Falling With Style

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This shall be a day long remembered! Only the most ardent of my readers are likely to have read my long winded first post, but to recap when I first embarked upon this blog I set myself the challenge of three, knock your socks off,  are you out of your tiny mind, make you scream ‘I’m alive’ adventures. After several years of the boring and mundane I’d finally put my foot down and decided that this time it would be different. Having resolved myself to completing one every four months, I then entered into a rigorous regime of procrastination in which the wild side of life was forever postponed by the allegedly essential. Thus after a great deal of time passed, I suddenly felt a little low on realizing that this time it wasn’t any different. Only, as the totally crazy photographic evidence above shows, most unexpectedly and quite delightfully, this time it is different! I have undertaken a true out of this world worthy of a bucket list adventure. And as you’re about to find out I loved every precious second of it.

So there I am, strapped to a stranger sitting in a rickety plane flying two miles above the earth and I have to pinch myself it feels like a dream. There’s a red light that’s about to turn green and I can’t help but briefly imagine that I’m a commando on a super-secret mission in a war film. My imagination is working overtime, as I try to ignore the very basic mechanic that I will have to execute in order for this adventure to occur. I usually get a tad frightened on normal plane journeys and that’s without the thought that at some point during the ride I’m going to have to bloody well jump out of it. It turns out I didn’t need to jump, oh no! I had to cumbersomely sit down on the edge of the exit and then as I teetered on the abyss I had to cross my legs and wrap them around the fuselage. I then felt a light tap on my shoulders which was my cue to fall forward like an undignified drunk. Upon reflection, I think I would have much preferred a short swift jump.

Whoosh! The first few seconds of the jump are a total blur as a result of the fifty espressos worth of adrenalin that automatically pumped through my veins on account of me doing something very stupid. I came to my senses a little while in, to find the camera lady falling below trying to grab my attention, she was blowing kisses. I’ve desperately tried to avoid using this word, but it was truly surreal. It sounds mad but after the initial fright of exiting, the experience of falling was a wonderfully pleasant affair. A beautiful majestic scene before me coupled with the exhilarating and calming white noise of the wind gave me a brief moment of ecstatic clarity. It came to a close when the parachute deployed and I suddenly felt like I was pulled up to the heavens.  Looking at the amazing higgledy piggledy farmland below, we now fell gracefully as we gently twirled our way back to earth.  Arriving with a bump, I was brimming ear to ear with joy having experienced the extraordinary.

I can safely say that exiting a plane from extreme height is terrifying but I also cannot recommend this experience highly enough. After the initial shock, the fall is pure magic. I’d like to give a big thank you, to all the wonderful people at the London Parachute School who made this most excellent adventure happen.

I’m Alive!!!

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Pollock’s Toy Museum

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A museum full of toys that has a name that rhymes with bollocks. It’s fair to say that Pollock’s was an easy sell for this big kid. It specializes in 19th century toys but has a wide array of playthings from all sorts of periods. Sadly a few highlight the offensive attitudes that Europeans have held at various moments in history. Thankfully the sparkling joy of childhood play makes up the majority of the items. Like so many of the unusual museums that are dotted around this part of the city Pollock’s is on the small side and some may be put off by the £6 entrance fee. I’m so glad I wasn’t one of them. It may be on the small side, but there are intriguing sights and items of interest everywhere in Pollock’s. Little gems included, the saucy Fraulein’s from 1925 with a string that lifts up their skirts, a four thousand year old clay rat from ancient Egypt that has moving wooden tail and mouth, and oh look Buzz and Woody are attempting to escape the museum! I also really liked the row of Russian nesting dolls that had Brezhnev, Gorbachev, and Yeltsin at the centre. It didn’t make my top three little gems though. It could have but alas where for art thou Putin?

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My favourite section in the museum without a doubt was filled with giant toy theatres. They were so beautifully crafted, with such an amazing eye for detail. One could imagine what a delight to play with they were, and I could just picture kids putting on a play with cardboard cut outs for Mum and Dad to enjoy. A close second in the favourites department was a room packed to the rafters with exquisite and oh so creepy Victorian dolls. The creaking wooden floors of the museum added an atmosphere of suspense and for a moment I could not help but feel that I was in a horror film. I should also mention the awesome 1950’s alien, robot, spaceman, Goodness. How could I possibly forget that! As a child who was constantly pew pewing laser death at the world, these incredible tin toys were my childhood dreams come to life!!!  At the end of the museum tour one is faced with the ultimate test of willpower, a shop full of toys. I was dismayed by how many grownups effortlessly succeeded at this ultimate test. Let me assure you dear reader that I was not one of them. All in all, I had a rather jolly and dare I say it fanciful hour of imaginary wondering walking round this museum. I definitely recommend the trip.

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Swingers (Crazy Golf)

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Having done a ton of work last week and organized what I hope will prove a most excellent Bachelor’s Party; I was most pleased to suddenly have a day all to myself. At last time to read philosophy, create art, and realize my potential! To be honest I mostly watched TV and worked on my couch potato skills. Nevertheless the day was not without some adventure.  For today I put pay to life’s boring bits and enjoyed some silly fun with a spot of golf in the City. Located right next to the Gherkin, Swingers is a terrific bar which has two awesome and dare I say it fiendish pitch and putt courses inside it. Entry is yours for a mere ten pounds. A great deal of my cousins are amazing at golf, I mean they’ve won trophies and stuff. As such, I’ve always harboured delusions that I would one day try golf and just find that I’m super humanly good at it. Thus today I was really looking forward to playing with my friend, stoked by the fantasy of finding a hidden talent. Unfortunately the bounder never showed up and sent a txt at the last second with a lame excuse as to why. Thus Johnny no mates found himself playing golf all alone.

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On this day however, the Gods were with me! It wasn’t long after I started to play, that I was joined by three incredibly kind staff members, Soli, Jasmine, and Ally. They let me try the second course for free, bought me a drink, and were fantastic fun. So a huge THANK YOU to them. On the hidden talent front, initial evidence was promising. I got a hole in one on an insanely difficult shot that involved a jump. Further scientific investigation though, indicated this to be a complete fluke. At the end of the day, it was hard not to conclude that my innate talent was average maximus. The real star in our group was Jasmine, who pulled off some super smooth shots and made it look easy, she won by a mile. All in all, I had a wonderful time at Swingers and think it’s a great bar to go to if you’re in the mood for some kick ass shenanigans. Once again I’d like to thank the super kind, Soli, Jasmine, and Ally, who went above and beyond the call of duty to make my day blooming brilliant. I cannot recommend this place highly enough.

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The Sunshine Blogger Award

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Hello Dear Reader,

I am absolutely ecstatic to have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger award by Pradita Kapahi, I’ve always wanted to do one of these things as they’ve always looked like such fun, thus I cannot thank Pradita enough for this honour. Pradita in addition to being absolutely wonderful writes a brilliant blog the Pradita chronicles  which is a must for anyone with a passion for words, stories, and reading. I really can’t recommend it highly enough so please do check it out.

On with the rules…

*    Thank the person(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.

*    Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.

*    Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.

*    List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or on your blog.

 

How Long have you been blogging, and what made you get started in the first place?

I’m a young fellow relatively new to the Blogosphere having only been around a mere six months. In my imagination the origin of my Blog is shrouded in mystery. In reality however, it is the result of mind numbing boredom. By the end of 2015 I finally had several parts of being an adult down to a tee. Fast forward to the middle of 2016 and the results of this materialised, there was a distinct lack of the fun and silly in my life. My blog then was an attempt to make space for a little silly childish fun. So far it has worked a treat with all sensible parts of life still running smoothly but now with the addition of occasional bursts of pure whimsy.

What is your blog about?

The specifics of my silly escapades are all to be found in my Blog’s title. Firstly there is a predominant focus of finding the most interesting and somewhat less talked about gems in London.  Past examples include sensory deprivation, a perplexing curiosity museum, and most recently an insanely awesome cake shop. Secondly I review a fine bottle of whisky each month having concluded that this is essential to surviving the more foolhardy side of my adventures. Speaking of proper adventures, the Blogs last remit is that I have occasional big proper WOW adventures, such as sky diving, thus far they have yet to materialise but I am ever hopeful that they will before the year is out!

What do you hope to achieve through your blog?

Many, many, years of adventure and a fair few people reading about it to boot!

Who’s that one person you’d most like to invite over for a lunch/dinner date?

I really haven’t a clue on this one, sadly all that comes to mind is a host of fictional characters. (Agent Peggy Carter topping the list.) I suspect I need to engage more with reality though it’s frightfully difficult these days.

Who would you most like to interview on your blog?

Now this one is easy, though highly unlikely to ever occur. For quite some time now I’ve really wanted to do an article on the importance of talking bollocks. I simply love meandering conversations that go everywhere without getting anywhere and which involve spectacular leaps of the imagination. To my mind the improvisational comedian Ross Noble is the undisputed champion of such deranged flights of fancy. His mind is like an acme firework factory on steroids. I don’t know how he thinks such intriguing oddities but I’d love to interview him for his top tips on talking complete and utter bollocks.

What’s your ultimate goal in life?

Is it me, or are we suddenly plummeting into the heady depths of the philosophical? In terms of ultimate life goals, for me there is one that stands head and shoulders above the rest. Namely that in life one should ultimately be able to say that one has sincerely tried to make a positive difference in this world. It doesn’t have to be huge, nevertheless it should be tangible, and obviously I give allowances in cases of sweet Fortuna laying waste to one’s efforts.  I do occasionally worry that this amounts to a make do and mend ethics, which can in some cases encourage apathy in the face of life’s big challenges. Nevertheless I’d maintain that the ultimate goal of simply doing ones best to be kind and make a positive change is all one can aim for, without introducing delusions of grandeur that is. To quote the late great Sir Terry Pratchett, ‘You have left the world much better than you found it, and if you ask me, said Death, nobody could do any better than that’.

Name your favourite blogging moment/memory?

The best moments I’ve had writing my blog are those unexpected occurrences that really make one feel like an adventure writer, mad unexpected events that one simply can’t force but can only hope for. To date my favourite was when I went for an ice cold swim at Hampstead Heath’s open air pool. To my horror I found myself being lapped by old age pensioners. Then some incredibly buff gents turned up and I braced myself for complete humiliation. Only these herculean specimens couldn’t stand the ice and left after a mere thirty seconds, though they high fived and congratulated themselves for a full two minutes before actually making their exit. The next thing I knew, I was mentally lauding it over the young demi gods, while secretly wishing I had the stamina of a sixty year old!

 Name your worst blogging moment/memory?

My worse blogging memory happened very early on. I had booked the Holi festival of colours at Wembley and was most excited. I got there and a rocking band was playing and before I knew it everyone around me was throwing coloured powders into the air in a beautiful act of joy and happiness. Five minutes later I suddenly realized I was having an allergic reaction to whatever was in the powders. I had to fight my way out of the crowd, clean myself off to the best of my ability and head home after only twenty odd minutes there. I then spent next few days feeling god awful. In the end I wrote my first whisky review instead, as I couldn’t really say anything about the event.

 Who or what inspires you?

So many people have inspired me in life, but for me top of the list is Gandhi. His autobiography is beautifully open and honest; a must read if ever there was one.

What message would you give to new Bloggers?

That it’s worth the effort. I’d then go on to give them tons more advice only to then conclude that they shouldn’t take any of my advice as I haven’t got a damn clue what I’m talking about.

Give a quote that inspires you every time.

My all-time favourite quote is on the ultra-cheesy side of life. For me it gets straight to the point and never fails to lift my spirits.

‘Be Most Excellent and… Party on Dude’

Now on to my Nominations

Laura McDaniel

A4Alice

An Idea A Day

Rediskot

AmateurDrammer

TheShowersofBlessing

TheRedPhoneBoxTravels

BreakingNewGroundinZone5

SavvyGeekMom

ColoradoTravelingDucks

DreamyMichaela

And Ze questions

How Long have you been blogging, and what made you get started in the first place?

Are there any Blogging lessons you wish you knew before you started?

What is your favourite Blog post?

What experience is at the top of your Bucket list?

If you could interview anyone for your blog who would it be?

Coffee or Tea?

Recommend an unusual book or film?

Think of a really silly question that I could ask?

Answer your answer to the previous question?

What is the most beautiful place that you’ve ever been too?

What inspires you in life?

 

Don’t feel any pressure to participate, but if you can I’d be delighted.

I do hope you’ve enjoyed reading this slightly unusual post.

All the Best

LondonWhiskyAdventure!

Pure Imagination: Choccywoccydoodah!!!!!

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Tucked away on a side street near Oxford Circus is one of London’s best hidden gems, the gloriously named Choccywoccydoodah is a mecca for those with a sweet tooth. Primarily a cake shop, it has some truly extraordinary creations in the window. How anyone can spend a fortune on a bog standard wedding cake, when they could have a Goth Rock Opera in the medium of sponge, I’ll never fathom. Fortunately in addition to the shop there is also a splendid café above, allowing us common folk to briefly sample something spectacular before returning to our bleak existence. I first heard about this place from an acquaintance at a party, who informed me that they ‘elevated chocolate to an art form’. In an instant I knew I had to give this place a whirl. Wasting no time, the very next day I woke up early, hopped on the tube, and hurtled towards sweet, sweet, oblivion.

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I must insert an interlude at this point in my adventure dear reader and inform you of something most important. As you are aware I’m a great lover of hard liquor and if need’s be I can drink it by the bucket load. It will no doubt come as a surprise to you then, when I say that if I consume the merest soupcon of sugar, it precipitates within me the human equivalent of a thermonuclear reaction. In the world of cake and confectionery, I’m a lightweight. Suffice it to say when I came into contact with the slab of awesome pictured above, I became ecstatically silly. In fact as I left, I could be heard trumpeting at the top of my lungs ‘Cake for the Cake God’. I swear this is no exaggeration, to think I only ate half!

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Now that you are aware of my weakness for sugar, which often exaggerates my already fantastical perspective of life, I shall return to my review. I LOVED this place!!! It was magical, whimsical, deliciousness, wrapped up in scrumdiddlyumptious goodness. The décor is warm and welcoming, the staff friendly, and the cakes, the cakes…  Oh My. That’s my review, seriously that two word sentence. I’ll say it again if you like. Oh My. It isn’t really, but part of me wished I had the guts just to put that. It says everything I want to say. In that short sentence, there’s a ton of silliness, a note of exuberance, and dare I say it an undertone that suggests that for many of us chocolate cake is a deeply erotic experience.

Oh My!

 

New Year 1940s Blitz Party

 

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Hussar a New Year!  I love the symbolic over the top cheesiness that comes with the simple thought that a particular day marks a new beginning. What day that is may be arbitrary but all that we humans make of it certainly isn’t. It’s a fantastic time for reflection, hope, and a bloody good party. Sadly the latter has not always been forthcoming in my life and I’ve had quite a few New Years that have been more than a tad lacklustre. Including one in which merriment was in short supply due to a funeral the previous day.  After the shear lunacy of 2016 I was hell bent on insuring that this time around that would not be the case. I am most pleased to inform you then, that in this my first endeavour of the year I was most successful, as I welcomed in 2017 with some aplomb at a 1940s Blitz party!!!

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I adore this period of time, the fashion is super stylish and the music is divine. I also think that there is much to be learnt in the spirit of the age, a steady dogged determination that successfully saw people through one of the bleakest periods of history. Returning to the more fanciful side of life, the real stars of this party were all the partygoers themselves. So much effort had been put into the costumes and the result was that one genuinely felt transported back into the past (minus the smart phones). In all seriousness though it was incredible and everyone looked amazing. Throw in a marvellous live band and a few good cocktails and a spectacular result was assured.  Sadly it took a good while for me to get into the dancing. Over the previous days I had allowed some halfwit to talk me into some running. As a result I initially could barely walk, let alone boogie. Nevertheless with the aid of cajoling from my friends I did eventually get my legs grooving and promptly got lost in the moment.  And that was that…

Finally let me wish you dear reader a most spectacular New Year, filled with adventure, friends, and random acts of kindness.

Cocktails and Curiosities

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Having put pay to a dreadful bout of flu last week, I was pleased to return to adventuring form with an intriguing find that I had been intending to check out for some time. The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, is as the name would suggest a most peculiar and excellent London oddity! It combines a majestic cocktail bar at the top, with a tiny museum of the strange and deranged at the bottom. The bar is wonderfully salubrious and despite its odd decor it is an incredibly easy place to unwind and chill out in. The staff here struck me as the most fantastic friendly folk that you could ever well meet in a drinking establishment. They were talkative, welcoming, and more than a tad silly. Upon being seated by the delightful fish tank I was informed that I was the master of the sea kingdom.

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The whisky based cocktail I had here proved a massive hit, but alas I do not recall its name, perhaps a sign of the quality of the evening. I do recall an epic spiel that said it gave a whisky twist to something, which was a play on something else, with the something else in question in the latter being an alternative take on some classic. All I know for sure is that it tasted stupendously good and turned out to be a slippery ninja assassin in disguise. For it gave no indication that its contents would intoxicate, and once past the sentry quickly precipitated a journey to cloud cuckoo land. I may have arrived at this fine establishment on my feet, but I can assure you dear reader that I left floating.

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After paying the tidy sum of five pounds I walked down a mysterious spiral staircase and entered a phantasmagorical den. The museum is a bizarre mix of, knick knacks, historical items, macabre taxidermy, and disturbing erotica. Many of the items have tiny hand written descriptions on them, some of which are most imaginative. It’s hard to sum up the experience, other than saying this is a genuine traditional curiosity museum. Unfortunately this is an odd thing for me to declare; given that it’s the only curiosity museum I’ve ever been to. I somehow doubt that watching all of Disney’s Gravity Falls has given me some special insight into what makes a great curiosity museum. No matter how much I’d like to think so. Nevertheless I’m going to stand by my declaration. This place somehow left me with the impression that this is exactly what a curiosity museum should be. It is a one off, something truly remarkable, and which I wish was a lot bigger. So long as you’re not easily scared or offended you should definitely check out The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities!!!

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