Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A sincerely happy New Year

As this year closes, and another waits in the wings for the curtain call, I never really like looking back. I'm a pretty much forward thinking bloke.

2008 has been and gone, it quite literally is history. I don't like pondering over things, jut looking ahead to what's around the corner.

The inevitable resolutions come along - lose weight, be a little more tolerant, work harder, spend more time with the kids. The list goes on.

The thing that has been on my mind more than anything else though is to be less critical. The one thing I tend to do is to make a snap judgment of people. I feel I should be far less judgmental. No one likes a cynic and I would hate to think that I'm like that.

The good book says 'Judge not, lest ye be judged' and I like that mindset. As I look at people, hopefully, they'll look at me in the same way. To be honest, as cynic as some people are, there are plenty that aren't.

Being a Christian isn't like a golf club membership, it's a way of life, and one that I would dearly love to live better than I do. I don't think I'm doing too badly, but it's always a good idea to improve.

So, I will try not to make snap judgments and really try hard to look through another's eyes before making comment. At least, that's the plan.

We're all the same, no matter what size, gender, perceived class or outlook we have on any aspect. If you don't believe in God, don't worry, He still believes in you!

Have a great, prosperous and very peaceful New Year, whenever and wherever you are.

Paul.

podcast181 podcastpaul.com 4 years and counting....

Download MP3 direct from here.

Hello! I've been podcasting for four years from yesterday. Blimey!

Great music as ever, hopefully the chat is as inspiring...

Dynamo's Rhythm Aces - click this link for their site
The Lichfield Chamber choir (live recording on Christmas eve)
Simon Apple click here for SA's site.
Hollow Horse - cracking Ken Little & Co Click for Hollow Horse at this link here
Roxy Perry - this woman is awesome. Click here for Roxy's site.

Thanks to everyone for listening to me - shout outs to some folks, apologies to those I missed - including Jason and Ed!

God bless, have a phenomenal New Year.

mail to paul@podcastpaul.com

Sunday, December 21, 2008

podcast180 podcastpaul It's Christmas!

Download MP3 direct from here podcast 180.

Fantastic music from:

Benet McLean
Paul Rose and Dave Rudbarg
Dynamo's Rhythm Aces
FMG
Roxy Perry

Thanks to my lovely listeners: Clinton Gaille (Wellington, NZ) and Laurel Meadows (Boise, USA)

Please send any feedback to paul@podcastpaul.com

Happy Christmas and God Bless!

...and, I've been recording podcasts for 4 years on 30th December 2008 !

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Jack's samba band

Here's Jack leading the school Samba band last week in Birmingham City Centre.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Christian's Film Studies assignment

OK, let's face it, 'Film Studies' is a doss - my son; Christian, 16 is studying this at A/S level because he has to do one year of additional study to his A Levels; Law, English and History.

Here's his effort. He's obviously put a lot of time and effort into this (*cough)

He's the blonde tall good looking one by the way... follows his dad

Saturday, November 08, 2008

podcast no 179 8th November 2008

Download the MP3 of podcastpaul no 179 here

Hello and welcome!

Tonight, some exceptional music from:

Dynamo's Rhythm Aces
Ola Onabule
Paul Rose

Ola Onabule, courtesy of PM ( www.music.podshow.com )

It's ridiculously late at the time I am writing this, so apologies for the short notes!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Hold on to your hats

There's a podcast coming kids. Seriously. No, I really mean it.

Keep your eyes peeled...

;-)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

podcast no. 178 It's been too long..

Download podcast 178 directly from here (MP3)

Podcast n0 178 is here!

Music from:

Paul Rose
Roxy Perry

Glad to be back! See you soon!

Friday, October 10, 2008

A very, very proud moment


Here's a picture of me playing drums with Jack at a youth night at the church ( I was a very late stand in!)

Jack was absolutely superb. He's shaping up to be an outstanding guitarist.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

flood

Concerns heighten over new flood fears in Tewksbury...

Ambulance


Evidence of child sign writing sweat shops in Birmingham...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Blindfold


The air was tense and mounting fears charged... they should have gone to Specsavers

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Brown rubbed his hands with Glee as he plugged Milliband in...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Dubbya



George's headphones slip as he shows off his large medallion.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Experts find proof of Limbo dancing originating in Ancient Greece.

Great Costumes..

Two eager participants; Kevin & Roy were at the front of the queue for this year's Dungeons & Dragons Expo.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Colin from Sydney


Colin, one of my Aussie listeners sent me this cracking pic from Sydney. Cheers Col, there's a podcast in the mix shortly old mate.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A day in London's financial sector



Just a couple of pictures from my Camera Phone. I was in the heart of the financial sector today.

Lloyds is such a monstrosity it's beautiful.

The Gherkin is just beautiful, an incredible piece of architecture (isn't it Jason?). I had a fabulous lunch at it's base today.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A day at the ludlow food festival in pictures.


I loved watching the traditionally made cider in the castle grounds.

In the background you can see the generator feeding the apple mulcher. The mulch is then placed on cheesecloth and drained. The juice is collected and left to ferment.


The mulch is put into cheese cloth bags and pressed by the hand wound press


The whole process is shown here, the loading, mulching and pressing.


Inside the castle grounds.


The entrance to Ludlow Castle for the food festival. The castle was built in the 11th century - amazing how it's still functional a thousand years later.






Friday, September 12, 2008

BBC following the contents of a cargo box

It sounds terribly dull doesn't it? I find it fascinating.

The BBC have bolted a GPS transmitter to a cargo box that they're tracking. You can see it at this link here

The container will be tracked and filmed over the course of the next year to look at globalization and international trade. I find it strangely compelling to look every day at what the container is holding and where it is.

At the time of this post I can see that the container is in Abbotsinch Retail Park off Renfrew Rd in Paisley, Scotland with a consignment of whisky, having started the journey from Southampton, Southern England a few days ago.

I've bookmarked the page and will be interested to see events unfold over the next year.

Paul.


update: this link here

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Legends in their own lunchtimes.

I must be really odd. I think I can see through things and call out the Emperor wearing no clothes to the masses. Either that, or I'm just odd.

I like the internet, though the technology of it bores me. I cannot think of anything more boring than learning machine code, HTML, CSS or whatever it's called. I'm happy to drag and drop. It took me ages to work out how to do this, and even then I'm not that great at it.

So, operating systems - they operate, to me they're just functional. I don't think they're sexy and I don't really care how they work. I'm not interested in Leopard, Cheetah, Vista or whatever, I just want it to work sleekly.

I like the gadgets, not the guts. I can appreciate a very pretty girl, but I'm not terribly interested in looking at her kidneys, or wondering how good her spleen is. Get my drift?

Then there's the "I'm a geek" label. I'm not, and I don't get it. Why do you want to be the school swot in a pair of national health glasses?

I just like using the internet and the gadgets. I'm not bothered about the size, shape or workings of the processor. Quite honestly I couldn't give a monkey's.

But the thing that I really don't understand? Apart from the worship of Steve Jobs and everything Apple, which I liken to cultish, weird behaviour, I don't understand why there are 'names' on the internet and why people go gaga over them. The slavish following of people that occupy a miniscule sliver of interest on the net seem to have gained something of a pop status. Eh? Why?

I've never listened to 'TWIT', Leo Laporte, followed Richard or Robert Scoble or whatever his name is, I'm not interested in Dave Winer, 'The Gilmore Gang', John Dvorak or anyone who has fame attached to their name, in fact, I generally go out of my way not to listen to or indeed to read them. The stuff I have listened to or have read has been tripe mostly. I was quite interested in Adam Curry because of podcasting ..... but the fame thing irritates and befuddles me. I find that sycophantic following just makes my bum go funny and annoys me.

Legends in their own lunchtimes... just remember that a lunchtime is an hour long, if you're lucky. That should be the life span of the odd druid worship to them if you really must, and no more.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

call for help please

Just a couple of quick calls for help please:

1. Could folks please send a quick mp3 - " hi this is ...... and you're listening to podcastpaul dot com"

2. Do people want me to turn off the auto playing mp3 player when they land on the site?

Ta!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Portly Princess of Pop Postulates - plonker.


English newspapers have always intrigued and really rather disappointed me. I can read a headline in the tabloids, shake my head and wonder if those reading it really are taken in by the print. The spreadsheets don't get off lightly either. Do people think that the people writing the columns are wise sagely beings who speak for the nation? Wake up and smell the tea bags people.

Today I took Harry to the cinema and stopped off at McDonalds for a quick breakfast. The Daily mail was around and a piece of 'commentary' caught my eye. The story was about Lily Allen, she had been co presenting an award with the loathsome Elton John. I felt bile rise in my stomach as I read on.

Allen had bitten back at the princess when he made a quip about her drinking. Allen angrily replied that she still had her life to live and had 40 years ahead of her. Good comment I thought.

The hissy fitting wig wearing knob end, real name Reginald Dwight then made a retort that was so very clever: " I could still snort you under the table"

Oh how I laughed, how I held my sides at the thought of fat Reg using cocaine. What a great advert for all and sundry. Never mind the massively spiralling drug driven crime on our streets, or the kids driven to the street by the vile grip of class A drugs - everyone stand up and salute the near pensionable age balding bloater - because he can snort Lily Allen under the table. Stop the press, ignore the plight of those in Haiti, because piggy Reg does drugs - hilarious. Or not. The man is a class A turd.

I find Reg Dwight's (I'm not using his silly stage name) attitude and lifestyle sickening to the pit of my stomach.

Sir Reginald Dwight - anagram 'danger whilst rigid' - is no doubt a musical genius, but he's also a detestable moron who is idiotic enough to make such a stupid quip. This from the 'man' who spends hundreds of thousands of pounds on flowers each year - the very thought of that waste of money sickens me. Don't misquote me or think I'm alluding to his homosexual lifestyle - I'm not, it's him, just him. I cannot abide him.

...and the commentary from the paper? They were having a go at Lily Allen for saying she felt depressed. Not a word about fat Reg. Incredible.

Whenever I heard Fat Reg's music before, I cringed. Now I'm going to make an effort to run and switch it off if I can.

I'd love to see Reg stripped of his knighthood. I'd like him to be Jade Goodied. Make him lose his money and while his life away in Tower Hamlets.

Candle in the wind? More like a fat princess covered in charlie... I cannot bear the man. I hope the nation follows suit.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Language plus two

I'm doing everything I can not to think about enrolling at Uni for yet another course.

I want to do a couple of things though; I want to play lead guitar and I want to speak Spanish. Ok, I want to do three things - I have a mad desire to sit the Radio Amateurs course and buy an HF radio so I can use morse and SSB to speak around the world.

I'm odd. I must be. I made a transmitter in a bean tin at the age of ten, and had a bedroom that resembled a mad professor's lab at the age of 12. I had a 60 lb, thirteen valve lancaster bomber WWII transceiver that didn't work. I took the thing apart, cleaned it up and made it work. I sat and worked out the theory of long wire radio antennas and mad the thing explode into life. I learnt morse at the age of 12 and can still belt the alphabet out in less than two minutes. Mental.

Guitar is something I muck around with. I envy lead guitarists who are good and I'd love to play, but I really do envy those with a second language.

I've no desire at all to learn French. I was taught by a bloke that smelt like the back of Victoria Wine (the shop, not a person) and constantly hung over. Apparently the teacher had learnt French while digging holes as a labourer there. I'm surprised I don't know how to ask for a shovel or to apologise for inadvertently showing my bum crack.

The only phrase that I learnt at school - and I'm not kidding here, is to ask for a large mint ice cream. Don't ask me to spell it, but I can, I'm sure, speak like a native Parisian if ever a grande glace a la menthe took your fancy. I studied the language for two years at school, and that's the only phrase I know. Pitiful.

I do think that we Brits are desperately lazy when coming to languages. My friend Juan, a Chilean, came over here fleeing from Pinochet in the 70's. Juan has four young kids 3- 9 and speaks to them only in Spanish. His wife; Simone is so Brummy, she makes me sound like Prince Charles.

The kids all speak Spanish, and Isabella is, I'm sure, fluent in Spanish. That's incredible to me. I need to learn. I would love to be able to converse in a different language. How incredible would that be?

So, maybe I should play Spanish guitar over the radio waves and kill three birds with one stone eh?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

new iPod / iPhone application

I have come across a free new application for my iPod called '' 'shapes'. Essentially you have a soft keyboard on screen, but rather than tap the letters out one by one, you drag your finger across the keys and the programme predicts your word. It's very good but heavy on the US dictionary which is irritating if you're from the UK.

I am putting my money where my mouth is in writing the entire post by the programme, Ironically though the programme is free!

If you have the iPhone or iPod touch, try it, I think it is excellent.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sarah Palin Comments


Here we go again, the next round of American politics. Stand by and wait for months and months of political analysis of why McCain has brought in Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Floating around the web I came across some sites and blogs including one that read "As A woman I'm offended". Perlease.

The site link is here

my comments on the site reads as follows:

I think it's great!

Here in Central England, we're bombarded with American politics on our news bulletins.

Quite frankly I'm sick to death of hearing about the American Primaries, so it's nice to see some eye candy, and she seems to be a nice ordinary mum to boot, about time someone ordinary got in rather than some wrinkled crone spouting platitudes and gathering stories for a multi-million pound autobiography after the next scandal.

We had Thatcher here, and we have the Queen, God bless her (stands to attention and sings the national anthem). I wouldn't get on the phone to Liz and tell her that we're patronising her, because of her gender.I'd be impaled by the steel implements of a dozen Beefeaters and have more than half of the population demanding to string me up.

I've licked the back of stamps for 40 years with the Queens head on, and it's not done me any bad at all. We're not afraid here of putting women in power, why are you?

I have to say that I do find your political system rather odd though. Here in the UK, we announce we're having an election, we put up with some dreary nonsense for around two to three weeks, we vote, and get it over and done with. There's little or no razmataz, we vote and move on. No kids tumbling, no brass bands. Politics here is a little like taking refuse to the council tip, though less enjoyable. If people whooped and hollered at a council by-election, they would be committed, or be clubbed to death, or, even worse, be stared at in a very menacing way and ignored by everyone at Asda.

We've had politics for a thousand years, it's become functional and a necessary evil - a little like using the loo.

England's voting system is very much like my buying a pair of shoes. I get the job done because I'm bored of shopping. I go to a shoe shop, ask for a pair of size 11 shoes, I try them on, buy them and go home. Job done. I've had to endure shopping for 9 minutes, nasty business that it is.

American politics reminds me a bit of my wife shopping for shoes. She goes to the shoe shop, picks up a pair of shoes, looks at baby clothes (my kids are teenagers), wanders over to look at Boots, wanders around a perfume shop, goes back to look at the first pair of shoes, tries to find them cheaper at 6 other shoe shops, wanders around a chemists, looks at wigs (honestly, I'm not kidding), goes to a toy store, back to the chemists, goes home, goes back to the shoe shop, comes home with the shoes, a dozen photo frames from Poundland, Christmas cards (in August) and dozens of other bags then takes them back the next week. Get my gist?

Wheel her on I say!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Credit crunches change for the better

It's very easy to feel down about the rising prices, lower net income, mounting petrol prices and goodness knows what else.

I noticed just a few days ago that most of the traffic on my morning commute stays in the slow lane at a steady 55mph, the boy racers seem less too.

As I sat in the left hand lane trying to get the best fuel economy I could along with most of Britain's other traffic, I realised that there was a noticeable decrease in the 4 x 4's and bigger cars. Most of the cars are suddenly smaller. Peugeot 206's, Fiats and Ka's were in abundance. People are starting to think smarter and adapt as money becomes ever tighter, and petrol / diesel prices even more insane. Not only are people now driving cars that have a better MPG, they're driving at the most fuel efficient too. Having a bigger / posher car just isn't an issue any more, it's about being as sensible as you can with the rocketing cost of motoring in Britain today.

I'm chopping my 1.8i MGF for a little Corsa sxi 1.3i Turbo diesel next week. It's mad not too. I couldn't give a monkey's anymore about looking cool - I want the 70mpg and save, I reckon £100 p/month on fuel, and, get this, pay £35 tax this year, and nothing next year! That's a bit different to the £180 p/a I'm paying now. The group insurance is 3, no doubt another big saving on the premium too. The Kia Sedona 2.9tdi I have will suffer the same fate when I can find a decent enough fuel efficient car to replace it - but it needs to pull a caravan. A Toyota Corolla / Mondeo? Any suggestions?

I'd love to think I could get so efficient I could get a turbine for the house and some solar panels. I'm not at all green, it really goes over my head, I just like the idea of gadgets and saving money. I can bet that others are thinking the same way too. In fact, I know that most of the circle of friends and acquaintances I have are thinking the same way.

Society had definitely taken luxuries for granted while the poorest have sadly become poorer. I actually like the thought of everyone having to be more careful as it seems to provoke a bit more thought. Stretching the thought a bit further, the most contented people I met were in Swaziland. Here we think that having only one TV or an outdated DVD player is something to moan about. In Swaziland, some of the kids don't own a pair of shoes. Lots of the mud houses don't have glass in the windows, yet the folks are the most warm, genuine people you could meet. Britain was a much happier society immediately post war with rationing and without too much of the trappings of today.

I'm ever the optimist and would love to think that we are perhaps a little less selfish and just a bit more thoughtful than the halcyon days of a few years back. Perhaps the credit crunch has some small positive side to it?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Back from holiday.

It's been a bizarre three weeks.

I was away in Spain for a week, back for three days, then a three day course, then a week here in the worst ever weather possible down in Somerset. It rained, rained, rained, shone sun for an hour and then rained torrentially again before thundering down in a cyclone and then more foul weather.

Is it any wonder why Brits go abroad?

Monday, August 04, 2008

podcastpaul - podcast177

Download MP3 direct from this link

Podcast No 177

Music from:

Dave Stewart - yes, that Dave Stewart!
The Cool Waters Band
- both courtesy of Podshow (www.music.podshow.com)

and...

The Orange Lights. The track courtesy from The Orange Lights / Blackbird.

I love indie music - and talk about the fact that I wish John Peel was still alive!

;-)

Sunday, August 03, 2008

How to handle a nuisance caller.

Download the MP3 here

This is a special edition of the show. Please note that the language in this show is explicit. Not me - please read on.

As some of you will know, I was away on holiday last week. Sue and I had been receiving nuisance phone calls. Someone had called, it seems either indiscriminately, or alternatively a wrong number.

Anyway, when the caller was told, quite politely that he'd got the wrong number, he rang again and again and again. I spoke to him and told him in no uncertain terms that if he called again I would take some action.

While away, my lads; Mike 19 and Chris 16, stayed at home. Chris was here on his own or with his mates most of the time.... and this idiot phoned again, and again, and again. He phoned at all times of the day and night, calling at 3 in the morning, again and again,

The caller; Chris, from Plymouth (the idiot had forgotten on one occasion to hide his phone number) called Chris threatening him. His language is vile, and he gets very racial, so be warned. Nuisance callers are bullies, and like most bullies try to exert a fear over people. Take away the fear and you're left with a sad idiot.

You have to know Christian to appreciate the audio. Fair play to him. he turned the tables on the nuisance caller and phoned him back, again and again and again, and didn't stop until the nuisance caller relented and apologised. Christian didn't want the caller to think he was in any way intimidated, so spoke back to him, treating him like a total knob. Just listen... and you'll get the drift.

The police are involved, and it's highly likely that the caller will just get a smack across the knuckles... so the best way to deal with this is to show you how Christian handled him. Admirably.

Well done Christian.

..and if you're looking for a plasterer in Plymouth - make sure his name's not Chris and he sounds like this...

Podcastpaul clothing... blimey.

I've actually gone and set up a quick cafe press shop with the original podcastpaul design. I want a ringer / golf and tee short for myself, but if anyone else is interested, please check it out: http://www.cafepress.com/podcastpaul

I'll look around to see if theres anywhere offering better value / same / better quality.

I want to design a 'Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Wherever and Wherever You Are ' or even a 'Babylooooooooon' logo... I'll have to fit in some free time to do it...

Friday, August 01, 2008

podcast176 from Salou, North Spain.

Download the MP3 here

Yay! Back from Spain...

I recorded the show directly in Spain, some great music from Paul Rose, Black Lab and 3 blind mice.

I had a lovely holiday but I'm glad to be home!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Result!


I passed with a commendation in my post grad course!


Four years of horrendous night time study / university over and done with..... There is a God!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Vermin. Pure filth.


I hate the surrounding area where I live. In fact I'm beginning to hate Birmingham.

Tonight Jack (14) came home, scared witless. A group of a dozen thugs aged 16 - 18 told him and his 13 year old mates to get out of 'their' park or they'd be 'banged'. They then began throwing stones and bricks at Jack and his friends, young kids - including some girls. Jack was terrified.

Just a few months ago some other thugs had set about Jack - one had hit him around the head with a baseball bat after another had punched him in his head (from behind). Jack is a lovely quiet kid who wouldn't say boo to a goose. He's at that vtal stage where he's learning the lessons of life and making the transition from a boy to a man. He doesn't need this.

A year or so ago, Chris and his friends were set on by some druggy tossers in their 20's, punched to the floor and kicked. One of the lads, Jake; 15, a small thin lad was kicked unconscious, these 'men' continued kicking him in to his face and teeth then stealing the phone he had for his birthday.

On Jack's return, I just wasn't having it and decided to sort this out. I just saw red and knew instinctively that I had to do something. This is not the first time vile filth have bullied my son and I wasn't simply going to cower away while tossers like the one pictured above bully their way through life thinking they're untouchable.

Fortunately, on the way to the park I bumped into the copper in the picture - a former marine. He was on a bike. I told him I was going to sort the lads out and wisely he told me to cool off in case I clouted one of them. I'm glad he did to be honest because tempers flared and the crowd of lads turned really nasty.

After a few minutes I could see that there were around 10 lads crowding around the policeman. I went to his aid and I'm glad I did. The imbecile in the picture reeked of cannabis and a fight nearly broke out while the copper attempted to search him and the idiot refused to let him. If you're thinking at this stage why do I have a picture, it's because I took it on my phone, advising the thugs that I was keeping a record. It was a bizarre situation, and luckily on of the lads was trying to stop his mates kicking off while the thick idiot you see pictured turn really nasty. If you're liberally minded enough to think I might need this knob-ends permission for his picture on my blog - sue me. I want everyone to see him, and I would be delighted if you would link to this post, pass it on - email it or do whatever you would like with it. I'd love the picture to go viral so this idiot could be shunned. Sue me, I'll sue you back you bullying vile filth, and I'll act for the copper you assaulted if he would like me to, pro bono (that's free of charge in Latin in case the kid pictured can actually read).

As he began to resist arrest, assault the officer and commit public order offences, the attitude of this young lad staggered me. He was rude, insolent, violent, aggressive and had a foul mouth. Every trade mark of a bully. He was soon put down though and made himself look an absolute and utter knob.

His mates started to join in, until I gave them a running commentary about the offences they were committing while all the time thinking I was going to have to defend myself and this officer. Luckily they listened or things could have turned sour. I seriously thought I was going to have to physically defend this officer and in the process take a kicking, but in all honesty I didn't care. I'm sick of bullies and I will always take a stand against them. But honestly, what is the world coming to, the downright arrogance of these kids, particularly while under arrest was just breathtakingly arrogant.

Despite calling for back up, no one came. The worst thing? Grown men were standing 10 feet away with their kids pretending nothing was happening. They simply closed their eyes to the disgraceful violent thuggery that was being played out. I found that utterly depressing and when I asked them why they weren't helping, they simply turned their faces. Cowards. Society in general just seems to cower in the corner while thugs think they have carte blanche to do whatever they please.

I absolutely cannot stand by with bullying. I hate bullies - no I absolutely despise bullying from the pit of my soul. How anyone can adopt the attitude that you can't intervene because it's dangerous has to be the biggest cowardly cop out. To stand by and ignore what went on is slightly less shameful than an 18 year old and his mates threatening a 13 year old girl and her mates. These animals don't deserve anything less than chokey for an extended period without privileges.

You read stories of folks who've been injured or even killed when standing up to criminals. What should you do then? Crawl under a rock? I'd rather suffer injury than not stand up for my kids. As you read this, I seriously hope you would do the same. To think society in general might act like the cowardly dads at that park in pretending nothing was happening mortifies me.

What should I have done? Patted Jack on his head and told him to stay away? Of course I have told him to stay away, but I wanted him to know he has a dad who cares enough about him to stick up for him. I would do the same again, and again, and again.

The officer, who was a really decent bloke, and did everything in his power to diffuse the situation, receiving a barage of vile language and insults, told me after everything had died down that he was apparently emigrating to Oz in 6 weeks, and desperate to get away from here. Can you blame him?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

podcast175

Download the show direct from this link

Another corking show ram-packed with ace music!

David Spak - Shotgun
The States - The Architect
Oka Onubale - Who are you
Marilyn Scott - Do you know the way to San Jose
Rebecca Haviland - I found you
Hollow Horse - I think I made you up inside my head

All music from PMN - the podsafe music network save Hollow Horse which was sourced direct from HH - cheers Ken. I still sing along!

feel free to drop me a mail podcastpaul@gmail.com

Sunday, July 06, 2008

podcast no 174 The Orange Lights and Lighten Up

Get the Mp3 of the show direct from here

podcast no 174 - NOT 175 as I announce - idiot!

Another great show for you

Music from The Orange Lights - an awesome band - website here

and Lighten up, produced by Marcus Masih

I also talk about Phreadz and feature Kosso and Fiz

please feel free to mail me at paul@podcastpaul.com

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy fourth July to all my American mates

I have some exceptionally dear American mates, and today it's lovely to see a nation be proud of its heritage.

I wish I could see the same national pride in my fellow countrymen.

How can you not let 4th July pass by without listening to this exceptional version by one of my heroes:


RSS simplicity on the mac and gmail.

I'm a few months into using my macbook now and thought I'd pen a line as to how I was getting on with it.

It's not rocket science, and, as the strapline goes: 'it just works'.

It does work, and works really well. The email functionality is something I really like. I love the ability to keep your RSS feeds and mail in one place. I'm sure you can do the same on Windows, but this just seems perfect for me because it really is so simple.

When I see a site I like, I immediately subscribe to it by copying the RSS feed and pasting it into the 'file' 'add RSS feeds' tabs. It's dead easy and I love it.

The only bugbear for me is next having to sign into gmail and manually reading the 'unread' mail (currently around 160) over thelast few days / week. Does anyone know if there's a function on gmail to simply say that you can mark all mail as unread?

The mac is great but falls down for me on word procesing. The 'pages' tool is pretty thin and I find that the formatting goes to pot when you export to Word. I'm disappointed in that function.

The ability to manipulate film through imovie is exceptional and I love GarageBand too. Browsing is near identical as I use firefox - I've not made my mind up about Safari.

Apart from that - I've been neglecting the blog recently, which of course is unforgivable! I still use Twitter a lot and love updating that. If you don't use it, try it out. If you do use it, feel free to follow me at www.twitter.com/paulnicholls

I'm working from home today and have set myself a ridiculous mound of work to do. Thank goodness it's Friday. I'm so looking forward to the weekend - and to watching Dr Who with a very excited Harry on my lap!

Watch out for a podcast. I've some exceptional music to play.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

YAY!

Sue is unbelievable. I have no idea how she gets the bargains she does.

She's just booked a full board holiday in Salou, Spain with a full spa for four of us for £1,500. Blimey.

I think Sue should open a company, she has a real nose for a bargain, she's precisely the same with online shopping, restaurants and loads of other stuff too.

I'll actually see some sun in three weeks?! How ace is that?!

The macbook is coming with me! Now, let's just hope they have wifi and we're sorted.

I'm so tired and desperate for a holiday...

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Advocacy v Paperwork

Practicing law is a great thing, in fact, you could say it's a vocation, or at least you could have said that.

Working within the parameters of law to further your client's interests can be a very satisfying pursuit, particularly if the stakes are high and the subject matter is interesting.

I love the people contact, meeting them face to face, working through the problem, looking at the angles. I particularly enjoy advocacy.

Today I dealt with an unusual matter where the stakes were high, it involved the cross examination of witnesses and really keeping on my toes.

The sad fact of life is that advocacy doesn't figure to highly in my job. I'm generally sat at my desk, dictating letters, dozens and dozens of them. It's a massive paper chase and the little advocacy there is is usually spoilt by the Case management Conference or Application being held by telephone.

It's a sad fact that today's lawyer's don't get to traipse up to the local county court to bump into all and sundry and have to sit nervously across the desk from the 'learned' District Judge.

Law sadly seems to be more about administration than justice these days.

So, how do I get my fill of advocacy? Yet more exams to convert to the Bar? Hmmmppph.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Getting older

I went to the opticians a week ago for a check up. I hadn't been in ages.

The optician spent over an hour with me and said to me 'I'm sorry to tell you this, you've got blood vessels growing behind your eye'

I just shrugged my shoulders. So what? I've got loads of blood vessels.

Apparently I'd been wearing contact lenses for too long - 23 years from morning to night without a break. My eyes were sore, drying out and I needed to rest them.

The optician mentioned to me that my eyes had beens starved of oxygen with long term contact lens wear and if I carried on I could lose my sight.

Blimey.

I've got to be honest, I hated glasses years ago as I was so vain when I was a kid. Now, I'm 40 and just happy not to feel completely whacked out a the end of an evening. My eyes are incredibly valuable to me, and I don't want to lose them.

Glasses it is then! With very occasional contact lens wear.... very occasional

....actually they're really nice RayBan ones and I quite like 'em.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Lost in translation?

This is my Adam Buxton inspired reworking of "A Gaelic blessing"



;-)

Friday, June 20, 2008

When does no mean no?

...I suppose you could ask most females that question and they'd answer with aplomb.

I expect I know the answer to the question - "why does the male dominated populus of EU ministers not know the answer then?"

I place on record my distrust and general concern over most things EU. I go so far as to say I am a complete Euro-sceptic.

When you take the right of a referendum away from a country that's undemocratic and wrong, not just cynical of all things Euro.

When you have a country vote 'No' to the Lisbon Treaty - Ireland being the latest, you don't then question their integrity, talk about booting them out because you don't like what they say or simply look for a back door to ignore a democratically settled answer. Equally, I cannot understand the gall of our English Parliament ignoring the rights of its people to even have a referendum. At least Ireland took a vote - Brown simply signed the papers without a second thought. How's that representing a people? Knowing there's massive disquiet about the treaty, and simply swanning off without a bye or leave to sign the document quick before anyone notices? The worrying thing is, we all noticed.

When I represent a client at court and have a guilty verdict or Judgment against my client, I don't stand to my feet and say "Best of three your honour?" or decide to settle the dispute following Judgment by a game of paper, stone, scissors or noughts and crosses.

I studied EU law and was incredibly concerned about the things I learnt, from the legal perspective. European law demands - yes, demands sovereignty. National law has it's place - and it's below the whim of Europe.
Don't bother doing a Google search or looking at some half - wit's interpretation on Wikipedia. I'm not trying to be rude, but most of the garbage I hear people talk about that is Europe related is just that; garbage. Europe isn't about straight bananas and dusty books, it's insidious and now essentially entirely undemocratic....... and we're allowing this nonsense to happen. Talk about Europe in sceptical terms, and the right on gang snootily try to make you feel as though you're insulting the disabled.

Study it, or work in it for a year or point to a recognised scholarly article and then talk to me. So many people have such little interest or knowledge and it aggravates me. The things that millions fought for are being written off in the stroke of a pen. Why are we not screaming from the roof tops about this?!

I'm fiercely English first (before you shout, ask a Welsh or Scotsman that question), British second and do not consider myself in any way European. What do I have in common with a Latvian, Bulgarian or Polish person? The answer is simple - the same that an American has in common with someone from Venezuala, Peru or Chile. What? They're both from the same continent...
Why can't we all be proud of our heritage and fiercely protect our national pride? I do not want to be subsumed into a soup.

I'm sick to death of the fact that our Government is slowly but surely eroding our rights without taking a blind bit of notice of what the national voice says. Even if we say no, we can see that carries little or no truck. I don't want to live in a Totalatarian state. 1984 was 24 years ago.

In brief, the UK allows the EU to have sovereignty for the time being. We operate a dualist approach where we channel EU law into our system. If we don't want it, we walk away. Germany have the same approach. I think I've blogged this before... some academics suggest we're entrenched. I say we let the people decide once and for all with hopefully a much improved Government as quickly as possible.

I'm waiting for someone with a strong enough voice to kick Europe and it's bullying ways into touch. If not, sorry, I'm off.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Orange Lights

I saw a fabulous band play at the Barfly some months ago. There were very few folks that stayed around and Chris wanted to get off after his support. I think there were around seven of us left. I could see from the equipment on stage that the band that was to play obviously knew what they were up to.

I heard the Orange Lights play, and I was mesmorised by them.

The Orange Lights are one of those bands that just deserve better, like Hollow Horse. They're an amazingly tight, stupendously good set of lads who just make brilliant music.

You can see the band at KCRW - an LA radio station at this link here.

I really wish these lads well. I hope they break into the big time, they deserve it. The Keys player was with the Lighthouse family. I hope they make it even better and bigger. I Love 'em.

I've mailed them to ask permission to play them, but nothing at the moment, shame that.... if a network of a few dozen podcasters played with between 2,000 - 20,000 audience per week that's a heck of a lot more listeners than 5 or 6 at the grimy stage of the Barfly in the back of Birmingham.

I wish guys who played in great bads understood more about podcasting. We're not all in it for the money...

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Friday, June 06, 2008

Send me your comments and files in the drop box to the left

I love producing the podcast and keeping the blog and can't believe I'll be into my fourth year in December.

To everyone who has listened, contributed, taken part or even argued with me - thank you so much for taking the time.

You'll notice that I've added a link to the side of the page where you can drop files to me directly. Please feel ever so free to drop me your pic, comments, mp3's.

I can't believe I haven't put a mail link on the blog - until now! Keep your comments, files and everything else coming - I'd love to feature them in the show.

...and thanks again.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

podcast173 podcastpaul.com

Download the MP3 direct from here

Oops! Something went wrong with the feed / upload.

The show is right here, at the link at the top of the text.

Sorry about that!

;-)

podcast 173, PodcastPaul.com

Download the show direct from here

Well praise the Lord and pass the party hats.... It's that special time again.

A fireside chat from yours truly with some corking music from the following artists:

The Working Title - Under the Ground.
Ethan Stone - Too Late
Robin Stine - Shy Boy
Jim's Big Ego - Stress
Ari Shine - Try a little harder

All music from the podsafe music network save for The Working Title who were lovely enough to send the track to me directly, thanks Jake!

I'm overwhelmed at the number of downloads of the show that are peaking at 10,000 per week /40,000 a month - thanks so much for listening and keeping it all worthwhile kids!

;-)

please send an email - paul@podcastpaul.com

musings

I've woken up really tired today. I'm working from home and this afternoon will start the cumbersome, tiresome and tiring revision for exams next week. I've just three left; 10th, 13th and 19th June.

Yesterday lunchtime I went to the gym and swam. I haven't done that in an age. I really enjoyed it, but felt bushed around 8pm.

I think I'm going to try really hard to get to bed earlier, get up earlier and see if I can get to the gym before work. Even as I type, I know that this is a fated plan.. how do you keep motivated? It strikes me that I've kept up 4 gruelling years of uni - thre hour lectures twice weekly at the scabby campus in North Birmingham after a full days work. So how hard, in comparison is getting up a litle earlier and doing something I actually enjoy?

I can't work it out. Any answers? Does anyone who reads this actually have a gym regime? Are you able to keep the exercise up?

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Listeners to the show...


I knew I had some American fans, but didn't realise they were in such high places...

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The British Public definitely cannot spot talent.

I watched the finals of Britain's got talent. I'm frankly staggered at the result.

We had four absolutely incredibly top musicians playing some of the best performed classical music I've ever heard in a wonderfully contemporary style, a superb 12 year old with a voice to die for - and the winner was...... a pretty good kid dancer with a sob story? What a pile of festering poo. What an anti-climax.

I'm either incredibly thick or very perceptive and rightfully cynical. The British public either voted for the 'nice poor young lad with the smiley face' or something was really wrong with the voting system.

Whenever I source music, I look incredibly closely at the integrity of the music and the production values. I'm not dictated to in any way by what I think will be popular. I like a fraction of popular music. I think most of it is mass produced carp with all the fishy values attached.

Sorry. Is it me?

Is it?

I need to pinch myself.

Dolphins

I've created a movie of the boat trip that Sue, harry, Jack, myself and our extended family took in Polperro just last week.

We bumped into some dolphins - they were beautiful animals that certainly weren't shy.

Have a look at this - I love it! The link is right here

Back from holiday

I'm back from a week away in Cornwall - a great week away with some shocking weather and a real mishap - the wheel came off the caravan on the way down! Luckily there seems to be relatively little damage.

We had one day of great weather and took a boat trip that turned out to be something really special. half a dozen dolphins wowed us for a good 10 - 15 minutes in a rare showing. They seemed as intrugued with the boat as we were with them, coming within a foot or so of us. I've some amazing video of them and when I get chance I'll put up some on site.

Cornwall is just an amazing place, good or bad weather, it's a peaceful place I've loved all my life. I hope to get back to there really soon.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Brand New Podcast show - Ask Harry

Download the MP3 of the show here directly

This is absolutely brilliant!

I asked folks on Twitter to give me some questions to put to my 7 year old; Harry. The results are... well, have a listen

One of my best mates...


..is my little boy; Harry, aged 7.

I love all of my children, right up to my eldest lad; Michael who's 19.

If kids could stay around aged 7, it would be bliss. They're wide eyed, innocent, loving, lovely and really, really funny. I'm seriously thinking about doing a podcast show with him. Some of the things he says just makes me wet myself laughing.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

pillowtalk7

Download the mp3 direct from here

Pillowtalk 7 podcast - Sue and I talk about all manner of nonsense all wrapped up in a 5 minute audio show. Produced on Garageband using the internal mac mic. 

Perfect to drink your tea to...


Saturday, May 10, 2008

podcast172 back from burglary

Download the MP3 of podast 172 direct at this link here

Back from burglary...


podcast 172 is now uploadedfor your listening pleasure - corking music and great chat from your host; paul nicholls.

I talk about the break ins, Buma, Iron Man, The Eye, Johnnie Walker, the weird shadow and loads more. Just have a listen eh?!

alll music from the podsafe music network save for Hollow Horse. Thanks Ken!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Great sax

Here's a quick shot of my mate;Steve warming up on the sax.

Steve is a great sax player and fantastic to play along with.

video

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

nuts and sax.

I took this photo at the cinema sweet shop this evening.

Mental... milk chocolate Brazil nuts bearing the warning "products may contain nut traces". Really?



Wednesday, April 30, 2008

videoblog #1

Ok, I give in! Here's my first video blog in mp4 format - perfect for mp4 players and iPods.

The link is right here

I'm going to try to use the video a bit more. It's much easier oddly than audio... the audio show is not going away - fear not - 'twil be back!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A walk in south Birmingham

I'm just back from taking the dog for a walk.

People who aren't familiar with Birmingham are usually surprised by the amount of green that's about the place. Living in South Birmingham, we're on the edge of the Hereford and Worcester borders, so there's some fantastic outdoor space right on our doorstep.

I'm taking the camera with me mostly wherever I am. As rubbish as I am at photography there is usually a snap or two that turns out reasonably good. Have a look at these from our walk up the "Lickey Hills"







Friday, April 25, 2008

What?

My faith in society ever weakens.

We were burgled again last night. This is getting behind a joke. Is this the fifth or sixth time now?

Fortunately, or not as you look at it,because I'm now incredibly paranoid and not sleeping at all, I think I caught the scum in the act and they legged it, either that or they'd gone empty handed. They had gone through Sue's car like the vile filthy parasites that they are, turning everything over in the hope they could find something. I think they were after the sat nav for the third (or fourth, I've lost count now) time.

I'm confident that the diseased vermin will get what's coming to them. What comes around goes around.

I'm not letting the scum upset me, I'm past that. To show any emotion towards them means they've won. I'm completely indifferent to them. Indifference conveys the utter contempt and hatred they deserve.

I really do believe that it's the same people. To scrape to the gutter level of going through anothers belongings is just as base as you can go. You cannot have any social skill to take from another, particularly not even having the decency to leave them be after dumping on them previously.

I would say I almost feel sorry for them, but I can't be bothered to feel anything towards something so inhuman.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

creature of comfort seeking change

I don't feel like typing much, which in itself is a sad thing - I love keeping this blog and expressing my thoughts

I just feel like I need a new challenge, I feel quite unsettled and I'm pretty sure I have the burglary to thank for that.

Hopefully things will just settle back into a routine and I don't feel so distracted and bothered.

I want to say more but just feel exhausted. Sorry, that all felt a bit pointless.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The wind from the sails has gone...

Well, it has temporarily.

Sue and I were burgled for the fourth or fifth time (I've lost count) last Tuesday morning while we slept.

The heartless individual(s) who did this took Harry and Jack's computer consoles and games apart from the camcorder, laptop, camera, sat nav and goodness knows what else.

The scum that did this turned the place over going through drawers, files and papers.

My podcasting software and mp3's have all gone including the draft of the novel that I had spent hours and hours writing. No, you guessed correctly, I didn't back the files up.

How can people be so hateful?

I am trying to muster up the energy to record again, but without a laptop or the software it all just seems too much trouble.

I'm sure I'll get the sails up again, at the moment I just can't seem to gather any energy I'm afraid.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tribute

I attended the funeral today of an old friend who took her own life because of the physical pain that she was in. I have no idea what drives a person to take their own life, and cannot begin to imagine the dreadful, dark place that she must have been driven to. Her family were devastated. One member said he felt cheated that she had been snatched from him.

I stood in the crematorium, bewildered by how my friend had touched so many lives. There were at least 300 people crammed into the circular chapel, there were nearly 200 standing, packing the place out. Cars were parked everywhere, in every conceivable space and beyond.

A few weeks ago I attended the funeral of my best mate's dad. I'd known Adam's dad; Walter for nearly thirty years, a gentle, lovely soul, and a real enigma. Walter was one of the brightest men I ever knew. He would complete the Telegraph crossword in less than 10 minutes and have a wonderful turn of phrase and an entirely dry sense of humour. Walter was 78 when he died, but was still a very good mate. I loved the times I would just sit with him and hear him reminisce. He was a great talker, and a gentle listener too. One of the old school who dearly loved his family.

Listening to the last tributes of a life is an inspiring and insightful thing. All the problems you think you have are suddenly put in perspective.

We live life, dangling by a precious and delicate thread that can so easily be broken. I realise, as time goes by how much I love my family. I would do anything to protect them. I relish the times that Harry, my 7 year old cuddles up to me and know, instinctively I would do anything to keep him from harm.

I don't want to sound morose, far from it. I want to capitalise on the time I have here and not waste it. So many people ask why I do so much. I just don't want to miss out on things, but then again I don't want to do all the wrong things.

I want people to attend my funeral when that fateful day comes, and have my mates hear that I lived life to the full and left some sort of legacy. I want my kids to be proud of me and remember me for the right reasons.

Life is definitely for the living.

Some things my dad, a minister, taught me as a child mean so much to me now:

1. Keep a short account with God. You may not be particularly religious, or have any faith at all. I do, and I'm proud of it. I'd like that beautiful scripture to be something I would yearn for "Well done, my good and faithful servant"

2. Live for today, plan for tomorrow.

I need to keep reminding myself that we're here for just a season, and that as bad as things get, there are some wonderful experiences to be had. Things should never be taken for granted and I would hate to sit in a bath chair at the end of my life full of regrets and unfulfilled wishes. I'm determined I won't.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

An author's lot...

.... is actually quite a happy one. I'm certainly not professing to be an author in the real sense of the word, but the fact I am writing a novel at least gives me the opportunity to have a dalliance with the title.

I've wanted to write a semi-autobiographical novel (is there even such a thing?!) for around five years now. It has, so far, been a real joy to do, but it's time consuming and time isn't something I have a great deal of at the moment.

I'm around 8,000 words into about 100,000 words and the third chapter. I love getting lost in the writing and find it therapeutic to see words form into a sentence, and eventually a complete chapter.

I'm learning lessons endlessly. I've created a dramatis personae (list of characters) that grows endlessly. I'm really going to have to keep a file, or, better still lists pinned to a wall of character traits and plots.

The comments I've had are all positive but range widely from "too much detail and too little dialogue" to "a great balance" to "More detail and commentary please, I love the insight you bring"

I'm really pleased with chapter 2, so pleased in fact, I feel like entirely re-writing chapter 1. You can find the novel at both http://podcastpaul.com and Http://lawnovel.blogspot.com Please feel free to subscribe.

A chapter will be published every fortnight and I would welcome your feedback, either on the blog or at podcastpaul (dot) gmail (dot) com

Thanks for listening!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Chapter 2 - A law unto myself

Download the MP3 here

Nick Poulson receives instructions on a case he isn't himself sure of...

All rights reserved

Saturday, April 05, 2008

pillowtalk6

Download the MP3 file here

oops... something went a bit weird with last post!

Here it is again - pillowtalk6 for your litening pleasure!

podcastpaul.com Pillowtalk 6

Download MP3 here.

Paul and Sue wax lyrical in pillowtalk6.

Coughs, rustles and knocking into the recording equipment provided by Sue. Discussion and gravitas provided by Paul.

Please send your email:

podcastpaul@gmail.com

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Social Media Takeover?


Yesterday morning, Sue and I lay in bed, she was using the laptop chatting to her friends in an online forum and I was using the iPod touch to chat to mine on Twitter.

Christian (16) Jack (13) Mike (19) and even Harry (7) have social networks where they catch up with their friends. Harry uses 'Club Penguin' to feed his 'puffles' and the other three seem to chat endlessly to their mates about music, girls, and whatever takes their fancy.

Just sitting, taking a moment, isn't this all a bit sterile? My family do of course talk to each other, but I'm beginning to worry about the time we're all cumulatively spending on line. It's nice to catch up, but it is, really, a mammoth waste of time. I don't need to blog, I don't need to talk about the things I do online necessarily.

Isn't talking to each other enough? When I talk here, I of course talk generically, I include you, after all. you're reading this.

I've a million and one things to do and they need doing now. So why am I telling you this and not getting up and doing them? Dunno. Force of habit I imagine.
I think, analysing this post that I probably spend far too much time on line and really must moderate what I'm doing. I need tody to cut the grass, fix the curtain rail (again!), see if can find out whether or not my wallet was found at the Twitter meet up last night.... organise a service for the boiler (that's the hot water boiler, not Sue) and the list goes on and on...

So, can I moderate what I'm doing? Haven't a clue, but I'm going to try and it starts today.




Friday, March 21, 2008

A law unto myself - an audio book by Paul Nicholls

Download the MP3 of a law unto myself entirely free from here

Wow! Here goes, the first chapter of a novel devised and read by me.

I've always loved Rumpole of the Bailey, but thought that it was probably a bit highbrow for many. In my book, Nick Poulson, an average Joe fights for the good of the common man - as a common man at a little firm of solicitors in leafy Kenlworth.

All of the stories are true experiences with a touch of artistic licence. I've completely anonymised clients and actions and drawn from stories that have touched me.

I've tried to write in the style of the James Herriot books to give my audience a peek into the daily life of an English lawyer.

I do hope you enjoy it.

Paul.

all rights reserved : A law unto myself copyright Paul Nicholls 2008.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What a great discussion....your input please!

I have just come back into the office from the car and did that very rare thing: sat in the car for 10 minutes unable to switch off, compelled by the content.

The discussion was on the 'White Season' - talking about whether the voice of the white working class was ignored. There was an almost unanimous 'yes' - with an older asian female caller sugesting that positive discrimination was entirely wrong and had caused real problems. I had to sit and nod my head vigorously.

Professor Carl Chinn, who I (sort of) know - a Birmingham historian with one of the broadest Birmingham accents known to man gave a superb, clear and articulate discussion on the fact that the white working classes were certainly being overshadowed.

The discussion was not racist, not in any way shape or form - all classes and cultures contributed. This was radio at it's best - and I sent Carl's daughter; Tara (a superb female artist) a text message "your dad is my hero!" Bless her, she replied to tell me he was her hero too...

It's an incredible discussion in itself. It's something I want to probe - and I'm going to speak to Carl to see what sort of debate we can provoke in the podcast. What is Britain? Why is there class? What is 'Britishness' that we appear to be hearing as a buzz word these days.

I absolutely love discussions that are really thought provoking. I'd love your views, mail or audio that can be sent to this mail address: podcastpaul@gmail.com Please contribute whether you're British, non - British, whatever your view.

Hope to hear from you very soon.

Paul

Monday, March 10, 2008

New Format and thanks for listening.

Thanks for the folks who've sent mails and twitter DM's etc regarding the new format of the show.

If you haven't heard the podcast, I've changed the format a little - pick a topic, research it, and theme the music to some extent too.

It's amazing how many people say "I just fast forward the music" or "I fast forward the talking". You can't please all of the people all of the time I suppose.... anyway, it's great to see people still listening to the show. There's been a spike in listening figures and some shows are doing great - one showing near 18,000. The number of folks who dip in and out are astonishing - close on half a million in the last two years - that's excellent, thanks!

The blog is something I've neglected a little. Sue mentioned to me that I can sometimes seem a bit 'whiny' or self obsessed - and looking back at some of the posts, and listening to the podcasts I can see that.... sorry! I'll try and be a little more focused. I'm astonished I've kept going since late 2004. it's the fact that you folks listen /read in that keep me going.

Anyway, thanks for the comments, thanks for continuing to listen and thanks to those of you who read the blog (including Lee up at the Burnley office and Jason in his remote Manchester Architect's office..)

Listen out towards the summer months for an audio book I'll be podcasting. I had it in mind to write a book James Herriot / Rumpole style some years ago... then I got back into studying.

Roll on summer...!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

podcast 171 podcastpaul.com Surveillance Society

Podcast Paul No. 171 – download the MP3 direct from here

Welcome to the show:

Music in the podcast

Out of the Cold - Settle
Daniel Adam Johnson - Lets watch the world
Green Room - Spybeats
Chris Tapper (of the Push Stars) Feelings without weight

All music from www.music.podshow.com

I talk about surveillance in the UK - and play some comments. What do you think?

I voice my worries over the EU.

Send an email – podcastpaul@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

British Democracy in tatters.

I was sickened at the very suggestion that the people of the UK are precluded from a referendum on their very future. I am polaxed that our Government have taken that opportunity from us.

The Government secured the opportunity to steam roller over what is thought to be the popular vote of the nation - to say no.

Labour clearly and absolutely promised a vote. So did the Liberals. So what has changed?

We've an unelected Prime Minister wreaking havoc. The very fabric of our country is being chipped away.
I'm disgusted and entirely disillusioned at what I thought was the most democratic country in the world.

What an absolute farce. I have never thought so seriously at emigration.

What cost free speech?

Europe is something that I feel very passionately about - and against.

This story on the BBC site caught my eye.

I am astonished that our Government is deciding on whether or not we, the people of Britain should have a say on our very future. Of course we should! We're a tiny nation with an ever eroding culture that have had the worst policy of immigration for decades. We've simply allowed anyone to enter, and, seemingly stay even if enering illegally. Policy is changing now, but it's all too little too late.

Semantics are irritating - should we have a referendum as to the contents of the Treaty - even though it's not the constitution? It's virtually the same thing!!!!

The function of Government is to be a mouthpiece for the people, so why are Labour, and to a large extent the Lib Dem's not wanting the people to have a say? I'm afraid that when I'm told I have no say, that's the very time I want to speak - and having something that affects the very country I live in is something I feel I absolutely must participate in. It seems incredibly sinister to me that my say is taken away, I'm patted on the head and told to sit in the corner and not to worry. Why are people not shouting from the rooftops? I'll tell you why - the Government are desperately anxious that we'll follow suit with a number of other member states (even those words sound Big Brother-esque; 'member states') and vote no.

Whether or not you share my views on Europe is by the by. Having the most important things decided for me without a say is hardly democratic, in fact it's essentially Totalatarian with the darkest Orwellian shades.

Until I studied EU law I thought Europe was all about silly regulations and the permitted curve of bananas. How wrong I was.

Britain's very sovereignty is under threat. The EU demands sovereignty and very few, notably Germany and Britain resist with a dualist approach to law - i.e. retaining the right to withdraw.

We are a strong, proud nation that has a rich and proud heritage, standing on its own two feet in the world. To be subsumed into a soup of differing cultures, clashes of laws, people groups and unnecessary jealous beauracacy is to spit in the face of those who fought and paid the ultimate price for that we have today. Politicians weren't there in droves at the front line in the great wars - the people were.

Of course I'm not daft enough to think in xenophobic terms, we should welcome folks into Britain (and have) knowing they have things to offer and knowing that we can learn from them. To simply allow all and sundry in, provide benefits and have them demonstrate by burning the Union flag and / or not tackle the flow of illegal imigration has been disasterous. yes, I know that this a minority, but the minority have an extremely loud voice.

Why were we surprised that hundreds of thousands of Eastern Europeans flooded into Britain from poorer climes unnder the EU revolving door policy? I'd have jumped at the chance to do that if I were them, and I certainily don't blame them, the revolving door is ardly reciprocal. Would I want to work in Hungary or Poland? We're too small to accomodate and everything is breaking down.

We've a creaking, faltering NHS system, crime is on the increase, public services crashing, spiralling insidious hidden outrageous taxes and a massively overstretched benefits system.

Europe is a minefeld of clashing jealous cultures and the mere fact that the EU budget has not been ratified by reason of corruption for the last 10 years is one pointer as to why we, the people of the UK should at the very least have a say.

Look closely and carefully at EU politics - the British play with a very fair bat. Notably the French and Italians do not. The French have outright refused to pay fines levied against them, and demanded an unnecessary parliament in Strasbourg at massive, ludicrous cost, despite the framework of Brussels being in place. The list goes on and on.

I for one am exceptionally concerned at Britain and it's eroding culture now. To simply hand over, lock stock and barrel a nation and heritage of generations that has gone before without even wanting to consult the people is breathtakingly arrogant.

Of late we have allowed and tolerated a self styled 'muslim parliament' to speak out. Why? Would anyone like to join me in Saudi Arabia, Yemen or Pakistan to place a flag in the ground and demand a 'Christian Parliament'? I imagine we'd last a few minutes before being carted off by the state. Of course I wouldn't ever countenance the idea, I would not be so brash as to not live within cultural boundaries and would not want to seek to offend.

Free Speech allows this to happen, but it's thought of as wrong to question it. I don't agree with a Muslim Parliament and I find the very thought of it as concerning and isolationist. But that's my take, and I'm allowed to think that in a right thinking, free society. I should not tolerate any state interference with my views, as long as they remain within the boundaries of the law.

Liberal namby-pambys complain that we shouldn't call ourselves a Christian nation and that it's offensive to display the union flag / St. George's flag or to sing God Save the Queen too loudly. These idiots offend me and I find their rationale concerning.

OK, there's free speech, but, there's free speech and there's taking liberties. People are too afraid to speak out, and those who do are termed racist. Eh? Britain has a fantastic number of Britons who are proud to be called British, whatever colour and I know that many share my view, no matter what colour or creed. We should not simply be happy with our lot and stumble on, we should be allowed to say precisely what we think and ensure our voice is heard. If you think I'm a nutter, fine, move along. But don't stop me.

I'm English first, British second and I'm proud to call myself that.

Of course there should be a referendum!

morning musing

It's a beautiful sunny cold crisp March morning as I type this blog entry.

I'm working from home today, lots to do, but when I'm in the mood, it's a pleasure rather than a chore.

Emily, my 11 week old cocker spaniel is sitting curled up on my lap, pretty contented too. She's been a joy in the main (apart from the very odd accident) and seems to be learning and coping really well. She's in and out of the dog flap, having lots of lovely walks in the morning (from Sue, not me!) and really is settling into the family well. We've a cat named Oliver (he always wants more food) and a fish whose name I cannot recall but is something to do with Doctor Who. I'm not a great animal lover, but I do love Emily and still miss Tilly, my old trusted cocker so much.

A lovely steaming hot cup of tea is smoldering into the sun's rays at the side of me and I'm working safe in the knowledge that at 1pm today I go to a celebration lunch at a Michelin star restaurant to celebrate a big High Court win from Monday. Unfortunately I'm not permitted to talk about the action even though it was in open court. It's just satisfying to know that the hard work of some years now means that the 8 crates of 40 lever arch files can gather dust in the cellar for 6 years before being subject to the waste incinerator.

Work is really busy, I've a mammoth five trials this March, hopefully a couple will settle I'm sure.

Everywhere I look in my house I see a DIY job, I must be geting older as I'm actully quite looking forward to doing them (?) When one talks of work / life balance does it mean that you should be as ludicrously busy in the home as you are at work? I'm sure its the same for us all, and you're probably nodding your head as you read this post.

I'm still losing weight... at my heaviest point last year to now I've lost 32 pounds and I'm still losing weight. The conservatory is becoming ever full with rowing machines, weights, exercise benches, etc etc. I really must start using them! I'm finding a new wardrobe of clothes from a few years back and finding that some of my bigger clothes are now just too big. Weird.

A podcast is in the offing, I promise.

Anyway, time to sign off - companies to sue, trials to prepare for etc!



;-)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

good nature?

Sorry this sounds cryptic. It's a marker post for me, and a general reminder when I review my blog.

If you're good natured and willing to help, or even be thoughtful, be ready to be misconstrued and dumped on.

If you're generous, be ready to be made a mug of, and seriously taken for granted.

Sadly you need to put yourself first and say no when your instinct tells you yes. Acts of kindness can make you appear odd sometimes. I'm afraid that being forthright is something I'm going to be from now. I hate being used and made a mug of.

Rant over.

Join the forum and get interactive!

Hello again!

It's Sunday morning and I'm at work preparing for a big trial tomorrow. I'm rewarding myself with a break... the way you do....

Please let me encourage as many of you as possible to join my forum at podcastmatters - you can get to the link by pressing here or accessing the address by copying and pasting this link: http://network.podcastmatters.co.uk/group/podcastpaul

I would really love to get the site moving with as many folks joining in the discussions as possible.

Hopefully I'll see you there!

Do remember you can follow me on twitter as paulnicholls.

I quite like the idea of social media when it works. When it's abused and intrusive I don't like it - Facebook and MySpace both seem to suffer from all sorts of rubbish that I can't be bothered to filter.

Twitter seems to be a great site that has held my interest for around six months - and something I visit regularly. I'm into my fourth year of blogging and podcasting and there seems to be no prospect of my interest fading in that. Friends Reunited has been the longest social network I've been involved with, I even set up a couple of reunions with old mates at school that were pretty well attended. Seesmic, the video blogging site seems to be a thriving network that I daren't get involved with, I know I'll get addicted and have even less time on my hands!

What social network sites do you have a view on? What are the pros and cons of social networking?

Any recommendations? Anything to stay away from?

comment here or send a mail to paul (squiggly 'a') podcastpaul [dot] com

Friday, February 29, 2008

Surveillance Britain.


Wow, I started to research this and it's a shocker! We've 1% of the world population and 20% of the world surveillance cameras... that's 5 million which accounts for 12 for each person!

Astonishingly London has 10,000 dedicated crime cams - at a massive cost of £200 million - or nearly half a billion dollars if you're in the US.

I'm still researching, if you've any comments, please make 'em, or mail me at podcastpaul@gmail.com

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Busk Aid

My old mate and blogging podcaster extraordinaire; Dean Whitbread is supporting Busk Aid, a charity aimed at teaching South African township kids street music. Check out Dean at his blog here and the rise and shine breakfast radio show here

Best of luck Dean, and to the rest of you, please nip over and support Rise and Shine and Busk Aid.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Podcastpaul forum and message board

It's here - a group chat site for anyone who listens to the show(s) and would like a place to chat or discuss matters.

The chat site can be accessed from the icon at the side bar or by clicking here
See you in there - pop in and say hello!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

lunchtime blogging

I have just enjoyed some lovely fish and chips and decided to give my much missed blogging some attention during my lunchtime. Immediately I eat them, I felt lousy and know I should have stuck to my skinny food. I've lost 28 pounds (or two stone in real money) and gone down 8 belt holes - I've had to cut the end of my belt and stick three new holes in - great, apart from the fact that my clothes are beginning to get too big for me!

As usual I'm not just busy, I'm breakneck mental. I've three trials in March - one of which is the biggest of my 24 year career Monday week, an audit next week, 8 exams starting tomorrow, continuing through Monday, Wednesday and Friday and hosts of other stuff I've got to get sorted before the weekend. Shocking. I'm beginning to dread opening my eyes of a weekday.

Is it just me that is chaotically busy, or is it life in general? It really is ridiculous, I just don't seem to get a moment's peace. Can you relate to the ludicrous, immediate deadlines, hours and hour of work and other pressures? I thought law would be a nice, gentle stroll in the park, dealing with things in an ordered fashion and sorting matters out in a nice, gentile smiley way. The new solicitors on the block are vicious, vile, unrepentant animals always attempting to take a pot shot, and the regulators more bureaucratic and pointlessly jobworth.

Oh the simplicity of being a postie, milkman or bloke in a factory pressing a button. Your day would start and finish at given points in time and dealines would not pervade my dreams....



I've been getting into the office before or around 6am to cram everything in, I'm sure that if I cut out sleep for the next two or three months and hired a chauffeur to drive me around, feed me, and generally do everything including wiping my backside that I might just see some light at the end of the tunnel.

The reason I love Swaziland so much is many things, but I love their attention to family life and just not screaming around like headless chickens. I'm desperate to get back there....