Archive for September, 2010


Thursday, 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.

Sunday, 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.