Category Archives: Aspiration

Goodbye 2015 and David Bowie, Hello 2016

Today is the 12th January, so it’s probably a bit late to write about new year resolutions, but better late than never I say.

Incidentally, David Bowie passed away yesterday, which has also got me looking back and reassessing things, sad day, he was a true original and there’s not many of them around anymore, believe me.

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Looking back at 2015, it was generally, a good year I think. We had a great get-together for Clare and Alex’s 71st birthday party, I finally finished the first draft of my feature film screenplay, we made a few films, had a lovely holiday with Clare in Malta, Alex graduated from University and we’re all well, so we end the year in a stronger position than we started it.

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There was also some tough times for all of us, but nothing, compared to the struggles some people are facing, so I mustn’t complain.

And yet…

Even though I’m only 25 years old on the inside, I’m told that my body is much older – 46 in fact. The technical term is ‘middle-aged’ which sounds about as beige and boring as you can get. Few things with the word ‘middle’ in them ever come across as sexy I’ve found – with the possible exception of ‘middle-earth’.

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Without wanting to sound too depressing, I’m much more aware of the ticking clock. I still have goals and dreams, things I want to achieve and experiences I want to, well… experience. Now in the old days these would have been things like hang-gliding or climbing Kilimanjaro but as great as those things are, they are fleeting distractions from the norm. Brief high points that poke out through the clouds into the sunshine above. What I’d like to do now is improve the situation down here in the gloomy everyday life that I spend most of my time.

Everyone can write up a bucket list of fantastic experiences, few people though, can write down how to fundamentally become happier and more content with their lives. I’m confident it can be done I’ve just got to work out how – it can’t be too hard, can it?

So 2016 will be more focussed on the priorities, family, friends, health and wellbeing. I want to express myself more, get out more, explore more and learn more. I want to devote more time to the important people in my life and have more fun. But most importantly I want feel I’m working towards something of value.

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So Happy New Year to you and anyone who knows me. Stay in touch, and let’s meet up for a coffee or a beer, but not someday, this week, or this month, let’s organise it and make it happen – that’s my philosophy for 2016.

Organise it and make it happen.

Will it work? I don’t know, I sincerely hope so. I’ll keep you updated.



TEDx Salford

TED is a global set of conferences where a variety of speakers talk about a variety of subjects – usually for fifteen to twenty minutes each.

I’d come across these by accident a few years ago, as many of the presentations are on YouTube, which is nice as a ticket to a ‘proper’ TED conference is hundreds of pounds. From what I can tell, TEDx is a franchised version where organisations like Salford University can run their own conference under the TED banner.

I recommend catching some of the videos on YouTube as they are fascinating and often very inspiring. I’ve seen experts talk about wooden skyscrapers, paper towels, how the brain works, drones and much, much more. Probably my favourite speaker though, is Sir Ken Robinson, who is apparently the most viewed TED talk on the web, here’s the video in case you’ve missed it:

Interesting eh?

Now imagine my excitement when a few weeks ago, Lady Hughes called me up to say there was going to be TEDx Conference in Salford, at the Lowry Theatre, and I could get a ticket for the whole day for £30!

Ticket booked and paid for, I turned up on Sunday hoping the Salford version would match what I’d seen on the web.

My worry was that instead of internationally renown speakers and globally respected experts in their field, we would have a collection of local activists and council departmental heads outlining new initiatives to address anti-social behaviour in Broughton. You see, I hadn’t been able to find out who the speakers were, except for one who was talking about ‘Cliteracy’ whatever that was? The positive thing is that they only talk for a relatively short amount of time, which meant that even if you don’t like one, you know another will be round in a couple of minutes – like waiting for a bus.

I needn’t have worried, the parade of speakers was varied, international and inspiring – too many to list here so here’s the link to their site:

My personal favourites were Massimo Marchiori, Tawakkol Karman (Nobel Peace Prize Winner), Jack Sim (Mr Toilet) and Jack Andraka (teenage cancer scientist).

The only down-side to the event was that I entered with a sniffle which developed into a full-force man-flu through the course of the event. So bad in fact that I had to leave before the end and missed out on the last few speakers – but that’s hardly their fault I suppose.

Great event and I can’t wait for next year’s so I can stock up on vitamin C and see the whole thing.



Inspired by BBC’s Stargazing Live, and the possibility of seeing the Aurora Borealis (northern lights) for the first time, Clare and I went out to do a bit of stargazing.  Armed with a pair of binoculars and some astronomy apps loaded onto my phone and our tablets we set off into night.

It may be a bit nerdy but we actually had a good time.  The trick was finding somewhere away from the streetlights and other light pollution and not picking a spot where we might look in any way suspicious wandering around in the dark.  It’s a sad fact where we live that if you spot someone wandering around in the dark trying to avoid lit areas, they’re probably looking to explore something other than the universe. The joys of urban living eh?

Well, we didn’t see the Aurora Borealis but we did get clear skies and managed to identify a few constellations such as Orion, Cassiopeia, Ursa Major and Minor, and Gemini.  We also found the Orion Nebula, Polaris, oh and the Moon (that was relatively easy to find to be honest).

Would I do it again?

Yes, I wouldn’t say it’s a passion but next time we’re camping and sat round the fire looking up, beer on hand, I’d love to be able to know my way around – rather than just making it all up like I usually do!


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2014: A Fresh Start

So it’s the first day of a new year and a time to look ahead and make some plans.

If you want make God laugh, tell him your plans

I’ve become rather sedentary of late and I’m very conscious of the need to stay fit and active now that I’m into my 40’s – how depressingly sensible and boring is that?

So the plan is to try and get out a bit more in 2014 and make the most of life, not just for my physical health but for my mental health as well.

This blog is where I’ll record how I get on.  So, hopefully, this time next year I’ll be able to look back on this and feel I didn’t waste too much of my time and did manage to actually live a little.

Wish me luck!