Building Walls and Levelling Hills – reconstructing a country cottage and garden

Major reconstruction at the village house. I’m quite a laissez faire sort of person, and I do like having a wild garden, but when functionality ceases to function it’s time to make some changes. In this case it was some quite major and expensive changes to the front of the property. We also had to replace the old small septic tank as 5 people living 24 hours a day can fill it very quickly and there’s currently no real way of getting it emptied without using a bilge pump (probably one of the worst tasks I regularity have to do).
What started as merely wanting to change the gate – a job I have been putting off for several years – turned into an entire landscaping project because there was the issue of having to remove a hillock in order to get a new one in. The property has been in use for several hundred years and different buildings have come and gone all over it – there’s also the worry of finding unexploded mines and artillery shells from the first and second world wars.
Heavy snowfall crushed the hedges making them useless, and parasitic hop vines choked the life out of what was left. So we decided to bulldoze the lot and put in a solid wall as well. The end result is much more land available and some pretty cool historical parts which will make a nice terrace once I learn how to rebuild ancient stone walls and root cellars…

Filmed with a Panasonic Lumix FZ300/FZ330 with a Polaroid UV lens, and a Xiaomi Note 8 Pro phone

Experiences Over Possessions – life is for trying not buying

I was inspired to make this video after watching several excellent videos from the Youtuber Fearless and Far ( The expression he uses, “Experiences over possessions”, and his attitude towards life, travel and other cultures is in great contrast to the modern disposable commercial Weltanschauung pushed onto society. He also reminds me a lot of myself in my youth. Before Me became 5 Me’s….

We only have a short time to live in this form on Earth and we shouldn’t be wasting it trying to constantly acquire junk and lead a sedentary existence – we should be trying to experience as much as life, and the world, has to offer. We should always be pushing the boundaries, testing our mettle, opening our eyes and minds to new things which in turn could improve how we live and how we think. The absolute opposite of a closed-minded and prejudiced individual who doesn’t want to travel or meet new people for all the wrong reasons, mostly through ignorance of how things really are outside of what the media, religion and politics tell us. Truly, if you want to have a better life then adjust your mindset to being free and don’t project per-conceived ideas onto other places or people without experiencing them first hand yourself

Filmed with a Panasonic Lumix FZ300/FZ330 with a Polaroid UV lens

Great White Stork eating a snake in my garden (actually a Slow Worm)

The biodiversity of the Slovak Carpathians is incredible. The Great White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) is an annual visitor, and many villages even provide large nesting poles for them in order to prevent them nesting on chimneys. Because they are a protected species, these massive birds have no fear of humans and can often be quite a nuisance. They are ingrained in the local mythology, though, and one famous belief is that if a woman sees her first stork of the year in a nest rather than flying or walking, then she will become pregnant.
My garden alone has numerous species of snakes, lizards and amphibians –

Slow Worm (Anguis fragilis)
Smooth Snake (Coronella austriaca)
European Viper, the Adder, (Vipera berus)
Grass Snake (Natrix natrix)
Sand Lizard (Lacerta agilis)
Common Lizard (Lacerta vivipara)
Fire Salamander (Salamandra salamandra)

Although I have personally witnessed the changing of the biotype over the last two decades. Years back when it rained the garden would be alive with fire salamanders, now I rarely see any – but we did have a large fat one the other day, presumably a pregnant female, which is good. Slow worms (legless lizards) used to regularly cross the lawn, many living in the compost heap, but nowadays even they are becoming a rarity. Both of these species feed on slugs and snails and as they have begun to disappear we have become infested with vegetation-eating slugs.

The most common snakes we would regularly encounter in the garden (even in the house on occasion, which is scary) are the adder, which is venomous, and its predator, the smooth snake, which is non venomous but has very similar markings. Last year I only saw a couple of stork-dropped dead adders and no smooth snakes. They had been replaced by the grass snake, which I would previously only ever encounter in pastures. There has been a clear and definite change to the biotype as well as the seasons – particularly in when they start and end, and we are getting far more common British species of birds, animals and reptiles than previously.

There is definite climate change going on, but there are many possible reasons for its cause – something I will cover in a later video. East Slovakia traditionally had extremely cold winters and extremely hot summers (annual temperature range from -30 C to +40 C), but in the last few years it has become much milder – -20 C to +30 C – and with much more rainfall.

Filmed with a Panasonic Lumix FZ300/FZ330 with a Polaroid UV lens

Lessons Learned From 2020 – Post Covid Reflections on the Past, Present and Future

Our lives changed. Our priorities changed. Many things we understood to be normal reality disappeared or became affected to such an extent that they became some weird dystopian version of their original form. Now, in May of 2021, I reflect on some of these changes and how the pandemic, and global reactions to it, affected my, my family’s and many others’ lives.
Many became impoverished, even homeless, due to restrictions enforced upon them and their jobs, businesses and livelihoods, while a tiny few prospered at insane levels to become the richest people in history. What will the future bring? Are we looking at some idyllic paradise or are we facing even more restrictions?
Health is the most important things you can have. It is the basis of all other thoughts and actions. But it can also be used as a weapon…

Filmed with a Panasonic Lumix FZ300/FZ330 with a Polaroid UV lens

Carpathian Adventure Motorcycle Ride – First Ride of 2021

A quick ride through Chernarus, almost… Sometimes you need to take a step back from getting too involved with all the negativity, chaos, lies and propaganda that hammer away at us daily. Sometimes you just need to let yourself feel free for a while, feel the wind and the elements. In this video I take you on a short trip to one of my favourite viewing spots in north east Slovakia, in the Carpathian Mountains. I’m riding Scarlet, my BMW F650GS. I haven’t ridden in about 6 months for various reasons and the feeling was incredible.
It’s not healthy to solely focus on all the bad things which are clearly happening around us. We’re also here to enjoy our short lives, to experience Nature and feel one with the planet. After all, if you can’t find pleasure in what makes you happy, then there’s no point in defending such freedom. There must always be balance.

For those of you who know DayZ, this area is extremely similar.

Filmed with a Panasonic Lumix FZ300/FZ330 with a Polaroid UV lens, and an Apeman 4K action camera

Humanity’s Future Is Online – And We Have No Say In The Matter

Ever felt like you’re not in control? That others make all the decisions for you? That you just see to go with the flow? That the world is moving at a much faster pace than you can keep up with? Or want to keep up with? What if I were to tell you that you’re most definitely not in control, and those that are plan well in advance. Most people, at best, can just try to catch a passing log and hold on as they’re carried along by the torrent that is life. But it is not a random stream of events. Far from it. Virtually every facet of your existence has been thought out, discussed and implemented. You only have to look at the previous year to know that there’s a point where accidents no longer look like accidents.
But in this video we’ll be looking at what the future has install for humanity. And for most of us it’s not going to be pleasant. It certainly won’t be as free as we’re used to. Many of us will find ourselves redundant – the fifth wheel in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the beloved concept of such organisations as Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum, the Davos Group, and the world’s elite. We’ll also be looking at the concept of our current lives being already in a form of virtual reality perhaps even in a simulation. And our future will lead us into an even deeper, less physical reality than the one we grew up in.
So many things are starting to come to a head, things which have been in the works for a very long time. What the final outcome will be, for us normal humans at least, lies in the hands of a tiny few. And we can only guess at what they have in store for us from their speech and actions.
We’ll also be looking at all the CEO resignations, Buffett and Dario’s murmurings about hyperinflation, and the looming food shortage crisis.

Filmed with a Panasonic Lumix FZ300/FZ330 with a Polaroid UV lens

Top 10 Songs About Travelling – Best songs about travel, rambling and adventure

Travel broadens the mind. Travel brings us close to both the Earth and humanity. By leaving the comfort of our homes, and those we know, we step forth into the great unknown and experience sights, smells and sounds we have only previously dreamt about. To sit in a little cafe on a dusty street in a far flung city, or gaze at endless steppes or mountain ranges, or to explore ancient ruins of long forgotten civilizations, or watch giant beasts roam the land, as much at home on this beautiful planet as we are. That is the essence of travelling.
In this video I give what I believe are ten of the best songs which capture the sensation of travelling, rambling and adventure. Many dream of travelling and visiting exotic locations. It shouldn’t be just a dream. This is your life, live it how you want. Experience everything – and everywhere – you can. While you can.

Filmed with a Panasonic Lumix FZ300/FZ330 with a Polaroid UV lens

How to remove a tick from your dog or cat

Ticks are extremely common, annoying and sometimes dangerous parasites, and they can be expensive to remove professionally. If you live in a rural area, or take your dog for walks across fields or through forests, you may face the problem of having to extract them regularly. In this video I show how you can remove ticks easily, cheaply and painlessly from your beloved pet.

The tick featured in this video is a deer tick (Ixodes scapularis), which can transmit hydro encephalitis and Borrelia burgdorferi (Borreolosis or Lyme Disease). This type of tick is also known as the black-legged tick or bear tick. Sheep ticks (Ixodes ricinus) can be much larger.

Filmed with a Panasonic Lumix FZ300/FZ330 with a Polaroid UV lens

10 Best Songs About Freedom – music to inspire you to be free

Music is an excellent medium to promote the concept of freedom and liberty as it is easy to express the emotions which being free and feeling free conjure up. I have chosen ten of what I believe to be the best songs for expressing the notion of how to be free – either being free or hoping to reach that state. Freedom is escaping an unwanted situation and remaining away from it, and it is especially connected to the sense of self reliance. Sometimes a good song or piece of music can inspire the individual to take that step and separate themselves from a place, a job or a relationship they don’t want to be trapped in. Everyone has their boundaries and limits, and most have a concept of how they see freedom. Hopefully, some of these tracks will inspire those considering making a break from drudgery or an oppressive situation to take the plunge and go for it.

The Top 10 list of songs about freedom starts at 5:21

Filmed with a Panasonic Lumix FZ300/FZ330 with a Polaroid UV lens

10 Songs For A Revolution – Revolutionary Themed Music and Socialist May Day

Every good revolution needs a theme tune – in the past, stirring marches and giant orchestral pieces were composed, but sometimes a simple tune written and sang from the heart can be enough to inspire people to rebel. In this video I look at ten of what I think are the best revolution-themed songs and pieces of music, written and performed by both famous and obscure musicians, but each extremely heartfelt.
I also look briefly at the Socialist May Day festival (especially regarding workers and pioneers), as it was such a major factor of life out here, and at the Czechoslovak Velvet Revolution, and the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine.
Disclaimer – Please note, and I can’t reiterate this enough, the choice of songs listed does not necessarily reflect my own political or cultural ideology. I chose them because they do what it says on the label, and they do it extremely well. No doubt some people will be offended. But, then again, some people get offended by the mere existence of another. If you are the type to regularly require a safe space, then this is probably not the list for you.

The Top Ten list of Revolutionary Songs begins at 5:37

Filmed with a Panasonic Lumix FZ300/FZ330 with a Polaroid UV lens