Comedy Wordplay Euro Trip Helping Mental Health Message with Love

The next episode of XaW Files: Beyond Humanity stars comedy wordplay centred on searching for Love the mixed-up vole in Vlore, Albania. I just looked up a Love the mixed-up vole photo, having originally written love in green letters on a vole image, but found the one below first. I just saw it is titled From Dawn Till Dusk, after recently posting the XaW Files episode containing the From Dusk Till Dawn movie.


Children in Need’s big day was also last Friday. Respect to all the heroes and heroines that collected for it, and those who donated. You can still donate at BBC Children in Need.

Euro Trip Comedy

The classic comedy gold episode takes place in the southern Albanian county of Vlore, which has the anagrammatic ingredient letters to make Love feel at home. It also references the very relevant U2 song Street Without Names, and a couple of classic characters, vaguely based on Ant n’ Dec of I’m A Celebrity fame, using wordplay with the word decorum and the Greek god Dionysus, from Grey’s epic solo ramble round Australia: Werewolf of Oz: Fantasy Travel by Google Maps.

werewolf of oz

Chapter 5 Episode 2

I don’t want to be a bore
so this episode is about
looking for Love in Vlore
but first I have a doubt
about travelling to the shore
or the mountains around Kotë
Lumi Flores Valley like a door
into the hometown of Josef Kote.


Looking for Love in Vlore

‘r you looking for loVe,’ asked a painter sitting in Vlore’s harbour area.

‘r that be right,’ I replied, sounding somewhat like a traditional pirate, and reminding me of our adventures with Pirate Lacost, Captain Dec O’ Rum and Dai on the Seas in a classic story from Grey’s epic Werewolf of Oz journey, when we were reunited for the only time of that Middle-Time for our trite trilogy.

The painter also sounded like a pirate when responding: ‘r do believe I saw a mixed-up vole of that name pass this way just an hour ago. It asked if I’d seen any Rs around, because it said it thought it would be able to fit into Vlore then.’

I thanked the painter, and complimented his painting, which included colours that made me feel at home.

Where the Streets Change Names

I walked down what looked like Rruga Mis Durhan on Google Maps, but thought the street sign said uRrga Mis Durhan now. So I asked Mis Durhan if I was where I thought I was.


Mis Durhan said I was in the right place, and this wasn’t a Street Without Names; rather, it was a Street with Easily Changeable Names.

I thanked her and said I was sorry to bother her, but I was looking for my mixed-up vole friend. Her reply worried me.

‘Oh,’ she said, ‘actually, that is the reason why I changed my name today. A vole sounding like your friend asked me if I could spare one of my Rs, as it needed one to feel at home in Vlore. So I brought my exposed first two Rr letters into the middle of my first name, where I feel they are safe, like the r in my third name. ’

‘Oh, I’m sorry about that Mis Durhan,’ I replied, ‘but I’m sure Love wouldn’t steal one of your Rs. I think it’s just feeling a little lost and lonely, and there are no Rs in them.’

Finding Love in Vlore

I had a similar experience in Rruga Vasil Puka, which was uga VRasil Pruka when I arrived. I tried to assure Vasil that Love was no threat, and he did seem to relax, saying Love had headed in the direction of Rruga Andrea Vorfi.

‘Love,’ I shouted, startling poor Andrea, who was already looking quite worried, clasping her Rr letters as if for dear life.

‘greenYgrey,’ Love volley returned, ‘you’re all I need to feel complete again.’

Love seemed to forget all about being an Rrshole in a city full of Rs, and ran down Rruga Andrea Vorfi without paying any more attention to her Rrs.

Available to buy or borrow on Amazon and some great big bookshops.

Rio Charity Congratulations and Olympics Good Luck

Congratulations to Mike Tomlinson and the charity team for completing their 3,000 miles ride to Rio ten years to the day after his wife Jane started her 4,200 miles ride across the USA while suffering from late stage cancer. You can donate to the appeal at: or text JRTR70 £5 to 70070 to donate £5.

They celebrated with all the colours of the greenYgrey, under the statue of Christ the Redeemer, with Jesus a good motivational historical figure, whose memory has been tainted by the crimes of some of his followers, and especially in the Americas; as with Islam in the rest of the world, although Mohammed wasn’t such a good example and martyr as Jesus Christ the historical figure… or Socrates the Greek philosopher, who predated Jesus by about 500 years, and Mohammed by about 1000.


Rio Olympics 2016

Good luck to all the good people of Rio and the drug-free competitors at the Olympics, and especially Team GB.

Team GG hasn’t sent a team, as the greenygrey world doesn’t exist any more. Rio hosted the greenygrey World Cup in 2014, after London hosted the greenygrey Olympics in 2012.

It was all just good sporting fun in the greenYgrey world, but some people try to read more into even fun sporting blog posts, with double negatives not seeming to like teams like Jamaica and Ireland included; wrong to ignore them and wrong to include them!

I only realised a couple of my animal encounters photos were from the Olympics hosts after posting them yesterday. Brazil was a beautiful natural place to visit, and Rio is probably the most amazing city I’ve been. It’s a shame it’s now troubled, after looking good in 2014, and I hope the Olympics spirit can revive its fortunes.

I was delighted to see some great greenYgreying at yesterday’s Rio Olympics opening ceremony, and I hope the fun and sport continues to delight:

rio olympics rio olympics2 rio olympics3 rio olympics4 rio olympics5 rio olympics6rio olympics7

Animal Intelligence A-were-ness in Dogs Trust Adverts

After yesterday’s epic blog post I thought a shorter one better for today, so I was delighted to notice there was some great greenYgreying going on in the new Dogs Trust advert last night. I have seen today there is a history of it; as they’ve been using a yellow theme for a long time, and dogs love running free and playing in the great green and grey outdoors.

Animal Intelligence

While most scientific interest and money is AImed at the artificial intelligence AI, I’m more interested in learning about the animal intelligence AI, as hopefully it can help humanity appreciate animals more, leading to less animal cruelty and species eradication.

Remembering that the were of werewolf is the human element, and the greenYgrey has a friendly veggie werewolf theme, I think there has been a great advance in human a-were-ness of animal intelligence over my lifetime; some by scientists, and some by the masses, with technology playing a big part – including videos on YouTube etc; but there is still a lot to learn.

This is the new Dogs Trust advert, with a dog a-were-ness theme; a dog aware of a human, as a-were-ness works both ways, old-fashioned greenygrey style, with the rebranded greenYgrey now 3D:

Dogs Trust Adverts

Here’s a couple of old ones that are also greenYgreytastic:

Running Ambition Ends on Jane Tomlinson Leeds 10km High Note

I was excited to run in the Jane Tomlinson Leeds 10km (6.25 miles) Run For All on Sunday, and delighted that my run went better than I’d hoped. I’d been aiming to finish in under an hour, after usually running 10-minute miles in the last five years, when I’ve only been training for marathons. 10-minute miles would have put me just over an hour.

I got into a good running rhythm from the start, inspired by the occasion, other runners and the wonderful crowd for an early Sunday morning race. At the half-way 5km stage my time was just under 25 minutes, so the thought that I might get under 50 minutes entered my mind, as I usually end quicker than I start at this distance, although I told myself that getting under an hour was still the main ambition.

I didn’t bother getting water at the 4km point from the many great volunteers at the race, and just took a few swigs at 7km, wetting my head with some of the rest of the bottle. Sprinklers later added more water. I don’t usually start drinking until the hour mark on my long runs, such as two hours plus.

Somewhere in the middle of the second half I felt myself losing concentration, so when a man who looked in my age group passed me, I tucked in behind him, like the top runners do in televised races, letting the leader do the work, just following the rhythm of his feet. My run was a mixture of hard slog looking down and trying to keep my legs moving rhythmically, and periods of free flowing rhythm.

As we entered the city centre a slight downhill provided the impetus for a sprint finish, hopefully entertaining the big crowd at the finish, who were very inspirational. The gun time was on about 51 something minutes, so I thought I might be under 50 for my real chip time, as I didn’t pass the start until a couple of minutes after the best runners. I was delighted to find out I’d made it by four seconds: 49:56.

It was a great way to end my last running season of my 12 years ambition after finishing my first marathon (Edinburgh) in 2004; although I started with the Leeds Abbey Dash in 2003.

Tromso  (2007), Xenia (2010), Barcelona (2013) and Riga (2016) fulfilled my ambition to run a marathon every three years until 50; and I also added the Round Ripon 35 miles ultra-marathon in 2015. While I was happy with Riga and Ripon, I was a little disappointed with my times, so it was great to finish with a great run and time in the city where it all began, Leeds, and in a race dedicated to the main inspiration, Jane Tomlinson.

I’ve donated my target appeal myself, but if you’d like to add anything it’d be great; or just donate privately; or do your own event(s)… The original and still objective of the greenYgrey concept was to educate and inspire entertainingly…

Greater Good Guide Dog Gifts

I saw this necklace on the Greater Good online shop a few days ago, and thought it was a great greenYgrey design.

Free Necklace**

There are many others on there, such as this Sweet Yellow Ivy necklace.

Guide Dogs Shop

In Blighty, how about this solar window thermometer, available at the Guide Dogs dogalogue shop, so you can see the temperature, while at the same time seeing how greenYgrey it is.

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This has been a non-profit, non-charity charity-promotion blog post.


Bipolar Mind Extremes of Solitary Writer

New Controversial Thoughts

I know it’s good
to be humble
but hard when great.
I think I’m great
enough to succeed
in being humbly good.

However, inspired by the Socrates assertion that the wisest people know how little we really know, here’s a self-deprecating paradoxical rhyming statement to balance the above self-parody fun boasting verse:

I am so ignorant
I think I’m intelligent.

Charity, Music and Writing

I must admit, I didn’t watch any BBC Sport Relief last night, although I did see Harry Gration and Paul Hudson finish their three-legged walk at a very greenYgrey finishing line in York on the local news. They raised about £200,000, so congratulations to them.

Screenshot (50)

The music played was David Bowie’s Heroes, which was a central song to The Perks of Being a Wallflower; about a burgeoning writer with mental health issues; and cited in XaW Files: Beyond Humanity.

I hope Sport Relief was an entertaining success, and liked the Michael Crawford Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em sketch I saw on the news this morning. I grew up on the BBC and ITV, so of course they have been great influences on me. I recently watched From Andy Pandy to Zebedee: The Golden Age of Children’s Television

Lone Writer and Musician Criticising Themselves and Humanity

While I’d like to be a nice charity-fundraiser, I also try to make a difference by writing and creating, which often means searching deep into the psyche, where the world isn’t so nice and straightforward. Like a couple of creatives I recently saw interviewed:

Watching an Artsnight interview with Norwegian author, Karl Ove Knausgaard, I related to his autobiographical fiction on the surface, but I’ve never read his books. I didn’t hear anything that sounded better than my writing when he read extracts, but maybe his books go deeper into reality, and are more controversial? He did study literature in Bergen, so is probably more expert than me. He has become a literary sensation anyway, and good luck to him. It’s on BBCiplayer, but I didn’t see it on YouTube. There are lots of other interviews of his on there.

I recently watched a Henry Rollins Hard Talk interview, which I related to from my ‘youth’. Henry is still on the far left, and is happy living a solitary life in his 50s. He’s still on the far left, while I’ve moved to the centre, mostly influenced by change happening too fast in Blighty, which was apparently how Atticus Finch felt in To Kill a Mockingbird sequel Go Set a Watchman. I haven’t read either of them either, but watched the former’s movie!

I don’t think I could create music like Rollins or do spoken word as good, but could probably learn to get by with the latter, as Knausgaard said he has learnt to do. But first and foremost, I think my best strength is my writing, and hope more people will think so too… one day…

The Henry Rollins interview is on YouTube:

Running and Writing Plans for 2016

2015 was a big exhausting year in the end, running my first ultra-marathon in Ripon, north Yorkshire, and finishing off my comedy fantasy travel by Google Maps trilogy by publishing the European rambling XaW Files: Beyond Humanity.

Writing Plans

I just completed my first article since finishing my book. It was good to write non-fiction after concentrating on fiction for a year or two. It felt a lot easier to write facts than thinking up new fictional stories every day, but if I’d been writing factual for a year or two it’d probably feel nice to return to fiction; which is a kind of greenYgrey catch 22 thing. The article is planned for TravelThruHistory next month. If anybody needs some paid articles writing please let me know.

The completion of the trilogy and marketing it was the first of three big dates/anniversaries this year.

I just completed another, passing the twenty years anniversary date in the day-job. While it’s not my ideal work, it’s usually okay, sometimes enjoyable, and has largely been convenient for my writing and running. In some ways it would have been better to be in a writer-related job, but in other ways it’s nice to do something very different.

Running Plans

I’ve signed up for the Riga, Latvia marathon on May 15th, and Jane Tomlinson’s Leeds Run For All 10km on July 10th, to hopefully finish my 12 years marathon ambition off. When I ran my first marathon in 2004 I planned to run one every three years until my fifth when 50, which is this year.

The 10km is a tribute to Tomlinson, who mostly inspired my running. It is the tenth event this year, and first I’ll do since the inaugural one in 2007.

Jane Tomlinson completed many impressive endurance feats after being diagnosed with cancer, and her Appeal legacy websitehas seen many new events created, and millions collected for charity.

I’ve got a fundraising page set up on Just Giving.

I don’t know if my legs have fully recovered from my ultra-marathon in early October yet, and my toes certainly haven’t. Only one of three damaged toenails has dropped off so far!