Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The Bootleg Beatles

<TITLE>Bootleg Beatles</TITLE>
<H1>The NIA - Birmingham</H1>
<p>The Bootleg Beatles @ The NIA from Lee Martin on Vimeo.</p>

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Sunday, 11 December 2011

Game shop- full of Christmas cheer!

In town yesterday, a bit of Christmas shopping as its a welcome day off. After some roaming and shopping elsewhere we set upon the Game shop in Rugby to get some vouchers. We had around £10 of points on the points card that we had saved to help with the xmas presents. Once we had chosen what we wanted we passed our points card over and he swiped it on the machine- he then said it doesn't work! He proceeded to type in the number manually. He confirmed that there was ten pounds on the card but told me he couldn't use it as the card wouldn't swipe!
After much discussion, the manager agreed with the staff member and we were informed to contact customer service!
I thought customer service started in store?

No gift from game in time for xmas!!

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

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Friday, 9 December 2011

Weightloss, and gain!


Last year, I attempted to loose weight drastically as it was having a huge affect on everything in my life. After 10 weeks I had lost 4 stone! I was over 21 stone to begin with and at my last official weigh in (sounds like I am competing for a boxing title!) I was 15st 11lbs. I had done well, it was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life, but I had achieved what I had set out to do. The diet was The Cambridge Weight Loss Program. Now, a year on and two operations later I have put on two stone. Its very disheartening yet I only have myself to blame. I know its your mind you have to train and like any addiction its so easy to loose sight of the goals. Next year I have no operations, so I am once again determined to shed this burden!

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Monday, 28 November 2011

The Orange network - @orangeHelpers be aware!

I have had some form of connection to the Orange network for many years and I have to say that I have NEVER had any cause to complain.

Then, I make one of the worst decisions with regards mobile phones I have ever made! I decided that I wanted to get rid of my Iphone and start a new journey on a Blackberry 9780 Bold. I even went to the extremes of persuading my wife to join Blackberry too!
So there we are, nice new shiny BB phones, and all is well for a couple of months - enjoying the BBM services and the new phones.
Then, we had the 'incident' where BB services were lost for days on end, that in itself was a scenario i had never experienced before but since then the BB service has been totally inconsistent at best - unusable at worst!
Bot my wife and I are contracted to Orange and as mentioned I have a high regard for the network itself, but it has now go to the stage where we need to make a decision because the service is terrible!
My question to Orange would be this, When will normal service resume?

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Friday, 9 September 2011

Software Freedom Day @RugbyLUG @OpusVL

Its nearly Software Freedom Day and I have been trying to drum up some local support for the event that is being held in Rugby. If you are in Education, Business or an end user this event will open your eyes to the benefits of open Source and its uses. Here is an email I sent out today to my Son's School in the hope of engaging Teachers...


Please have a look at the attached flier -

Software Freedom Day is an annual worldwide celebration of Free Software. SFD is a public education effort with the aim of increasing awareness of Free Software and its virtues, and encouraging its use.
The Rugby even is being held at Benn Partnership Centre, Railway Terrace, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV21 3HR on Saturday September 17th 2011

The reason I believe it could be relevant to the school is I have had several discussions with the head over the years about this subject and I believe that an interest was shown, it was always just too difficult to get the support needed to make a difference.

How much does our School spend each year on its IT?

When i give my time in that playing field for fete's and fund raising I do not want my hard earned efforts being given to Microsoft towards license costs! Do you?

I want my Son to learn about IT and the tools needed to make a difference in his adult life! - Open Source Software can deliver this.
I am passionate about Open Source Software and truly believe in its benefits within the educational environment. I need support to make it happen.

If in any doubt take a look at how Open Source has revolutionized schools across the UK with these Testimonials & Case studies. These are from REAL teachers on the front line of teaching.
Why should our school use open source? - Take a look HERE..

If you attend the event from 11am, you will have the opportunity to learn about how Open Source can make a real difference in education, hear the myths dispelled and ask any questions you may have. It really is a great investment of time.

Is this something you feel your School would like to learn more about?

If not, please let me know - I would very much appreciate it if you could forward this on to any person you feel could benefit from it.

Thank you in advance.

Lee Martin

Friday, 1 July 2011

Summersault Tea Room & Restaurant

Lovely little tea room, serving fresh organic produce from locally sourced farms.

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Thursday, 30 June 2011

Pick your own at Stretton-under-Fosse Farm shop.

Recently the family and I had the pleasure of experiencing the PYO (Pick Your Own) facility at Malt Kiln Farm Shop in Stretton-under-Fosse.

As a family activity (although I was somewhat less mobile than them!) it was brilliant, my Son enjoyed it and learnt so much from the 30 minutes that we spent there. As a bonus, the pickings were splendid! We also purchased some double cream and some meringue nests- as soon as we got home we washed the strawberries and broke the nests up into a bowl, whisked the cream into a delicious fluffy puffy state and added everything together to make an Eton Mess! A recipe for this can be found HERE.

So for a great morning or afternoon out in the country, head down to the Farm Shop, not only have you got the PYO but you have a well stocked butchers on site, fantastic fresh produce and a lovely Restaurant to enjoy a pot of tea and some lunch! They also cater for kids parties so they really have got everything covered!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

One Hundred and forty... No more, no less!

I came across this article which was RT'd by @Dr_Black today and thought it was a great idea. Make a great piece of wall art too!!


Lee Martin

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Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Fear of the unknown....

Next year will see me get on a plane and head over to America, this maybe like getting dressed in the morning for you well versed travellers out there- but for me, someone who has been avoiding getting on a plane for all of my adult life it is a major event!

I have been reliably informed that I should consider a smaller flight to make sure I have the merger to attempt the America trip (the last thing I want is to bottle it in the airport and head home without the family!) so with this in mind I am thinking Italy?
My old friend Ezio (R.I.P) was always pestering me and the family to accompany him on one of his Italian trips and I always had an excuse. I think it's fitting that Italy should be the destination of my first flight.

Where would you go if it was your first flight?

So, have you any tips or suggestions to help alleviate the stress and panic that I feel when I think of getting on a plane? In fact, when I think about entering an airport I get those feelings of panic so god knows what I am going to be like on the actual plane!

I know I have to do this, not only are my feelings holding me back but there holding my family back as well...

Friday, 17 June 2011

Pumpkins Deli - Brinklow Village, near Rugby

I stopped at this quaint little shop recently for a tea and a break and was instantly relaxed and stress free. Pumpkins is a small local Cafe/Deli run by Christos who took the place on about a year ago. Since then, he has worked hard to publicise the place in all the local places and has increased turnover and visitors considerably.

I love to support local business wherever I can, this place is a little gem hidden away in a beautiful village not far from Coombe Abbey Country Park & Hotel.

Christos is currently investing in a better Internet presence and concentrating on a social media profile including Google Maps. New additions to the Deli to be announced will be Free WIFI and special offers.
Christos is also one of the few suppliers in the UK who are providing Cheese 'wedding' cake's!

I can not explain how this little place makes you feel, it really takes away your days worries and transports you to 'Pumpkins' just for a few moments.
Wether your driving through the village on the way to work and want a hot sausage and bacon roll, or if you want some time out to read the paper and enjoy a pot of tea - Pumpkins will not disappoint.

There are few of these little gems Left in the UK today which is why it is so important to do our bit to support them, they go out of their way to provide a real service- The value add!

Pumpkins Deli can be found on Facebookand Christos can be contacted for Buffet or Cheese Cake orders on 01788 833094.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Drury Lane in Rugby.



Lee Martin

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Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Quote from @Documentally

I heard a great and very true quote from @Documentally whilst listening to one of his Audioboo's this morning -

"One of the things that hold people back is the fear of making mistakes"

So true in social media, and also in life...

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Article: Social Media Distractions Are Costing Businesses Major Money

I have to agree with this one. I have been caught up in a social media situation at work. 

And in this social media-obsessed age, typ i cal water cool er ban ter and point less meet­ings are no longer the great est time-wasters at work. Almost 60% of work place dis trac­tions involve social net works, text mes sag ing, IMs or email. In fact, nav i gat ing between mul ti ple tabs and win dows to keep an eye on a wide vari ety of apps is a huge dis trac tion in itself."

Social Media Distractions Are Costing Businesses Major Money

(Sent from Flipboard)


Lee Martin

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Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Sad to be leaving @o2 after a trouble free 18 months

My iPhone contract is up! I have been doing some research into the best deals out there for me and my usage and have been desperately trying to get o2 to match whatever i came up with - I really did not want to move away from them as they have been excellent and I would highly recommend them.

That said, in this current financial tightening of belt world we live in I have had to do what is best for me and my pocket - ultimately I have had to move away from o2 reluctantly...

I have previously owned a handset on Orange and also never had a bad word to say about the network or the coverage. I am hoping this level of service has been continued, they have a lot to live up to!...

What are you experiences with Mobile Networks?

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Mr & Miss Rugby Final

Tomorrow is the Final's of the Mr & Miss Rugby competition in Rugby. This event is organised every year with the winners going through to the Mr & Miss England shortlist.

I am looking forward to it this year as there are some new faces amongst the seasoned professionals which always adds an element of uncertainty to the event. Anyway, if your local and want to attend you will not only have a great time but you will be helping the Help for Heroes Charity too!



Lee Martin

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Saturday, 2 April 2011


How strange that the two most influence-full people in my life now lay opposite each other in the same cemetery. One is my Dad, and the other is my dear old friend Ezio.

Lee Martin
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Wednesday, 30 March 2011

How time flies...

On April the first it will be four years since my Dad died.

Sat at work today listening to the radio and a completely random song came on, it was a song that my Dad used to sing when we used to go out to the local club as a family on a Friday night. There would be an old lady who was hired for the evenings entertainment, sat behind an old electric organ.
My Dad, who was a fantastic singer- would spend hours up on the 'stage' blasting out beauty's like Tie a yellow ribbon & Ave Maria!

One of his other skills was his ability to play the bones! For those of you not familiar with this I shall explain...

The bones are literally two cow ribs about 6-7 inches in length, he would play them by strategically placing them between fingers and cracking them together- not unlike playing the spoons! Believe me, it sounded better than the explanation does.

I really wish that I had of had the insight and common sense to record him at his best, I would of loved to of heard him play and sing again. Just hearing one of his old songs reminds me of some great times, memories that I hope will be with me forever.

As Mothers day approaches, I think of how my Mum has coped with the loss of her soul mate of 50+ years. People were made of stronger stuff back then eh? I can not imagine going though what she has been through in her life and surviving!

I can see how easy it is to get low and despondent about things sometimes, it can be so easy to see the hard times and dismiss the good as luck...
I have been through so many changes in the past few years, personally and physically- no, I am not a woman really! No matter how different our lives are, what purpose or goal we strive for, friends lost and found, relationships and work- one thing is the same for us all.
Life & Death... It is as guaranteed as day and night. I suppose the difference is how we all cope with it.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Watch Kennels - Retired Greyhound Trust

The RGT (Retired Greyhound Trust) is a national charity with localised branches throughout the UK.

My local branch is called Watch Kennels near Monks Kirby, Rugby. this branch is headed up by a committed and dedicated lady called Sari Pearce, she is a genuinely lovely lady with a big heart for Greyhounds in particular.

Today, the family and I were at Ryton Organic Gardens with my Mum. We often take her out to the gardens as she is now unable to get out without support. As it happened, Sari and her dedicated volunteers were outside the gardens with their beautiful dogs. My Son, who loves his own three dogs- was mesmerised by the greyhounds. It is not hard to see why, they are such gentle animals.

It was lovely to see them all stood around with visitors to the gardens chatting to Sari and the team. The main reason for these events is of course to raise awareness and much needed funding for the Kennels. Recently, with the financial crisis within the UK and overseas funding has been reduced and things are very hard for the local branch.

Charitable donations have decreased dramatically since the financial crisis started and this has had an obvious effect on ALL charity's. Small local charity's moreso- Watch Kennels need support!
Now I realise that there are so many charity's that could benefit from your donations, but I would like to make an appeal to you directly to consider a donation to Watch Kennels. Sari and her team work long hours just to keep these animals safe and well, out in all hours trying to get a donation or some exposure for the charity.

If you can help in any way, please visit their site or give them a call on the number above.

Thank you in advance


Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Sunday, 20 March 2011

iPad for Business Round-Up: WebEx for iPad2 and More

I knew this wouldn't be long coming... Can't wait to see it in action.,0


Lee Martin

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Monday, 14 March 2011

The digital future?

As my generation gets older, it is more obvious to me how different my Son's life will be compared to mine. Technology is everywhere, I never thought I would be one of those people who struggle with games or setting up software- but I sometimes feel like my Son (who is 6 years old) is overtaking me in the digital intelligence area!!


Thing is, in my youth it was all CB radio's and making little transmitters that we could hide in our mates house! I remember installing a CB onto my pushbike and riding for miles with my mates communicating freely- sometimes talking to people in Spain and other countries! (Sideband wasn't as well received as FM though!)

Anyway, it makes me wonder- are we loosing our ability to absorb information or in our adult worlds is there too much information to absorb? Lee Martin
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Saturday, 12 March 2011

Article: SXSW Japan Tsunami & Earthquake Relief

SXSW Japan Tsunami & Earthquake Relief

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Lee Martin

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What a lovely day


Lee Martin
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Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Monday, 7 March 2011

Government Technology Article

My MD talks with Government Technology Magazine on "Moving Open Source from an idea into a reality"

Friday, 4 March 2011

Thursday, 3 March 2011

The parents evening..

It was our parents evening tonight at our Son's school. I was not disappointed in the slightest.

He is doing so well and excelling at his maths. One of the things which made me smile was a project he had written in one of his books, it went something like this..

Shopping list

5 carrots
4 tomatoes
2 onions
4 beers!


I would of loved to of been a fly on the wall when his teacher marked that one!

Current location: This place, although massive- gives me the eeeby jeeebies!! #badmemories



Lee Martin

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Just can't seem to stop looking at this Triumph Thunderbird. B-E-A-Utiful!!!



Lee Martin

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Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Stop beating yourself up....

A wise man once told me "Stop beating yourself up and setting yourself up for failure with the things you struggle to do- instead, concentrate on the things your great at!"

At the time he said this to me, it meant very little to me. As time has passed it has proved to be my motto in life. Whilst it's great to learn new things and experience different scenarios, I no longer dwell on the negatives. I stopped trying to be perfect a long time ago, now I just focus on the things that I excel at and leave the rest to others!

"Aces in their places!"

Have a great day..


Lee Martin

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Sunday, 27 February 2011

Wedding Fair- Dunchurch Park Hotel.

I am attending the Wedding Fair at Dunchurch Park hotel in Rugby. I have just met a professional Wedding Photographer who has a stall at the fair - Keith Jones, who has been a photographer for over 20 years. His work his amazing. Take a look at

A nice man with a great eye for Wedding Photography.

Lee Martin
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Monday, 21 February 2011

Memories. Read more.

This set was so well used when my son was a toddler. Every night a different story.

Now, he is too old for them so they have a lonely life on the bookshelf awaiting a sibling to entertain. Xx

Lee Martin
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Sunday, 20 February 2011

Trying the new Starbucks VIA - #coffee

So, this is the new Starbucks VIA. They think that it tastes as good as a freshly ground cup of Starbucks Coffee. I thought I would give it a try.

On first glance, the packaging looks rather tempting. The iconic image of a take-away coffee cup is centre stage!

Open up the packaging and your greeted with some small sachets of heavenly powder.

Ok, so to cut to the chase - I tried this and was very surprised at the quality of the coffee. It will never take over from the absolute experience of grabbing a freshly ground coffee- that said, for coffee on the go that doesn't taste like dishwater. It's a winner.