About Me

I was born in Luton, known for hat making, Vauxhall cars, London Luton Airport and a great football team who once beat Arsenal at Wembley in a Cup Final, currently languishing in non-league football for the 4th season. I moved to Edinburgh in 1990 and now live in Leith, Edinburgh's 'waterfront'.

Married for 24 years to Louise (who is on day release from Fife), I have 4 children: Holly (aged 27) who's studying medicine at Dundee University, William (aged 26) at the Army Foundation College, Harrogate, Alice (aged 23) and Maddie (aged 16).

We live in a 226 year old Georgian house which we are slowly renovating. We once had a note from an artist posted through the letterbox asking if our semi-derelict house was available to rent as studio space. Things have improved lately; the stonework has been repaired and we have shiny new railings. Just the inside to do now then.

Current CNPS score: 999


Header Image: Richard Bloomfield

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    BBC NEWS | In Pictures | In pictures: Transistor history

    BBC NEWS | In Pictures | In pictures: Transistor history

    The transistor is 60 years old. Isn’t it incredible how things have progressed in such a short period of time? We really take for granted what a huge invention this was, virtually all our modern technology revolves around transistor theory.

    Maddie

    MaddieThis is a latest pic of Maddie, taken on my mobile and uploaded to Flickr.

    Alice in France

    DSC_0327Frank and Steph kindly took Alice on holiday with them to France this summer. I’ve just uploaded all their photos to my Flickr account.

    At least one of us got to go on holiday and get some sun!

    Slow Progress

    The more observant of you, which means nobody, and that’s not a slight on anybody’s observational skills but more a realisation that no one ever visits here, admittedly through my own fault for not writing anything, will therefore not have noticed my CNPS (consecutive number plate spotting) progress in the right-hand side bar.  I have made it past the half-way mark.  500 number plates spotted, only 499 to go.

    I don’t have my records to hand at the moment to see exactly how long it’s taken me to get this far, but I’m pretty certain it’s over two and a half years.  Which means I’m looking a five years in total to finish this bloody game, or more probably given that each day there are less and less old style number plates left on the road.  Richard Herring claims to have completed CNPS in 1 year and 8 months.  All I can say is there must be a lot of old motors around in London compared to affluent Edinburgh.

    Louise and I went to see Richard’s ‘Menage a Un’ show in the fringe last year and we met him in the bar afterwards.  I asked him if he really did complete the CNPS task or whether he just put it on his website to get idiots like me to spend the rest of their lives indulging in something worse than train spotting.  And I mean spotting trains, not the other kind of trainspotting which my home town is famed for.  He assured me that he had done it, and that he’d had to have therapy to break the habit as he was about to embark on repeating the game.

    I was thinking of starting from 999 and working back down to 1.

    Like a Virgin

    Richard bloody Branson. The people’s businessman? I don’t think so.

    I am bloody livid. Why can’t Branston pickle just stop tampering and trying to take over the world. Thank god he didn’t get the lottery.

    Fact: Virgin Active take over one of the health clubs which Louise works at. Result: Paycut; £25 per hour becomes £22 per hour. Membership prices cut? Of course not. Mr Branson enjoys improved margins at our expense.

    Fact: Virgin Media take over Telewest. Result: I can’t watch two programmes which I really enjoy, which were an essential part of my viewing package. Oh, but surely I’ll be paying less for this reduced service? Of course not. Mr Branson enjoys improved margins at our expense.

    I went on a Virgin train the other day on a business trip. They smell. They really do. Like a toilet.

    We flew with Virgin to Cyprus a few years ago. The Air Hostess was so rude Louise swore at her, called her a silly bitch or something after she spilt hot coffee on her and didn’t apologise. The Chief Steward came over and started shouting at us. I told him to shut up and stop defending his staff without even knowing the facts. He went and got the Captain! They left the thing on auto-pilot to come and tell us off for expecting some level of customer service from his useless colleagues. Without doubt the worst example of bad customer service I’ve ever experienced. Pay peanuts, get monkeys. Mr Branson enjoys improved margins at our expense.

    The worst thing about this is the way he constantly squeals and whines at the way his little companies are squeezed and bullied by the big boys. Sky are evil for overvaluing their channels. Camelot are evil. British Airways are evil. Hmm.

    This man is moving in to space travel. It’s like a Dr Who storyline. God help us.

    23.5

    Some time last year I was channel hopping late in the evening and I came across an episode of 24, part way through. I’d heard great things about 24 so I watched the remainder of the episode. Suitably impressed, I added the whole 6 disc set of the first series to my Amazon DVD rental list and have been watching them at a rate of one a month ever since.

    This week, disc 6 (8pm to midnight) arrived, so last night I sat back with a bottle of wine to enjoy the climax of 6 months viewing. At about midnight I only had episode 24 left, so I made the decision to stay up extra late and see it through.

    As the concluding events unfolded I began first to get that feeling of deja vu, then the realisation that I knew what was coming next; this was the episode I’d watched 7 months ago. 23 and a half hours of television viewing climaxing in……a repeat.

    Sod it.

    You are what you eat

    We had a great time over Christmas and New Year spending a week at Center Parcs (sic) and then a few days over New Year in Luton with my Mum & Dad. I was a bit concerned about how Christmas would feel being away in a strange place but it turned out to be a truly relaxing, festive time.

    Needless to say, the diet went on hold for a couple of weeks but I wasn’t too concerned as I had almost reached my target weight. Wednesday last week was judgement day and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I had only put on about 4lbs.

    I started to log everything down again but it rapidly became clear that this had become a bit of a chore. It’s a great method to stick to a strict diet but now I’ve lost most of the weight, I’m moving more into ‘weight management’ mode. This means I don’t have to be quite so strict; my basic diet is still following the guidelines I set myself but I’m not worried about the odd extra thing here and there. And accounting for all those odds and ends is not simple on Fitday.

    I’m going to keep recording my weight on Fitday for a few months and see how it settles down. If I start putting back on then it’ll be back to strict dieting and logging.

    Film Premiere

    Back in May I mentioned that our house was being used in a short film. Well, finally, tonight is the premiere at the Cameo and we’re invited!

    It’s only a 15 minute short based on a true story but nonetheless it’s a professional production. Incidentally, as well as using our front door, they also filmed in the pend across the road, the same pend which was used in Jude. I wonder if our front door made the cut.

    There’s a trailer which you can see on YouTube here.

    Update: We did make the cut: our front door was in the opening minute of the film! And we appeared in the credits! The film was excellent and very moving. Poor Alice was reduced to tears, but she recovered at the party afterwards mixing it with the actors.