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TALL SKINNY KIWI | My Big 50 and 50 of my favourite things
The blog of Andrew Jones, digital nomad, travels and reflections
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My Big 50 and 50 of my favourite things


My Big 50 and 50 of my favourite things

Today is the day I turn 50. I didnt really expect to see this birthday, living a precarious life in some very dangerous countries, but there you go. Ohhhh . . . and I have a little gift I want to give you but first let me waffle on a bit.

Today, our truck is parked in Christchurch at Pascoes Park. If you live in Christchurch, come over and say hello and share some of my favourite foods. If not, feel free to say hi in the comments or, if you have yet to subscribe to my feed and the tallskinnykiwi newsletter, sign up (below).

I turn 50 today. Here are 50 of my favourite things.

andrew-Naked-Baby.jpgI am having some of my favourite foods today. A good coffee with real cream. Biscuits and gravy for breakfast. Hawaiian burgers (with pineapple)  for dinner which I will cook on my awesome camping grill and serve to the families where we are staying (its a trailer park). I like a hearty red wine (Aussie shiraz tonight) and the occasional crisp white (NZ sauvignon blanc from Marlborough). IPA is my favourite beer but I am partial to a porter on a cold winters night.

Favourite cities I have lived in include Prague, San Francisco, London, Auckland, and Portland, OR.

My favourite country as an exotic and mystical location is Morocco which beats both Turkey and China, also interesting but not as memorable as Morocco. Favourite city in Morocco is Fez.

Most of my favourite things have to do with travel and mobility, the kit of nomads. I like old backpacks, canvas tents, open fires, bbqs, old sleeping bags, old leather toiletry bags, and if I owned a car, it would be a Land Rover with a canvas roof tent.

I like motorhomes, camper vans and caravans. Especially old ones. We bought our first camper van, a 1969 Ford Transit, in California in the early 90’s and have lived in many of them since then. We still live in one. Here’s a photo of us and our truck with our family of 8. More about the family on our travel blog


I like taking photos and I am very lucky to have three awesome cameras. My iPhone 4 which I use all the time, a hasselblad medium format camera from the 1980’s that takes a bit more effort to use, and even more to process the film. And a 5 year old Canon D40 which was a gift from a dear friend and it is SO my camera – it feels like mine and I don’t intend to upgrade.

I get attached to things. Especially my favourite things. My wife has to throw out my shoes without me knowing because I would keep them forever. I keep things too long. They wear out and I keep wearing them past their usable life. I probably shouldn’t.

I wish I could dress like David Livingstone, with his gaberdine jacket and beige cargo pants, and when I am a little older, I probably will.Yesterday I found a pith helmet and almost bought it. Shoot! Maybe I should have.

Most of my clothes, including all my favourite clothes, are from second hand shops. I like old fedora hats. I bought my first one in 1988 at an estate sale in Portland Oregon and it just felt good on my head. I have been wearing them ever since. Since I tend to lose them, I am also always finding replacements.

I like black tea with milk. Loose tea in a pot, not a tea bag. Its the one luxury I will enjoy when I am really old and poor.

I like woollen clothes. I wear icebreaker woollen underwear which is great for traveling. I also have woollen shirts, socks, hats and even the linings in my boots are wool. Sometimes, when I dress up to give a presentation, I am wearing all wool. And on those special occasions, I wear my great grandfathers cufflinks (c.1890).

I like lollies (sweeties, candy) from New Zealand and one of my gifts today will be a “mixture” from a NZ diary (general store) which I hope will include pineapple lumps, jet planes, eskimoes, wine gums, milk bottles, jaffas, and those yummy coconut mushrooms things.

My favourite people in the world are either missionaries or monks. I could start to name them but I think I have reached 50 already.

Thanks, dear blog readers, for being a part of my 50th birthday and part of my life.

This is where you bless me by signing up to embarrassingly irregular newsletter. And that gift I told you about? I am working on a little book thing called “50” which I was hoping to release today and give to you but its not ready. When it is, I will send it on to you through the newsletter.

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