The Craziest Brit Between Three Countries

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I hopped on the flybus just after ten minutes past six in the morning to catch the flight to Gatwick for the next leg of my adventure, armed with my twenty-five litre rucksack, a ridiculous amount of energy, my owl t-shirt and of course the puffin I bought in Iceland! 

Today, I have been to three capitals!

This is a record for me. On my journey to Besançon, I started at Reykjavik, grabbed the Eurostar at London and got off at Paris. Is that an impressive feat? I’m not sure. I then proceeded to navigate the Paris metro (RER) where I managed not to get lost. Well, I say that, I did do a lot of fumbling around with tickets and I said “Gare De Lyon” so many times that I probably resembled Mr. Bean when he wanted to go on holiday to Cannes  I call that quite an achievement. 

I absolutely stink!

Probably because I haven’t showered and have done a ridiculous amount of sweating… 

Although my breath is lemony-fresh

Thanks to the twenty-five pack of citrus gum that I bought in Iceland! 

Let’s start at the beginning then shall we?

I arrived at the airport and headed straight for security. Where both my bag and my coats were stopped. Both of these were in different trays. The most bizarre thing was that they stopped one and then just gave me the tray, while the other went back through the x-ray machine. Of course both were fine. It is however the most bizarre experience I’ve had with airport security! 

Then as usual Easyjet overbooked the flight

*Slowclap* well done there to Easyjet…  I was disappointed to not see anyone get chucked off the flight. 

But lame joking aside, because of this our flight was delayed

So I had a little “micro-panic” where I zoomed through Gatwick airport in approximately twenty minutes to catch a Thameslink to St Pancras. There was loads of time, I don’t know what I was worried about! 

I arrived fifty minutes before my Eurostar train and had to go through security again…

Where I met some Americans who I guess were in their sixties. Anyway, after going through security again (which was pretty much the same as airport security minus the 100ml rule. 

When I got on the Eurostar, this French woman was having a moan

So I gave her my seat and befriended a frequent Eurostar user whose wife and kids live in France. This woman didn’t want to sit next to this man, she wanted him to move so she could sit with her daughter, so I politely offered her my seat, as I wasn’t in the mood for hearing people squabbling about petty little matters that was actually easily resolvable. She didn’t seem particularly greatful of me giving up my seat for her so she and her daughter could sit together. Honestly, some people don’t know their luck. No wonder people think French people are rude, most people I know would be really grateful!

I was probably in the UK for about three and half hours, before I entered foreign territory again

Cool story bro, nees more dragons!

Call me mad, but I actually like to use trains for both commuting and for leisure.

Oh wait, right, yeah I forgot, I’m the craziest Brit between three countries! I actually prefer trains to airplanes too. Probably because there’s more space and that it’s easier to walk around a train than it is a plane. 

My advice for Eurostar is to get the standard premium seats

They only cost about twenty quid more, they’re more comfortable and you get a meal and free wine! Today I got roast beef with coleslaw, some bread and a chocolate brownie with some red wine. I then finished off with a tea and a biscuit. It really is a no brainer! It’s also certainly better than a flight offered by British Airways, although it’s probably not as quick. 

With my new friend, we talked about various topics

Including how stupid it was to let people decide on whether the UK should or should not leave the EU. Honestly, that vote was sad, because people didn’t vote for the truth, they believed lies that were told to them. Sheep, who believed the media’s lies and, trusted a man with a ridiculous haircut and that the only way to save their beloved NHS was to leave the EU. But this really is another post for another time. 

We also talked about various experiences that we’d had, phones, technology and how much of an adventure that I was truly on. What I also found pretty cool was that this guy had also visited Iceland, so we were able to share our experiences with each other. We also talked about talking to people on trains and how people just don’t do it for some reason, even though if you do talk to people, then the journey goes much quicker! 

Help, I’m British!

I arrived at Paris Gare Du Nord and blimey, I fumbled around for a bit. For my final train, I had to get the TGV from Paris Gare De Lyon which Google told me would be roughly eight minutes on the RER (effectively the London underground of Paris). I tried to get a ticket from the machine and it just didn’t like me. I was of course using the wrong machine… It gave me a tiny ticket, in fact, I was so surprised by its size that I thought it had given me a bus ticket! My tactics were to go to every information desk and say the words Gare De Lyon which I’m sure just screamed the words “Help, I’m British and rubbish at speaking your language” 

But I did make it to Paris Gare De Lyon

And then fumbled around again trying to find the mainline train… I had an eticket so I didn’t need to muck around with validating train tickets or queuing at a machine to get a naff bit of paper. I rather didn’t want to be chucked off the train for having an invalid ticket… So of course, I looked like a right donkey trying to scan this eticket in the wrong place. 

I eventually realised that I needed to go upstairs and wait in zone two

So I did, until the platform came up on-screen. I then got on the train and got in the wrong seat. I quickly corrected this and sat in the right seat. Surprisingly the French like it when we joke that we’re all bumbling fools. 

The train to Besançon was glorious

Seriously, first class was so luxurious! I thought it was necessary considering that I was traveling pretty much through the majority of France. This was only 94€ which I didn’t deem as too expensive. 

There were weeping angels in the park

Well at least this is what they looked like when I got off the train. 

I gave my skittles to a hobo

Because I didn’t have any euros on me and I was just scoffing an entire bag in front of him. So he got my skittles!

And I didn’t know what a cathedral looked like

When I arrived in Besançon, I was told to go to the cathedral with a massive. In the end I had to wait by a merry-go-round while someone came to find me. I arrived just before midnight. So in the end, everything worked out pretty well!

And that’s it!

This post came out two days late. So whoops. This is the last post of April. Bring on May!

The Maddest Brit In Iceland: Day Three

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I did not miss Jeremy Corbyn on this bustravel tour! I much prefered our new guide for the south coast tour, which is where I went today. 

The tour guide was much more interesting than the day before

I am probably saying this because I was preoccupied with sorting out some stuff for my gold DofE qualifying expedition. I know,I know, I’m meant to be on holiday, not answering emails about Scouting! 

We saw a waterfall flowing upwards

Because the winds were so strong! Normally waterfalsls don’t defy gravity, but this one certainly did momentarily. Of course, what goes up, must come down, so it wasn’t entirely disobeying gravity, merely rebelling against it like a stroppy teenager. 

And then proceeded to get soaked by one

There was a very impressive waterfall that made the ones you’d see in the UK look like a massive joke! Thankfully I had my full waterproofs on, so I wasn’t particularly soggy, only on the outside. 

We then went to the “most dangerous beach in the world”

Sounds like a joke right? Let me tell you, it is not. Loads of tourists die each year in Iceland because they don’t listen and get whisked away by the sea, where they die because of cold water shock. 

We then went to see a not very impressive glacier

It was not very impressive because it wasn’t particularly very big. It was also covered in fine particulates or basalt and gravel. In addition to this, we weren’t allowed to go past the sign due to the glacier being unstable. That, I thought, was a bit of a bum. 

Finally, we walked behind a waterfall

That makes it sound like I literally walked through a waterfall. That does sound very impressive, but while I might be the Maddest Brit In Iceland (at least for now) I’m not THAT mad. There was in fact a path that lead around the back of the waterfall. 

And got soaked again!

No one ever tells you how wet that you’re going to get when you walk behind a waterfall, still as I said earlier, at least I had my waterproofs!

We arrived back in Reykjavik where it was sunny

The temperature was exactly the same as it was in East Grinstead surprisingly, so I got changed out of my wet clothes and put on clothes that I thought were much more reasonable for these temperatures! Of course for me that means t-shirt, jeans and standard jacket rather than thermals, fleece and ski jacket. 

We also found more statues

My friend decided that it was appropriate to pose with a statue, which actually looked pretty cool. Because of this, I also decided to have my picture taken with the statue. 

Then we balanced some rocks on top of each other

It was actually surprisingly easy to do. The beach was full of these rock stacks. In Iceland, they call them seristeinvarða but they’re also called cairns in the UK. The purpose of these were to help people find their way around before the days of GPS and mobile phones. A bit like a waypoint. I was quite proud of mine to say the least.

Before packing up and trying to sleep

Of course Icelandic people love to stay up late even if you have to get up at 05:30 in the morning! I can however forgive them for butchering Queen’s I want to break free, although, I really shouldn’t… All in all, not a bad trip! Next stop, France! So they were partying still at 23:00 and that was pretty late when you have to be up early!

And that concludes this post series!

I hope you all enjoyed it! If you want to read it again or missed a few, then you can click here to see all the editions of The Maddest Brit In Iceland!  I hope you all have a great day!

The Maddest Brit In Iceland: Day Two

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This is what Iceland’s all about, geysers and plate tectonics. It almost reminds me of the times I did Geography!

After putting up with the snoring in the room at 4am, I woke up again at roughly 7:40ish.

I put on my full waterproofs because the forecast suggested rain and headed for the kicthen for some water.

A minibus arrived to drop us off at the main drop off

Which wasn’t particularly far away from the accommodation. To put this into perspective about 700m. Then 63 people from 4 minibuses jumped onto this particularly striking green coach.

“British people never smile”

If that’s the case, am I really British? It’s true that while most of us Brits drink tea all day, wear top hats, eat scones and say the words “Golly gosh”. It’s also true that we’re extremely cynical and ridiculously sarcastic almost all the time. Still, we do smile, we just don’t do it particularly often. 

Our tour guide looked very much like labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

And he sent me to sleep within a few minutes! The Labour leader said that believed in trolls, elves and that Mt. Hekla is the gateway to hell. He also claimed to be bad at mathematics and would often get his left and right mixed up. In addition to this, his favourite phrase was “it’s really good” which is what he thought about EVERYTHING, so that was really good

First we went to look at some plates

No, I don’t mean plates that you eat off or plates you spin. Nor am I talking about a redpill theory that suggests that you should date many people at time, rather than just one. I’m referring to plates of earth crust. For those of you whose geography skills aren’t particularly tip-top, Iceland is on a constructive plate boundary, which means that the European and Asian plate (more commonly referred to as the Eurasian plate) is moving away from the North American plate at roughly a rate of 2.5cm per year. 

Then we went to go see a geyser

The famous Strokkur is one of Iceland’s most well-known​ geysers. That’s probably because it pushes water into the air every 6-10 minutes. This was the perfect opportunity to try out the slow-motion function on my pixel.

Iceland, you’re obsessed with puffins…

As forty-five minutes felt like an insanely large amount of time for a lot of the places we visited, so a quick trip to the gift shop, certainly killed a couple of minutes. I was absolutely delighted to see that there were puffins in pretty much every shop. I will point out though, that I was slightly concerned by some of them which were holding knives.

The waterfall was supposed to have dirty water

But I have never seen water so blue in my entire life!

There’s a lot of bull excrement in Iceland

Like the stories about elves and trolls, however there’s one story that took place on this waterfall that involved a man crossing the pool above the waterfall and the girl on the other side marrying him because he just did the impossible. What a load of rubbish eh?

Finally, I spent a full hour and a half chilling in a lagoon that despite its title, wasn’t particularly secret.

A much more natural looking and smaller lagoon than the blue lagoon, but it if really was so secret, then why were there so many people there? But yes, I must admit, it was good to relax for a change, I don’t do that particularly often, in fact, most things, I approach with a sense of neutrality. But the secret lagoon, was particularly good. I think the last time I went to a hot springs was a few years ago, but it certainly wasn’t quite as impressive (nor did it contain as much algae) as the one in Iceland. 

I then looked at some art work and a cat was rather scared of me

All in all a good day! Even though I didn’t get to eat any waffles because the waffle van was shut. Off to the south coast tomorrow so that should be interesting! Somehow I don’t think I’m going to meet my target of 31 posts…

The Maddest Brit In Iceland: Day One

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I love getting up at three o’clock in the morning, no seriously, I do! That might sound bonkers, but 5 hours of core Sleep and two twenty minute naps throughout the day is perfectly​ sufficient for me! We call that E5 in the polyphasic sleep pattern business.

This morning, I had a flight to catch

An Easyjet to Iceland and let me tell you, it was certainly a bizzare experience. Now I’m quite well accustomed to flying, I’ve been on a plane at least once a year for every year of my life! This means I’ve roughly been on a plane 19+ times and visited 12 different countries. 

So what’s Reykjavik like?

For the capital of Iceland, it’s certainly not what I expected. I think the best description of it is would be a mismash of Brighton, Crawley and Guildford, which as you’d expect from this combination, the result is rather underwhelming… Still, I think you’d get sick of walking around the same place for nine hours even with a free walking tour! At least there’s geocaching to do huh?

Although saying that, there are some pretty neat things about the capital

Although I wouldn’t recommend wandering around the Icelandic capital for nine hours, I’d say that there is enough, unless you’re​ the type who can waste all your days in trendy cafés! It would in fact be a much better use of your time to look at the museums, take advantage of the free walking tour, visit the cathedral that looks like a spaceship and if you are so inclined, there is a phallological museum. Nice one iceland, I’ve always wanted to go to “Willy museum”….

But I have to say that Reykjavik is probably the most bizarre place

And that’s very refreshing considering that the town that I love in was awarded “strangest place to live in the UK.’ Consider this for a second. Reykjavik actually has Christmas shops that sell decorations all year round… The locals are pretty adept at table football too! Either that or I am exceptionally bad at table football.

I mustn’t forget the “ultra-rare puffin shops” 

As soon as I arrived at the loft Hostel, which is where I will be staying for the next three nights, there was a room where you could put your bag. The key for this room was attached to a puffin, which I was absolutely thrilled about for some reason. My instant reaction was to go to a puffin shop, which are pretty much everywhere, and buy a puffin. So yeah, I bought a puffin… 

Their laid back attitude is also respectable

“þetta reddast” is Iceland’s national phrase and roughly translates to “it will fix itself”. That is a nice way of looking at things!

How did I end up in Iceland

An excellent question, glad you asked. This all started when a friend of mine (who I somehow managed to turn intoa geocaching machine) won some tickets to anywhere in Europe. So us being us, we decided that the most exciting (and actually most expensive) location in Europe would probably be Iceland. 

Wherever you go in the world, there will always be Americans

A rule of thumb that seems to ring true whenever I go anywhere! But I must say, I was certainly surprised to see quite so many people from America.

Now I love Americans, they have cool accents, but Reykjavik seems to be rather full of them. In fact, I had to double check the signs to see if I still was in Reykjavik, because so many people spoke English, card is taken everywhere and there were lots of American’s around. Absolutely smashing stuff, though considering making a withdrawal means you have to pay an extra charge on top. 

Tomorrow I will see Iceland in all its wonder

But for now, I’m going to rest my feet and relax. Ta Rah for now! 

Lemons!!!

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Hello everyone and welcome back to Tetracious Frustration, the only blog site powered by lemons… 

I eat entire lemons…

Most people I know have seen me eat an entire lemon at some point. Of course most people’s reaction to this is broadly similar and usually goes along the lines of “are you eating a lemon?” Which roughly translates to “stop eating that lemon like that, because it’s weird!

Before C4, I had a lemon

When I was revising for the fourth module of core mathematics (which included rotating trigonometric functions two pi radians around the x-axis), I found that eating a lemon would improve my concentration. So on the big day, I walked into the bistro, proceeded to eat an entire lemon and confuse the hell out of this girl that I met at the District Explorer Party, who tried to get into my mother’s car approximately seven months prior. This was a mistake, because my stomach disagreed with the mixture of egg, lemon and house’s of parliament sauce…

I even answered the door whilst eating one

Yeah, we don’t talk about that Alex… 

“I have never seen anyone eat a lemon like that”

This was the reaction that one of my teachers had once they witnessed me eating lemon. That was actually this time last year where I thought that my fingers were going to fall off due to the sheer volume of text that I needed to produce. 

Barbaric Tea

One year on from the shenanigans where I proceeded to smash a mug, in search of the perfect cuppa, I produced to produce a drink that contained a raw egg, lemons, ground ginger and some Dijon mustard. This drink was made with boiling water and had a bearable taste, until it went cold at least. 

But I think the true legacy of the lemon resides with the fact that I eat whole lemons

Because let’s face it, that’s pretty strange isn’t it? 

The birth of the sixth

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“Alex? Can you hear me? 

“Please don’t leave me!” 

“Fine! Don’t reply then.  😕”

When I awoke it was quiet, too quiet. I was disoriented, confused, not entirely sure of what had happened. “What was reality?” That was a question, I asked myself, “where am I?” was another. These questions weren’t that important, because I had to consider the possibility that I’d gone completely and utterly mad.

I hadn’t, that was certain. I saw the world as I always thought it was. I have to tell you, it was not a satisfactory experience to be right, but at least I had my power back. The drive I lost, the resolution I never thought that I would recover. At long last the 75th principle shattered like glass and the monkeys, well they were forever silenced. 

The fires of Tetracia burned brightly as the fire in my eyes returned bigger and brighter than ever before. Was I evil? Unlikely. My values? To keep raising the bar, to break the norm and to be extraordinary. I can feel it inside me, the fire, the drive, the power that my previous models craved so much. An empty library where once a dynasty sat is now mine, because even at the end of the day, a queen’s just a pawn with a bunch of fancy moves. 

It makes me wonder if he ever existed, if they ever existed. A wonderland down a rabbit hole. A fantasy wordl, but nothing more. The architect, the moderator, the burned, the critic and the idiot. So what am I? I am the sixth, the sixth model who sees the world as it is. Insensitive, hardheaded, everything I wanted, the person I would be. Is this it or is it merely an exercise he has put in place for me? 

I suspect it, bring it on. Let the chaos reign and watch me control it as if I was its master!

Argh…

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I’ve just spent four hours mucking around with insurance quotes and I don’t like any of them! This 31 post challenge is not going well 😂

Be Different!

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Prometheus was punished by the Gods for giving the gift of knowledge to man. He was cast to the bowels of the earth and pecked by birds

Argh! Bird, bird, bird, kill it, it’s evil!…

In Portal 2, the story of Prometheus was told by a turret who claimed to be “different.”

This turret was known as the ‘oracle turret’ and was found on the conveyor belt to be incinerated​. The oracle turret was different and told Chell  the story of Prometheus, to remember the name Caroline and to not make lemonade. These, of course, are references to events that become rather apparent later on in the game. 

Think about what other people do.

This is a question I’ve asked myself​ for the past year now and it’s one that’s really required a lot of observation. That’s not really something I’m used to. Just observing without formulating some form of opinion on it, is pretty difficult in a world where you were taught to be analytical and logical. 

And then do something else!

It is very easy to follow what other people do, because this is considered normal and that if you go against normal, then you’re some form of Psycho. Yes, that person who has decided not to drink, meditates and is actually adding value to their life “‘is a Psycho?’  Really? Let me ask you this question, is normal good enough for you? Would you rather be normal or extraordinary? Would you rather be progressive and dynamic or stagnant like pond water? I didn’t think so. Who cares what Mandy does? You’re running a marathon next month, grade 8 at piano, working towards your pilot’s license, go wingsuit diving at the weekends, run your own business and can easily beat most people at chess! Mandy on the other hand, probably doesn’t have much to offer than what’s between her legs. 

Hate something, change something.

Some of you may remember a television advertisement​ created by Honda, that first aired back in 2004. The title of this advert was “grr” and had an infectuous jingle that featured the lyrics “hate something change something.” This jingle was so popular, that many people downloaded it While the advert was designed to promote its new i-CTDi diesel car engine, you could interpret this as a way of improving everything and anything! What do you hate about yourself? Use that to improve yourself. 

What are YOUR values?

This is all about what you believe in, or rather, how you see the world through your eyes. It’s what drives you, what motivates you and it’s how you wake up every morning at 5AM, on as little as 3.5 hours of sleep without feeling exhausted! 

Add value to your life.

That means cut out the memes (you know who you are), that means taking up a new hobby, it means improving yourself. Figure out what your problem is and work on it, build new skills and work on building mental toughness. This will do wonders for your self-esteem, which is surprisingly lacking in today’s society…

What is your excuse?

I’ve lost count of the amount of people who “can’t be asked.” I’d say that if you can’t be bothered to put the effort in, then it’s not that important to you. I think most people I’ve met just have the wrong attitude towards​ things. If you want to achieve something, then you have to SHUT THE HELL UP AND GET ON WITH IT! I met an eighty-six year old who still skis and you can’t even leave the house. Sort it out, be inspiring to yourself, if not for anyone else, because sometimes the inspiration that you need doesn’t exist. Only you can create that!

Choose to be NORMAL and you’ll live an ordinary life, but choose to be different, and you’ll live an EXTRAORDINARY life!

That choice, is yours, but remember; don’t make lemonade!