Archive for the 'Pat’s Thoughts' Category

by Pat
on Jul 16th, 2007

Two Weeks On


Well, it was two weeks ago that I arrived in Heathrow airport, rather tired and dazed following 24 hours of flight.

The day I got back I managed to stay up until 10pm, having had a great day with my brothers (who both turned up at the airport with my folks, despite stating that actually they weren’t going to be able to – that was really ace) and a lovely evening with the whole family playing games, watching telly, eating take out pizza and drinking Strongbow from cans (ah, the good ol’ days…).

I’ve never slept so well in my life. I was in a room by myself. There were no people shouting in the corridors. There were no doors being banged in the middle of the night. There was no “boom boom boom” coming through the floor from whatever neighbouring backpacker bar was having another late night party. There was noone turning the light on in the middle of the night, or snoring, playing their iPod at full blast, or snoring, or rustling with plastic bags as they packed at 5am, or snoring, or having sex, or snoring, or talking on their phones, or snoring. Or snoring.

It was bliss :-)

Waking up at home was a strange experience. It really did have that “I’ve never left” feeling, although in the back of my mind I was still convinced that, like most places, I’d only be there for a few days before scarpering somewhere else. That feeling ebbed away over the next few days, of course.

Getting back in my car was wonderful – and although it did take me a few seconds to get used to clutch control and gears again (all the hire cars I’d been driving in Oz were automatics), as soon as I was off my drive and onto the road it was as if I’d never stopped driving it. One thing I did notice though: people in Essex are in a BIG rush when they’re on the roads. I’m not sure where they’re going, but wherever it is it must be bloody good…

Another minor gripe I’ve had with Essex is that people working in shops (particularly chain ones) are miserable as sin. At best you can get a “hello” out of them – but by God you must be insane if you expect to, say, have a polite conversation with them! That’s been a bit of a shock to the system. I’d got used to people being friendly everywhere you go.

Tell you what’s also funny – just how true it is that (despite all the things I’ve done and how I’ve changed perspective on things) bugger all changes back at home. It takes people about 30 seconds to fill me in on their news inbetween me boring them to tears with hours of traveling stories

Anyways, it’s good to be back with family and friends. Although I do miss the people I’ve met on my travels, I’ve been missing various traveling companions throughout my trip anyway (given that I’m not always with the same people anyway and plenty of people I traveled with headed home long before I did) so it’s nothing really new or difficult to deal with. In a way it’s better, as many folk I met on my travels are now within driving reach!

So what next?

Well, now that about 2 weeks worth of socialising has been completed I can start focusing on… well… a bit more socialising, to be honest, but also the various projects / business ideas I’ve got on my mind. I’m not going to go into details here, but there are projects to do with radio, drawing and live DJing (btw if you or someone you know needs a party DJed, let me know! :-) ). I’ll no doubt fill you in over the coming weeks – although probably on the new blog I’ll be setting up now I’m no longer on The Big Adventure.

Depending on how these all go I’ll be able to support myself on these for a fair while to come, but I’ll deal with that when I come to it. I do miss my friends from work (I went into the office a week ago to say hi to people and spent the entire day catching up!) so going back there wouldn’t necessarily be the end of the world – but I want to follow my dreams before that, whilst I’ve got the opportunity.

And I’ve got the opportunity now. Just once I’ve finished chucking out all the crap I’d left at home that I now realise (following living out of a bag for a year) I really don’t need anymore. Yes, that includes these 150 floppy disks… and if I find another copy of my 1995 QBasic computer game “Squage and Co” I think I’m going to go crazy. Just how many copies of that did I feel I needed?!?!?

Almost time to go but before I do, let me just say this:

I’ve spent an awful lot of money in the past year. I was in a position to buy a house with a nice deposit. I’m now not in that position. The future (both short and medium term) is uncertain financially.

But you know what? I don’t feel any regret whatsoever.

The Big Adventure was the most amazing experience of my life. I’ve done things I never dreamed that I’d do – challenging my fears and showing myself that being scared of something isn’t anything to be embarrassed about but something to be PROUD about when you “feel the fear and do it anyway”. I sight bungy jumping, sky diving, harbour bridge climbing and standing on cliff edges as examples of this. I’ve learned that there are so many awesome people out there from all walks of life and that, despite my times where I feel like I’m a bit of a tool, I’m not actually that bad a person to get on with. I’ve seen some truly stunning places and as such have learned that the world is a beautiful place and something we need to look after (by not taking international flights from Sydney to Heathrow, say… :-o ). I’ve understood that life is about living, you’ve got to enjoy your life at the end of the day – and I’ve got a better understanding about what I want to get out of mine.

I’ve learned a valuable lesson: if you don’t take risks, you don’t gain anything. Sometimes you have to stop making excuses, realise the road blocks you see can be moved around and do something that you really, really want to do. After all, how many shots have you got at life?

If you’re unhappy, do something positive about it. I did and I’m glad. Hell, the future is uncertain for me and as I say financially I’m in a worse place than before – but I feel much happier and feel that actually, I’m in a much better place to follow my dreams – now that I know what they are.

Anyway, enough lame preaching, I’m off to wipe a Windows 95 Boot Disk.

Did I mention I was living the dream? :-)



by Pat
on Jul 2nd, 2007



After two looonnnnng ol’ plane journeys, I finally arrived in Heathrow this morning at 6:40am UK Time, to be greeted by my mum, dad and two brothers (who I’d previously been informed couldn’t make it… twas a great surprise :-) ). A surprisngly quick journey around the M25 later and I’m back at home… and it feels really odd.

It think it’s mainly cos I’ve had about 1 hour dozing in the past 36 hours, so we’ll see how I feel tomorrow. But either way, I’m pleased to be back – and bloody glad to not be on a friggin’ plane anymore.

Til tomorrow then, time to sit and watch some films, play some games and generally catch up with my bros.

Toodles :-)


by Pat
on Jun 29th, 2007

Two Days To Go…

…and I’ve not died, I’m just busy enjoying my last week :-)

I’ll do a Proper Blog tomorrow (although Squage’s “East Coast” blogging may have to wait til we get home and are not paying per minute to use the net (oh how strange that will be)), but until then have a great Friday and enjoy the weekend :-D

Toodles for now,


by Pat
on Jun 25th, 2007

One Week To Go…

My goodness. In 7 days’ time I will be on an airplane, with a mere 4 hours to go before arriving in Heathrow.

That’s scary. Whilst I contemplate that, have a look at this. Clutching at straws much, Universal?

That is all (for now, at least. Damned goon and snoring roommates!! :-) )…


by Pat
on Jun 24th, 2007

Back in Sydney!


Yep, after a pleasant three hour flight down from Cairns chatting with a lovely Kiwi lady called Kathy about New Zealand, England, Australia and all sorts of other stuff, I landed in the sunny city itself!

And already I’m hungover. Last night went out for a few beers with Jonny (from the West Coast trip) and his mates. He’s Irish. Need I say more?

This week I’ll be mostly catching up with Sam (from Sydney – who I’m meeting in, oh, 3 minutes outside this net cafe), Kate (from Cairns) and James (from my Heading Bush trip)… and probably popping down to Canberra for a day or two.

Anyway, gotta dash – it’s 2 minutes to Meeting Sam O’Clock!



…see the difference between them? Of course you do. Can you please teach me? Ta.

Yes, despite my previous attempt at going white water rafting going up the swannie due to the rafting company’s silly Hotel/Hostel muck up, the attempt this time was no better.

This time it wasn’t their fault. It was mine.

Somewhere between not being able to sleep last night (I think the excitement of going home and thus thinking about all the people to catch up with / things to do / places to go meant that my mind just couldn’t shut down – the last I remember it was gone 2am) and my alarm waking me up at 6am (for a 6:40am pickup), my subconsiousness decided that stopping my alarm, rather than snoozing it, was the best plan.

At least, that’s what I assume. I woke up at 9am none the wiser. Damn it.

Still, luckily I’d only lost the deposit on the trip – plus I managed to get my flights sorted to get back home (the lack of flight availability may have meant that doing it tomorrow would’ve been even harder to find dates any time soon), so I’m not too cheesed off. It’s a pain though, as that would’ve been fun.

Ho hum, worse things have happened at sea. Plus it’s rainy and a bit on the cool side today so it’d’ve probably have sucked. That’s what I’m going to keep telling myself, anyway.

I’m such an idiot :-)


Dime Bar
Pat “Dime Bar” Scullion

by Pat
on Jun 20th, 2007

Leaving On A Jet Plane!

A lot sooner than originally planned.

Yep, I’m heading back to the UK – a lot sooner than the 15th of September. In fact, I’m going to be back in Blighty on the 2nd of July.

How come so soon? Well, as you know my original intention was to work here in Australia for a few months to end my trip, then head on over to Thailand for a couple of weeks.

Well, the work thing, I realised, was not actually really something I wanted to do. I had hoped it might’ve been, as, well, it was the only way I could realistically stay here til September without getting into a Dire Financial Situation ™, but I realised a couple of things on finally getting back up to Cairns with the intention of working:

  • I don’t actually want to work out here. Ok, that sounds lazy, but here me out: firstly I don’t want to get a “proper” job in IT because, well, it’ll be just like working at home – but with a hostel to come back to rather than a flat/home – and, well, what’s the point in that? Secondly, getting a job in a bar or hostel or whatever seems like, well, it doesn’t seem like a good use of my time. The whole idea doesn’t really excite me, to be honest.
  • I’ve satisified my traveling urge now. Not in a “I’m fed up with it” way, but more in such a way that I’ve got what I wanted out of this experience. I’ve seen some amazing places, done some amazing things, met so many great people and had a bloody excellent time. But you know what? I’m ready to come back home.

Thailand-wise, well to be honest I’ve not really been that fussed with seeing it, and so for that and various other (money included) reasons I’m just gonna head home – perhaps to see Thailand on a trip to Asia in future.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not pissed off or anything – far from it. In fact, I’m really quite excited about getting home and getting on with some of the projects I’m keen to have a go at before they either a) make money or b) the remainder of my savings die out and I have to get a “proper job” :-) I also can’t wait to see all my mates and my family… plus I’ll be back for the joy of the English summer. And we all know how uniformly sunny and hot that is. Actually, forget that last point.

So, yes, in summary: I’m coming home soon. The 2nd of July, in fact. I was hoping to back on the 30th of June or 1st of July, but as I found out today in the Quantas offices – it’s peak season for getting through Asia. Seems I’m quite lucky to be getting back around then at all. If “lucky” is the right word to describe 24 hours of travel…

Looking forward to seeing you back at home :-D



P.S. Yes, yes, I’ll get those East Coast blogs written up in my remaining week here in Oz – which will be Cairns til Saturday, then Sydney til the next Sunday – possibly with Canberra stuck in the middle as it’s only $15 each way to get there from Sydney… :-)

by Pat
on Jun 13th, 2007

Hello! I’m Back In Cairns!

Yep, about a week later than originally planned but I’m finally here.

Sorry for the lack of updates, I’ve had a really lethargic couple of weeks to be honest… don’t know why… I think it was SAD syndrome kicking in (yep, it’s cold, rainy and rather “UK in the Winter”y down in Melbourne). That and having nothing to do at all each day… it’s amazing how tired and lazy you get through doing bugger all, eh?

Still, good times were had in between the idleness, with a fair few good nights with Hannah, Lauren, AJ, Kirsten, Fletch and the rest of the Urban Central smokers gang.

“Smokers Gang? Have you started smoking?”

No! AJ and Kirsten smoke so I spent a lot of time outside in the smoking area with them and ended up meeting lots of the smoker folks. You know, it’s amazing how quickly smokers get to know each other as mates, just through meeting during smoking breaks. It’s like a secret club or something. If it wasn’t for the fact that in order to join the club you have to a) shorten your life by a decade or so, b) forfeit the last years of the remaining life to being very, very ill and c) smell like an ashtray, I’d definitely join!

If you smoke, no offense. I’ve just had it up to here [points to top of head] with bloody smoke.

Aaaanyway, now I’m in Cairns I’m going to get some work and also help out at the community radio station here (if they want me, that is… I’m going in on Saturday to chat with the station manager).

That and doing lots of exercise. I need to work off the lethargy-induced crap food eating, dead lungs and lack of exercise of Melbourne. :-)

So here goes!


by Pat
on Jun 6th, 2007

Alright! Alright! Calm Down! Calm Down!

Does anyone else think that people are getting a little too upset about the new Olympic Games logo?

I just… I just don’t get it. I’ve been reading through various web sites, blogs and comments and have been astounded by the amount of fury in response to the logo.

Ok, ok, it’s not a traditional Olympics logo and, well, it’s rather garish and, well, bloody odd. I’ll grant you that. However, I think that people who immediately react with a “GAAH! IT’S HORRENDOUS! I’M EMBARRASSED TO BE BRITISH!” are missing the point a bit:

Firstly, we have a great deal of time to get used to it. There are many songs that I’ve heard and despised immediately, only to have them grow on me over time and end up as songs that I would turn up on hearing, rather than switch off. Is it impossible to imagine that this could be the case with this logo?

Secondly, it’s bloody unique. If you catch a slight glimpse of it, you know exactly what it is. There’s nothing similar to that logo in any of the big brands out there, so that’s got to be a good thing, right?

Thirdly, it’s just a fecking logo for a sports competition. Get over it.

I dunno, maybe it’s that when I saw it I was actually quite impressed that they’d gone for something “out there”, something that deliberately DIDN’T fit in with what I would consider “today’s style”.

It’s a risk, yes, but I’m willing to bet that the British will come to hold the design close to their hearts in 5 years’ time.

That’s my tuppence anyway.


I’ve just been to see 28 Weeks Later.

I don’t know if it’s a combination of seeing my ol’ neighbour London in the state it was or whether the film was just really good, but it was quite affecting. In fact, it’s the latter – described in a much more elequant and detailed way than I can in this review (the one entitled “Gripping and Scary”).

Go see. But not if you don’t enjoy big, bloody violence. :)


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