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My Negative View

Blog Date 6th May 2023

It jokingly seems I have traumatised some of my readership by daring to enjoy some pleasurable rides and trips recently. Regular readers have become accustomed to my grumpy curmudgeonly ways and for some at least it seems my misery helps them to realise their own existence ain't quite as bad as it seems.

Sharon with her head down next to a French town sign called misery
I've taken Sharon to both Miserey and misery.

But am I really a miserable old soul?

No. I certainly have my down times but I find it hard to believe there's a human being out there who has never endured some kind of heartache, anguish, fear, sadness and regret. I have stared into the abyss more than once and pondered if it was all worthwhile. But generally, seeing the bigger picture, I don't consider myself perpetually gleeful but I am usually content with the cards that life has dealt me. 

Ren with a big daft smile outside a wet pub in The New Forest
I smiled once. It hurts, I won't be doing it again.

If you have food in your belly and a roof over your head you're already doing OK.

I think one reason for my apparently morbid attitude is I tend to hear words rather too literally. For example when someone says "I've had the best holiday ever!" that to me means "Of all the holidays that I have taken over the years this has been the best of them. In fact it was the best holiday anyone has ever experienced".  

I know through learning rather than instinct what they actually mean is "Right now I'm pumped and chuffed and pleased with the holiday I have just taken. Upon reflection in the fullness of time I shall re-asses this into a more reasonable ranking." It's like Jeremy Clarkson's "The best car IN THE WORLD!" comments. In my world there can only be one best car in the world but he seems to have many. What he's doing I suppose is hyping up and playing to the camera.

I want to portray my experiences as they are, to me at least. 

Take a recent Welsh excursion. The A543 is indeed a great road, but should I say "Wow, yeah! That was the best road EVER!!!" In my opinion it is a great road but I have enjoyed even greater roads in The Highlands and The Picos for example. I measure my words, I'm seldom prone to hyperbole.

Another reason regulars already know is I'm not a natural traveller. My ass gets sore sooner than most. I worry far too much about mechanical issues. I fret about ferries and finding accommodation. I envy those among you who can lob a pair of undies and a toothbrush into the top box, zip up your jacket, and head out with a "que sera sera" mindset. Sharon is far better at this travelling malarkey, way more chilled than I.

Sharon smiles at the camera standing next to he bike on a campsite in Spain
Look how happy she is on the road. Dagnammit!

Age is helping. As the raging hormones fade so do the excessive emotional highs and lows. Age also brings experience. Experience helps me understand what to expect which eases my mind a little. Experience helps me understand what to pack and how to prepare which eases my mind a little. The only problem is now I'm old enough and experienced enough to begin to enjoy travelling - my body is starting to complain more about it. Ho well.

There is another reason - mirth. There's humour to be found in the (not really) suffering of others. I'm not talking of those really suffering - the poor, the needy, the ill, the displaced etc. You all know I'm a well fed, fairly healthy bloke living in a first world country with running water and 2 motorcycles. As such it is acceptable to laugh at my grumbles and gripes about campsite toilets being miles away or blummin' foreigners speaking strange tongues in their own country. First world problems eh.

A large cafe restaurant in Germany with "Forstwalder Stube" signage
What the hell does "Forstwalder Stube" mean?

My life is not perfect. Sharon isn't as wealthy as I'd hoped. My house is a mess because I'm too tight to spend any money on nice things. I wish I was taller and more handsome. I wish I had a big garage. I wish I wish I wish - I have desires and dreams like anyone. I still have sad times. I have fears and concerns. My neighbours can be annoying. The bin men haven't been this week. 

You're all there too in your own way. Am I a curmudgeonly old grump? Sometimes, but I do OK. 

Share your misery here.

Reader's Comments

Upt'North ¹ said :-
Am I a curmudgeonly old grump?
You're welcome.
06/05/2023 13:14:17 UTC
Bogger said :-
The image of you smiling outside the cafe.

Were you not smiling because said cafe was closed and therefore, could not, dip into your ultra deep pockets and buy some sustenance and drink for the long suffering Sharon?

Shame on you. Your miserableness knows no bounds.

Don't try and double bluff us pal,we're wise to your tricks me boy.

'I'm a a happy go lucky soul, I am '.


07/05/2023 07:23:36 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I'm a little ray of sunshine, a beaming example of joie-de-vivre, positivity itself and all things jovial and happy. Now shurrup ya moaning lot. Pfffft.
07/05/2023 20:12:15 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
Ed, when you're right, you're right.
We're both a delight.
So there.
Double Pffffffftttttt with knobs on.
Upt and delightful.

Now what can I moan about......

08/05/2023 09:06:59 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
You can moan about the weather if you wish, everyone else does.
08/05/2023 22:02:15 UTC
Bros Steve said :-
Is that a picture of you, smiling?
09/05/2023 08:43:34 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
It's a truly rare sight Bros Steve. I shall endeavour not to repeat this misdemeanor.
09/05/2023 12:35:50 UTC
CrazyFrog said :-
We're all different I guess. Back in the early eighties, I used to happily jump on whichever rusty old MZ I happened to be thrashing at the time, and ride up to the Scottish Highlands for the weekend. No breakdown cover of course, a Shell touring map of the UK which showed major motorways and cities, but not much else, a tent, sleeping bag, cooker and spare undies and I'd be off.

These days I worry far more about mechanical breakdowns, coming off, punctures etc, even though I ride 2 low mileage reliable modern bikes and have breakdown cover. Don't ask me why this is, I just think I've become more risk averse the older I get.
09/05/2023 16:49:57 UTC
CrazyFrog said :-
I do enjoy it when I get there though. Here's a couple of gratuitous shots from a trip to the emerald isle a couple of weeks ago.

Posted Image
09/05/2023 16:53:31 UTC
CrazyFrog said :-

Posted Image
09/05/2023 16:54:13 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I'm finding it a little easier as I get older CrazyFrog, in terms of fretting at least. However as I'm presently camping just south of Lowestoft after a thunderstorm and now torrential rain physically age is not on my side.

Whereabouts on the Emerald Isle were these images taken?
09/05/2023 20:42:05 UTC
CrazyFrog said :-
Gone are the days when I used to just unroll the sleeping bag on the floor of the tent. These days I need a 2 inch thick air mattress on top of the thickest foam roll I can find, otherwise I'm crippled the next day. Hey ho, at least I can still sleep in a tent and enjoy it!

The pictures were taken in Donegal...
09/05/2023 20:58:35 UTC
nab301 said :-
@ crazy frog, it looks like you possibly got some good weather! .
On becoming more risk averse , I think that's just happens with age... although I think age equips me better to deal with these problems. I too used to jump on my MZ in the 70's and 80's and head across the country . I did worry about mechanical issues usually prior to departure but once on the road my worries disappeared , at least until the engine seized or the gear lever return spring failed or.....
10/05/2023 12:52:57 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Donegal eh. I've heard good things about the north western coast of Ireland and now having seen these images I'll have to go visit there now. Dagnammit!
11/05/2023 08:05:14 UTC
Rev. Mick! said :-
Donegal is a truly stunning county, (obviously not quite Kerry. Herself is a fierce Kerry woman). What you also need to remember is that it is a really big county. You pass Sligo blink and you are across Leitrim and you’ve made it to Donegal. From here on it takes ages to get to other bits of the County.
Great walking and climbing. Though in my personal experience it can compete with Scotland in the midge ferocity.
11/05/2023 09:27:14 UTC
Rev. Mick! said :-
Strangely Malin Head, the most northerly point on the island is further North than Northern Ireland and in The South.
There is a walled city on the river Foyle, which for reasons of history has two names. We would call it Derry, others might call it Londonderry. Be aware when making reference.
11/05/2023 11:30:35 UTC
CrazyFrog said :-
Yes, your reverence, Donegal is indeed a very big county. My first wife's family hailed from Donegal, so I knew from previous experience just how beautiful it is. Her family hailed from Creeslough, t'other side of Lough Swilly from where I was this time. If only you could guarantee the weather...
12/05/2023 20:54:22 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
I thought it was guaranteed - to be raining.....
14/05/2023 11:57:42 UTC
CrazyFrog said :-
Hahaha, yes, pretty much Ian. It's heavenly if you do catch it on a nice day though!
15/05/2023 19:33:43 UTC

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