15th December 2019

My Kangoo Maiden Voyage

A map view of the places I went to during my holiday along the english south coast

Over summer, I nipped into my savings and got a van. I was racking my brain to and through whether to get one. Are they good value? Is there an alternative to diesel? How often will I realistically use it? In the end, if its something I want to pursue maybe I should go with it. Pretty selfish, right?

The carbon impact is a dilemma. I don’t depend on using a car but when I do use it, it’s usually on my own and travelling further afield. So I’m going to pay some money into a carbon offsetting scheme. It’s not perfect but the least I can do whilst I own it. I looked into electric vans and I just don’t have that kind of money right now, what I have signed up to is an app called Bla Bla where you can invite others to car share with you and get some fuel money for it. Because I travel frequently between Bristol and Southampton (a popular route) it will help feel less wasteful.


Fast forward a couple of months and my Kangoo is doing alright. I just got back from a second impromptu trip to Wales but I'll post about that another time. For now, I'll give a run down of her maiden voyage as I spent a week in September wandering the English south coast.

In all I clocked 548 miles (including a 20 mile bike ride). Rode 6 skateparks. Saw 1 seal and got 0 bike punctures. Happy days.

I've tried retracing my steps by creating this custom google map. Feel free to have a look over it in more detail. With the help of my diary, I was able to split out where I got to each day. Driving wise, I rather enjoyed it. The seat was super cushty. I could do with some more CD's though...

Beautiful morning to wake up to at Beachy Head. Super relaxed time and good nights sleep. Sad to find out it's a popular place for people to end their life...

Beautiful morning to wake up to at Beachy Head. Super relaxed time and good nights sleep. Had no idea how often people go to end their life there.


Car spotting in Arundel. This town had impeccable style! Mustangs, old land rovers and Morgans.

Car spotting in Arundel. This town had impeccable style! Mustangs, old land rovers and Morgans.

Noodles Noodles Noodles. What doesn't go with them?! I managed to save a lot of money on making breakfast and lunch out of the van. Also rather tasty.

Noodles Noodles Noodles. What doesn't go with them?! I managed to save a lot of money on making breakfast and lunch out of the van. Also rather tasty.

Hastings pier

Hastings pier


I cycled a section of Stane Street, a roman road that ran from Chichester to London. It's where my family name: Stanistreet comes from. More about this in another post.




16th October 2019

Olympus OM2n doodle


Last night, I managed to set aside some time to do some drawing. It's been a little while so I felt a bit rusty using layers and choosing which brushes to shade with but I got there in the end. This is a very loose drawing (with no true perspective or source of lighting) of my Olympus film camera - I particularly like the subtle texture I've managed to create on the lens ring. It's deliberately made to look strange, creating a 3d shape in 2d form is where the fun bit comes in.

14th October 2019

Summer prints


Mistakenly came out blurry but I love the colours. I remember this morning in Teignmouth, struggling to find somewhere to pee at 5am...


Heatwave spent in Josh's garden. These leaves didn't make it through the day unfortunately, due to our poor BBQ handling that torched the buggers.


A wander round Hayling Island never fails to put a smile on your face. I'm really pleased how this photo came out.

7th October 2019

Saving Svanskär

Save Svanskar boat towed out of the water at Underfall Yard in Bristol

Following a sad break-up early this year, I found myself with all this new time to spare. I'm not one to complain about having free time but it doesn't necessarily make you more productive unfortunately. Keeping busy did help take my mind off things and now I'm more motivated than ever to travel and experience new things. One thing I had always been interested in but never pursued was volunteering. Not sure where or when but if i could lend some spare time helping others then I could see the value in that - I've always been passionate about working on things. Also I didn't fancy taking up the gym or paying for some other hobby just for the sake of it.

So I entertained the idea for a little while, looking at ads on Reed, talking to friends and having a general scout for anything of interest. The National Autistic Society needed a buddy for 1-2 evenings a week for a couple hours so I applied. Disappointingly I never heard anything back and reflecting on it now, I should have fished for a proper response. It would have been really useful and rewarding working with youngsters on the autistic spectrum.

At some point along the line, I installed an app called HelpfulPeeps. A free place to post any favours or offer help to others. There's some incredibly humbling things happening on it, where total strangers impart knowledge, advice or offer help where they can. It's all self regulated and you're encouraged to swap skills instead of money.

"Painters needed to restore our boat" the ad read or something along these lines. When you clicked through to read more, it gave an account of how Greg and Tash came to own Svanskär, an old Swedish fishing vessel which had fell into disrepair. They described how much of a challenge it is and will continue to be but wanted to give it a new lease of life. There was no sign up to be a volunteer, more "any help is welcome". So that Saturday, I nipped over to Underfall Yard - where Svanskär had been towed out of the water in order to work on it's hull. Ultimately to protect it and keep it water tight.


Reusing some leftover wood, I created this A-frame sign for Greg and Tash to signpost their fundraising goal and encourage more people to get involved.

Since that first day, I've really enjoyed being part of something bigger. And whilst I have no clue about Boats, they've been really supportive and I've got to learn about knots, woodwork and Fenders (not the guitar). Everyone I've met has a wealth of different skills and ideas which brings so much to the experience. We also have a good laugh! There's no getting rid of me yet and I hope to continue helping them where and when I can.

If you want to know more or fancy getting involved, please send me a message or visit the links below.

For updates and a record of the work we've been doing, go here. If you're able to help us fundraise, you can donate here or help spread the word by sharing the same link.


12th August 2019

Spring Break 2019


Now in its 12th year, Spring Break offers retailers and influencers the opportunity to test next years snowboard gear from brands like Burton, Batalion, Dragon and Oakley goggles. My uncle has been to at least 10 of them in Kennertal and this time the test moved to a glacier called Hintertux in Mayrhofen, Austria. I had always wanted to go but had difficulty with finances and timing in the past but 2019 was my year to join in on the fun.

This was also my first time on the mountains and riding real slopes. I had learnt how to snowboard at the Milton Keynes indoor snow dome around 8 years ago so had a lot to remember and practice once I got there!

Austria is a beautiful country, I didn’t need to go there to know that to be honest but travelling by train from Innsbruck was incredible. We were staying in a backpackers hostel ran by snowboarders, which in its heyday was a very prestige place to stay in as it overlooks the river. We stayed there for 3 nights, partaking in pool and whatever was happening there in the evening. The food was strange and included with our stay - all I'll say is that it was very beige!



My first day snowboarding, you couldn’t see. When we arrived there was no snow to be seen but sure enough over night there was a blizzard and threw everything it had at us. I was like a lil kid all giddy with excitement seeing so much snow! Scaling Hintertux in a cable car was so eerie as it was quiet and you could just make out the car in front. We continued climbing until we met up the rest of the test riders. We were keen to ride anything we could regardless of the conditions (I didn’t know what to think to be honest and was surprisingly quite calm about everything), so we got booted up and headed up the mountain. That first day was exhilarating, knackering and naive all rolled into one. I say naive because my visibility was terrible and incredibly difficult to follow Danny down the slope, so much so I ran off piste a couple of times without a worry in the world - which is stupid!



By the second day, conditions had picked up and I was able to see the piste markers, I still couldn’t make out the scenery much but I didn’t dwell on that and got stuck in.By now, i was improving on my turning and control but still got wobbly on going straight - I hadn’t quite cracked that bit yet. Soon enough, the clouds lifted and revealed everything I had been missing out on before. I’ll never forget that feeling and sense of wonder. In a bid to prove myself and not feel guilty for slowing my uncle's day down, I said I'd join Danny to ride some fresh powder. Which according to snowboarders is like liquid gold! As soon as I dropped in, I realised I had bitten off more than I can chew. I couldn't keep up for too long and kept falling all over the place. The key in powder is to lean back more as if you're surfing on the snow. Little by little, I made my way down. Hopefully, next time I’ll be a little more more graceful!

On our third and final day, it was perfect. Blue skies. More control on straights. More confidence. We managed to start from the very top and scale to the bottom a couple times on this day. Carving really low and fast was so fun to do. When it was time to return our gear, it was hard to admit that that part of the holiday had finished. It was amazing and I can't wait to go back for more!



In the hostel that night we rounded off the day with espresso martinis whilst watching some surprisingly good British football that was playing in the bar. The atmosphere was raw and pumped, even so, we nipped out for a wander around the town of Mayrhofen. As it was out of season to go snowboarding at this time of year, everything bar one or two drinking holes was closed. It didn't spoil our walk as we wandered around the town, admiring the strange signs and buildings. The skatepark they have is great, a concrete bowl in a 'U' shape with rails and ledges that run around the outside. Must be good to be a local here.



In the morning, we headed to Innsbruck. I'd always wanted to go there after a video on vimeo basically sold it to me that I needed to go. Better late than never! I only just skimmed the surface of this beautiful city, so I'll be heading back for a weekend break sometime soon. Fingers crossed.