Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thanks and Good-bye

We lost our dog Hobbes 21 days shy of his 15th birthday.
In dog terms, that was a long and full life, but it doesn't take the sting away from the fact, to us he was more then just a dog, he was part of our family and his loss is going to be a very hard void for us to fill.
In the end though, it wasn't his heart that gave out first, it was his body. His arthritis became to much for his once strong and muscular body to handle, I had to help him stand and had to carry him out to the front yard to do his business. Like the true border collie he was, he never showed his pain, even though I could tell he was in a lot of it. He never had an accident in the house, even though he could have and we would never have held it against him, but he never did because he was proud and strong right to the end.
Saying good-bye to him was very hard, but it was time and I would never do him wrong.
He was my best friend and I will miss him more then you will ever know.
Thank you all, for all your kind words, my wife and I both appreciate it ... it means the world to us.

This blog started as a bit of a lark and it turned into something that I have become quite proud of.
It started out about the adventures of a man and his dog and changed into so much more, but without my trusty sidekick Hobbes at my side, it's just not the same.
Its been a great ride, I've enjoyed every single minute of it, but now I think its time to turn out the lights and say good-bye.
So thanks for following along these last six years, I couldn't of and wouldn't have done it without you ...

All the best,

Malcolm, aka Mad Mal and Hobbes

P.S. If I start a new blog in the future, I will post a link here.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

UK Adventure: By The Numbers

My wife and I had a blast on our 20 Day whirlwind vacation of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. We never let a silly thing like rain or unseasonably cold weather weather dampen our good time. Have you heard the expression, You don't go to the UK for the weather? Well its true, you don't, you go for the experience, and what an experience it was!

Here is a list of the places we went:

01. London, England
02. Oxford, England
03. Silverstone Race Track, England
04. Stratford-Upon-Avon, England
05. Stourbridge, England
06. The drive to and Snowdon, Wales
07. Snowdonia Mountains, Wales
08. Chester, England
09. Liverpool, England
10. Lake District, England
11. Hexham, England
12. Hadrian's Wall, England
13. Lady of the North, just outside Manchester, England
14. Edinburgh, Scotland
15. Sterling, Scotland
16. Drive through the Scottish Highlands, (Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, Ben Nevis and Glen Coe, Five              Sisters, National Parks)
17. Loch Ness, Scotland
18. The drive to and around the Isle of Skye, Scotland
19. Glasgow, Scotland
20. Giants Causeway and Coastal Route, Northern Ireland
21. London Derry, Northern Ireland
22. Belfast, Northern Ireland
23. Dublin, Republic of Ireland
24. Galway, Republic of Ireland
25. Western Coastal Route, Republic of Ireland
26. Cliffs of Moher, Republic of Ireland
27. Limerick, Republic of Ireland
28. Blarney Castle, Republic of Ireland
29. Cork, Republic of Ireland
30. Rosslare, Republic of Ireland
31. Jurassic Coast, Lime-Regis, England
32. Stonehenge, England
33. Brighton Beach, England
34. Cliffs of Dover
34. Crawley, England
35. Gatwick, England

By The Numbers:

In Canadian Dollars ...

Cost of the flight: about $1800
Cost of car rental: about $600
Cost of gas: about $540
Cost of hotels for 19 Days: just under $2000

Distance traveled: 3061 miles or 4926 km

Unfortunately, after 12,190 km of accident free driving on mainland Europe, 5289 km in 2011 and 6901 km in 2012, we finally had our first incident with our rental car on this trip. We are not 100 percent sure when it happened but we think it was in the first three days when the car was parked in the underground at the hotel in London. So much for parking it out of trouble and taking the Tube! Thankfully nothing serious, just a couple of scratches, down to the primer on the passenger side front fender.

Driving on the left side of the road was a little harder then I thought it would be, and I found myself going the wrong direction once or twice. Driving stick with the other hand wasn't as hard, and I certainly had a lot of fun driving along those tiny country roads as fast as the car would go.
The only other problem I had was with the photo radar system they have all over the place in the UK; only time will tell if my need for speed was caught on any of them. 

I hope you have enjoyed following along with us on our adventures across the UK. Now that I've got the pictures organized, I might be able to turn my thoughts to the hours of video I shot, but it's summer time out there and my bike is calling ...
So please, check back here every once in awhile and who knows, there might just be a video or two of our UK Adventures, posted right here.



Wednesday, June 12, 2013

UK Adventure: Day 19 Dover, Gatwick, England

And so we've reached Day 19, our last day of travel on our UK Adventure, and it found us in Dover looking for some cliffs. The White Cliffs of Dover form part of the English coastline facing the Straits of Dover and France. The cliff face which reaches as high as 350 feet, owes its striking looks to its composition of chalk and streaks of black flint. The cliffs spread east and west from the town of Dover, in the county of Kent, and was an ancient and still important port today.
And of course we had to go for one last hike to admire these magnificent cliffs.

Watch out for the rabbit holes, because they are full of bunnies!

Then it was a back in the car and a 141 mile drive back to Gatwick to complete our circle of travel. We spent our last night at a hotel next to the airport as we had an early 8 hour flight back to Toronto and home the next morning. Thankfully the plane on the ride home had TV monitors in every seat and a wide selection of movies to keep you occupied. I ended up watching 3 movies and my wife watched 4 and before we knew it we back to reality and home.
For the first time in 3 weeks I could take off my hoodie and jacket and put on a pair of shorts.
Nice to go on vacations, but there truly is no place like home.

UK Adventure: Day 18 Stonehenge, Brighton Beach, England

Since we had spent the night literally right next door to our next stop, we had time to check out "Woodhenge", which is very similar to Stonehenge but made out of timber, in the same circular fashion and discovered by chance in 1925 from aerial photos of Stonehenge. The wood is all gone now and marked with concrete pillars where they once stood.

Then it was off to see the real thing right around the corner.
Stonehenge; one of the most famous sites in the world, is a prehistoric monument dating back to 2000 B.C. of a ring of standing stones built on a circular mound of earth. Many believe it was an ancient burial ground, and because of that, has become a place of religious significance.

And the often forgotten and lesser known, Heel Stone, which lies just outside the henge, leaning towards the inner circle.

Then it was onto "sunny" Brighton Beach. At least the rain was nice enough to hold off until we got there.
I liked this town, it felt like London, but with a more laid back, seaside feel.
Not sure what this place was selling but it wasn't sewing machines.

Brighton Pier.

Walking along the boardwalk.

The city of Brighton.

Then it was off towards Dover and our next stop for the night.
272 miles driven.