Category Archives: Life

It is ok I know my way there I have been before

I have spent this weekend in London for a Philofaxy meet up, as usual we met at Tate Modern an area I have got to know quite well.

During my years of working for the Radiocommunications Agency (1985-2004) I visited London for meetings about once a week I suppose. So it was like going back in time this weekend when I found myself using the Jubilee line to travel to Canary Wharf to go out for a meal at a hotel near by.

I knew the hotel quite well from the days when RA was based at South Quay 3. But when I emerged from the station although some of the buildings looked familiar there new buildings now on the skyline. Where there once used to be a foot bridge there was now a new building! But I found my way there ok.

Sunday morning saw me going to Waterloo station to buy some stationery, but they are rebuilding the concourse the WH Smiths that used to be near to the clock has disappeared! So I crossed the river to The Strand and got what I needed there.

Walking back to my hotel this evening I passed New Kings Beam House (NKBH) which used to also be known as Sea Containers House. NKBH as we called it was home to RA after the 1996 IRA bombing of South Quay, it is being refurbished at the moment and no doubt will see another change of name and inhabitants

So just because you have been there before, it doesn’t mean that it will still be the same in 6, 12 or 18 months time.

London though never seems to stop it is busy everyday of the week. I am just glad I will be sleepy rural France during the London 2012 games this summer.


I have been blogging around the world!

As well as my normal activities on Philofaxy, I’ve been taking part in the Philofaxy All Stars Tour, which is about a team of blogging doing guest posts on a variety of blogs, connected to readers of Philofaxy. The tour is going very well. Here are some of my contributions:


Birthdays – How are you supposed to celebrate them?

Yesterday was my birthday… Happy Birthday to me etc…

I was born on my fathers birthday all those years ago, and yesterday would have been his 85th birthday, but sadly he passed away back in 2003, so no more shared birthdays for us.

But how is one supposed to celebrate ones less significant birthdays? Going back to when I was 25.  It was similar to this year I suppose, I was in a foreign country celebrating my birthday, back then it was Cyprus, now I’m in France.

But there are some common things. I’m most probably listening to the same music as I did 27 years ago, I have Steely Dan playing on headphones as I type this, back in 1984 it would have been an LP or a cassette on my ‘new’ Sony Walkman in my pocket… today it’s my iPod touch in my pocket, how technology progresses. Now I can carry around in my pocket my full music collection, un-thinkable 10 years ago… ok make that 15 years ago. The iPod hit the streets in October 2001, my iPod Touch is my third iPod!

‘What would you like for your birthday?’ I never know how to answer that question, I can always think of expensive things… who can’t!!! But when it comes down to everyday items I get stumped for what to suggest. Even if I want to buy myself something I find it difficult to choose these days, we almost have too much choice in some things. It’s the same at Christmas as well.

The other question I dread is ‘What did you do on your birthday?’ Quite often in the past it’s been a normal working day for me. Yesterday was fairly routine, but I was pacing myself, a bit of work, a bit of relaxation, a bit  of work. Listening to lots of music I like too.

I had lots of nice best wishes messages on Facebook, which I suppose is becoming the modern way rather than sending cards. The post being as unpredictable as ever… when do you need to post a card to get to France… 2 days 6 days…. or 3 weeks!  I don’t get sad if someone forgets my birthday or doesn’t send me a card these days. Why just have one special day in the year when there are 365/6 days when you can also be nice to your friends and family.

I also had a surprise post by my friend and co-conspirator Laurie on Philofaxy, and even more birthday wishes, so it turned out to be quite a special day in the end.

Thank you everyone for thinking of me, it makes me feel even more wanted, your thoughts and best wishes are better than any birthday present I could ever wish for.