Wednesday, 11 December 2013

A #RaspberryPi, Christingle and Man flu kind of week!

As usual, we have had a busy few days but they seemed far more rewarding than usual!

On Sunday we attended our Son's Christingle concert at his School Chapel. He had a solo part (Singing) in the production and we were in bits from the very start - he was amazing!
I was very upset with my Iphone: as I pressed record it reported that there was not enough memory to capture the video! Gutted!
Back to work on Monday for a very long shift, which actually passed rather quickly considering the late night!
Rugby School Chapel
Tuesday seen us attend The Christmas Service at Rugby School Chapel where our boy once again sang his solo piece to a full house. This time, my iPhone came prepared with a clean memory and oodles of storage to capture those memories in abundance!
The Chapel at Rugby School is incredibly beautiful and makes for a fantastic Christmas service. The collection at the end of the proceedings was in aid of Hope4 which is a homeless charity based in Rugby. I remember at last years service that a substantial sum was collected to help this charity and based upon the amount of notes being handed into the collection basket I would assume this year may well be the same! 
I also bumped into some old friends and managed to thank many of Boy's teachers for their continued high standards and commitment. 

This morning, after a long and restless night with a cough and a head cold I awoke feeling like the world had decided to infect me with every conceivable bug without a host to afflict! I decided a day off was unavoidable and settled down with the intention of not moving from my bug infested bed!
My body had other plans, and after a bought of coughing and choking i gave up on the idea of staying in bed and headed for the shower (reluctantly!) to wash away my illness!
I am not one who can sit still for long, even when entertaining a bad bug! So, I started the jobs you never get to do when you work full time
  1. Get into the attic and clear some space for more 'junk' to be stored!
  2. Clear out Boy's room (store all junk in attic!).
  3. Clear spare room of 'Junk' and store junk in attic!
  4. Help Boy set-up and explore his new #RapberryPi
I managed to get through all these jobs even with the #ManFlu dragging me down!

The RapberryPi was brilliant! For me, working within the Open Source sector for over a decade made things a little easier but to see my Boy getting engulfed in 'learning' and 'absorbed' in programming was the best feeling in the world! This is how I envisage ICT lesson plan's within the educational sector. Engage the kids with exciting and factual 'hands on' learning!

Set up was simple yet rewarding, Boy chose to use the 'Command Line' as his first choice instead of starting the Pi in Gui (Graphical User Interface) mode. Simply put, he wanted to learn how to 'do stuff' rather than having it done for him!
I can not wait for my next day off to be able to continue his (and my) journey of learning. I will be scouring my feeds for useful resources to help with our RPi programming

Puppy Update

As you will all be aware, Bella (our Springer Spaniel) gave birth to ten healthy Sprocker's (Dad was a Cocker Spaniel) about eight weeks ago now. Within three weeks or so nearly every pup was booked! It has proven a stressful yet rewarding experience for us all. We now have two Pup's left who will be leaving for their forever home's next weekend. I can honestly say that I will miss them both very much indeed. When there were ten running riot it was almost un-manageable: a constant cleaning, bleaching and paper changing routine had to be in place which became incredibly draining!

Looking to the future….

My first ever flight was to Italy last year, since then we have been deliberating on where we would like to go next!
We often go through potential locations together but more often than not we end up with the same result - America! Cost is always a huge consideration in holiday planning and America does not come cheap! That said, looking further into it, the actual holiday itself is perfectly manageable but the accomadation can be incredibly expensive. We would be looking at over £600 a week to stay near to Disney in Florida. Has anyone any experience in a drive holiday in the states with Family? We would be interested in looking at 'Travel lodge' type accommodation as I would love to visit Florida Keys and anything along the route worth looking at as this would be a Holiday of a lifetime and a wasted day is not on the itinerary! Any advice would be appreciated.

As I settle down to another full week of work I am grateful for the past few days and the experiences I have had. 

Happy Christmas.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

The foundation of the future.

So Ive had about 48 hours with the new IOS7 update and I have to say I'm very impressed!
Personally though I've never really had a problem with the previous updates it's  all worked as it should do. This new update is a real 'game changer', a road map of new and exciting things to come. Apple have laid the foundations for a new build, one which I am sure will bring many new surprises! 
One of my favorite part of the update is the ability to see what you have open at any time. Previously, a double tap of the home screen would show you App icon's only. Now, your treated to the current screen and the relating icon: much better!

Also, my battery life seems to of significantly improved since the update which is far from the norm! A faster, more responsive IOS has been born! 
One thing that threw me initially - I couldn't find my Instagram App anywhere! The new search facility (gently pull down on home screen and a search box appears) confirmed it was still installed and gave me its folder location. 
I soon came across another one of the updates new features: multiple apps in folders! 
Overall a great update. 

Monday, 12 August 2013

Are you killing your kids?

In a report published recently it was revealed that Eighty percent of children were not eating the recommended minimums of Fruit and Vegetables a day. 
Instead, half of those children eat Chocolate, sweets and fizzy pop on a daily basis! 
Kids are more likely to die from diseases such as Coronary heart disease earlier in life than their parents or even grandparents!
Do you take part in an outdoor activities with your kids?
As a family we regularly get out and do a five mile walk/run/cycle and although its been tough, we are now enjoying the family time together. It's a lifestyle change and they are never easy. The benefits are obvious: not at first I admit but with a bit of commitment and some planning its a 'no brainer!' 

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Death as a punishment!

I have been following the case of little April Jones in the news recently and the subsequent sentencing of Mark Bridger to life in prison. It has raised many heated debates, one of these being the Death Penalty!
The Guardian posted their latest front page on Google+ which was commented on with reference the death penalty, I also shared my opinion:
I do not believe the death penalty belong's in a civilised society, in fact the two statements can not be in the same sentence - Death Penalty & Civilised - For me it just does not work!
There is an argument about how prisoners get treated in the UK jail system, but that is an entirely different conversation. We do not have the right to take a life, just as Mark Bridger did not have the right to take a life. 
As a Father myself, I could never imagine going through what April's family are going through, let alone the anger and emotions that must be so raw at this time. Would I want to take the law into my own hands if it were me? Hell yes! But as an individual we have the right to choose our own path, right or wrong, good or bad. As a Country, we have to live by the law.
Would the Country shed a tear if Mark Bridger were to die - I doubt it! 
If we did return to days where death as punishment were commonplace do you think it would deter people from committing these crimes? Personally, I think not. We label so many people as insane or suffering with a mental health condition, yet we call people like Bridger a monster and blame internet porn for his affliction! Why is the person who believes they see dead people labelled as having a 'Mental Health Condition' yet people with a twisted interest in children are just sick! 
The death penalty has no place in a civilised society. However, treatment of inmates needs to be discussed!

Friday, 24 May 2013


Today I've been making sone room, de-cluttering and clearing out wasted space to make room for more 'stuff' we may use one day!
It is incredible the junk we keep hold of! 
For example, today I have found everything from old CB Radio's and equipment (from the days where CB was cool and a great way to talk for free!), right through to a Gas Mask and Poison cream ready for an attack! 
I also found my old favourite phone; the #Nokia 6210 wich was the Business Class in its day! 

A Personal Organiser with an incredible amount of memory on board! A Kodak instant printer, and lots of PC stuff that most kids these days would have no clue about!
Why do we hoard so much stuff for do long? 

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Instagram - Parents be aware!

Like me,  I am sure most of you have heard (and indeed some may use) Instagram: the photo uploading and sharing social media application. 
I enjoy Instagram and have used it for some time quite happily, it has always seemed to be a great tool for sharing my image content with followers. Just recently though, I have come across a darker side of Instagram which I feel I need to warn parents about. 
A family member posted a rather risky image of herself on the site and included certain #tags (words that enable others to find pictures related to certain words, for example #sexy # hot # teen etc) within the comments section. Within a couple of hours the image had received multiple likes (50+) and other Instagram members had included other tags within the comments to entice other people to view and follow this girl. 
What I quickly realised was that some of these tags were returning completely inappropriate (and sometimes illegal) images. There is a craze doing the rounds within the teen and pre-teen social media circles, its called Sextin (texting with graphic images) and it is happening everywhere! Our kids could be taking graphic images of themselves and sending them to others or posting them on sites like Instagram. The most common reason for doing this is to generate thousands of followers to their page or profile. 
This is a warning to all parents (and to you, the kids). The images being sent are being distributed online between groups of people who thrive on them!! 
Be warned! If you are a teen with sexually explicit images of your friends on your phone and are caught with these images you could be convicted and your name put on the sex offenders register! These are images of children after all! 
I believe that Instagram are making steps to remove tags that return illegal material. I just hope it's done quickly. 

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

The ability to spot an opportunity

My Dad always used to say that "Youth is wasted on the Young!" As a child, I never fully understood this phrase, now I am starting to see his point!
Like most of us, I have younger family members who are in their teens. Recently it has become clear that they do not seem to have any goals or dreams, let alone the clarity and drive to see anything through.
From relationships to career choices, they seem to be completely oblivious to the opportunity in front of them. This is partly down to their own parents, but as a teenager they have the power to change their futures, mould their lives in any way they choose. They have exactly that: Choices!
We would be a powerful species if we had the knowledge and life skills of a 40 year old at 15 years of age! Hence the saying that Youth is wasted on the Young.

If you are a teen reading this blog and you find yourself in 'limbo' not knowing what to do with your life then take some advice from a 'nearly' 40 year old.
DO SOMETHING! It's better than doing nothing. You have time on your side, make mistakes and do not be embarrassed by them; learn from them!
Some of the greatest Inventors, Teachers, Politicians, Prime Ministers, Authors and Scholars have made such huge mistakes in their time. On fact, everyone makes mistakes, the successful people learn from it and carry on regardless.
DO NOT put your life on hold for 'Love'. It's not as important as you may think.
Imagine your existence as five external hard drives, they contain:
1. Family
2. Love life
3. Friends
4. Career
5. Hobby
If you fill these hard drives with your existence then you are in good shape should something go wrong with any one. Call it a backup strategy if you like!
However, concentrate your life and attention on just one area (Love for example) and when that goes wrong (and it will!) your other drives are empty and you have no backup!
The most important thing to remember is to fill your life with important things and don't worry about making mistakes.

Love and best wishes.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Frightened? Not so much now.

Why are we so frightened?

A friend of mine has just returned from a self-funded trip to Syria to experience and document the Syrian people's plight and suffering.
You can read some of his posts here

These reports that Christian brought home affected me in an unexpected way. I was shocked that this kind of suffering still went virtually unnoticed to our 'civilised' world. What Christian did, was to give me a virtual slap in the face: to wake me from my daily privileged life and to let me see with my own eyes a world that many would rather ignore.
A recording from Christian:

We are so lucky to live such a privileged life. Hot water when required, drinking water in such vast quantities we use it for plants and lawns! Basic essentials that we take for granted every day.
The people of Syria are not frightened about appearing on stage, about standing up for what they believe, a job interview or what their friends think of them. They are frightened for their lives! Most have escaped death at the hands of Government forces only to realise death could come from disease or starvation!
If this amazing journey and subsequent reports by Christian has taught me anything, its to approach my fears with a little more of an open mind.
After all, I have everything I need or want!!

Friday, 26 April 2013

Life in Syria

Today has been an incredibly busy day, work, family and day to day commitments stacking up in front of me! There has been one major difference today which has set it apart from most other day's I can remember: I have been following regular updates from a friend of mine who has managed to get in to Syria to attempt to document the current situation and the affect on the Syrian people.
I set my iPhone to notify me whenever a new tweet or post came through so I could follow and re-tweet any information I could, and I found that I could not wait for the next post! You see, I thought about what was annoying me that day and how trivial and petty it was compared to this little boy -

It actually made me feel quite ashamed of my selfishness. Here we have a young boy (3 years younger than my own Son!) who has been so badly injured, emotionally and physically that he will never understand or experience what it is to make love to his wife, to have children or to experience his 'first time'. To call on his Mother or Sister for help and advice or Love and hugs. I may well be getting incredibly deep and emotional with this but this is REAL, it is happening now as we sit here reading this Blog people are being killed, injured and victimised.

I have to admit, I am naive and blind to what has happened in Syria. As guilty as it makes me feel I almost did not care as it was 'nothing to do with me!' Today I realised that maybe this is how the rest of the world views it as well. Why are atrocities like this allowed to continue in a so called civilised world? Just because this is another Country, does it make the pain less painful for that 5 year old boy? Is his blood less red than ours?

Awareness; I do not believe that awareness alone leads to positive action. If it did then surely I would be doing more than writing a blog! The thing is, people have power, WE have power to do something about Evil in this world. I heard just recently (after the Bomb attack at the Marathon) someone say that 'Evil is practiced by such a small minority of people, if the rest of us stand together we will overcome it!" If all I can do is write a blog (badly i know!) in the hope that others will do something similar to spread the words of people like Documentally who, like others with him (Phil Sands)have made a choice to put themselves in danger to bring us the truth then that has to be a positive step!
As I sit here, I can hear the familiar sound of my Son's TV coming from upstairs, he looks forward to Friday evening's as he can fall asleep with his favourite film playing in the background. My thoughts turn to Sultan, what are his dreams and memories that return to him at night?
How lucky we are.........

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Case or no case?

Am I alone in thinking that the iPhone feels and looks so much better naked?
I have a 'skin' type case which fits beautifully and doesn't really add much bulk to the device at all. But when I take it off, I can feel the smooth texture of that beautiful body, every nook and cranny, every sensation is magnified intensely.
This is the time to spend rubbing oil into those magnificent curves, spending time on the important parts that bring out the best in its body.
My apologies, I have digressed into fifty shades of grey!
Anyway, back to the topic! Am I alone in preferring my phone without a case?

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Cafe Gnosh, Rugby.

My Mum turned 74 today, and for a Birthday treat Ruth & I took her to Cafe Gnosh in Rugby town centre.

We have visited this restaurant many times before and never had a bad experience. This visit would not disappoint.

Mum had the pie of the day which was Beef, Ale and Vegetables. This was served with a beautiful puff pastry topping.
Ruth had the Omelette with ham and tomato, again presented beautifully.
Me, I went for a favourite of mine: Piri Piri Chicken Nachos! Divine.

If you get the chance, visit Cafe Gnosh and speak with the James who is always pleased to advise.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Did I miss something?

Do you ever feel like your not accomplishing everything your meant to/should be?

I do not want this post to come across as though I have no ideas or commitment in my current line of work or career, because I love my Photography and excel at talking to people and making new connections. Recently though, I have been experiencing doubt as to what I should be concentrating on!
I can not help thinking I missed something, a vital piece of career advice when I was younger, without this information I would be doomed to doubt for the rest of my life!
I decided to take a proactive approach instead of thinking the worst, first I started listing my skills:

  • Photography
  • Communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Social media
  • Lead generation (closely related to communication)


I get to about here on my list then stop, I have never been able to add 'blowing my own trumpet' to this list before and am still unable today! I am 38 years old, currently concentrating on my Photography business and growing a Lead generation consultation path in my spare time. So why am i feeling like I should be doing something else? I then listed what I would love to do:

  • Radio presenter (Interviews and interesting articles. An example of my love of broadcasting can be found below)

  • Writer
  • Lecturer (On what I have no idea!)
  • Councillor (The relate kind, not the MP kind!)
  • Social worker
Looking at what I have done in my life, it has all been service related; offering or providing support or help to people. I love to be useful, a real help. I am happiest when giving something back.
I have people within my social media connections who I know would shout "stop moaning and get on with your life!", I would agree with that statement. Things is, I do not have the luxury of time on my side to 'try out' which path suits me! I just need to jump in and swim...

I would love to hear from people who are doing what they love, maybe I could come and interview you?

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Why do we reward those who choose not to work?

During my last year of school, it was becoming clear that things were quite easy. If we (kids, teens etc) wanted anything then usually we would only have to ask for it (ok, some didn't even ask they just took!) and parents would oblige willingly. This wasn't always the case, sometimes a firm NO would be received instead.
As I've grown up, that ingrained method of 'getting what I wanted' became less appealing as it was obviously not sustainable. It became obvious I needed to work for my money and save for the things I wanted.
It seems to me as this methodology has gained pace. Are we living in a generation who think they are owed a living? Do they genuinely believe they deserve their £xx amount every week deposited into the bank?
I met a man today, he is 26 years old. He has NEVER had a paid job in his life! He believes that its his right to choose to only do occasional charity shop work, to live in a flat paid for by others, to have the means to kit it out with a TV in every room and a top of the range computer! Why should he spend 40+ hours a week working and be worse off, 'it's madness' he says. However much it pains me, I have to agree with some of his opinions. Why do we live in a society that rewards people who blatantly live off others sweat?

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Saying goodbye to Posterous!

I am sure you are aware, Posterous is due to close down on the 30th April 2013 less than a year since being acquired by Twitter!

I was a little annoyed at this decision, primarily because it is (was) a great blogging platform that did everything I required and possibly much more.


With this date approaching fast, it was time to look around for an alternative platform to use. Luckily for me, I have always auto-posted my blog to another platform for backup reasons: Blogger (by Google) has been my second choice platform since I began blogging. Now it looks like Blogger will become my blog of choice!

There are lots of posts available to help anyone with the transfer process, just search for them!



Posted via email from highkeylee's posterous

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Italy, another world....

In October this year we took a flight to Italy and spent a glorious week exploring around the Umbrian region along with the usual trips to Rome and Pisa.

This was a momentous occasion for us as a Family as it was not only our first ever time visiting this beautiful country but it was also the first time my Son and I had stepped foot on a plane!

I had always deliberately avoided any situation that would involve me flying or heights in general, however it was not always like that. My fears have surfaced since an accident at 16 years old. Strangely this accident did not involve any heights or planes! Anyway, I have digressed slightly.

I do not believe I have ever felt quite as much fear and anxiety as I did when I boarded that plane, what made it more difficult was that I had to 'keep it together' as my Son was with us! The staff at British Airways were magnificent from the start, at check in the Lady asked me if I was alright (I was physically shaking and I was very pale!) to which I explained the reasons behind my obvious nervousness. She must of made some notes on the system as once I was seated an air steward introduced himself to us and spent a few minutes reassuring me that it was perfectly acceptable to be nervous and asked me if a 'small' drink would help! I thanked him and agreed that a red wine may help a little.

The take off was amazing, crazy, petrifying and unbelievable all rolled into one! If i distant myself from the 'fear' for a moment I can honestly say that it was an incredible feeling to be catapulted down a sheet of concrete and whisked into the air! Once at the required height, the air steward appeared with three small bottles of red wine, a plastic glass and some further reassurance.

Our week in Italy was not enough, yet it was the most incredible holiday we had ever taken! We would love to go back, spend a little more time soaking up the culture (and wine), the sights and the people. 

One of my personal favorites of Italy was Assisi, if you are ever in Italy I highly recommend a visit.

Posted via email from highkeylee's posterous