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Day in the Life of a Worker-Traveller: October 16th, 1987, and 30 Years Later…

As I wrote my blog about travel heaven and hell on Monday morning, October 16th, I thought there was a strange sepia glow around, but put it down to city lights still being on or something, and didn’t think much about it. I wouldn’t have gone out if it hadn’t been forecast to be the last warm day of a spell of mild weather over the weekend. I went out for the forecasted brightest time in the early afternoon, but wondered why when I got out, as it was all cloud and wet on the ground. I think it was also eerily quiet, as somebody said on T.V. later, but I didn’t really notice that much at the time, or think it was for any particular reason.

Prophecy or Coincidence?

However, after I’d walked east five minutes along the canal towpath I saw the sun poking through the thick grey cloud, and it looked the pinky orange some other people also saw, and that was mentioned on the Yorkshire ITV weather report later. My decade-long website theme was the greenygrey, and towards the end it developed a PinkyOrangePurple twilight times theme after a sun-inspired ascent of the middle greenygrey Y: greenYgrey. Together the colour combinations were abbreviated to gYgPOP. The scene I saw on Monday was like a ggPO, with the classic greenygrey landscape lit up by a PinkyOrange sun; not looking Yellow!

This image of the scene accompanying an MSN story, of sun and Liver Bird in Liverpool, does look fully gYgPOP, with the human constructions providing the green and grey!:

Credits: Liverpool Echo

When I sat down the sky was all grey cloud apart from a thin band of blue on the western horizon. Within half an hour the sky had cleared, and was nearly all blue.

I thought that it was quite a coincidence, and would have looked a bit like Jesus parting the sea if there were any disciples around; and much better than King Cnut and the tide, although he was of course demonstrating that he couldn’t overcome nature.

30 Years Storm Anniversary

It was weird that it happened thirty years to the day after Britain’s worst storm of the twentieth century, and is said to have been partly caused by the Ophelia storm that was happening in parts of Britain and Ireland that day bringing dust up from the south, scattering the blues and greens of the sun’s light spectrum, leaving the reddish ones to dominate.

That’s the scientific explanation, and as I’ve been an advocate for science over the last decade I’m happy to go along with it. I’m also happy to let ‘red’ get most of the descriptions, although pink and orange were more accurate, as there were negatives from Ophelia, as all storms, and some of the dust was thought to have been from deadly wildfires in Portugal and Spain.

Leeds got a bit windy – stormy in the night, but escaped the brunt of the storm. I also missed the 1987 storm, as I’d reached Crete by then, and had started my life as a worker-traveller in a village called Pirgos, going to a certain café where employers knew casual workers hung out. October 16th was quite a landmark day in my W-T career, as I started a longish term job that day. Here’s my diary for that day, and some of the previous one:

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Marc Latham’s books are available on Amazon.

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Jack Kerouac – Inspired Travel Writer Photo

A few posts ago I wrote of being inspired by Jack Kerouac, and here’s a photo from my travels in 1998 that I think is most reminiscently representative:

Kid Kerouac

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Now (double meaning wordplay: both me at 52 and at this moment),
come to think of it (using photo of Cassady looking like he’s thinking),

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I think I’m more Neal Cassady!:

For homophobic people, I am and was inspired by Beat travel and writing, and the freedom they found, but which ultimately killed them. I pushed myself to the edge in travel, writing and booze.

Women v Booze: Sean Hughes

I didn’t know who Sean Hughes was when I read he’d died yesterday, at 51. I watched Never Mind the Buzzcocks a bit years ago, but hadn’t watched it for ages.

Reading his obituary this morning on MSN I related to him saying relationships hadn’t worked out for him, and he’d concentrated on his art – work.

That’s kind of the attitude I’ve had over the last decade, although as I’ve written, I’m open to offers from slim (size 8ish) beautiful feminine unattached women who really want to be with me, preferably blonde or brunette, with the goldlilocks age of 21-40.

I write the above as much to deter or prove wrong those women (and men) who don’t fall into that category, but try to make out I’m interested in them; often because they see me or share my space, however reluctantly on my part!

Sean Hughes died from cirrhosis of the liver, like Kerouac, showing that women can be a better option than booze for men; but I think only if they are well suited, otherwise they can be an inspiration to booze even more!

Funny Feminism

Reminding me that I used to joke I was a Battersby-Duckworth feminist, referring to Les Battersby and Jack Duckworth, the Coronation Street characters who were famous for being skiving house-husbands, and letting their wives do most of the work, thus being the biggest breadwinners of the family, in line with real feminist thinking.

It was only a joke though, and I don’t really want a wife like Janice or Vera, although I liked them as characters, and would probably like them as friends or workmates in real life, if they accepted me as a mate or colleague, and not an admirer.

Actresses, musicians or models… or even successful businesswomen… in the Goldilocks zone would be a different matter…

My photos are just to rehumanise me, after being dehumanised by polite society for becoming a doctor of philosophy from a chav background in Blighty. My books are my main reason for blogging, but I heard the Instagram bookshelf is the most important book-buying reason now, so thought I needed some more imagery!:

Marc Latham’s books are available on Amazon.

Mimi Beyond Me Me Coffilosophy

When I saw a news report about Mimi Anderson setting off on her latest endurance challenge I thought her accomplishments and ambitions were amazing, and it reminded me of Jane Tomlinson, who inspired me to take up long-distance running in 2003.

Simply Endurance Running 

Although she is slim and blonde I have no interest in her sexually as I know her now. That could have been different under different circumstances, in a different time, but as I write this here and now, my only interest in her is as an impressive endurance athlete.

It is better for women that they accept that, but some it seems an insult. They’d rather think that all men are powerless to resist all women; preferring serial cheats and womanisers, like Russell Brand; as long as they’re not going out with them anyway!; to men who try and show that men don’t have to be like that; usually they are like that because they choose to be, or think they can be, and get away with it!

It is also better for gay men to accept me and others like me as liberal minded heterosexuals, rather than trying to out me, and make me into just another gay man supporting gay rights, because it’s in my own interest!

Once the ‘minorities’ or ‘under- privileged’ think they’ve got a ‘majority’ they seem to just start acting like power-crazed ideology-fascists like the traditional white upper classes they’ve been rebelling against since the 1950s. I was a part of that rebellion for about twenty years, but then when I look like the people I was rebelling against the new rebels start rebelling against me: I was quite similar to oh J.C. (Jeremy Corbyn; in political outlook rather than sexual taste!), but now the left reek of ignorance, prejudice and hypocrisy.

Mimi and Me

While most women seem to think I want to be with them, or doing their jobs, I would much rather be running across the U.S.A. like Mimi Anderson. It seems our endurance careers were quite parallel in starting age and time, but Mimi’s done much more and better than me.

From the bio on her run U.S.A. website she started in 2000, aged 36, and is now 53.

I started in 2003, aged 37, and ended last year in Latvia and Leeds aged 50.

Mimi has done much more than me, and probably has a natural ability higher than mine. She probably has a lot more support than me, and a lot less negativity. Mimi is collecting for a couple of charities: Marie Curie and Free to Run.

I could probably have done a lot more if I’d had the motivation; for myself and my demographic; but I was delighted to achieve my ambition of running a marathon every three years until 50, and adding an ultra-marathon just before the end.

There are many men from my demographic who have done more than I could have and received media coverage anyway, such as Tony ‘The Fridge’ Phoenix-Morrison, who did 40 marathons in 40 days with a fridge with a weight of 42 bricks on his back.

My Charity Ambitions were/are Genuine

I was delighted to hear on the news this morning that Premier League footballer Wilfrid Zaha gives 10% of his money to charity, after fellow professional Juan Mata had called on his colleagues to give 1%.

The news story I saw showed Mimi leaving with a big bag full of coffee sachets, and she is still doing well. I hope she achieves her current ambition and many more.

My running lost me most of my muscles and bulk, but improved my breathing and health. A decade ago I ran my first marathon without taking the asthma inhaler beforehand, and also while camping in a tent in the Arctic Circle for a week before and after it. My ‘day-job company’ thankfully gave me £500 for the Jane Tomlinson charity, showing how the ‘corporate world’ can be much more generous than the ‘counterculture’, which is often very individually greedy and selfish, sometimes due to the poverty of living freely, although not-for-profits can be good and beneficial when run well, and not for the high salaries of the organisers!

Sorry if this blog post looks like I’ve got a cross/chip on my shoulder, and thanks to all those who supported me in my running years, and those who support the events! I’d like to join you, but don’t think I’m a ‘nice’ enough person; not in still-classist/reverse-sexist/reverse-racist modern Blighty anyway!!

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Marc Latham’s books are available on Amazon.

greenYgrey Mistake

If I made a mistake in naming Great Britain (Blighty) a ‘Great greenYgrey island’, in answer to Bill Bryson’s ‘small island’ book title, it was that I underestimated how greenYgrey Great the rest of the world is, therefore making the description unspecific. Therefore, as I am only the original self-titled coffilosopher, rather than the original coffilosopher, or probably the best, either in coffilosophy creation or coffee consumption (I have since naming myself such read Patti Smith’s M Nights memoir, and she’s a real coffee connoisseur, as well as legendary musician and award-winning writer (I must unfortunately add that I thought my XaW Files: Beyond Humanity is better than M Nights!: for concept, writing and philosophy, although her life story is more interesting and accomplished!!), I think of Britain as Original greenYgrey rather than Great or Greatest.

I was reminded of that thought this morning when I saw the Microsoft screensaver from Luoping, China, and followed it up to find fourteen more great greenYgreys filling the screen. So I made a screensave, and it is presented below. I was lucky to visit south-west China in early 1991, as some parts were opening up to the world, and the limestone stacks around Guilin and Yangshuo is one of my favourite landscapes I’ve seen; I was reminded of it on east coast of Yorkshire this year, initially inspired to visit by the birdlife from Bempton to Bridlington. Here’s the screensave:

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My Religious Views Remain Secular Agnostic bordering on Atheist Neo-Pagan

In yesterday’s blog post I wrote that XaW Files’s subtitle Beyond Humanity had a meaning for the knowledge still beyond humanity in time and space, although great advances have been made in the last century, and I feel honoured and privileged to be alive during this exciting time of discovery and progress; although on the other hand, greenYgrey style, unfortunate to be alive in what seems like the inevitable destruction of our planet’s resources and mass extinction of many species due to human overpopulation and greed.

Russia and Britain: United in Environmental Loss

That’s especially after watching Simon Reeve’s Russia (one of my favourite countries historically and socially, and the first travelled in XaW Files, where I was delighted to hear of all the forests there, even in Moscow, setting for an epic anthropomorphic chess story) travel documentary, where big climate change evidence is emerging in the permafrost melting, leaving massive craters, but the forest is still being cut down at a similar rate to the Amazon rainforest, and often illegally thanks to corruption – even when governments and official bodies do act, there’s usually others who try and do it illegally!

I’m not saying Britain’s any better, and there’s fracking going on now despite big public demonstrations. The protestors look like left-wing greens, who also demonstrate for more immigration and hence more construction, which will mean greater energy needs!

Left and Right Foot Soldiers

If the left-wing think I’ve gone to the right, so they should try and persecute and censor me more, well the right-wing seem to support royalty and establishment, but royalty and establishment seem to care as much about Dhaka and Lagos as they do about Darlington and Liverpool; as seen in the Victoria and Abdul movie and Harry and Meghan relationship; due to the Queen and Royal Family still having a Commonwealth left from the Empire.

Although I value democracy and protest, in my advanced years and doctoral knowledge I am more in line with David Icke’s view that those fighting each other over dubious political differences are more like puppets (Icke says slaves), or just going along for a ‘bit of action’; especially after Russell Brand’s Revolution! (more like a slapstick Hollywood movie, starring himself; which he’s back to doing now, eating plastic on day-time TV, and being loved by the rich capitalistic luvvies he was supposed to be revolting against!).

Jesus Christ and Jeremy Corbyn

The left have oh Jeremy Corbyn to worship now, with the same initials as Jesus Christ, as parodied well on This Week last week. I quite like them both, but don’t believe Jesus was who his supporters claim, although he was a great heroic martyr figure; as I don’t any of the other Middle-East monotheist religions being superior to others around the world; and don’t believe Jeremy will save Blighty with his policies.

I think using Grenfell as a rallying call was also sick, as present problems are partly due to New Labour spending all the money when they were in power. Jeremy might be able to claim he was on the back benches then, but Diane Abbott was right at the front, playing the race card as she seems to have done all her career; before being shown as incompetent during the last election campaign, before taking a sickie for the rest of it!

Elon Musk More Revolutionary than Russell Brand 

Putting myself ‘Beyond Humanity’ has allowed me to write the above, criticising right and left, black and white. Hopefully those criticised will see that now, if they didn’t before.

While I also supported women more than normal for a man, that was also ‘beyond humanity’ rather than trying to seduce them, as Brand seems to have used his revolution to do; admittedly without the discipline and prestige a decade of further education gives you.

As he was a decade behind me in finding Chomsky, he’s now talking enlightenment and sexual ethics fifteen years after I became ethically celibate!

I talked of my admiration for Amber Heard during the greenYgrey years, and then she started going out with entrepreneur Elon Musk, but the romance has since ended.

I didn’t know much about Musk at the time, but saw his book Rocket Man in the library and read it. I was impressed by his environmental outlook, and think his revolutionary views on electric cars are similar to mine on religion and politics: that a little tinkering is not enough, and that you need to get above the current battles for hegemony, and have a more historically nuanced overview. I put it into words in 2011, in a poem included in my second poetry collection, 242 Mirror Poems and Reflections:

Too Many Gods Spoil the Earth

Sky gods whispered
to Earthmother of the
natural harmony,
the Great Spirit of all.

But humanity hid it under monotheism
Jesus Christ crucified for humanity’s sins
Prophets followed speaking of God dreams

people were kept in dark
resources sacrificed
with love to representatives
of warring Gods.

Of course, that only really addresses the religious wars, and now North Korea has emerged as a serious threat to the world; or ‘West’ at least; they probably view it differently.

Anyway, three of the things I particularly related to Musk saying in relation to my writing over the past decade, and the criticisms I’ve received, mostly because my critics, on the left and right; the left were particularly disappointing, as I’d spent more time in that field, historically and recently; didn’t understand my writing and reasoning were:

Critical Thinking, page 15: ‘Do you have the right axioms, are they relevant, and are you making the right conclusions based on those axioms?’ That’s the essence of critical thinking, and yet it is amazing how often people fail to do that. I think wishful thinking is innate in the human brain. You want things to be the way you wish them to be, and so you tend to filter information that you shouldn’t filter.’

Open-Source Patents, page 68: ‘Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport. If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal. Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.’

Naysayers, page 119: ‘What I find ironic about a lot of the naysayers is that the very same people will transition from saying it was impossible to saying it was obvious.’

At Home in Athens at End of Epic Hitch-hike in 1987

We made it to Athens, and my fellow hitch-hiker who was going home, made me feel welcome. He was a cool guy, the kind who’s popular in youth, carefree and conniving, like a young Russell Brand.

Looking back at him with middle-aged eyes and brain, he looks a bit of a user, avoiding national service and living off his parents and friends. I don’t know if he was really on POAK’s books as a footballer, or if they dismissed him because of his long hair and earring. I can’t remember if any of his friends or family confirmed his story or not; and they’d probably have heard it from him anyway. I guess he did play for them, but maybe he just didn’t make it, and his hair and earring was a better reason to give for his image?

I went along with him because I was getting something out of it too. If he’d just been asking for money all the time, and not doing anything for me, I’d have gone my own way; as I’d do with some fellow worker-travellers on Crete, and other people later in life; such as those who tried to claim credit for my writing!

Anyway, I’m probably trying to analyse it too much, due to my time and training in university, and writing career, and the grooming epidemic in U.K./Europe.

You readers would probably prefer to see it as a nice friendship between two people from different countries, thrown together by fate in a magical hitch-hiking ride covering most of Greece by a driver from another country, as one hitch-hiker returned home, and the other finished his over month-long mostly hitch-hiking and sleeping rough inaugural travel journey around Europe.

Here’s the next day’s diary, as it was in all its youthful innocence back in 1987:

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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.

Happy Solar Eclipse across U.S.A. and Everywhere, Two Months Travelling Thoughts

Looks like everybody’s having a great time waiting for the solar eclipse in the U.S.A. and I hope everything goes well for you on the big day, especially if you’re in the path of totality. It’s an historic occasion, and should be a historic memory for you… which is the kind of good event experience I recommend in my books.

Travel Diary Thoughts

Like arty creations do, I’m fast-forwarding ahead to the end of the batch of diary I wrote about in the last blog post, with an image of the packet the two months of pages were sent in from Crete, after I’d bought an exercise book to write the diary in from then on.

As I discuss in the diary page, I’d tried for work in Pirgos on the south coast and Chania on the north coast of Crete, and was now trying in Paleohora, back on the south coast. It didn’t turn out well for work there either, but I did find good work after that in Platanias, which is just to the west of Chania on the north coast.

This page includes reference to ‘worker-travellers’, which is what I named my book after: The Guns N’ Roses Worker-Traveller. It was quite an idyllic setting, with a tent community living on a nice beach out of season, with campfires at night.

The last paragraph contains some of my thoughts on the first few months of my travelling, and has more evidence of me being on a conscious journey of knowledge and experience seeking, with hopes that they would grow me as a person.

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Writing Home to Myself: Sending Diary

There were a lot of times when I was travelling I wished I was totally free of humanity; with no relations to worry about, or worry about them worrying about me; but family is good in other ways, and has benefits such as being a base. The way I travelled back in the 1980s, before all the portable and online technology of today, I may not have kept a diary together, and been able to write the book I did.

First Batch of Diary

The arriving in Rome day of my diary, scanned into a couple of posts ago, was the last of 17 pages of what I think was originally a notepad I sent home to myself from Rome; containing my journey hitch-hiking from west Wales via Belgium, France and northern Spain from August 25th to September 16th, 1987.

Here’s a scan of the envelope, with the postage wrong in typical traveller style:

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I don’t know what the situation is now for long-term travellers, I guess most just do it online, but back then you usually relied on getting your mail sent to ‘poste restante’ at post offices around the world, providing a post office address that you planned to visit in a couple of months.

Rome Photos Built on Fantastic Day

This post is dedicated to a fantastic Italian woman from Milan, and a nice one from Reggio Emilia, and the good Italians I’ve met on my visits there and elsewhere, as well as my fellow campers at Camp Nomentano in 1987!

There’s an old saying that goes something like ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’; but I sightsaw it in a day; well, enough for me, although I probably only saw a small amount of what there is to see, and that from a just the surface category.

A Canadian traveller staying at Camp Nomentano reluctantly went sightseeing with me, showing me around, as he’d already done it. It was an amazing day, with lots of stunning sights on a hot sunny day. We also went to see the busking team at their regular slot. I took three photos: of the Colisseum, St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican and the Altare della Patria ([alˈtaːre della ˈpaːtrja]; English: “Altar of the Fatherland”) [Wikipedia], having to now look up the latter.