28 December 2011

Christmas Down Under!

Season’s Greetings from the Land Down Under! I hope that you were all on Santa’s ‘nice list’ and had a great Christmas Day with family and loved ones. 

I thought it would be a good idea to tell you what it is like to experience Christmas here in Australia. Despite the obvious, (the weather) there isn't too much that is different between what Christmas is like in the UK and here in Oz. In fact, unsurprisingly, it is virtually the same!
For example, all the major department stores put up snowy Christmas scenes in their store windows. This includes fake snow in the shop windows, carol singers, a portly Santa and so on. It can be quite surreal to walk into a department store and see these 'winter images' when the temperature is 35C and sweat is dripping from your brow!

All around Australia, major cities and towns will erect Christmas trees decorated with baubles, angels and tinsel etc. I have to admit that this can look strange when you are in the tropical part of Australia where palm trees and 6ft long lizards are the norm! Carol singers will also do the rounds in most parts of the country. However, these ones will not be rugged up against the winter cold, but will be wearing a t-shirt, shorts and thongs (flip flops). It can be slightly amusing to new migrants from Europe to see this.  And yes, they do sing “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas” – presumably of the dandruff kind rather than of the snow kind…

When it comes to the 'Big Day' the Christmas Dinner is prepared as it is in the UK. No prizes for guessing what is generally cooked!  Yes it is turkey and vegetables covered in a nice gravy.  However, I should point out that seafood is getting very popular as are barbecues.

Every year, unless we are away visiting relatives, I will roast (or barbeque) a turkey. Now this can be a very trying event.  Especially when it is 40C and you don’t have any air-conditioning!! Trust me it's not a pleasurable experience!  However, on these occasions the amber nectar helps to keep focussed.
Most of you would have seen on the news at some time people celebrating Christmas on Bondi Beach.  It is a favourite thing to do for backpackers from the UK and other parts of the world.  In fact, hardly any Aussies will be there as they will be with their family and friends having a great time.

Boxing Day is a big sporting day too.  In Sydney it’s the start of the Sydney to Hobart boat race.  One of the most perilous yacht races in the world.  However, most sporting tragics will be turning on their televisions to watch the Boxing Day cricket test in Melbourne featuring Australia and a visiting nation.  The MCG will get up to 90,000 spectators for the first day of the test match. Even Manchester United would be envious of a crowd like that!  Naturally, I really enjoyed last year’s Boxing Day test.

Well I hope you enjoyed this brief overview of an Aussie Christmas! Have a great relaxing festive season and a wonderful Blogging New Year!

20 November 2011

Ebbsfleet United and Football Down Under!

Following Ebbsfleet United, or indeed any English football team, in Australia is quite an experience.  For starters, there is the obvious time zone issue.  What this means is that living in Sydney (as I do) the time zone difference can vary from 9 – 11 hours depending on the time of the year.  For those of you who are wondering, Sydney is currently 11 hours ahead of the UK.

Then there is the lack of football coverage here that you take for granted back in Blighty.  The top English and European teams get a lot of coverage in Australia, but outside of that you will not find out much about say, a Crewe Alexandra or even our beloved Ebbsfleet.  Nowadays, this is less of an issue due to a wonderful thing called the “internet”.  If you haven’t heard about it then please check it out!  This has been a major boost for all ex-pats living not just in Australia but around this amazing world of ours.

However, if you go back not too many years the earliest that you would have found out about your favourite footy team was in the Monday morning newspapers.  Many a Monday I would buy a local Sydney paper and turn to the sports section to find out the results from the weekend just passed.  You could tell by the smiles or grimaces of the passengers on your packed train as to how their team had gone!

How things have changed since then.  Now I keep up to date about all things Ebbsfleet from a number of different sources.  There are, of course, the MYFC and Ebbsfleet United websites.  These contain a wealth of information about the club, players, their opponents etc.

Then we have the social networking giants Facebook and Twitter.  Facebook is a great way to “like” the Fleet and meet online fans similar to yourself.  However, for me Twitter is the most important medium.  Through “following” other Ebbsfleet and MYFC fanatics you can obtain a real time experience of what is going on, viewpoints and general information. For example, raising the awareness of the ‘Best Loosers’ competition was relatively easy through using Twitter.  This reminds me, if you haven’t voted for Ebbsfleet yet then please do at http://www.bestloosers.co.uk/entries_vote.php?page=1

What I have been doing lately is following the live feed of Ebbsfleet’s games via a Twitter feed.  Well I try to, then I generally fall asleep at around 3am local time.  When I awake the next morning, I quickly switch on the laptop and see how the Fleet have fared.  If they have won it sets me up nicely to embrace the action packed day that is a normal Sunday (aka keeping the kids entertained)!


16 November 2011

What's My Word?

Every now and then I like to check up on my blog statistics to see where my readers are located when they came across my wonderful (ahem) blog.  Currently, just over 50% of my readers are, not surprisingly, from Australia.  My second biggest market is the US, followed by the UK in third place and Egypt in fourth position (thanks Amira!).

I also like to review what word searches readers used to get to my blog.  Naturally some of them make sense whilst others certainly don't! I do get a chuckle from some of them I have to admit. So, without further a do, here are some 'word searches' that caught my attention:

"showering in a moon boot" - regular readers will know I posted a few blogs about my Achilles injury which required an operation and the wearing of a moon boot.  However, why you would want to shower in one is beyond me! It sounds like a sexual fetish thing.  Maybe the boyfriend said "I'll shower in a moon boot, whilst you shower with me in a plastic coat!"  The mind boggles...

"Winehouse crutches" - How on earth googling the late Amy brought someone to my blog I don't know.  Not sure if she ever was on crutches.  Maybe at the last chance saloon she needed them to help her stand up after one too many.  Who knows?

"Marie Bashir (Sheila Moore)" - For the uninitiated Marie Bashir is the appointed Governor of NSW here in Australia.  However, I have no idea who Sheila Moore is! A quick browse on Google has Sheila Moore as an actor, a hypnotist, a computer nerd and psychic to name but a few.  Take your pick, really!

"my view of the wo" - Not sure what a "wo" is. Whatever it is, it gets a big thumbs up from me as I got another hit on my blog! Go the "Wo"

"is Charlotte from Charlottes web a huntsman" - No, she is most definitely a spider!!! (fyi - a huntsman is a hairy tarantula like spider found in Australia).

"Chatham shell suits" - Yes, I am from Chatham originally and sometimes mention it in my blogs.  However, I would not mention Chatham's no.1 designer fashion and a must have for all Chavs - the eponymous "shell suit".  I am sure I read a book many years ago about Prince Charles in a shell suit though!

"do you need cruthes with moon boots" - No, but crutches sometimes help. Oh, and do a spell check the next time you search on Google, you Muppet!

"november rain stock market" - Again, I am not sure how, if you Google Guns 'N Roses classic song with the stock market, it results in finding my blog.  However, it could be said that the stock market has more hits than the Gunners have had recently!!

There you have it, a whimsical look at some of the word searches that have helped bring my blog to a wider audience. Long may it continue!





19 October 2011

Bathroom Sprinting

It is the early hours of the morning and you wake up in a cold sweat. What has caused you to wake up.  Was it a bad dream? Was it the coffee you had at midnight? or maybe you remembered that you had forgotten to return your Justin Bieber biography (very small book) to the library.  In fact, the truth is none of these.  The giveaway is the severe stomach cramps. Immediately you know that you are in for a roller coaster ride over the next few hours.

I recently experienced the above, except the Justin Bieber book, and as you can imagine it was a pretty painful experience! (as reading the Bieber book would have been).

I knew straightaway, whilst sprinting quicker than Asafa Powell to the bathroom, that it was food poisoning.  As I was enjoying a newly found love affair with the toilet I put on my Sherlock Holmes hat to work out what had caused me to have been inflicted so badly. Was it:

  • The barbecue of the previous night.  I had eaten lamb and chicken, with coleslaw and a potato salad.  VERDICT: Surely if this had caused the food poisoning then I would have been struck down earlier.
  • Lunch was a toasted cheese and tomato sandwich which I ate on the run as I took my gals to the swimming pool. VERDICT: This would probably have been okay as It was toasted and generally not known for causing inflictions. 
  • Could it be that the swimming pool was the cause of my problems? After all, I do remember swallowing some of the water.  VERDICT: Possibly.  Who knows what goes into swimming pools. I won't elaborate on that!
  • Dinner time was a tuna and veggie stir fry in an Asian sauce.  VERDICT: Possibly.  Fish is renowned for causing food poisoning.  Or did the wife poison me deliberately?? I do remember her looking at my life insurance policies recently!!

All these thoughts were going through my head as I was spending a very extended stay in the bathroom.  I was amazed at how clear my thought processes were at analysing everything I had consumed over the past 24-48 hours. It was truly amazing!

Anyway, the good news for myself was that 3 days later I was fine and 3 kilos lighter in weight.  So for me there was a silver lining even though the lining of my stomach may not have had one!


15 September 2011

The Modern Day God

Recently something dawned on me.  It was one of those moments when it feels like time has stopped and a thought out of the blue hits you like a bolt of lightning.  Thankfully for me I was not struck by lightning and I still continue to have many thoughts. What was it that happened? Read on...

The other day my oldest daughter brought home a prayer box from school.  The idea being that the child takes it home and sets up a praying area in a part of the home.  It is to encourage, I guess, praying time for the family. Now I should say that my daughter goes to a Catholic School (hence the prayer box) but we are not Catholic.

Anyway, we opened the prayer box, took out the cross, candle and mat and set it up in a bedroom.  On the day we had to take prayer box to school I inadvertently put our netbook next to it. It was then I had the thought.  In this high technological age it is now the computer that is the modern day equivalent of the prayer box, or dare I say it God.

Every day we use a computer to transfer money, buy goods, communicate via social networks, read, study and interact with other people all over the world. There are also a myriad of websites and applications relating to every little thing imaginable! If we are honest we don't need to leave our houses anymore because its all there online for us.  We can do anything online if we want - even change religions!

However, if we cannot access our computers or the Internet then how do we feel? We feel frustrated, annoyed and in some cases despondent.  It is as if our modern day God has been taken away from us. We have that missing feeling as we enter our church (study room) and pray that our 3 year old laptop will work so we can see what John has been up to on Facebook, or to send updates to Tanja via Twitter.

Contrast this to people who lived in the western world say 150 years ago.  In those days the church was number one. Everything revolved around the church and its community. You would have gone to church at least once a week and would have been an integral part of all church initiatives that arose.  The church was also the only place where you could really catch up with friends who you would not have seen since the previous Sunday.  For example you could catch up with John to see what he had been doing, whilst Tanja would update you on her newly born child.

So you can see, we are still doing the same thing, but it appears that nowadays computers are the Modern Day God.

17 August 2011

An Interview with.... Samah Hadid

The words “breathless and enthusiastic” came to mind when I was putting together an introduction for my next interview. In fact, I soon discovered that this person has achieved and contributed so much to our society that it is amazing that she is still only in her early twenties. But then again Samah Hadid is already an extraordinary person in today’s multicultural Australia; and is someone whose views I respect greatly.

Here is a glimpse of some of Samah’s achievements to date:

• An active member of the Muslim Women’s Association since the age of 15.
• A 2010 Australian Youth representative to the United Nations.
• The first Australian to complete a minority rights fellowship to the UN office of the High Commission for Human Rights.
• A Youth Representative on the Australian National Commission for UNESCO.
• A member of Amnesty International's Diversity Steering Committee.
• An Action Partner for Oxfam International Youth Partnerships.
• A participant to the Prime Minister's 2020 Summit.
• A member of the National Youth Roundtable.
• A Co-Author of “The future of us” focussing on multicultural identity.
• A performance artist and playwright who created “The Burqa Monologues”.
• Is currently setting up an international non-government organisation for minority youth in the Asia Pacific region.
• A NSW finalist for Young Australian of the Year 2011.
• A Regular panellist on ABC television’s “Q&A”.

Aside from this wonderfully impressive list, Samah also has a Bachelor of Economics and Social Sciences (Political Science) and is currently completing her Masters in Human Rights Law. She has also been voted by the respected St Gallen Insititute as one of the “top 100 leaders of tomorrow”.

There are so many things I want to ask Samah but I will need to limit it to just a few questions. Here goes:

1. Samah, thank you so much for taking the time for this interview. To start with, can you please tell me briefly of your background?

I have a community development background working with grass roots organisations in refugee and migrant communities. I have also volunteered and worked with various international based organisations including Oxfam, the Red Cross and the United Nations Secretariat.

2. You have definitely achieved a lot given your age. What to date has been your highlight and why?

Working at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was a huge highlight for me. I had the opportunity to work with respected indigenous and minority rights leaders from across the world. We pushed for greater human rights protection and promoted human rights campaigns. It was an inspiring time, mainly because I saw the value in a strong civil society.

3. Tell me about your time at the UN. What was your brief as Australia’s Youth Representative?

I was tasked with representing the concerns, profile and interests of young Australians at the world stage of the UN. A very huge responsibility and an even bigger opportunity. I used this platform to consult with young people in every state and territory across Australia as part of a 6 month national road trip. This ended in a 3 month stint at the UN General Assembly presenting a statement on behalf of young Australians to the GA. I met the most amazing and inspiring young Australians working on indigenous rights, climate change campaigning and alleviating homelessness and disadvantage in their local communities.

4. Human rights are an obvious passion. How did you come to get involved with this?

I suppose it’s a by product of being a member of a minority group in Australia, you see that your community group is discriminated against in media and the public domain and even on the streets , so you’re compelled to make a difference. Through my community advocacy work I came across other vulnerable groups in our society such as refugee and indigenous communities that were also discriminated against on a greater scale. I felt a sense of duty to advocate for changes to these inequalities and injustices. My journey in human rights activism just continued on after that.

5. The media seem to have made you a spokesperson for the Muslim community. How do you feel about this?

The media can do, say or frame the way they like but I don’t represent any community nor do I represent over 300,000 Muslims in Australia. Muslims are a diverse bunch and no one can be a representative. I advocate for Muslim minority rights but I don’t see myself as a Muslim community spokesperson.

6. Leading on from this, your progressive views as a Muslim (eg: same sex marriages) is different to those of traditional Muslims. Have you received any community negativity for your comments?

There has been a backlash against my views, but that is to be expected. Having said that I am not deterred from expressing my views no matter how controversial they are, no matter how sensitive the issue. No-one can stifle my voice but people are free to disagree.

7. During my research for this interview I read that you have a wonderful mentor called Maha Abdo. How has she influenced you?

She was a mentor of mine growing up, she was the embodiment of a strong and educated Muslim woman . She believed in my voice and my right to express it.

8. You must have met my famous people – politicians, human rights acitivists and power brokers. Who to date has been the most impressive person, and why?

By far Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian women’s rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner. Her work and activism has inspired my own advocacy. Despite her incredible accomplishment and high standing she is very humble in person and incredibly generous with her time.

9. Islam is the only religion that has a phobia attached to it (Islamaphobia). Is the media the main culprit for this? Also, how can Islam and prominent Muslims like yourself help break down stereotypes that the West has about it?

For me its about continuously highlighting the true messages and teachings of Islam which are based on peace, strong ethical and moral codes and human values we all admire. But above all it’s also letting your actions speak for themselves if Muslims stuck to the true teachings and principles of Islam – peace and love - there wouldn’t be a need to counter the stereotypes and bigotry against it.

10. On an international note, given the events that have happened in the Arab world this year, (eg: Egypt, Syria and Libya), what do you think the likely outcome will be?

I couldn’t answer that, the entire Arab uprising caught everyone by surprise so I don’t think anyone can know what is next . One thing is for sure the status quo has been broken and Arabs will not settle for the conditions of repression, authoritarianism and corruption that has marked previous generations.

11. Tell me about “The Burqa Monologues”? How did you come up with the concept?

It’s an appropriation of the Vagina Monologues written by Eve Einsler. I wanted to give women of colour a voice and share their stories through their own creative avenues.

12. You are such an energetic person who always seems to be on the go. Do you ever find the time to put your feet up, pick up the remote and watch a re-run of, say, “Friends” on television?

When I do have time to spare I like to spend it with my real friends as opposed the ones on screen ;)


13. If we fast forward 5 years what will we find Samah Hadid doing?

Not sure, my life is quite unpredictable… I’ll still be an activist advocating for social change . I would like to be running my own international NGO.

Finally, a BIG thank you to Samah for taking the time to answer these questions. It is greatly appreciated. I am sure that Samah’s star will continue to rise and shine brightly for many years to come. I for one will be following Samah Hadid’s career and ventures very closely.

17 July 2011

Running Free

As most of you will know I love writing. I find it fairly easy, to be honest. It doesn't worry me if it is business, sport reporting, interviews or book writing, it seems to flow nicely. However, there is an aspect of my writing that must improve. If I had a report card it would be a D+. I am, of course, talking about poetry. I need to improve my poetic skills!

Inspired by my good friend and great poet (Nes), I have decided its time to see if I can conquer my Achilles heel (no pun intended to myself). So here goes:





Running Free


Running, chasing dreams, chasing my future

Sunshine all around, smiles, flowers blooming

Grey clouds close in, pressing down and suffocating

Can’t move, unable to chase the future

The sun rises again, movement is slow the future is near

The world turns round and round, again




05 July 2011

Why I became a MYFC Member and proud to be one!

The following is a blog of mine that has been posted on the "up the fleet" blog....


The first time I heard about MYFC was on a Friday night after a drinking session with friends in Sydney. Friday night drinks had become a ritual and it is a good way to catch up with friends and get ready for the weekend.

This evening I picked up a free newspaper to keep me occupied during my 30 minute train journey home. This newspaper was full of the usual dross when I came across an interesting article. Apparently an organisation called My Football Club were going to take over ownership of what is now Ebbsfleet United. My heart skipped a beat.

Being from Kent I had been to see the Fleet on numerous occasions over the years and certainly had a soft spot for them. I even pestered a friend of mine to send me a video of the Aston Villa FA Cup game!

I knew I wanted to be a part of this venture. Would I be too late to become a member? I had to find out!

I remember getting off the train and literally running home so that I could find out more information about this My Football Club thing. I logged on the computer and found out the relevant information. Sadly, I couldn’t see how I could register my interest. So I sent an urgent email to the address show on the webpage. Within 24 hours I had a reply. It gave me the response I wanted to hear. I could become a member!

Naturally, I registered straight away and my love affair with MYFC had begun.

So why am I still a member and what do I like about the MYFC journey?

There is more than one answer to that question. I like the fact that I can actually participate in the day to day running of a football club. Be it the kit design, potential sponsorships, gate admission and even deciding on whether a transfer of a player to another club should go through.

True there’s the less exciting things like reviewing the accounts, purchasing grass feeder, painting of the main stand etc. However, I like this. It is the real things that go into the running of a football club. I would encourage all members to take an interest in these things. Also with MYFC, you get to meet other passionate fans like yourself who want to do their best for the club.

I also have a couple of other reasons as to why I am a member.

I was born in Chatham (no jokes please about Chavs!) and am passionate about all things Kentish! Therefore if there is something I can do to make the Fleet more successful then I’ll do it! I think it is good to be proud of the area from which you come from.

Finally, I and others would love to see Ebbsfleet United enter the Promised Land that is League 2. Yes, there is a long way to go to achieve this Nirvana, but if we all pull together who knows what can happen. Just ask any AFC Wimbledon fan that question and see how they answer it!

So that’s my story behind why I am proud to be a MYFC member.

UP THE FLEET!!

25 June 2011

Crutches, Moon Boots & Physio

As a number of my regular readers would know I recently ruptured my Achilles tendon and had to have an operation on it. Well, my ordeal with the scalpel wasn't over after that initial slice and dice meeting. Five weeks later, having watched Manchester City win the FA Cup final on television, I noticed a swelling where the stitches were. It started to get worse over the next few days.

To cut a long story short, I had to have another operation to clean up the wound as it had been impacted by a staph infection. Naturally, at the time I was not a happy bunny as it was putting my rehab (not Amy Winehouse style) back to square one. This meant that I would be in a half cast for 10 days, using crutches before migrating to a moon boot (which in the past week I have stopped wearing).

So what is it like going about your normal daily business whilst recovering from an Achilles operation? The answer is quite simple - it's bloody hard.

In the early days, just going to the bathroom was an experience as I had to manoeuvre the crutches in the right position before relieving myself. An even bigger challenge was to have a shower. Whilst the cast was on and the stitches were still in, I could not leg the leg get wet. So I had to wrap my leg in a big plastic bag, cover it in cling film at the top and attach some sticky tape to it.

An even bigger problem was that I couldn't put any pressure on my operated leg, so I was showering whilst standing on one leg! Getting in the shower involved sitting on a chair situated in the shower before standing up on one leg and removing the chair. On some days it seemed to me that it would be easier to invade a foreign country rather than have a shower!

Fast forward a few days and I was starting to wear a moon boot on my injured leg. Under my heel were 3 wedges which over a few weeks were gradually reduced as my leg improved. So ladies, I do now know what it is like to wear heels!

The moon boot generally restricts your movement whilst your leg heals. I remember that I was crossing a major road and I was standing at the traffic lights waiting for the green man to flash. Next to me was an old lady who was easily in her eighties with a walking stick. I thought to myself - I will easily beat her to the other side of the road, no problem. How wrong could I be! She crossed the road well ahead of me! In fact, its only been in the last couple of days. now that I am sans moon boot, that I am not the last to cross roads now!

So where am I at present? Sitting on a lounge with my leg raised is the literal answer. As for my injury, I am undergoing physiotherapy and having to learn how to walk again. At home I have to do a number of exercises to help my recuperation. Hopefully, in a few months I will be walking more naturally than I am at present.

If I do see an eighty year old lady with a walking stick in the future, I will be confident of beating her to the other side of the road!!

21 June 2011

An Interview With author Amira Aly

One of the things that I wanted to do with my blog, dear reader, was to expand it in different directions, to boldly go where no-one has gone before (thanks Captain Kirk!).

I have been wanting to undertake an interview with a person of interest for a long time now. Fortunately, all the planets aligned and I came across a person who fitted the bill for my first ever interview. Hopefully, it will be the first of many.

Ladies and gentlemen, I proudly introduce to you Amira Aly, author of "The battle for Ma'at - book 1 Egypt the Uprising". I was introduced to Amira, fairly recently and can honestly say that she is one of the nicest people that your path could cross. Aside from that, Amira spins a great yarn based on fact and fiction.

So without further a do, I give you my interview with Amira Aly!


Q1 – Amira, you recently published your debut novel “Egypt the Uprising – Battle for Maat” which, I must say is a great read. What gave you the inspiration to write it? How long did it take u to write it?

Originally, I'd been writing a novel about Aya meeting Ma'at set in a post-apocalyptic Egypt, to try and restore order peace and justice to the world. With looting of the Egyptian museum by thugs during the early days of the revolution, I felt that somehow there is a story to be told here... about the interaction between the supernatural and the mundane.

I played the 'What if' game. What if there was an ancient relic in the museum that a dictator wants to use? What if the uprising had ancient and mystical roots? What if the trumpet of king Tut that lies in the museum, dubbed the 'Trumpet of War' was sounded?

Strangely enough, a few weeks later I saw an article talking about King Tutankhamun's "trumpet of war" and how Zahi Hawass, Minister of State for Antiquities, talks about a Japanese delegation 'sounding the horn' a week before the revolution actually started. So, this inspired me to add in the Japanese twist in the book.

The book is basically a fictionalized, or alternate, reality if you will-- mixed with a dash of fantasy and adventure. It is my tribute to the Egyptian revolution and freedom fighters all over the Arab world.
The writing and editing was completed in a little under three months.



Q2 – Are the characters based on people you know including yourself?

Many people assume that my protagonist Aya is based, at least partially, on me. Is it because of the curly hair? Or the tenaciousness in her? I am not sure. But what I do know, however, that this is a sign of success. When you choose the first person point of view, you become the character and the character becomes you-- so in we are, in a way, one.

Generally, I create my characters with faces and personalities entirely their own. But I guess there are bits and pieces of me in a few of the characters: Nour's scientific rationalizations, Aya' s fiery spirit and Celeste's love for pink.

Ben ben (the majestic bird summoned by Aya) is actually based on a person! Vincent Brown ( @Bennu ) http://twitter.com/#!/Bennu who is your go-to guy for all things Ancient Egyptian. Also, in book two of the series, a new male character, loosely based on one of my close friends, will be introduced.



Q3 – What research did you undertake to write your novel?

I heavily researched ancient Egyptian myths and their various interpretations. I researched extensively mainstream Egyptology, "alternative archaeology", and lost myths. I also read a few books and articles about elements pertaining to the sci-fi aspect of the novel.


Q4 – the novel has a fantasy / historical theme. Is this a genre that you like yourself?

Very much so. I am a fan of the strange and the paranormal, anything out-of-this world attracts me.


Q5 – The “Battle for Maat” is part 1 of “Egypt the Uprising”. When will part 2 be out?

Actually, the series title is the Battle for Maat. Book 1, Egypt the Uprising is the first of the series, to be followed , sometimes in September, by "Egypt the Standstill".


Q6 – How many parts can we expect?

Right now, I have plans for seven books (my lucky number!)


Q7 – Amira, tell me a little about yourself?

I don't really fancy talking about myself, but I did have a pretty interesting life. I lived and was educated in two countries, Egypt and Canada. I studied to be a physician but ended up being a full time writer. I am also a full-time mother but still trying to find that little corner in the world that is mine.

My varied experiences made me a person full of contradictions and liable to experience many ups and downs. I always lived in my own parallel world, making stories to explain all things difficult to comprehend.

Freedom and the fight for justice have always been huge for me. At the age of 10, I had completed an inter-galactic fight for freedom epic story--which was unfortunately written and illustrated on my Grandmother's living room walls.



Q8 – I know you are multilingual (I am envious). How many languages do you speak?

English, Arabic and French.


Q9 – When you are not writing, what do you do for relaxation?

I read, for my own pleasure and to my kids. I also tweet and play video games :)


Q10 – In 5 years’ time what do you think you will be doing?

I think I will most definitely be writing, perhaps even more than now because my children will be older. I might even start a small publishing house and put out Egyptian mythology-based comic books!


Q11 – Any advice you can give to budding writers?

The most important is to write. Whatever happens, write. Whatever stands in your way, write. Write for the love of writing, for the sake of the craft, but not for fame or money. Let go of your insecurities and write.

After you write, you need to start listening. Listen to the feedback your readers give you. Listen to what they liked or didn't like. Seek out constructive criticism if you can, It's the only way you can improve.



Q12 – Thank you, Amira for your time. One last question, how can people purchase your novel?

It is in digital format only for the moment.

It is available as an ebook on Amazon kindle http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0053TRH22/ref=cm_cr_dpvoterdr?ie=UTF8&isSRAdmin#R1BP3M9CDNJMUR.2115.Helpful.Reviews

Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/egypt-amira-aly/1031383476?ean=2940012903723&itm=1&usri=egypt%2bthe%2buprising%2bbattle%2bfor%2bmaat

Diesel Bookstores http://www.diesel-ebooks.com/item/9781456603403/Aly-Amira-Egypt-The-Uprising-The-Battle-for-Maat-Book-1/1.html

and available on multiple formats here https://www.ebookit.com/books/0000000695/Egypt-The-Uprising-The-Battle-for-Maat-Book-1.html

And on Kobo http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Egypt-The-Uprising-The-Battle/book-uZqg6rQP5kiKbCxdZ0cJxg/page1.html

And soon to be on the Apple iBook Store!



And finally, how can anyone get in touch with you to find out more about your book?

Catch me on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/FEM4Ever

My Author Website http://amiraaly.wordpress.com/

Blog http://www.battleformaat.com/













02 June 2011

It's Story Time - A Must Read!

Just this once, I want to do something different. Normally I write a blog and try and make it a tad humerous. Normally I fail, but once in a while it comes off. Anyway, less digressing methinks.

Recently, I had the pleasure of coming across a person who is really talented. I should thank Nes (aka Queen Nes) for introducing Amira to me. So a big thanks Nes!! The big thing about Amira is that she is now a fully fledged author and I really want to spread the word about her debut novel.

What really hooked me initialy was the trailer for Amira's book. Check it out:


If it grabs you, like it did me, then you can purchase the book called "Egypt The Uprising - Battle For Maat" at:


I hope you enjoy this enthralling novel.

Congratulations Amira!








22 May 2011

MYFC - The future is bright!

"I would love to see new members from Cairo, Belo Horizonte, Wagga Wagga, Ulan Bator and even Bognor Regis"

The following is my article that was published on the My Football Club website (MYFC). As background information, I was approached by a board member recently to do some articles on Ebbsfleet United, who have just won promotion back to the Blue Square Conference League (yay!).

I have reproduced it as unless you are a member of MYFC, you will not be able to read it. If you want any further information about becoming a member then please email me through via this blog or via Twitter @main_man.

Enjoy!


The future is bright (I gotta wear shades – honest!)

Phew, what a great season that was for Ebbsfleet United!

Rewind back to last July and it did not look like the Fleet would have a team to run out onto Stonebridge Road for the first game. However, that expert magician Liam Daish put together a team of virtual strangers and made them into a powerhouse in the Blue Square South Division. Not only did they made the play offs, they beat Farnborough away in the final to reclaim their spot in the Blue Square Conference. Mission Accomplished.

Or is it?

Now we are back where we belong, do we just give everyone a pat on the back and say “well done” as we head to the pub for a celebratory ale? Or do we roll up our sleeves, put on our thinking caps and set about ensuring that not only will Ebbsfleet United remain in the Blue Square Conference, but they will actually flourish? I know what my answer would be and it doesn’t involve alcohol (well not yet).

Before we look at ‘whats next?’ let’s have a look at the composition of the ‘Conference’ for next season.

In essence it could be said that the Conference mirrors the Premier League in that there are the Haves and Have-nots. Just think Manchester City and Stoke City, for example. So it is the same in the Conference with ‘big name’ clubs (eg: Wrexham, York, Lincoln, Stockport) and the ‘lesser lights’ (eg: Hayes and Yeading, Braintree Town, Forest Green). You could easily add Ebbsfleet United to the ‘lesser lights’ category.

Player budgets are an issue. Naturally for the bigger Conference clubs pulling in crowds in excess of 2,500 is relatively easy. What this means is that with cash flowing in they can afford to acquire better quality players and pay them more than other clubs could. Hence the results on the pitch should be better than average. A number of Conference teams are also full time professionals.

This really helps the coach to ensure that the players are in tip top condition and do not have any work distractions. This is always a delicate issue for a number of teams. Do you go full time and look for success? Or do you keep your income and expenditure under control to ensure the club survives? We all remember what happened to Chester City (and the knock on effect that it had for the Fleet).

This is just a brief summary of what we, MYFC and Ebbsfleet United, are up against. If you think too deeply about it then it appears daunting. If you say the ‘glass is half full’ then it’s exciting and it offers all of us opportunities.
The MYFC concept has been going for just 4 years and there has certainly been a lot of ups (and a few downs).

In this short time frame Ebbsfleet United have won the FA Trophy, Won a play-off final, reached the semi-finals of the FA Trophy, and had a good FA Cup run. Throughout this time MYFC has offered the club great support - raising funds for player’s wages, funds for new players, re-painting the ground and other back room activities.

Despite the good times outweighing the bad times, the membership has fallen from over 20,000 to a core of approximately 1,400. This needs to be addressed if we are to continue to have a successful MYFC adventure and a fantastic football club.
So what are the issues that we must address now? The following lists the obvious ones:

1. Players budget – we must ensure that Liam Daish has the necessary funds to keep the players that he needs, and to attract those that will enhance the quality of the team. We must be open and flexible to what Liam says. After all, he is the ‘gaffer’ and has ‘been there, done that’. A lot of thought must go into this issue.

2. Liam Daish must remain as coach. Given Liam’s record it would be safe to assume a number of bigger clubs in the Conference, or League 2, would be keeping an eye on how the Fleet progress. Liam is ambitious and there is always the risk he could be whisked away to another club. We should be wary of this and ensure that MYFC, Ebbsfleet United and Liam Daish have an open and active relationship. We need to listen to Liam, and vice versa.

3. Membership numbers are extremely below average. We can, and must do, better. It was obvious that after the initial MYFC novelty wore off that a large number of members would leave. However, the numbers that have fallen away in 4 years is clearly unacceptable. We can all now, today, make a resolution to help spread the positive message of MYFC and help others to join.

4. Recruitment drive must be ramped up. Although there are, and always has been, a number of revenue initiatives such as adopting a player, virtual ticket selling, MYFC mall etc we need to do much more. Here’s a thought to consider. If every one of the members (approximately 1,400) recruited 2 new members then our membership would rise to over 4,000 and would generate more than £140,000 for the club. Maybe we could set up a ‘refer a friend’ scenario. I think Liam could do a lot with even a portion of that money!

5. MYFC is not just an English thing, it’s an international thing! We have members from all parts of the world. The international members, yes I am one, are just as passionate about MYFC and Ebbsfleet United as a member from Gravesend or Chatham! I would love to see new members from Cairo, Belo Horizonte, Wagga Wagga, Ulan Bator and even Bognor Regis! I know there are plans afoot for some international members to ‘spread the word’. Maybe we could have a friendly competition between regions over recruitment drives.

6. We must ensure that MYFC, the website and the football club remains an attractive proposition to members. We need to be able to answer the question “what’s in it for me?” If we can answer this we will be successful.

As you can see, there is a lot to do. However, we are in a great position given recent events. We must sell the MYFC experience to the world. As the title of my article states – the future is bright (I gotta wear shades)!

01 May 2011

Deja Vu - not this time (Hopefully)!

"the day in question is not the world paper clip flicking championships either...and an Argentine whom I refuse to name (the pain lingers on)"

May 14th will be a special day for a number of people in England, and also around the world. It will, hopefully, be a special day for me too. Before I go on, no, it's not my birthday. Mine is much later in the year. Send me a message if you want to know when it is, as I love getting presents on my big day!


The day in question is also not the world paper clip flicking championships either. It is, however, the day of the FA Cup final between my beloved Manchester City and their opponents Stoke City.

The reason why I am excited is not just because my team is in the final, and hopefully will win the cup, but because they hardly ever win anything!

Let's take a look at the record books:

Last Major Trophy win: 1976 League Cup v Newcastle United (who can forget Tueart's goal).

Last League Title win: 1968
Last FA Cup win: 1969


So you can see unlike their neighbours (Manchester United), winning trophies is not a common occurrence for City. Also, the last time Manchester City reached an FA Cup final was in 1981. I remember it well. City deserved to win but were pipped in a replay by Tottenham Hotspur and an Argentine whom I refuse to name (the pain lingers on).


I mention this as another event happened that year. 1981 was the year that the UK had a Royal Wedding. In case you have been living under a rock for the past 30 years, or part thereof, Prince Charles married Diana Spencer.

Similarly, 2011 has seen another Royal Wedding. A couple of days ago Prince William married Kate Middleton. Now Kate (or Catherine) is the Duchess of Cambridge.


Will the Royal Wedding curse strike Manchester City again? I hope not. I do not want it to be a case of deja vu. I also do not want it to be 30 years before the next FA Cup final appearance for my team!


I'll leave you with another thought, and a piece of trivia. My home town appeared in the first ever FA Cup final in 1872 but sadly lost 2-1. Where am i from? answers on a postcard to.....or an email will suffice!


C'mon City!!!


21 April 2011

No More Soccer For Me (Part 2)

"So what goals did I achieve? well to you, dear reader, they are probably not that special...to me they are akin to scoring a winning goal in an FA Cup final!"

In my previous blog I described the event leading up to me retiring from playing my favourite sport - Football, or soccer as it is also known as.

I mentioned in it that I had achieved all the goals that I set out to do. I even scored a few goals too. Not bad for a defender who occasionally played in midfield!!

So what goals did I achieve? well to you, dear reader, they are probably not that special. However, to me they are akin to scoring the winning goal in an FA Cup final! So here goes...

Winning trophies - I have won a number of 5 a side and indoor football trophies. Interestingly, in a work mixed football team we decided to put one of our female players in goal (she actually volunteered). That meant we had more males in the outfield. Consequently we never lost a game and were champs three years running. No other team tried to copy us which surprised me.

In the long form of the game I have won two league titles, achieved a couple of promotions, been runners up in a cup competition and only once felt the pain of relegation. One of the league titles was won in England and one in Sydney, Australia. When the English one was won my team played 32 games won 28 drew 2 and lost 2, scoring 103 goals and conceding just 32. Actually we went something like 7 games without conceding a goal which was extremely rare in the Sunday Leagues I played in.

The Australian one was more impressive. We played 18 won 17 and lost 1. It was our second game of the season and we lost 1-0 to a dodgy penalty, if my memory serves me correct. After that game we were unstoppable. Interestingly, the reason for our success in winning both titles was down to teamwork rather than any individual ability.

I had two personal goals that I always wanted to achieve. One was to become player of the year, and the other was to score a goal direct from a corner. I finally was elected player of the year for my Australian football team in what was, at the time, their most successful season ever. I knew I had played well, but to win this award, as voted by my co-players, meant so much to me. I only won it once but came close on a few other occasions.

I had always wanted to score a goal from a corner when I saw my best friend Andy do it twice in a minute in a school game. Andy was a skillful midfielder who could do the unusual. Me? I was the more industrious type of player. Well it took me more than 20 years to score direct from a corner. I have to admit that on occasions I had tried to do this but when the right game came along I knew I would score it! I took the corner and saw it sail over the goalkeepers head. I muttered under my breath "don't catch it!" and fortunately for me he didn't!!

One of the strangest events happened in England when I was a teenager. I dreamt that I would score a goal in the morning. In my dream a good friend of mine was going to play in goal. The game started and we were 2-1 down. I anticipated a back pass and got the ball and put it through the legs of the goalie, my friend! I was ecstatic. It was also my birthday that day as well!!

I have scored a few goals too. Probably my best one was a bullet header in a game in England. For once I connected well with it! My most important goal was another header in a cup tournament that knocked out a team 3 divisions higher than my team.

I have also had the pleasure to play against a few ex-professional players and at least 2 ex-international players too. I feel that I held my own against them quite well. Mind you, in their heyday some of these opponents would have been very good players!

So there you have my most self indulgent blog ever! For me its therapeutic as I close the door on my long football career and move on to the next big thing. I hope you enjoyed learning a little about myself as well.

13 April 2011

No More Soccer For Me (Part1)

“a doctor who easily assessed that I had ruptured my Achilles Tendon. I asked her how it would be fixed. She answered with two dreaded words - "by operation"

Last weekend was a watershed one for me. Even though I had no idea at the time, the soccer game that I played in would be the last of my illustrious career. Well, illustrious is probably a strong word to use for my deft skills. After all, I didn't play for England, never turned out for my beloved Manchester City or have driven a Lamborghini donated by a sponsor. Indeed my only transfer fee was 2.50 pounds from Dewdrop to Scorpions (and I paid that too!).

However, despite this, in my own micro soccer world, I did achieve all the goals (excuse the pun) I set out to do when I was a youngster. Before I expand on that I should give a brief description of what happened at approximately 1.30pm on Saturday 9th April.

The game started well for my team. We were 1-0 up early in the game and were starting to look good. I was also happy with my performance after the previous weeks 'mare that I had. Anyway, after about 30 minutes of the game the ball went over my head. Naturally, I chased it down and went to kick it up field when I felt as if someone had kicked me in the back of my right leg. There was an opposing player closing me down, and whether he caught me or not I am not sure.

I felt severe pain go from the base of my Achilles in my right leg up to about the mid calf region. I was writhing about on the grass less and bumpy pitch. Fortunately the coach and a couple of reserve players helped me off the pitch. At this stage I thought I was going to pass out. It was a close run thing. After a few moments I sat on the grass in the shade and looked at the "injury". I couldn't see any lumps so I assumed (wrongly as it turned out) that it was muscular.

I then put some ice in a bag and tied it to the back of my right leg in the Achilles region and undertook RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). After a while, and a team photograph, I drove home in pain to rest my injury.

It was on Sunday morning that I realised something was wrong. No Worries, aka the wife, drove me to a doctor who easily assessed that I had ruptured my Achilles Tendon. I asked her how it would be fixed. She answered with two dreaded words - "by operation"! Next step was to the hospital to get it better assessed.

I was in the hospital for approximately 6 hours. There were a fair few sports injuries in the Emergency Ward, as well as a few Saturday night excesses. I was assessed by a nurse and a specialist and the prognosis was the same. I would need an operation to fix my Achilles. The good thing, I was told, was that it would only take 45 minutes and I would not need to do an overnight stay in the hospital. So I named it the 'slash and dash' operation.

That night No Worries and I went out to a local restaurant for dinner which I called "The Last Supper". I was now on crutches which helped me a little.

Monday was a bit of a blur in hindsight. It encompassed work, seeing the surgeon, paperwork, more paperwork and did I mention paperwork? Finally, it was time for me to be prepped for the operation. I was told to change into a hospital gown and then lie on a bed. The nurse then came and shaved most of the hair off my right leg and then put a brown substance all over it. A green cloth was then wrapped over my leg.

In this ward there were two other guys awaiting operations. One was having a pin put into his leg, and the other guy had done the same injury as myself. It was the same leg, same soccer competition and happened at roughly the same time.

I was to be the last cab off the rank from an operational point of view. I was eventually taken into an alcove to meet the anaesthetist. He was an Irish guy. He told me that he would inject me with a drug and I would be asleep in 20 seconds. I remember telling him "yeah right" and felt the pain in my arm with the injection as I said it. Before 20 seconds had passed I was in Dreamland!

I was woken up about 75 minutes later. I felt a bit groggy and could see a cast on my leg but no pain! Anaesthetics work really well. After half an hour or so I was taken to another recovery ward where my "twin" who had had the same operation was recovering.

We chat about the operation, even though we remembered nothing about the procedure.

After a can of lemonade our wives came and drove us home. I was relieved to be back home but knew, rather sombrely, that recovery was going to take a long time...

31 March 2011

Chatham - A Great Tourist Destination!

“shopping for clothes normally revolves around the colour of your next shell suit...if you see a bus approach it with caution”

I have been inspired by a good friend to write a ‘top ten’ blog. So I have chosen to write one about my hometown. Before I go on, I apologise if you are from Chatham in England and you take offence at my comments. Yes, I agree they should be harsher!

Well here are my top ten reasons why Chatham is a great holiday destination:

1. It’s the original home of the Chav. The Chav is an extremely rare species of human being which is predominantly nocturnal. The Chav nornally travels in small groups, or clans, and can be seen heading for the Chippy, Chinese or Curry House on most nights. They generally have a snarl on their face and a fake gold chain around their neck. Night photography tours to see the Chavs are available to all tourists (note: personal injury insurance compulsory).

2. London, Paris, New York, Rome and now Chatham. All fashion houses in their own right. Forget all about Armani, Louis Vuitton and Hugo Boss. In Chatham, shopping for clothes normally revolves around the colour of your next shell suit. These "living in the past" iconic clothes still outsell most other items. For a wonderful shopping experience try Primark in the High Street or New Look or one of the many discount stores towards the Luton Arches.

3. Are busy shopping centres with lots of shoppers frustrating you? Well we have the answer for you. Chatham boasts a state of the art shopping centre known as the Pentagon, or the "Pen'agon" as the locals say. It has more closed shops than a Baghdad Bazaar. So you will have plenty of space and time to walk around the handful of shops that are still open. Please note that on most Thursday's you will see a queue forming outside of the Post Office (situated in Martins) as the Chav's queue up to cash their dole cheques.

4. If you are one of the many people who do not like cramped buses then Chatham is the place for you! In these parts the local bland green coloured buses are rarer than finding gold at the end of a rainbow. If you see a bus, approach it with caution as it is most likely a mirage, or a figment of your imagination.

5. Yorkshire is famous for Yorkshire Pudding, Cornwall for Cornish Pasties and now Chatham is famous for chewing gum! The locals can be spotted chewing gum whilst eating at the local McDonalds or KFC (the only 2 quality eating places in the town). It is an art to see the local girls take the gum out of their mouth and stick it on their social benefit card whilst eating a Big Mac or chicken nuggets and then re-chewing it. For the amateur photographer, if you are patient and bide your time, you may be able to take a shot of this fascinating cultural act. Remember though, if you don’t chew gum you ain’t anyone! Naturally Wrigleys do a roaring trade in Cha’ham.

6. Chatham is doing its part to help populate the country. The local girls are more than willing to help out for this charitable cause. So come on down to Chatham if you want to assist with this . The local rule is that if you are female and you are 16 then you will most likely be pregnant. If you ain’t then you must be some sort of freak or a spaz! Take your newly acquainted local girl to the local kebab shop for a first date. She will love you for it

7. Jewellery is important to women worldwide and Chatham is no different. It sports a number of jewellers (well 3 or 4) who sell the cheapest grade of gold jewellery at amazingly discounted prices. Chatham is a great place for that tacky present for a hardly ever seen relative. For women the main piece of jewellery has to be large hooped earrings.

8. If you want to see what the locals do during the day then head straight to Tesco's. Spend an hour or two and watch them do their shopping on a Saturday morning. Hanging out in Tesco’s aisle 10 is about the coolest thing to do. Actually given the lack of anything in the town this is probably the only thing you can do. Definitely an eye opener for overseas visitors as the locals swarm to the frozen food aisle.

9. Chatham has a very relaxed lifestyle which appeals to tourists and locals alike. For some the most exerting thing they do is to receive their dole (chat) cheques and encash them. The proceeds are then quickly allocated to beer, cigs and the latest Justin Bieber cd. For the rest of the week the locals will stay chilled waiting for their next dole cheque.

10. Chatham is a thriving hub of entertainment. Whether that means going to the movies, eating a dodgy curry or hanging out at one of the many pubs in the town it’s all here for you. For example, a local in Chatham would, on a Saturday night, go to the pub, drink too much, get in a fight and vomit in the taxi on the way home. This is then repeated at least on two more occasions before the next weekend.

So you can see Chatham is a great place and a wonderful area to live in! Is it any wonder I am in Sydney on the other side of the globe? I'll let you ponder that question. Now where did I put my chewing gum….

05 March 2011

Time for a change!

Well, having found some spare time (I think it was hiding under the lounge), I have decided to give my blogsite a well overdue spring clean.

Gone is the picture of the Sydney Harbour Bridge as well as the Fish. Even though I found it fun to have them on the blog, and they were fun to feed as well, I decided to take down that app. Also missing is the 'song of the week' which often ended up being 'song of the month'!

I have bought in the share it application so that you Tweeters out there (Hi Nes) and Facebookers can easily share the blogs.

I may make a few more changes but for now that is it.

I also think the style of blogs should change too. I will still stick with the humerous ones but will occassionally write some more serious type ones too.

Stay tuned and remember, you can subscribe to my blogs too!!

Cheers

DNW

28 February 2011

A (Wo)mans World!

"Australia. Where the men are real men and the women are women - except perhaps during Mardi Gras"

Aah yes. Australia. Where the men are real men and the women are women – except perhaps during Mardi Gras. It’s a tough bloke’s type of country, you know. We are tough. We work long hours, endure the hot baking sun and love that cold nectar running down our throat, and our beer guts, especially after a hard day’s yakka. Meanwhile our Sheila’s are all at home making dinner and looking after the brats, whilst watching a re-run of Neighbours on the television.

This is very much a stereotypical view to some people of what Australia is really like. Just to clarify before I go on, we do not have Kangaroo’s hopping about in our backyard, and yes – we do have ‘shopping malls’. We do, however, like to throw a ‘shrimp on the barbie’.

Well I have some news for you, dear reader. Australia is not a man’s country but is, deep breath, a woman’s country.

What am I on about? Have I lost my marbles? (erm yes a few years ago during a house move), have I been drinking the amber nectar again? (not this time). Read on, and with luck you will be all the wiser.

If you are sitting comfortably I will begin.

The Head of Australia, the number one honcho, is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second. Dear old Queenie has been head of our country for nearly 60 years. As some of you would know the Queen appoints a Representative of the monarchy to be the ‘technical’ head of the country. This role is known as the Governor General and Quentin Bryce is currently filling this position. The Governor General is realistically a ceremonial role. Having said that the GG can sack the Government in some extreme cases, just ask Mr Whitlam.

One level below the GG, is the Prime Minister. Currently the person pulling the country’s purse strings is none other than Julia Gillard. This real strine speaking politician has been PM for the best part of a year. Not bad for a migrant from Wales. Jules looks after matters from a Federal point of view, whilst each State and Territory also have their own governments.

Going down one notch we currently have women running three of the Australian States. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Kristina Keneally of NSW, Anna Bligh of Queensland and, the latest cab off the female rank, Lara Giddings of Tasmania. It is important to note that both Kristina and Anna are in charge of two of the three biggest States. Lara, meanwhile, has the smallest State to look after (aka the Apple Isle).

All states have a Governor. In NSW Marie Bashir has held that role for a number of years. Her powers are very similar to that of the Governor General but on a State level.

Sydney - the biggest city in Australia. Nearly 6 million people live and play there. There’s the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and the world famous Bondi Beach. One of the truly great cities of the world. So, I hear you say, who is the Mayor of Sydney? The answer, dear reader, is of course a female. Clover Moore is the current Lord Mayor of Sydney and is responsible for the New Year’s Eve fireworks display that is the envy of lots of other cities.

So, as you can see, at all levels of power within Australia there is a woman in charge. Is this a good thing? Well as a bloke I am not complaining. After all it’s a (wo)man’s world!

31 January 2011

Don't Worry the blogs will be back soon!

A belated Happy New Year to all!

Firstly, I must apologise for the lack of blogs recently. The reason for this is that I decided to take a longer than normal break from blogging. Seeing that Christmas and the New Year have just passed I took the opportunity to recharge my (Duracell, or is it Energiser) batteries!

Well I am fully recharged and am looking to a good year full of blogs, warts 'n all!

There will be a slight change to my blogging though. I will be occasionally undertaking joint blogs with a good friend of mine who lives in the UK.

Stay tuned for more details very soon!