My name is Garry Daines, I live in the United Kingdom in a village called Earl Shilton in rural Leicestershire. I have a dry sense of humour and will happily laugh at myself when I do something daft. I'll often say something that I know will be interpreted in a particular way just to raise a smile and I don't mind being the butt of a joke if it helps to brighten someone's day. I can't help it but I'm the sort of person that will laugh at someone's misfortune when they try to do something they really shouldn't and it goes horribly wrong, as long as they don't get seriously hurt of course. You know the sort of thing, when someone gets up to dance on a table and falls off, or tries to swing across a brook and the rope snaps, or best of all when someone is so busy looking at a pretty girl that they trip over or walk into something. I would like to see a live comedy show featuring people like Ed Byrne, Dara O'Briain or Omid Djalili.
Friends say I'm funny, caring, romantic, sensible and respectful of others' views even if I don't share them. I keep active, eat reasonably healthily and love to cook for others. Every year I invite my closest friends and family around for Christmas dinner. One particular year the meal consisted of two different meats (three if you count the mini sausages) and a total of thirteen different vegetables, but I think I got the selection and quantities just right as by the time we'd all finished we'd all had enough to eat yet there was barely a child's portion left over. I often think I'd like to have friends around more frequently if I wasn't the single guy in a group of couples. My diet isn't completely healthy as I'm definitely a chocoholic and I've recently discovered Hobknob Medley bars almost to the point of an addiction, they're delicious. Drink-wise I guess I'm quite fussy. I don't drink alcohol of any kind simply for the reason that I don't like the taste, and I prefer coffee to tea to the extent that I've averaged less than one cup of tea a year in the last 30 years. I like Vimto as long as it's fizzy and Tango orange, although I've recently switched to Fanta Zero as it has hardly any calories. When I visited the US I drank Diet Mountain Dew for the same reason but struggle to get it in the UK. I mostly drink Ribena Light blackcurrant.
I like to walk and most days will spend my lunch break walking around the industrial estate where I work as it's very green with lots of trees and water, but I've not quite progressed to hiking yet though wouldn't rule it out if I met someone who has this as a hobby. In the last few years I've got into cycling as a form of exercise since I went out riding the Rock Island Trail in Peoria Illinois with my brother and his wife while they were living in America. I'm not a member of any clubs and don't ride competitively, preferring a much more leisurely pace around the country roads and villages. A particular favourite destination is riding the full circuit around Rutland Water as it's both very scenic and you're motivated to complete the ride as there's no short cut you can take. In 2010 I swapped my old mountain bike for a hybrid, and on average I'll ride anything from 10 to 30 miles a few times a week as long as it isn't raining. Having seen pretty much everything there is to see around where I live I'm hoping to get a bike rack for my car in 2011 so I can begin cycling further afield throughout the summer.
In February 2009 I bought myself a Subaru Impreza, but it didn't take long for me to start feeling the effects of rapidly rising fuel costs, and to realise that using it for my 60 mile daily drive to work was clocking up a lot of mileage which would eventually lead to some huge bills for an engine rebuild, so in April 2010 I bought myself a second car. Going for a diesel this time I bought myself a Peugeot 306, but long story short it turned out to be a bad purchase so in May 2011 I changed it for a late 2008 Vauxhall Astra CDTi SRi 150, a slight compromise in the fact that whilst it's a diesel again it's quite powerful and so trades some economy for performance, but I do have to live with it for four years so I couldn't cope with buying something I'd find totally boring. Having a second car as a daily driver has allowed me to limit use of the Subaru to track days which I began doing in 2011. Not only do these allow me to drive extremely fast away from public roads, I get to share some great race tracks with other like-minded people for the day. As well as using my own car on track I also hope to do a couple of supercar experiences, firstly an Audi triple at Silverstone in an RS5, TT-RS and an R8, and I'd also like to drive a Nissan GTR and an Aston Martin as, short of a lottery win, I don't see myself owning any of these at least in the short term.
I don't only like cars. I
was the first to get my bike license before my best friend and brother got
theirs, but unfortunately a single income doesn't allow me to pay for a
house, run two cars and have motorbikes as well so it's been a few years now since
I've ridden. My brother keeps telling me I should sell the Subaru and buy
a bike so we can do track days together, but I enjoy racing my car too
much to give it up, so if I am to do bikes it will be as well as rather
than instead of cars. There are a lot of really nice bikes available, but
I'd say my dream bike would be a Suzuki GSXR750. I was very tempted by an
offer in June 2011 for a novice only track day at Mallory Park for just
£199 complete with bike hire, so much so that I booked the day off work,
but as much as I'd like to get this ticked off my To-Do list I don't have
my own leathers and so in the end only went to watch, but what a day that
turned out to be. Having cycled down to the track I locked my bike up and
took a load of photos of all the bikes and riders from various points
around the circuit, but when I came to go home I'd lost the key to my
lock. After retracing my steps and unable to find it I had to get a friend
to pick me up and drive me home to look for a spare key, only when we got
there I realised I hadn't picked up a house key. Luckily my mum has a
spare, so after picking that up and collecting all the keys I could find
we returned to the track, but unfortunately non of them fit so I had to
get the organisers to cut off the lock. Better to destroy a £40 lock than
lose a bike worth considerably more, but even though it was a hefty lock
we were through it in just a couple of minutes, so it just goes to show
that whatever you use, if someone wants to steal it they will.
I'm not well travelled but am also hoping to rectify this in the next few years. There are so many places to visit I couldn't even begin to list them here but on my To-Do list are plans to cycle or hike in the Lake District, climb York Minster, go on the London Eye and see the many sights of London, visit Paris to climb the Eiffel Tower and see the 360 degree views from the 56th floor of the Montparnasse Tower, see Ayers Rock and the Great Barrier Reef, take a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, see Niagara Falls and the Hoover Dam, watch a MotoGP race, and watch an F1 Grand Prix race live in Malaysia or Singapore. What would really make the MotoGP or F1 unforgettable would be to get a grid pass so I could mingle with the celebrities and drivers/riders and hopefully have my photo taken with some of them, so if ever you're stuck for ideas for a really cool birthday present...
I really enjoy photography and like to take pictures wherever I visit, although more often than not I'm behind rather than in front of the camera as I don't feel I'm particularly photogenic. You'll find some of the pictures I've taken in the my photos section, and I'll try to post some of me soon although I'm desperately in need of some more up to date ones. I have a long weekend in Paris booked for July 2011 so perhaps this will present me with some photo opportunities if I can get someone to take my picture.