Travelling Route 66 for Charity – Update

Hello my little demons! 😈

I wrote a previous blog post explaining about my charity tour of America, and why I’m doing it, here.

Since then, I’ve already done a lot of planning (yet, still a lot more to go!). I’ve come up with lots of amazing ideas, bought some maps, found some amazing resources and I’m finally getting there with the intial interary.

We’re doing a road trip down Route 66!

(c) Alex Damion

Now, Route 66 sounds like an easy thing, just follow the sign posts for Route 66, right? But Route 66, as I have found, has had many alterations over the years, bypasses and re-directs, bridges no longer used, cities and towns built up over it, even the start and end posts have moved.

The original Route was established on the 11th November 1926 (although, from what I can gather, it was being built before this), it was altered in 1930 to follow a completely different line between Springfield and East St. Louis. In the late 1930s, the route was redirected again to cut off Santa Fe. The original route used to connect gold and silver mines such as Oatman, but in the 1950s these were cut off, leaving Oatman abandoned. And a lot of the interstates that were constructed saw the Route 66 abolished, some even cut through the route, meaning it’s no longer possible to drive the whole of the old route anymore. I even saw one section is on private land now – and the owners were selling parts of it to keep it safe from further distruction!

As for the start and end points, these were also moved, both in Chicago and Los Angeles, which you will learn more about both when we come to do the tour but also in blog posts along the way. You can see the map below has the old and new routes, the red is the newer route, the pink/purple bits are the older routes.

Now, we could just stick to the newer route, the one that is mostly mapped on modern maps, but that would be too easy! So, we plan to travel down as much of the old route as possible (unless the road is too dangerous, a dead-end, on private property or no longer exists) to see the areas that those early road trippers would have seen.

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Originally, when I was coming up with ideas on what I wanted to do for this American tour, I was adamant to fit in lots. I wanted to see the Florida Keys, Atlanta, Washington DC, maybe visit New York city again, drive up to San Francisco up the California State Route 1 and visit the Bonnerville Salt Flats near Salt Lake City. When I realised doing the Route 66 will take a minimum of three weeks as it is, I knew we couldn’t do all of it. Well, not unless we can take two months off work and have lots of spare money! So, we stuck to Route 66. There will be other opportunities to see the others another time (maybe, if this one is successful, more road trips?)

Of course, we will be doing a few smaller things, such as going up to Milwaukee to visit the Harley-Davidson Museum (already got an invite), a two-day detour to see the Grand Canyon and another one/two-day detour to see Las Vegas (driving over the Hoover Dam of course!). We also plan to fit in a motorbike ride in Los Angeles, not all the way up to San Fransisco, but maybe at least to Pismo Beach.

We have a lot of ideas that we want to do along the way too, as you know, we will be doing this for charity; well, we have picked out at least four charities. One is close to my heart, one is close to Mozz’s, and the other two we both choose. Of course, I haven’t contacted any of them yet, as I’m still finishing off the itenary, and I have to sort out some personal things, but hopefully in the next few weeks, we can share! But we also have a few ideas such as little challenges or charity events on the route itself, one is even quite big, but again, I need to contact a particular charity to pull it off!

Although we have planned a lot of it already, not only researching where the old route goes, marking it on a map, what sites to see, what time of year to go, and so on. We still have a lot to do.

* We need to make sure we get the right visa; this isn’t just a tourist visit, we plan on filming and fundraising, this might not be suitable on a tourist visa,
* We need to work out the best camera equipment; do we spend a bit more to get a decent go-pro or will cheap action cameras be okay,
* What rigs will we need to set up cameras inside a car and on bikes/helmets,
* Maybe even microphones so we get a decent quality sound,
* We need to work out costs involved; visas, flights, fuel, car, insurance, food, side-trips, hotels, even the costs of bags, cameras, internet wifi dongle, subscriptions and software we might need,
* we also need to know which areas are American-Indian territory so we can respect their land (I plan on contacting the AIANTA – American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association for this too),
* And lots more!

I still have yet to set up a YouTube channel, get it establed now and practice filming, editing and the like. I also plan on getting my social media verified, which is very difficult to do. And of course, around all this, I work full time and I’m trying to publish a new book and write a memoir.

So, now I’m going to get back to marking sites on my USA map after spending two days researching the route and marking it out, then hopefully, I can contact the charities and get the ball rolling!

Watch this space!


Don’t forget to like, reblog, share, comment and/or follow!
I also recently had my hair cut off for charity! Read about it here!

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Catching out a Catfisher (Fake profile)!

Recently I was approached by a guy on Facebook, who turned out to be fake.

And why am I blogging about it? To raise awareness!

I tried to reach out to Twitter to find the real person behind the photos, and have since had at least one comment; “Why is it necessary to find the real guy?”

It’s not, really, but I wanted to the following:

  1. make sure the real guy knew what was going on, so he can report the profile and it have more chance of it being removed (he’s a real human being at the end of the day);
  2. have a real name so I can report the accounts – sometimes you need a real name otherwise you cannot report, I noticed this on Twitter!
  3. make a difference. I consider myself an influencer. I’m an author. I might not be popular, as I’m only starting my journey, but as such I want to use that rather small voice to make a difference. If even one person reads this, I feel like I’ve helped at least one person! Therefore, if I could get the real name of the lovely guy being the photo, it would make a bigger impact (although, because I haven’t got permission from the real guy, I have had to keep his identity private!)

First, let me explain what happened. I came across a Facebook page which shows tattooed men (I like tattoos and appreciate good ink!) and I came across a really cool back piece! I, with my silly sence of humour, said ‘Where can I get one?’ (and yes, I did mean the guy… although in real life, I am interested in more than just a guy’s good looks!)

A guy approached me and said ‘I’m here Alex. Hit me up!’ and had a profile picture of a guy next to a beautiful staffordshire terrier (a staff to us common people!), so I thought… hey, why not! So, I added him! (I’m a sucker for handsome tattooed men with dogs/cats!)

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I knew instantly, when he accepted my request, he wasn’t real. At least not the person behind the photos. He kept repeating the words ‘sexy’ and then said he was US Intelligence. Yeah, pretty cool, but you don’t need to be too smart to realise that those who are in any form of Intelligence, whether that is the US, UK or otherwise, do NOT openly admit it to people they hardly know!

Not to mention, I absolutely HATE it when people judge me for my looks, I don’t think I’m exactly attractive; I’m not a model, but I respect people more if they are actualling interested in knowing about ME… not what’s on the outside! So, even if this guy turned out to be real, I instantly took a dislike to him.

The other scary thing is… he was emotionally manipulative. I unfortunately haven’t got access to the messages he sent anymore, as the profile has been removed since (unfortunately not my doing!), but he said things like ‘don’t scare me off you’, after I called him out whether he was real or not. I’ve been in an emotionally manipulative relationship before, I DONT take kindly to it, and do not tollerate it at all!

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So, I had one of two choices; block and ignore, or call him out.

I was really worried about vulnerable people, including young girls, coming across this guy. So, I put it upon myself to do some digging! Within a few hours, I found the real guy!

I have a few ‘acquaintances’ who are models, so I asked them if they recognised the guy in the photo, unfortunately no one did.

I also tweeted, with no success! (Including a few models, although I don’t follow models – I appreciate the male body, but I’m not interested in goggling – so I know absolutely nothing about the modelling world, so I had to find some ‘male tattooed models’ in order to tweet, gave up pretty quickly with that idea! No one’s going to listen to a crazy English chick, anyway!)

Luckily, however, one of my friends managed to reverse search the images the catfisher was using and we found a few websites where the photos were being used!

Ironically, I came across yet ANOTHER fake profile on Twitter, thinking it was the real guy, but found the same ‘person’ on Facebook and I realised this was yet another fake profile! Luckily someone else knew the real guy in the photo and called him out on Facebook! (The Twitter profiles have been reported!)

I finally found the real guy behind the pictures!

I was hoping for a lovely dramatic ending to this little adventure, by messaging the guy on Facebook and hoping to reverse catfish the catfisher or something similar, but unfortuantely the catfisher has since been removed from Facebook, and the real model hasn’t responded.

[Image source:

So, why am I telling you this? To raise awareness! I’m not suggesting everyone does what I did, it can be quite dangerous to do! Especially if the catfisher knows a lot about you already! If you think you’re being catfished, or it seems too good to be true, it probably is! Follow your gut! Block and delete! If you’re worried, talk to someone!

And yes, some catfishers are after money. But NOT ALL OF THEM! Some of them are predators… and they can worm their way into your life over MONTHS… just because you have known them for weeks/months, doesn’t mean they are genuine! PLEASE be careful!

I have deliberately kept the names of my acquaintances and the real model behind the photos hidden! I don’t have permission to use the model’s photos, and this model is in the public eye, it would be unfair for him getting negativity because of someone else.

This goes for both women and men, men can be just as much a target! If you think you are being catfished or are worried about the identity of someone online, talk to someone!

Stay safe, everyone. x

I fell in Love with a Psychopath – Chapter 6

If you’re new to the story, please read the prologue here.
This work is my first draft and thus unedited, so may be subject to changes.

Chapter 6

What felt like an hour later – which was only ten minutes – Xander’s friend had come back. Which I was just thankful for something to interrupt the awkward silence that had engulfed us. I was nervously waiting in the silence, and standing in a dark street with a guy I barely knew. And Xander had the guy’s knife in his hand.

At some point after I had managed to sit down on the hard cold floor, Xander had gone over to the knife Devon had placed carefully in the middle of the street. He had walked back over to me, standing next to me, hovering strangely and not even leaning against the wall, while turning the knife over in his hands like it was natural to him.

After the adrenaline in my body had dissolved and my heart rate was back to a relatively normal rhythm, I felt stunned. I had just been involved in an attempted mugging. I realised afterwards the seriousness of what happened. Someone could have died. The guy had a knife. And I even intervened. The guy had swung round to face me, his eyes wide and half-crazed, and he could have easily stabbed me if Xander wasn’t quick enough to disarm him.

Devon walked up to Xander wordlessly with his hands out in front of him, holding something in his palms.

“What are you-?” Xander said, breaking the silence and I looked up to see Devon for the first time.

“I got ice,” Devon said when he stopped next to Xander and myself. He looked down at the contents of his hands. His face was still pale and he looked dazed like he wasn’t even consciously with us anymore. It was like he was a walking zombie. He didn’t even notice the absurdity of what he was doing and how he looked.

“You got ice?” Xander quizzed. “And brought it in the palms of your hands?”

Devon looked up at Xander with a worried expression and looked like he was about to cry or scream or something.

I suddenly burst out laughing. It was such an absurd situation. Devon was just standing there with a pile of ice in his outstretched hands and offering it to Xander like he was offering baby Jesus something holy. Forget gold, frankincense and myrrh, ice from Devon was much more precious.

What made me laugh though was the idea of Devon going into the bar and asking for ice. I had an image of the bar tender’s face as he just placed ice into Devon’s outstretched hands, while curiously watching his pale zombie expression and wondering if he was on drugs or something.

“Do you want me to…?” Devon started and went to walk away.

“No, Devon, just stay there!” Xander sighed and put the knife on the floor. I was wiping an escaped tear from my eye. Although I was unsure if it was a tear of humour, a tear from pain, or a tear from shock. I did feel a build-up of pressure in my chest that felt like it was about to burst at any minute, but I couldn’t cry around Xander, I didn’t feel comfortable.

“Give the ice to Jo,” Xander ordered as he started to take off his blazer.

Devon walked up to me and handed me the ice, I held out my hands curiously while watching Xander. He had passed Devon his grey blazer the moment the ice left his possession and was starting to undo the black shirt underneath.

“What are you doing?” I asked curiously.

But Xander didn’t answer, the shirt was unbuttoned and there was a black vest underneath. I could see some more skin that was originally hidden from the shirt and blazer. His collar bones were sharp and defined, and I could see a few dark hairs just below his neck and disappearing underneath the collar of his black vest. The black vest was tight on his torso and I could see an outline of curves on his body. Needless to say I was obviously attracted to the guy in front of me, but now even more due to his body. I felt warm suddenly. I had cooled down earlier after the adrenaline had worn off, even getting a little cold as the temperature was dropping outside. But just one glance at Xander in just a vest and trousers and I was instantly warm again.

When Xander tugged off the shirt, one arm at a time, he passed that too to Devon. Devon just stood there staring in a blank surprise with Xander’s blazer, and now his black shirt, over his arm. I couldn’t help by stare at Xander either, I was unable to take my eyes off him as I took in his large bare arms. He was a large guy underneath the suit. I knew that already though. But I was expecting to see a guy who was ripped, muscular with veins popping out from his arms. I’ve seen my fair share of men like that. The guys that went to the gym every day and posed in front of mirrors and took photos of their muscles. Xander, however, was just a naturally large guy. Large arms that you would struggle to get both your hands around, large shoulders to match. He was a bit muscular, I could see that when he stretched and flexed and I could see it on his chest too, but he didn’t have those hideous veins popping out of his skin and large uncomfortable lines. It was as if he was born that way. I had a random urge to wrap my arms around him, to see what it was like to hug him and feel his skin on mine.

A second later I almost gasped as he pulled off the vest too. I was aware of how quiet the street was around us, and I was aware that I was staring at him. I just wasn’t sure where else to put my eyes anymore. I could feeling myself getting warmer as I took in his large frame. He certainly wasn’t ripped like those narcissistic guys in the gym. He did have a definition on his chest, but he didn’t have a large six pack, it was just smooth and flat. A trail of hair which connected up to the hair on his chest and disappeared past the belt on his trousers. I tried to focus on what he was doing, but it was no use. I had caught sight of an ugly red and round scar on Xander’s chest. It was clearly visible behind the light sprinkling of hairs on his chest, clashing dangerously with his slightly tanned skin. There was also a very large one running down his right forearm, it ran nearly the whole length of his arm, I was even sure I saw another one running parallel on the other side. But before I was able to ask about either, I heard a ripping sound. Xander had ripped the vest.

“What are you doing?” I asked curiously, taking my eyes off his chest, stomach and scars and looked at the ripped fabric in his hands.

Xander then walked over to me – I tried not to look too affected by his close proximity – with a piece of ripped fabric and held it out in his hand. “Put the ice in this.”

I silently obeyed, putting the ice in the bit of fabric and he wrapped it up before handing it to me.

He didn’t offer to put the ice on my foot himself, he let me do that. Instead, after I placed the makeshift icepack on my foot and feeling a cold shiver run up my leg, sending goose bumps up it too, he wandered over to where the knife was on the floor and picked it up.

I watched curiously and silently as he started to wipe the knife with what was left of the vest. The next minute he had walked over to a bin and thrown the offensive thing into it. I heard a large ‘clang’ as it clearly hit the metal from within and he calmly walked back over to me and Devon, the rest of his shirt being shoved into his trousers’ pocket.

“Why did you just do that?” I asked, trying desperately to look him in the eye and not stare at his body.

“To get rid of my prints,” he said calmly, “I don’t want anything linked to me.”

I gulped. What he said really hit me. It sounded like he was the one who was the perpetrator, not a victim.


If you are interested in reading the rest of this story,
please see the links at the bottom of this post to get the e-book or paperback!


If you liked this story, please check out my other works!

Rose Garden Sanatorium – Prologue

It’s My Mistake – Chapter 1

Ender’s Love – Chapter 1

New Story idea! – Butterfly House

Standing up to Bullying – don’t stop the dreamers!

I found out this morning that people in the village have been talking about me (I’m not surprised, it’s what they do best; gossip). But what made me laugh was that someone mentioned I’m writing a book. I am. But I am doing so much more than that. And I don’t mean my university studies either. I mean my scheming. I have ideas. Ideas that I want to turn into plans. I am using my time to not only write (and finish my studies) but to come up with a plan for the future. The future isn’t exactly set in stone. But I have an outline of what I want it to look like.

In the past I have spoken out about my ideas, my dreams, some haven’t worked out (most of them actually), either because I changed my mind or because other things have got in the way (like my studies getting in the way of my plan to travel the world for charity), and I’ve had people ridicule me (including family) and try to push me down, but I haven’t let it deter me. It just makes me stronger. I don’t care what people think of me, think of me what you like, but I know who I am and I’m going to keep pushing to be the best version of me as possible.

Do you think Marie Curie would be in history books if she gave up when she was refused entry to Krakow University because she was a woman? She was later given two nobel prizes. She was the first woman to recieve one. The first person and only woman to win twice. The only person to win in two different science fields.

Do you think Galileo Galilei would be in history books if gave up when the church tried to thwart his ideas that Earth wasn’t the centre of the universe and revolves around a sun?

Do you think Thomas Edison would be in history books now if he gave up when he tried thousands of failed attempts to create the first lightbulb?

I’m not saying I will be in history books, or find the cure to cancer or even do anything worthy at all, that’s a bit pompus, but I am saying that people doubt people who may one day be brilliant all the time. That’s what keeps me going, when it feels like everyone is against me. I’m not interested in getting into a history book, I’m not even interested in being formally recognised for my efforts or possible future accomplishments. But I am interested in proving a point. Proving that people shouldn’t look down upon others, don’t push them down because you think it’s funny, to fit into a crowd, or because you think they’re just ‘talk and no action’, those people, with the dreams and the ones we should be supporting.

I am also interested in pushing people to follow their dreams, no matter how silly they feel they are (unless they’re morally wrong, then I have a problem!) and being the best version of themselves.

Yes, I am writing a book. I would love nothing more for it to inspire people. But I’m not building my hopes up that it will. I’ll push really hard for it, but I’m not setting myself up for a fall just in case. I am also studying psychology, and want to push hard to get a PhD one day, contribute in some way in the world of knowledge.

I also still want to do things for charity, it might not be that round the world trip, I did a charity abseil (found my weakness is in lack of support though thus not much fundraising happened, so am finding other avenues to help instead) but I also have the idea to set up a business, a social enterprise to bring people, companies, charities and the community together to make the world a better place.

Feel free to think “She’s all talk and no action”. I might not accomplish everything, but I’m going to still damn well try to do my best! But I don’t care what you say or think about me. I care about helping others. DONT push other people down to make yourself feel better, THEY might be the next Marie Curie or Thomas Edison!

Starting a Blog!

Hello everyone!

So, here we are… blogging! Going up in the world Alex! Well done!

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Alex, I’m the author of Rose Garden Sanatorium (coming soon!), I’m also a photographer, environmentalist and psychologist!

But this post is mostly about my writing, so…

For years I’ve wanted to write a book, I’ve had my mother tell me stories of how I used to write from the moment I got home from school and read her them from random bits of paper (those were the days before computers, sigh!)

So, I’ve decided to actually persue in publishing a book! And this is where I tell you all about my up and coming book; Rose Garden Sanatorium!

Rose Garden Sanatorium is a novel about a woman who gets thrown into a secret world of demons, werewolves, vampires and more, she finds herself in the middle of it, and her life gets turned upside down. But it goes from bad to worse as something happens, something to make her the centre of attention, and she has to decide who she can trust to come out of this situation unharmed!

I’m a huge fan of stories that seem ‘real’, so I’ve done a lot of research into the history of the UK, political and religious, I’ve sat down with a timeline so that the story follows with normal life, from when the sun wakes up to days of the week. It’s something that could quite possibly be happening right on your doorstep and you don’t even know it… 😉

It’s aimed at the older audiences, so it isn’t suitable for children, due to a few profanities, it’s also a bit of a horror story as well as supernatural, so there are some ugly characters and incidents! So be weary!

So, watch this space! As I will be posting/blogging about the journey I go on to write my book including the ups and downs! And I hope you have fun reading it as much as I have had writing it (and in a way, living it, it’s starting to invade my own personal dreams now!).

Prologue to come to a screen near you very soon!

Much love,
Alex. x