: Thats the whole idea (just dont tell Merv) I wil do......
From Luke
Hi Steve,

Hope you are well!

Its been a while - sufffice to say that I am enjoying it at the RUH. NHS is much better than being a salesman anyday.

there are some cracking photos here - makes me and Jelena want to go off travelling sometime!! (well might be sometime soon,.....)

Take it easy,

Response: Hey Mate, glad to hear it, I must admit the move could only have been a good one for you. If you do decide to start travelling make sure you drop me a line if you get this way. Best wishes to you both. Steve
From Merv
Just to send you my best wishes, hope you are fine and having good time. I was Merv the Magic at Pitney last Saturday! A great time was had by all!
Keep fishing, tight lines.
Response: Thanks Merv, all good this end and sounds like life in Pitney is good if Merv the magician is still showing. Fishing is getting better but a little less time now I am working, but its all good. Tight lines and a happy new year to you
From DAD
I suppose that now you are working? you will have time to inform all of us here what you are doing? and use the company equipment to do it, sad about the company car, I am sure the getz would have been better, still keep on trucking Son.
Response: Ok Ok time for an update
From emma
due an update Steve!!
Response: I know apologies!
From Lewis fo.................................. email me to let me know how you doing?
Response: Whats your personnel email?...............
I need some fishing advice too!
From Garry220808
...Is you still alive?... failure to confirm this will cause us to think otherwise and instigate a search for your Will !!
Response: Hello mate, a search for the will would be fruitless I am afraid... the contents were up on the beam in the halfway!!
From Cheeky
Dear Happy Blog Viewers,
I've got to right a reference for Steve as he appears to want to get a job out in Aus! Anybody got any suggestions as I can't think of many redeeming features that he might have? Not sure that Nalco would be interested in being able to chug a (proper size) beer in 4 seconds (although being Aus you never know)!!!
Response: I can get it down in 3.5 now (much practice) It worked though mate, I am out on site with them this week for an assesment..... So I might need you to write another one! for Vieola/ecolab haha
From Me
It would appear that Gozzy has spilt the beans, and we had managed tp porotect you for so long, however thats life! as they say? the update was very informative and we all appreciate it, perhaps now you will be a bit more regular with news. Me and your Mumm
Response: I think Gozzie has a lot more to tell too!! Will try and update the site a bit more, Now the weather is starting to warm up I am going to learn to surf (have a go anyway) so there should be some good muppetry pics on the way!!
From Rach (Sis)
Yo Bro!!
How you doin? How's your leg healing? Something had a nice little munch on you didn't it? The thing's you'll do just to get a nurse!! TskTsk... :-) Just to let you know that it looks like I've sorted the job issue and I've had an offer and now I'm itching to get going. Off to Spain for a week with 'Chelle in a few weeks, a 2 hour flight, god I'm dreading it but I figure that Jack Daniels intravenously should help... ;-)
Anyhoo, you take care and I hope your leg is better asap. Laters Bro. And try to leave the local wildlife alone..... :-)
Response: Legs all good now thanks sis, and well done with the new job. 2 bloody hours you want to try 24 buggers in the air! say hi to Chelle for me and I hope the cafe is going well? And have a good time in Spain x x
From Garry160708
Thanks for confirming Carts and i are winners of the free beer competition... sorry we cant collect in Aus but dont worry, i have just found out you have four "on the beam" at the halfway house, so i will print of this page as proof of your approval and, well, see you down there tonight then carts.....cheers steve.....
Response: Bugger I forgot about the four on the beam! I guess cos I thought they would have been snaffled the minuite the plane left the ground! Please boy's enjoy.
From Garry160708
...Whats this about you being bitten by laughing my head off here, about 38 jokes immediatly come to mind!!!. What about the poor beast that bit you though? One chunk out of you and it would have been dead in seconds!! I told you not to expose any of your bodily parts in dark and unfamiliar surroundings.....even if it was cheap and quick!!
Response: I can imagine the jokes I have had a few this end... trust me if I had seen the bugger that bit me, there would be a picture of it's bloodied remains on this very site! As for exposing parts in unfamiliar and dark surroundings.........I am having to earn a crust somehow!!!!
From Merv
We were thinking of you yesterday, Lewis and I, as we discussed sea fishing. Well I had planned to book dave Gibson for a Bass trip in October, but not enough d'Anglers! Holiday golf trips and walk abouts in ...sorry that's you, meant I cancelled, boo.But Markie and I are off with Loneshark on October 2 instaed, got to get those bass!
Wish you were here, trip would have gone on then! Hope you are Ok, did the spider survive?
Keep smilling, best wishes from us all.
Response: Great to hear from you Merv, I am sure you and Mark will have a ball and plenty of bass! Shame about the D'anglers though! I am getting some practice in catching Bream in the swan river (Brim as they call them here) and a few Flathead but all a bit small for the pot, as soon as there is a photo worth posting I will get it up here. all the very best Merv, Tight lines
From Uncle Mo
Sorry have'nt been in touch sooner but have now got sorted out. Glad to hear you are having a great time. Dad says you got bitten by something, hope all ok. If poss let us know how you're getting on, will be in touch again when we have read all your notes!!!
Response: Hey Mo, thanks for the mail, how was New York?
The Doc thinks it was a spider in Thailand, but it's all on the mend, awaiting pathology results to determine the infection, but at least I am mobile again. You have to watch those Thai chicks tho Mo, what can I say bad advice from Gozzie!!!!
From gozzie
Hi Steve
Sorry if I misled you about the wifeswapping, your dad tried to swap mum for a pair of headlamps and I tried to swap Penny for a roof rack but as you know no takers as we still have them 40 years on. I have even tried swapping her on e-bay but still no go. As for retiring no way. I now work for HCC and am based in Farnborough library, only male with 20 woman and they pay me as well. Can`t wear any aftershave as they would tear me apart
Take care, stay safe and will follow you with interest
Response: HCC you say, the library, Farnborough? I can feel another stitch up on the way! Take care Al
From Carts
Free Beer, i think garry got you on that one, but i reckon the plane was over Venice if it relates to that pic.
Response: I reckon the only fair thing is free beer for the pair of you, as both answers right really, but as I said before the beer is in the Guildford hotel on the Midland road Perth, just let me know when, and I will get them to throw in a couple of Mrs Mac's pies too!!!! Hell I will even pick you up from the airport..... Can't say fairer than that!
From Gozzie
Hi Stephan Grappelli - how are things you little s??t. Great news to hear and read about your travels , its what your Dad and I would have done - it was the wine, rally cars and wife swapping what did us in.
Its that time of year again, birthdays, me in my prime and your old man over the hill, hence the call from your dad. Just between you and me he said if he gets wind of you coming home they are ready to move house again and not to tell you!! just like before eh.
He also tells me you went to Thailand, hopefully you took the condom with the safety pin through that I sent you in your birthday card when you were in your teens. Should have grown into it by now...
Will advise Sarah of your blog site, stay safe, enjoy yourself and if, when you come home Mum and Dad have moved, dont bother trying us cos we have already gone - "just in case"
Boy do you look fit - good to see it.
Response: Hello Al, the wine,beer and rally cars I knew about, but the last one is a shocker!!!! and thanks I wondered why there was no reply to all the postcards I have sent home, they have moved allready! the condom still works, I have had the hole repaired and it washes well as for the fitment there's years left in it! I guess you have retired by now,but let me know if your working outside your normal local as there are still some rogue builders out there that will try and run you out of town!! give my love to Penny and Sarah, and happy birthday you old bugger! great to hear from you.