Monday, 2 December 2013

December again, how the f*** did that happen?

Once again yet another holiday season is upon us, all tho soon and once again finding me completely unprepared.

In the run up to Christmas I find myself in a rather different position than I did last year. The old Gledson homestead in French France is signed over tomorrow and my dad returns shortly afterwards to take up residence in our tin box for a few weeks before embarking on a search for a new home. Kirsty, Will's other half, is now living with us full time.Also the new addition, Fiona, is very small one and has carved a niche for herself that bothers no-one and, of course, we have the usual crowd. Bearing in mind our house can support five out of the six of our usual contingent at any one time Christmas day began to look a little awkward. Google to the rescue: It appears that Gosport has a great many large, opulent, holiday quarters, many at the newly converted Clarence Yard. So, that's what I did. I booked an 8 berth apartment for the Christmas period.

At least we will have a base, walking distance from the house and office, to have Christmas dinner and free up space for us all. The only rules will be, no TV, no news, no football and above all NO JUSTIN 'KIN BIEBER!!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Change, change, it's time for another change

It has been a while since I blogged with most of recent time spent in working with a new set of monkeys (well the management at least) and slowly becoming more and more disillusioned with the broadcast behemoth that is Arqiva. In fact the disillusionment has slowly led to increasing depression as the travel and fruitlessness of effort has frustrated and infuriated me to extreme measures.

That aside, we have a new family member. Fiona Dawn Wilkinson joined us on Wednesday 13th November. She is an absolute delight and as miniature Daschunds go she is agile, quick witted and has fitted in very well.

Last week Chris and I exhibited at BVE (British Video Exhibition)  North at the Manchester Central exhibition centre with Garland Partners which was a slow and dull show but did show that we are really onto something and need to find a way to dedicate more time to progress.

Which leads me to an explanation of the blog title. It wasn't too long ago that we, in the Gledson household, were pooling coins to buy food, and I would have taken any job going, which I 'kin well did. Maintaining momentum with Cerberus had been difficult to say the least, but with a great deal of support from our partners and suppliers we are now in a position to move on to the next stage. Unfortunately this will entail someone taking on a full time mantle to take the helm to move this puppy forward. To this end I will turn in my notice this week, not as bad as it sounds as I aim to see the year out in the current contract and have alternative means of income filtering in slowly.

It's been a tough year so far, the only way is up.

Friday, 4 October 2013

What a bunch of bankers

OK, this is a whinge, granted, and a whinge about money at that.

For those of you who do read my blog, you may remember that as soon as it was evident that I was probably earning once more, Emma and I dragged our sorry arses into our nearest Natwest branch and opened our hearts to the customer relationship manager. It was the first time that I have ever owned up to not having complete control of my life and all elements that may effect it. Angela, our relationship manager, was incredibly helpful and honest. We left so much happier and feeling hopeful.

Then, yesterday, after a month of working my cute little arse off, we received millions (five) letters from Natwest demanding immediately payment of everything, including the mortgage. The alternative was removal of all banking privileges, effective within 60 days. I rang them.

It transpires that at no point is there a means for branches or departments to exchange information. Progress. They apologised for the stress and general incompetence but could not reverse the process without a full review, happening tomorrow morning on the phone. Cunch of bunts!!!!

On a positive note, Cerberus is started to gain momentum. I will say no more, other than, thanks Roger, Dawn, Lorna and Helen for your belief. As always the Cerberus team, you know who you are, have been there.

Time to push on and make a difference.

Today's picture: A fat chicken

Monday, 23 September 2013

Beware The Slenderman

Those of you who have followed my blog will know of my long running analogy, comparing our situation with the game, Slender. I do honestly believe that this is quite a fair comparison. For those of you unfamiliar with the game, please at least, check it out. A first person, free, and scary, download, Slender involves a quest for clues, when at the same time, being chased through dark woods by a disturbing, lanky, pale and disturbing figure. Just when you think it is safe, the screen clouds and The Slenderman stands before you. That is our, my family's, situation.

I have been slavishly toiling, as a bitch for Arqiva, for a month now and, to be quite honest, I am struggling to maintain my sanity. I suspect that Chris is in the same boat, but needs must! I did, however, expect to begin to claw my way, week by week, to a state that can be considered by some to reflect financial stability. Fat chance. Idiots and buffoons have ensured that the coffers remain dry, or at least partially. In Slenderman terms, I am standing at the tree-line with The Slenderman directly behind me, arse!

Quick wins for Cerberus have queued up and so we have to prioritise, I just hope we choose wisely.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

I've stayed in some shitholes in my time, but...

Where to start?

High Wycombe, that's where I start. The travelling to the job mooching about in the Chalfonts takes its toll, especially after a busy weekend in Amsterdam at IBC. An important demo tomorrow drove me to make a very bad decision, to stay overnight nearby, somewhere I could get to work without a two hour drive. Last week it was at a rather peculiar, but clean, comfortable and classy establishment where I was well looked after by an eccentric lady in Amersham. I walked into town and had a great curry before grabbing a great nights sleep.

This week I opted to look for a cheaper establishment in High Wycombe. As it transpired the price turned out to be the same, but the place...

After driving along the A40 on the way out of town I began to despair at the decrepit, drooping and dreary facades of the roadside houses. It seemed the further I travelled towards my destination the worse the frontage became. Eventually I gave up and pulled over; I had obviously overshot the mark. A quick google check on the phone gave me an address, excellent, two minutes later I pulled into the car park at a shiny hotel. I checked in and was told that my room was in the annexe. The annexe turned out to be a manky semi half a mile down the road.

From here on I swear never to stay in a 'hotel' without tarmac on the drive nor one where the 'car-park' is piled high with empty bottle of white lightning. Still I have been wrong before so I entered the building.

Nope, I was right. My room was at the top of the house. A small room with a cupboard for a bathroom and the same price as the palatial triple room in Amersham, arse.

Right, I thought, man up Gledson and get your arse down to the pub. Cash first. Thankfully, the bright lights of a BP garage guided me towards an ATM. As I withdrew cash from an account I could hardly afford to attack I saw a handwritten sign stuck to the Budgens shop window which bore the legend, 'We serve alcohol till 1AM', badly spelt and written but setting the scene.

I took the cash, which contained five pound notes, never a good sign, and marched off to the nearest pub. The White Horse boasted, Sky Sports, free food and exotic dancing; I kept walking.

The next pub, The Bird in Hand, seemed a little better so I took the plunge. I ordered a pint of Strongbow as I perused the menu; beef madras and chips, fried chicken burger etc etc. I found a table in a corner and sat down. Within seconds a scrawny scouser with yellow and brown nicotine stained teeth asked me if he could join me beneath the large TV. 'Shit', I thought, 'fooking football.' I feigned interest in my phone, sunk my pint and left.

With little option left to me I returned to the bright lights of Budgens and the BP garage. It was still a long way off 1AM, barely 7PM, but I was after a menu of kings. As I approached the checkout an old man in his pyjamas with his left leg in a plaster cast hobbled behind me and nodded a greeting. He held a single can of lager and a packet of Haribo. Normally I would have sneered openly but with my basket of onion rings (a tasty corn snack) a bottle of wine and a star bar, I felt I could not judge.

Thankfully I had my primula and ham sandwiches left from lunch. So, I returned to the room opened the wine and resolved to write emails, eat my meal and fall asleep to the sound of sirens.

Amersham next week.

My dinner!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Fag kiosk bingo and

Before I start my usual nonsense on the usual whinging about how I have to eat value mince and scrape up road-kill cats for the kids breakfast I will relate a shining light of rare genius. Also, I do realise that the title is better placed for a 0930 weekday advert for an ITV show but, let's see where it leads us.

After spending the allocated £20 at Asda, smugly coming in well under budget (56 pence), I joined the queue at the kiosk on the route back to the car. As I viewed those standing before me, a flash of snobbery and superiority overwhelmed me for more than a few seconds. This was when the idea of fag kiosk bingo was born.

A full house is when the Jez Kezesque loser in front on the queue buys: fags, a lottery ticket (or scratch card) and pays a utility bill with a plastic stick. The bonus ball, thunder ball, whatever, is if they are eating something, preferably a pasty, bought in the store. I was somewhat unfortunate as I saw all of the  above but in different customers which meant no full house. The fat little girl stuffing her face with a steak slice while she stood beside her nan, probably, as she bought fags and a lottery ticket, was the closest to a full house but no cigar

Yesterday was the lowest day we have had as a family for some time; the cupboards were bare, honestly, and we returned to the days of Portland; tinned food and toast. Then, this morning, it turned around; I am getting paid this week, Will received his inheritance, Sam sold the remaining Cub and Emma has another editing assignment. We may get through this...whinge over ;-)

We had considered the position as desperate and all of us, adults that is, applied for a Wonga loan. Ironically, I was the only one who was refused. Emma, Sam and Will were all accepted but turned it down as a matter of smugness and principle.

Todays photo, a masked Mexican wrestler;

Sunday, 18 August 2013

The final five days...probably

Who would have thought that things would have been so close, that we are, literally, calculating everything down to the final pound and and to the final hour. At the moment I may just have enough money to ensure that I can get to work and back every day next week, fingers crossed.

Many, many balls in the air and it looks as though the next five days will be the time to not only attempt to catch most of them but also a few more will be launched also. If nothing else the past couple or three months have forced me to focus on getting all of my affairs in order, this includes sorting out my old company, and sadly the car. As mentioned on Friday I was to take the car to market to swap for some magic beans. After the usual appraisal nonsense the ridiculously emotionless sales-person confidently informed me that they were prepared to take the car off my hands provided I settle the negative equity on the vehicle, over £3000. When I queried the wisdom of this, I was asked in a thoroughly condescending fashion, whether I understood the offer or not. To which I replied that if I had that sort of money then I could easily afford the finance and would not need to sell the vehicle, she seemed very confused and soon left, OK I may have said something else but can't remember. Not happy, but they have since come up with an alternative approach, this is however, to be confirmed so I am no more enlightened nor hopeful.

Todays photo, a leprechaun elephant:

Friday, 16 August 2013

Once upon a time...

a boy named Jacked lived with his mother in a small shack. One day Jack's mother told Jack to take their cow, the only thing they owned in the world, to sell at market because they were so poor and needed money for food.

OK, not an exact match, but for Jack read John and for market read Snow's Toyota in Southampton, OK it's still a cow but I do hope I get some magic beans tomorrow. In this story though the beans won't yield a life altering beanstalk and through that a metaphorical opportunity to change my life through hard work, courage and determination merely a bag of gold to give the finance company to make them go away for a little while which in turn will give me, hang on, a real opportunity to change my life through hard work, courage has emerged.

It's been two days back at work and I'm knackered, 0500 start through to 2030 when I finally arrived back, at the caravan for the time being. If I've jumped through the correct hoops I may just get paid next Friday. Work as a Project Manager is exactly as I remember, the only stress is that you bring yourself, if you can take the whole PM world seriously that is. The guys (and girls) in the office are all great and the working environment is brilliant, just a bit far away for my liking.

IBC looms close with many launches for Cerberus, the webcasting world is beginning to wake up to our services, we're nearly there folks.

Today's photo, of course it is:

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Packed lunch

I almost forgot that one of the most important elements of a working day is lunch. OK, a full English, tea-break, elevenses, THEN lunch, followed by afternoon tea break, four o' clockers and pre-home-time coffee are also important, but in my current situation lunch is paramount.

I've just finished a marathon two day stint chasing those I owe money to, rearranging direct debits and generally convincing all of the authors of letters received recently not to initiate court proceedings and bring in the bailiffs (Oh God, I'd forgotten the bailiffs). Most of that has now been done and a rather frugal way forward is now evident. The downside of this is that my packed lunch ingredients for the next month at least consist of the fruits of dumpster diving, cupboard rummaging or the leavings at my favourite 'Whoops!' shelf at Chavsda. Tomorrow, something resembling ham and cheese from a tube on budget, on the turn, bread, Nice! Oh and two bananas.

I can't complain, at least I am at work tomorrow, I have transport, and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Saying that, it looks as though my prediction of all of our best prospects coming together at the same time appears to be wholly accurate, will say more as this bears fruit.

On a completely different note, I attempted to generate some interest in the football international tonight. A friendly match between England and Scotland. What does that term mean? There's not real outcome nor reason to play the bloody match other than to annoy, irritate and injure. As a result, 90 minutes of anything but friendly play. This coupled with decades of ignorance, arrogance and violence means that the resultant event is nothing more than a concentrated, distilled version of a Jeremy Kyle omnibus. I managed to endure the first half but decided that my time would be better placed cleaning the rim of the toilet bowl with Beth's toothbrush, just finished actually.

Going to try and force a decent night's sleep before a half-five start tomorrow morning. I must admit I do feel quite excited, it'll be the first real day's work in nearly seven years, Skynet of course does not count.

Todays photo, predictably, Wayne Rooney:

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Another day without work...arse!

Today has been a rather desperate day, both from a personal view and a corporate one. The focus is still very much on financial disaster recovery and from that averting disaster on both fronts.

After our meeting with the marvellous Angela at the bank the way was clear, Emma and I hit it with fervour. All is proceeding to plan with the exception of the new Nawest ‘One View’ approach to accounts. To explain; my business accounts are now linked to my personal accounts, which means that anybody else linked to me will suffer as I have to recover my personal situation. Another cunch of bunts, spreading their misery to justify a reduction of services.

I was supposed to start a new contract tomorrow but a hiccup with a laptop has pushed me back to Thursday, arse. In fact, whinge, whinge, whinge. I am such a twat sometimes.

On another note, the type 22 reunion taking place next year has left me feeling a bit annoyed and cold. Working with the likes of Paradigm and Astrium on Skynet 5, I see the plethora of ex-servicemen unable to change or release their lifestyle. As certain individuals develop beyond their forces persona they want to prove the improvement, I will say no more. The upshot is, although the idea and organisation is excellent, that of thousands of potential ex serving type 22 ratings and officers, there are only 250 tickets available. I would love to offer a field with marquees etc. Never mind.

Todays photo, Dave Hill from Slade:

Monday, 12 August 2013

The bank is onside...unfortunately I'm not!

Boring stuff first. After weeks of avoiding the bank and their letters, demands and threats, Emma and I finally sat in front of our customer adviser and spilled our guts. OK, there was no offer of financial assistance or actual funds, but the advice was sound and, if we can keep a small amount of income until such time as the contract money surfaces, we will win. Fingers crossed etc.

On a separate note another transient phase of my life is about to commence. Don't get me wrong, I love, travel, uncertainty and chaos but it would be nice to do so in an exotic country riding a camel or driving a massive 4 x 4. I'm nearly there though, High Wycombe in a Nissan Micra, sweet. Only joking, needs must, and they do right now. I have been so lucky over the past six or seven years, every night at home or somewhere of my choice, I have been lucky. Consider the years in the Navy, on night shifts and working abroad, a few years at home, sleeping in my own bed with my family close at hand couldn't have been more welcome.

IBC looms closer and will be a massive launch-pad for Cerberus. Plans are contingent and the route forward critical but nothing good comes from an easy path.

Today, a picture of Willy Wonka:

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

I finally know about the job and, I...

will tell you later. In the meantime, and I apologise in advance, you'll have to endure some nonsense and ranting.

Today I have mostly been waiting by the phone and following up some enquiries. The best of these was a discussion with a fantastic character who is involved with presenting our solution to some huge film production companies (seriously think of the biggest and you're there). We are hurtling towards the final obstacle, the demo, successful and we're in. The same can be said for our offering to the news corps, we have the endorsement of the preferred encoder manufacturer and just need to prove ourselves. It was always my firm suspicion that with all of the belief and drive inherent in the company we would not only succeed, but it would all happen at the same time, which it is. Very soon we will be in the position, the polar opposite of recent times, where we have more business than we can deal with. Which would be nice.

And now the announcement:

I heard from the agency today and I... Have you noticed that ITV early morning TV is shite, probably, but the manner with which they trivialise urgent and salient global issues is sickening. For example Lorraine, what a great steaming pile of putrid rhino poo, (imagine a mild Scottish accent please).

'The political situation in Egypt has reached crisis point, violent protests, unrest and military oppression are rife. But what are they wearing? I didn't see a fez anywhere and where have all the camels gone.'

OR (imagine the same accent please)

'The fire at Nairobi airport has stranded thousands and caused a real security nightmare. Do suitcases need to be smoke resistant, will they tarnish and look awful? We'll talk to some overweight woman who owns an orange bag later but nex,t a gay bloke talking about films.'

For the past ten weeks I have been trying my utmost to fill my days with Cerberus and putting in a full working day. More to avoid daytime TV rather than maintaining my dignity and giving us the highest chance of success, Lorraine, Jeremy Kyle and This Morning should be forcible napalmed live on-air. Today, while I was waiting for that phone call I spent some time seeking a motivating factor. Emma doesn't understand this in me, but, I like to aim for a point in the future where I will be doing something I really want to do, plan it and use that to motivate me to do the daily shit I may not like. So, this morning I planned two things; first a family holiday to Barbados and second taking Chris and I (in a non-gay way) off to see Jimmy Buffett on his latest tour. Those planned I had a focus and successfully did the stuff I had been putting off. I like this approach but Emma does not, she prefers for me to focus on paying bills, feeding and clothing the children, that level of trivia. My approach is more realistic I think.

Right. No more daytime TV for me from next Wednesday, I got the job. I am so buoyed by the support from everyone who reads my nonsense and has called, texted or emailed, you're all instrumental in my not losing heart. Please rest assured that when it is all running well I will throw the biggest and best party ever with dwarfs, strippers, tattooists, clowns and of course karaoke, you're all invited.

Today's photo is Darth Vader taking a shit:

Monday, 5 August 2013

School holidays

It amazes me that during the school summer holidays the roads are so empty in the morning. It's amazing how many under eights must need a lift in the morning, let's face it there are so many SUVs around at infant, junior and primary schools during term time that the poor kids must welcome a few weeks exercising their poor, underused legs. Looking at the catchment areas for these schools, which is at the most, in residential areas such as Gosport, a few hundred metres in radius, where does the perceived need to drive a fucking Mitsubishi Pajero the paltry distance to the traffic choked, single track road that serves the staff car park, escapes me. I even made the point of racing Sam, who was giving Emma a lift to Ed's assembly. I was standing, waiting at the entrance to reception as they drove past searching for that elusive parking space; we're even outside of the catchment area and I had to walk an extra fifty metres or so.

That aside, I have my second interview with Arqiva (which I have heard is Macedonian for 'ladies bits') at their facility near High Wycombe. I have mixed feelings about this opportunity; on the one hand I need an income sometime very,very soon but, on the other, I will most likely need to work away from home in the early days just to keep costs as low as possible. Not the end of the world as it's not at the end of the world just a mere 100 miles or so but without a car I haven't the luxury of the four hour round trip as an option. I reckon, with other factors, I could be back on track within six to eight weeks. I will, however, have the time to write more often, perhaps kick off my stand up career again and forge ahead with Cerberus. Little consolation when I can't share this with Emma and the monkeys but, needs must when Santa vomits in your kettle (cheers Edmund, nearly). This is all still academic as I have yet to secure the post, I hope I do as I feel I can make a mark at Arqiva and really move things along for them.

Off for an early night as I need to be up and doing by 0530 tomorrow.

Today we have a surfing Monk:

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Fracking Hell a new doctor

Just  a swift word on fracking. Fracking is described as:

Hydraulic fracturing is the fracturing of rock by a pressurized liquid. (Wikipedia)

Essentially, pushing pressured liquids deep underground to destabilise shale to release gas to the surface. How can this not cause issues? It is absolute madness and ignorance to assume that this can and will be accepted. Oil and gas companies pay so much to perpetuate an industry doomed to fail, for the resources to diminish and, ultimately, disappear. Rather than embrace new forms of energy, natural, sustainable sources to keep our insatiable need for power satisfied, the established oil and gas companies are squeezing the final drops of energy out of our already battered landscape. The CEO of Quadrilla made the statement, 'Natural gas is a far more benign fossil fuel than coal.' Highly subjective but it is similar to, during the election of a care home manager to support the application of Harold Shipman by comparing hie to other applicants such as Adolf Hitler, Stalin and Caligula.

On the subject of Doctors, Harold was one at least, tonight's ridiculous 'BBC special' revealing the new Doctor Who. Even though the next Doctor was the bookies favourite nobody, other than a few fringe viewers, have no idea who this guy is. I remember feeling the same way when Matt Smith was announced as the 11th doctor, but then I realised I care more about drain rodding or giant polish pedophile foxes invading my recycling bins.

The picture today is a juggling clown mouse:

Friday, 2 August 2013

Next week, it all happens. The culmination of good and bad.

It's been an odd week. Loads of shitty letters from the bank and loads of associated worry, stress and strain for both Emma and me, but also plenty of positive news for Cerberus, Satcom that is as I will be forced now to wind up Cerberus Technical Consultancy as soon as possible. Not to worry it was an education. When I was discussion this with the bank last week the 'business advisor' actually suggested that I talk to my accountant to ensure that I don't experience the same personal issues again. I did point out that we've almost run out of parents and will try to stop being so careless in future. With this in mind next week is as much about damage limitation as anything but the relentless momentum on other fronts is starting to pay off.

I have an interview with Arqiva at Chalfont on Tuesday, a satellite project management role which, although very interesting and involved will entail working away from home. I can't really complain as I have experienced an extended period when I managed to get home almost every night, well, apart from the times I spent with my friends at the local bus station drinking white lightning substitute and begging for change. Up until I started on Skynet 5 my focus was exactly that, to stop working and living away from home. The Navy and the time spent in French Guiana was more than enough time away from home but a few weeks/months in digs during the week ti bring us back onto a financial even keel won't be too bad.

The interview aside we performed a highly successful demo yesterday with Adtec, M & J Communications and us, from which there will be a nice, cosy press release from Adtec singing our praises. News corps from next week, so if we get just one or two we are running.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

From despair to hope in ten minutes

I won't lie, my last real hope has gone, well, as far as the old Cerberus company is concerned anyway. It is so apparent that the only time that an overdraft or bank loan is offered is when it is not needed. Thanks for the help Natwest, you cunch of bunts.

Saying that, I still maintain perspective and context.

The following may upset some readers...

When Danny died, we heard his heart stop during a routine pregnancy check-up with our GP, Emma and I realised with the worst dread and terror that the delivery of a dead child was inevitable. As I held my wife's hand in that soulless ante-room I honestly felt that my world had dissolved beneath my feet. We had each other then and we do so now. In comparison, money problems mean fuck all to me.

Anyway, back to the title issue. After the ridiculous feedback from a nothing institution I drove home in a dubious state of mind, wracking my brain for a way forward. After speaking to a few friends a fantastic opportunity, miraculously appeared. We have a shot at pitching our solution to a major player in the news gathering market. Cheers Rich for believing.

That drive, along a road I know well, I shall not forget, especially as I have to bite the bullet and let my truck go. If anyone has a car I can have I will be eternally grateful and a major mention in my upcoming book 'The Sausage Trail' will be utmost in my mind (worth a shot).

No dodgy picture today rather a poignant video/song:

Monday, 29 July 2013

Whatever happened to summer holiday TV for kids?

As I devolve into an unemployable bum, I slowly, but surely, accept the routine of the student, housewife, benefit fraud and serial killer. The central point of this is, of course, daytime television. As I suffered Jeremy Kyle and This Morning I wondered whatever happened to Wacaday, Why Don't you, endless Wombles, repeats of shit sixties shows such as the Double Deckers, Robinson Crusoe (I have this as a boxed somewhere) and of course Mister Benn.

With the advent of multiple streams of genre based channels on Sky and cable the terrestrial channels can spout their appalling junk based on the lowest common denominator. I would love to see a middle class Jeremy Kyle with issues such as:

'My husband refuses to upgrade my BMW.'
'Rocket or watercress? My au pair cannot tell the difference.'
'Tax avoidance for the under twelves.'

All important issues.

The final piccy today is a great quote:

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Wit's End

That's what I will call my retirement cottage, in fact I may name my current residence that right now. After two months now with no income it's about the end of it. Six weeks ago my bank, that's NatWest to any interested parties, confidently assured me that they could help out the situation by extending my overdraft. They told me not to worry it would take a mere forty-eight hours, here we are six weeks later and still nothing. So much for the assistance available from the banks for small businesses.

I'll hear one way or the other about the job interview on Friday. Strangely I have no feeling one way or the other, I normally have some clue if I should expect the job or not but this time the interview was so generic it's impossible to ascertain the outcome. I hope I do get it, it looks interesting and I could do with getting my hand back in on full time project management.

Friday was a rather goos day for us all in the Gledson household. Emma keeps getting editing jobs coming in and her charge rate is increasing, I am so proud of her diligence and drive, just hope this rubs off on me. Sam found out that he has an interview on Wednesday for the jewellers F.Hinds in Gosport and Will was offered an apprenticeship at Premier Inn. Loads of potential, fingers crossed that it all comes off.

We have so many plates spinning at the moment it's becoming difficult to keep track. Another week and, more importantly, the end of another month. If Natwest fail me and I don't get the job then it's back to the drawing board.

Today a picture of a fish tank toilet:

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Outrage as Blogger reveals Royal baby's name!

Told you. Common sense and a little idea of the basic bloody mindedness of advisors helped, the poor aristos had no real choice on the kid's name. Second name from Kate and third from Bill, the first was set in stone for decades.

Moving on. A very successful day. Will, my son, not the prince, had a very positive interview, Emma has books lining up for her editing skills and I have a job interview on Friday. Coupled with this Cerberus has exponentially attracted interest thanks to Chris and Pete, cheers guys, the company will succeed, trust me. Still loads of bills to pay, but I now have immediate hope and potential means to do so.

Just a quick word on Shazam today. I have no idea on how accurate or sensitive the application may be, but, if it can't identify bird-song then I will be desperately disappointed. If anyone can try this I would be extremely grateful.

Secondly, the river Alver. It's the naming reason for Alverstoke and floods the salt flats that lie between Rowner and Browndown. Where does it come from, source to destination, has this river been largely ignored? That's my next mission.

The picture today...a flat hedgehog. I honestly believed this was the natural state of the animal until I was ten.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The name of the Royal baby revealed...

George. There you go now stop thinking about it. How do I know? I don't, it doesn't matter. It could be Ziggy or Keith, or Richard or Robert but you know it won't be Jason.

Right, now we've sorted that out, on to other things. Cerberus has secured a high level demo to the Northern Ireland Football Association at the end of August. The customer holds the rights for the  football which ensures that we have only to supply the connectivity, sweet.

My main problem is that we need these contacts, prospects and leads to yield closed sales, which they are starting to do. It's picking up, quickly, so watch this space.

The franchise offering has taken a change, Sam isn't in any more. The company we will form to start the process consists of Bill alone. With my financial issues on Cerberus Technical I can't afford to muddy the waters with Bill, he deserves a real run at this. It will be his company with my, dubious, advice.

Loads of thoughts, but they can wait until tomorrow.

Today's photo, a celebrity clown...answers to me please ;-) WHO IS IT?

Monday, 22 July 2013

A rude awakening for the older boys...

Not a long day if we measured it in hours, but, if measured in emotional and mental mileage it was a long road indeed. A reasonable start this morning in that I was up and doing before 0900. I gave Emma a lift to the office so that she could crack on and finish the first of many editing assignments, they are queueing up and paying on an increasing basis, yay!

I had to iron some trolleys and a shirt for the meeting later in the day so I spent some time at home, Will and Kirtsy were up and preparing for a full working day but no sign of Sam at all. The pre-arranged deal was that both boys would be at the office for 1200 to discuss the meeting with the franchise representative. I left Sam in bed to see if he could motivate himself.

I returned to the office and waited. They were late but they did turn up and did have a really constructive discussion on the right subjects.

I then spent a little while re-establishing contact with some old buddies who are in the right place to help us out with Cerberus then we were off to the franchise meeting.

No boring accounts, but, I will say that for the boys it will see an income and a real plan for the next five years at least. I need to continue with my approach for Cerberus, as well as help Sam with his business plan, sell Dad's house and figure out a way to invent the high-tech replacement for the BLT, busy for while.

Discussion still to finish but I think that if Sam and Will can achieve the funding necessary to retail the franchise then they will be successful.

Passing some knowledge onto Sam will hopefully allow the franchise to proceed without too much impact on Cerberus.

The picture today is an Afghan man cycling whilst giving a goat a piggy-back:

Sunday, 21 July 2013

The week ahead...too late to rely on employment

There comes a point when the quickest way to realise an income stream is to create one and not to rely on agencies, employers or adverts. With adverts I refer to the 'kin annoying habit that none technical buffoon agents have of posting a generic job description that applies to no-one and describes a job that could never exist. I refer to agents as I have found a number of agencies that post a job description that appears ideal with a contact name and number but make it impossible to get hold of them, yes Capita that's you. As far as employers are concerned, the whole recruitment process takes at least a month with another month to work before payment. With all of these factors in mind, also considering that nearly a year has gone by since Cerberus Satcom was created and first contacted Avanti at IBC last September. The business model has morphed and shifted a great deal since then to a point where it is mature enough to hit the market.

Alongside the Cerberus approach, which can only benefit the company itself in the early days, I have resurrected the franchise opportunity I explored seven or eight months ago. I do realise that a franchise is little more than an employment opportunity but in the current instance if I can sign this up with Sam and Bill working full time, supporting themselves with the franchise (which is fitness training/after school clubs for the 5 - 11 year olds) and turning sufficient profit to assist the family in even a small way then I believe we should proceed. I have run the numbers and there sufficient margin to give the boys a good head start provided they bust their arses for at least two years. We are meeting with them tomorrow and gaining an introduction to Steve Claridge, ex-England football international and ex-player/manager of Pompey FC. He is the celebrity front of the company and based in Portsmouth, which is unfortunate in that they have no franchisee in the region, that's where we come in ;-) There are even government backed schemes to help young entrepreneurs to purchase and run their first business even if it is a franchise offering. There may be good news tomorrow.

All of that said, I am, as my previous posts have mentioned, still applying for every vaguely relevant job available. Even though there has been, and indeed still is, a great deal of interest, nothing is happening in the time scales I need.

In a completely different vein, today was the Edstanator's ninth birthday. Nine years old! The cheese grater is no longer such a little munchkin with very distinct ideas and opinions on matters far beyond his years (although he does like my stories about Dave and Jeff the gnomes, don't tell his friends). As a testament to my wife, her greatest fear amidst the dark clouds of debt hovering on the horizon, was whether or not Ed would have a truly happy birthday. I can honestly state, with my testicles on a chopping block, that Emma is the most selfless individual I have ever met and without her belief I would struggle. But today was all about Ed. Emma made sure, by every means available to her, that Ed had the best day possible, which he did. Happy Birthday Eddy.

Tonight Beth is staying with my dad at the caravan site. I think there may be a boy involved as her personality has changed, for the better, recently, but we shall see.

This summer is going to be a life changing period for a lot of my friends and family, so I raise a (small) glass of wine and salute you all...'Fish and coconuts.'

The picture today is a drunk pig

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Snobbery and intolerance (mine)

As the ship is a little bit more stable today, with the mortgage paid for the month, I can turn my attention to other pressing matters for the subject of today's blog.

The first of two subjects concerns the marked prevalence of mobility scooters. OK, there ARE those who may be justified in their use of these unregulated death-traps but recently I have noticed that the elderly, fat and plain lazy owners/drivers are on the rise. Even in supermarkets, Asda in particular, which is becoming more of a chavs theme park, a day our for families on benefits, the supply of mobility scooters for the use of customers is encouraging those who just can't be arsed walking like the rest of us to mount up and charge around the store ignorantly blocking aisles and causing general mayhem. It's the fat blobs that I object to, squeezing themselves into the seat of their scooter like pouring porridge in a sock then slowly buzzing about, often blocking roads, like the bloated insects they are. Why is this form of motorised transport completely unregulated? Anyone with more than three limbs, over twenty-five stone or under eighty should have to carry their legitimate disability accreditation or have their scooter instantly confiscated.

The second, not completely unrelated subject, concerns swimming in a communal pool. For some reason, we, in the UK, cannot seem to be able to offer a clean and enjoyable experience when visiting either a public or communal swimming pool. Public pools are the worst with all manner of human dregs  clogging up the water like a festering deformed human soup. I attended the pool at the holiday camp where we have a caravan today to spend some time with Ed, who loves swimming. There are always those who enjoy and respect the facilities but there are also those ignorant tossers who make the visit a chore to endure. I'm surprised that there wasn't a scummy orange ring around the edge of the pool considering the amount of fake tan apparent and also equally surprised that some of the swimmers remained afloat with the amount of rolled gold, Elizabeth Duke apparel on show. One woman must have been taking on water rapidly bearing in mind the number of piercings on show. Unfortunately I had to stay for an hour and have to take Eddy back tomorrow. I think I'll take a shit early on and get the pool to ourselves.

OK, rant over for now. It's the Edstanator's birthday tomorrow. I hope he has a good day as Emma and the boys have really tried hard to do as much to make it so as they can.

Todays picture is Hitler meeting an alien.

Friday, 19 July 2013


Although dad arrived late last night, we did manage to have a few glasses of wine and put the world to rights. Waking this morning in a strange place (well stranger than normal) the magnitude of our current situation hit me like a rubber fish, sharp and stinging, right across the face. At the moment the important  bills that have failed, direct debits bounced include the mortgage from our joint account and the truck from the company account. There are others, but not so life changingly important as those two, which can stop any possibility of recovery, the others (I hope) I will be able to recover when the income ramps up in the next few weeks.

The doubts and fears that have been bubbling below the surface rose to swamp me with an overpowering feeling of nausea and hopelessness, which lasted until I arrived at the office. Ems was there beavering away with her latest editing assignment and was pleased to see Dad, and to a lesser extent, me. I sent the necessary emails which sufficed for the day and to set things up for next week, a lot of opportunities which are approaching the money shot.

We were let down massively when we failed to sell the Honda cub 90s earlier in the week and I couldn't see where the payment for the main bills was coming from. The boys, and Kirsty, were packed off to Fareham to Cash Converters in a desperate attempt to get some cash. In the time between them leaving and returning a few things happened that have restored my faith in humanity in general and re-affirmed my feelings of a few in particular.

First of all my dad not only helped out with the daily trip to Asda but also forced a few quid into Emma's hand to tide us over for a while, I am immensely grateful for this and even though pride provides an obstacle to accepting such offers I hope that I have helped out enough to warrant a justification. Secondly, a neighbour came round and gave us some clothes for Beth, as she is constantly complaining about not having enough and is growing like a weed this was extremely gratefully received, again I am so blown away at the thoughtfulness and consideration.

The boys returned having managed to sell only a few items, my life is almost like a constant task from 'The Apprentice'. They raised £28, which I divvied up between them as they had tried so hard. They had visited Kirsty's grandmother's house for her to collect a few bits and bobs as she is now effectively living with us, and I am glad that she is. She brought with her bags and boxes of stuff that would help, food, toiletries and such and again I was pretty grateful and rocked that such help was being offered.

I know that this all sounds so desperate and embarrassing but there is a time and place for embarrassment and now is neither. I believe so strongly in what I am doing and those that are involved in Cerberus that there is now no alternative but to crack on, I will keep trying to close the contract with Arqiva and keep applying every job that crops up. I have so many plates spinning, balls in the air, throwing so many balls at so many coconuts that it is difficult to keep track of the best options.

At this point, at home, I was overwhelmed by the help, care and consideration from friends and family in these troubling times and in that I DO include my sister-in-law, Liza. She has been there in difficult times and has supported us when Ems and I have suffered, and for that I do extend my thanks and eternal gratitude. Standing in the kitchen leaning on the work surface, staring at the microwave (it's lovely) I was closer to jacking it all in than ever. I had so many doubts and felt that I was, and am, letting everyone down with my inactivity and apparent failure to secure any real business. But then Will saw me looking so down and negative and merely smiled and told me that he believed in me, so sincerely that I instantly resolved to continue.

I checked the accounts online, more to see how bad things were, and saw that, again, the bank had blindly paid off my company credit card throwing my business account further into the red (they did promise me a hefty increase so I don't feel too bad) but consequently giving me access to ready funds to  pay bills. I rushed off to the cash point and withdrew the maximum amount, hope springs eternal ;-)

The business has so much potential and promise that we WILL succeed and I can only extend my genuine thanks and respect to all who believe and have supported me and my family in these rather awkward times.

Today a roller-skating parrot.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Being thankful for small things

I'm well into the longest period I've ever experienced without any regular income and, surprisingly, other than watching the bouncing direct debits and not knowing how I'm going to get back on track with them (I do have a plan actually) I'm actually rather sanguine. Today was probably the happiest and most positive day I can remember for months.

First of all I am enjoying working with my wife on a daily basis. She is far more focussed on single tasks than I could ever hope to be with my brain constantly running at a million miles an hour in an attempt to keep dozens of plates spinning. I try to imitate her approach and knock down the problems one at a time but that seldom works. So I scribble my plan for the day on a whiteboard and try to use that as a basis to structure my approach. Today I just wrote: INCOME - ABC (Always Be Closing) and that will do for now. The pending contract with Arqiva seems further away than ever with no contact from the guy responsible for making the final decision. I have applied for just under a hundred contract roles with most of the agencies not even bothering to reply by email let alone call.

Today my sister-in-laws husband, a rather septic little tick, suggested that I go and work offshore on the oil-rigs and sent some links. I'm not sure what world he lives in but an engineer is not just an engineer. After trawling through a few of the sites, most were useless but at least he bothered, I gave up and sent off half-a-dozen applications for shit I know I can do and my CV supports that. The problem I have is that I have grown, not just accustomed to, but rely on, the instant financial gratification that is the world of contracting and by taking a permanent job I may as well stick with Cerberus as within a month we will have a couple of revenue streams rolling in.

Secondly, after a very productive day, starting with a post mortem of the debacle that was our London 10K effort; insufficient technical support meant that we lost the stream and the customer refused to accept the link when re-established (understandable) and followed by discussions with three customers/partners who are keen to close the deal. I also furthered our pending partnership with a leading manufacturer of high-end satellite hardware when I confirmed that a colleague, cheers Pete, was finalising dates for demonstrations to two major broadcasters aligned with the armed forces. At that point the heat got to me and I buggered off down the beach for a bit of a paddle.

Charlotte stood and watched as splashed about like a three year old in exactly the same spot where, just over a week ago, I had an unfortunate accident and shit myself. Buoyed by the lovely weather I decided to collect Ed and return for a swim, which I did. Beth and Will joined us, although Beth failed to get more than her legs wet. She originally wore tights for the beach, buffoon! This is the same girl who wore hot pants tights and a light tee-shirt/vest on a visit to the Shetland Islands last January when we visited Meal Beach in a blizzard, good look Beth ;-) The sea was lovely and we stayed for over an hour before I decided I was knackered. Back home we went.

Our financial situation has also led to a more creative approach in the kitchen and the rediscovery of some almost forgotten meals. I had cheesy, hammy, eggy for lunch (an old Navy fave) and had to recreate this for Beth and Will before leaving to the caravan where I now sit awaiting the arrival of my dad from France.

The motivating factor for tonights blog was the drive to the caravan. I sparked up my iPad and
blasted Jimmy Buffett all the way, this always cheers me up and today was no exception. Love 'Mexico' and 'Someday I Will'.

They always say; 'The darkest hour is just before dawn.' We'll see. I prefer, and this is my personal motto which I have also posted in Latin:

'If you throw enough balls at enough coconuts sooner or later you will win a fish.'

In Latin (rocks substituted for balls)

'Saxa iaciunt, si satis ad satis coconuts citius aut serius, vos mos lucror pisce.'

And to finish a disturbing picture of a smoking monkey wearing a Fez (For Briggsy)

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

A few observations

Driving home a couple of days ago I passed an old man I've known for some time, he is commonly seen in his dressing gown, in the morning, leaning on his front garden gate smoking and watching the world go by. He's done this for years, yet, when I saw him the other day things were somewhat different. He was leaning on the garden gate and he WAS watching the world walk by. The subtle difference was that he was wearing an oxygen mask. I slowed the car to make sure he was alright, as I passed he removed his mask to take a drag of his fag before replacing the mask....

Fast forward, a good day, well sort of, another demo and probably the most important so far as this was the final demo prior to our 'Go Live' deadline on 14th July. It didn't go that well to be honest but we are closer to the complete package. Arrived home late and hungry. After a brief visit to ASDA, where I did something that I haven't done since the bad days before contracting; I replaced an item because I didn't have enough money.

I caught up with a few emails before looking for some food in our rather underused freezer. Joy! I found a box of sandwich steak slices awaiting my attention. Nice bread and butter with a touch of peri-peri salt and I was ready for some food, I checked the sell by date...shit...July the bin. After further checking the freezer, I discarded a number of packages including; fish fingers (Aug 2011), chicken fingers (Sep 2012) and mini chicken kievs (Apr 2012). Indeed after checking the remainder of the available food revealed that all I had to choose from and that was in date consisted of; spinach, cabbage and a small bag of chopped chillies...arse!

Monday, 1 July 2013

I don't often ask for help but I am today.

In 2008, Theresa West, Kirsty Parkhill's mother, was diagnosed with AML (Acute Myeloid Leukaemia) and after two months in hospital, devastatingly, passed away. Her daughter determined to make her mum proud and to raise as much money for a charity that works to relieve the suffering of those diagnosed with blood cancers and their families, recently decided to take action.

This beautiful young lady decided that she would shave her head and raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.

(Kirsty and Will about ten minutes before the shaving) 

I was somewhat apprehensive and more than a little flattered when she, shyly, asked me last night to take my fastest clippers and perform the task at some point today. For an extremely attractive 16 year old young lady, I felt that this was a massive statement and one which was not taken lightly in these days of promoted vanity and media induced conformity.

Will and Kirsty dropped by the office at lunch-time when Charlotte and I, reluctantly set to work. I must admit that I was somewhat reticent about the task and allowed my wife to take the initial steps with the scissors before wading in with the clippers.

Kirsty took it well and minutes later was sheared good and proper, bless.

I feel that for such a brave gesture from such a brave young lady the credit and acclaim that, is well deserved is rewarded with our generosity.

As such, I ask for all that waste their time reading my nonsense to please help me out and donate something, no matter small, to this worthwhile cause.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

The Apprentice, and, Dragon's opinion

Today was supposed to be a day off for me; a day before the real work begins tomorrow and one which I hoped would be spent relaxing and catching up with some non-Cerberus related stuff. Unfortunately, I decided that I would give TV, in general, another chance and watch a few programmes. I began with exhausting my recorded episodes of Deadliest Catch, when expecting bearded men catching crabs it is difficult to be disappointed, and I wasn't. Then I made the mistake of taking a suggestion from a friend and began watching 'The Apprentice'. First of all I understand the rationale behind the selection of the personalities for the show having worked on a number of reality TV shows. However, in the case of 'The Apprentice' it appears that the selection process involved lack of personality or realism, which would have pre-qualified the entire management from my previous paymasters.

The positive element that I took from this irritating, yet captivating, show is how not to do shit and that any approach to business different to that seen on this show is the correct way forward. In fact any show where individuals rely on winning in order for their business to be successful, and this includes Dragon's Den, should preclude them from ever being considered in the first place. Just an opinion and one which I will proclaim more vociferously if, and when, Cerberus succeeds.

On with the televisual feast.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Hope, false or otherwise, but hope never the less.

Truth be told, I was ready to throw in the towel this week, which was evident in the way I have continued to dress down through the week. I do realise that the way you prepare for a working day including the way you dress, breakfast and conduct your time has a direct bearing on confidence and hence results.

There are those who would feel superstitious about revealing potentially positive opportunities before they are confirmed and concrete. I, on the other hand, prefer to remain mindlessly optimistic about this and will always hold to the hope that if I maintain this approach, then one day, all will come good and, in the words of Bob Marley (as well as Edstanator) 'every little thing's, gonna be alright'.

Anyway, getting to the point, a number of things happened today that have prevented my towel throwing activities as well as backing the Hilux into the house and attaching a pipe to the exhaust. Firstly, Chris, my partner, shit better rephrase that as I've said it far too many times. Chris, my BUSINESS partner, finally released the idiot monkeys on Skynet to apply himself 100% to our cause. In fact, on that note I would like to state, once again, that the level of management and general business and (lack of) commercial approach taken by Astrium 3S, or Paradigm, or Government Communications, or whatever they wish to muddy the waters with a name change today, is beyond anything pathetic I have ever experienced.

A quick paragraph on that. If there are any corporate entities reading this, which is, hopefully doubtful, then, for heavens sake; never, ever, consider using the inept, arrogant, dinosaur structure offered by the clowns at Anchorage Road, Portsmouth. The amalgamation and downsize by Astrium 3S and Paradigm is a result of incompetence, lack of commercial knowledge and above all a slow slide, through arrogance, to a comedy nothingness that gives me confidence and hope. Cheers muppets.

Back to the hope. With Chris onboard 100% I can now move forward with a reasonable marketing and sales plan. Then, as I was expecting a visit from my partner, shit I did it again, the phone rang. It was the bank, well my bank anyway. It appears that I have been using my overdraft inefficiently and as such have an 8K option to extend and move forward. This fills a hole and allows me and Charlotte to resurrect the company and push forward. Secondly, our first gig for the London 10k road-race has been, eventually confirmed. I have an interview for a contract next week and Eddy came third at his sports day race.

There are probably a few more positive things to report but it's time to celebrate the basic happiness.

Can I ask a favour to you all? If you do take the time to read please like on FaceBook or please otherwise let me know. I know that there are a great deal of my friends and family who do take the time to read and it does help me and gives me the means to continue.

Thanks all.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Well I was going to write about...

a white paper I read today; 'The socio-economic effect of broadband in sub-Saharan Africa.' but then I saw this:

After 75Years Spam is now available in this 200g, easy to open, plastic tub. Available from Tesco early July and Asda a month later. How cool is that? Spam is a much maligned super-food. In fact, my memory of particular meals and snacks is somewhat limited but I do remember a sandwich I had somewhere in the wilds of Mali en route to Timbuktu.

Tony and I had driven 18 hours a day for four days at this point and eaten very little. We stopped at a shack in a rough village somewhere between Bamako and Mopti to buy some local bread, a bit like wholemeal flattish baguettes (the French probably have a specific name for this) and sliced up some Spam, very greasy in the heat, it was the most amazing taste, I felt slightly guilty as the local kids looked on in envy at my porky treat, sometimes religion can be a hindrance.

Thought I would share that. Maybe something a tad more high-brow tomorrow, although I doubt it.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Show us your hatch rash...and some slightly good news.

It struck me today, and not for the first time, that those who bang on about their time in the forces are generally those who have little else in their lives, or at least no alternative achievements to brag about. Don't get me wrong, I do respect and admire all of those who have given their time, blood and in most instances youth and freedom for a purpose and behind that a belief. To dedicate yourself to something takes heart, even if that purpose is not what others see as a just cause it takes character to do so and more to stay on that path. If you remove all arguments of whether particular conflicts are right or wrong, learning a place in a highly structured team environment teaches reliance and self discipline and that is priceless. Shit, listen to me ramble.

In the time I spent working with both Paradigm and Astrium I encountered many, many ex-Royal Navy    personnel. I was often embarrassed by a few, usually those who had risen to the dizzy heights of chief or fleet chief (un-capitalised on purpose) and had only ever had one job other than their current one. The title question is enough, no hatch rash, no real sea-time. I know I am a short timer and all that bollocks but my hatch rash is epic ;-)

A great day at Cerberus today, still no income but the Asda 'whoops' section is always attractive and helpful. Following our new, helpful and lucrative agreement with our primary suppliers we can now offer a Pay As You Go arrangement for those who need it and, I believe, that we are the first on the market to offer this particular service.

The good news, apart from the fact that I don't have to watch daytime TV, is that when I bought my trendy new trousers from Asda I had to downsize to a 38 inch waist. OK, as my doctor says, 'Meester Gledson, you obese' (she's Polish I think), but considering that I was up to a 44 inch waist four years ago that's good news. I only need to lose another eight stone and I'll fit in with my mates down the bus station.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Having time to waste time

After a good week another looms with the potential to go either way, beginning with a rather important meeting tomorrow afternoon at Blackfriars with our primary supplier which will shape our future in the most definitive of ways.

The latest Star Wars film has issued casting calls for major roles which means the production is about to ramp up, would love to get some of the action supplying the comms for the on=location elements, I guess we can all dream ;-)

I've been thinking about alternatives to my current situation, as in; if I had accepted the situation as I had lost my job as opposed to merely, 'shit my company has no contract', then I know that my attitude would be completely different. Granted, the effect is the same, no money coming in; from a contract or an employer it makes little difference when it isn't there. At my age, blimey, I never thought I'd ever admit that I was getting on a bit, the prospect of re-employemnt is slim to none, especially if there's an element of re-training involved. Not to worry, I'm not looking (not at the moment anyway) to do either go for a permanent position nor re-train.

I have found myself wondering if I had actually lost my job, in a permanent position type of way, and had accepted the lot of a career. Weatherspoon's is full of such, often a ten thirty, for a breakfast pint or three, followed by a few more, at some manky pub near a bus or train station. My point is that it is easy to despair and lose heart when things don't go your way. Endless mornings of daytime television, documentaries and repeats of Only Fools and Horses are motivation enough to get up and do something, anything!

I have also realised that until three weeks ago I have not been in a position to really understand the implications of running your company or indeed how much effort and time is required to break through into an area of operating profit. Pursuing the goals of Cerberus when earning from another contract is an ideal situation but it's not until there is no alternative but to go forward that any real progress, in a short time, can really be made. Desperation provides focus and focus yields results, now there is no time to waste any time.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Head above water? Oh yes...

Another week has gone by and I’m still ploughing ahead, indeed we have more team members working on this at 100%.

I remember a few years ago, more than a few, when I was still in the Navy. I, for some reason, unfortunately, seemed to attract rather active action stations on my ships and the time I spent on The Cumberland was no different. As a member of the aft DC party (Damage Control for the uninitiated) I was expected to await incidents where we would be required to respond immediately to extinguish fire, staunch floods, re-run cables and generally stop the ship form succumbing to the relentless attacks of a nefarious foe. On the whole this was rather tame, except from the time at Portland when the Green filth (FOST tossers) would throw thunder flashes and smoke grenades around like a cheap Janner wedding. Occasionally we would be required to visit the DRIU (Damage Repair Instruction Unit) at HMS Raleigh. This was a magnificent piece of machinery which replicated a large portion of a Naval ship complete with mess-decks, machinery spaces, galley and electrical supplies but was used to test the abilities of the DC units. To this end they could simulate a number of ways with which the unit could be struck and start to fill with water...don’t worry I am going somewhere with this.

In order to ensure that all were instructed, and understood the significance of all elements of damage control, the command of the sections were rotated and not the exclusive remit of the officers. On one particular occasion the command of an engine/machinery space was left to me. There is never a positive outcome when the action starts leaving the only question of, what point does the team commander give up on his task. I guess that you can see the analogy now. On that occasion I stayed until I was the last man in the compartment, evacuating my team and leaving only when I had no room to breathe. I’m not there yet, but, the point at which the decision is made to abandon the task is foremost in my mind.

There is a meeting with our supplier on Monday at which our position will be made clear and the support we require will either be accepted or not. If not, then we will be forced to take our hard work elsewhere, to another potentially more accommodating supplier.

We have a great deal of potential, hearing from one of our IT consultant advisors in South Africa a few minutes ago has only added to this.

Another a big push from early next week.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Hump day on week three of not having an income...

The snob in me feels that I have to mention that in the few years I have been blogging, this is the first time since my Timbuktu road trip in 2012, that I have had the misfortune, nay, displeasure, to use a PC and associated shit bits and bobs.

A pretty good day toady, meetings with old friends and the reiteration that the management at Skynet 5 are still a bunch of no nothing bell-ends, but we all knew that. A good demo which will lead to better things and, as they say in Monolpoly; 'An administrative error is in your favour...' collect enough money to pay for some of the direct debits.

It seems that, although there are a great deal of requests and interest coming in, our primary suppliers are going to be the problem. We have a meeting, Monday, I hope we can resolve.

As mentioned above, it's my first day for a while without a Mac and I find myself getting particularly angry at this poor PC, so I'll leave now.

I did have some really funny lines to post but can't be arsed to fight this keyboard so please laugh anyway.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Busy day with beef fajitas

After a bit of a punt on the event calendar, it seems that this approach worked with more than a couple event organisers responding immediately. Will chase this, as well as a rather excellent request to wifi up a regions towns centres.


Monday, 17 June 2013

Another day...another MacDonald's breakfast

Rather disappointingly when I stopped off at MacDonald's last Friday, just for a coffee, I was asked if I wanted 'the usual', I din't have the heart to say no. Today was slightly different in that I wasn't asked if wished 'the usual' and in that I did. It brings back memories when I was attempting something similar ten years ago when I became an expert, along with Monsieur Anfrew (typo on purpose, reason later) Briggs, could sniff out the biggest, cheapest and greasiest 'Full English' in the locale. Some of my best memories of this period, around 2002/3 & 4, involve large, thick rashers of bacon and a fried slice, awesome. I must say that my breakfast enjoyment has been shared by Emma, and I have had a great time working with her in the office.

For some reason, when we started off the company mobile phone accounts Briggsy was labelled as Mister Anfrew Briggs, when he rang to complain...well, the conversation went along these lines:

Vodafone: Can you confirm your name please?
Briggsy: Mister Andrew Briggs
Vodafone: We have you down as Mister Anfrew Briggs
Briggsy: Who have you ever heard of called Anfrew?
Vodafone: Just you mister Briggs.

Always loved the common sense of the call centre. (That actually happened)

A shift in approach again today as the goalposts have well and truly been moved by our main supplier. When I say moved I do in fact mean shipped off to two completely unrelated localities on a global basis, and by goalposts I mean a large bowl of jelly and a small fish. Never the less another forced shift in our approach has led to steps both forward and backwards. A company discussion is required as the landscape is now food, well for me anyway and an income for a fledgling company in order to achieve an operating profit.

Off to Hungerfordshire tomorrow to discuss matters with Chris, and hopefully a further meeting afterwards to better understand where we have been going wrong.

The new approach is  WiFi offering for events and festivals, already results are appearing.

Time for ribs.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

The big push Captain Darling and Superman the Movie

I had given myself a week to progress, succeed and, above all, start bringing home the bacon sufficiently to survive. Now that the reality of the situation has filtered through my rather limp defences I have changed my approach. In fact, my approach has changed on an almost daily basis, shifting with the feedback and market intelligence that flows from the real action taken.

The ability to dedicate 100% of my time to the operation has yielded exponentially increased results but, as I have mentioned before I need to focus on ABC...ALWAYS BE CLOSING.

Next week will prove to be the watershed I am sure. I have all of the support from all of the right people so have no excuse for failure. Looking forward to some additional support from some old friends which can only help and push us forward.

On an other, completely different, subject, what the hell is going with movie remakes? OK, I've mentioned this before and will do so again, this time in a bit more particular fashion.

Why on earth has the film Superman been remade? The fact that the premise is sterile and uninteresting has made no difference to the decision to regurgitate another banal attempt at the ridiculous idea. Consider, an almost omnipotent and indestructible being exists, protecting a small municipal area, hiding his identity with a pair of specs, marvellous. He is made vulnerable only when a small chunk of rock arrives from his home world. What a load of bollocks. A film entitled 'God's lunch hour' would be more acceptable, or 'Buddha gets a Macdonalds'.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Missed Thursday, but here is the Friday and end of week update

A busy week. Two trips to Shepperton studios, Pinewood, to the uninitiated, have pushed Cerberus into the forefront of certain areas of communications support a lot quicker than I anticipated. Also there are a number of interesting partnerships in the pipeline that will, hopefully, give us a chance to move in areas that we didn't expect.

That's the work shit out of the way, dull yet important. My life and approach to life has changed drastically over the past couple of weeks. OK, I have little or no income, but I am a damn sight happier now than I ever was when I was contracting for the idiots at Astrium. I am waking up and feeling so motivated and excited about working in the office with my wife that it's a bit scary. I'm sure that if this continues, and if everything I've seen from the adult film industry is to be believed, then my MILF secretary will keep me busy in ways I cannot imagine.

Contacts and ideas are rocking in at an amazing rate and I have the great opportunity to utilise the expertise of an old mate of mine, if this works we will be moving along a lot quicker next week than this.

Sam is away at the Download festival and even though he is approaching his quarter century (he's not, but it sounds good) I still worry. Be safe buddy!!

We may have to sell all assets, caravan, car, kidneys, but tonight we are here at Solent Breezes calm and in bed, sleeping. Hope for next week is paramount in my heart and I thank all of you who read and care about our situation, you know you are (V and M ;-) and my wife who I could not do without, IS NEIL BENNET STILL DEAD?

More later.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Wednesday and unsure

First of all I would like apologise for the pompous and negative tone of yesterdays post. In particular the bit where I state that I despise those who have not counted coppers to feed their family. That was badly versed; what I meant to portray was that I have a real problem with those who have not lived at the edge of financial ruin.

For today, I would like to thank Pete and Chris, we are not only getting somewhere but, also, our credibility is increasing with every meeting.

I can't say too much about the events today, but, I can say that we have decided to bite the bullet. There is no prize for second place, we need to go ahead and retain our resources in order to sell and be successful without a negative and greedy approach to the market. This we can do and we will, tomorrow.

I am still in the shit with the tax man, but, as I have now decided to wind up my consultancy company and focus on the services company, the way forward seems clearer.

South Africa remains on the radar, get well Mister M.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Tuesday and some thoughts on time etc.

We live in a blip in the geological calendar. I've said this before but will go through it again for the stragglers.

Our species has grown from a massive downturn in the numbers of humanity around the end of the last ice-age. We have recovered and multiplied like a plague, or indeed a virus. The last cull was likely to have been caused by an unknown geological event, as have all major extinctions, exterminations and extinguishment of dominant species for as long as we can be bothered to look back in time, with the evidence available to us. My point is that we are well overdue for, even a mediumly impactive geological event, another volcano, earthquake or landslip tsunami will happen, but when? That is even ignoring extra-terrestrial influences such as meteor strikes, comet interaction or solar flares.

Our race has evolved and grown, in a distilled fashion, only over the past couple of hundred years. We ignore trends, history and likely events at our peril, yet we stress about tax, money and independent financial gain as though they are the most important elements in our lives. A wise old man once said to me that when those who have experienced an out of body experience and returned to a 'normal' life have not only spoken of a 'bright light' but also of a feeling of judgement. The judgement was based, almost exclusively, on two questions:

  1. What have you learned?
  2. How have you enriched the lives of others?
There are worse ways, and rules to live your life by, but inconsideration, selfishness and lack of empathy are all too prevalent in too many people.

Blimey, that took more words than I anticipated, never mind, get to the point Johnny.

My relationship with HMRC is souring rapidly and likely to cause a few break up problems, pretty soon actually. Time, the subject of the blog, is the key here. Many, many breakthroughs and opportunities today, some too sensitive to mention, but they will take time. I can only hope; hope and keep pushing, trying and remaining positive, until there is no way forward.

A final note for today and one which I know will upset some. I despise those who have never striven, aspired or given all for their dreams. I despise those who live off the success of others. I despise those who have never counted coppers to feed their family. I despise those who have not put themselves second or even last. And above all I despise those who ignore those close to them because it is inconvenient or difficult.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Belief never dies (thanks Em)

It's been a rather bizarre day, as mentioned on my Facebook post.

As time progresses certain dates in time begin to hold a greater significance. Consider, we have a finite tie to live and pack as much into our busy lives as we can. With this in mind; we only have so many days within which to fit these memories.

It does seem , however, that certain dates hold more significance than others. Today, for example, continues to attract emotion and gravitas. Initially my dad's birthday and through that an introduction to the tragedy at Oradour-Sur-Glane:

Some time later though my mother died, following a long battle against a particularly aggressive brain tumour, on the same day.

As you can see, today, 10th June, began to take on a rather negative aspect so I can only hope that the news today for opportunities tomorrow, can change this.

Miss you're the first person Ems and I would always call with any life changing news.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Fear and Being Human being shit!!

Last night I awoke, well it was early this morning, at between three and four and experienced a feeling that I would prefer to forget. I worried. I awoke and spent over and hour worrying about the financial implications of my current situation. This is something I have done before and now understand the futility of the emotional stress and strain of doing so. Yet, I did this. I know that I am in a rather peculiarly difficult situation, but, by the same token, I am also in a rather peculiarly positive position also. Anyway, I lay awake for over an over worrying and stressing before I remembered that this approach is so counter productive as to be the worst approach to adopt. So I sighed and returned to sleep.

Now, hours later I see the sense, I see the way forward. This has been tempered with a positive call from Marko informing me that there is an immediate opportunity with our Angolan prospect. Time is a bitch...

I am currently selling personal assets in order to remain afloat, yet, such lucrative business opportunities present themselves.

On a completely different note, I was so disappointed at the conclusion of the BBC series 'Being Human' which I finally managed to get round to seeing last night.

What a continuity 'k up. The whole series was based on the fact that the devil was trapped in a manky old body for 100 years. Yet when the shit hit the fan, a sniper's laser assist appeared, the devil managed to leave his prison immediately. He then inhabited the murderer and left when the ritual was performed, only to re-inhabit the same body.

What a load of shit. Get a real writer, and a real editor!!!