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Reflections

…on Racism and the EU Referendum Aftermath

I am angry as hell. Angry that the Leave campaign lied comprehensively, and have gone back on every campaign promise within 48 hours (including no millions weekly to the NHS and no change to EU immigration, etc); Angry that none of the Leave leaders have a clue what to do now – “We don’t have a plan for dealing…

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Reflections

…on the UK/EU Referendum 2016.

On 23rd June 2016 in the EU Referendum, the general populace of the UK will be asked to decide whether the UK should remain a member of the EU or leave the EU. This was the result of an election manifesto commitment from the winning Conservative party (more on that below), and since the date…

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Reflections

…on WHO, Bacon and Cancer

So the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has apparently classified bacon as a highly dangerous cancer-causing menace which must be avoided at all costs, and they are pretty sure all red meat probably also causes cancer in anyone who so much as thinks about it, and therefore in order to have…

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Reflections

…on the Hypocrisy of The Media

“What?”, I hear you cry, “Surely our beloved media can’t possibly be staffed by hypocrites?”. Well, I’m afraid it would appear that they most definitely are, as today’s papers prove. Yesterday there was a service of remembrance for those who fought and died in the Battle of Britain, on the 75th anniversary of same. All…

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Reflections

…on the First Moon Landing

At Rice University in Houston, Texas on 12 September 1962, John F Kennedy stood in front of the assembled audience and declared that “We choose to go to the Moon”; on Monday 21st of July 1969 at 02:56:15 UTC, Neil Armstrong took “one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind“[1] off the…

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Reflections

…on the Great Tax Avoidance Furore

Tax Avoidance hits the news again as yet another celebrity (in this case Gary Barlow of Take That) has been found using legal schemes to reduce his tax bill, and the full weight of the media and public opinion is being brought down upon him, with demands that he be striped of his OBE (thereby…

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Reflections

…on Equal Marriage in (parts of) the UK

I wasn’t going to write anything about this, but why the heck not? It’s a massive day for many people, a day well worth celebrating. For today is the day when it became legal for same-sex couples to get married in England & Wales (Scotland and Northern Ireland follow soon). Now I spoke about the…

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Reflections

…on why I’m Boycotting Sochi 2014

Friday 7th February 2014 sees the opening of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, where the greatest winter sports athletes from around the world come to compete with each other in a show of tremendous sporting prowess. Given how much I loved my visit to the London 2012 Olympics, you might expect that I’ll be watching…

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Reflections

…on the Internet and The Truth

The internet is, without doubt, a wonderful invention. The ability to have a vast array of facts, figures, opinions, research and information at your fingertips almost instantly, from all across the planet, is something which seemed like pure science fiction only 30 years ago. And with it brings the possibility of a huge Golden Era…

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Reflections

…on Tom Daley

On 2nd December, in a 5 and a half minute video he recorded and posted on YouTube, Olympian and multiple medal-winning diver Tom Daley announces that he is in a relationship with another guy and has been since the spring of this year, and that right now he couldn’t be happier. “I still fancy girls,…

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Reflections

…on New Star Wars Films.

So it’s official! Disney have bought Lucasfilm from George Lucas (for several extremely large wheelbarrows full of cash), and they are going to make more Star Wars films! It’s been announced that they aim to release Episode VII in 2015, with the next two episodes coming and 2-3 year intervals after that (and rumours they…

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Visits

Countries I’ve Visited

I’m gradually making my way round the world, step by chaotic and unplanned step, it would seem! Here’s a list of the countries I’ve visited so far. I’ll keep updating it as I visit more, and I’ll even add some observations on some of them as and when I get round to it (yes, it…

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Reflections

…on National Coming Out Day

Today, 11th October, is National Coming Out Day in many countries round the world (including Australia, Canada, Croatia, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America), so in the spirit of the day I shall come right out and say it. I’m gay. Which I know comes…

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Reflections

…on living without a car

(or… “Public Transport; Taking you from not quite where you are, to not quite where you want to go, not quite when you want to go there”).
It is now exactly 1 year since I sold my car, and I thought I ought to take a moment to reflect upon life without a car.

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Reflections

…on Apocalypse Insanity.

According to  some people (who ought to know better if only they would stop and think for a moment), 21st December 2012 will see the of the world (or, for the more overly-enthusiastic out there , the universe itself).  It is not mentioned at which time the demise will commence, nor is it mentioned which timezone applies;…

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Reflections

…on The Dangerous Nature Of ‘Reality’ TV

As I write this, it is barely a week since the greatest Olympics ever staged, with our country’s athletes across the board doing the best they have done for 104 years in terms of medals. Our nation was pretty much united in its support of not only TeamGB but also every other nation competing. The…

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Visits

London 2012 Olympics

What is it actually like to go and see an event at the London 2012 Olympic Park? I got the unexpected opportunity to find out for myself.

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Reflections

…on ordering beer abroad.

Travelling round the world, visiting new countries and cultures, always brings the risk of falling foul of the language barrier. Many places will tell you how to say helpful thing like “please” and “thank you”, but what about the really important things, like how to order two beers? Fear not, for help is at hand…

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Reflections

…on living with a Lotus.

Today I sold my beloved Lotus Elise 111S (lovely Bell & Colvill who supplied it from new and serviced it for me ever since were kind enough to make me a good offer for it).  This is the first time for 11 years that I have not had a Lotus (prior to having the yellow 111S series 2 I had the blue Lotus…

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Reflections

…on Redundancy and Opportunity.

On June 16th my position was made redundant (remember, it is always the job, not the person, which is made redundant) and so after 12.5 years there (23 years of regular employment in total through various companies since graduating) and so now, for the first time ever, I am officially (and unexpectedly) unemployed. It’s a …

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Reflections

…on The Royal Wedding.

“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were married at Westminster Abbey today. Members of The Royal Family including Her Majesty The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall attended the service at the Abbey, along with around 1,900 guests.” – http://www.princeofwales.gov.uk/ There can be few who were unaware…

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Gigs

Kylie, O2 Arena, London

This was the first time I’ve seen Kylie in concert; I have heard many times that she puts on a great show, so I had high expectations, Kylie had a lot to live up to!
Did she succeed?

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Gigs

McFly, Wembley Arena, London

[nggallery id=3] The UK leg of their Above The Noise tour reached Wembley on 1st April (originally scheduled to be the final date until other events necessitated the rescheduling of the first couple of dates), and also reached the computers, iPhones and iPads of many other McFly fans across the UK and around the world…

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Gigs

Derren Brown, New Victoria Theatre, Woking

This won’t be a review of the gig in the conventional sense – pretty much the first thing Derren said when he came on stage, and the last thing he said before leaving it, was a plea to the audience to not divulge any of the happenings, and rightly so – the show works far…

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Gigs

Russell Howard, O2 Arena, London

[nggallery id=4] First gig of 2011, and it’s Russell Howard filling the 15,000 capacity O2 on his Right Here, Right Now tour (he filled the O2 for two nights, it turns out. Perhaps comedy really is the new rock’n’roll). You know, that blond Bristol-born comedian off the telly. I first became aware of him on…

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Gigs

Status Quo, Wembley Arena, London

[nggallery id=5] My final gig of this year, Quo at their 2010 visit from the tour that pretty much never ends, it just changes its name from time to time. As ever, there was a huge range of ages in the crowd with pretty much all groups covered – people (or parents thereof) I spoke…

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Reflections

…on Swearing, Obscenities and Obsession.

A polite warning for those of you who may find such things offensive – this contains “swear words”. Lots and lots of them. If the use of such language does offend you then please just move swiftly on for I don’t want to cause you unnecessary offence. Still reading? Excellent. So, just what is it…

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Reflections

…on Social Networks.

Ah yes. Good old Social Networking sites. Where you can sit at the computer all day being sociable with other people sat at their computers all day, instead of just going to the pub and socialising in the real world with those same people. At least…

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Gigs

Stephen Hawking, Royal Albert Hall, London

When I heard that Stephen Hawking was going to be presenting a very rare public lecture, I have to admit I wasted no time at all rushing to snap up a ticket. After all, how could I possibly turn down the chance to hear perhaps the most brilliant, and almost certainly the most famous, scientist…

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Gigs

McFly, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London

As part of the build-up to the launch of their 5th studio album Above The Noise, the boys embarked upon a small and intimate 5-date mini tour of the UK, hitting Southampton Guildhall, O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, Bristol Colston Hall, Manchester Apollo and Edinburgh Playhouse…

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Reflections

…on Lost.

So finally, after 6 seasons and 6 long years, it’s all over, ending as it began.
Lost is finished, the story is complete and all the answers to the mysteries they are ever going to reveal have been revealed.

It seems that…

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Reflections

…on Voting Reform

As I write this, it is now three days since the UK General Election of May 2010 (normally one need only specify the year but this time round, who knows what’s down the road!) and we still have no real idea of who is going to form the new government. What is clear, however, is…

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Reflections

…on Mum.

This Sunday is Mother’s Day (it also happens to be my birthday, and also Pi Day, but those are topics for another time). However, today (6 days before Mother’s Day) is a less celebratory day, as it is 6 years to the day since my Mum passed away. 6 years! Where has the time gone?!…

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Reflections

…on the Pomposity of Blogging.

pomposity [pɒmˈpɒsɪti] (noun) from pompous [ˈpɒmpəs] (adjective) – affectedly and irritatingly grand, solemn, or self-important : “a pompous idiot who pretends he knows everything.” ORIGIN late Middle English : from Old French pompeux ‘full of grandeur,’ from late Latin pomposus, from pompa ‘pomp.’ Blogs. They are everywhere. Everyone writes them. They are, we are regularly…

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Gigs

McFly, iTunes Live Festival, Koko, London

[nggallery id=7]This was an unexpected gig, I have to say. I spotted that McFly were playing at the iTunes Live Music Festival ’08, so I entered the free prize draw for a ticket, never expecting to win, and sure enough, heard nothing more about it. Then on the Tuesday before the gig when I got a text…

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Gigs

Jean Michel Jarre, RAH, London

[nggallery id=8] Released in 1977, Oxygene has always been Jarre’s most successful album, and one he has revisited more than once.  In 1997 he produced a “sequel” Oxygene 7-13, and in 2007 he rerecorded Oxygene in its entirity (with the original synthesisers) to produce Oxygene – 30th Anniversary.  In support of the new version of Oxygène, he took fellow musicians Francis Rimbert,…

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Gigs

Focus, West End Centre, Aldershot

Focus.  I’d only knowingly heard two of their pieces ever before (Synvia, of course, and Hocus Pocus complete with its excellent yodelling!), but when my mates’ fledgling prog-rock band Merchants Vice (now sadly disbanded) got a slot opening for Focus, I came along for the show, not really knowing what to expect. This particular line-up of Focus…

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Gigs

Monsters Of Rock, Donnington Park.

Who could you have to top the bill with such guests as W.A.S.P.m Anthrax, Metallica and Dio? Admittedly Bon Jovi probably doesn’t spring to mind as the most likely candidate given such a line-up, but back in 1987 that’s exactly what we got for the Monsters Of Rock bash! Most likely because Bon Jovi were…

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Gigs

Queen, Knebworth Park

My first ever proper gig! Alas, it was also Queen’s last ever gig, but what a gig – over 120,000 people crammed into Knebworth Park on a gloriously hot and sunny day. I ended up going purely by chance – I happened to see a poster in a local shop advertising a gig with Status…

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