Adam Piggott

Gentleman adventurer

Month: January 2016 Page 1 of 2

The Melbourne Coffee Expedition.

Trying to find a good coffee in Melbourne is like starting a small conflict in the Middle East; it never bloody ends. Considering all of the hype and general wank levels that abound with what should be a quite simple exercise, you would think that getting a good coffee in Melbourne would be a simple affair. I had a simple affair once; it lasted a single night.

I’m sure that anyone reading this now who lives in Melbourne is immediately thinking to themselves, ‘What is he talking about? I know a really great place to get coffee where they extract the coffee essence directly from the foreskin of the original grower from some third-world shithole in Africa, and then their baristas infuse this with the sweat of their art-history professor’s armpit.’

Just shut up, you imbeciles. The coffee you think is great is just dishwater. There is no good coffee in Melbourne, or the whole of Australia for that matter. None, nada, niente.

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A sight to make all river-runners quake in fear.

The title of this post does not refer to an empty crate of beer two days into a week long expedition trip. This is a video of a whirlpool on a Latvian river a couple of years ago. Whirlpools happen when two conflicting currents  create a funnel effect. Anything taken into a whirlpool will be sucked down to the bottom and out along the floor of the river. So if it’s a deep river and you’re in a kayak, down you go.

Which is exactly what happened to a kayaker on the White Nile when I was working there. It was a big water day, three gates, and just before the lunch spot we had to navigate through a section of tiny islands. There were no rapids to speak of, just moving currents. But they were ferociously strong and very deceptive. What appeared to be a ripple on the water sucked the entire back end of my raft down. I held on by immediately threading my arm through the outside line and hanging on for dear life. The kayaker wasn’t so lucky. All he could do was ditch his paddle and wrap his arms in a bear-hug around his boat, his head resting on the front deck, all the while praying that his skirt wouldn’t pop. He spent around a minute underwater in his boat the whole time, which as we know has a fair bit of buoyancy.

Anyway, here’s the Latvian video. It gets interesting after the 4 minute mark.

A blast from the past.

The sequel to ‘Pushing Rubber Downhill’ is going well. I cranked out almost 5000 words in the last three days, and most of them are keepers. The book is going to be an amalgamation of a few of my Italian rafting seasons in the early part of the 2000’s, so it won’t be a true linear storyline of real life events. More like an interpretation.

However, I have struck upon a pot of gold, a true blast from the past. Back in 2003 when I made the decision to stay in Italy full-time, my first winter was a little bereft of work. To whit, I didn’t have any. I sat in a cold mountain cottage with my Italian girlfriend at the time and I did the only thing I could do – I wrote.

I wrote over 170 pages of material before I finally ran out of steam, and all of it was a dramatization of the events at the rafting base the previous season. The events were fresh in my mind and I got them down.

And I found that old manuscript, and it’s dynamite.

Don’t get me wrong; as far as writing ability goes a good deal of it is bad and some of it is downright awful. But what’s left is very good indeed. I reread it last night and I had tears of laughter on numerous occasions. That’s got to be a good sign if I was the one who wrote it in the first place.

But the real dynamite is the sequence of events. It goes down into great detail of the petty insecurities, the dramatic jealousies, the feuds, the love affairs, and the bitter confrontations. And that’s just in the guide’s house.

There was no way that I could recollect events to this level of detail, it’s just too long ago. The events in ‘Pushing Rubber Downhill’ were more general in scope apart from a few key scenes, and these had been such a big deal that they were literally imprinted on my brain. But the stuff I have now in my hands from over 12 years ago just jumps out of the page.

The challenge will be to incorporate it with what I have already, as well as to keep the freshness of events for the rest of the season. For the manuscript finishes at a point in the season when things are just getting going. I got to the end of it last night and I literally cursed aloud at myself. Why the hell hadn’t I gone on with this all those years ago? It’s frustrating, but it’s a good challenge. And I think it’s going to make a great book.

“Do you believe in spiritualism?”

Somebody the other day asked me if I believe in spiritualism. I suppose it’s because I worked for that meditation guru all those years ago that I get asked this stuff. So for the record I want to put this one out there.

I don’t believe in spiritualism, I don’t even know what the hell it means.

Here’s the thing; you can believe in as much crap as you want. You can believe that homeopathy is real medicine, and that crystals will heal your energy chakra, and a whole bunch of other stuff. But what only counts is where you are in the scheme of life. And one thing that I’ve noticed over the years is that the more someone believes in this sort of stuff, the less successful they are in the game of life.

Your personal success in is inverse proportion to how much kooky stuff you believe in.

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Things don’t have to work out for you.

A reader sent me a link yesterday to a youtube review that a guy at everything geekdom did of ‘Pushing Rubber Downhill’:

It’s always a thrill to hear what a reader thinks of my book but it’s even better when the person really gets it. Two things struck me while listening to the review. The first is that the reviewer mentions the word, ‘growth’ a number of times. It’s another way of saying ‘change’ which is the word I use to describe the same thing, but I think that I like growth even better. And if you’re not growing then you’re decaying.

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A change in my routine.

So today is day one of my new routine.

This being because I have, let me say, maneuvered my way out of the job that I have held for the past four years. Yesterday was Australia Day, which meant copious amounts of food and booze, but today is day one without a job.

Scratch that. Today is day one of my new job.

My new job is only going to be temporary, but it involves my writing. Here is my new work routine that I’m going to run from Monday to Friday:

Get up, coffee up, pursue the internet for an hour, (this is actually the same as what I’ve been doing for many years now.)

Work out for 40 minutes, shower and breakfast. Work on book number two until lunch.

Have lunch, (something freshly cooked), read a book made out of paper while eating.

Work on third book which I’m writing concurrently with the other one.

Write a blog post for my blog, (doing that now!)

Do some online networking for my published book.

Go for a walk. On Tuesdays and Thursdays go to cricket training.

So that’s my new daily work routine. It may last 2 weeks, it may last 2 months, I don’t know. The figures for the first day are quite good though:

2nd book: 1900 words.

3rd book: 750 words.

Tomorrow I will reread what I’ve written today and probably chuck half of it, but that will still be a good result.

Progress is measured in small but constant steps. It’s amazing how it can start to add up. Here’s hoping to some good progress and another couple of books out later this year.

Get yourself the Official Han Solo jacket.

Sometimes words can do something no justice …


The only problem of course is that it’s from a really shitty movie …

force awakens


Still it looks pretty cool, if not a little on the pricey side. You can get yours here.

Why Italians are not fat.

You don’t see that many fat Italians. In Italy. Outside Italy I’m going to presume that Italian fatties are everywhere. But inside the Italian peninsula they are quite rare, genetic variation aside. The old cliche of ‘big fat Italian mammas’ probably originates in Orlando, Florida.

I should know. I spent over a decade living in Italy. I traveled around. I saw stuff, man. And being a keen student of the human species and societies, I observed. You see, I like to work out stuff  but I am mechanically illiterate. So I need to satisfy this internal hunger by working out other stuff. And after observing for a while I identified that this was a problem that needed solving.

How is it that Italians are in such great shape yet they spend their days stuffing their faces with pizza and pasta and then they finish it all off with a generous serving of gelato, (ice-cream for you heathens out there).

Give the same amount of carbs and fats in these dietary delights to a housewife in Orlando, Florida, and oh boy, you’re gonna have a fatty. She’s going to be big and contrary to everything that Oprah tells you, she ain’t gonna be beautiful.

Thankfully for Western civilization and husbands everywhere I have successfully solved this culinary and lifestyle riddle. It’s not complicated so this post won’t be long. You may think that because this is so simple that it can’t possibly be correct. The universities of today are convinced that the value of any information is in inverse proportion to the length and complexity of its explanation, but I do not hold to the theory of windbags. In the real world the best truths are easily communicated. So here we go.

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On Changing Your Life.

Eight years ago I wrote a new thread on the 2+2 poker forums. It was in the El Diablo forum and I was nervous about putting it up. El D has high standards and you have to get special posting privileges to be able to post new threads. I wasn’t sure if this was going to bomb or be well received. But I wrote it up and this is how it went down:

“… A number of participants in this forum seem to fall into that slightly tricky age-group just after leaving school. Where you want to make changes but aren’t sure how. Where you want to make changes but don’t know what to change. I thought that maybe a few of us slightly older posters could share our own experiences with the younger set. Maybe they can learn from our mistakes, or see how easy it can be to effect change. It can be difficult when you aren’t sure and you receive conflicting advice as well as pressure to conform to the social norms. So here is how I changed my life …”

The final paragraph of that first post went like this:

“… So what do you do in this situation? The simple stuff. You find a place to live. You find a job. You make some friends. Ultimately change is about taking the steps. You always have two decisions available to you. Yes and no. Shall I do this? Yes or no. The girl was the catalyst that got me out of my comfort zone. Since then I’ve never looked back. It wasn’t easy. It was tough. But you try not to worry and keep your attention focused on what is in front of you. The decisions that need a yes or a no.”

I had expected that other older posters would chime in with their experiences. To my surprise everyone wanted to hear part two of my story, and things rapidly snowballed. For weeks all I was focused on was the thread. I would get up in the morning and read the replies from the night before, and then I would type up the next installment as quickly as I could before heading off for work. Sometimes I was a few days late and there would be frustrated messages from people wondering where the next installment was.

And from this came the book, which if you’re here you probably know about, and if you don’t, well it’s linked on the side bar and up the top so please feel free to purchase it.

But here is the ironic thing. Since I was a boy my dream was to be a published writer with people buying my books. And because of that thread on 2+2, I have achieved that dream. So while I wrote the thread to help other people change their lives, in reality, it ended up changing mine.

I think that’s pretty darn cool.



Chris Gayle almost blows it.

For those of you who don’t live in Australia and don’t follow the lovely game of cricket, you’re probably not aware that a West Indian player by the name of Chris Gayle is all over the news in this country for the heinous crime of flirting with a TV reporter. That’s right, it is now against the law to flirt. 


For this he has been fined $10,000 and a media storm has erupted. So far Chris Gayle has made only two mistakes. Firstly, his on-air banter with the reporter, (and I use that term loosely as I doubt she knows very much about cricket – let’s face it, she’s not there for her in-depth knowledge), his on-air banter was quite clumsy. I give him a 4 out of 10 on the old flirty scale. Needs to try harder is what should be written on his report card. His second mistake was a “half apology” at a press conference. A half-apology is almost as bad as an actual apology. Do not apologise, ever. It will not only get you nowhere, it will take you to a dark and foreboding place where the salivating media bays for your blood. Which is what they’re attempting to do to Chris Gayle. I’m surprised they haven’t offered the reporter “counseling” yet as this is the usual next step in the great propaganda machine of sacrificial offerings to the SJW crowd.

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