"One of the most thrilling reads of the 21st Century"- Marilyn Monroe

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Rooftop Photoshoot

(DISCLAIMER: As an overall nice human being, I do not force entry, vandalize, steal, or disclose means of entry or location if it isn't obvious. I do this to protect locations and respect them. Trespass without forced entry is a civil offense rather than a criminal one, which isn't worth acting on unless one causes damage, steals, has ill intent, etc. I simply photograph and leave everything as I find it. I do not condone breaking and entering, and I do not condone what I do. I'm a danger to myself and a terrible role model )

It's time to do something completely different. It's long overdue, in the sense that these photos have been sat on my computer for an unspeakable amount of time, thereby defeating the point in a rooftop photoshoot. It's down to habit, of course. When I started the blog, my original rooftopping group said something like "Thats fine, but don't mention our names or show our faces," and that became the way of the blog. But today I prove that I can be a *gasp* photographer, and not just a weirdo with a camera and a compulsion for going on crazy adventures with wild abandon. And who knows, maybe this will become a regular thing, and a new direction to go in.

I first met todays model, Isla, in the queue at McDonalds. Later on, when neither of us had died of food poisoning, I messaged her to ask if she'd be interested in doing a photoshoot on a roof, due to her somewhat unique (for Shropshire) appearance.
Okay, so she's not totally unique. I did see a girl at the pub once who had a shaved head. I called out "Isla!" believing it to be my new buddy, and the girl, who turned out to be a complete stranger, just frowned and said "You're the third person tonight who has called me that."
I am so sorry. Were I capable of meeting this woman without pissing them off through mistaken identity, they'd be a rooftop model too. 

Obviously, simply being on a roof isn't illegal. (Otherwise they would have caught Santa Claus long ago. I mean, they know when to expect him. Just don't be naughty and he's all yours.) However, it can be dangerous, and so I take full responsibility for the safety of todays model. In spite of how it may look, she was never hanging over any massive drop. Most of these sloped rooftops just lead to flatter rooftops. In all honesty, the only way to fall to ground level from these locations is to actively try. And we're not about to do that. Enjoy the shots that Isla and I made together. Click a picture to see it big.

This was a pretty fun photoshoot. It's a step in a new direction because it means I can do photoshoots with models, while keeping it in topic with the forbidden tourism theme of the blog so far. Here we are on the rooftops enjoying the world that we live in, and it's great.
I'd love to do more work like this, but purists don't need to worry, I'll still be blogging about my adventures. I still have that massive backlog.

As mentioned in my blog about the Abbey Forgate Brothel, I do attend events in Whitby, and it's given me a love for photographing people in Steampunk, Cyberpunk and Dieselpunk attire. I have the props, and in the future I'd love to integrate that with abandoned places.
But the future is unwritten, although I can promise my next blog post will an abandoned house in Shropshire and I'm really excited to get it out.
On a slightly sadder note, I recently discovered that a Shrewsbury pub that I blogged about, the Castle Inn is set to be demolished and replaced with houses. On one hand, it's falling apart anyway and its an eyesore on the neighbourhood, but on the other hand its one of my most popular blog post, with a lot of fond feedback, so it clearly has a lot of fond memories attached to it. I never drank there when it was open but even when derelict it had a good vibe. It feels like the end of an era to see it go. 

In the meantime, thats it for this blog post. As always if you like my blog, share it on your social media of choice. Don't forget to follow my Instagram, Twitter and like my Facebook. If you can spare the pennies for the blog fund please hit the donate button up at the top, but don't feel that you have to because happiness is far more important than money, and I'd much rather you just have a good day and make sure someone else has a good day too.

Thanks for reading. Stay awesome!

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Bungalow in the woods

(DISCLAIMER: As an overall nice human being, I do not force entry, vandalize, steal, or disclose means of entry or location if it isn't obvious. I do this to protect locations and respect them. Trespass without forced entry is a civil offense rather than a criminal one, which isn't worth acting on unless one causes damage, steals, has ill intent, etc. I simply photograph and leave everything as I find it. I do not condone breaking and entering, and I do not condone what I do. I'm a danger to myself and a terrible role model )

A few months ago I was contacted by a guy called Riggy. At least, thats what we call him. Riggy used to write a very derivative blog, similar to this one, although it didn't bother me because really, what's the point? I only say it's derivative because he'd sometimes copy and paste my phrasing, but that's really more complimentary, and in regards to the content I've never been the only person interested in forbidden tourism. With me operating in Shrewsbury and with Riggy only a train ride away in the sunny land of Telford, it was inevitable that we had the eventual team up. And we did so, when I returned to Ironbridge Power Station, and later with two abandoned houses in Telford. That post was surprisingly successful and even got featured on Telford Live.

Shortly after, Riggy contacted me again. He had discovered yet another abandoned house, boarded up and quite obviously unused, complete with overgrown driveway and huge cracks in the brickwork, obviously in need of a little TLC but a long way from getting any. But Riggy had not ventured in, because when he had attempted to do so, he had heard the faint sound of a radio playing within the house. Wondering if the house was occupied, he returned again at stupid o'clock in the morning, to find the radio still playing but the house undisturbed.

Now, this isn't unusual in places that have electricity. Sometimes in spite of years of inactivity it's possible to turn the electricity on and activate the place. This was done when Michael, Syphilis and I explored Lincoln Grange Nursing Home, and we were able to do it in a decades-abandoned house in the still-to-blog-about Operation Cobra. Personally, from Riggys description, the place he was describing had been found by squatters, or even maybe was still under legitimate usage. It's also incredibly likely that it had been found by urban explorers. It's not at all uncommon for urban explorers to do silly things like put motion-activated halloween toys in abandoned buildings, and do other things to prank people. Christmas House, for example, had a dead bird in it on both of my visits, but more recent photos of it on the internet show that since my visit, someone has put the bird corpse into a bird cage, to imply that the owners abandoned their pet bird. It's not the case. The point is, urban explorers do make alterations to scare future visitors, and that was a perfectly feasible option here.

Riggy ruled out legitimate usage because the main doors were barricaded, and remained so on all of his periodic check ups. And he insisted that there was no sign of squatters either. Maybe there had been once, and they'd moved on. Maybe the culprits were former trespassers, as I suspected. Either way, Riggy wasn't going to investigate it on his own, and I'm a sucker for adventure. It was time to check out the bungalow in the woods.

And straight away, my establishing shot was ruined by a raindrop falling on my camera lens. We're off to a great start.

As you can see, this place is boarded up, and is clearly not in any use.

 Adding to the mystery, it doesn't have a residential vibe around the entrance. It seems like it would be better suited to commerical use.
In spite of its modern design, old maps of the area show a building on this site as far back as 1902, however this building is clearly not that old. Its garage, however, does look a lot older, indicative that an older building stood on this site once. I'm not sure when it was left like this, or why, but there are clues dotted around.

 Among the other buildings on this land are two greenhouses.

Of course, it's been a long time since anyone tended to them.

In addition, there are the remains of play equipment in what was once a garden playground, now massively overgrown. So children did play here once. 

In regards to getting access to the bungalow, I'm strictly against forced entry. If there's no non-destructive way in, I'll call it a day. But Riggy pointed out that one of the boarded up windows wasn't fixed in place, and behind it there was a smashed window. So it had been broken into prior to our visit. This supported the urban explorer theory for its present condition, since this is a common trick, to break in but cover it up, so that the means of entry goes undetected at a glance, and they can have repeat visits.

From the exterior of the building it was possible to hear the radio inside, and it did make me cautious. It was possible that someone was here. Of course, there was one perfectly legal way to find out, and that was to make a lot of noise.
What followed was a good old fashioned musical number, performed live by myself as I danced around this abandoned bungalow in the woods. Just picture Alice Cooper but with Jedwards talent, and you'll get an idea.
Nobody came out to see who was making such a ruckus, and when Riggys ears stopped bleeding, we made our way in.

I want to remind everyone that abandoned houses are usually abandoned because the occupier has passed away. As such, it's important to treat these places with respect. I see them almost like a gravestone for the previous occupier, reflecting their life. As such I don't disturb anything.

Climbing through this window, we came into a small bathroom. For some reason I completely forgot to photograph all of it, beyond these shelves.

The bathroom had what you'd expect- a bath, a sink and a toilet thats in better condition that some of the toilets in some pubs and clubs.

Moving on, I got a few shots of the bedrooms, still full of furniture, but nothing too personal. No clothing, or books, or anything that would give this place a sense of who lived here.

 This room had a wardrobe, some drawers, a couple of chairs and a headboard for a bed.

 A second bedroom did contain a bed, and two televisions.

One of the televisions is wearing a hat. Clearly these are old sets, back when televisions were boxes instead of flat screens.

Turing the corner, I found the source of the cacophony. 

 The radio was plugged in to the wall, and was blasting out the news, something about Oceania being at war with Eurasia. Or was it Eastasia? I forget. There was nobody living here, whether legitimately or through squatting. It seemed to me that this had been done by urban explorers, or similar trespassers, to scare people off.

 My camera didn't focus on this next shot, and for some reason I failed to notice. But as you can see, the radio room was clearly some sort of lounge once. It didn't feel very homely, but thats not to say it wasn't originally. It's clearly not left as it was when it was in use.

 There was another room containing a bed. Curiously there was no kitchen, unless I somehow missed it.

 There was this other room, which had a sofa, and a few display cabinets.

And finally there's a reasonably tidy toilet room.

But as far as the main building goes, thats it. It's pretty mysterious. It looks like it was prepared to be cleared out and then just left. It's also possible that it was looted. The radio being on remains a mystery too, but I still think it was left that way by previous intruders.

Further mystery awaited in the garage!

 Sometimes a good indicator of how long a place has been empty are the newspapers. This one is dated 2004. Obviously it's not an exact date for when this place was left but it gives a rough idea.
Oddly enough, all of the items in the garage seemed a lot more personal.

 There's this ornament missing its head.

 Here's a very dusty hand-held mirror.

 A crate of bottles.

 A computer printer.

 Some shells and face masks.

I really need to get me one of those face masks, given the amount of old buildings I explore. You'd think I would have gotten a mask since the cyanide incident under Shrewsbury.

People do often say to me though that I should give up this crazy adventurous lifestyle because it's dangerous, to which I will often respond "Okay then, so how do you want me to die?"
I'm too aware of my own mortality, that's the problem. I know that in my final moments in this body I will look back on life and ask myself "Was that fun? Was it worth it?" And if the answer is no, then it'll be too late to change anything. Now is the time to make life fun. Death is the main reason that I do all this.

 There's a ring here.

And some childrens tennis stuff.

 I'm no IT technician but I'm fairly certain thats an inappropriate place to set up a computer.

 There's a dressing table here.

And as you can see, nature is slowly claiming this place back.

There's also a number plate here.

And there's also a great big Honda.

 The Honda itself is really mysterious. It's registration is dated 2002 which ties in nicely with the dates on the newspaper. But it's got numerous dents and scratches.

The back plates are particularly interesting as the numbers have been taped over. That's not edited. Someone has used black tape to obscure the number plate. There's also a nice big dent in the boot.

While the car was locked, I was able to peer in and see some of the paperwork on the passenger seat. It seems to be a plan for traveling from Dover to Amsterdam, then Dunkirk and back to Dover. Thats quite an adventure.
Finally, adding to the mystery of this place was some graffiti, all of which pertained to the end of an era.

 This says "We have had a lovely time here. We will miss you. Sophie."

I guess if anyone has the answers, it's Sophie. I obstructed her surname so that she doesn't get pestered too much. Of course, a quick Facebook check revealed that there's multiple Sophies in Shropshire with her surname, and thats just among the ones with Facebook. This particular Sophie might not even be around Shropshire anymore, and I don't have enough leads to go on. What can I do? Message all of them???

 This graffiti reads "I will miss you, Nans House," adding evidence perhaps to the theory that the occupant of this house is dead.

And this reads "Sophies childhood palace."

Presumably the "Sophie" in question came here a lot during childhood, most likely legitmately due to being related to the occupant who has either passed away or moved to Dover via Amsterdam and Dunkirk, but left the details for the journey in a battered Honda.
The battered Honda does remain a mystery, because it's out of place in an otherwise whimsical setting. It's a self-proclaimed Childhood Palace, which came to an end. And then whatever warm imagery that brings up is ruined because there's a battered Honda with tape over the number plate, which I can only imagine someone would do to a car if they were planning a hit & run. Maybe I just have a morbid imagination.

The house, cleared out of a lot of stuff, was clearly broken into at some point, but as always, the who's and why's are elusive. And as always I'm not about to go giving locations away.

But thats about all I've got today. As always if you like this blog, share it on your social media of choice. And don't forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter, and like my Facebook. If you can spare some money for the blog fund, hit the donate button at the top. If not, no worries. Far more important to me is that you enjoy your life, and that you help others enjoy theirs, and that you do what you love. Remember, we each have the power to decide if someone else has a good or bad day. Smile at a stranger. Give someone a surprise compliment. When we start giving this shit out, we start to feel better ourselves. Seriously, try it.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Have a great day and stay awesome!

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Rooftops of Shrewsbury- Pride Hill

(DISCLAIMER: As an overall nice human being, I do not force entry, vandalize, steal, or disclose means of entry or location if it isn't obvious. I do this to protect locations and respect them. Trespass without forced entry is a civil offense rather than a criminal one, which isn't worth acting on unless one causes damage, steals, has ill intent, etc. I simply photograph and leave everything as I find it. I do not condone breaking and entering, and I do not condone what I do. I'm a danger to myself and a terrible role model )

Hello readers. And hello Schurkettes. (some of my readers started calling themselves Schurkettes and I'm rolling with it because I'm quite possibly a gigantic egomaniac)
Today I have a rooftopping blog!

As some of you may know, this blog started out showing my adventures on the rooftops of Shrewsbury. It was very nearly named "Shrewsbury from higher up than you," but this proved inaccurate due to my exploring of places like Burger King and Future Physique, which took the blog beyond rooftopping. The current title was a lot more accurate, until I went and explored everywhere else in Shropshire too. Oopsie.

While this blog started in 2014, the photos used in the old rooftopping blogs date back to 2010 and 2011, and on a recent coffee date with my close friend and confident, Ouija LeMay, she pointed out that some of these could be considered historical photos of Shrewsbury. Anyone who was, say, ten in 2010 will be in their eighteenth year in a matter of months. An entire generation has grown up since these photos were taken, and that gives them a nostalgic value of sorts to the locals. At least that's what Ouija LeMay says, as she sips her coffee.
I searched over my old photos and sure enough, there are things going on that have changed significantly since the photos were taken, and in the past I have revisited these rooftops to capture the present view. In December 2015 I published "Shrewsbury from higher up than you" as a stand alone blog post that showed the modern day view from older blog posts. On it is the view from the roof of KFC, with a link to the original blog post published a year earlier but depicting photos from 2011, when Claremont Church was still under redesign.

Also featured on the revisit article was the view from Princess House, the original article showing the Music Hall wrapped in scaffolding, and the square as it looked in 2010. And of course there was the view from the flag pole at the bottom of Pride Hill.

Places like Future Physique and Waitrose, which were previously documented here and here, were redocumented here and here.

But then Ouija LeMay asked me why I hadn't redone the Rat Run yet? The Rat Run is an old name for the route from the top of Castle Street to the bottom of Pride Hill via rooftop. My original article depicts Waitrose empty and derelict, among other things. So the photos were out of date.
And Ouija LeMay was right. It was time to revisit my roots, take to the rooftops of Shrewsbury, and show everyone what the town currently looks like from the rooftops of Pride Hill.

 Over in the distance is St Nics, and just poking up beyond that is Laura's Tower.

 The Rat Run actually starts at this point in Castle Street, right above Hawks Cycles. Looking towards Pride Hill, there's the old Natwest building that I explored last year. It's covered in scaffolding in this picture but that's still fairly recent. Also visible is Barclays, which I did take photos from the top of, but then so has everyone. Whereas the rooftops of Pride Hill are a lot trickier. There are some easy ways up, and there are some more challenging ways up. When rooftopping became a fad, most of the easy ways up were discovered and blocked off by the powers that be. Luckily for me, I don't need the easy route. In fact, I feel like I've earned my place up there by taking the challenging, death defying route. It is difficult but I see it as worthwhile for a variety of reasons. It keeps me fit, and I see worth in my total enjoyment of it.

And you're being treated too, because I almost NEVER go up during the day, due to the amount of CCTV and security presence up there. The majority of my shots are night time shots, so excuse me while we switch between day and night at my whim.

 All the scaffolding has been taken off the old Natwest building now.

This view is actually behind Castle Street. These little rooftop courtyards are for the flats above the shops, which lead off from Castle Court, the alleyway from Castle Street to the bus station. The building with the blocked windows is the old police station.

Regarding what I said about my total enjoyment of rooftopping giving it a sense of worth, there was a study into human happiness by a chap whose name I forget because it was seventeen syllables long but somewhat lacking vowels in between letters that really could have benefited from vowels in between them. But he wrote "The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times. The best moments usually occur if a persons body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile."
Translation- Lose yourself in something that you're passionate about and you will be happy.

It's important to me, because my blog brings me happiness. Comparing these new photos to the old ones has made me realise that photographs are a time stamp on reality. 100 years from now, nobody will care how these photos were taken, only that they were taken. 100 years from now, nobody will care that I sat on a corporate roof without permission, but 60 years from now, when I'm old and decrepit, it will mean the world to me that this is how I spent my youth. It's important to think bigger picture with the world. Will the "you" that's lying on their death bed look back on life fondly and think "That was pretty awesome?" If the answer is no then now is the time to do something about it.

 When on these rooftops, one can venture away from street view and see the modern shopping centres contrast with the older architecture. The churches in particular stand out here, with the modern shopping centre roof sprawled out in the foreground, and the slightly less modern Barclays and Waitrose there too.

 Here's a nice shot of the library, with the casle on the left of it, and Lauras Tower protruding on the right.

 And once again, there's St Nics. But seriously, this would be taken from the roof of what is currently Burger King, and look how grey it is.

 There is security presence up here on the roof, seeing as there are doors that connect directly to the shopping centres, so I always proceed with caution and have a plan of where to run to if things get hairy.

 One of the more curious features of the roof is this tower. It looks like brick but it isn't brick. I did hear a rumour that there's a military radar dish hidden in there, but I highly doubt I'd be able to get this close to one of those.

 But apparently this rumour was false. This fake brickwork is hiding a huge electric fan, and the walls are special soundproofing panels designed to blend into the surrounding brickwork.

From around here, it is possible to carry on and get a view of the bus station.

And look how high we are compared to the multistory car park!

 There are glass pyramid windows on the roof, which let light in to the Darwin Shopping Centre. Peering down, one can see inside.

This photo was taken at night to avoid alarming the shoppers. I'm a considerate villain.

Moving back to street view, it is possible to get on top of W H Smiths and Tesco Express, which are two halves of an older building, previously Morris Cafe and Stores. It's actually modeled after Blickling Hall in Norfolk, although it's tiny in comparison. Morris obtained the building in 1926, whereas before that it was a popular ladies clothes store. I've heard people lament about how a lot of older buildings were destroyed in the process of creating Shrewsburys shopping centres. The Raven Hotel is most notable, currently the site of Marks & Spencers. But W H Smith survives, albeit modified to be an entrance to the shopping centre.

Rumour has it there's a disused ballroom underneath this building, and some say that it had a rotating floor. I have seen one photo of a group in this ballroom in 1933, and it looks pretty incredible. If it still exists I would love to see it. I've also seen photos of the cafe portion of this building, which was on ground level, and now destroyed for its retail purpose. But it sure looked like a great place to dine!

While the underground ballroom escapes me today, it was still great to get a view from the roof.

 I only have a night photo of the front of Barclays.

Hey, is that pigeon trying to start a fight?

Pigeons and I have a long standing rivalry since I was trapped in an abandoned brothel with eight of the bastards.

Whats interesting is that behind the WH Smiths building is a little staff chillout spot, with some attempt at decorating, to add some green to the dull grey.

 And it is pretty bleak up here. Check this out.

 From the tallest point of the roof it is possible to get a view of the landscape, only recognisable as Shrewsbury because of those towers in the background, St Chads and the Market Tower. The market tower is considered hideous compared to its predecessor but right now it's comparatively pretty.

Of course, this isn't a view that the general public has to look at, so it doesn't really matter if its pretty. I just love the contrast of street level to here. It's the same town but completely different.

 In the distance is the Welsh Bridge.

 Next to this is the theatre and the disused antiques market.

 And here's the footbridge from the Riverside Centre to Frankwell carpark.

 Its quite surprising really because on ground level Shrewsbury is a really pretty town. Up here is such a contrast, and it covers such a vast space.

At the very end of the shopping centre is a pretty good view over the carpark, with a pretty huge drop. But the Rat Run doesn't end there!

There's a view over Seventy Steps, the alleyway that connects Pride Hill to Raven Meadows. Anyone who cares to count the steps on this alleyway will count a lot more than seventy, and that's because it was extended during the construction of the shopping centres. Someone even suggested that this isn't the real Seventy Steps, and that the original stairway was incorporated into the cellar of McDonalds, and this alleyway between the shopping centres was built as a replacement, with the old Seventy Steps signage put over the entrances. But of course, that's just a rumour.

Access further down the street is achievable via the entrance to the shopping centre, returning once again to the street view.

Intriguingly, there's a circle on the floor next to those benches over there, noticable by the colour change on the floor. I never notice it from ground level, but it marks the spot where big circular flowerbeds used to stand. I actually miss them. They gave Pride Hill some character.

The last time I got a photo from this angle, Cotswold was a boarded up Burton, and Waitrose was a walled off former Burger King, ready to be made into its current incarnation.

Incidentally, this part of the Rat Run was the easiest part to get to due to a ladder thats now been blocked off. Being a completist, I usually ignored this route, prefer to start at the top or bottom of Pride Hill and work my way to the end. However this half-way point did come in useful when there are street performances.

Here's the police station. Needless to say, I proceed with caution at this point.

At this point one can see the top of the Pride Hill Shopping Centre! Doesn't it look cool? I actually prefer the top of it to the Darwin Shopping Centre. It just looks a lot prettier and more modern.

This chair has been here for as long as I've been doing rooftopping in Shrewsbury. I wonder who put it here.

As you can see, we're approaching the end of Pride Hill. There are a few good vantage points along the way.

Hey, look, its Greggs. The store on the left used to be Virgin, back when CDs were a more relevant music format.

Here's a close up of the top of the Pride Hill shopping centre. An odd addition are the stairways purely because they dont line up. I actually did once walk up these steps, which are visible to the public by looking up when one is on the top floor of the shopping centre.

From here there's another circle on the floor of Pride Hill visible, where another large brick garden once stood.

At the end of Pride Hill, we have this view of other rooftops I've sat on. This grey tower is part of what we called the Rooftop Maze back in the day, for its endless paths, and I've done photoshoots with models on it, which I'm dying to show you all in a future blog post.

In the distance is St Julians church, which I had the opportunity to sneak up a little while ago.

Here we see the flag pole that sits on top of the Royal Insurance Company, which currently isn't that, but still carries the engraving of its former title. The flag has long since stopped being hung here but the rope did remain for as late as 2011. The little dome is covered in the signatures of anyone who has managed to get to it.

From here it's possible to see Montys and various businesses over in that general area.

Here's the market tower and St Chads, both of which I've been right to the top of. This photo is taken from the bank at the bottom of Pride Hill, where the Rat Run ends. It is possible to run and leap the alleyway onto the roof of Cafe Nero. In fact I did this back in 2010.
I can't do it now though, and it's not a physical thing, but a psychological thing. I did it then because I was depressed, although it wasn't that I wanted to die, I just didn't care whether or not I survived. And in not caring, I discovered a new love for life. Funny how things work, isn't it?
Depression is an odd one. I don't like to say that I have depression, because it feels a bit like I'm putting a cap on my potential. People aren't fixed, they're forever growing and learning, and I think that once I start defining myself by what would be considered "wrong" with me, it's just a downward spiral from there. I want to learn through challenge and through struggle, and become a happier, more productive person simply because that is who I want to be.
No wallowing in self pity here! No blaming other people either. And certainly no excuses. I like to think I'm responsible for my own happiness, and right now in 2017, if wealth was measured in happiness, I'd be a millionaire.
And I'm not saying anything like this to mock anyone. I guess I'd like my personal thoughts on the whole thing to maybe inspire someone.

And here's a nice parting shot from the bottom of Pride Hill. That's about all I have. It sure was nice to return to the rooftops. I do believe that simply doing what you love is the best kind of therapy, and the rooftops, as well as this blog, have been somewhat neglected of late.

When priorities in life start to get a little on top, its easy to feel like one is in a boat filling up with water, and one is struggling in vain to empty the water out. I dislike the analogy because it implies that my priorities are bad and that the objective in life is to get to a point where I have nothing to do.
I read in a book recently that a fun activity for managing priorities is to imagine my priorities as characters, coming to visit me in my office. This is not only good for managing ones workload but it's also great fun to think up characters that fit a metaphor of what they represent.

This blog, of course, is a fairly consistent priority, as are the adventures that sustain it. So Blog Guy and Adventure Guy are there in my office. They're two minds in the same body. Job Guy comes in sometimes when its time to earn a living. He's featureless. Social Media Guy has really bad acne, and I imagine each pimple as an independent face talking to me all at once, and yes, I must treat this guys acne because I like talking to people too. And the metaphor continues so on and so forth, and its quite fun to play with and come up with characterisations for my priorities. My home, for example, would be an attractive but dominant woman, who comes into the office to demand an explanation for why I haven't done the walls yet. Its a new flat, it needs work, and right after I publish this blog post I will proceed to obey my homes requirements. My relationships also fit into this analogy too. I like to picture my last relationship as having someone hanging out in my office who is pretty good company, but if I take my eyes off them for five minutes, I'll look back and find them photocopying their ass, sticking a fork in a plug socket, or pissing on my Japanese Peace Lily. I can turn being cheated on into a fun analogy if I want. Metaphors can be hilarious.

That's it for today. Next blog post I'm heading out to another abandoned house. In the meantime if you like my blog, follow me on Twitter, Instagram and like my Facebook page. And if you really like it, share the blog on your social media of choice.
A final thing I want to raise awareness for is a group in the West Midlands called Riders Battling Bullying, a group of bikers who try to raise awareness about bullying by visiting schools and also going out to meet and support victims. They want to hold events as well, but require awareness, so check out their website to see how you can help out.

And always remember to be nice to each other, guys. The world can be a shitty place, and we each have the power to make someones day better. Compliment a stranger, and tell your loved ones how much you love them. Give someone a hug while you still can, because someday we'll all be minds uploaded onto a computer.
Have a great day.

Thanks for reading. Stay awesome!