Thursday, June 17, 2010

My new portflio and CV website

Sunday, December 02, 2007


hi all,

i am in a beseeching kind of mood.

read - act - make a fucking difference

i am impotent. i don't want to be any more. what can we do?

seriously, i want ideas.,,2220370,00.html,,2220369,00.html,,2220371,00.html,,2220422,00.html

it's not right, it's not ok

fucks sake people - we can do better than this.


Monday, November 05, 2007

remember remember the fifth of november - what's that again?

hey all,

found this in the New York Times - is it really that bad back home.

Big up Slough though!



YORK, England, Nov. 2 — Deep in the bowels of the York Dungeon, visitors were being treated to a dramatic rendition of the horrific torture and bloodcurdling screams of Guy Fawkes, the city’s most famous deceased resident. Up at the cash register, Kate Stapylton, the duty manager, was talking about the health and safety regulations governing the attraction.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Safety regulations are limiting the burning of effigies of the traitor Fawkes, second from right.

The New York Times

York, his hometown, will have no official fireworks today, 401 years after his execution.

No wet floors. No obstructions in the passageways. Many well-lighted emergency exits. But even with her respect for such policies — “You don’t want anyone to hurt themselves,” she said — Ms. Stapylton said it was a bit much that, apparently because of health and safety rules, York would not be sponsoring a traditional fireworks celebration for Guy Fawkes Night on Monday.

“Personally, I think it’s a bit silly,” she said.

York, along with many other municipalities, has often been the scene of huge events — fireworks, bonfires, the burning of creepy effigies of Fawkes — to commemorate the failure of Fawkes’s plan to blow up Parliament and the king in 1605, a shocking moment in British history. But in the face of increasingly onerous regulations, none are taking place in the city this year.

No one — not the local government, nor any local group — wanted to spend the money to “address the health and safety measures of having large numbers of people in close proximity to the fireworks,” a spokeswoman for the City of York Council said.

Many residents think it is perverse not to have an official Guy Fawkes celebration in Guy Fawkes’s hometown. But Steve Galloway, the council leader, explained in an interview that a fireworks display would be prohibitively expensive — perhaps $200,000 or more, what with crowd control, temporary lighting, crash barriers and the like, not to mention the fireworks themselves.

The decision has made things awkward for the York Tourism Bureau, which likes to play up the city’s relationship to Fawkes.

“We get hundreds of calls from people saying, ‘We want to celebrate Bonfire Night in the home of Guy Fawkes, and what are you doing?’” said Gillian Cruddas, chief executive of the bureau. “We have to say, ‘Actually, nothing.’ It’s quite embarrassing, really.”

Beyond that, York’s fireworks-free day has provoked a degree of soul-searching in Britain, which loves even its gruesome traditions and is ever alert to new examples of how safety regulations are thwarting people’s efforts to enjoy them.

“You name it, and somebody, somewhere behind a desk, will quickly find a regulation that bans it,” Michael Nicholson, a television correspondent, wrote in an opinion column in The Daily Express. He gave other examples, like the banning of an annual pantomime show in Kent after the local vicar was told he had to pay about $1,400 to “weight test” an iron beam carrying a light bulb, and the organizers were forbidden to store costumes and scenery behind or beneath the stage.

Christmas-light displays in towns, as much a seasonal feature as eating plum pudding and slumping in front of the television with the family after lunch, are another fraught issue. Stephen Alambritis, a spokesman for the Federation of Small Businesses, said many municipalities and businesses were unwilling to spend the money to comply with safety rules governing their installation.

Only registered electricians can put up the lights, and they are required to use cherry pickers, not ladders, Mr. Alambritis said in an interview. Every bulb has to be tested every year to ensure that it is electrically safe and that “it won’t flash in someone’s eyes,” he said.

He said he heard of one municipality that left its Christmas lights up year around rather than pay the $100,000 or so to put them up and take them down.

“It’s a sad state of affairs,” Mr. Alambritis said. “Each year, it becomes more difficult, as local authorities become more risk averse.”

But at this time of year, when the air is thick with smoke from bonfires and full of the sound of fireworks, people are focusing on what they see as the dwindling of one of their favorite old customs. They mention the risible situation last year, when rather than trying to meet the safety requirements for building an actual bonfire, a rugby club in Devon showed 1,400 spectators a short movie of a previous bonfire.

“It’s just ridiculous,” said Rob Anderson, the leader of the Labor opposition on the Slough Borough Council, which decided not to have a bonfire this year. (It will have fireworks, though, along with an Asian Elvis impersonator.) “On Bonfire Night, you have a bonfire. Unfortunately, the people running the council seem to have other ideas, but they don’t seem too clear about the reason why not.”

Among other things, the Slough authorities have argued that a bonfire would violate environmental laws, upset residents from foreign countries with no tradition of Guy Fawkes Day and kill animals that settle into the wood before it is set alight and are unable to escape.

“In past years I have gone and looked at the embers of Slough’s bonfire, and you could see hundreds of animal bones,” Richard Stokes, the council leader, told The Slough Observer.

Supporters of the tradition point out that in the absence of organized fireworks and bonfires, revelers are likely to build unsafe bonfires in their backyards or set off private fireworks recklessly (although tough new fireworks regulations have made it harder to get hold of the really dangerous ones that used to blow people’s fingers off).

York officials are convinced, though, that they have done the right thing. “If you were someone who had been hit by a firework, particularly one of the more powerful ones, you’d take the view that your health and safety are more important than making a few fairly cheap points about bureaucracy,” Mr. Galloway said.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

snow patrol did this

Hi all,

A sentimental one rant I’m afraid.

It started soft, and ended hard. Not sure how that happened.

Blame Snow Patrol, blame Snow Patrol and that guitar sound, early on, that feels like tear drops on Run. Blame Snow Patrol and the synth line in How to be Dead that sounds like fairground memories that Hollywood says we all should have, but none of us do. Blame Snow Patrol and blame music in general.

I was talking last night about townies, about their white jeans and Ben Sherman shirts; in white and red: alluding to pink. And How Soon is Now came up; a song that means more to me than most others. I said - of townies - that you can tell a townie by the fact that they wouldn’t even enter into a conversation about how to dance to it, let alone know how to dance to it. It is beyond them, and rightly so.

How then, can you dance to How Soon is Now? The clues are in the song; you go to the club alone, you stand on your own and you go home and your cry and want to die. But that is not the point of this missive, this message and meander. My point is this: Music holds more sway over me than, in many cases, people that are part of my life; my new life, here in Bahrain.

I have taken, for example, to burning a hundred tunes on to a CD and then loading them on one or other of the computers at work. Thus I inflict my musical will upon those that share an office with me. Most of the time, it pans out; those that share my office are either indifferent or mute about my choices of tune. I am the universal in that I have; their have-not-yets are usurped and made irrelevant by my choices and decision.

But when one of my choosing is questioned or vilified, I see it fit to fight back in its defence far more than I see fit to question the unequal time that each of us spends in the office; each of us contributes to the ultimate creation of our magazine. It is easier, no, more desirable, to argue over the virtues of Snow Patrol, U2 or Otis Redding than it is to confront the realities of working here: Here, this island of dreams made sour through realisations of awkwardness; that no one else really cares, that you are the transient and that they will be here forever: no matter what.

And so, this is not a message home for reassurance, rather, it is a message home for reasons of clarity. I have spoken to some of you in recent weeks and felt; felt honestly, the warmth of envy emanating from cheeks pressed too closely toward the phone, that mine is better life than yours, that if you could only escape, then it would - all - be fine. This message is a warning, that whilst the grass is most certainly greener on the other side of the fence, at least, on your side of the fence, the grass grows naturally, from what nature - god - provides: it is not battled and fought into sublimation and acquiescence; nothing there happens because it is not in the best interests of, if not the majority, then at least a concerned and influential minority. Life here is about bending to the will of those that you know the name of - you cannot escape the name; McDonald’s is not the name here, nor Microsoft or Ford - these become franchises; something that the ruling family’s’ can wield, something they can use to brag about with the other families that own the labour laws, the legal system and civil liberties.

I started this by talking about music. At least you have music; it is at the very core of your daily lives. If it isn’t, it should be; even if it is Snow Patrol, even if it whatever chart pap you listen to at work. Bahrain is where music goes to die. There is one DJ, as far as I can tell, on Radio Bahrain, who has the kind of passion - and knowledge - that is surely required by law for one to be allowed a post drive time show on a national station. This is the crime, he gets two hours a week and tells his listeners that none of the music he plays is available here: download he says; and who cares if it’s legal. He studied in the UK and when I Interviewed him, he said, “We all come back [from studying] kicking and screaming, but how many of us actually leave again? I’m leaving, as soon as my family let me; I’m working on it. ...”

This is a dead society. But most people who have any power, state - firmly, and often loudly - that this society is just beginning.

But they value nothing that cannot be sold.

It does make me laugh - quietly and to myself, never daring to say it loud....

The Jews - who they all hate, and blame for everything - the hatred here is so complete and so facile that the anti Zionist society - and I swear this is not made up - ordered globe balloons for some kind of celebration and cut Occupied Palestine (Israel) out of them before they were inflated.

Anyway, the Jews have been parodied and despised for exactly the same reasons for centuries: that they value nothing that cannot be sold.

It is a fledgling and childish society; they are toddlers - who one could be forgiven for losing ones temper with occasionally.

What is the worst part of this rant? That Bahrain is by no means the most guilty of any of this. The average Bahraini doesn’t care about Islam in any global sense; they are mild and forgiving. They have a longer history than most of the GCC nations in dealing with outsiders and know the value of commerce. To the others though, those that have been holding the rest of the world ransom ever since the seventies, commerce is new. And the power that having a product that others want is new and they are milking it for whatever they can.

I saw King Abdullah of Saudi in London - meeting the Queen with full regal circumstance - and it sickened me; the BBC, that day, was no better than the excuse of a national press that we have here

”....and the queen showed him photos of a horse - Bank Note, I think - who was descended from a gift from his father; she showed him baubles and trinkets; gifts to her mother and grandmother: totems of colonialism and exploitation that he is only too keen to reverse: now that the shoe is well and truly on the other foot.”

I seem to have ended up in a very different place to where I started. And not really said very much in between. It happens.

Night all


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I just can't wait this year...

I normally try to wait until at least November before I start to think about all things christmas, but I just can't wait this year. I think it has something to do with feeling a bit left out of all the Eid celebrations, what with not being Muslim, and fasting and all that. I'm making the pudding and the mincemeat this weekend. Months of feeding something else other than the catses...


an English dude complicit in torture - who would have ever thunk it...


Monday, October 15, 2007

And she does it again...

Hi folks, yet again made a total tit of myself. I left a trail of morello cherries across the floor of one of the nicest hotels as I dashed to the loo to throw up and expunge myself of the lethal toxin that is alcohol. Bad Penguin. I then threw up in the taxi, and at home, passed out in the bath. Just the usual. Bad Penguin. Poor Timmy. Licking my wounds today, i'm not all that impressed with myself, and I don't think i'm the only one.

Aside from drinking too much (4 cocktails over three hours, as you ask) life here is ok. I am of course ridiculously proud of the cons for doing his OU course, and I am already planning what to wear to the graduation. He is so wonderful.

My job suck and I am getting quite upset about the whole thing. On Thursday I managed to upset two teachers, not a part of my job that I enjoy. It is difficult to manage a department when you don't have the quality of staff, I am lucky in that we have some good teachers, but others are a waste of time. I feel responsible to the kids for not providing them with a quality education. It is hard when you have a vision, and you know what an English department should be like, and you can't work towards that because you spend time writing SOW that the teachers should be doing. In general, quite upset about the whole thing.

Still, other aspects of life are good, the cats are being excellent at the moment, Arthur has finally forgiven us for the move. The weather is gorgeous and we are looking forward to Tim's parents coming over. I am also busy planning christmas too.

Take care guys, love you all.

because sometimes heidi forgets....

thus the world is put to rights.

she, actually, is my hero.

love ya babe.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Eid Mubarak

hey all,

it's been a long time coming, but it's finally here.

Akin to waiting for christmas day when you are about 6, today bahrain gets back to normal; the coffee shops are open, i can smoke in the street but more importantly, the bars are open again.

you have no idea how frustrating it is to have no to go and have a beer after a bad day in the office. having a beer at home sometimes just doesn't cut it.

so, Eid Mubarak all.