January 5th 2008

I'm Losing The Game

Posted on Saturday at 0.02 AM

I've been playing The Game now for about 3 hours.

I was doing really badly for the first thirty minutes, then things started getting much better!

Though I've now just lost...

December 25th 2007

Merry Christmas

Posted on Tuesday at 11.26 AM

Did santa bring you everything you asked for this year?

After the year I've had it would have been greedy of me to ask for more than I've already had. Its basically one year on from my return from Australia, loads has happened, far too much to summarise in this short post, but looking back over the year past, as I always do, I'm more than happy with the way things have panned out.

As the years go by, life does get better and beter, there is no doubt about that. It does have its low points of course, but at those times there are always the good times to look forward to.

Christmas has always been a family time for me, and this year is no different. Christmas with the family up in the highlands of Scotland in a log cabin is awesome! We're even going snowboarding tomorrow, how wicked is that? A fantastic way to end the best year yet.

Big love to everyone.

Chris.

December 2nd 2007

A Close Shave

Posted on Sunday at 9.45 PM

The last time I had a proper shave was a very long time ago. I remember hiring a car with some close friends (you know who you are :) ) from Barcelona in the summer of '04 and travelling right across the heart of Spain into Portugal to go to the Boom festival...what an amazing ride that was, random camping in the middle of nowhere, staying at friends of friends along the way and finding an awesome hostel in Salamanca. I've got some wicked memories from that trip.

I also remember it was the last time I had proper shave. August 24th 2004 to be precice. I remember that date clearly cus not only was it my mums birthday, but we were no our way out for some food and drinks in Madrid and it had been a few days since I'd had a shave, and I thought to my self that I really should have one before the 7 day festival, as there probably wont be another chance for a while.

Over three years have gone by and the closest to a proper shave I had until now was about this time last year when all but the mo came off in aid of Movember. This year I was a little slack for the month of Movember, but I still had a go, although I'm not very blessed in the facial hair department, but still I had a go.

When I woke up this morning I decided to get rid of the mo and go for the clean look.

I think I'm going to give this new look a go for a while and see how it feels. I've had a semi-beard for a while now, and its about time for a change. This is also the longest time I've gone without shaving my head so I'm a little bit furrier on top these days too (and its helping to keep out the bitter cold of the winter).

Brr.

November 7th 2007

A Night Out In Soho

Posted on Wednesday at 11.38 PM

Just got back from a really totally random night out. Completely out of the blue I got invited out for a drink or two and ended up in an amazing Thai fusion restruant somewhere on Wardor Street, then with a few cans started to stroll the streets and ended up in an art gallery chatting to two superbly funny people who know very well some very famous designers...!

We're going back there next week some time with some more beer to hang out in the art gallery drinking beer and laughing :)

London really is the place to be right now...hehe!

I don't write enough of this random stuff on my web site, and at the end of the day this is why I've got it here, to mark these hilarious times, so that I can look back and smile...and so tonight really needed a mention, because I've got a big grin on my face and it needs writing about :D

It's amazing over the course of the months that I've been living here in East London the amount of things that have kept this permanent smile on my face...as I walk to work each morning all these memories come flooding back to me and make me laugh out loud to my self, and make me thank full of where I am, and who I'm with...I'm sure all the people that walk past me think I'm mad.

October 13th 2007

Portal

Posted on Saturday at 4.07 PM

There is no sense crying over every mistake,

You just keep on trying until you run out of cake.

September 25th 2007

Friendly Recognition

Posted on Tuesday at 8.16 PM

When working for ANL back in Melbourne we used to go for coffee all the time. If I got there early enough I could be guaranteed that Matt, Carlie and Erin would be there and I could catch an early morning latte. Then at 10am we'd go for the morning coffee and have a rant about work, then again for just after we'd eaten lunch at the food place behind work, and once again maybe in the afternoon.

We did it so often we didn't even have to ask for our latte's any more, we would just have to take a seat outside and in a few moments we'd have our coffee's brought out to our table. Very awesome. They actually cared about us and would chat to us and know us by name. Really nice people, and people that also cared about the coffee.

I've been at Threadneedle now for five months and I have got a latte in the morning every day I've worked there. I talk to the very friendly people in there and we have a laugh, but it's very different from the Melbourne coffee experience I had whilst working for ANL. Every morning I wait at the till and pause just for a second just to see if after the five months they would remember my order and up till today it has never happened. Today as I got closer to the till, and not even in front of it, a person behind actually, they clocked me and shouted my order over to the crew of people who make it!

At last!

September 17th 2007

A Relaxing Weekend

Posted on Monday at 6.16 PM

After spending three of the most intense weekends in London so far, I was ready for a break, and since I hadn't caught up with my folks for a while I decided that I'd go visit them for the weekend and hang out at the family home.

What a great choice :)

I had an amazing weekend of chatting, eating, drinking and chilling out, a weekend well needed.

The past three weekends have been very, very good fun, I've got some brilliant stories to tell from it all and some very incriminating photos, but I did need a break from it, and what better way but by going back home and hanging out with my family? As luck would have it, my brother was even around for the Friday night and Saturday afternoon. The icing on the cake :)

Friday was spent in the front room drinking and catching up and talking about some of the family holidays we had. Some day soon I'd like to go back and have a photo evening and go back through some of millions of photos of all of us, the photos start a good thirtyish years ago (funny that), and I'd really like to see how much of them I remember.

Saturday we all went out for lunch at The Windmill, an awesome pub in Virginia Water. The sun was shinning the food was excellent, a real lovely way to start off the day! Steve had to go back to Manchester just after that, so I decided after I dropped him off at the station that I would go check out Camberley. It's been a while since I was last there, and I remembered why after doing a lap of the main square on foot. It really is a desolate place at the moment, a lot of it is shut due to a big leisure and shopping development that's going on right now, so it may well change when that's all up and running, but the Camberley that I grew up in is very much dead and buried.

I walked into Next to have a look at some jeans, and walked right back out. The air con was broken and it was incredibly hot...from there I went straight back to my car and drove to Farnborough Gate, I must have only spent thirty minutes in there, max. Farnborough Gate, now there's a place that hasn't changed for years...got the jeans that I caught a glimpse of in Camberley and went home.

Saturday night I took my parents out to dinner to a proper English country pub, The Shoulder Of Mutton. Really fantastic food, then back home so that I could have a drink!

Sunday my parents very kindly offered to give me a lift home, so I took full advantage and went home via a garden centre and stocked up on some cool plants for the flat, both indoor and out.

It really was an amazing weekend, I had a brilliant time, chilled out loads, got loads of sleep and ate some wicked food. I decided that I was going to do all the driving, one, so that my parents and my brother could all have a drink and two, I think I've had enough to drink over the past few weeks anyway :) I did have a few drinks but only when I got home and only a few, so when I woke up this morning I felt great. Not like the last few weekends, I felt so good today that I've even been to the gym!

But the best of all this weekend was that I caught up with my family, I love you all xx :)

September 2nd 2007

Wii Party

Posted on Sunday at 3.09 PM

I know quite a few people that have been banging on about the Wii and how great it is, and how it would make a nice addition to our front room, nice of them to suggest it hey?!

A few days ago Justin told me that he's managed to secure a second hand one with a few games, and on Friday it arrived!

Favourite games so far: Tennis, Laser Hockey and some random shooting game that's a little like one of my all time favourite arcade games, Point Blank.

So we had a little party on Friday night, Julz and Nicola came over and we got rather merry and physical :)

Really crazy night in which not only did I have my first real Wii experience, I also went to not one but two new clubs! When Julz and Nicola left our place, me and Justin went to the Rhythm Factory, which I've heard so much about but never went, which really is crazy since it's only about 50m from our flat! Then after that we went to 54, another club right round the corner from here.

Saturday evening was spent watching films and eating pizza, a real recovery day.

This morning I can barely move my right arm from all the pain I've got in my shoulder from playing all that damn tennis. I've also got quite a few bumps and bruises and some hazey memories of play fighting after drinking Absinthe back at our flat before passing out :)

August 23rd 2007

What's Realistic?

Posted on Thursday at 10.41 PM

I had a fit of giggles yesterday like I've not had for years...

As I was sitting in a rather boring developers meeting yesterday at work, trying desperately to think about all the stuff I've been working on for the last three weeks since the last one of these get togethers, so that I could do my five minutes of fame updating everyone, when I had my concentration totally shattered when Lee, who is one of the funniest people I've ever had the pleasure of working with, said, quite possibly one of the most hilarious, quick witted, topical, right on point and geeky responses to a question I've ever heard...

He was talking about the state of the project that him and me are ploughing all of our time into at the moment, Falcon, and the question was something along the lines of: 'Do you think the project delivery time scales are realistic?'

He turned round, looked the guy right in the eye and his response, with a completely straight face, sharp as a razor and with out a single moment of hesitation, was this: 'That depends on what you mean by realistic, Transformers the movie looks pretty realistic, but you don't expect to see Optimus Prime running down the street when you walk out side, do you?'

FUCKING BRILLIANT!!!1

The chaos of laughter that followed in my mind made me lose complete track of what I was going to say, and I ended up giving a thirty second rather woolly outline of what I've been doing, because I couldn't get what he said out of my mind.

Lee you're a genius mate :)

August 17th 2007

To Sum Things Up...

Posted on Friday at 6.05 PM

I've had one of the most mental years this year...then again, I find my self saying that every year actually, and once again, it's happened.

Moving back from Australia, moving in with the parents, getting my old job back, moving to London, and getting a job, all riddled with wicked warehouse parties, birthdays, stag weekends, weddings, family get togethers random house parties, pubs, bars and guest list VIP entry to clubs, and the most amazing festival I've been to yet, not to mention my 30th birthday.

It's been a fucking busy year, make no mistake. Sorry for the profanity there, but I think its deserving!

To be fair, writing things on here has been the last thing on my mind over the past few months of online silence, not only have I had a completely full social schedule, I've also been doing a crazy amount of overtime at work, so that last thing I think about in the precious few minutes I've got at home is to fire up the laptop and write about what's going on.

I've taken loads of photos over the whole summer, and even got myself a new camera (Canon 950IS, cus I lost my faithful Ixus i whilst being very messy on the last day of the Fusion festival) and very nice it is to. So I've got the whole summer documented, I just need to get round to getting them all up on Flickr. I will soon, I promise.

Right now though, I'm sitting on the balcony with a beer waiting for my brother to come over so that we can get very drunk, go for another amazing curry in one of the places on my door step, and have some fun with one of his last weekends of living in London before he goes back up north to Manchester.

Peace out people.

June 21st 2007

Happy Solstice

Posted on Thursday at 0.17 AM

Just a quick note to say happy solstice.

Welcome to the longest day of the year, 16h 38m 24s of fun to be had, make the best use of it :)

June 14th 2007

Detox Over

Posted on Thursday at 10.40 PM

After the obscene amount of alcohol I (we) got through on Martin's stag weekend in Hamburg the weekend before last, and the way the summer diary is looking already, I decided to give up the party juice for as long as I could.

As long as I could really ment until Martin's and Aurélie's wedding in France this weekend, which would have been two days shy of two whole weeks with out a drink, but I am week and I couldn't last the distance, and I'm writing this with a can of Kronenbourg under my chin :)

But when I think about this seriously, this has probably been the longest I've been without any alcohol for years, really years and years. I've no idea when the last time would've been since I went this long. Certainly alcohol played an almost daily role in my life back in Melbourne, and even before that I was out almost every weekend for as many years as I can remember, and the weekends I wasn't out I was at home with a good bottle of red.

Mmm, problem? Haha, no way :)

This weekend really marks the starts of the summers madness as every weekend is booked out until August now, and even then there are some tentative plans being put into place for after then, so the past week or so really was my last chance to give my body a rest before the fun really starts this weekend.

By saying that I was going alright with the detox up until tonight makes it sound like it was a struggle not to drink when it wasn't, it's really been quite nice this past week or so coming home on time and sorting stuff out at, not hanging out after work and getting home late and drunk. Its given me some quality time to spend with my self, and means that I can get up on time and get to work compos mentis, which is important in these early stages of my new job.

But that's all over now, and I decided to start the summer off early by having a drink tonight with Justin and René while we enjoyed our Brick Lane curry at our flat overlooking London. How could I resist hey?!

Here's to the summer, chin chin.

June 11th 2007

Party Time

Posted on Monday at 10.21 PM

In two weeks and three day's I'll be 30.

And you know what? I'm really looking forward to it. Apart from a few minor set backs (we wont go into any of those shall we) things haven't gone all that bad for me at all so far. Things have sorted them selves out nicely and the road ahead is looking brighter by the day.

I'm really going to need those sun glasses soon that I've been promising my self I'd get for ages now :)

I remember thinking each year since graduating that things have been getting better and better by the year, not that they weren't doing that at uni, but after graduation was the start of the real life wasn't it, life after education, and that's what I'm counting. And it doesn't look like that's going to change any time soon, life is good and I'm very happy with the way it's panning out.

So the fact that I'm going to be 30 in just over two weeks doesn't scare me in the slightest, in fact if history is anything to go by, next year will be even greater than this one, and who wouldn't be looking forward to that? There is still a lot left to do, loads of places to visit, cool people to meet and goals to achieve. It's all about the progress.

To mark this grand point in my life I'm going to try and get as many of my friends together as I can. I'm actually in Germany for the day of my birth (the 28th of June if you didn't know), but the week after that I'm back and I'm going to party it up somewhere on the 7th of July in London, so if you're reading this then come along as you must be one of my friends. No one else reads this right?!

If you would like to be kept in the loop about where and when etc. then drop me line and I'll keep you posted.

If you can't make it for any reason then drop me a line anyway, I'd love to catch up some time.

May 21st 2007

Day One

Posted on Monday at 11.15 PM

This is the second job I've had in the UK and the fourth in total, the first being the one I got straight after graduating in Computer Aided Chemistry from Surrey University back in 1999, and the last two being my Australian jobs.

So even though I've really got the same amount of job experience in both countries this first day seams quite alien to me, as the last first day at a new job in the UK was back in 1999, a very long time ago and one that I remember very little of, and the previous last two first days at work I've had have been both in Australia, both still very fresh in my mind and both very different from today.

I know I did go back that first company when I arrived at the start of this year, but that doesn't really count as a first day, as they were more like good friends then work colleagues.

It actually feels quite strange all these new English people around me. The last time I started at a large company was back at ANL just over a year ago, and that was basically the only other time I've worked in a place similar to this current one and every one there (apart from Macky and Irish!) were Australians! I don't know, it just seams rather odd, me not being surrounded by antipodeans, I have been for years, not just when I was in Australia, but also in my social life it seams that I know more of them than my own countrymen.

Today has be fantastic, and I'm very much looking forward to tomorrow and beyond, even though the first few weeks of starting a new job are never the coolest few weeks (reading specs, getting up to speed with foreign systems etc.), I'm already itching in anticipation of the work I'm going to be doing in these next busy few months.

Around every corner today I've been getting very strong feelings of deja vu of my time spent at ANL, and this is not a bad thing actually, as it's familiarity for me in an otherwise completely unfamiliar world. The industry is clearly a million miles away from the shipping industry, but the same things that went on at ANL are going on here, namely the specification and deadline problems. But I'm used to those and they haven't gotten in my way of producing some first class work so far. I'm actually looking forward to drilling out the finer points of FDS's with BA's, and making something that works and that people will remember me by, just like the good old days at ANL :)

Even the work I'm going to be doing seams to be very similar in a lot of aspects to that that I was doing back in Melbourne, but quite a lot more advanced, which is just what I was after. The work at ANL wasn't all that challenging really, actually the coffee time conversations were more stimulating! I was in a meeting for two hours today listening to them go through one of the specifications with one of the BA's, and even tough I didn't totally understand the system they were talking about I could already see solutions to some of the things they were talking about forming in my head, as there were similar patterns with some of the other work I've done. But it's not just about duplicating existing solutions I've come up with, it's about extending them with the experience of a past successful implementation.

Oh and not only am I looking forward to getting my teeth sunk into some real work, but I've also got the opportunity to get my MCPD, and all the material was ordered for me today.

I'm 'hot desking' at the moment, which isn't ideal, but at least this way I'll meet a few different people this way which is all good, as all of the what seams like hundreds of people I've met today have been really nice, and as soon as a desk becomes available, it's mine.

Lets hope it's by a window, then I can bring one of my plants in!

May 18th 2007

I am a blessed man

Posted on Friday at 3.37 PM

I have the most amazing flat.

I have the most amazing job.

And best of all, I truly truly do have the most amazing friends that I could possibly ask for.

There are a few of you that I have emails pending for, which I should have written weeks ago and to you, all I can say is that I will finish it, and it's not like you've ever left my thoughts, even though I'm way up here on the northern side of the planet, I think about you lot, A LOT.

A very special thing happened to me last night, something that filled me with a child like excitement the likes of which I can seriously not ever remember having (maybe one Christmas when I was young, but I can't remember that far back these days). I'm still tingling actually, and for hours last night until I finally fell asleep I was running about the flat with a crazy grin of my face. I'm not going into details, this really is just for me, but someone very close to me has really, really made my day.

It fills me with such an immense about of joy and happiness thinking about all my friends, it very nearly brings me to tears. I actually have a lump in my throat writing this. I have friends that that have been there for me through the thin and the oh so very thick, that have put them selves very far out of their way to lend me a hand, that they are nothing short of saints. Some of the nicest things are the random messy text messages I get from you, I know I'm always thinking of you guys, and you don't know how good it feels to know that you're thinking of me :)

There is no way I'd be where I am right now if it wasn't for you people, and you know damn well who you are.

All I can say is that I'll be there for each and every one of you when ever you need me, and until then it's my round :)

May 15th 2007

SPV E650

Posted on Tuesday at 12.50 AM

I've had a pay as you go phone for just over two years now, since getting to Australia, as I wasn't able, due to visa limitations, to get a contract phone. It's been an expensive and irritating few years!

Now that I'm back in the world of full time employment I went out yesterday and got my self a contract phone, no more worrying about remembering to top-up my credit so I don't get cut off half way through conversations, just a nice simple monthly direct debit.

I've got the new SPV E650, which is now the second smartphone I've owned, the first being the SPV E200, which was a great phone but a little before its time if you ask me. I was after a phone like that for ages, one that could seamlessly integrate with my desktop PC, one that I could take a lot of my media around with me, and one that I could develop for.

As they run the windows mobile operating system and run applications like Outlook mobile and Windows Media Player and have the .Net Compact Framework pre-installed on them this ment that this little beauty was just about everything I was after. But in my opinion the E200 was just no where near powerful enough to do all these things and it was very slow, quite buggy and crashed every now and then.

This E650 is leaps and bounds ahead of my old smartphone, but despite having a faster processor it's still a bit on the slow side, probably thanks to WM6.0, but that doesn't really bother me, I got it to develop for, to have it integrate with my desktop, sync'ing all my contacts and organiser entries, and it does all of that very nicely.

It's also got built in Wi-Fi, so I'm able to connect to the many free unsecured wireless networks all over London and browse the internet for free, and to help the obvious input limitations a device as small as this has, its got a built in slide out qwerty keyboard!

Awesome phone, I wonder what I'll write for it first?

May 11th 2007

Not So Job Shy

Posted on Friday at 5.24 PM

I've been job hunting for the past four weeks now, I've been in talks with 17 different employment agencies about various different positions in all manner of different industries (but mainly financial) and 99% of them have led me to a dead end.

Not so encouraging when I look at the experience and skill set I possess, and still I wasn't getting offered anything. What's wrong with these damn people, can they not read?!

It's no surprise actually, and I was expecting it really. I found exactly the same thing when I was looking for work in Melbourne the few times I did it over there, the hardest part about finding a job is getting the employment agent to recognise my skills and put me forward to the actual company. I'm not going to go into it again, there's a post about exactly this over on Frog dreaming somewhere.

But basically I was in the right place at the right time and had my CV put forward to the HR department of an Asset Management company by a friend of a friend who worked there, not given to some agent who couldn't tell the difference between the BCL and the BBC. Someone who knew what they were talking about when it comes to my experience and skills looked at it, and a week later I got an interview.

One week after that first interview, I am now employed! Yay!

I can't believe what's happened over the past 6 months, and especially over the past 6 weeks of finding this awesome flat, moving up here, the parties and the gigs, and now the cherry on top...my new job. I can finally start living properly.

I've got my friends to thank for all of this, I wouldn't like to think of what I'd be doing or where I'd be doing it if it wasn't for all these wicked mates I have around me, my flat and my new job I owe completely to my mates, and I thank you very much!

I'll go into some more detail another time about the job, for now is the time for celebrations, and boy this weekend is going to be crazy...another Liquid Records party tonight, and Jacs 30th tomorrow complete with 80's and 90's rock and pop! How cool is that!!!

Man, I can hardly contain my excitement!!!

May 5th 2007

Rasterbation

Posted on Saturday at 8.52 AM

I've been staring at my blank walls for a while now wondering what to put on them when I came across The Rasterbator.

Now I've gone and rasterbated all over my walls ;)

May 4th 2007

It's a London Thing

Posted on Friday at 3.32 PM

Mmm, its been a while since I made any noise hasn't it, and I wonder if there really is anyone out there who is interested enough in my adventures to check out this site.

I'm sure there are people out there, and I've got a few messages through the various communication channels available for use these days telling me so, but I when I put this site up I decided that I would take away the commenting functionality in an attempt to free me up a little in what I was writing, and it worked, I've written more in the same time period than when I was living in Melbourne, but since people cant now comment on anything I've no idea if anyone reads it...so why so long with the post then hey...

Well the truth is that I've been having the most amazing time over the past four weeks since I moved into my new flat, that I haven't had the time (or inclination) to write about all the things I've been doing, which is a real shame as looking back over Frog Dreaming and reading about the Melbourne life was the whole reason for doing it in the first place.

But you've also got to live it too! And I have been, hence the online silence.

Abstract: The past four weeks of living up in London have been some of the best weeks so far.

Detail (although it's going to be brief): I'm living with the coolest bloke, in the coolest flat, in one of the coolest parts of London, I could throw a stone at the tube station entrance, and at the start of Brick Lane from our wicked fifth floor balcony (which also has a fantastic view over London), there is a Bus stop/Tesco/Post Office/Pub/Banks/Night Club/Markets/Shops literally 50m from our front door on the other side of the park in front of our building, we've got an on site gym/sauna/spa/steam room, huge roof terrace with 360° views over London, 24hr porter, and a 24hr bus that runs from our front door right to Oxford Street.

Could things get any better?!

It's funny, from the moment I moved in every day I was stunned when I learnt about something else that the area had to offer that made the choice of living here the best thing I could have done, and this is still happening, four weeks on, and I'm sure as I settle in even further I'll be finding out some more of the surrounding goodness.

The first two weeks was spent moving all my stuff in and setting it all up, which wasn't any mean feat. When I moved to Australia I left behind an incredible amount of stuff at my parents, including my 32" widescreen TV, complete HI-FI and surround sound system, and my lovely speakers, and now for the first time since I bought them all those years ago, I've finally set them up how they were ment to be, and it kicks some serious arse.

Justin bought his decks into the equation last week when he bought a deck stand, so now the whole side of the front room is now audio equipment that rocks so much we never ended up going out last Friday, we just stayed in with the big speakers and the decks, who needs a expensive club when you've got a system like this, and a doggy offie over the road where you can get beer 24/7?!!

So now just about everything is setup, we've had to resort to 8 meg boradband until the local exchange gets hooked up to the 24 meg speeds, but that's only a month or two away, and we were making do with the free wireless up until yesterday anyway, so a month is no time at all. And now that we've got the home wireless setup we've got the stereo hooked up to a spare computer and the 4 channel mixer so we can mix in our mp3's. I've never seen so many power plugs in all my life :)

And for the past two weeks I've been back in the job market hunting for a bigger and better software engineering job, trying to battle my way through all these idiot employment agencies who know next to nothing about the industry I'm in, or even what it is I do. But I've had two very good, very promising interviews this week, so I'm confident that in the next few weeks my bank balance will be looking better.

I've done all this job hunting quite a few times now and it's exactly them same this time around than the last...I have the most joy when I actually get through to the company in question, rather than these damn agencies, and that's exactly what has happened this week. For the past two weeks I've been getting up at 9am and doing the job hunt, emailing and phoning in a morning and an afternoon shift, and everyday I'm speaking to at least two different people about roles, so there is plenty of work out there, all I need is the right job to come up.

Most of the work around here, and I'm reckon it's close to 85-90% of it, is work in the financial industry, not really surprising since this is London, but I have no experience at all in that field, so I need someone who is willing to take me on so I can get some experience. And that should only be around the corner.

Summary: I know I said that I didn't want to live in London, but I've changed my mind, this is where I want to be, at least for the next few years anyway. There is so much opportunity here it's unreal, socially and career wise it makes loads of sense being here, and I'm loving it.

One fantastic thing about moving here is that it's a return to my roots, something that was very poignant as I was moved in by my parents. On the way up on the Sunday (the 8th of April) I had pointed out to me as we drove through London to my new place, a lot of my family history that until then I was completely unaware of, and it was the icing on the cake for me, the gel that made all these new things in my life fit together perfectly. This is where my parents grew up (and where I spent most of my decent weekends), and now I'm living up here, right in the thick of things, making some more of my very own history.

April 3rd 2007

Two Years On

Posted on Tuesday at 3.22 PM

I can't quite believe it, this time exactly two years ago I was sitting on a plane out of Heathrow heading off to a new life in Australia with my ex.

Two years on and I'm back home, single, unemployed and living at my parents.

Ha ha! But not for long!

A lot has happened in those two short years, I've done some amazing things and met some uber cool people along the way, and the way I'm feeling at the moment, the fun has only just got started.

This time next week I'll be spending Easter Monday recovering from the first night spent in our new flat in London! Just as Melbourne was an exciting step in the right direction, so is this. There are new adventures to be had, new people to meet, new jobs to find, and plenty of beer to be drunk.

This years calendar is filling rapidly with lots of wholesome goodness and who knows what more interesting things I'll be hearing about when I move this weekend, I only hope there is enough time in the rest of the year to fit it all in.

April 1st 2007

Lquid Records Footage

Posted on Sunday at 11.33 PM

Only just got round to uploading the videos of the Liquid Records party...

Liquid Records videos.


Freaking awesome night, here a few of the highlights:


Crazy by Koxbox, what an evil delicious track, I love it :>

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikjDUZ_vP5M


Mr Peculiar with some classic mind-dala:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjuCYVj9j7k


More Mr P, this track is on Mr P's Infinite Evolution promo that I got at the pre album launch at the Brown Alley in Melbourne last year, and is one of my favourite tracks:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1EtdJniP9k


Hyperception, this amazing tune is also on Auricle's demo:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DP8EX_kdiZs


Mood Deluxe, his set was spectacular, can't wait to catch more of this guy...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llGv2YCMLKo

 

March 29th 2007

Mr P, Fullham, Widescreen and Rib's!

Posted on Thursday at 9.25 PM

Every time I get back from something worth writing about I rarely feel in the mood to do so, so I end up having a whole back log of cool shit that I want to write about.

First up was the Liquid records party two weeks ago. I'd been banging on about this night to everyone who likes that kind of music and who'd care to listen for months, ever since I read somewhere on the interweb that Mr P was playing somewhere in London on the sixteenth of March. Well that night turned out to be one the coolest night's out I've ever spent indoors. Sun Control Species, Flowjob, Mr Peculiar and Mood Deluxe all under one roof?! Does an evening out clubbing with good friends get any better then this?! Clearly not it seams, as that evening has been ringing round in my mind ever since! I met up with Tim and Hanna for beers first, and then met Roger and Maria in there, and as soon as I stepped foot in the place and walked into the main room I got goose bumps :) Seriously!

The music was amazing all night, Mr P was fantastic, showcasing a lot of stuff from his new album and Hyperception played straight after...I even ended up hanging out with Dusty and Min for a while at the end of the evening...I was in heaven.

We had such a laugh all evening, the Coliseum is a fantastic venue, with views over the Thames which was awesome to watch as the sun came up...the visuals were wicked, and the people in there sound :)

And the best part of it? Unlike the Vibrasphere gig a few weeks before, I remember every wonderful moment of the entire evening! Know your limits! And thankfully I stuck to them this time around.

Best night in years.

I've had two great weekends in a row up in London, both of which started out as just being the Friday night, but ended up with me staying out the whole weekend, and last weekend was spent at Amy's birthday on the Friday meeting people that knew my brother from years back, and Fullham on the Saturday meeting randoms at a birthday party of Dave's mate Chris. Both brilliant nights I'm not going to forget in a hurry ;)

Two more things to tell.

I decided to treat my self the other week and I bought a 19" widescreen high def LCD monitor. I move into my new flat in just over a week, and my big CRT TV is going in the front room with all my hi-fi gear, and this new spangley monitor will be hooked up to my computer so I can watch all the Peep Show's/Spaced's/Bottom's...and now QI's! It's a fantastic monitor, and now I've had it for a week or so, I'm wondering how I managed with the old 15". There's no looking back now. I also got a NVIDIA 8800 GTS to go with it.

And the last thing...I went to the doctors today and found out that last night I broke the second bone I've ever broken in my life, and I didn't do it by anything even a little bit glamorous like kickboxing, or mountain biking, oh no, I broke it all by my self.

I've had a savage cough for the past few weeks, and it got really bad at the start of this week, so I started taking an expectorant to cough it all up...well all that savage coughing got a bit too much for my chest to take last night and I ended breaking one of my own ribs with my coughing!!!

It's not nearly as funny as it sounds as I'm in severe agony every time I move any of my upper body, breath or god forbid...cough. So that's put to lay my plans for this weekend...I feel a weekend of South Park coming on. Another friend of Dave's, also called Chris told me about a web site which has massive listings of TV shows and cartoons that you can stream from the web, so I'm going to settle in this weekend with a few bottles of red, my new LCD and South Park!

March 21st 2007

The Best News This Year?

Posted on Wednesday at 9.40 PM

I remember saying a few weeks/months ago that I had some good news in the pipeline, but I didn't want to jinx it by broadcasting it to who ever reads this site.

The good news is that today Justin and me got the all clear on our London flat we've been after!

It's definitely the best news I've had all year, and I can't bloody wait to get things going up there. It's an incredible flat, right in the thick of east London, at the foot of Brick Lane, just where I wanted to live, and the flat itself is exactly what I wanted to be moving into. Fantastic views over London from our balcony, huge roof terrace for bbq's in the summer, gym, the works. It really is perfect, and we should be moving in the week after next. I'm already looking forward to all the great things I'm going to be getting up to in this busy year, and now I don't need to ask to kip on peoples sofas any more.

Brilliant!

March 21st 2007

Joke Of The Day

Posted on Wednesday at 2.07 AM

Q: What's orange and sounds like a parrot?

A: A carrot!

March 15th 2007

The Life

Posted on Thursday at 9.33 PM

We've been having some brilliant weather this week, the sun has been shinning and the skies have been blue.

It's quite unfamiliar English weather to me at this time of the year, but it couldn't have had better timing as I'm currently unemployed. It's been a fantastic week, not only am I still revelling in the memories of boarding in the Alps last week, I'm also getting really stuck into some of the things that were always in my plan of things to do post ANL.

It's a good feeling that I'm still, personally, on track with the goals I set my self at the end of 2006, it's good to know that not everything was lost in the maelstrom at the end of last year, I still have my personal goals (no one can take those away from me), and I've nothing more important to me at the moment, indeed at any point actually. I'm getting to a stage in my life where I'm loving anything that is challenging to my brain, reading and watching material that really makes me think about myself, the way in which I think about things, and the way in which I think about how to solve problems (i.e. how I go about my job).

I've been developing software for over ten years now (I'm counting the university years here just to make it sound more impressive) and I'm only just getting a feel for the real hardcore processes that are at work deep in the software development cycle, and this is coming from a few different directions at the moment, which is really fascinating as they've come at once.

I'm reading GEB at the moment, and have been for quite a few months actually, and I still haven't got that far in it. I keep rereading chapters as it's really stretching my mind to it's absolute limits and I really need to understand the basic concepts before ploughing forward to the more advanced stuff. And its a brilliant exercise in getting my mind working in ways that it hasn't done for a very long time, if ever.

This is wonderful, as every time I read more of it, or read chapters again and understand more and more I feel enriched with a sense of achievement that my mind is that much bigger, and more capable than it was previously. A very important thing I believe for anyone, as in this day and age you need to keep learning to stay afloat, and that's not in anyway a bad thing.

An inactive stagnant mind is a dead mind, and I'm far from that.

Another thing that I'm reading at the moment, and I've only just started it is, The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs. As I just said I've been developing software for quite a while, but only ever in Basic until a few years ago when I started to switch to C# as yet another instalment in the 'must push myself forward' phase of my life. Us Microsoft programmers get a lot of stick from the rest of the software engineering community and I've never understood why, I've been writing cutting edge commercial software since I got my first job and I'm doing fine without a cs degree, but one thing I'm really lacking, and I'm not so clear at the moment if this is really a shortcoming or not, is the underlining principles of what it is to develop software. I'll know more about that when I've finished this book and can decide if it made me a better programmer or not, so watch this space.

I'm a very high level programmer, and I'm very good at it to. I thought I knew a lot about .Net until I spent three months off work studying it and after that realised that I still didn't know that much about it. Just let me make myself absolutely clear here, I know more about .Net than anyone I've come across so far in my professional and personal life, and that's not an indication of the extent of my work, or the size of my social circle, I've met great programmers at the few jobs I've done and I've many friends, many of which are in I.T., but still, I've not met anyone who knows as much .Net as I do. And I'm far from calling myself an expert as the majority of people do, just to give the impression they know what they are talking about.

This just illustrates the problem with the industry I'm in at the moment, demand is out stripping supply and many people who just aren't passionate about software development, and that are attracted by the high wages are making a very bad name for the few, like myself, who are really into what they do.

If you are into software development in anyway and are passionate about it, then you'll know what I'm talking about, as the web is on fire at the moment with discussions about this exact topic. Just look up the Fizz-Buzz test.

I really enjoy what I do, and for the time I have left doing this for a carer I want to do to the best of my ability (as everyone should do in anything they do) and to be a better programmer I'm striving to understand more about the fundamentals of what I do.

Being a good .Net programmer is about learning the BCL and identifying patterns in the problems you are trying to solve and knowing when and how to use the correct bits of it. Your in effect building houses with already formed bricks and plug in kitchens, all you're doing is plugging them together in the right ways.

For the first time this is not enough for me, I want to know how the bricks are made and what from, and how to put together those kitchen units. This is why I'm reading SICP and learning LISP.

I never thought I'd be interested in this, but I'm getting more and more interested in the details of how things work these days and want to know more about these building blocks I've been using for years. I doubt this is going to lead to a big change in my carer path, I am a .Net programmer and I really enjoy it, but I think its going to give me a much greater appreciation of what's really going on behind the scenes in what I do and perhaps give me more insight into the procedures of problem solving. Certainly, it's going to improve my maths.

Matt, you were right :)

Anyway, the great weather this week has helped enormously, I've been hanging out in a coffee shop in Camberley all week reading GEB and SICP, expanding my mind and learning new things.

Oh the joy.

March 13th 2007

Shredding Up The Rad In Chamonix

Posted on Tuesday at 5.13 PM

Ten nine eight and I'm breaking away...

This was my first time ridding on the snow, I had been four or five other times in the past on the dry slopes at Bracknel and Aldershot, and broke the only bone so far at the later, damn dry slopes, so I was barley a beginner when I arrived last Saturday, but that slowly changed over the week, and on Friday I was having so much fun I really didn't want it to end.

The last time I was on a board was a fair few years ago, probably three years ago actually, and I was linking my turns at the end of each session. I never had any instruction back then, I was just messing around with mates, picking up tips from them and just figuring things out (painfully) for myself, hence I guess, the broken hand!

For me, I had the perfect start to the holiday. The Saturday we landed was a total lunar eclipse, and the weather where we were in the French Alps was fantastic. My camera however wasn't really up to scratch, but I did get a few good shots. I couldn't have asked for a better start to it all, watching the Earth's shadow slowly move over the disc of the full moon was spectacular, and the final crimson moon was beautiful, and well worth the cold few hours I stayed out to watch it and something I'm not going to forget.

On to the boarding.

For the first few days last week I was all over the place, trying to remember how I was doing it back on the dry slopes, and throwing my self in a bit too deep on the first day wasn't the greatest decision I've ever made...the first run I did was a red at Le Tore...bad idea, and although I was enjoying it by the end of the day, the start of it was a bit savage. Luckily Rich had two radios and very kindly left one with me so I could find my feet on my own, not wanting to hold the others back.

The next few days things just got better and better, the amazing La Flégère the next day was one of my favourite days of the week, even though I was still learning (and falling over) and the conditions weren't all that great (snowing and cloudy (but what did I expect in the mountains!?)(but...'this is what we talked about!')) I was having a rude amount of fun at the end of the day when the cloud lifted and the sun came out, and the last run of the day from the top of the Index lift was nothing short of incredible, as we came down from the clear cloudless top, through the white misty cloud to the bottom I was really getting the hang of it, and loving every changeable minute.

In the evening we had an apre ski bar crawl organised for us, and all was going alright until some wasted fool challenged Owen to a game of table football. It was a convincing killing, even though at the end of the game Owen was quiet obviously not even making an effort he still wiped the beer soaked, fag stained floor with this guys annoying pikey Maidenhead arse. But now, unfortunately, we'd made a friend, as this penis considered Owen's rad kick arse table football skills as a measure of his luckiness, and didn't let up for the rest of the night about taking him to the casino with the two grand he'd just got out of the bank! Owen was his lucky rabbits foot :) We got a bit scared after a while and headed home for some more Futurama.

I'm all dressed up and I'm ready to play...

One thing I was having real problems with were the cat tracks that link the slopes together, I just couldn't keep the board in a straight line and kept catching edges and falling flat on my arse on the hard icy surface. What made the whole situation even worse was most of the time I had to walk the rest of it as there isn't much of an incline. Painful and annoying.

The fact that the bubbles were closed to get to Grands Montets from Argentière on Tuesday morning, ment that the queues for the chair lifts there were massive, so we decided to go back to Le Tour for day three, and that's where all the savage cat tracks are. We did have a proper giggle when we got there though. As every body had the same idea as us the queue's for the bubble at Le Tour weren't that much better so we scooted over to the side of the nursery slopes, Owen and Rich got out their shovels and we built a little kicker! This was one of my favourite bits of the trip, and if you ask me (and probably Rich!) we should have stayed there for longer. I'll have to get a shovel for my next trip to the snow and hang about more building and shredding kickers!

By the time it got to Wednesday I was having some serious fun, but despite Owen's brilliant hints and tips, it was difficult, very tiring, and I was spending a lot of time clearing out the snow from my clothes. I was finding that I was always fighting the incline of the slope, always having to put pressure on my edges from fear of whizzing too fast down the slope, getting out of control and damaging my already badly hurt left shoulder, and this was killing my thigh and calf muscles. So I decided to get a lesson. I got a private three hour lesson to touch up my ropey technique and to iron out the bad habits I'd gotten my self into, and what a difference it made. For the rest of the Thursday I just hit the slopes of Le Tour, practising what he'd told me, and by the end of the day I was gliding down the slopes, rather then scraping my way down them on the edges and confidently going in a straight line on those nasty cat tracks. It made such a difference, money very well spent.

I actually had a rather funny encounter while I was on the chair lift at Le Tour. I ended up getting the lift with two other boarders who turned out to be English lads, so me being me, I started to chat to them, and very quickly realised that I'd met one of the blokes before, but for the life of me I cant remember where from. All I know is that I've met a snowboarding trancer called Ben before, I'll bet my life on it, aided by the fact that once he saw my face that was hidden by the mask and beanie he seamed to know me too...must of been a real session ;)

Seven six five four and I'm all over you...

The last day Rich and Owen did The Vallée Blanche, which left Rob, Les and me to do what ever wanted, so it was back to Flégère! The morning was the best bit of ridding I'd done the whole trip, putting in practice what I'd been doing the day before. The was until some penis cut me up on a cat track from a chair lift to the slope. Still being a little unbalanced, I took a rather nasty fall that really messed up my left shoulder, and basically ended the holidays ridding there and then. I just couldn't risk doing anything more than the easy green runs from fear of totally ruining my shoulder, so I just pottered around for the next few hours till home time.

Not the best ending to the week, but now, a few days on, nearly all the aches and pains have gone, the fall is just a faint and distant memory, and I'm left with an amazing joyous feeling of probably the best holiday I've ever had.

I fully intend to keep this boarding lark up, I was a decent skier when I was doing that a few years ago, and I really enjoyed doing it at the time, but as with everything, things change, and I think this will be a wicked replacement to take me into my thirties as I move up to London and start a few years of decent paying, software engineering, contracting work.

I was going to go to the snow dome at Milton Keynes on Wednesday, but I've been called into work, so I'm going on Friday. It will be a week since I last strapped in, a good amount of time to mull over all the instruction I was given and all the things I worked out for my self while on the slopes, and I'm looking forward to putting them all into action. I've been thinking about the holiday constantly since getting back, and I've had this permanent grin on my face, and a real sense of satisfaction and relaxation.

I want to do the snow dome once a month until I get fairly proficient at it, then I'll hit the dries. And if all goes to plan, when the winter season comes round again I'll be good enough at boarding, and have saved up enough cash, and be in a flexible enough position in my carer to be able to take a month off and go ridding some where. It's a grand plan, and I'm still full of the joys of last week, but if I keep it up over the summer and keep the enthusiasm there then I'll make it.

Many thanks goes to everyone I was away with, it really was a blast, the constant banter, movie references, arnie moments, motivational morning snowboarding and skiing dvd's, the great tunes that went with them, the awesome people and the 'good times' really made it all.

Nice one.

Check out the photos and the videos.

Counting three two one and I'm having fun.

March 12th 2007

A Cleaner Look

Posted on Monday at 10.33 PM

I've just got back from my snow boarding trip with Rob, Owen, Rich and Les, and I noticed that one of the two of my ball closure rigs I wear in my left ear has lost its ball.

I've decided to take them out.

And not put them back in.

I had the first one done whilst I was in my second year at uni, and I got the second one done in February 2004.

Its time for some more change, so no more obvious piercings for me.

March 2nd 2007

The End Of An Era

Posted on Friday at 9.14 PM

Today brought to a close my second stint working for PAA, this time I was only there for two months, rather than the 6 years like last time, and so closes another, albeit short chapter in the Chris Browne England story.

I've learnt some more things, got some new skills and brushed up on a few old ones, and now I'm going to be heading up to London in the next few weeks to see what other interesting adventures are in store.

It did occur to me the other day that I could just go anywhere I liked, family and friends aside, I've got no ties here now and I'm free to do as I please with my life.

However I've been thinking for a while now about this situation and the more I think about it, the more I want to have a few years living right in the thick of it up town.

All was going well until yesterday when I got news that our new flat had fallen through. Gutted, I was very much looking forward to spending time in east London, and the place looked absolutely top notch. Never mind, there are plenty more fish in the sea (I've heard that one a fair bit recently).

There is hope of moving into a warehouse flat in the next few weeks, but we'll have to wait and see what emerges from that one. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, I think I could go some ware house living in east London for a bit :)

But now, I'm off for a boys week snow boarding in the French Alps!

What a way to come back home...Christmas with family, new years with my best friends, hanging out with loads of cool people, Vibrasphere last weekend and having some very strange but fantastic encounters, a few months of work doing some really cool shit, a weeks boarding with the lads, then up to London.

Can't friggin' wait.

February 20th 2007

Work and Life

Posted on Tuesday at 10.15 PM

I have been really slack these past few weeks with my writing on this site, and its nothing to do with any kind of a lack of decent material, its really more of a case of 'I haven't got a freaking second to spare'.

The end of my contract at PAA is drawing to an end, and I guess with any software project, the end just seams to get further away the closer you get to it. Not to say that things are in a bad way with the development, far from it, in fact the product is almost completely fully fledged and from the preliminary test cases we've run, working extremely well, but unless you have an infinite budget and all the time in the world you'll always find things that you would like to add or to improve. Its called feature creep, and I think I speak for all of the dev's when I say there are many things that we would like to see done with the product before the release.

But I have never been happier with my work, and I've put in a great deal of time to make sure that this is the best work I've done. I'm very happy with it. I'm also really happy in the work environment I'm in, all the things I liked about my previous job, without all the things I hated, what could be better? Working with some very enthusiastic and equally devoted people, that's what. Nice one guys.

I'm going to be quite sad to leave, but as always, onward and upward, and that track ahead is looking very bright indeed right now, and its a track that, fingers crossed, I'll be making my way UP in the next few weeks...

It's funny, after the devastating end to last year when my whole world was torn apart at the seams for me, things really couldn't be working out better. Details aside, I've been thinking about my situation for the few months since I've been back in England, and about the things that have seamed to have landed in my lap, the opportunities that have been presented to me and my wonderful friends that I really think have been my saving grace, and have really made all this happen for me, and it brings an overwhelming sense happiness and gratitude to me.

I thank you all.

Even my friends back in Australia. I really miss you all.

Keep an eye peeled, I should have some rather good news quite soon.

January 29th 2007

Quizcom's

Posted on Monday at 10.15 PM

This week I 'ave been mostly watching Quizcom's.

Sorry about that, should really make up my own jokes, but I couldn't resist :)

It's Quizcom week or something on some random cable channel at the moment, and I caught an episode of QI about a week ago, and pissed my self all the way through it. I've been also watching Have I Got News For You and Never Mind The Buzzcocks, and I'm really enjoying it! I've been watching these shows for years but I don't think I've enjoyed watching them as much as I am now.

I've been in stitches of laughter every night for the past week or so since catching the first show, and what's fantastic about it, is that they have the +1 channel that shows repeats an hour after!

January 27th 2007

Chasing Rainbows

Posted on Saturday at 12.32 AM

I've been getting txt's and emails from all my friends back in Melbourne for the last week or so.

It's Rainbow Serpent this weekend, and they're all going. And I'm not. And I'm gutted.

Rainbow last year was amazing, the best festival I've been to yet, great company, wicked music, great weather (even the Saturday evening rain) and a wicked vibe.

I met some truly great friends there last year and I was looking forward to having an even better festival this year when we were all together.

I hope all of you have a wicked time, and I'm looking forward to all the stories and photos.

To make up for not being able to go to Rainbow this year, I've got a very busy year planned. Lots of parties, holidays and new experiences.

Watch this space.

January 21st 2007

Food and Drink

Posted on Sunday at 9.29 PM

What do you do when you wake up on Sunday with a mega hangover, and live in Darby Green?

Correct answer: Jump in the car and make your way down to Tesco and stock up on comfort food to indulge in for the rest of the day.

This routine was something I was well rehearsed in when I was living back here a few years ago. A quick run around the supermarket to collect the usual suspects of food and drink and back home to veg out in front of the tv for the rest of the day. Although this is the first time I've done it on my own for a few years, but the first time I've done it since landing about a month ago, and what an enjoyable experience it was!

I did have a storming hangover from last nights heavy drinking, but I was only going there to pick up some tuna for a bit of home made sashimi later in the day, I didn't even get a basket when I walked in, but once I got walking around I got some more ideas and my hunger started to grow. I ended up getting a basket and after about 40 minutes of walking about deciding what I wanted I walked out with a few bags of food and forty five quid lighter.

Even better than getting all that comfort food to veg out on for the rest of the day however, was a chick I met in the wine section. I've drunk an obscene amount of De Bortoli Cabernet Merlot cask wine whilst living in Australia, I tasted it for the first time when I arrived in the country and instantly fell in love with it. I was never a big wine drinker, even less so with red wine, I even stopped drinking it for about three years after consuming three and half bottles of it on a rather drunken evening whilst at uni at a Magic Sam gig with Tim and not being able to face another drop of it for ages, but the De Bortoli wine is amazing and I've drunk a lot of it since that first glass.

So I've been checking out the wine here for the last month, and I've drunk my way through a fair amount of different wines trying to find another to replace the Cabernet Merlot I was drinking so much of in Melbourne, but I've had absolutely no luck at all in finding anything that comes close to it. At all. I stumbled on a web page yesterday that mentioned a De Bortoli Cabernet Merlot sold in England and I was casually browsing the wine section in Tesco today looking at the different types of Cabernet Merlot when this chick started chatting to me. She also loved the south eastern Australian Cabernet Merlot's and told me that the One Stop near where she lives is selling Lindemans Cabernet Merlot for half price!

I gave it a few hours since she told me she'd bought all the rest of the stock that was out on the shop floor, and made my way down there and got my self six bottles of it. I'm just about done with the first bottle of it and I'm sold, its quality. Not quite as good as the De Bortoli, but it's damn bloody close, and that's good enough for me, especially since there's almost no chance of getting my hands on the old stuff.

Now its never going to compare in value to the cask wine I'm used to, but I'm going to be thirty in a few months, and maybe it's time to move off the cardboard box wine that doubles as a makeshift pillow in those hard drunken times where you find your self with no bed, and move on to the far more sophisticated glass bottle, so I'm not complaining. I've found a suitable replacement for my wine of choice and also upgraded to glass bottles in the process.

Chin chin.

January 16th 2007

Realisation

Posted on Tuesday at 0.53 AM

I had a rather vivid and very real dream on Saturday night, one that I would've rather not had, but I always find that I can not control the types of dreams I have, but I can control what happens when I'm put in the situations that my dreams confront me with, and Saturday night was no exception.

That doesn't mean that they are any easier to cope with while and after I've had them, but it does mean I can have at least a little fun while I'm in them.

I remember hanging out with, a certain person who shall remain unnamed, for quite a while in my dream, not having the best time about what was happening or where we were, when I suddenly had one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had in a dream, I remember thinking all of a sudden 'this is not right', I actually told myself that in my dream and said to myself, why would I be in this situation with this person, this can not be real, this must be a dream.

The thing was it seamed SO real. I remember very, very clearly the set of events that took place in my dream (I know now its a dream, but not then), and they were as close to reality as it could be, it was real, except the situation I was in I would never ever put myself in. EVER. So I knew it MUST be a dream, there was no other explanation for it, so knowing it must of been a dream I put it to the test, and sure enough it was a dream, and I awoke a few seconds later when I'd had enough of where I was and who I was with and decided to wake up and end it.

I've been able to control my dreams more and more over the past two years or so, and I'm getting very good at it now, but this kind of utter realism I've never experienced before. I hope I have these kinds of dreams again, just in a different circumstances.

I think having this dream and some other feelings that I cant get out of my head for the past few days is the reality of what's happened setting in. It's only been a few weeks since I arrived in the country and that's not long at all...

Things are falling into place, but so are the memories.

January 9th 2007

Tune Of The Moment

Posted on Tuesday at 10.48 PM

Vibrasphere - Thermal Twist.

Vibrasphere rull from up on high in my world, and its going to take some amazing musical genius to topple them from their almighty throne.

I think this track will stay the top of the tunes of the moment for a very long time, not just because its one of the most amazing progressive tracks I have ever heard, but also its my leaving Melbourne track.

I had this track queued up on my iPod when the plane left, and it made me cry.

January 8th 2007

PAA: Day One

Posted on Monday at 10.51 PM

I've been in contact with Rob ever since I left PAA, he was actually planning to visit me in Melbourne over Christmas for an English Christmas home from home, we even had tickets to the Boxing day cricket test match, but that obviously never ended up happening.

So when I was asked to go back and help out with a few weeks of contracting now that I'm back in England I jumped at the chance of helping out some old friends in these busy times, of exercising my developers coding muscles, and of an extra few quid to help fund the Chris Browne move to London campaign. All donations welcome by the way.

All was resting on the all clear from one of the company directors, and when that call came this morning around 9am, I hopped in the car and started what's probably going to be two weeks of contract work finishing off and polishing up the final few components of the next version of their main software package. After that I really must concentrate my efforts in finding a flat and a job in London, and finding a decent job is a full time job in it's self.

I've had quite a few productive years since leaving PAA in April 2005. I've learnt far more than I would ever have done if I'd have stayed there simply because the money I saved before my move to Australia funded my MCP and gave me the time to read everything I could get my hands on about .Net and that was a lot of reading material. This just would never have happened if I was working there full time, the constraints on a business would never have enabled me to take the time out to become as qualified as I am. I also had to work under conditions that were far from ideal in my last position as a software developer for ANL, and as a result of that constant pressure at work I read up about why all the applications weren't compiling and building correctly and enhanced my knowledge vastly and developed a system of building our applications easily and consistently, and all this has afforded me with the knowledge of how to put .Net solutions together, and probably more importantly, how not to put them together.

There is a lot of work to be done in the next few weeks, but thankfully that work doesn't seam to be in major architectural changes to the design that they have developed, its more to do with the set up and structure of the projects that make up the solution.

Its also working with .Net 2.0 which is a welcome change from the .Net 1.1 I was doing at ANL so it's going to be an interesting few weeks, I've even been invited to the PAA Christmas dinner this coming Friday, so it really is just like old times.

Some things don't ever change :)

January 3rd 2007

Happy New Year

Posted on Wednesday at 1.32 PM

Another year passed, another one to look forward to.

Last year turned out to be quite the roller coaster, not just for me but for my whole family, with plenty of ups and downs. But all of that is behind me, and its time now to start looking to the future with open eyes, arms and heart.

A bonus that has come out of the situation that I'm in at the moment is that because I have nothing, I've everything to look forward to. Everything that I do from now on will be a challenge to put the pieces of the puzzle back together and start making something of it all again, and that I'm looking forward to very much.

This new years party was one of the best yet, it all fell into place at the last minute, and I had a fantastic time and met some very cool people. The eve of new years eve was spent with Julz, Martin, Aurelie and some of their friends at their place in Finsbury Park, getting very drunk and dragging out the party as much as we could, in true messy style. It was good to catch up with some good old friends and it was a great return to the happier times of London.

New Years Eve was spent round Dawn's place up in Bedford, a rocking party that saw the return of the usual suspects for the first time in about two years. It was fantastic fun having Jeff, Dave and Cath around again, I'd almost forgotten how much fun we can have together! New Years day morning, still going from the night before, was one of the funniest time's I've ever had, chilling with Dave, Cath and Mark just talking complete random bollocks, pissing our selves laughing for hours and hours and hours! Soo much fun, it should have been illegal...:)

There were loads of people at the party that I'd never met before and I really hope I can can hang out with very soon. It's going to take a while to get the crew going again, but it's getting there already, exciting stuff :)

Last year started off very well, but I'm sure I speak for everyone in my family when I say I'm glad 2006 is over. I have a lot of work to do in 2007 to get things going again, but the plans are in motion and I'll get there.

Happy 2007.

December 28th 2006

Xmas Fun

Posted on Thursday at 10.24 PM

Christmas is over, and it was great hanging out with the family, despite the cold and the occasional spurt of rain here and there. It wouldn't of seamed like Christmas if it was 40 odd degrees and blue sky's, indecently I saw the sun for the first time since my plan descended into the 'Killer Fog' last week, amazing hey, and I've been here for a week and two days.

Christmas was spent drinking vast amounts of Leffe, and getting back to my roots with an Amiga emulator and two old school Competition Pro USB joysticks. We had hours and hours of fun playing some proper games, none of this 3D Grand Theft Auto artificial inelegance engine driven, simulation reality rubbish these youngsters are brought up on these days, I'm talking your Rainbow Islands, your New Zealand Stories, your Battle Squadron's, your Kick Off 2's, and not to mention the best game in the world, your Treasure Island Dizzies. In fact, that (and the huge amounts of strong Belgium beer) really made my Christmas, it was like being a kid again, only being hammered most of the time, and with hangovers, and not getting out of bed until lunch time only to open another beer.

It was really good to hang out with the kids as well, its really quite amazing how fast they've all grown up, and it was real good fun playing on the arcade machines, running around after them, and just generally just being in awe of their beautiful unpolluted view of the world, you'll never meet anyone who will just say it like it is, like a small child will. Something that I'll never forget was when Alfie pointed to the tiny International Tidyman on the back of a bottle of water, and pointed out that it was a waste of time putting that picture on the bottle as the bin was clearly far too small to put the bottle in! Cracked me up, and all in the most amazing cockney accent, brilliant.

Well, the new year is fast closing in on us, and many of us will be making those must get fitter and healthier resolutions, and I for one will be right along side them, actually I'm slightly ahead of them, as mine started tonight. I've not done any exercise for at least the past two years, and more probably since I started going out with my ex three and a half years ago, so I'm well unfit. I'm not over weight or unhealthy, but I do need to do some heart racing exercise to start feeling that natural high of being fit, having that natural energy that only someone who has been at the height of their fitness knows, so tonight I started back at my old kickboxing club, Phoenix Martial Arts, and holy cow I'm unfit. But a few months of this before I move to London and I'll be back into some kind of decent shape and ready for the new life.

The next few days the damage I've done to my self tonight will start setting in, right in time for what ever I get up to for New Years Eve. Lets hope I can actually move.

December 22nd 2006

Good To Be Back?

Posted on Friday at 10.03 PM

Been here for a few days now, and things are getting easier. Must say that I'm digging proper pints of milk, red cartons of low fat Rev are really no substitute. And the icy cold water you get from the taps here, Melbourne's cold water was luke warm at best, in fact I remember the week I left Australia taking a mouth full of water to rinse the tooth paste from my mouth and it being almost hot, granted its the middle of summer down there, and the middle of winter here, but even in the summer here the water that comes out of these taps is freezing, and I love it.

Steve and I went into London yesterday, he was meeting up with Adam, a University friend of his, and I needed to get my life back on track by stocking up on clothes and other bits and pieces. Ended up buying a shed load of clothes and a new pair of trainers that weren't Adidas Superstar's! Can you believe it?! This is the first different pair of trainers I've owned since the turn of the decade! Some wicked Converse blue and white suede'y things. Awesome. I'm still on the look out for a new pair of Superstar's though, I've never felt so comfortable in a pair of trainers in my life.

London was awesome. It took us 32 minutes to get there on the train, which I'm sure is a record for me, and it was a nice shiny new train as well. Walked about Covent Garden, Oxford Street, a bit of Soho, then met Adam for beers in the Pitcher and Piano. What a wicked bloke, maybe even moving in with him up in London in the new year. See...the plans are forming already.

One of the hardest things, apart from my friends, to leave behind were my plants. To me they were a symbol of the growth of my new life, and they were growing very, very well. My crassula was the king of the plants in my flat, and I was very upset to see him leave, but I know that he's in good hands now...Rich, I wouldn't have anyone else look after him. I went to a garden centre today and I've got my self another selection of plants to nurture, but this time I'm not going to be forced into saying goodbye to these ones. I've got quite a lot more this time, and they are all very tiny plants, which is exactly what I want, since I'm starting out here with nothing, these guys can start my journey with me right from the beginning, and lets see how big and how far we all can go. I'll get some photos up real soon of them all.

December 21st 2006

The Arrival

Posted on Thursday at 10.11 PM

Hello World. I'm back.

The drive home was one of the most depressing half an hours I've had for years. In fact I can't remember the last time I felt like that, it might have been the lowest point so far actually, to add to the others that I've had recently.

Its the middle of winter in England, there are no leaves on the trees, everything looks dead, there is a savage fog hanging over everything killing your vision off in under a hundred meters in every direction, its bloody freezing, and I don't want to be here. It reminds me of the river Styx. If I had it my way I'd be sitting in my flat in Melbourne reading one of the many books I'd planned to get through this festive break, while the 35C days kept me nice and toasty.

But here I am back in reality, and reality is cold and bleak at the moment.

When I did get back to the house, almost nothing had changed. I spent a few minutes wandering around down stairs, checking out if anything had changed in the near on two years that I'd been away, and apart from an unfinished attempt at re-decorating the bathroom, and a new splash of paint in the study, everything was the same. But the real shock was when I got up to my old room. It was exactly how I left it, and when I saw it, I couldn't help crying. It was like the past two years of my life had been totally wasted, and I was back at square one, after all that had happened. This was really not the plan, this was not supposed to happen. I can't describe how I felt, apart from saying that empty really doesn't cut it.

What I've been saying all along, well for the past three weeks anyway, since all this bull shit started, was that its the empty black void in front of me now that is the most depressing part of this break up. I'm over the emotional side of it, that happened rather quickly when I realized that I deserve someone one who will treat me far better than my ex. It's now the struggle to put my life back on some sort of track, and that track lies far, far away from my parent's house. Not to say that means far away from my family, just far away from Darby Green.

I'd worked so hard to build up everything in Melbourne, and to have been forced into making this decision to move back home, and now being left with nothing but memories is difficult to cope with at the moment, because I see no future. If I was planning to move back to England this wouldn't be so hard, obviously, but I hadn't planned that at all, and now I'm back here it's difficult at the moment to find any good in this situation. This is why I've got to spend a fair old while figuring out what it is exactly I want to be doing with my life, now that I have no partner, friends, job, flat...life.

I went out last night with my brother and was explaining to him all about my last life in Melbourne over a few pints of Stella down in The Bell, when I started to convince my self that I'd been forced into making the wrong choice too soon about coming home. I have no bad things to say about my life in Australia, at all. Really, I had the best time of my entire life over there, and I sure as hell wasn't ready to be forced out of the country. I was thinking of starting my plans to return, giving certain people a call and getting a business sponsorship organised and getting back to Melbourne. That was last night, and I was knackered after the flight, and drunk.

I woke up this morning and was thinking about the night before, and what was going through my head, and I rethought my decision, and now I think I'm going to stay here and make a go of it up in London.

Its this kind of thing that I've got to be so careful about over the next few months so that I don't just jump into another decision, with out giving it the time it deserves, as to be honest, this choice I make now, will be one that I'm going to live with for at least the next five or so years. So it needs to be the right one. And that is only going to come with time, and advice from my family and friends. As last night goes to show, I'm still far too messed up in the head to be making big decisions.

Lets see what happens then eh.