Monday, May 25, 2015

Shaken & Stirred. Earthquake Nepal.

Where to begin? Tough question.
Tough experience.

What remains of the magnificent Dharahara Tower in Kathmandu.

11.56am April 25th 2015

When the recent earthquake shattered the peace of Nepal I was caught right in the middle of it all.
Wilco Voulon, our friend Celine Hullemann, and I, were sat chatting and enjoying coffee on the first floor of Himalayan Java, on Mandala Street, in the heart of Thamel, Kathmandu (Just about the last place in the city that you would want to be under such circumstances, tall buildings, tiny streets, and packed with people and vehicles).
As we sat drinking I thought to myself "What's that noise?", a strange low rumbling sound outside; and then all hell broke loose. The building began to shake violently, stuff started falling off the walls. People screaming. Someone shouting "Get out of the building". We were already on our way.
Luckily we were close to the exit. The floor was moving under our feet, the doorway rocking from side to side, the whole thing was moving in three dimensions, and we were being thrown around. There was a lot of panic around us but I managed to keep my wits about me and remain relatively calm; perhaps it's a lifetime of solving problems, as an engineer, that gave me the tools to do that, or perhaps a lifetime of adventure that allows me to allows me to assess, and respond to, danger very quickly; who knows? I'm thankful for it now, whatever it is.
I was though still fighting the urge to panic.
We had to cross a small bridge, descend some stairs, and enter the street, before we could even consider anything else, and with debris falling all around us each split-second decision was gut wrenching.
I was shaken, like the buildings around me, to my very foundations.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Review: Carp Scene, Derbyshire. A new blueprint for specialist retail.

The new Carp Scene Superstore.

Some of you may be surprised by this, considering that most of my posts are usually travel or mountainbike related, but my real passion in life is Carp Fishing!

Carp Scene is a new angling superstore. It started life around 40 years as The Tackle Box in Somercotes, Derbyshire (my local shop). Around 15 years ago Mark Goodwin took it over from, the retiring, Terry Marriot and it started to morph, away from general fishing, in to a carp fishing store.
Then, a couple of years ago, along came Mick Hancox; who bought a share of the business from Mark and they started to up the ante. Mick was formerly a partner in the then uber-cool and successful Planet Carp in Nottingham (sadly no longer the store it was in those days) and he brought serious specialist retail knowledge to the table; along with the drive to develop the shop in to a big hitter. With a recent third partner, Nick Rhodes, joining the gruesome twosome, the investment was in place to make the next step. and so they did. And it is a BIG step.
What you might call a "game changer".