Friday, 25 December 2015


It strikes me one of the few constants in life is change.
Change can be small and imperceptible maybe all that changed today is you got a year older.
Change can be huge maybe you just made a lifetime commitment to something or somebody.
Change can be exciting, painful, scary and elicit hundreds of other emotions beside.

The end of the year/beginning of a new one is often the time to reflect on what has changed and what we would like to change in the future.

Home, marriage, work, family - I've seen massive changes in all these areas with much pain, sadness, tears and some joy. Some of the changes in my life will reverberate for many years into the future, some of those reverberations will be painful and some will bring peace. Change in these areas was needed and maybe even inevitable.

I now live in Birchanger village, the sign to the village is pictured above and in the centre of the sign, the centre of the villages title is the word CHANGE. Moving here and everything that has followed change has been at the centre of my life.

So what should we do about change - as it is inevitable one way or another.
It strikes me we either embrace it or try to deny or ignore it.
For too many years I took the later strategy to little effect.
To embrace change is the right answer even if that embracing is just being true to yourself so you know the choices you make are honest ones.
I choose to embrace the changes 2016 will bring.

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Friday, 30 October 2015

Spectre - can we have some normal villains please

This is my take on the film Spectre - it is not so much a review more a comment on my feelings and thoughts on the end of what is effectively a four-part story arc in the James Bond films.
** Please be aware there some potential spoilers **

Spectre picks up where Skyfall left off with M and his organisation under review and the 'double 0' program under threat of being closed down. James Bond is on the trail of the people behind Quantum and the other bad guys that came to light in the previous three films. So Spectre is essentially unveiled as the organisation behind all of the activity In Casino Royale Quantum of Solace and Skyfall. So the film brings to the end the story running through those four films.

The film itself Is too long partly because it's got so much story to get in. There are all of the normal elements of a Bond film in there just not as good as previous films and I think the obligatory car chase is possibly the dullest ever in movie history. Both of the baddies - the muscle and the mastermind - are very average. Christoph Waltz is a great character actor but this character suffers from repeating the whole Quantum role and there isn't any real menace.

So whilst it was enjoyable it is not as good as Skyfall, Casino Royale or Quantum of Solace. But it does bring all the stories together and you could very much watch all four films back-to-back.

Having watched it my request and plea is - Can we now have our regular James Bond back please!

James Bond films should be very much standalone with a big bad villain with evil plans that need to be thwarted and then it's all done and dusted. In this series of four films we've effectively had the same villain behind all four films being slowly revealed not just as a single baddie but a shadowy business organisation but the it is actually a global criminal organisation which actually is the mastermind of a boy who grew up with James Bond!

So enough with the running theme of bad guys that were behind everything in the last movie, let just have some baddies to kill and save the world eh James, for England!

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Thursday, 29 October 2015

Pure Audio Delights

Recently I have started to listen to a real gem of a podcast called Short Cuts

Its own description is "A showcase for delightful and adventurous short documentaries from the UK and abroad". However it is so much more than that.

The power of the spoken word and the genuine stories and challenges of life is so touching.

If you want to be transported to a world away from your own life and its troubles and to be weaved together with an eclectic wonderful company of people who will make you smile and cry and reflect on the wonder of humanity then give it a listen - you will be a better person for it.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

My favourite Member of Parliament

I am guessing but I don't think you will have heard the name of my favourite Member of Parliament, but then again do you know the name of your own MP - never mind what he or she does as an MP. Anyway I digress, my favourite MP is Sir Ian Bowler.

Why is he my favourite? It is not because of his views on policy or his ideology, as a staunch right wing conservative he doesn't match my centre-left social leanings. The reason he is my favourite is his willingness to be honest and open about shortcomings and hypocricy that other people in public life or indeed in government policy. Intensely loyal he doesn't attempt to curry favour by snipping or harping on about these failings, simply he doesn't ignore them rather he tells them how they are so we can consider these in light of policies to the contrary.

Never one to shy away from the limelight he regularly 'speaks' to the electorate via youtube and I share a few of his videos here. Enjoy...

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Growing Pains

Most of the time we live in our own ordered, secure world and don't ever look at it or ourselves very closely. Often it's not until you have an experience or meet someone that you are forced to confront yourself and how you view the world - how you will respond, act, feel, change...

The last few weeks have seen some major changes in my life which have seen different people, events and experience come into my world in a short space of time.

Maybe no-one could easily handle this much change without being affected in some or many ways I know I can't. But I can't keep hiding within myself and I can't run away.

It just leaves me the option of 'growing up'.

I say growing up because I feel so immature at times. Emotionally immature for certain. Ironically I think I can listen to others, be wise and mature, empathetic and even insightful but in the moments I have to deal with myself I am a mess.

How do you learn to handle emotions, when all you have done in life is to avoid, suppress or nullify them? They say being in touch with your emotions is a good thing, maybe like exercise where it is often a case of 'no pain, no gain'. One blessing in all this is some off the people I have spent time with in the midst of the pain and the strange thing is almost all of their first names begins with the letter A!

Well here's hoping that the pain I'm going through produces emotional muscle for the future challenges ahead.

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Sunday, 6 September 2015

Random Connections

Scientists tell us that all things are interconnected if only at an atomic level. We are re-cycled beings literally made up of the dust of the stars.

A good few years back there was a challenge called Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon a variation of the concept of the six degrees of separation that we are all connected by some physical connection to every other person. In this case all actors are only six steps away from having worked with the prolific Kevin Bacon.

But maybe more magical than that we humans are connected through the the most abstract and unlikely ways. Chance comments made which lead to concrete actions, difficult situations lead to connection and positive memories unearthed.

Over the past few days I have seen a couple of these connections being made/unearthed in the unlikeliest ways in my life:

  • The description of a birthday present of a work colleague influences a choice that results in a deep life changing conversation with a close friend.
  • The hurt and pain of the refugee crisis reflected on and connected with somehow ends with a time of laughter and joy from the reminiscing of school physics lessons with two lovely school friends.

Of course we must have these weird magical connections all the time but don't see them, if we could seem them all for even a few moments I imagine it being like the Auroa Borealis swirling around us everyday taking wisps of connections between us all.

Enjoy the connections folks.

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Sunday, 30 August 2015


Here I am
An open book if you will
So many walk past
Just browsing
Only looking at the title, the headline
Does it make them smile
Is it what they already agree with
No danger, nothing to risk
A kind soul approaches
And I am undone
Nerve-endings touched
Adrenaline flows
Pain and tears
I am exposed
If only for an instant
An instant that seems eternal
Wave upon wave
Emotions that I can't control
I don't want to control
Washing over me
Cleansing me
And then
The moment passes
Normality restored
Life continues
Nothing to see here

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