Some simple thoughts and hopefully some entertaining / educational / useful / useless bits and bobs to help you get through the day.

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Friday, 7 December 2012

Creative Christmas ideas

So it's that time of year again and like most of us, you are probably struggling to find those elusive, original gift ideas... well, as always I am here with a helping hand. Below are a top ten selection of his 'n' hers gems that won't break the bank and may well get you some extra brownie points this year. Try not to keep too many for yourself eh?

1. Banksy wall stickers – From under £10 – loving a bit of creativity in the home and of course who could be more creative than Banksy himself, so when we saw this range of fabulous Banksy wall stickers, we were smitten.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

My word is my Bond...

Oh yes, you guessed it, I was one of the many who helped the makers of the new Bond movie 'Skyfall' break box office records over the film launch weekend. Well, what can I say, But amazing. True to the Bond genre, in fact very classic Bond really. Not so many of the toys, but plenty of action and of course the obligatory Bond girls.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Creative competition

Well it's that time of year again, and high time for another creative competition. So it's time for you to get your hands dirty, or not!

All you have to do for your chance to win is send an image of something interesting and creative you have made, it can be anything form a stunning cake to a plasticine model.

Having a diversity ball!

Last night was the Diversity Role Models Carnival, a charity ball, and it was amazing. I was lucky enough to go along and be able to enjoy a night of entertainment and fun in support of a good cause. It took place on the 31st floor of Centre Point, London – where the views of London at night are truly spectacular, but not for the faint hearted.

Monday, 8 October 2012


Rumour had it that this was the new 'matrix', however, I disagree. Don't get me wrong, I loved The Matrix, well all of them... Really loved them... And this, I felt, was a completely different genre. After all, The Matrix was about a fictional reality, Looper is about time travel, time travel abuse if you want to be specific. So not a lot in common really, right..?

Friday, 28 September 2012

Pink faced.. they should be!

I can't for the life of me, work out, how we can (supposedly) send a man to the moon, communicate with the other side of the world in mere seconds and track a stolen vehicle to within metres of its location and yet we still can't work out how to sell tickets to events, fairly and easily?

I could cite the one thing that let us down with the Olympics, ticket sales, but what I am actually taking about it my attempt to get Pink tickets, for the tour next Spring.

The tickets went on sale at 9am this morning and I was ready by quarter to... but by the time I got through at 9.06, the only tickets left were the ones tucked right on the side, and very high up, meaning that you not only get vertigo, but also a stiff neck! Seriously, how did so many tickets get snaffled up so quickly and do you really belive they are all now owned by Pink fans? I think not! The cynic in me believes that most of these tickets will be on sale either at the door or via online auction in the weeks running up to the concerts themselves.

So here I am, not able to buy the high level tickets that are left as I really do have a problem with heights, and now unable to see Pink in concert! I am annoyed with the system that can't seem to cope with such a simple requirement, tickets for genuine fans and not touts.

Oh well, I will get off my soap box now (it's a little high for me anyway), a little pink faced, but resigned to the fact that I will probably end up seeing it on the telly... until we evolve our purchasing systems that is...

I wish you all luck in your search for your ticket of personal choice – you're going to need it.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The bookfrog

In some countries, many children can't attend school unless they can provide their own notepads and writing utensils. So it was my pleasure, as a part of my recent trip to Madagascar, to try to do a little good while I was there and to provide rural village children with pencils and books.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

A Day to remember

If you are ever struggling for a special gift for someone or if you just want to do something amazing, then I have just the thing...

I went to the International Centre for Birds of Prey (ICBP) just before the bank holiday, a great place to go anyway, but I went along for a unique experience with my extended family (all adults). Five of us went to enjoy a Falconry Experience Day. We had such an amazing and memorable time I just wanted to share it with you.

Girl power on the big screen...

I do love an animated adventure, partly because I am just a big kid at heart and partly because the animation is just so awesome these days. I love the detail and the textures that modern animation can achieve and I really do appreciate the huge amount of time spent on them. So imagine my delight when Brave was released.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Going Batty!

Yet again, another Sci–Fi blockbuster to satisfy my alter-ego, 'Batman, Dark Knight Rises' and what a blockbuster. It was an absolute pleasure to watch. Gone is the cheesy, predictable content that was seen in some of the earlier batman movies, if 'Dark Knight' was the adolescent, then 'Dark Knight Rises' really is the fully fledged grown up. Our very own, home grown, Tom Hardy plays 'Bane' and plays it to perfection, managing to portray Bane as both a character to be truly feared and simultaneously, one to be pitied and even admired...

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

The winning recipe...

The sun was shining and the Brits were out in force, following a spectacular opening ceremony which kept the majority of us up way past our bedtime. But yes, it takes more than that to keep the Brits away from the support of team GB. So we were up early and 'bagging our spot' along the route of the Men's and Women's Road Race...

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Music to my, and your, ears...

So I have a friend, who told me sometime ago about his idea to change the world, or at least a very small part of it, and well freshly launched this month – here it is! It's called 'Soundtrack to your' and it's is a fresh new look at sharing, via social media. I love it! So Congratulations to Pete and the exceptional team behind it, simply marvelous.

As you can probably tell, this is all about music and soundtracks to be precise, your soundtracks, your fave personality's soundtrack and so on. You can check it out for yourself here...> I for one am hooked. Why not join in and enjoy and like many of the best things in life it's free...

Monday, 16 July 2012

Compact living – Yo!

Some of you may be aware of the YOTEL? Brainchild of the Yo Sushi creator Simon Woodroffe, if not you should really check out the neat, cabin style design here...> Decidedly spacey (and I don't mean spacious) living spaces that combine modern living with comfort. Based around the experience of first class plane travel and translating that into a compact and very importantly 'affordable' hotel room.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Spider bitten

It was a foregone conclusion that I would see this film, yet another Spiderman movie I hear you cry! Or was it?

Andrew Garfield stepped into Tobey Maguire's shoes to be a new spiderman for a new generation, and I have to say, hand on heart he did it pretty well. He makes a believable geek, and when he assumes his aler-ego as a superhero, he carries off the cocky teen believably too.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

The Marvelous Avengers 3D

For all of you who like a good action adventure, coupled with a healthy dose of Superhero Science Fiction, then look no further. The Avengers is an excellent film which successfully combines all of the charisma,characteristics and humour from our favourite Marvel comic heroes.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Too many cookies?

New legislation has been passed which will affect the majority of UK websites. The law only applies to website who use 'Cookies'. Now for those of you who don't know, as well as being a chewy type of biscuit, a 'cookie' is a device that stores information on a user's browser when they visit a website. If you have a website then you may be using cookies and if you are using cookies, you will need to comply with the latest EU regulations.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Domestic appliance abuse...

It was a busy day, and so when I opened the fridge and was confronted by a black hole, I was momentarily flumoxed – ah the light was off! So I checked the plug, yes, it was in and it was on. So I checked the appliances next to it (using the same supply), yes, they were working fine. Just to be sure I jiggled the fridge out enough to reach the socket and swapped the plugs over, after all, it could just be the one side of the socket that was at fault right? No, still no light. Must be a fuse then. So I located a spare flex (There is always a spare flex for something somewhere?) and went about changing the fuses round, and yes, I checked the flex was working first. You guessed it...

Monday, 30 April 2012

A marvel and a masterpiece!

Back in September, I was lucky enough to be given some theatre vouchers as a birthday present and it had been on my list of to-do's to see War Horse for quite some time. I booked online and managed to get front row tickets for the show, but it meant waiting until now to do so. So, at the weekend, I was very happy to venture out in the howling winds and driving rain and head into town (not sure my other half was quite so chuffed!). We made it, a little moist round the ankles, in one piece, to the New London Theatre on Drury lane,

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

A losing battle...

I was very excited on Monday, for two reasons, (1) O2 Priority moments were running a 40% discount on Odeon cinema tickets (2) I and two others had decided to go and see the film: Battlefield...

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Simply Simon's cat!

Apple-y ever after

If you've been paying attention, you will have noticed that I recently had reason to be a tad disgruntled at my treatment from Apple when it came to the service provided for my apple Mac. Well, credit where credit's due, I am happy to say that my faith in their service has been fully restored. I now have a fully working Apple Mac and I am very satisfied with the service received. Particular thanks go to James Greenwood, who helped me through the whole process and was a pleasure to deal with, I am sure all of the genius team are fabulous, but I can only speak of James as I dealt directly with him.

So for all of you who are going through, or may go through the same frustrating scenario with Apple products, know that you will get there in the end, just persevere. Some of their processes may leave a little to be desired, but the end result for me has been a good one.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

The hunger games

As you know, Sci-Fi is my genre of choice, and I was keen to see this one as it ticked all the boxes: futuristic, strong female lead, interesting storyline and some excellent cinematography.

Directed by Gary Ross, who also directed Seabiscuit and Pleasantville,Starring: Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Melark, as well as some big cast names like Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson and Stanley Tucci to name but a few...

Cool cookies

If you wanted a cookie that just oozes cool, then you are in the right place. These cookies are not only current, but tasty too. As a designer I certainly live by PANTONE books and of course, because I can due to current trending, I surround myself with everything PANTONE, such as mugs, tins, tea-towels, even my in-tray! But I have never eaten anything PANTONE, until now...

Monday, 2 April 2012

Ere...look at that!

Ok, so I take my hat off to people who make these, they are dinky! Do they just have very, very small hands? Thank you to Mandy for these, not sure about earrings, but I would def have a keyring or two pink of course. I am guessing that once you master the technique of 'extreme crochet' the world is your oyster, or indeed, your little green frog!

To check out the instructions, take a look here... and let me know how you get on. I expect photos if anyone tackles these wee beasties, of course. Cool site too, Have a mooch around the website and see if it gives you any creative inspiration...

A fishy tale...

You know the stories, you've heard them told 'it really was this big...' and we're talking fish here if you are a little lost already. Well, I took advantage of the warm spell and headed up North (not the wisest move I know, but it was still warm up there, honestly. Having stopped off briefly to collect my Dad, we headed a little further up the M6 to our favoured trout fishing lake and set about the serious task of catching some supper...

Friday, 9 March 2012

Dirty pictures!

What a great excuse NOT to wash the car! As far as creativity goes, this really is something else. Not sure what Health and safety would say, but do I care? No, it's truly fabulous.

Yes, this is the rear screen of a car, and yes, it has been beautifully illustrated – by taking away the excess dust and painting in negative.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Jungle Gremlins of java

It has been a while since the BBC aired the show that highlighted the plight of the slow loris in captivity and the wild, but sometimes repetition is good and this message can't be hammered home enough...

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Potter's Darker side...

Here we see Daniel Radcliffe a world away from his 'Potter-esque' beginnings and entering into an entirely new and darker realm.

I contemplated foregoing my usual popcorn tradition as this can sometimes be a bit problematic given my tendency to jump at the slightest thing - however, temptation and habit got the better of me...

Friday, 17 February 2012

Bad apple!

Well, If you cut me open, a bit like a stick of rock, you will find an apple symbol running through the core of my technical centre. So, it has to be a particularly vexing issue to make me go against the core of my very being and say an ill word about apple mac... but...

The truth about cats...

Thank you to Mima for this, So good I just had to share it:

The Dog's Diary:
8:00 am - Dog food! My favourite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favourite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favourite thing!
10:30 am - Rubbed & petted! My favourite thing!
12:00 pm - Milk bones! My favourite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favourite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favourite thing!
5:00 pm - Dinner! My favourite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favourite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favourite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favourite thing!

The Cat's Diary: Day 983 of my captivity....
My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed some sort of dry nuggets.

Monday, 23 January 2012

re- veal-ed

I just had to bring this to your attention after watching a report on Countryfile. I, like many others, have not eaten veal due to my perception of it being a cruel and unethical form of meat production and whilst I have never condemmed others for doing so, I have never ordered it in a restaurant or purchased any to cook at home. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw a report, by John Craven (who once had one of my cigarettes at the ICBP - my best claim to fame...) urging the public to take a fresh look at British Rose veal and the way it is produced.

Friday, 20 January 2012

panoramic film

I know I try to only bring you apps that are free as well as fun, or useful, but this one just couldn't be passed by. It costs a grand total of 69p and is worth it. It enables you to use your iphone camera to take a 360 degree image or film (you choose) upload it to a third party website and then share the link. Seriously, this could make conventional postcards a thing of the past!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

tattoos and dodgy haircuts

Well yes, there's plenty of both here. We are of course talking about the Hollywood version of 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

I am a little ashamed to admit it, but I didn't read the trilogy, nor have I seen the subtitled films and I'm not sure if I would have ventured into the cinema if I had. Please don't mistake that comment for a criticism of the film, far from it, it was excellent, I cannot fault it. But, and there is a but, for those of you who are expecting Hollywood to pull the punches a little, Don't. From what I hear, this is every bit as graphic as it is portrayed in the book and original film. On a scale of 1 to 10 of graphic content I would say this is trying to reach 11...

Tuesday, 3 January 2012


Ok, I admit it, only one episode into the new series and I am truly Sherlocked, along with a significant number of other people, I understand. So much so, that I just had to stand up and share my addiction with you all! Pure brilliance, if you haven't seen it, then stop reading and log onto iplayer...seriously, go... now!
For those of you who have seen it, (can you have too much of a good thing?) refresh your memories on iplayer as well if you wish.

New resolution...

Well, Happy New Year and I hope you all had a great Christmas (without too many family dramas...). I just wanted to share with you one particular Christmas gift which I think will make all the difference to my 2012, The 'ONE SKETCH A DAY' journal, thank you for this Dan.