New TV Series: Charley Boorman’s Extreme Frontiers

Charley Boorman’s Extreme Frontiers

Series 01 – Episode 01
Air Date: November 28, 2011
Air Time: 21:00
More Info | Website

Tonight’s the night

Charley Boorman’s Extreme Frontiers: Canada will air tonight at 9pm on Channel 5.

Join Charley as he wrestles with an iceberg, visit the major Titanic sites, ride motorcross in New Brunswick and diving in Fathom Five Marine Park.

This is one show from Charley, that I have been waiting for, for quite a while.  I still would like to see him and Ewan McGreggor do another trip around the world on the bikes.

Pre-order the DVD from Amazon
Pre-order the Book from Amazon

Charley travels across Canada with his BMW R 1200 GS Adventure in a new four-part series.

The show follows Charley’s epic 10,300 mile journey across Canada, the world’s second largest country. Travelling principally on a BMW R 1200 GS Adventure, the series sees Charley and his producer/director Russ Malkin exploring all ten Canadian Provinces from East to West. Along the way, they visit three oceans and stopping off at many famous landmarks and areas of natural beauty, revealing a unique insight into the beautiful country.

Highlights of Charley Boorman’s Extreme Frontiers include:

  • Hunting for icebergs off the coast of Newfoundland
  • Dirt biking in New Brunswick
  • Wreck Diving in one of the second largest of the great lakes, Lake Huron in Ontario
  • Climbing 8,000 m peak Mount Fable in Alberta.
  • Experiencing the world famous Calgary Stampede opening parade in Alberta
  • Learning how the indigenous Tuk community survive in the Arctic circle
  • Flying over the Coastal Mountain Range in a glider in British Columbia
  • Heli-biking in British Columbia
  • Finishing the trip with a huge motorcycle convoy across Vancouver Island into Torfino


Update – Catch Up on episodes you’ve missed at On Demand Service:

Series 1 – Episode 04 Air Date: 21:00 December 19, 2011

Series 1 – Episode 4

Charley completes his Canadian campaign at the Pacific coast and a trip to a goldmine.

Available until 20:00 December 18, 2012

Series 1 – Episode 03 Air Date: 21:00 December 12, 2011

Charley and his crew attempt to climb to the top of the Rocky Mountains infamous Mount Fable.

Available until 21:00 December 11, 2012

Series 1 – Episode 02 Air Date: 21:00 December 05, 2011

Charley endures a rough ride at a rodeo and gets his head down at Canada’s most haunted hotel.

Available until 21:00 December 04 2012

Series 1 – Episode 01 Air Date: 21:00 November 28, 2011

Charley joins a daredevil group of dirt-bike riders through a dangerous Canadian forest.

Available until 21:00 November 27, 2012


Bosc Pear With Toasted Walnuts and Balsamic Reduction

Awesome recipe, definitely will be trying this one out.

Bosc Pear With Toasted Walnuts and Balsamic Reduction


A quick post to wish all our American friends a very Happy Thanksgiving 2011, hope you have a wonderful time with family and friends.

Holiday Gift Wishlist – Item #1

As another year draws to a close.  The holidays are only just around the corner, and we are all writing those (mental) lists of items that we would so love to be given as gifts by our loved ones.

I am not talking about that Ferrari 360 that you’ve always wanted.  I think it is unlikely that many of us would receive a such gift.

Number One on my list of items I would so love to have is the:

EXOdesk from EXOPC.  Estimated price: $1,299

The EXOdesk consists of a 40-inch HD desk has been compared to the the Microsoft Surface. The most notable difference between Microsoft’s product and EXOPC EXOdesk is the Price. The Surface retails for $8,900, while the EXOdesk looks more like a consumer product with its more manageable price tag of $1,299.

The desk is expected to be released in the early part of 2012.  If it turns out to be only $1,299… then I so will be buying one.  Only hope this one is real.

There is not much to the video, but it worth a watch to see what this puppy can do.

There is more to come soon.

Middleton/Morpeth Green-Laning November 20, 2011

Hello all, another great day Laning around the North East, this time I got a chance to drive my own car along these great lanes.

It really is a great social activity too, you help each other out no matter what happens… like when some one gets stuck… wasn’t too bad, just got stuck trying to get up a slippery hill.

Here is some picks from the day (Again these are unedited, normally I would edit the photographs, but I wanted to show the day as it was):

Thank you Dave for these two pictures, hard to get when you’re driving.







One tip I will give you on Laning, don’t try to drive your car through the mud, in the Low4x4 Gearbox with the Hand Brake on.  It really does not sound good.

Green Laning in the Yorkshire Dales

What is ‘Green Laning’ you ask?

Greenlaning (or two-tracking) is one of the least extreme categories of off-roading.  It is generally suitable for any four wheel drive vehicle, even with factory tyres and equipment.  The term greenlane refers to the fact that the routes are predominantly along unsurfaced tracks, forest tracks, or older roadways that may have fallen into disuse.   For a lot of greenlaners the main emphasis is on enjoying the countryside and accessing areas that may be seldom traveled by motor vehicles, rather than exploring the performance envelope of their vehicle.

Greenlaning is popular among All Wheel Drive (AWD) SUVs with limited off-road capabilities, being designed for only light off-roading in normal use.

The use of these Green Lanes around the UK are legal to drive your vehicle or motorcycle on.  However, as they are considered legal roads (albeit unsurfaced), your vehicle must be Taxed, Insured and you must have a Driving Licence.

It is great fun, you should try it.  Check out the North-East Laners Club (of which I am a member) for group Green Laning days around the North-East of England.

Some pictures from my day ‘Green Laning’ in the Yorkshire Dales on November 13, 2011.

This was the first time I had been Green Laning and was a passenger (this time) so it gave me an opportunity to get some great photographs.  These are un-edited.  This is what it was like all day.


Warning! Warning! – Rant Time! Subject: UK Drivers.

Good day to you all, it has been a while since my last post, but I have been working a tutorial that is quite extensive, keep an eye out for that.  Today I felt like a bit of a rant about a subject that really gets on my nerves… UK Drivers, check it out and let me know what you think in the comment section.

These days some things just simply get right up my nose.  Why is it that this country has simply given up on the quality of drivers these days.  What are they teaching the new drivers of the world?

Message to those who are traffic police – take note of my comments below and have your bosses do something about these ever increasing problems.

I am not say I am the worlds best driver by any stretch of the immagination.  I’m not, and I make make mistakes like we all do, but not constantly.  I just know how to drive, properly.

There is several things that really get my back up when I am driving the nations roads these days, below are just some of them, they are not in any particular order of preference, they are all just as equal as each other:

1. Not looking after their vehicle.

What has happened? People used to take pride in their vehicles, we used to spend a good Saturday or Sunday afternoon washing the car (or get the kids to do it – they like pocket money), and making sure everything worked on the car.

These days, people are happy to drive around in vehicles that are ready for the scrapyard, bits are missing, bits hanging off, broken lights (headlights, indicators, tail-lights, brake-lights, etc).

It is a legal requirement that if you have lights attached to your vehicle, they must work!  I appreciate that things do happen, but people are more content with leaving it until the MOT (which sometimes can be a year away) – it costs you more if you have a mechanic do it, anyway.

The worst part is, the government is considering extending the cut off point for new cars before they need to start getting MOT’s it is currently at 3-Years old, they want extend it to 4-Year old… Don’t do it.

2. Not using their indicators at all or incorrectly.

This one really gets on my nerves.  I have one thing to say…


It is not that hard, it doesn’t cost you anything, and it causes accidents when you don’t use them properly.

Little story – I used to own a Seat Ibiza Cupra Sport, it was my first car that I actually really liked and looked after it (see last rant).  I was waiting to turn right out of a side road into a major highway (in the UK it means crossing one lane of traffic), I saw an Ambulance coming from my right, with his left indicator on.  I thought there is no way he would get that vehicle round into the road I was sitting on with me there, as it was very narrow.  It was clear left so I pulled out – the ambulance was not turning left he was driving at 40mph with his indicators on and crashed into the driver side of my car.  My car was a insurance write off  which meant I lost my favorite car.

It is not only dangerous for other road users, it is dangerous for pedestrians also, if they can’t see that you intend to turn they are going to walk in front of your vehicle, and then it is you who gets angry and blast your horn at them.  Who’s in the wrong? You are.

One more and then we will move on.  If you are going round a round-about, you are supposed to indicate ALL THE WAY ROUND, not halfway round, and ‘not indicate’ all the way round and then ‘indicate off’ the round-about – what is the point…! I have no idea what you are going to do.

3. Forcing their way in.

This one is really annoying.  Why do some drivers think they simply own the road they are driving on, and think they can go where-ever they please.  They put signs on poles and on the road to tell you which lane you are supposed to be in for what you are approaching with plenty of time.  So why is it that some drivers simply push their way in because they don’t want to sit in traffic.

I will give you an example:  Where I live, we have a two lane road, one lane is designated as No-Cars (that means no cars – is it really that hard), the other lane is for all other traffic (including cars), this road can get quite congested.  People will drive down the No-Car lane simply because they can’t be bothered to wait in the traffic and then expect people to get out of the way when they want to be back in at the head of the queue, or wish to turn right at the lights.  You might be using your indicators correctly (this time) but it is not on, why should I let you in when I have waited like everyone else has.

4. Driving Slow.

This section is not only about those that should have given up the car a long time ago (I am sorry – if you cannot maintain the speed of the road/traffic, when it is 40mph do 40mph not 30mph – this might be because your reactions are not as good as they used to be or you cannot see as well as you used to – get off the road)

I know someone who is 80-years old and she has finally said, I know I am slowing down and has given up the car.

This is mainly about reading the road signs and knowing what they mean.  In England we have an obsession with doing 40mph in a 60mph zone, and then you wonder why people are driving so close to your back bumper.  If the road is clear ahead do 60mph, some roads are impossible to overtake on, it is not like a highway.

Please read the signs and change your speed appropriately, what really gets me is that you do 40mph in a 60mph zone and then when it changes to 30mph you continue at 40mph, now you are breaking the law.

I know there is no law against doing less than the posted speed limit, as it is a maximum speed, but 20mph less is pushing it a bit far.

5. Overtaking and then slowing down.

I will be driving along at 70mph (maybe a little bit more) on a dual-carriageway or motorway (highway), someone comes up behind me, clearly doing more than the posted speed limit, pulls out to overtake, overtakes me and then pulls back into the same lane, but then slows down to below 70mph… which means I then have to overtake them.

What was the point of overtaking me then!

6. Not staying in your lanes.

They painted lines on the road for a reason.  The reason, to distinguish which lane is which, and which lane you should drive in.  So why is it then, that when you get to a round-about you drive straight across all lanes to go straight on… how much road do you really need?

I should leave it there but this irritation brings up another one, not using your mirrors, you are clearly not using them if you are intending to go straight on at a round-about and not noticing the car that is trying to turn right at the same round-about, and then you wonder why they have blasted their horn at you.

Another one of those irritations, of not using your lanes at round-abouts correctly.
In the UK:

  • The Left Lane, is to TURN LEFT and Go Straight on.  NOT TO TURN RIGHT!!!!
  • The Right Lane, is to TURN RIGHT (Maybe on some to go straight on).  NOT TO TURN LEFT!!!!

If the round-about has more than two exits then you should be in the right-hand lane and indicating right, and then indicate as you leave the round-about.

I am going to leave it there, because this has turned into another long post, which I did not intend it to be.

Oh go on one more… Sorry!



When it gets dark TURN ON YOUR LIGHTS!!! Guess what you will be able to see better and what’s more people can see you… is really that difficult.


I really am going to leave there, thank you for reading.  Please post your comments to let me and others what you thought of the article and any other irritations that you think I have missed about driving the nations roads.

Just a thought… …fuel theft!

Occassionally I have these thoughts or ideas how it could improve our world, and many of these ideas never see the light of day.  So from now on, when I come up with an idea that I think the UK should implement that would improve a situation, I am going to share it.

Please do not steal ideas, I am not saying these ideas of mine have never been thought of before by someone else, and if this is the case then I apologise, plus if you think one of my ideas is good, then please get in touch, I would like to be involved in its implementation.

My first thought and idea I would like to share with you good people is about our silly fuel prices.  I am not going to go off half-cocked I have done some research to go with this as well… well here goes…

I am sure you must agree that fuel we purchase for our cars, vans, and lorries is expensive and getting more so every day both here in the UK and aboard.

We can continue to argue till we are blue in face that America is convinced that the cost of fuel is much more expensive than others around the world, but when we look at the figures, the UK is one of the most expensive places for fuel (petrol and diesel).

Fuel in the UK is currently £1.35 a litre (that’s approximately $2.15).  If the price of UK fuel was being paid at American pumps that equals $8.13 a US gallon.  This makes the UK the third most expensive country in the world for fuel.

On the other end of the scale the cheapest country for fuel is Venezuela: Caracas — at 2/3p per litre ($0.32) you could fill a 70 litre fuel tank for around £1.50 ($2.40).  While In Britain it would cost you £95.00 ($152.18).

Here is the list of countires around the world which has the most expensive fuel prices.

01 Eritrea $9.579
02 Norway $8.732
03 Britain $8.379
04 The Netherlands $8.368
05 Monaco $8.313
06 Iceland $8.277
07 Belgium $8.224
08 France $8.036
09 Germany $7.864
10 Portugal $7.836
11 Italy $7.731
12 Denmark $7.719
13 U.S. $3.45

Prices are in US Dollars per US Gallon.

Facts and Figures

It is the perfect criminal commodity.

Almost everyone uses it and everyone is feeling the pinch as pump prices tick up past £1.35 a litre – a price point that police say is putting fuel at the heart of a massive black market in the UK.

Thames Valley Police say the increase in forecourt fuel theft – or drive-offs – now account for one third of car related crime in the area.

Superintendent Gilbert Houalla said some petrol stations are being targeted hundreds of times.

“When we do interview people, we arrest them and interview them…we ask why and basically the feedback is that there is a big market for fuel, there is a huge market for fuel,” he said.

With 60% of total fuel price down to taxation, there is plenty of room for thieves to profit, a reality that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers say has lead to a new level of organised crime.


Apart from the price of oil rising, the government imposing tax rises, the cost to franchises around the UK, is impacted further by those people who with either absent mindedness or pure malice, drive off with a tank full of fuel without paying.

This costs the industry thousands every year!

Police and retailers have told the BBC they are seeing an increase in thefts of fuel from forecourts as petrol prices hit record levels.

As well as people driving off without paying, there is also a rise in motorists filling up and then claiming they cannot pay.

West Midlands police have devised guidelines to help station attendants spot potential “bilkers”.

Retailers are joining a debt recovery scheme to reclaim the unpaid money.

In the Small Heath district of Birmingham, Pc Lee Woolman says that each week he has to recover CCTV images of fuel thefts from at least one of the three forecourts in his patch.

Petrol prices rose by 10% in the year to December, and have risen 6p a litre in the past month.

A 2007 study from Australia found that for every 10c (about 6p) rise in a litre of petrol there were 120 extra incidents of theft.

Facts and Figures from Northumbria Police.
The number of crimes recorded as bilking/drive offs in 2010 in 687.


Facts and Figures from West Mercia Police.
Year    No of Offences      Value of Theft
2008    648                        £29,109
2009    967                        £43,988
2010    1031                      £43,923


The Idea

I have an idea which in part is used already in America, and that is to restrict the amount of fuel you are allowed to take purely by the amount you pay.  Making everyone who cannot pay by credit or debit card, must enter the store and pay for the amount of fuel they require before taking it.

Customer wishes to purchase fuel, they have two options:

Option 1:
If fuel is the only item the customer wishes to purchase then they are able to pay at the pump by credit or debit card.  Customer takes fuel and leaves.

Option 2:
If customer is not able to pay by credit or debit card and wishes to pay by cash or the customer requires additional items from the store.  They must enter the store, either pay immediately for fuel by nominating fuel amount £10, £20, £50 etc or they select the additional items they wish to purchase from the store and state they also require fuel of nomination on pump 2.

The store clerk sets Pump 2 to the nominated amount and takes payment.

The customer is provided with a receipt that has a 4-digit code printed on it.  The  customer enters this code into Pump 2, which then displays the amount of fuel they’ve asked for, and customer is allowed to take the fuel.  The pump automatically switches off at the nominated amount, after customer replaces the nozzle they are presented with an additional receipt for the fuel they’ve taken.  Customer leaves.

Using these options will completely eliminate possible drive-offs without payment.  This may in turn reduce the costs for the company and these savings can then be passed on to customers, reducing the cost of fuel.

So there you have it, a possible solution to a problem that is costing thousands every year, that could potentially reduce the cost of fuel.  Although I doubt we will get to 2/3p per litre, although it would be nice, to pay only £1.50 for a tank of fuel.

Steve Jobs: iChanged the World – Documentary.

The story of the extraordinary life of one of America’s most successful innovators and entrepreneurs: from college drop-out to one of the wealthiest men in the world.

Through interviews with the people who Steve Jobs knew and who worked closely with him over the years, Steve Jobs: iChanged the World takes an unflinching look at his difficult, controlling reputation, and offers a unique insight into what made him tick.

In a never-before-broadcast, rare interview, Steve Jobs expounds his own philosophy of life, and offers advice to us all on changing our own lives to achieve our ambitions, our desires and our dreams. Steve looked back over his astonishing career and explained the principles on which he built his success.

Scheduled for Air: Wed November 02, 2011 at 11.05PM – Channel 4

Information source: Channel4

The equivalent documentary will be shown in the US: Steve Jobs – One Last Thing, the documentary is scheduled to premiere at 10:00 PM Eastern and Pacific, although viewers should check their local listings for details.

Ocean In a Bottle

This was compiled in Adobe Photoshop CS5 from a tutorial found on the icanbeCreative blog.  I have kept largely to the format of tutorial shown, but I have added elements of my own and changed a couple of things around.