About Me

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Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Broadcaster, musician, song writer, tea drinker and curry lover.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lunar Eclipse

Well I'm ashamed to say that I was not awake to take this shot of last night's lunar eclipse, but along with the meteor shower the other week, it NEVER fails to remind me of how small we are and how amazing God and his creation are. There's something comforting about being reminded of my insignificance, and yet that God in his infinite wisdom chooses to call me friend. I don't understand it, I probably never will, but I'm eternally grateful!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Happiest Bride.....EVER!

So this weekend it was the society wedding of the year, Braxton and Nicole (or, if you will, Nicole and Braxton). I promised the world that I would bring the blow by blow, so here it is.

Gotta say that this wedding would really work as an example of what the occasion is really all about. Not too long and formal a ceremony, just a delightful powerpoint slide show at the start showing the bride and groom from birth up til the present, along with some great music. There was also a lovely song performed by the cream of our Worship Team.

Half an hour later it was all over, but here's the thing; Nicole did not stop smiling the WHOLE DAY! I've never seen a bride so excited and happy. I'm more used to seeing people really nervous before a wedding, but there was none of that here.

You couldn't ask for two nicer young people, and I'm sure God's hand will be heavy on this marriage, as two science nerds unite to become...one Supernerd!!

Have a great life together guys, you richly deserve it!!


There's been a lot of column space taken up with this fantasy adventure fairytale, and I have to say that the movie does live up to the hype.

It plays as a virtual Who's Who of British movie making, joined by the likes of Clare Danes, Robert de Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, who pulls off a very creditable English accent.

UK talent in the movie includes Peter O'Toole, Ricky Gervais (playing pretty much himself!), Sarah Alexander, The Fast Show's mark Williams, who is brilliant as a goat, Dexter Fletcher from Hotel Babylon, and many more.

Stardust is one of those movies that you can easily lose yourself in, and time flashes by very fast. In the main, it would be a pretty good family movie, but definitely one for snuggling up with your significant other as the hero searches for his true love!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Good news from the health club...

Well last night was my Trainer night at the gym, and every 2 weeks I have a bunch of measurements taken to determine body fat/muscle ratios, as well as other measurements of muscle development.

My trainer Doug was really pleased with me, as my body fat percentage was down one whole percentage point compared to 2 weeks ago. That may not sound much to some of you, but apparently it is very good, and along with that there has been a marked change in some of the measurements, indicating that muscle is already beginning to replace fat. My new nutrition program is kicking in well, and I already feel a lot better, so I am very encouraged. It's always good to stay on the right side of your trainer!

So for this week, my workout program is a lot longer and focussing on more specific musicle groups (my arm and shoulder muscles are not as strong as I'd thought, and we're really concentrating on those).

In addition, my cardio work is concentrating on getting a higher heart rate, so the speed and incline on the treadmill is going up.
I'm doing some free weight work now, which is the first time I've ever done that. Feels a bit weird at first, but I'm told I'll get used to it soon.

I've also been given a day off (I was going in 7 days a week) as Doug wants to leave us somewhere else to go when we need to up the work rate later.
So it's all looking good, and although there's a long way to go until I become a buffed adonis, it's definitely a very good start.

Monday, August 6, 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum

I've been looking forward to this one for a while now, and it really didn't disappoint. I realize that I am probably going to sound WAY over the top here, but it was definitely the best movie I've seen this year (and I have to say that I've seen plenty). Hardly any swearing, no sex, and some of the best and most suspense-filled chases I've seen in a while. The only down side might be the violence factor, but even this is not really glorified - after all, Matt Damon is playing an assassin!
The movie hops all over the world, taking in Moscow, Paris, Tangiers, Turin, Spain, London and New York, where it all comes to a head. Top that off with a great theme song from Moby and you have pretty much the ultimate action thriller. Go see it. Now!!!

George Formby Grill

So I was advised to get a George Formby Grill by some friends and I managed to pick one up at Wally World for just $15!! A Steal! We'll fire it up and see what this baby does, and I'll get back to you with the scientific (or otherwise) results!!

Friday, August 3, 2007

My personal trainer killed me....!

Okay, so that's probably overdramatizing things just a bit, but the pain was definitely greater after this second session. Maybe I was a victim of my own success in my first week, but now the gloves are off and the sets have increased from 2 to 3, in some cases the weights have increased, and a couple of new machines and exercises have appeared. In addition to that, my cardio sessions will be up to 30 minutes and now treadmill based.

Still, it's all good, and I do feel generally much more alert and healthy - just think what it'll be like after 6 weeks of this!

I also have a nutrition program that I'm looking through this weekend, aiming to come up with a combination of foods and calories that will work for me. We'll see how I get on with that.

You definitely reach a point in your life though when you think to yourself; "no matter what, I've just got to do this thing, despite the cost, the pain etc etc" and I'm sure the end will justify the means!

Thursday, August 2, 2007


Those who know me well are aware that I like to be as honest and upfront as possible, so I'll come out and say that I'm not the greatest fan of Casting Crowns' music. What I mean by that is that there are 3, maybe 4 songs per CD that I'll be able to really enjoy, but the rest - from a musical standpoint (and after all, I AM a musician) - are usually pretty anonymous.

The one thing which is indisputible however, is that Casting Crowns' lyrics are outstanding, and this recent book by the band's frontman and principal songwriter, Mark Hall goes behind the song titles of some of the group's best known and most loved songs, to tell the real-life stories that brought them into being.

Besides the stories behind the songs, Mark shares what he calls the "Godlines" that are the integral parts of each song, and on which the songs have their foundations. This has the effect of further bringing to life the songs, and demanding that you revisit them yourself.

For me, reading this book - and I'm still only halfway through at this point - has given me a deeper appreciation of just how important these songs are, not just to the body of Christ, but to all people, and although I may still not be musically moved by a lot the band does, this doesn't in any way diminish my appreciation of the value of Casting Crowns today.

Long may they continue to challenge us, and long may God continue to speak through Mark Hall's songs.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Cost of being a Musician

I guess there is a down side with everything, and you'll forgive me if I have a small pity party here. Truth is that a lot of people are a lot worse off than me, but one by-product of many years playing cello and bass guitar is the toll it takes on your hands and joints.

I've been very fortunate up to now to be almost totally free of problems, but for the last few weeks I've really been troubled by arthritis in both hands and I felt today I just wanted to vent, as the pain is pretty much constant and there are times when it becomes a real nuisance.

Like I say, a bit of perspective will show me that there are a lot worse problems I could have, and I feel amazingly blessed to be here doing what I'm doing, surrounded by the friends I have, so maybe you'll forgive me if I just get this out and then shut up and count my blessings!