There is not enough time …

As always when I start a blog I have loads of good intentions of keeping it updated and writing lots of posts, but as you can see that has not happened.

The last few months, in fact this entire year has been manic.  I’ve been meaning to write an update about my band and the single we put out in September. I have been meaning to write about the musical history books I have been reading, the documentaries I have been watching and I have also been meaning to start writing about bands I like in a lot more detail.  More on that another day.

For now – this is the single we put out in September :

Failure to update

I had hoped to keep this blog much more up to date than I used to but appear to have failed being as I have not updated it since May.

June was busy – Glastonbury was good, but hard work. Walking 12 miles a day with kids is not an easy task.  My new band Exactly Zero did their first gig and life, work, etc generally took over.

July – we’re already mid way through and the last few weeks appear to have been non stop.  All good though.

I will try and do a better update soon! Promise

Camping it up

The weekend just gone was spent camping in a field in Sussex which was lovely.

Many years back my wife and I purchased a 1973 VW campervan which was bright Pink and we called her Pinky. We had her for about 5 years before selling her as she was expensive to maintain and not practicle with two kids. So we then got a folding camper (which I will write about in more detail one day).

Over the years of having the VW we got to meet a load of people who also had vans and would all go camping together.  This weekend was spent with that group of people.  Together we are a random and eclectic bunch who enjoy having drinks by the fire and generally some dark humour and fun.

This weekend was quite challenging at times with Ellie, my youngest, deciding that she would not go to sleep and was screaming her lungs out until 2am on the Friday night.  Then my son woke up at 5am and didn’t want to sleep in his bed anymore.  Thankfully Saturday was a bit more relaxed.

During the day we took the kids to Drusillas Park and saw a load of cool animals before going back to the campsite where we played Cards Against Humanity – which is very funny.

Then on Sunday morning we packed up and headed home.  But for that brief while whilst camping it was lovely, away from work, from home and with good friends.  I’m just gutted I didn’t bring my telescope as the sky was clear and the stars were out.  Next time!

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Guided Meditation at Work

It is Well Being week and my work place are putting on a whole series of events during the week which is excellent.  One of the sessions was around a guided group meditation which I attended this morning.

I have done meditation before, at the start of 2016 I was doing it daily to help my backpain and just generally reduce stress and it worked really well.  The problem was I couldn’t find time to fit it in and I found the meditation techniques stopped working.

So it was great being part of a group meditation this morning.  About 20 of us gathered in The Boardroom and did a 10-15 minute meditation.  I felt very relaxed and could even block out all the building work going on next door.  The builders had been asked to hold off loud noises for 30 mins but they somehow forgot that.

It has made me want to try and get back into meditation on a more frequent basis, I just need to make sure that ‘I don’t have time’ is not an excuse as I am sure I can find 10 mins a day to do it.  I’ll keep you updated.

50 ways to take a break

A couple of weeks ago I was on a training course learning how to be more resilient to change.  I won’t go into all the details of the course but one of the things that really stood out for me was how in amongst everything going on at work and in life it is important to sometimes ‘take a break’.

We all lead busy and stressful lives and are often locked into our digital souls; stuck on Facebook, Twitter etc and we do not give ourselves time to just be us.  One of the things in the course was a picture showing 50 ways to take a break and I wanted to share that on here for anyone who needs a bit of time out.

My favourite thing to do when I am stressed is take a brisk stroll and look up.  I love seeing clouds float through the air and watch the slowness of everything compared to the busy world below.  I also try to be more mindful these days and look for the little moments that remind us it is ok to let go.

The other week I was sat in the square at work and for a minute I got lost watching tree blossom blowing through the air, it was mesmerizing and even though it was brief it was a nice escape.

Anyway … take a look at these suggestions and give them a go and let me know what you think.

Watching the flames

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Last weekend was the Easter bank holiday and I had a few extra days off work which gave me 6 days with the family.  It was a good few days and we were busy every day.  On Sunday we went camping.  It is hard to find places where you can go just for one night but we managed to find a site in Chichester called Lakeside which allowed us to rock up for the day and then go the next one.

So on Saturday we got the folding camper (which I might write a blog post about one day) out of the garage and attached the roof box and bars to the car.  On Sunday we tried (and failed) to pack light and set off.  We got to the site at midday and after an hour of unfolding the camper we were set up.  The campsite was basically a big touring field and wasn’t the most pretty place but it was fine for 24hrs.

We went on a few walks in the day and let the kids do some Easter egg hunts.  Then in the evening we lit the fire pit, had some marshmallows with the kids and eventually managed to get them to sleep.  Then Katie and I drank cider and sat watching the flames burn.  Eventually we ran out of wood and went to sleep.

The next morning we had breakfast, went on another walk and then folded the van back up and went home.

It was nice to get away from the house for 24hrs and spent a night under canvas again.  We didn’t get to do much camping last year but hopefully will do a lot more this year.  We have a weekend booked in May and of course Glastonbury in June.

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Waking up at the same time …

Have you ever noticed that in TV shows and movies everyone wakes up at exactly the same moment after an explosion or being knocked out?

My wife and I were watching some stuff over the weekend and she commented on it which made me question whether they do that just for TV or whether that would actually happen.  My guess is that they just do it on TV as it would be pretty borning waiting for everyone to come round.

Anyway … if you know the answer please do let me know.

Exactly Zero : War Games

My new band; Exactly Zero released a new track over the weekend.  It’s called War Games and was originally recorded at the start of last year.  It is going to be on our debut album but we wanted to get it out there as the subject matter fits very nicely with what is currently going on between USA / Syria / North Korea … especially the lyrics ‘we’re killking people, who kill people to stop people killing’.

We also made a little video for it which features some borrowed footage from the 1980s film with the same name. Hope you like it.

Why are people so lazy?

I was on the train home the other night and the man sat next to me had a newspaper, banana and take away coffee.  When he got off the train he just left them all on the seat tray rather than pick them up and put them in the bin which was less than a meter away from him (see image below).

Littering really annoys me.  Why do people feel it is acceptable to leave their rubbish in places?

I like to think I am very good and don’t litter, recycle everything I can and try to live by the ‘leave no trace’ mantra.  If I go camping I put all my rubbish in bin bags and leave the site looking as good as I found it.  Same if I am in a resturant, on a train, walking down the street.  But so many people just take their rubbish for granted and expect others to tidy up after them. It’s a real shame.