Succeeding at last

He wasn’t expecting that to work. Finally he had managed to succeed.

Unfortunately, his attempted suicide was supposed to be just that. An attempt. A cry for help. A final shout into the crowd of people who so often failed to acknowledge his very being. And now, it wasn’t a cry, it wasn’t a shout, it was a suicide. An end. But also, he realised as he looked down at his lifeless body, a beginning. The beginning of what he did not know. But he intended to find out. He was pretty sure it couldn’t get any worse than the crap that had been the previous.

Maybe this will be ok, he thought as he picked up his bag, stepped over his former shell, and headed out of the hotel. Strange. His bag had traveled with him to the afterlife. But not his hat. That remained on the floor. He had liked the hat. Though the pool of blood it was now sat in meant he didn’t mind too much about leaving it behind.

Streaming like a pro?

Last week I had the pleasure of live streaming an event from Holyrood, Edinburgh.

Highlights included the 10k run round Arthur’s Seat (no, not up) in the morning, having a plastic tub security cleared by security people with guns, forgetting to put my belt back on after security clearance, and getting to play with fun kit for a few hours.

Lowlight (but fun really) was having our setup time cut from a comfortable 2 hours, to a rather tight 40 minutes.

I’d like to make the output more professional (especially from a post production editing point of view) but I do feel I’m getting the hang of live streaming. At the moment the kit is a bit of ‘what can we throw at it’ and included:

2 x Canon XA10 cameras on tripods
1 x rather large Mac (it’s all we had!)
1 x Allen&Heath Zed10 USB mixer (taking a feed from the front of house mix, plus adding in a second mic for our stream ‘reporter’)
1 x OBS Studio which I really like…
1 x rather reliable 4G modem / router
Lots x gaffer tape

It’s a lot of fun. I’ll post some more as I’m hoping to be able to do more of this in the coming year…

Running with Siân

Two pairs of trainers

I really like visiting family. It’s great.

This weekend we headed down to Somerset to see Siân’s folks. There are many good things about these times. Food usually plays a large part. A lot of laughter, too. The kids have plenty of time with their cousins. We were also treated to a trip to the theatre to see The Girl and The Giraffe – very entertaining, and thought provoking.

One of the best things,though, is the ready made child care and the chance for Siân & I to head out for a run. We don’t often run together so it’s always good. This time was a 10k along the canal in Taunton. I didn’t take my phone so I had to make do with a photo of the trainers.

Missing the long slow run

Over the last few weeks I’ve managed to run once or twice a week. This has mostly been down to a regular run in the dark with Matt. The weekly habit has really made me want to get back into a proper running routine but I am struggling to fit it in. I am very aware of the lack of a long slow run at the moment. To go out and run 10+ miles slowly would be great round about now.

Shame I’m supposed to be working…

Finally Gitting There

It’s been a long time coming but I’ve finally got round to setting up a proper Git server and version controlling my work! I think I’ve found it hard in the past as I’ve not done much collaborative coding with people. I’ve always used version control to one degree or another, but I’ve never got on top of it as a proper habit. Finally there now.

And it looks like this:

On site:
1 x Raspberry PI with external HDD as primary GIT server
1 x Ubuntu desktop that I’m developing on at the moment
1 x iMac
Various Windows machines with GITBash installed

Off site:
1 x Ubuntu server box taking regular copy of PI HDD
1 x Ubuntu server that powers up, snapshots the PI and powers down

For redundancy sake the internal stuff is also included in our office backup process.

Time to say goodbye

He realised that he had not, until that moment, said goodbye. It was months, or maybe even years, as time had become of little consequence lately, and he’d only just said goodbye. Everyone assumed that was what the funeral was for but she had stayed with him after that day. It was strange really. Her death had drawn them together like nothing else had. No therapy, no holidays, no big gestures. It took the death of his love to show that it was still just that.


He loved her. Of course he did.

But now he was ready to say goodbye. It was the sight of her with another man, in the supermarket, that prepared him for this. It wasn’t really her. He knew that – it was just someone who looked like her, in that she had hair, and legs, and arms, and was humanoid in shape, though sometimes those things weren’t essential. Just the other day she was a dustbin. A large, black dustbin, like the bins one would find in a back alley of a Victorian terrace in the 70s. Why would she be a bin? No one could say. But right now she was a woman, holding the hand of another man. Glancing back over her shoulder with a sad look in her eyes as if to say “why did you let me go?”

It wasn’t only the temptation

It was right there in front of her. Sitting on the desk, with the large label and the excessive amount of sellotape. The big space where the postage paid label should have been. Just waiting to be opened.

It was the same every month. First, the delivery card would appear through the door, “Sorry we missed you. Your parcel has a charge to pay…” Then the long, painful journey to the depot, the search through the handbag for the ID, the acknowledgment that no, she didn’t look like that anymore, and no, the address didn’t quite match. Finally the long painful journey back to the house. It wouldn’t take so long, or be quite so painful if she could take the bus but that was no longer an option.

It was the same every month. Every time her mother remembered her birthday, every time her mother sent her the gift, a hideous porcelain vase. Identical to the one she sent last month. With the same card. Even the same message. As if it was still Sam’s 31st birthday, as it had been all those years ago.

It was the same every month. Her mother forgot so many things. Why could it not be that she forgot Sam’s address? Or the fact her birthday was on the 5th of the month, not the right month, just the 5th day. Or the fact that once, and only once, Sam had made a throw away comment about liking a vase. Sam was pretty sure she wasn’t even looking at the vase when her mum asked what she thought… “How about this for Harry? Do you think he’d like it? I’m not sure it’s quite right…”

But no, those details would never been forgotten.