September 30th, 2010

Where am I? I am on our bed in Bahrain with my wife as our two tiny children sleep in-between us. The bed will be sold in an hour or two when a nice Bahrain guy comes and picks it up. The villa is empty. All our things have been packed up and moved out and there is only a bed and some suitcases left in here. We fly tonight back to London. Back home. After more than four years of travelling and adventures its time to put our wheels up and start to plan our lives. Leaving Bahrain has been hell and never ever have I felt more exposed and scared as I have this week. Bahrain is brutal if you are in trouble. We have been stopped from selling our furniture by our landlord because he thinks we are secretly trying to move out without paying a penalty months rent. HSBC have been brutal and any loans or credit cards unpaid result in a travel ban once your present company informs them you are leaving. Luckily we paid off the credit card this month but that’s not enough and they require 20% of the overdraft limit sits in your account just in case some mysterious payment comes out in a months time. HSBC never told me that. Everyone company in Bahrain wants your money and assumes that you will rip them off until proven otherwise and its all very trying.

I managed to get my dream job in London and I start on Monday. I couldn’t take anymore and I said goodbye to my colleagues\friends this afternoon. All on good terms. I enjoyed my work here but not the life and even the desert became insufferable after a year. Professionally its been very productive but on a personal level then life here is dull, mundane, brutally banal but all with nice-ish weather. There is nothing to see and nothing to do and anything conumerable like electronics are old, dated and in short supply. The people are a mixed bag but on the whole Bahrain is are kind yet easy to anger and when they go they explode. If bahrain has been useful in any way then I would say it has de mystified the muslim for me. Before I was like many westerners scared of the beards and the prayers and expecting suicide bombers round every corner but the longer I have been here is the longer that these things are kind of superficial and underneath all this fluff are people like you and me. Same hopes and the same fears.

I lay here watching my young family sleep. I am responsible for them all. I have done a good job to date but I hope the new chapter will be more settled than the last four years. End of an era.

Brickhouse Records. Grays. Thurrock. The World.

September 19th, 2010


Here it is. Here is the place that started it all for me. This picture is the inside of Brickhouse Records. To give you an idea of scale the Photographer is standing in the doorway. It was tiny but it was the place where new galaxies opened up and horizons stretched far and wide. It was my library, my map of the world and this was my home. Brickhouse Records in Grays, Essex. I wasn’t really into music at all and a late developer when it came to all things records. Whilst peers were succumbing to the lure of popular teenage culture I was playing computer games. My pocket money was spent on Sega Mega Carts not records or the frivolous fashions of early adolescence. I didn’t want to be cool I wanted to complete Phantasy Zone. In my mind music and clothes were the tacky, irrelevant side effects of growing up and I planned to circumvent that whole scene until I was ready. In my musical development this was a big mistake but an easy one to make considering that the only music I was exposed to was via Top Of The Pops. Pop Music. Mel and Kim. Stock Aitken and Waterman. Failing that the ‘rebellious’ kids were into Iron Maiden. Rock. It hurt my ears. Literally. So it was either a ‘pop’ or a ‘rock’ 7” from Our Price Records or Contact Sam Cruise for my Spectrum from Basildon Market.
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Harry’s Game

August 30th, 2010

melted face

I have this deep dark thought that I feel I need to share with some strangers and, as we are talking, then I will get it off my chest now. Feel free to deride me and call me all sorts of names. I can take it. Firstly, let me state, I am a Harry fan. I have the badge, the scarf and the official DVD. Harry Redknapp is made for Spurs and Spurs is made for Harry Redknapp – or should it say was. When he was first appointed I couldn’t think of a better choice – after a series of continental managers he was breath of straight talking English air. But today, this morning, after Wigan, the dark feelings that I felt in the summer, and periodically gnawed away at me last season, have become overwhelming. Let me try and illustrate what I am trying to say with some background. Firstly we all know Harry is as loyal as a certain Mr Sulzeer Jeremiah Campbell when it comes to switching sides. From Pompey to his ‘spiritual home’ of Southampton in the twitch of an eye is perhaps the most overt display of this loyalty in action but there have been others. Disloyalty (or wheeler dealing) is, of course, all part and parcel of the great Harry Redknapp aura – an aura that spellbinds players, supporters and the press alike and there is no doubting we writhe in ecstasy at all the ‘Del Boy’ shtick because Harry is a fantastic manager. For Spurs, at the time of his appointment, there was no better choice. We needed a straight talking scrapper. Someone to kick the lazy, spoilt, sloth-like players up the jacksy and get them playing again. Harry was the man. With a remarkable, almost eerie, channeling of football magic we were top half of the table and fighting on in the cups. The fine work continued last season but there were times when I was not sold and silly losses to the Wolves and the Stokes and the Hulls seemed undo all those great victories and sometimes, tactically we were left wanting especially when he chose to play Keane almost every game without fail. Of course we got fourth on the last day and that is not to be underestimated and is a huge achievement that, quite frankly, he should deliver based upon a) our squad and b) his salary. We never died and we kept scrapping until the glories of the Champions League are upon us for
the first time in its current, modern, form.
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August 29th, 2010


I am walking along Gloucester Road, Kensington. I just met a hero in my profession and she likes me. She smiled warmly and we spoke at length about my hopes and fears. I met her colleague and he escorted me to a pub in East London. Inside people laughed and drank and sat around relaxed on this late August Friday afternoon. We laughed as we spoke for some three hours about our profession. I waved goodbye and got the tube home. I walk down a tree lined street where badge cars and young families jostle with tourists as shops and cafes sprawl into the arteries of London a warm brezzy air encapsulating the whole scene. I will be working with this lady. I know it. This will be a chance that I will not get again.


I am in Bahrain. I sit at my desk my head cloudy with frustration and broken promises. I have been here almost two years. The Isolation. The Frustration. I am working in the south of the island and my days are endless and repetitive. Somehow my family is with me but sometimes they disappear. I am frustrated. I want to go but the worlds economies have gone to shit and I will be fired here. There are no new jobs. There are no new options. I must sit it out here alone. Every day the same. The weather the same. The long drive. The covered ladies. The scary locals. No drinks. No pork. No rights. No fun. Nowhere to go, Nothing to do. No culture. No signs of life apart form a pool. And a big car. That’s all. That’s life. I get up and I want to go back to sleep again.


I am in Asia. I live in a small box with my wife and our young son. Sometimes I am in China but mostly Hong Kong. I am out of place. I miss London. I love Asia. I walk along the MTR station and go back to our home. The streets teem with life. The air thick. I am happy here. Work is different. The people are cold but I love them. This is a new world. This is a new dawn. My wife asks me how my day was and I explain my frustrations but there is something to keep me here. My friends and my closeness to Bangkok. This is my life.


I am in London. I am walking along High Street, Kensington. I meet my wife and we go to the pub. Inside people are laughing and drinking and sitting around relaxed on this late August Friday afternoon. We laugh as we speak for hours about our lives and plans. We walk down a tree lined street where badge cars and young families jostle with tourists as shops and cafes sprawl into the arteries of London a warm breezy air encapsulating the whole scene. I will miss my life here. I know it. Deep down. This will be a chance that I will get again. One day.


I awake. I am in Bahrain. I fly to London in September. The dream is over.

wierd scenes

June 12th, 2010

weird shit you see driving through the desert part one. Look at this fire, a ruptured pipe line or some such burning away some oil. Oil is like water out here so nobody gives a hoot so it’ll get repaired whenever or when it blows up. Whatever.

Something In The Air Tonight

May 31st, 2010

Today, Israel stormed an aid convoy and killed 19 people. Bahrain reacts by burning things as shown in this picture taken from my phone. Its really real in the field.

What a collector loses (and gains) in the age of music downloading – The Boston Globe

April 28th, 2010

What a collector loses (and gains) in the age of music downloading – The Boston Globe

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The Week in Tweets!

April 11th, 2010
  • #redshirts are such chavs but fair oplay, more of them than their is of the yellow. Its called democracy. #
  • In some ye olde arcade in #bahrain 93 Ridge Racer #
  • This is a pivotal day for #Thailand #
  • Never ceases to be amazed at the ineptitude of the #thai authorities. #

Protected: Escape To Victory

April 5th, 2010

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The Week in Tweets!

April 4th, 2010
  • Haha @SkyNewsBreak: Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas will miss rest of the season after suffering small crack in leg bone in Barcelona game #
  • RT @MC_Craig_G: RT @RevRunWisdom An idiot with a plan,, trumps a genius without one.. #