I’m CJ

I’m just a man who likes travelling around.

I like seeing new things and sharing new things,

meeting new people and connecting with people.

I take too many photos, but can you make too many memories?

There is of course a longer story to the journey that led to this collection of photographs and writings online. It began quite late in life; a score and a dozen years of life had passed with very little of remarkable significance occurring, before I found myself in room 44 of ward 27 in York Hospital. Apparently, at the time I was admitted with advanced Septicaemia, I had a 50/50 chance of survival. Whether that sounds mildly melodramatic, or just comes as a tad unexpected, I cannot help it in either circumstance. These things tend to come out of the blue and indeed if lacking in dramatic fashion, leave one a little histrionic. That summer I had many hours for my mind to saunter up and down the various meanderings of my life, exploring and reliving each twist and turn, each decision or uncontrollable event. It is cliché to assume I asked why we are here, or what was the purpose of it all, but when you’re high on morphine, you not only couldn’t give a poppy seed what clichés your opiate induced consciousness came up with, you find them all the funnier. I was glad I was in room 44 of Ward 27 and was able to take prolonged sick leave for the first time in many years. This was just the break I needed, I told myself. 

I digress. My mind wanders at the best of times, and now so would I. I made a list of all the things I wanted to do, when eventually discharged, but what should any one person wish to achieve in a single lifetime? I decided to be realistic and started small. Within a week I had solved a Rubik’s cube in a little under a minute, learnt to juggle, much to the ward nurses chagrin, and written a letter to myself to be opened on my 60th birthday. I needed to think bigger. I decided to pen any cliché and catchily sounding challenges and see what appealed. Around the world, too expensive; Pole to Pole, too expensive, Source to Sea…

The leaves had fallen, and the harvest was reaped by the time I was sent home. Snow lay on the ground by the time I was deemed fit for work. I used my annual leave to stay at home until the new year, but I knew I was putting off an inevitable decision. On New Year’s Eve, I was asked what I was doing with the year ahead and I couldn’t bear to reply that I was going back to work to daydream once more. On the first Monday of the New Year, my boss sat down to my much-awaited resignation letter, and I sat down to plan the first of many journeys ahead.

In 2016 I believe I became the first person to follow the Ure, Ouse, Humber river system in a single continuous solo journey, walking From One Side of Yorkshire to t’Other. Since then I have sought out challenges and worked my way through exploratory to-do lists as often as life allows, and it’s about time I shared some of those experiences, hence this very website you have stumbled upon. It’s a work in progress. So am I. Aren’t we all. For now join me on my journeys.