Who knew?

If you look up from this and look around you, you will notice quite quickly that the world about you is not a barren dusty wasteland with self-replicating Amoebas as the only life form. If you are able to see out of a window, you will most likely spot some shrubbery in various shapes and […]

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On France

I live about two hours from France as the crow flies, to coin an expression. I think that would be a particularly fast flying Crow given how fast I usually drive. But the reality is that from my house to the Channel Tunnel is about an hour and a half’s drive. It occurred to me […]

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Carrot or stick?

It was the BAFTA’s last night, or the Stephen Fry show depending upon how you look at it. Lots of thespians getting gongs for being fabulous. There was much gushing and eye wiping and a wonderful night was had by all. Well except those who didn’t get to stand on stage to gush over a […]

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Waitangi Day

The 6th of February is Waitangi Day in New Zealand. Also known as New Zealand day. It’s sort of our little version of the American 4th of July but with an awful lot more controversy surrounding it over the years and not so much celebration, which is a shame. I worried about doing this post […]

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On what’s written on things

I had a momentous day recently. One of those days that only comes around every few years if you are me. I had spent a few days doing what is one of my favourite things in the world to do and the culmination of those efforts was for me to email a colleague and say […]

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Les Misérables, Sandy’s review

Although by no means qualified to be a movie reviewer, I am incredibly well qualified to review this movie on its merits as a standalone production rather than as a comparison with the stage show as so many reviews will do. This is because I had never seen the stage show; I had not read […]

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On travel

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, will be to decipher the bits of this post where my tongue is in my cheek and where it is not. I live overseas from where I was born. I have travelled as far to my current home from my original one as it is possible to […]

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I’m on the phone!

I’ve got one of those smart phone things. Not a silly one which the people who really want an iPhone have, but a proper iPhone and not just any iPhone but the 5, the top of the range one that can carry about 20,000 songs on it and all of the internet, plus some films. […]

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Round Robin

I know I said happy Christmas and all that on my last post but the post wasn’t very christmassy. This is going to be along the lines of a ’round robin’ thing one might put in a Christmas card. Sort of a roundup of the goings on in 2012 which in many ways was quite […]

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A spot of lunch

Are we sitting comfortably? I want to tell you a story about a lunch. Fresh homemade bread, some thick slices of cold ‘off the bone’ Ham, a bit of chutney, a Kit-Kat and a bottle of water. That was probably the best lunch in my life. I just sat there on my own eating a […]

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The Greatest Show on Earth

Recently, Jen and I took a trip to Lille for the night. That’s something I love about living in England and Southern England in particular. On a whim we can hop in our car and drive to Europe for supper. Lille is great as it’s only an hour and a quarter from the Calais Eurotunnel […]

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Christmas Shopping tips

Apparently recycling is a good thing to do at Christmas. So I’m doing just that. Spot the 2nd helping! Christmas is coming and while some people might think that it’s all about Jesus, I know better. Christmas is about a huge meal, copious booze and presents, hopefully mostly for me. I am actually a big […]

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Social Awareness

I’ve coined a phrase, it already exists in a roundabout sort of way but the existing phrase is some crap about consciousness and how society works within itself or some such hippy sounding bollocks. My phrase is ‘Social Awareness’. In my world it means having the first clue about what is going on around you. […]

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Casting a vote

I haven’t had a proper rant for a while. I’ve been too busy being reflective or trying to be more about having a glass a little bit more than half full. Today my glass is quite empty in figurative terms though, because last night something dramatic happened in television entertainment. When I state what occurred […]

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On Advertising

I heard someone the other day say “the bloody ad’s ruined it” while discussing some television program or other they found enthralling but was interrupted a number of times by breaks for advertising messages. They, as so many do, describe advertising as a whole with an expletive attached, which is a shame. There is much […]

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Signs of the times, Redux!

This is just a nonsense post to keep the pages ticking over or people will think I have run out of ideas. Well I have but lets keep up the illusion I have something worth saying on a reasonably frequent basis. If you knew me in person you would know that the gaps in my […]

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Guest post ‘Droving days’ (by my late father)

If you have read my last post you will know I talked about the importance of recording your own corner of history, writing down what you’ve done for those that come after you, be they kids, friends, family, whatever. I talked about how my Dad only ever wrote one small snippet about his life before […]

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You are part of history, record it!

This is more of a plea than a post, pay attention! Back in 2009 my father died suddenly. He had a massive heart attack about 5 kilometres into a 110 km bike race and died where he fell. Dad was a keen racing cyclist, at the age of 70! While it was an awful time […]

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Skyfall, Sandy’s Review

Firstly, It’s safe to read this if you’ve not seen the film. I’m not going to reveal any of it’s secrets or plot details. I’ve never done a film review before and I have not read what those paid to have an opinion on films have thought of this film. That’s those who get paid […]

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A Hero

A couple of simple numbers inspired me to write this particular post.  They are the numbers 102 and 116. I’m writing it because it is nice to have a positive tale of this sort and also a large percentage of the people who read my stuff will be either unaware of this guy’s existence or just […]

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Christmas is coming!

I’m getting all excited. It’s only a few weeks until my Birthday and once that is out of the way it’s only 6 weeks until Christmas. This means the doom merchants and misery guts’s will be out in force decrying the commercialisation of Christmas, more on that in a moment, back to my Birthday. I […]

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Driving a statement

It’s all very well having nice pictures of the highlands on my blog but I’m more about words than images. I am in the mood to make some wild generalisations about one of the things I know most about and what I like to spend my spare time and day job doing. Moving about in […]

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Scottish Highland scenes

I don’t usually do photographic blog posts but I think this particular trip deserves the distribution of a few of the images. I hope you enjoy them. This weekend I spent some time with some friends in the remote Scottish Highlands and I went for a couple of walks and took a few snaps of […]

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Now and then

I wrote a thing recently called formative years about how parents form the opinions of their kids largely by accident. This is an elaboration on that theme in a roundabout sort of way as it got me thinking about what life was like when I was busy having my mind accidentally formed. This is because […]

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Giving thanks

  The season of getting together is upon us. Christmas, Thanksgiving and lots of other meals together with friends and family. Many like a grace, a thanks, a recognition of the event and the meal and we aren’t all Religious. So, if you want a non religious grace for your gathering. I’m happy if you […]

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Formative years

This is the one I started on holiday a couple of weeks ago but typing a blog post on holiday on an iPad is far from easy and I like an easy life. So I did a ‘to be continued’ thing because my thought pattern was still emerging.  It started with me thinking about what life […]

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Once upon a French holiday

I’m sitting on a comfy chair with an iPad on my lap, there is a bit of a breeze, not much but just enough to move the air without chilling it.It’s amazing how different France is to England despite being so close by. You have to drive a decent distance in to get away from […]

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Something for supper?

You may recall if you pop here from time to time that I put a post up recently called ‘on food’. If you missed it, go and have a look, it’s just over there > I mentioned in it that I hate cooking, I mean really hate cooking, unless of course it’s cooking meat with […]

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What a song and dance

This is a bit off beat for me, excuse the pun but it’s meant to be a cheerful post as I’m in a good mood. It’s Friday evening, this time next week our summer holidays will be starting. It’s hard not to get a spring in your step about that. I was mulling about musical […]

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On The Olympics

So the Olympics have finished, I’ll miss the Olympics because I love the Olympic Games. I’d no more go to a track and field meeting than fly to the moon. I have no interest whatsoever in world championship athletic meetings which seem to happen every few weeks now. The Olympics are different and special though, […]

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On a Scottish Mountain

I don’t usually do blog posts so close together. I wrote my 100th post yesterday. I actually wanted to write this one for my 100th though. I guess maybe I felt the other one called ‘100th post. Mind games’, might have more universal appeal. I hope some people got something useful from it. This is […]

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Mind games

This is my 100th blog post, who would have thought I had so much to say? It was really hard to decide what to write for the 100th post. You sort of feel it needs to be something worthy to mark a milestone, but what? I had absolutely no idea until I saw my cousin, […]

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Boys will be men.

First things first, I don’t have children because I chose not to.  When I was young on the family farm one of my summer jobs was spraying blackberry and gorse with a herbicide. The herbicide choice of my dad was stuff called 245-T. Now revealed to be an incredibly toxic poison banned in most countries […]

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On food

I have a love/hate relationship with food. The most cursory glance at me will tell you that I clearly love the stuff. I didn’t get to be the man I am today by not making the most of the meals put in front of me. However I really hate cooking. I mean, I HATE cooking. […]

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When in Rome

A few years ago I had to go to Rome for a special occasion, the wedding of a great friend of mine to her soon to be husband. When I say had to go, I was invited and chose to go as I wouldn’t have missed their wedding for the world. Carol and Pete were […]

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On wine

Wine, I drink vats of the stuff, it’s what I drink when I’m not drinking beer. It’s what I drink before I turn my attention to my new-found favourite late night snifter, aged rum. I don’t know a lot about wine really considering how much I consume but I seem to know a little more […]

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Simple things

This is a diversion from normal service for me, but it seemed appropriate somehow given things I’ve heard said or have seen written by people I care about, so indulge me, it’s my blog. Sandy’s quote: You live in a world you didn’t make Deal with things you cannot change Make the best of what […]

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A week on Capri

Ever since I was little, well young, I’d wanted to go to Capri. I’m not even sure why. I lived at the bottom of the world and don’t remember seeing it in a film or anything but I must have done, or seen pictures or read a book about it or something. Capri was always […]

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Observing Americans

You know the the Fourth of July? That’s when Americans celebrate Independence Day, Independence from British Colonial rule. They make quite the song and dance about it. Some might suggest a little over the top as the actual event was an awfully long time ago. But it’s nice to have a big party to celebrate […]

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Pioneers

On a reflective weekend, given I’ve just found out about new members of my family on my Dad’s side. For no particularly relevant reason it put me in mind of Dad’s favourite poet. My family were descended from the sort of people described in this poem. My father died suddenly in October 2009. This poem […]

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You can get it all here folks!

For the past two weeks I have been without a properly functioning internet. This has taught me a lot of things about how awesome the internet is and how much I use it. I felt inclined to give a little insight into some of the things you can do with it and I don’t even […]

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Birthday post, nothing to do with my blogs birthday

It’s my blogs 1st Birthday today. That’s 18/06/2012 if you are reading this any other day. If you are thinking of doing one of your own, or are just a blog fan. I’ll start with why I started. 18 months ago I couldn’t have contemplated doing this. I was not in a great place in […]

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A few days in Lisbon

I was going to do a travel review, but I think an essay is more called for. I’m not actually sure what an essay is or why I’ve called this one but it seemed appropriate. Her Majesty recently celebrated being Queen for an awfully long time and gave the nation a day off to thank […]

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World’s best cars?

This follows on from my previous post about Britain being Great. I was going to add some elements of what follows to that, but soon decided it needs a post of its own. The British Car industry. Firstly that’s the wrong title for the British car industry as they don’t make British cars in Scotland […]

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In defence of the Realm

I’m writing this off the back of something someone who followed me on Twitter has written in his profile description. It says “waiting for Britain to be Great again”. I cannot tell you how many times people have said to me upon finding out that I am a Kiwi, “why on earth would you live […]

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Japanese food, in Manchester

I’ve not done a restaurant review before, apart from a few lines on a restaurant review site of course. I eat out quite a bit but never been moved to write too much about the experience. But my experience the other night merits more than a couple of lines. First some scene setting. If you […]

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A quick trip down New Zealand

If you come here a bit, you’ll know I am from New Zealand but live in England. People ask me about New Zealand a lot, so, now that I can write it down, I am going to save you reading a guide book. This is what you should or must do on your trip to […]

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Who’s reading you?

Someone once said “All the world’s a stage”. I know who said it. It’s going to be a salient point later in this post, stick around. When he said that the world was a big place and everyone had limited means of talking to each other. Also he was something of a writer who liked […]

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How to get to New Zealand

I’m going to enjoy writing this one. It’s a story I have told to so many people I can’t even count. I have yet to tell it to someone without getting a little teary at the end of the telling. You’ll know I am from New Zealand, if you’ve had a look about my blog […]

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Twitter, it’s the name!

You know that Eureka moment? You may not have had one but you’ll know what it is. Sometimes you have an idea so amazing you just know the minute someone hears about it they will come straight round to your house with a truck load of money to buy it from you. Now we have […]

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