New blog – same news!

I’ve just spent the last few evenings converting my original blog to a new WordPress one.  Google announced this week that it’s getting rid of FTP functionality for its Blogger service, which I’ve been using since before Google had even thought of buying it up!

But basically, what Google’s announcement meant was that from next month, I wouldn’t be able to update my blog in its current form, without re-arranging the structure of my website, or hosting the actual blog on their servers.

So I was recommended WordPress which I installed and then had the fun of importing my original blog, and then reformatting it all so that it still looks right, and adapting a theme to be an evolution of what I had before.

It’s been interesting looking back at what I’ve written over the years – 168 blog posts since March 2002!  And however tempting it’s been at times, I haven’t deleted anything I’ve posted over those 8 years, even though with hindsight, some of the stuff is either a bit stupid or embarrassing!

But the upshot of it all is that it’s still business as usual, and at first glance the features provided by WordPress actually seem a lot better than Blogger!

I’ve been blogging for 7 years!

I started this blog on the 18th March 2002 – 7 years ago today!!

My posting frequency isn’t really as good as I’d like it to be, and maybe I don’t often go as in-depth as I’ve always wanted to, but I’m pleased I’ve kept it going this long, and that I’ve not gone back and deleted or changed any past blog entries (apart from the occasional spelling correction!) even though sometimes things change so much that it makes old posts seem rather stupid!

I hate gambling…

…especially online gambling.

I got a call from my credit card company a couple of weeks ago asking if I’d been using it on various betting websites – which obviously I hadn’t(!) – so they cancelled my card and paid back the few hundred pounds that had been charged to it.

Then today, I decided to just have a look online at my bank account and I saw that two payments had been made on Wednesday to an online betting website for a total of £500! Unbelievable!

I phoned up the bank and they’ve now cancelled my card, but I’ve got to contact the fraud department on Monday to convince them that the payments weren’t mine… but it just really annoys me that I’m a victim of fraud (through no fault of my own), but it could well be up to me to prove it. I’ve no idea how this could have happened on two of my cards – I always have them with me, and I follow all the basic security measures that you can do when using them. It just seems really weird that it can happen to me twice within as many weeks.

Arghh… I’m quite angry about it!

Underground and other stuff

Been away working at Soul Survivor, and I guess during that time I’ve been pondering about a few things, which I’m going to mention briefly at the top of this post.

I’ve been writing this blog now (on and off) for nearly three and a half years now(!), and I suppose in the last 9 months, I’ve been thinking a bit more about what I actually put on here. I think it’s because I read some blogs of people I know who are loads more open and honest in what they write, and in some ways I really wish I was more like that. But part of the problem is if you start writing really personal stuff that also affects other people, is it fair to put it in a place where anyone can see? I know you can change names and stuff like that, and can be careful about how you refer to people, but at the end of the day either they, or others, would probably be able to work out who you’re on about. Also, I’ve always been a quite private person when it comes to personal things – and maybe reading blogs by people who seem to have broken through that barrier makes me realise that I’d like to be more like that. Not sure. But I’d say that some of the stuff I’ve written this year has been more open than it would have been previously, and maybe it’s something I’m going to work on in the future… not promising anything – it’s something I need to work out!

Soul SurvivorAnyway, back to what’s been going on recently. I got home from Soul Survivor yesterday afternoon, and was so worn out I fell asleep as soon as I got in! I was there for 16 days – and it felt like an eternity! For the 2 main Soul Survivor weeks, I was working in their new hip-hop and urban venue run by the guys from the 29th Chapter – Underground – doing all the videos and visuals for the evening sets. I was working with a girl called Kate, who I hadn’t met before, but came recommended by John Roberts, and she was really good. She’s just finished a degree in Media Performance at Salford University, and it was so helpful having someone around who could do media stuff because there was SO much that we had to do.

As well doing live vision mixing of the performances onto a big screen at the back of the stage, we were filming and editing mini-programme segments to be dropped into the set each night. We did a couple of MTV spoofs… “Bling My Youthleader” (based on ‘Pimp My Ride’) and “Tents” (a rip-off of ‘Cribs’ but without the celebrities and luxurious pads), plus every day they were running “Urban Academy” auditions which we recorded and then edited into a highlights package. It was all just so intense – really long days, but enjoyable as well.

In between the two weeks, I stayed on-site for Momentum, and some guys from Tamworth were there for that, so spent a bit of time with them which was cool. And they had a baby with them which kind of distracted everyone (in a totally good way) all week! Even though it was supposed to be more of a rest that week, that didn’t really happen because I ended up spending some of the week in our edit suite doing preparation for week B!

The photos from Soul Survivor and Momentum are here.
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I guess the major thing that’s happened since I last posted on here was on the night before I left for Soul Survivor, I got a call from my mum to tell me that a really close family friend had committed suicide the night before. It was someone who I’ve known for about 20 years, and she really was part of the family, and it’s horrific.

I think I’m still in a bit of shock because I dont think I’ve really accepted it yet… I’d only been talking to her 4 days before at my nan’s funeral, and it was totally the last thing I expected. I wasn’t able to go to the funeral because I was obviously working down in Somerset when they held it, but I think in a strange way, I’m kind of glad I didn’t because I’d rather remember her as she was the last time I saw her.

Spring Harvest

First day back at work after getting back from stewarding at Spring Harvest, and I really didn’t feel like doing any work at all! It was a really tiring week over in Skegness – we were having to get up at 6am and finished at about 1am, with only half an hour break in the day to get lunch! It was a really good group of guys there this year, and I’m going to try and keep in touch with some of them… although I am the worst for keeping up-to-date with emails and stuff!

I got back to Manchester on Tuesday night, and was in bed by eight o’clock… the earliest for a very long time! And I didn’t get up until Wednesday lunchtime! I think I’ve just about got over the lack of sleep now.

I’ve just arranged to get a broadband connection fitted next month (although it’s got to wait until I’ve got the living room sorted) so it should be easier updating my websites and all that. I’ve got to update the Skeggy Stewards site soon with all the photos from this year’s event – I’ve just taken my photos in for developing so will probably scan them at the weekend.

Looking for a new place to live…

Current news – luckily the house I’m living in still hasn’t sold so I haven’t been given my notice yet! I’ve just spent the last two days looking at various houses to buy, but with no real joy, although there is one which may be suitable. Hopefully, I’m arranging to view a load more next Tuesday (my next free day), and who know… maybe I’ll find my perfect house that day!

Have decided to travel down to London for Saturday evening to go to Rhona’s leaving party (she’s off for a few months to work in India, which has been a bit of a surprise for everyone!!) I’m going down Saturday lunchtime on the train, which only takes about 3 and a half hours (slightly quicker than driving there!), and I’m coming back on the Sunday morning so it’ll be a fleeting visit. Actually it should be pretty cool, ‘cos Naomi should be there (and unfortunately I couldn’t make it to her wedding over Easter, so it’ll be good to catch up), and Bin’s going to try and get there as well. Maybe some other ex-uni-guys will make it as well, so it can be like a mini-reunion!

Have had to take down the CU Oldies website for the moment…. to be honest, it really wasn’t complete, but also I’ve run out of web space to host it ‘cos Skeggy Stewards has grown so big… I’m even having to store a lot of the new pictures on my own website!

Catching up…

Thought it was about time I did another news update for the site. It’s early Sunday evening and I’m at work (woohoo!) doing a few bits and pieces that need to be finished by the morning. Got back from working at Spring Harvest in the early hours of Wednesday morning… we’d decided to stay for the evening stuff since we were already on site and didn’t have to pay(!), but that kind of meant that we didn’t actually leave Skegness until about midnight, and it takes 4 hours to get from there back to Manchester! And considering I’d just finished a week of working 17+ hour days, it possibly wasn’t the wisest thing to do driving back so tired. Anyway, apart from a couple of times when I found my eyes closing involuntarily, and decided to pull over to avoid dying, the journey back was okay… trouble was I had to get up four hours later to make a trip to the railway station!

Other news… my landlord has offered to sell me the house I’m in and I’ve got to give him a decision this weekend. After much thought though, I think I’m going to pass on it, and desperately try to find somewhere else for me to buy before he manages to sell this one! I love challenges!

I’ve spent quite a bit of time the last few days with my websites… www.skeggysteward.co.uk is pretty busy at the moment for obvious reasons… I’m hoping to make it a load more interactive very soon, and may shift it to another server which allows for scripts to be run thanks to a guy I was sharing a chalet with at Spring Harvest – more info on that when I get it. Also, I’ve been fixing a few problems with Tom’s website, and over this next week I want to try and pull together the CU Oldies website with some more content and a slight re-design on the look.

Anyway, better get back to work and do what I’m paid for!!! ;o)

New blog…

This is kind of my on-line diary / news thing where I can put stuff that’s happening in my life at the mo, and anyone can read it if they want!

Current news… At the moment I’m renting a house in Greater Manchester, but my landlord’s looking at selling quite soon, so I’m desperately trying to find somewhere to buy (I’m not sure that I want to buy this place!) Trouble is, I’ve discovered that house-hunting is a bit of a nightmare. I’ve traipsed around loads of estate agents over the last few weeks, but still not actually looked at anywhere. 🙁 Hopefully going to start looking at some places later this week, then will have to sort out getting a mortgage… arggghhhh!

Anyway, I’d better get off to bed now… I’ve been spending far too long working on a new website for my mate Tom Green (check out www.tomgreen.co.uk), which I’ve done for him for free, with the promise of some voice-overs from him at some point!!! 😉