What is this all about?

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What we are leaving. Vendelsö, Stockholm

Tom writes:

I am sick and tired of intolerant people

I wrote this opus on the 30th of December 2015 (although the photo was taken in January 2016 making this an exercise in time travel), listening to a cacophony of bangers and fireworks being set off by intellectually repressed morons who a) seem to take perverse pleasure from terrorising pets and small children for no reason other than their own pigheaded gratification, and b) don’t know how to read a calender.

I am sick and tired of doing a fuck awful, menial, dead end job

The work I do allows me to play a lot of chess against a computer. And to go off on a tangent I agree with the great Nigel Blackwell that nobody deserved the Sports Personality of the Year award of 1997 more than Deep Blue. It also allows me to watch a great number of TV series all the while my kindly employer is paying me slightly more than what I in all honesty am worth. I guess a lot of people who do normal jobs would find such a lifestyle quite agreeable and soft and don’t get me wrong, they would be right. It is just that sadly, and I guess that this is a sign that I am nothing more than a spoiled brat, it doesn’t do it for me any more.

I am sick and tired of freezing my arse off and falling over on slippery pavements

I cycled back from my friend Mr Nasium (Or Jim as he likes to be known) today and almost broke my arm as my old bicycle skidded on an unfriendly but cunningly placed puddle of icy slush. Almost maimed me for life. No-one with any degree of sanity left within them could describe the climate here as clement.

 

For once I am not making a New Year resolution. Like most people I have never been able to keep one for more that a few days, or until the first waft of a double whopper cheese with extra gherkins enters my nostrils.

No this is a New Year vow.

Together with my wife, who is of sound and similar mind, we have decided to throw caution to the wind and start a whole new life. We are selling up, handing in our notice and pissing off towards pastures new. By the time May rears it’s sweet and, hopefully if not necessarily, warm springtime head we will be on a plane leaving the undoubted but slightly ragged at the edges beauty of Stockholm well and truly behind us.

Sometime in the middle of September we will be touching down in New Zealand and starting afresh. Armed only with the confidence of middle age, imagination and our paltry life savings we will be carving the first notches into a new slate which hopefully will spell out happiness and prosperity for ever more.

Before that however we will be exploring the volcanoes and lagoons of Iceland as well as the tropical paradise that is Fiji.

But above all we will be fulfilling a dream that we both have had for many years and going coast to coast across the United States of America. Yorktown,Virginia to Florence, Oregon.

On a bike.

Well to be fair, two bikes. But to be even fairer two bikes without any form of engine on them apart from the gorgeously well defined thighs and hearts of their respective jockeys. We will be retracing the steps of the glorious cowboys and pioneers of days of yore as they started weird religions and slew indigenous peoples while forging across the continent.

Hopefully this is only partially an apt metaphor.

Awaiting us are among much else the gradients of the Appalachian and Rocky mountains, the wind swept planes of Kansas and wild bike chasing Kentuckian hounds.

Three months and 7000 kilometres of cycling nightmare and bliss.

The adventure of our lifetimes.

I see now that it has taken me about five weeks to finish this first pitiful attempt at a blog entry but we will soon be getting our fingers out of our respective posteriors and writing and contributing a hell of a lot more. That is another part of the vow. We would be more than happy to get your comments, thoughts, help, advice and criticism along the way.

This masterpiece will document everything that happens to us on this journey. From the long and tedious training sessions and the endless practical shit that has to be done before leaving Sweden to the purchase of our first luxury mansion on Waiheke island

 

See ya!

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Where we are going. Pohutukawa trees in Auckland
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