Archive for the ‘London’ Category


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.


Sunday, 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.

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Monday, March 22nd, 2010

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Stunts Blunts and Desperation

Friday, March 5th, 2010

So here I am blogging via a mobile as it seems this stuff works at long last. One of the things about a blog is finding the time to sit down and type this shit like people used to write letters back in the day. Its old. Mobile technology has now allowed me to update this site whilst waiting for my son to fall asleep at night. So where were we?

Stunts Blunts and Hip Hop is where. Back, twenty years ago Fuck What You Heard came out on Mercury records. Using a lovely John Handy baseline it featured the best producer on the mic Diamond D who is now a seminal figure on the rap atlas thanks to his first album Stunts Blunts and Hip Hop. Now, this being the 90′s all eyes were on CD’s as the future with vinyl having only years to live. Record execs pictured the future was small and silver rather than big and black so as a kick start to this some albums were not released on vinyl with Stunts, Blunts and Hip Hop being one. In the UK I couldn’t even find a CD version and had to settle for owning just the one Diamond D record for the last decade or two.

Last May, whilst in London, I managed to get a copy of Sally and and via Discogs a Best Kept Secret 12″ but the real holy grail is the album. It transpires that a limited ammount were pressed up as promos and it is one of these babies I am fiending for. Ever since I started building my collection up again after my firesale when we left London for HK I have seen half a dozen on Ebay and Discogs over the last year but couldn’t bring myself to part with the money (150 dollars minimum) but since the Bahrain dinar is so strong and my children are young enough not to require school fees I feel now is the time to strike lest I torment myslef for all eternity. I have emailed collectors on Discogs (which makes me feel a little dirty and cheap but needs must) and I’ll await to see what gwarn. Wish me luck or sell me your copy.