the Samaritans Radar app

First off I should add a trigger warning, this post will contain some discussion about suicide and mental health issues I’ve experienced directly – I’m going to be blunt and open about some stuff, and if you could find that uncomfortable or a trigger in some way, please don’t read on.

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Project BBTA

Project BBTA

Forgive me blog for I have slipped, it’s been many months since my last post.

I did start a draft on 100 happy days, but felt no urge to complete it.

Lots of this year has sucked, there have been some awesome moments but on the whole… very sucky. It’s time to change that.

Just after I finished 100 happy days I got sick. The arthritis came back in a big bad, I’m struggling to move, kinda way (I won’t bore you with the back story but it stems from food poisoning some years ago – see Reiters posts).

For a couple of weeks my feet and knee were so swollen I could barely stand and had to work from home.


BTW This isn’t a “oh poor me, give me sympathy” post I just need to write it down as part of my process for moving on.

When the symptoms have flared up before it’s only lasted a week, steroids, boom back to normal. Not this time.

Mentally it was hard but it was some of the stupid things that really got to me: my feet were swelled to the point i couldn’t fit in any of my shoes without severe pain… I had to buy special wide fit old person shoes. Nooooo!

I found the uncertainty challenging. At times feeling like maybe this was it, this was how my life would be now, pain.

Some plans had to change, I wasn’t able to train for Land’s End to John O’Groats and took the soul destroying decision to postpone (I WILL do it next year).

But after months of tests, drugs by the bucket load I’m coming out the other side. I owe a great debt to the team at the RNLI who were so supportive, especially Emily and Nathan.

So, what is project BBTA?

This is the fight back. Time to Bring Back The Awesome!

Now I’m mostly better, my feet and index fingers being the only bits really affected, it’s time to take it up a notch.

There are a few small changes to my life like the medication I’m on means I can’t drink.

I’ve got a list of new things I’m going to try as part of BBTA (post to follow).

I’m also going to make more time to say thanks. Where I encounter people being awesome, I’ll write to their head office to spread the awesome.

Bring it.

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Bar camp NFP 14 – Failure Swapshop notes

Another year, another bar camp… another glorious session of sharing failure.

Thanks so much to everyone who attended the Bar camp NFP Failure Swapshop <– if you don’t know what one is, take a look here.

Lessons learned this year:

  • Be prepared
  • look before you leap
  • trust yourself
  • double check the important stuff
  • say no
  • ask “Why?” more
  • think about consequences
  • don’t assume
  • who owns it?
  • what is the real problem
  • collaboration is key
  • look at the big picture
  • don’t proof read your own stuff
  • Think how a picture looks out of context
  • Share your plans

FAIL — I didn’t take a photo, if you took one and you’re happy for me to use it, please tweet it at me!

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Instagram – #100HappyDays – Day 30

Instagram – #100HappyDays – Day 30

At the start of the year I saw a few people tweeting and posting about #100HappyDays, I was dismissive at first thinking it was a social one-upsmanship thing. After seeing a few more people, I took a look at the 100HappyDays site:

We live in times when super-busy schedules have become something to boast about. While the speed of life increases, there is less and less time to enjoy the moment that you are in. The ability to appreciate the moment, the environment and yourself in it, is the base for the bridge towards long term happiness of any human being.

I’ll be really honest, last year had some tough and sucky moments. Some great stuff too but on balance was more of a year to relegate to history… or at least that’s what I found myself saying. Was it? Or was that how I’d framed it… hmmm?

So I decided I’d take part in #100HappyDays using instagram. I chose instagram as I don’t have a large network on there so it would be public but not somewhere I’d be spamming many people daily.

30 days in, what have I taken photos of? 


3 of Lego (1 was about the Lego movie, which is AWESOME)

3 of Custard (my cat) and a friends dog – awww animals!

2 of gadgets – no surprises there

7 of food – fitting the stereotype instagrammer but I hadn’t expected that

5 of scenery

2 of friends

and a few other assorted things


What have I learnt from it?

It’s been good. Sometimes at the end of a tough day, I found myself making time to think about what had been good that day, what had made me happy. That has to be a good thing.

There were less people/events/activities in it than I might have thought. Partly I suppose this is due to the time of year, although since retiring from DJing I think I have been missing something. I’m going to make more of a conscious effort to do stuff, not watch TV or read tech news in my spare time. Get out, see people, learn a language, hack stuff…

That has to be a good outcome. Roll on day 100 – who knows, I may carry on longer…

If you’re also doing #100HappyDays I’d love to know how you’re finding it – link me to your stream of pictures/posts please!

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Reply and hide comments on Facebook pages

Reply and hide comments on Facebook pages

Given that in 99.9% of cases I’d always recommend leaving not so favourable comments in place, with your replies if required. A sanitised page achieves very little and will slowly decline – people have a right to their own opinions!

That said… once in a blue moon you might feel that you want to reply to someone but not have that visible to other fans… well you can.

If you reply to a comment (as the page) inline, and then hide the original comment it hides both.


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My thoughts on Bitcoin – part 1

My thoughts on Bitcoin – part 1

Interest in bitcoin is at an all time high, with stories of people throwing away £4 milllion on hard disks, to it topping $1000 per bitcoin (up from $100 earlier this year), reaching parity with gold (for about an hour), crashing 30% in a day and media interviews like: ‘The Winklevoss twins talk bitcoin’ bringing it to mainstream attention.

A few people have asked so here are my thoughts on bitcoin.

I’m not going to write an explanation of bitcoin <– I’d suggest this one from coindesk if you’re looking for that.

Read that, then come back.

We’re in the early adopter phase where bitcoin is volatile, risky, hard to use, buy and trade but what follows is very exciting.

I don’t see bitcoin as just a new currency, an investment opportunity* or the route to some sort of worldwide financial anarchy – I see it as an interesting evolution in financial technology as both a currency and a method for transferring money.

There are regulatory issues to overcome as well as important questions of definition: will governments view it as currency, vouchers (as HMRC did until recently) or something else?

I also think of it in a similar way to my early thoughts on twitter (short format, easily shareable content was the trend, twitter was the main player that could have been superseded) – Bitcoin itself might be a fad, that is replaced by another form of virtual currency but there are lots of reasons that a digital cash system of some kind without ties to a specific country and allowing for easy, near instant transfer is inevitable.

Being open source, bitcoin has already branched off into lots of other variants (also known as altcoins) – I’m sure this isn’t its finally form – right now it’s just too complicated to reach critical mass of use in the population.

I can see a couple of likely scenarios:

1) Bitcoin crosses a critical mass of acceptance (some would say it has, I don’t think so, yet) and become the de-facto internet currency, largely thanks to a company that emerges as the public brand of the currency (like eBay is to online auctions, YouTube is to video…) driving it fully into the mainstream – looking at some of the investments going into bitcoin related companies and funds, I don’t think I’m alone in that thought.

2) A large (publicly well known) company will launch an alt-coin that has the credibility bitcoin lacks, ticks all the legal and regulatory boxes but still operates in a way that maintains the transactional benefits of bitcoin as digital cash. It’ll be a bastardisation of bitcoin that the early adopters won’t like, perhaps lacking the mining element somehow but maintaining a public like ledger in the same way bitcoin does.

Whatever happens, I think we’re at the start of something big right now. A movement has started that will change the way we think about money, banking and much more – I can’t wait to see what happens next!

As ever your thoughts are more than welcome in the comments below.


*as an investment opportunity, buying bitcoins is a gamble – for that reason I’ve only bought using money I can afford to lose and it’s almost at the trigger price where I’ll sell some so my risk is zero – I’m a big believer in ‘put your money where your mouth is’.

Full disclosure: I do own some Bitcoin.. and some cash… probably a few euros… oh and a dollar bill I had left over from Vegas.

Disclaimer: In no way should any of this be seen as financial advice, investment advice etc… hell, don’t even listen to my music recommendations… 

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