16th Oct 2013
Ok, whoever made this wins the internet. We can all go home now.
14th Oct 2013
After a childhood spent in the same house in South Manchester my adult life is marked by the number of times I've moved house. During my time at university I lived in Lancaster and Morecambe. In the last decade I've lived in West Finchley in London, Shenfield in Essex, Northolt in West London, Charlton Down near Dorchester and now in the village of Broadwindsor in West Dorset. Unlike some of the other places I've lived this little patch of Dorset feels like home to me. I'm settled and happy. I love the countryside and the pace of life. It is a wonderful place for a family to live.
17th Aug 2013
27th Jul 2013
I spent Wednesday evening in Westbay. It was glorious. The tide was in, the sun was shining and the weather was warm even as the sun dipped behind the cliffs to westwards.
Given the lighting conditions I took lots of bracketed sets. But the following picture was actually created via the in-camera HDR feature of my NEX-6. I've discovered it can do a really good job of combining bracketed shots itself - though they do benefit from a little post-processing afterwards. The great thing about the auto-HDR feature in the NEX-6 is that the camera also saves the middle shot too so you don't just get the tone-mapped file.
You can view more pictures from this set at 500px.
23rd Jul 2013
Following the troubles at Harold Wood Hospital we shifted Lanie's treatment over to St. John's in Chelmsford. I often wonder if Lanie would be here today if we stayed at Harold Wood. But given the stories one hears about hospitals across Essex perhaps that's not a question we need ask. The months between our wedding in September and the twins' birth in March were tough. Lanie wasn't well, the hospital treatment poor and it was only in the last days we found out part of the reason for that.
19th Jul 2013
I'm not suggesting the NHS is home to numerous serial killers. Harold Shipman is surely an aberration. But people are dying and dying in their thousands. How can this happen? In today's episode I'm going to let Lanie tell you all about her experience of Harold Wood Hospital. There's nothing murderous here - but what's important is that it gives us a handle on the attitude of some working in the NHS. And this is important, our life is in there hands.
As we'll discover in the next episode, one negligent consultant making a misdiagnosis can set the tone and attitude for the rest of the staff dealing with that patient. And the results of this can lead to death. You may wonder why I'm taking the story so back in time before the birth of the twins. The reason is that I don't believe the blame solely lies with those on duty on the terrible Sunday afternoon Lanie died. There are problems up and down the service - and as we move on to the real meat of the problems next time you'll see that management, nurses and doctors all shoulder some blame.
For now though lets read the words of my Lanie, speaking to us from Valhalla, the great tree of Pandora or wherever she resides. We move to the period between our wedding at the end of September and Christmas 2006.
17th Jul 2013
16th Jul 2013
This blog post has taken over six years to write. Many people have managed much greater endeavours in this time. But my difficulties have not been a matter of writers block. The problem was anger, combined with pain, grief, sadness, disbelief and a whole raft of mixed emotions. The NHS killed my beloved wife and I couldn't do a damn thing about it. After six years I think I am finally ready to tell the whole story.
13th Jul 2013
Will keeps recording himself on his little camera saying this. He thinks it's the funniest thing ever.
5th Jul 2013
I have just finished reading The Sparrow, a novel by Mary Doria Russell. The Sparrow is a beautiful, haunting and desperately sad tale. Nominally science-fiction - in that it concerns first contact with an alien race - but really a take of people, love, loss, sacrifice, faith and theology. A Jesuit mission to another world and the pain and suffering that follows.
I know this is a book that's going to stay with me for some time. I feel terribly sad having read it, it's affected me more than anything I've read for a while, but I'm glad of reading something that I found so powerful.
The Sparrow reminded me of some of Arthur C Clarke's best work. Books such as The Songs of Distant Earth, Childhood's End or The Fountains of Paradise - works again that are placed in the science fiction genre but really are stories of melancholy, loss and love denied. I'm not at all surprised The Sparrow won the Clarke prize, it certainly deserved it.
I'm about to read the follow-up, with no little trepidation.