Long time but needed

its has been some time since I have blogged, I did actually start it all off many years ago to work through some stuff in my life, well not trying to be the person who is all take but it’s needed again.

I have a friend, this is a real person and not a alter ego who is actually me, the friend I met many years ago, about 13 year ish but I didn’t met him as a friend at the time, I eet him as my boss.

It was 2001 and I had just got a new job, it was a big step up at the time and with a new job you get a new boss, now this guy was a little scary, he towered over everyone, he was not scared to speak his mind any by god if you crossed him you were in for it, that’s the first impression you got, no bull shit,  don’t fuck up.

Now I had about 9 years working under him and I can tell you that first impression is not really the hart and soul of the guy. He would notice something was up with you and stay a few hours after he should have gone home to make sure you were ok, he would go out of his way for a practical joke and would be more than happy to remind you of it for many years to come (I still get to re-live mine), he would always help not matter how small or big the problem and be it work or personal. He listened, and I really mean listened and would always ask months later about things you had talked about, I have never really known a person like this before.

I have now moved on to better and bigger things and I can say with zero hesitation this would not be the case it is was not for my friend.

Notice how I say friend and not old boss, well that’s becasue he was there for me when I needed a friend, and always has been even though we don’t see each other very often, we have our little rituals now like a phone call to the other when they are having a sandwich at Dunlin airport (best airport sandwich BTW) or a chance phone call when calling another site. 
So the reason behind the post? 

He had a stroke a few weeks ago, at the time they drop words like “Mild Stroke” and “he is awake” and you start to fall in to what I like to think of as “it’s just a cold, you’ll get better”.

When we get a cold what happens? You get to the low point and then you start to get better, it’s not a stupid mind set to treat all illness like this but I have started to find out this is not the case in matter like this. 

Over the past 3/4 weeks we have switched from the initial shock of the stroke to he is awake to brain bleed to feeding tube bring removed and then to today, today is when the doctors could really give a good assessment, that turned out to be a servere stroke and lucky to be alive.

It’s kind of rock bottom, even though it’s been the 3rd time I have through “this is rock bottom” it really is, now i’m hearing “good chance of another stroke” and “unlikely to survive another stroke” and it’s hard to digest, they are also battling other medical complications and it’s a very fine balancing act to try and rehabilitate to lessen the chance of problems later from the stroke (and it is something that has to be started very quickly) and keep him as safe as possible.

This guy is 52, he has an amazing wife and 3 wonderful children. 

“The road to recovery is based on the person”

One of the doctors dropped this line, it’s make  sense when you think about it, like most things in life, the harder you work at it the better the result, this made me worry less as this guy does not stop, at all, for any reason to do something, anything. I guess he just needs the chance to try.

As with anyone out there we just want to fix things, when all you can do is wait it is hard, in a bid to keep busy I took it on myself to keep people informed, when speaking to his wife no one wants to ask the hard questions so I said I would pass along the information as it comes in, now I know this guy, he is a likeable person but fuck me I was blown away how many people contact me asking to be added to the update list, I that alone speaks to the person he is. 

The other reason i’m awake and typing in to my iPhone (sorry for spelling and fat thumbs) is I have been having nightmares, for about the past 3/4 weeks now, nightmares I wake from and remember all the details and don’t really leave me for a good few days now, I have never had this, not on such a regular basis now. It’s a safe bet to say it’s all liked.

I’m going to visit him in the specialist unit at the weekend, visitation is very restricted so i’m lucky to be allowed, i’m sure that will add to this stress but I just want him to know i am there for him, for him and the things he worries about, he wife and kids.

It’s funny, he is the guy I would call when trying to deal with something like this, he is the guy most people would call.


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Blackberry Q10 Calender problems

So i have the blackberry Q10 on but i have always had a problems with the calender.


My laptop and blackberry all sync (Active Sync) to a Microsoft Exchange server. I am based in the UK (GMT) and the server is in North America (Im guessing, GMT-5).

My laptop is set to GMT, my outlook on my laptop is set to GMT, i have checked my Exchange outlook settings and that is set to GMT, my Q10 is set to GMT.

If i make an all day even on my laptop when it filters through to my Q10 the time zone changes to GMT-5 making the event cover 2 days (only half of each day)

If i make an all day event on my Q10 it filters through to my laptop correctly until i open it, edit it and close it, once again my Q10 shows it as GMT-5.

In the blackberry calender it says “This even is displayed in local time, but was created in Eastern Time (-5). the local time the Q10 is set to is -0, GMT.

If i am invited to a meeting from North America the time displayed is correct, its only when the Q10 syncs with data i have entered on my calender.

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Q10 snag

I have to say the new blackberry Q10 is a good phone but I have run in to a problem with the word substitution.

I use it for some regular email I have to send so just typing out one word saves me loads of time.

Below is what I should get and what I do get when using the substitution function, oddly this only happens in email, things like BBM and whatsapp do add the text correctly.



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Lowpro Hatchback 22L review

I have a few camera bags and I do tend to buy crumpler bags due to the cost of the things I’m putting inside to keep safe, I made my way to the crumpler Manchester store to buy a camera bag for my upcoming 3 weeks of backpacking around Asia only to find they had closed that store.

As I was planning to leave in a few days I made my way to Jessops to have a look at what they had on offer, after trying a few bags out a decided on the Lowpro Hatchback 22L AW.

I wanted something I could pack my camera, a few lenses and room for use as a normal back pack.

To say I’m impressed with this bag is an understatement, it is amazing.


The compartment for the camera is on the lower rear side, so when you have you bag on your back the compartment would be against your back. I was worried from the photos you see online I would not have enough room but there is enough, I have;

•Canon 550D with battery grip
•Canon 18-55mm f3.5 stock lens
•Super-Takumar 50mm f1.4
•Jupiter 9 85mm f2
•Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 with hood
•Battery charger

Everything fits snug and there is no worrying tight fits where something could break while travelling about. The compartment is easy to get to and easy to get your camera in and out. The padded compartment can also be removed and there is a pull string cover that will act as a seprate carry bag if needed.

As a Backpack;

As a normal bag there is plenty of room for a jumper or light coat, it has some web pockets for phones, headphones, wallet, money or anything else you may want to carry. There is also a zip pocket for more valuable items. This compartment is separated from the camera compartment by a velcro divide that can be pushed down if you want to use the full length of the bag. The bag also front pocket with 2 sections both running the length of the bag, you would be able to get a small notebook or ipad in there, or like myself travel documents, medication ect. There are 2 stretch pockets on either side that are perfect for bottled water.

Once you have it on your back with your camera equipment and all the extras you tend to carry when travelling it is extremely comfortable, I was very shocked on how comfortable it is, the padding in the rear and straps offer great support and the adjustable straps made it vert easy to make small adjustment.

I have been tracking round Asia for a few weeks, at no point has this bad been uncomfortable, at no point I have I been struggling for room for my camera or anything else I need a backpack for and with the rear compartment for my camera I never worried about someone reaching and and stealing it.

And to boot it has a very good rain cover that offers all round protection.


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Just stop and look around

Yesterday after a week of hard work I was stood outside my hotel and it dawned on me, I was in Ankara, the capital of turkey, I place people save up and travel to and I had forgotten. I didn’t forget where I was but when its work it quickly becomes another airport or hotel room and my mind is always is always on getting to the cinema, getting the work done and then getting home, I sometimes forget the places I have been to.

I didn’t do much traveling during my younger adult life, you find most people do after school or uni, well I’m making up for it now, a little too much I have to say, in the past 3 weeks I have spent very little time at home, on up side of this is a tool my girl friend to Paris last weekend and I just had to cover the flights, my work covered the hotel room, but then I was off again and the next 2 weeks look just as busy, I think it’s not normal as the week in France I had I volunteered for but I did gain a huge amount of sound knowledge and a friend became a good friend.

So I’m home today but off to scotland tomorrow, I’m then back home for the weekend before Warsaw, Sofia, Krakow and then Katowice. Again it’s great to get to go to all of these destinations but I would like a little time at home, that should be 3 weeks from now where I get a down week, let’s hope so.

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On the road

I find myself around 7 months in to my new job, and it’s been a mix over the past months, some weeks it’s never ending, I land late Friday night and I’m out the door early Monday morning. Saying that the past month or two have not been like that, they have been ok with some general work but also some downtime. I think both myself and my lovely girl friend have managed to get used to the change in our lives, I know I make a big effort with such a massive change in the way you live your life and being away from home more it’s important.

To be honest I think we are both cool with the time I spend away, I don’t tend to miss any big events or plans, I do miss out on the odd “we are going to the pub tonight” when I’m away but the up side to this is the money, it’s more than we need to live and now it’s coming in I find myself buying things that make our lives better, well more comfortable.

The one thing I don’t like, and don’t think I will ever get used to is how quickly my day can change. Today I gave my girlfriend a kiss as she went off to work and our plan was to meet tonight and go to a gig, with in 2 hours I had flights booked for two European city’s and won’t be home for 3 days. I reminded myself this is why I get a good wage, and this is what makes both of our lives a little better. Saying this there is a little part that has to enjoy it, when you think there is a problem in any one of the hundreds of cities across Europe I get a call, with in 20mins of me getting that call I will have tickets on the 1st available flight, parts being shipped to meet me there, I land and get the problem fixed. It’s kind of a nice feeling to have, but I have to say the stress can be heavy during the time of getting there as soon as possible, I don’t find my self stressed when there and have to work some magic to get the problem fixed oddly enough, only in travel, I bet that’s got something to do with being in control, years from now I’m sure I will have a therapist, I’ll asked then.

But saying that I have, so far had some amazing times, now I have started to become more comfortable doing my job things have become easier, but also meeting new people I have started to find new friends, from Ankara to Krakow I now have people who I do see as friends 1st, then people who I work with and that’s a nice feeling. And with making friends comes going out for food and/or drinks (I’ll be honest it tends to be drinking) but as they are local it tends to be places off the main track so you get a real taste of what life is like in what ever country I find myself in.

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7 month flashback

so 7 months ago i had my 1st day in my new job after training, as i should have expected it would be hard and i would make mistakes but at the time you feel like you are going to be ok. i the memory i have is walking back to the hotel and i called my girl friend and told her i think i had made the wrong decision and i should have stayed in my old job, at that time i really thought i had. i was completely outside of my confront zone, there was a vast amount if new information to take in and i dont think anyone i was working with would have expected me to land in the job and have no problems, but i think its the way my brain is wired and i hate making mistakes so when i was it just felt crap.


So this week i found myself walking down the same street at the same place i made that phone call 7 months ago, it was just a great feeling to remember what i had been feeling that short time ago, it was great to have a reference for when i have come from and it gives me an idea of where i am.

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