Category Archives: Life

Moving and shaking

Just checking in with PooterGeek to update you on my real life. In the day job, have moved offices in Tamworth from Tame Valley Industrial Estate in Wilnecote to space above designer wool and crafting outlet Tolsons Mill Yarns in Fazeley. In the evening job, I am now the lead singer of Midlands Stevie Wonder […]

How to get work done at work

Just as TED talks are becoming the subject of well-deserved parody1, via Business Insider, I find an old one  (2010) with useful things to say. Here, Jason Fried suggests ways the office can become a more productive place. I’m not entirely convinced by all of his solutions, but he doesn’t claim they are solutions. By the way, my answer […]

A Quick Plug

If you’re in the area this weekend, “Partly Covered”, the cut-down version of Sussex soul and pop band Covered will be playing at The Red Lion in the pretty West Sussex town of Arundel. And I’ll be the lead singer. Like this:Like Loading…


Mitt Romney is a US Republican Presidential candidate who has chosen a Right-wing running mate. All right-thinking people here know therefore that he wants to rape female college students and force them to have their babies so they can be child labour in one of his corporations’ asset-stripped factories. Or, if UK observers fancy themselves […]

Chuka Umunna on slavery

Chuka Umunna in The Voice on the question of a UK government apology for slave trade: African slavery and colonialism are not simply remnants of the past – they helped lay the foundations for the successful modern Britain of today. The effects of slavery are still felt in our communities – many cite the matriarchal […]

Socially Awkward Penguin Knows Your Pain

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If You To Want See A Briton Fight, Threaten To Bring Down The Price Of Her House

Rory Sutherland’s wiki man column in The Spectator is one of the few things remaining inside that magazine that might yet tempt me to buy another print copy. In his latest he sticks a finger through one of the biggest holes in the Tories’ buckshot “Big Society” balloon of bullshit: In one sense, it seems, […]

Tough Characters

In Web time, this is an ancient (1991) essay, so I don’t feel guilty that I can’t remember who drew my attention to it today: “Why Chinese Is So Damn Hard“. Someone once said that learning Chinese is “a five-year lesson in humility”. I used to think this meant that at the end of five […]

“There is an appropriate use for paper”

The Paperless Office, like The Flying Car, is one of those technological icons of the future whose ascendancy, no matter how much time passes, seems stuck in the future; but I reckon offices without paper are going to become more common more quickly than cars that fly. Indeed, we do seem to be printing fewer […]

The Smell Of Home

I’ve been known to be uncomplimentary here about Tamworth, the town where I grew up. Back in the 80s, an Australian barman once told a friend of mine that, travelling around England, it was the place where he had been beaten up most frequently for being Australian. And he was white. Thanks to Paulie for […]

Son Of English Teacher Resists Using Name Of Austrian Modernist Writer In Blog Post About Interminable Bureaucratic Torment

For the past four years, I have been involved in a dispute with a utility company over a sum that ultimately amounted to several thousand pounds. The company will remain nameless here because, today, thanks to the intervention of the relevant government watchdog, we finally settled without having to go to court. It is a […]

When It Hurts To Ask

Actually, it does hurt. It does hurt to ask the wrong way, to ask without preparation, to ask without permission. It hurts because you never get another chance to ask right. If you run into Elton John at the diner and say, “Hey Elton, will you sing at my daughter’s wedding?” it hurts any chance […]

Where Are They Now?—Taff Trot / Brummie Schoolboy Edition

Back in the 80s, I used to be in a band with a guy called Martyn Hope—indeed, we went to school together. Back in the 90s, having read that, surreally, Elvis revivalist Shakin’ Stevens was a closet Red1, I went searching online to find out if he was a member of a late 70s cohort […]

An Eight-Year-Old Watches Man U Versus Liverpool

From The Motley Fool: My 8-year old daughter enters the room. Millie: Aww, football?! Football is such rubbish. As the daughter of a life-long Saints supporter she has a point. Me: That’s true, but it’s not on for long. A lump of sulk flops down next to me. I try to remember why other teams […]

Diversity Training

The other day, I was (as one so often is) on the door at the latter stages of a central Brighton soul and Motown event with a mixed-race lesbian bouncer. She leerily told me tales of her days running sapphic club nights, and how the punters only really started to pile in when she imported […]

Jew Do You Think You Are?

Whenever someone implies that anti-Semitism isn’t racism, I point out that it’s one of the few examples of discrimination that really is racism (unlike, for example, the invented thoughtcrime “Islamophobia”1 ) because the Ashkenazi Jewish population is as close as you can get scientifically to the common (and deeply flawed) notion of what a “race” […]

Happy (western, heliocentric) New Year!

I hope that, wherever you are, you enjoyed the extra second imposed upon you by the imperialist forces of the dominant scientific-capitalist worldview and that you have a prosperous 2009. As for my year so far, I jogged wearily to the gym this morning, dreading the crowds of resolutioners (though it hasn’t been too bad […]

Jumpers For Goalposts

[UPDATE: For the hordes arriving here after searching for the comedy catchphrase “Jumpers for goalposts”, you’d probably be better off reading this.] Yesterday afternoon, I interrupted some desk-bound consulting work that, even if I weren’t prevented by an NDA from doing so, would put you to sleep instantly if I told you about it, to […]


A lot of people spend their youth experimenting. As my mother often tells people who really don’t want to know, I spent my youth experimenting: with chemicals, electricity, and the flora and fauna of Birmingham’s green belt. Just like my peers who took part in drug parties, random sexual coupling, and street violence—I suppose I […]

Geek At Work

And now, like a page from Where’s Wally / Where’s Waldo?, see if you can spot the wedding photographer in this [large!] image. He’s cunningly camouflaged by being the same colour as the furniture. (The camera to my left has a 50mm f/1.4 lens on it and the one in my hands a 100mm f/2.8. […]

Top Brand

Further to my last post about this, Russell Brand makes a proper apology to camera here. I can think of several politicians (amongst others) who could learn from it. He doesn’t mess about with words like “inappropriate”, which these days is used to describe everything from ironically referencing a passage in the Koran to trying […]

11.05 Miles

I typed the postcode of the house in which I grew up into the box here and it turns out that my childhood decision to support Aston Villa cannot be challenged under the manly rules of manliness. Like this:Like Loading…

Double Exposure With Cream

Remember that very “English” black-and-white print I made of a café in Hove? This supersaturated colour medium-format slide film shot of another corner café, taken in Argentina, is a nice counterpoint to it; even the angles of the shadows are similar. As the photographer says, the stock it was taken with came out of the […]

A Client I Won’t Miss

[BY TELEPHONE] CLIENT-I-WON’T-MISS: [giggling] …and I saw the pictures of that gay wedding on your Website. POOTERGEEK: I shoot Gays, Catholics, Protestants, Humanists, Blacks, Whites, Jews… CLIENT-I-WON’T-MISS: Well, I suppose you have to be prepared to work for anyone when you’re starting out. Like this:Like Loading…

Men Are From Mars…

Both of these photos are from the same wedding, at the most excellent Barn at Bury Court. I took the first on one side of the venue (with my camera in a transparent shower cap to protect it from the rain) and the second, later, on the other side, when the rain had stopped. Boys […]

Say What You Like About Joseph Stalin, At Least He Made The Underground Trains Run On Time

It was quiet here last week because I had a lot of things on—to the extent that I had to stop off at the 24-hour Tesco superstore in the small hours of Saturday on the way back from singing at a gig to do my week’s shopping. I’ve read some extreme tales about the goings […]

Brighton Carnival 2008

A fortnight ago, I shot the Brighton School of Samba at Brighton’s Second revived carnival. Congratulations to them. They went on to win the prize for best band. Like this:Like Loading…

Nokia 6300 Review

I had to replace my mobile phone recently, so I deliberately downgraded. After perfunctory Internet research, I got a Nokia 6300. If you are not one of the Young People and you use your phone for business then it is a most excellent tool. If you want to blog or surf the Net from your […]

Good Advice

These are both old (by blogging standards) and from the unlikeliest of sources, but I think they’re excellent: Marketer Seth Godin on how to send email and 79-year-old Catholic priest Pat Connor on how to choose a spouse. Like this:Like Loading…


Do you remember Wei? Well, Wei… …wed… …Bobby… …in Edinburgh earlier this month, and I was hired to shoot the event. It wasn’t my first tri-lingual wedding, but it was my first Cantonese/Mandarin/Scottish one. And it was the first one from which the happy couple excused me in the small hours because the tea ceremony […]

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