Twitchhiker | Paul Smith's travel tales from here and there

“That iconic stare” and other assorted tweets
06/02/2009, 19:04
Filed under: twitchhiker project | Tags: , , , , ,

Woke up this morning to an amazing tweet from @cliveflint. To clarify, the tweet didn’t wake me up, and neither did Clive. I merely read it on my iPod Touch while still in bed:


When @flashboy and I had done the live twinterview yesterday, he hadn’t mentioned the article might be published in the real world, so Clive’s Twitpic of Tom’s piece made me feel all gooey inside:


Then the goo turned into gushing fluid when texts started chirping on the mobile; it was splashed on the front page too! Less then four days after my first tweet, Twitchhiker has managed front page coverage on a national newspaper. I checked into my personal Twitter account and retweeted the good news, which generated this slightly dark message from @alexanderhorre:


That iconic stare. What the christing hell does that mean, then? Um. Gah. No idea. Next:

picture-5While studying French as a 14 year-old, I learnt the phrase I need a shopping trolley, where are they please? to the tune of a radio commercial jingle for AFG Darlington Motors in Darlington, believing it to be vital to an upcoming speaking test. It wasn’t. And so while I may be capable of requesting transport for my weekly groceries, it’s now the sum total of my French vocabulary. I’ve no idea what @eogez is talking about, bless her.

But that’s why God Yahoo Douglas Adams invented the babelfish:


In this instance, the babelfish appears to have gone on the lash with his friends Captain Stella and first mate Jim Beam. I can’t imagine what context would require mention of a Peking express train, but if you can speak the language better than a pissed-up fish stuck in your ear, please let me know.

Tweets aside, today saw a nice feature about Twitchhiker on BBC Tyne, and if you live in Yorkshire in the UK and listen to Galaxy (there are nearly a million adults who do) you might have caught me on Hirsty’s Daily Dose at breakfast time. In a former life I used to be the producer for Simon, Danny and Jojo; one of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t stay longer in the best radio job I ever had.

Finally, you can hear me ramble on about Twitchhiker with Nadine O’Regan on Phantom 105.2, Dublin’s indie-rock station, tomorrow morning from 11am. Now, time to put my dancing pants on; it’s @minxlj‘s birthday and I desperately need to get drunk after one of the oddest weeks of my life.


A great day, ruined by the fool in charge

Today was a prosperous one for Twitchhiker with plenty of press activity and good news, but success always comes at a price; in this case, that price was discovering the man at the top is an imbecile who should never be allowed to carry scissors.

That’ll be me.

Early this morning, I rummaged through your feedback from yesterday’s Twitchcast. Excellent work, tweeps. If I’m honest, my gut feeling is that I’m going to struggle to travel in an easterly direction. China, India and Russia all need visas, something my three day planning restriction simply doesn’t allow for. Flying from the likes of Dubai to Hong Kong (if I were even offered a ticket) feels like a cheat at this point.

On the topic of jabs/shots, a resoundingly sarcastic cheer of thanks to Julia who suggested:

Hi Paul, Why don’t you just go and get all the jabs, then you won’t be restricted. As Marianne says, you need Yellow Fever for South America – also for most of Africa, so if you’re having that you may as well have the rest ….. not scared of needles are you?!

Well now you come to mention it Julia, yes, I am terrified of them. Completely. Bloody. Terrified. So yeah, I’ll just have a nurse stick me with any live virus she can lay her hands on – in the arm, the arse, the eye, anywhere she fancies.

Oh alright, I’ll go and see a bloody nurse. Gah.

A quick blog piece before breakfast about Google Latitude has led to plenty of people tracking my movements by mobile and PC. I would point out my house will be occupied while I’m away. Thanks. Nice to get in on something at the beginning, and it’ll no doubt have its uses next month.

At lunchtime I took part in a live “twinterview” with Tom Phillips at Metro, the result of which you can see here. It was great fun to do, but some 30 people stopped following @twitchhiker during it; several people complained I’d spammed their timelines, others weren’t happy they could only see half the conversation. Continue reading

05/02/2009, 01:53
Filed under: twitchhiker project | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

In an attempt to watch the latest episode of CSI on Sky+ while simultaneously opening online accounts to upload my first Twitchhiker vodcast*, I managed neither to any satisfactory degree and furthermore missed a text from Paul Richards, a TV producer at Sunrise in Sydney. Balls. Spectacular multi-task FAIL.

I’ve got an inbox full of writing for blogs about Twitchhiker, my freelance work to keep on top of (although admittedly my commute into work involves little more than crawling down the stairs to my desk in the dining room – dressing for the occasion is entirely optional) and I’m heading for my fourth 2am finish / 7am start in a row. I’m exhausted and I’m 24 days from this trip even beginning. Pathetic. That’s not a moan, by the way, more a public mental note that I need to pull my finger out and get better organised.

After a great day’s coverage from the Guardian, tomorrow (later today) looks equally promising; an interview conducted via Twitter with the Metro newspaper, a radio interview for Original 106 in Aberdeen and a face-to-face interview with the local BBC website tomorrow evening. Given the orgasm of interest of the past couple of days, I suspect there’ll be a lull for a week or two after this, so I need to do everything I can to keep the momentum up.

* attention, Vimeo: informing me that it will take 120 minutes to process a three minute video will not have me whipping out the credit card for your premium service. Sorry about that. This is something else I need to consider; I need a quick and easy way to not only upload, but display lots of video from wherever I happen to be. Plenty of people have mention Qik but I don’t fancy the data charges from abroad. Any ideas you have, please shout up.