Category Archives: 30th Anniversary Tour

Scottish Highlands Coach Holiday Travel Article Published

My travel article about an Urquhart Coaches holiday to the Scottish Highlands visiting Moffat, Isle of Skye; especially Portree; Eilean Donan castle, Dornoch, John O’ Groats; seeing Orkneys; Inverness and Loch Ness has been published on Travel Thru History.

Apart from travel descriptions and local history, the main theme of the article contrasts independent travel with organised, and how they are usually undertaken by different age groups, with my middle-ageness (greenYgreyness) seeming to be the perfect place to compare the two types of travelling holiday.

Ironically, writing the article probably gave me a bit of a middle-aged crisis, partly inspiring my independent hikes around Yorkshire and Jersey this year; to see if I still had it!? It resulted in some of my longest hikes of my lifetime, and the most independent.

However, when my independently booked return ferry trip from Jersey was cancelled, due to wind and rain rather than a proper storm, I saw a woman holding an Urquhart sign, which must have been for people on one of their holidays there; and heard from another on the ferry that a tour operator had put up their holidaymakers in a nice hotel free of charge, which I presume was Urquhart.

Condor ferries refused to reimburse me for the hotel they booked for me, and told me I could claim back.

Here’s some more photos from my Urquhart Scottish Highlands Holiday:

Skye Trip

John O’ Groats trip

Inverness trip

Marc Latham’s books are available on Amazon.

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Human Burial Chamber and Artwork: Million Years Of ‘Culture’

I was delighted to find the Hougue Bie burial chamber on what is now called ‘Jersey’. It reminded me of the Maeshowe one on what is now called ‘Orkney’ in what is now called ‘Scotland’ that I’d seen on television. Maeshowe is another fine example of early greenYgrey architecture:

Maeshowe Connection?Picture Sigurd Towrie

Reading about it again on the orkneyjar website I saw that it is different to Hougue Bie in that its alignment is for the midwinter sunrise to reach its back wall, similar to Newgrange in what is now known as ‘Ireland’, with Hougue Bie said to be structured for the equinoxes.

British and European Burial Chambers and Artwork

Britain’s stone circles and burial chambers date from about 6,000 years ago; before the great pyramids of Egypt, and thousands of years before ‘monotheism’ emerged in the Middle-East, and God and Devil, Heaven and Hell, took the place of reverence for nature and the cosmos.

Although that seems a long time ago, it is quite ‘recent’ compared to artwork, with cave paintings in modern Europe dated to 30,000 – 32,000 years ago.

That’s right, 30,000 years before Christ was born and the Romans invaded ‘Britain’; that’s 15 times the amount of time we’ve got any written recorded history for northern Europe, and 30 times modern history started in Britain after the Norman invasion; our ancestors were creating artwork like this:

Cave painting found in Indonesia dating to 35,000 – 40,000 years ago are now thought to be the oldest found:

Cave of Pettakere, Bantimurung district (kecamatan), South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Hand stencils estimated between 35,000 and 40,000 years old

Above knowledge refreshed on Wikipedia.

African Burial Chamber Million Years Old

Funnily enough, I watched a documentary this week about what is thought to be the oldest burial chamber yet found; that doesn’t mean it’s the oldest, just the oldest found. There’s an article about it on BBC news.

It’s deep underground in modern ‘South Africa’, and needed thin archaeologists to access it and recover the remains of fifteen of our ancestors. It resulted in a team of intrepid non-claustrophobic researchers, backed by greenYgrey:

The team of scientists who were small enough to squeeze through the cave's narrow underground tunnels and into the cave system.

They’ve been dated to a million years old; yes, that’s right, 1,000,000 years compared to the 2,000 since Christianity, 500,000 times as much human life we know very little about as that we do; except that if our ancestors were conducting ritual burial at the start of it, then there is likely to have been a lot of ‘culture’ and ‘cosmology’ going on long before the cave paintings of 30,000 – 40,000 years ago, and the stone circles and burial chambers of 6,000 years ago.

One of the XaW Files subtitle Beyond Humanity’s meanings is this knowledge beyond humanity, either in the past or the distance of space for the human species, and the mind for individual humans.

Living in a narrow band of troposhere atmosphere on a planet circling a star that is one of billions in our Milky Way galaxy; a galaxy that is one of billions in the known universe (which may be one of many, millions or billions?)…

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… which sometimes looks greenygrey/gYgPOP…

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… in a very short period of recorded history, compared to how long we’ve been walking the Earth and looking to the stars, we try and make sense of our place in existence.

We even make it hard for ourselves by shutting down knowledge because it doesn’t fit in with ‘beliefs’, or cloud history by raising religious, geographical or cultural bias over scientific paradigms and investigative research.

 

La Hougue Bie, Jersey, Underground Place for Me… Pagan Statue of Liberty!

On my first journey around Europe in 1987/88 I visited some of the biggest tourist sites, such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Colisseum in Rome and Acropolis in Athens. It’s a tradition I kept up on my 25th anniversary tour, visiting Mont Saint Michel near Saint Malo; the Naeroyfjord near Bergen; Gamla Stan in Stockholm and the Nou Camp in Barcelona (should probably have been La Sagrada Familiar, but did visit other Gaudi sites!).

In Latvia last year I visited Turaida Museum in the Gauja Valley, a day-trip from Riga to Sigulda; the Open-Air museum on the edge of Tallinn in Estonia and Suomenlinna fort guarding Helsinki’s harbour in Finland.

Jersey has some very impressive castles, such as Elizabeth, guarding Saint Helier harbour…

… and Gorey (Mont Orgueil) on the east coast…

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… as well as several interesting museums, but when I found out about the 6,000 years old Neolithic burial chamber of La Hougue Bie it was the place for me to be.

The original Neolithic burial chamber, with the entrance positioned facing east so sunrise reached the back wall on the equinoxes, had a mound built over it originally, making it look very greenygrey (remembering my decade-old Blighty dominant landscape concept):

In Medieval times a church was built on top, adding another layer of grey; and it’s greenYgrey inside too!:

I entered the burial chamber three times, without intending to originally. The first time was to have a look; the second was after remembering the torch on my phone to light it up better, and the third after I’d visited the museum and found out more about it. The first photo here is looking inside, and the second out:

You may be wondering if I felt a connection to the ancestors? I don’t know really, maybe I did, or maybe it was just me wanting to, creating it more in my mind.

Making the Most of Life: Life is for the Living

I think I’ve felt more of a connection to the living creatures I’ve met the last year, decade and life. I felt more of a ‘magical connection’ this week, with an unplanned stop in the last place of sunshine before returning to ‘civilisaton’, at first just planning to get ten more minutes of hot sunshine for a Vitamin D boost, storing it up for the coming autumn.

Staring for a few minutes into lush vegetation, a tree I’ve probably passed hundreds or thousands of times began to take shape in my mind. A few trees away, two squirrels ran around the trunk, looking as if they were playing; making the most of the morning sunshine. Then water fell from one branch, looking like a waterfall; and big flying insects landing on leaves reminded me of the Avatar movie.

Standing there, with a bag of blackberries in one hand, and my t-shirt covering my front in the other (sun on my back), I knew I must have looked odd to any ‘normal’ people who saw me; but later thought I may have also resembled the Statue of Liberty (in a pagan kind of greenYgrey way!):

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‘Jersey Boy’ Latham v ‘Sunny’ Latham: United 50 Years Later

Jersey Joe Walcott was the heavyweight boxing champion in 1951/52. It was before my time, and I don’t know much about him. I think I saw a little about him in some old boxing documentary, or documentaries.

Jersey Born and Bred (for a little while)

However, I was born in Jersey in 1965, and left a year or two later. So when I joked about having a ‘boxing nickname’, long after I wanted to be a boxer or had much interest in it, I thought of ‘Jersey Boy’ Latham.

That’s an example of how a little bit of my lifetime knowledge becomes a big thing in my writing. My greenYgrey writing is full of such people and places. Hopefully I helped publicise some of the good ones, as well as putting some places on the map.

greenYgreyologists analysing my writing would probably think that Jersey Joe Walcott was a big favourite of mine, but in reality he’s just a name I remembered, with relevance to my life; I couldn’t remember any of his history until looking it up just now.

I also joked using a renowned idiom: you can take the boy out of Jersey, but you can’t take the Jersey out of the boy!

Disclaimer: If those who heard my above creations are reading, you were the just the audience, and I was the creator. I might not have thought them up if I hadn’t been talking to you, but that doesn’t give you a share of their copyright! As I don’t ask for a share of anything you gained during our time together!!

Sunny Jersey for my Return

Another boxing name that sounded relevant was Charles L. ‘Sonny’ Liston, but that’s because I like the weather sunny, rather than liking being a son; not that I’d rather be a daughter!

I’ve thought I might have developed my love of sunshine and beaches in my first year or two on Jersey. I don’t know if I did, if it was nature or nurture, but I do know that after a wet day before, and overcast voyage, the clouds cleared a couple of hours before arriving on Jersey, and so the island looked lovely as I returned after 50 years; and especially the south approaching my birthplace of Saint Helier.

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Unfortunately, the clear sky didn’t last, and my return voyage was cancelled due to wet weather! Apparently a common occurrence with the fast ferry service.

However, I still enjoyed my last day in my birthplace, thanks to golden reflections of the sun that welcomed me ‘home’.

 

30th Anniversary Tour Finished: Thanks AAWfully, Rest greenYgreyly (coffilosophy wordplay to contemplate)

I concluded my 30th anniversary tour of my travels starting on August 25th, 1987 with a spectacularly genius combination: returning to my birthplace of Jersey for the first time in just over 50 years! It was a week full of the ups and downs typically experienced while independent travelling. I hope to write more about it soon.

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One of my first photos in 1987.

My year of returning to hobo travelling on short trips 2017 tour took in:

  1. Scarborough to Withernsea coastal path trek in May.
  2. Helmsley to Scarborough imprecise rest of the Cleveland Way walk in June.
  3. Guns N’ Roses gig in the Olympic Stadium in June, camping in Abbey Wood.
  4. Camping and hiking in Jersey less than fortnight after anniversary, and in the month of my birthday, and taking a ferry across the channel as I did in 1987.

 

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On a ferry in western Norway.

Thanks to all those I’ve met along the way and that have played a positive part in it, and especially the awesome AAWs and great greenYliens; and Guns N’ Roses for partly reforming and touring to take part in it (little self-parody there!!).

I really hope I brightened up the day of those who wanted to see me, as seeing people I’d heard of has for me over the years, such as sports and media people in Leeds.

Sorry if I didn’t acknowledge you if you wanted me to; or if I didn’t visit your locality if you wanted me to, or enter your workplace or use your transport.

The first of ignoring people was probably because some people take offence at me looking around, and some even use it to try and entrap me within a ‘negative’ for me, ‘positive’ for them. Sorry if you wanted to be positive, but I ‘wasn’t in the mood’! Like a reality show judge once said, I don’t want to disappoint anyone, and it can be quite mentally taxing at times, hopefully without sounding too self-obsessed!

The second was probably because of either my ambition to stay true to my original travelling as possible; to prove I did it originally to others, and that I can still do it to myself, probably in a middle-aged crisis kind of way.

I’d rather have been spending more money on beer and food, and occasional hotels and transport, but I was on my own little personal mission, and if I’d strayed too far from it, or even a little, the negatives would no doubt have made a mountain out of a molehill, as they’ve tried to do with my writing and running.

Anyway, I don’t want to dwell on the negatives too much, and I’m delighted to have accomplished the anniversary I wanted. Thanks again to all those who took part in it positively, helped along the way, or tolerated me hiking and camping around.

The greenYgrey decade also finished with the greenygrey3 subscription running out on September 4th, the day I travelled to Jersey, in a triple synchronisation of my writing career significance. ‘Mastermind genius’ used in a great way, but that will no doubt be ignored by the mainstream media and publishing; or turned negatively!

The books are there are as a greenYgrey legacy, and I really recommend them, especially the last two, and hope to write more about the greenYgreyology philosophy in the future, but as me, Doctor Marc Latham. I’ve tried to be very ethical the last decade, such as reining in promiscuity, mainly because the greenYgrey could appeal to all ages, and was oppsoing the child grooming disgrace, but some people even turn that into a negative.

I’ll be keeping this site going, and hope to have a new project or three soon, with lots of ideas, but no clear direction yet, in true greenYgrey style. If there are any experts or specialists in exercise, travel, media, sport or publicity etc interested, maybe now would be a good time to contact me.