About Me

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Cromer, Norfolk, United Kingdom

I'm a former hospital radio/club/mobile DJ, avid record collector and amateur musician (playing guitar, keyboards, recorder, harmonica and percussion.) I've even filled in on bass guitar for a couple of local bands as well (although that was quite a few years ago). Also interested in Motorsports, Wrestling/Mixed Martial Arts and Classic Television and Radio from the 1960s - 1980s.

Why am I on here? Well, I'm just trying to make some sense of life before it's too late...but who cares anyway?

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Challenging Times Ahead...

It's been an interesting few weeks to say the least.  first off there's the news that the North Norfolk Workout Project loses its funding next June. In the meantime there has been a number of meetings set up to work out what would be the best way forward - and it turns out that one possible solution would be to run the project as a community group.  As a couple of people from the Norwich Green Gym explained to us at Merchants Place on Thursday, it would he hard work to start with but the results would be worth the extra effort. We even had one of the BTCV higher-ups who admitted that she sometimes found it difficult understanding some of the puns that Mark Webster uses when he's preparing write-ups on the tasks which go on the website. Mind you, I have that problem myself, although when I upload the listings, I've been known to - shall we say - go along with the in-jokes.  (There was one task I remember which Mark had called "(Moon) Grassraker".  So the description began "Now pay attention 007..." which did get a few laughs around the office.)

Elsewhere, I seem to be getting dragged into an argument at Ingeus in Norwich (where I'm on the Work Programme) regarding the effectiveness of speculative letters in helping to get a job.  As I understand it, the managers have been claiming spec letters do lead to people getting employment - a view which David (My adviser) well, disagrees with to a degree.  And to back up his point, he's kept copies of the job logs that I keep to show what I do to find work - so as a result, I appear to be getting caught up in the crossfire.  As far as I'm concerned, I'm keeping out of this one.

So what's next...?

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Time To Send In Reinforcements?

It’s been a busy few months over at the North Norfolk Workout Project with plenty of variation in the tasks I’ve been doing while I’ve been at the office.  For example - one day I could be adding task reports to BTCV’s Management Information System (we just call it MIS as it’s easy to remember), another would find me entering new volunteers’ details on the database, whilst today I was entering the results of a regular wellbeing survey onto the computer.  I’ve even been known to help out with Mark & Fin’s expenses from time to time - all of which has lightened their workloads whilst at the same time giving me much needed work experience.  Recently, things have got to the stage where they’ve now got another chap who’ll be coming in to do some stuff for them as well as roping in a couple of the other volunteers to help out from time to time.  Last Monday was an interesting one as I had a chance to not only meet some of the higher-ups in the organisation, but the Leader of the District Council as well when the project had its second anniversary bash at Holt Country Park.  All in all things do seem to be going well on that side at the moment. 

Elsewhere it's Grand Final time in Speedway's Elite League.  This time the final sees last year's runners-up Poole Pirates taking on Eastbourne Eagles in what could be the most competitive match up this year, with most pundits believing that the right two teams are in the final.  And after Coventry turned them over last year, Poole will certainly be out to prove a point - and with two talented riders like Australians Darcy Ward and Chris Holder in their side they'll be very hard to beat - as King's Lynn Stars found out to their cost last week when they were comprehensively beaten in their semi final second leg.  I'm tipping the Pirates to win this year but I reckon that Eastbourne could give then a close contest.  And on a side note,  it's congratulations to Greg Hancock as the popular American clinched his second world title  in the penultimate round of the Speedway Grand Prix series in Croatia a little over a week ago.  Many feel that this victory (Hancock's first in 14 years) could bring about a resurgence in the sport over in the U.S.  Only time will tell...

Till the nest time folks....

Friday, 24 June 2011

Just had to have a giggle when I saw this...

Reminds me of those Linguaphone commercials where a dog walks into a bar full of cats and starts miaowing...

Friday, 3 June 2011

A Bit Of Catching Up To Do...

It's been a while since I last posted, so this is a perfect opportunity for those who follow this blog to catch up with what's been happening.

First off, I'm now doing voluntary work, two mornings a week, with a group called B.T.C.V. in Cromer. It's mainly helping out with their back office operation, although I sometimes help to load their minibus in preparation for the various conservation tasks they carry out around the North Norfolk area.  The duo who run the group, Mark Webster & Fin Duncan,  have helped me to settle into the role extremely quickly, and I've enjoyed the work I've done with them so far.

I've had no such luck on the jobs front, although I've been doing the odd course here and there. For example, I recently completed a course called Making Choices For Work, which was run through the local Adult Education service.  This was the sort of thing that A4e should have done while I was on Flexible New Deal with them, but they never bothered with it.  I've also been involved with Trobius, an organisation which helps the long term unemployed in their efforts to find work, as well as assisting with any other issues like confidence building, stuff like that.  Speaking of A4e, I recently heard some interesting news about them - the Work Programme starts up soon, and I discovered (after some research on the internet) that they won't be delivering the programme in Norfolk.  This was confirmed by Libby,  my caseworker at Trobius, who went on to mention that a company called SEETEC had got the contract to deliver the programme in the area.  After my  past experiences with A4e, I just hope that SEETEC does a better job in the future.

Elsewhere, it's the usual round of motorsports, wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts events on the various TV channels, and the record fairs have started up again at the local community centre.  I've already picked up a few interesting items including some old Tony Hancock recordings.  Ive already got "The Blood Donor" and "The Radio Ham" on album but these ones featured extracts from the "Hancock's Half Hour" radio shows from the 50s. Anyway, I'll be keeping a close eye on the record fairs in the next few weeks in case I'm able to find any more gems.

Nothing more to report here so, till the next time folks....

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Let's Go Racing Boys!

I once mentioned in an old MySpace blog that mid March was quickly becoming my favourite time of year, especially as it coincided with the start of the various motorsports series beginning the new season around this time.  Things are slighly different this year as thanks to a deal with Premier Sports, I'm unable to watch live coverage of NASCAR's Sprint Cup series, but I've been able to catch the regular 1-hour highlights shows on Sky Sports.the last few weeks.  Formula 1, Speedway's Elite League and the Indy Car series all get under way in the next few days, so I'll be hanging out the "Do Not Disturb" sign quite a lot over the next few months...

And it's Formula 1 which has seen quite a few changes over the winter period.  New for this year are the moveable rear wings which (it is hoped) will assist with overtaking. The old  KERS system returns as well, but the big change (in my view at least) is with the tyres, which are now being supplied by Pirelli, who took over from Bridgestone.  But what they've done is to produce a tyre which isn't as durable as the one Bridgestone came up with.  Last year drivers only needed to make one pit stop, but there has been speculation that three or even four stops might be needed.  Some have speculated that there might be the odd upset or two as a result.   I'm not too keen on Bernie Ecclestone's latest idea though - he's been suggesting that races should be "spiced up" by dampening the tracks with sprinklers - his line of thinking being that the most exciting action happens during wet races.  Somehow, I don't think this'll happen.

Anyway, it looks as though as this year's F1 season could be an interesting one with all the rule changes.  All that's left to do, in the words of NASCAR commentator Larry McReynolds, "reach up and pull those belts tight ONE MORE TIME!"