Sunday, 31 January 2010


some things are better left unsaid. some things come flying out the mouth whether you believe them or not. i'm with Aldous "I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself."

Friday, 29 January 2010


time to get the skateboard out again

photograph courtesy of sidewalk magazine

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

What is not

The Importance of What is Not

We join thirty spokes
to the hub of a wheel,
yet it's the center hold
that drives the chariot

We shape clay
to birth a vessel,
yet it's the hollow within
that makes it useful.

We chisel doors and windows
to construct a room,
yet it's the inner space
that makes it livable.

Thus do we create what is
to use what is not.
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching)

nothingness is not a reference to the absence of content, but rather to the absence of aggression. Lao Tzu does not advocate not doing over doing (the popular Homer Simpson mis-conception) rather celebrates the maximal doing with the minimal effort. the yin element is essential in all things.

the shopkeeper says,
"what is happiness? happiness is a state of mind"
an answer difficult to argue with. we decide and are responsible for our own happiness.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010


Today the shop keeper asks me:
"What is happiness?"

Saturday, 23 January 2010


I need to travel 220 miles. First i check the train prices my favourite (fastest and most environmentally friendly) means of travel anywhere and in any country: cheap advance fare £85. second i check the airplane prices just to get a little context: £75.20

aaaaaahhhh, i exhale the way a man does when he's so tired he forgets he's going to have to breath in again. the plane is 3 times quicker and costs £10 less but getting on a plane and flying 200miles on a non-essential journey over ground is a complete joke if you ask me. so, why is the plane £10 cheaper to travel 220 miles than it is to get on a train that costs a fraction of the running cost?

I'm walking along and a man walks past followed by the mysterious eyes of a woman wearing a burqa. is there anything more disgraceful to the human race than a woman hidden in a burqa? Nicolas Sarkozy said that burqas are "not welcome" in France, commenting that:
"In our country, we cannot accept that women be prisoners behind a screen, cut off from all social life, deprived of all identity"
wearing a burqu has been banned in French schools since 2004. thank God someone can still call a spade a spade "touché, appeler un chat un chat". Home Secretary Alan Johnson raised the UK terror alert from "substantial" to "severe" despite no intelligence to suggest why, best make sure and put our soldiers in the airport to play it safe ay? ah, wait, they're in Afganistan shooting people....inconvenient

America has sent over a thousand marines armed to the teeth to Haiti, taken over the airport and turned it into a military base. now planes full of aid, medicine and water have been denied landing while Chinooks swarm in full of bullets for what Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called a major effort to provide earthquake relief. i'd give you the link to the youtube video, but it's mysteriously disappeared.

i'm in a lot of pain, anger and irritation comes easily. my back has locked up again like it did in Australia, i can't really walk or lay down, my left shoulder can't take any weight or tension and my guts hurt from being burned and lasered by a surgeon on wednesday. to make things worse all i seem to hear from people left right and center is moaning and complaining about this, that and everything else. it's depressing, but i really do understand. i do my very best not to encourage or amplify negative sentiment as i walk along the high street in the town centre at midday in the dark, past empty bankrupt retail outlets while a well dressed student plays a funeral song on her amplified violin.

Jesus Christ what happened? did we lose a war i don't know about? sometimes i think that some people are happy being miserable, which of course is fine but it won't do for me. Another way to look at things is to look at the cause rather than the symptoms. where i live there is rubbish left everywhere, it really irritates me so i pick up rubbish and end up carrying it round for miles because there aren't any rubbish bins. transport is the same, taxation is extremely high to deter motorists, but the alternative is very infrequent, irregular and very expensive public transport. a poor alternative is no alternative at all. however, we should accept such things and have the attitude to either change them or live with them. life isn't easy but we're all in the same boat so lets get on with it. you won't get clean by rolling about in the mud.

Friday, 22 January 2010


i was hooked up the heart monitor,
"you keep fit?"
"not really"
the alarm kept tripping signaling cardiac arrest,
"don't worry about that, it's set to 'British'!"
"yeah we're guna have to stop having these healthy people in"
the nurse said as the alarm went off again. 45 BPM. ace.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Gordon Ramsay

it's easy to dislike a person like British chef Gordon Ramsay, the harsh language, the 'in your face' and often aggressive attitude. my first experience of him on the television i remember him hiding parma ham in a pizza then feeding it to a vegetarian who enjoyed it immensely, then telling him afterwards in a cocky manner and watching the poor guy turn white as he threw it up. i didn't entertain him for a few years after that stunt. i think it took quite a while before viewers came to accept him at all, never mind to actually like him.

One of my favourite television series was Kitchen Nightmares where he toured restaurants around England and later America turning round worthless businesses led by ambitious, but mostly deluded business owners, and in my opinion genuinely changing peoples lives for the better, leaving them with the skills to excel. good reality television.

i recently finished watching the first part of his new three part series titled "Gordon Ramsay's Great Escape" it's called this because things haven't been going well for the guy. in the new series he travels in India to find out about great Indian food from the richest and poorest places. a great show.

say what you want to say about the persona that is Gordon Ramsay, but, the bottom line is this: the guy is a winner. full stop. but a winner at what cost? well it comes at the cost of a few people finding him rude and i'm sure a few people being upset, but, the man is at the top of several trees with a list of accomplishments longer than an Indian banquet guest list in a career that doesn't take prisoners, it executes them. a person that constantly faces challenges (sometimes life threatening) runs marathons for charity and is constantly re-inventing himself and facing new fears without a moments hesitation.

personally i don't own a TV, and this suits me like smoke does a salmon. it helps me enjoy the sprinkling of television i have watched over the past year or two. no doubt a little of the guy goes along way, but i used to be a much rougher version of the person i am now. i upset plenty of people, rattled a few cages, told people how i saw it and thought very little of it. but i'm a smart guy and a cheeky monkey with it. i'll never forget leaving a woman in tears, then bumping into her years later and her thanking me saying that a bit of truth was what she needed. it's a mistake to be closed minded about any behaviour in a world where things are simply not as they seem, nor are they otherwise.

the media love to see a hero fall, but he's a fighter that won't stay down despite countless beatings. in modern Britain's age of extreme political correctness Gordon is a rare gem. the very nature of genius is to be at least a little mis-understood. and lets not forget, nobody needs a kick in the face but some people need a kick up the arse for their own good.

sorry, but it's true.

Monday, 18 January 2010


so i've taken to using the amazing 'older than me' blender given to me by the living legend that is my mother. these days diet is a very topical issue, and it should be. English diet is terrible, diet is a massive influence on health and bad diet is completely reversible and preventable. put crap in your body and you should expect to feel awful and to get sick. on the flip side if you've read a book on diet and tried to follow the instructions you might have found that most nutritionists are insane and following their custom designed diets makes eating a complete misery, how good it might be for your body then becomes completely irrelevant leaving me running for the pork pies screaming "i need it or i'll murder somebody!"

"Enzymes are organic catalysts that increase the rate at which foods are broken down and absorbed by the body. Found in plant foods such as fruits and vegetables, enzymes are destroyed when these foods are cooked. this is why fresh raw produce should constitute at least half of your diet. The quick and easy digestion of these foods, made possible by the enzymes will give you greater energy and health." (Juicing for Life)

if you're anything like me it's difficult to eat enough fruit or veg, and the stuff from the supermarket can often be rubbish and tasteless putting me off eating fruit altogether. however, stick it all in a blender and it's ace. thin it out with water, milk or fruit juice an even healthier add a little raw leafy green veg, like broccoli or kale (as in the picture). great thing about blenders is you can customise the drink exactly to your taste, you can vary the ingredients endlessly, you can ingest more fruit and veg than you would like to by itself and blenders are cheap to buy and easy to clean.

an easier, quicker and tastier way to eat more fruit and veg- great. because to put it quite frankly: if you don't eat fruit or veg you're f**ked.

Monday, 11 January 2010


If you haven't heard, allow me the pleasure of providing the link to an exceptional DJ
RJD2 went pop ($) and left a bit of a hole behind where he used to be. Z-trip plays the tracks i want to hear that seem familiar, that i have in fact never heard before. in my opinion that's what it's all about. fresher than a tube of toothpaste. if it doesn't have you shaking your fist in the air and shouting 'yes!' then donate your ears to charity because other people need to use them.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Soldier boy

screw driver in hand i'm fixing the door, the cold weather has made it stick and fail to close properly. in such icy weather i'm wearing my paratroop boots, plain green trousers, black jacket and a burglar style thinsulate hat (the only hat i haven't had stolen). this lovely ensemble is nicely rounded off with a Glock 6" combat knife securely holstered in my belt, the perfect tool to scrape out the ice in and around the door frame and shave off any splintered wood around the door. unaware they're in earshot my two new neighbours confer quietly as they approach walking up the stairs to the entrance of our building,

"he's a bit..."
"oooo i see what u mean"

i keep this amusement for myself. for me in rough weather, function often supersedes fashion. i often wear warm comfortable clothes, practical footwear and dark colours that don't show dirt. sometimes i look very much like a bad-ass squadie in civvis. difficult not to look like that in those boots without a load of dreadlocks on top of your head, difficult not to wear them in the snow when the soles are made by a tyre company and the fabric is thick leather, breathable, waterproof and they cost £30.

super hardened high polymer lightweight plastic cases the military uses to transport guns and rocket launchers i use as luggage for my laptop and camera gear. an LED torch housed in aircraft grade aluminium that's brighter, lighter and more battery efficient than anything in it's class. the Glock knife sharp and strong with a hole in the holster so it doesn't fill up with rain, a clip on the hilt so you can't grab it from my hip and the top guard which just 'happens' to be the perfect size to open beer bottles. fancy that, the standard issue knife of military forces worldwide has a hook that opens beer bottles....what a co-incidence!

i think the things that attract me to the military issue items that i possess isn't a romantic idea about war or an insecure attempt to project toughness to those around me, but an enthusiasm and excitement about things that work. i'm not a mechanically minded person that likes to disassemble things, take them to bits then repair them while putting it all back together. i'm a person that likes it when none of that is necessary. to buy and own things that other people might scoff at with distaste, but items which last me a decade, are beautifully designed, operate perfectly, are repairable and keep me and my equipment safe. quality long term.

i do think that it's a shame that such huge financial and intellectual resources are invested in weapons of war when they could be practically applied to improve human life with medicine, healthcare, logistics, welfare, housing, communication, peace and prosperity. i don't wear the boots to kick hippies, i wear them to keep my feet dry.


the blood clinic feels a bit like Dracula is hiding around the corner....!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

More Snow

snow, makes even the bins look nice.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

snow is brilliant