Southern Ridges Walk

After a few days of the hustle and bustle of the modern metropolis of Singapore. I was looking for a bit of an excape and ended up doing the Southern Ridges Walk This was quite an urban walk but the elevated walkways through the canopies of the trees made it quite unique.

How to install new fonts into Libre Office on Ubuntu17.10

I like Libre Office, It's free Open Source, professional and easy to use. But when I recently wanted to produce a high quality professional piece of wriitng. I found the fonts rather lacking.

Most of the guides that I googled on the web for installing fonts seemed slightly out of date, so I thought I'd write some instructions.

First you will need to download some fonts there are numerous websites and mine were in .ttf format.

The folder to copy the font files into is fond at fonts/ /usr/share/fonts/

So it was just a simple matter of copying the downloaded files into this fonts folder. I didn't have a ttf folder inside the fonts folder so I made one.

    mkdir /usr/share/fonts/ttf/

I then copied the fonts into this folder using the following command, you may need to type sudo first.

    cp -a  fonts/ /usr/share/fonts/ttf/

The -a parameter is recursive and makes sure that everything in the folder is copied. It took some experimentation to get the / slashes in the right place.

Then when I restarted Libre Office the new fonts were added


# Street Art in George Town, Penang

I found Penang a really interesting place and I could of quite happily spent more time there. Despite some flooding closing some places there were lots of things to discover including some great street art, which acted like a treasure hunt around some of Penangs alleyways. Here is some of the street art that I found around George Town, Penang, Malaysia.

If you look at some of the online guides and walking tours, you will find that some of the original works are wearing away or have disappeared. Despite this new works have popped up. The more famous works are by the Lithuanian Ernest Zacharevic. Who even did a TED talk:

Why I travel?

As you leave the train station in Leicester, you will notice a rather unassuming Victorian statue that on closer inspection turns out to be Thomas Cook the father of the modern tourism industry. It began in 1841 when he took 500 people on a train to Lutterworth (not somewhere on most peoples bucket-list). Since his first trip, tourism has gradually become mainstream and is now worth over 7 trillion dollars globally. Book to EbookThis first tourism became possible as the industrial revoloution had resulted in rising workplace standards giving workers a disposable income, free time and a need to put these new resources to good use.

This makes me think about the purpose of travel. Is wandering a natural itch, that is present since the time of hunter gatherers? Something that must be scratched and tourism provides it with a necessary outlet? Maybe the invention of tourism is a western distraction that serves no practical purpose past satisfying people's natural curiosity to gawp and be nosey. I notice that a lot of people who travel for a longer period of time are westerners. Like the Victorians, westerners have a disposable income, but is the western travel culture just a legacy of (Thomas Cook)[]? Is travelling just an extravagance of the west that has no wider purpose beyond our own vanity or is it an opportunity that much of the world's 7.6 billion population don't have the disposable resources to benefit from? I guess one answer is that many people that I meet from other countries are curious and sometimes envious about where I have been travelling, it is certainly a privilege that I'm able to indulge in.

I've done a reasonable amount of travelling now. Sometimes it consists of a fleeting visits to a city, sometimes it is slower travel and working abroad. Travelling can feel like self-indulgent procrastination, is it really worth my time? Is it meaningful and what are the benefits? In July 2017 I decided to give up my job, pack my bags and buy a one-way plane ticket to India. Depending on who you speak to, depends on whether people think that it is a good idea or not? This made me think a bit about the purpose of travel, so these are my views and why the positives outweigh the negatives. After two months travelling overall I feel happier and healthier and prepared for the next chapter that life will bring.

The Cons

It wastes money, It's bad for the environment (my carbon-footprint is massive), you avoid life's big decisions, it creates gaps in my CV. It's not always fun and at times can be risky.

Overall travelling is just being, you aren't creating anything meangingful or contributing back to society something that I really valued about teaching.

The Pros

It allows me to: Find space; to think deeply; to learn from others; to expand my horizons; to see the horizon; to take a new perspectives; to gain new experiences; to press refresh; to feel insignificant; to wander; to appreciate art, architecture and music; to talk to strangers; to read; to taste new foods; to leave my comfort zone; to learn new skills; to listen to others; to appreciate what I've left behind; for adventure; to make new friends and to strengthen old friendships; to feel alive.

Maybe travelling isn't an end in itself. It is not the destination, but it is a journey, a transition and a method to help you stumble across your next destination in life.
Thomas Cook Image coutesy of SteHLiverpool


Jodhpur is a city in the state of Rajastan in India and is on the edge of the Thar desert. It is also known as the blue city due to the colour that people traditionally painted their houses. On the hill above Jodhpur is a great fort called Mehrangarh, it was ruled by a Maharaja (an Indian King).

What are Jodhpurs?

The Maharaja of Jodhpur enjoyed playing lots of different games and one of them was polo (a game played on horseback), when the Maharaja was playing polo he wore jodhpurs (tight fitting trousers) and soon they became famous and fashinoable for horse riding in England and across the world.

Why did they paint their houses?

Houses were built very close together with a small alleyway in between, this provided shade for the neighbouring houses and kept the road cooler. Similarly, painting houses blue was a way to keep the houses cooler in the Indian heat. It was also a way for people to honour Lord Shiva (a Hindu God), who has blue skin. The Maharaja used to make everyone pain their houses, but today it is optional and some people haven't painted their houses for a long time.

Blue houses

The Mehrangarh Fort

The Maharaja


The Maharaja would of travelled to the fort on an elephant sitting on a Howdah (an elephant seat). The doors of the fort have to be incredibly tall to allow elephants through.

Some of the doors also have spikes on them. These are to stop attacks from an enemy army and to stop the enemy using elephants to break the door down and enter the fort.

The fort doorThe fort door spikesMaharina's handprints

By the doorway to the fort you can also see some handprints. These belong to the wives and female servants of the Maharaja. When he died they created these handprints, before sacrficing themselves and jumping on to the funeral fire. The last time this happened was in 1843 Some Hindus still believe that the souls of these widows live on inside these handprints.

The Maharaja still live in Jodhpur today in a new palace called Umaid Bhawan Palace, which was built in 1929 and is one of the largest houses in the world. Umaid Bhawan Palace