Category Archives: Hopes

Wishlist – The Ten Places I would most like to see in my lifetime

For those that know me or regularly check back to this blog, you know that I love to travel. I have been to thirty five countries in my lifetime, which is a fair few in my short time on this Earth. But there is a lot more that I want to see, and so, here is a top ten of places I would really like to see before I die. From the impossible to reach to the high tourist footfall, here are the places that I have not yet visited that I really want to get to sometime in the near future.

10) Prague.

I thought I would start with a simple place. Even though I have been to the Czech Republic, the reality is that I drove through the country in the middle of the night. For me the Czech Republic provided toilet breaks, a small fine for not paying the motorway tolls and lots of crazy driving. I hope to rectify this in the not-too-distant future, and visit what is regarded as one of Europe’s prettiest capitals.

9) Bolivia.

In fact I would like to visit all of South America. I have never stepped foot on this continent and so anywhere on here would be great for me. But for me, Bolivia really stands out due to its combination of natural beauty and spectacular culture. In particular, I would really love to see Salar Uyuni, the largest salt flats on Earth.

8) Ethiopia.

Oldest civilisation on Earth after China, this is one of the world’s great cultural treasure troves. In fact the whole of the Horn of Africa is culturally rich. After all, humanity itself evolved here. Next door Somalia also holds a great allure, but that is not looking like a place I could visit anytime soon.

7) Ooty.

India is going to feature heavily on my list. Officially my new favourite country to visit, I have only been here for a few brief weeks and really only saw the North East. I would really love to see more, and Ooty has the combination of all that is magical. An old steam train puffing up the mountains, stunning scenery and a romantic edge that makes it popular with honeymooners the world over. Out of all the destinations on this list, this is probably the best combination of exotic and ease of travel.

(From Pratheept2000)

6) Tokyo.

What can I say. Cute gadgets, cute food and cute chicks. But behind all the cuteness, Tokyo really is one of the world’s great cities, and out of the ‘Big 4’ Global Cities, Tokyo is the only one I have not visited. It is big, crazy and expensive, but it is still worth a look in. One day…

5) Easter Island.

Well, the remotest place on Earth, one of the real outposts of civilisation with a fascinating Archaeological story. There is so much to learn from Easter Island, and so much tragedy too. The planet in a microcosm, and it shows on one small spot the great achievements of humanity and also the worst ravages of man. Expensive and hard to get to, but this is definitely one of the more likely destinations to reach.

4) Aksai Chin.

Yeah, right. The likelihood of getting here is about as good as me becoming a world class sprinter. At this moment in time, all entry is virtually impossible. But for me, it is the perfect combination of my two favourite types of scenery – desert and mountain. I have always been fascinated by the Himalaya, both from a scenic and cultural point of view. But, out of all the places on my list, I doubt I will see this place in my lifetime.

3) Istanbul.

Out of all the places on this list, Istanbul really should have been one that I should have arrived at sooner, but have so far been thwarted at every turn. I did once have a flight booked here, but, yeah, Easyjet changed the flight days, and so I plumped for the refund. Maybe I should have just jumped, but with my work being impossible to work around, it is one that is on my ‘to-do’ list.

2) Madagascar.

It may have been popularised by the cartoon, but for me, this island in the Indian Ocean really has it all. Exotic wildlife, a spectacular fusion of Polynesian and African culture and a landscape that is simply divine. For me, this destination is more about money and time rather than anything else.

(From Frank Vassen)

1) Arunachal Pradesh.

Again, this is one place I really should have visited sooner than I did. Arunachal Pradesh in India’s far North East is simply divine. Nestled in the slopes of the Himalaya, this is where the mighty Brahmaputra gets its power. All of India’s North East is fascinating, which is why on my two journeys to this great country, I focused my efforts here. Arunachal Pradesh would be the jewel in the crown, and it is just a case of getting round the bureaucracy. Unfortunately, it is Indian bureaucracy…grr…

(From Rajkumma1220)

So there you have it. Ten places in the world that I have not yet visited, but would so love to. What do you guys think, and have any of you been to anywhere on this list?

And what would be your wishlist of places to visit? And anything you think I should have included on this list but missed out (and trust me, it was hard to compile). Answers in the comments below!



Filed under Goals, Hopes, places, travel

This blog confuses me…

Recently, I have been writing more abut travelling rather than film making, my other great passion in life. That is for many reasons, but nonetheless, film making has been taking an incredibly large amount of time. From distributing Irfan to festivals, to actually appearing at festivals, my artistic output has been massive over the past few months. And exhausting.

I have had to catch up with editing, which to be honest I have got into debt. The Guru episode from yesterday was one example of that. Shot in the summer, it is already two weeks late! Sorry! But I have been busy. Trying to balance the mundane (McJob) with the fantastical (film) has got me into a tizzy. And as I said, into debt. I am way behind on editing Amigos Amigos, yes, this project has to be finished. I do not know what will make me finish it, so I have decided to break with my puritanism and I have decided to treat myself. When I finish Amigos Amigos, I will buy myself a 3DS – I need to bribe my mind into getting this done, and this may be the only way. Pleasure for pain.

But the other big reason for falling behind has been two big corporate filming jobs, back to back. Lucrative (when the first one pays up) and fun, but they have completely thrown my normal film making process out of the window. Not that I am complaining at all. From a financial point of view, it is great to get paid to do what I actually enjoy doing! Which is also why the artistic stuff has got pushed to the back burner. Unlike an actor who appears for one day and says bye-bye, in Post-Production, the time to realise a film takes a hell of a long time. You have to bump jobs back, one by one as you cannot swing from one shoot to the next carefree Each job takes a hell of a long time to make, to be honest, to construct.

Luckily, I am fast 😉

I can edit at an incredible pace, but even I have my limitations! I try to be Superman, but sometimes I am no better than Aquaman. Such is life, I guess I am not that immortal.

So one of the ways to also change tack has been to write about travel. You see, films are fascinating, especially to watch. But writing about film making is, well, dull. I may be El Director, and this is my blog, but that still does not make writing about film making interesting. Contrast that to writing about festivals, or travelling to those far flung places. Yeah, that is a lot more interesting, and also healthy for the mind.

After all, it’s good to look up once in a while from the computer screen. It’s life, and if you’re not careful, you’ll miss it as it passes you by…

(paraphrased from here)

So do not worry dear reader. Like a swan, I am just here to make this look good. Beneath the serene ramblings of this particular blogger, is a mind working furiously on his filming life. It takes a long time, after all, I am on my own in this world, and I have been incredibly isolated on this journey that I am making. I have met many people made and lost many friends while on this journey to try and reach the stars. But the journey is still continuing…but my goodness it is taking its time!

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It has been a few days…

…and so I am back. To be honest, I just wanted to switch off from all things computerised. I went out, to the movies, and just chilled out for a while. 2010 has been one hell of a year for me. A busy one. 2011 will be the same, but I hope it is a good busy, like 2010 was. Irfan has been the big project for the year and now that the production has finished, I decided to breathe, to exhale, just for a little.

Anyway, what will 2011 hold for all and for myself? I do not know. Hey, if I did, I would not be making films, but playing the lottery – every day of the week! But as I am not the gambling type…

I have booked my first holiday of the year! To Poland (and Germany for a few hours before, as that is where my flight lands). Poland will be country number 33 on the list, and a continuation of my discovery of the new Europe last year. Take a look back at my travels in both Hungary and Romania, there are a few good posts there…this time my travels are a little more concentrated within the country. I do not plan to waltz from capital city to capital city, but bumble along the southa nd west of Poland, its cultural arc’ for want of a better word. From Berlin, I plan a trip to Zielona Gora then onto Wroclaw, Opople before ending up in one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, Krakow.

But in the meantime, I have a fair few things to do before I head off. First of all, I have to set up Irfan for distribution. That means getting press packs, trailers and other paraphernalia ready. Next, it is edit some web episodes for a new web series I want to pursue. Finally, write. I have a lot of that to do, as projects are lining up for shooting this year. 2010 wa a good year, let us hope 2011 becomes a great one!

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(Time Out)

First of all, this blog will be getting patchy over the next month. Filming is upon me, and so what I do on these pages will be getting a little thin. Needless to say by the middle of June, normal service (almost daily levels of blogging) will resume on this web page.

So to amuse yourselves while I dive under the radar for a bit, here are some links to this blog (and others) to keep yourself occupied over the next couple of weeks:

1) Caution Wet Paint: The Comic Strip – A whole host of fun and frolics from London’s craziest double act!

2) Crossings of the River Thames – look back at the thirty crossings in London so far done and shockingly, only three left to go!

3) India and India 2 – I went twice last year and I am already planning this year’s sojourn to this wonderful country!

4) London Diary – A series of short stories I began this year for three months. Surprisingly close to reality…

5) Zelda – I am a compie game freak, but this blog has been surprisingly low on one particular game Zelda. Surprising, as this game has and continues to be (sadly) a big part of my existence. And I am meant to be 30…

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I am in my Twenties (still)

Ah the Twenties. The most optimistic decade of a man’s existence now comes rapidly to an end. I only have divorce, despair and death to look forward to, such is my understanding of this tumultuous milestone in my so-called life.

I have spent the bet part of two years worrying about trying to achieve before I am thirty. The fact is that the best thing I have done is kept myself alive and my ass clean in the intervening years.

The decade started off optimistically enough. I had changed my course in life, felt invincible and was enjoying myself to the full. Over the years I experienced many things, some good and some bad, that left no permanent damage to my health. Yes, I drank a lot over the first half of the decade, smoked like a chimney and dabbled in some minor drugs. So did the rest of the population. Then I stopped, suddenly, and became an aesthetic teetotaler. My diet changed from meat heavy to more fish. I began to chill out a bit more as well. I got into fights, I fell in love, I fell out of love, I mucked about with prostitutes and porn, was deceptive and honest. I was brave and at times incredibly foolish with my emotions. But in many ways I am exactly the same as ten years ago.

I have more money in my pocket, but such is my personality, it never remains there for long. Like water in a desert, my finances have a tendency to evaporate from my fingers. But I work hard for my cash, and one thing I can proudly say is that I do not steal. My pennies have always been honest.

I have experienced the bad. At the beginning of my twenties my friend died. Added to that, my father’s death in my teens and far too much time was spent contemplating my final destination rather than looking forward to life. But this has also steeled me into trying to make something out of my life. I do try, hard, but usually in the wrong direction. I need to find a rich and influential family member, but they are few and far between.

I have traveled. A hell of a lot. I have seen war zones and beauty, reconnected with my family and my roots. I myself have nearly died in the middle of the desert – take my advice, water is the key to life! I have seen things that few of my contemporaries have seen, touched places, that even fewer locals have dared to go. I am adventurous, and really on a shoestring I have gone to some crazy places. I have slept on the tops of temples, been shelled at a market place and ridden trucks through mountain tops. I have bantered with border guards, dined with the destitute and sat on ships crossing the seas. In all, my travels are probably the most successful part of my twenties.

I am filming. Note that this is not in the past tense. Despite the setbacks and the knockdowns, there is still a belief inside of me that is burning bright. A belief that what I am doing is correct, despite logic, the naysayers and anything else that humanity throws at me. I do not know what will be the eventual outcome of this journey. Needless to say, I am still walking this path, and this has become a very bust period with regards to my life behind the lens.

And so, I look back at my twenties and wave goodbye to the third decade of my life on this planet. In essence this is a quarter of my useful existence gone. Assuming I live to sixty, I have got thirty more years to make something grand out of my life. It is a precious thing, a gift, and it is so hard to capture. But much of it is for the moment as well. I have enjoyed the journey, but I am also impatient to reach some sort of a destination as well. Destiny/Fate/God/I/Life has/have not allowed me to do so just yet. These are exciting and interesting times.

So goodbye Mr. Twenty year old. It has been one fun ride. And yes, I have grown up slightly, but ironically, I still feel more childlike than when I first entered this phase of my life. Maybe a little wisdom has been implanted into me during these intervening years. But I am relieved to have finally reached this particular point in my life. Less worry can be spent on trying to run to a timescale and more energy can be expended into making something a little more beautiful. Grand ideals, perhaps. But like the billions of humans that have come before me and the billions that will come after me, along with the billions that currently inhabit Earth right now – I want this life to mean something. But will I ever discover what this meaning is meant to be? A question for the ages, or just for the next decade…

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Caution Wet Paint – A look back at 2009…

I rarely double post, but this was an imprtant comic strip that I decided to also publish on this blog too…

This is quite a personal comic strip. It has been a tough 2009 for CWP, but rather than blog about it, I decided to illustrate it. The big question I am asking myself is ‘what do I do next?’

And to be honest, I do not know…

A look back at 2009

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And so it’s good bye from the ‘Noughties’ (2)

Unlike yesterday, this is a much more personal recollection of the decade. Well, what a decade it has been! The one that is clearest in my memory, and definitely the decade that will shape my years to come. And so how was it for me? Well, that is a very good question, that could only properly be answered in a few years time as I look back and contemplate the happenings of the past ten years. But it has definitely been a decade of two halves. At the beginning of the decade, I started it in revelry on the streets of London. And by the end of the decade I also will be on the streets of London, but not as boisterous as I will be working the night shift. In between it has been an eventful ten years.

The first half of the 2000’s was spent studying and travelling. I studied far too frivolously and travelled far too hard, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I visited a war zone to reconnect with my family, I climbed temples in the jungle, taught English to kids and adults, nearly died in a desert and hiked across the lands of the Moors. And then in 2004, I made an about turn and decided to pursue filming with a vigour. I surprised everyone that knew, me, alienated quite a few of them and got stuck into the business of making films. Now, six years later, and with very little to show for that decision, the big question to ask myself of this decade is ‘has it been a waste of my life?’ After all, these are supposedly the ‘best years’, and if I fail in my quest to make a (decent) living out of writing and directing my own feature films, than I would have wasted those years on nothing more than a pipe dream.

Looking back can be almost as dangerous as looking forward. Fear grips our paths towards the future, regret litters our paths behind us. All that we really have is the present day, and the hum-drum safety net of work, eat, and sleep. And yet, as I look back, I think to myself that it has been an all right decade, but something has to give soon to make it a really spectacular one…

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