Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wave Crashes On The Beach Of Expectation (So Far)

Whacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube ManImage by RedHerring1up via Flickr

Google Wave is the most-hyped new product launch I have followed since discovering that the Internet provided more than Instant Messenger, pornography and online gaming. Everyone has gone crazy for the shiny new potential game changer although the reaction I have seen so far have been mixed!

It's obviously too soon to dismiss Google Wave, especially as according to sources the API is where it's happening! Steve Rubel asks what problem does it solve? In the era of simplicity and the Attention Crash he feels that this is too complex. Even Robert Scoble has waved the white flag stating that service is way overhyped and as people start to use it they will realize it brings the worst of email and IM together: unproductivity. I feel that once the developers get their teeth into this then we'll see what's really under the hood but for now everyone should be patient. I'm accepting invitations if anyone is feeling generous, although I'm not prepared to participate in the Google Wave invitation retweeting that's become a popular trend. Alternatively if you have been accepted to participate then I would love to read your views!

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Graveyard Shift

Irish Pub, 1am, CorkImage by St Stev via Flickr

When all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; It's rare that I actually get to sleep before midnight as there are just too many distractions. Admittedly I haven't been that consistent with blogging which is an aspect that I aim to change.

The following fortnight should provide an opportunity to compose and increase the contribution! I have used social media to broadcast for a while but lately I have adopted a different approach as an outlet for communication. I now need to find the right balance to interact but also remain consistent!

I finally understand why so many people have admitted that they have become too consumed with lifestreaming as there is so much out there. I barely scratch the surface with my interaction compared to some people that I follow but it takes up a significant amount of my online activity. I'm currently reassessing many aspects, September was a difficult month but I'm on the ascendancy now. Haven't wanted to overwhelm with personal matters but I'm ready to get back to the future, where we're going we don't need wheels!!
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Monday, September 28, 2009

Twitter Raises Funding

My design for Twitter's "over capacity&qu...Image by Mykl Roventine via Flickr

The recent news that Twitter is now valued at around a billion dollars had me checking the calendar. It's not April 1st but an incredible development, especially as there are question marks surrounding the business model of the company. The $100 million they now have available will likely be used for acquisitions, projects and servers considering the well documented scalability issues.

Twitter is a conversation tool and although there are many that don't realise the benefits I find the service offers significant value. The people I follow share the same view and the investors obviously believe in the potential. The API and third party developers provide a solid ecosystem for the microblogging platform that could hold the key to monetization. How much would I value Twitter? That's a difficult question, especially as many debate whether microblogging has peaked and whether the founders will allow Twitter to become another Google acquisition. I believe that both instances will have a bearing on the future of the Twitter platform. What are your views?!

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Central Perk London

Central Perk 36Image by joedawson via Flickr

The Friends sitcom provided many memorable moments over the years. The opening theme "I'll Be There for You" by The Rembrandts has become synonymous with the series and whenever I hear the track it always makes me smile. I suppose we all became attached to the cast and followed their progress over the years. I have since passed the baton onto my daughter who has also become a fan, watching the episodes in the evening.

When I heard that Central Perk, the cafĂ© in Friends had opened in London for a fortnight to celebrate the hit sitcom’s 15th anniversary we had to attend. The morning wasn't the most productive but eventually we made our way to Carnaby Street. The queue was predictably large but worth it to relive where it all happened along with props from the show.
Props on display at the coffee shop include Rachel’s wedding dress from the first episode, Joey and Chandler's 'best bud' bracelets, the Gellar Cup, Brown Bird Cookies and a bar of 'Mokolate'.
I recommend attending soon if you share a similar affiliation with the sitcom. We really enjoyed Central Perk London and it was clearly popular, I took some photos from our afternoon which are available on Flickr.

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Trending Topics / Faux Paus

Will & GraceImage via Wikipedia

Head like a rock spinning round and round
I found it in a hole sitting upside down
You point the finger at me but I don't believe
Trending topics are a popular method of tracking real-time terms on the Internet. Through trends we're able to use search capabilities and the ability to mine the collective data from user messages for indicators of what's buzzing online. Finding popular terms online is relatively easy as trends surface around a topic and generate discussion.

Following fashion it's difficult to find the latest trends because it's not just about the trend, the latest look or this seasons must have outfit but also how well you can carry it! This evening I decided to introduce a bowtie and admittedly I haven't seen anyone working this -supposed- seasons trend. How was it received? I thought I managed to represent although when I was propositioned to become a 'shopping partner' it was clear that my area was not ready. I think that I will occupy myself with online trending topics for the short term :)
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Friday, September 25, 2009

Share, Share, Share

New Facebook Share has broken YouTube integrationImage by Lars K. Jensen via Flickr

Recently I have noticed that the amount of content shared through the sites I frequent has increased considerably. Most notably through Facebook which is primarily where I socialise with close friends and family.

People are beginning to share more photos, videos, news stories and activity from other websites. I'm not referring to the apps as other than through Facebook Connect I ignore these random farms activity and battle requests. The increase in shared items has also been acknowledged by Inside Facebook in a recent article published to the site.
Facebook’s overall goal is to get more people sharing more information, in part so it can learn more about them, and then target ads to them more accurately. The numbers suggest that this plan is working, no doubt aided by ongoing improvements to features like status updates and video uploading. These sharing increases — not just overall traffic growth — could be contributing to Facebook’s revenue growth.
More sites are introducing the ability to reshare, I mentioned previously the potential for anything to become a viral success. Sites that provide settings allowing users to easily share their activity with friends are going to generate exposure for the content and increase the likelihood that it will be reshared across networks!
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Thursday, September 24, 2009

System Overload

Kanye WestKanye West via

Recent changes have meant that I have had to make certain adjustments. I have more time available to interact with friends, media and experience the alternative side of social networking. I'm also expanding my Google Reader feeds I subscribe, not content with the latest sport, technology, microblogging and social media news.

I'm now searching for the latest music and fashion blogs that are worth following. That is such a Carrie thing to say right but seriously, I would welcome any recommendations. Kanye West provides an intriguing take on blogging, it's all about the CAPITALS! Whatever the perception of the artist following the VMA incident - which I personally feel was staged - the approach to content distribution works well. The site is engaging and easy to navigate which is probably why so many people contribute to the discussion. I feel more artists, fashion industry peers should take a similar strategy as this is appealing and easy to digest. I have reshared a few articles and videos with my friends and followers and the response was positive! Do you know of any similar sites that you would recommend?!
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Place To Post Everything

Image representing Posterous as depicted in Cr...Image via CrunchBase

Posterous is a microblogging platform integrated with other social media tools such as Flickr, Twitter, and Facebook. The platform has become popular for lifestreaming and is particularly designed for mobile blogging.

I have embraced the platform and feel through mobile technology, like the iPhone for example, that there is significant potential to reach the mainstream. I interact with friends and family through social networks, but I would like them to share experiences with more depth than just a brief status update or photo album. Posterous offers an ideal outlet for that purpose, remember there are more sites than just Facebook on the Internet..

When social media expert Steve Rubel declared he was moving his blogging activity entirely to Posterous the service received widespread attention. It has continued to grow in popularity and lately it seems that everyone has a Posterous. I have wrote previously about direction and looking to expand into other areas for lifestreaming and I now have the platform to achieve that.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Go Where? Gowalla!

Gowalla StickersImage by Keegan Jones via Flickr

I have been interested in location based services for a while and tried many different startups. This evening through coverage from notable sources, I was reading about location-based social network FourSquare. The service has raised it's profile recently although it's still not available in London.

Thankfully there is an alternative, The Next Web received an email about Gowalla which is a travel game that rewards you for visiting extraordinary and everyday places. It works in London as well and tomorrow I will be experimenting with the functionality. Gowalla has Facebook Connect and Twitter OAuth login and the option to reshare activity to both services. Zee from provides details on the four main sections to the application:
  • Passport: Your general overview of how many places you’ve visited (similar to a real passport) and a way to quickly “check in”, which lets Gowalla know that you’re currently at that particular address or “Spot”.
  • Spots section: Shows you nearby “spots” that might be of interest.
  • Trips: A related collection of spots. If you visit all the spots in the a “trip” you earn a certain a “Pin of Glory”, an award to you for completing specific trips.
  • Friends: Just like most social networks, these are the friends you’re looking to keep tabs on.
If you are a user of the location-based social network then please comment below and share your experience with the service. Currently I'm unable to import activity to the Facebook newsfeed and I haven't been able to locate an RSS feed. Anyone able to assist?

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Project Retweet, A Popularity Contest?

Twitter Bird With Music NotesImage by Salon de Maria via Flickr

Twitter launched a new default avatar this weekend, instead of the usual announcement a bug unveiled the design as the default for many users. They were quick to acknowledge the root cause of the problem and rectify what had occurred.

I wrote recently about Phase one of project retweet and that I felt Twitter should concentrate more on other aspects. I would like to see threaded conversation introduced as I want to be a part of a global discussion not an empty echo chamber. The retweet is central to how people share content on Twitter though and details are beginning to emerge about how the new retweet feature will work. At first glance it reminds me of the Facebook/Friendfeed 'Like' with the Retweeted avatars displayed underneath. Twitter is already a popularity contest so will this enhancement increase that aspect of the service?

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Everybody Loves You...

Britain's Got TalentImage via Wikipedia

I wrote recently that in the era of YouTube and user generated content anything has the potential to become a viral success on the Internet. Anything that has a high probability of being viewed and shared through YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google Video, MySpace, Digg, blogs, etc can become a "viral video".

I'm sure that you have watched many videos with 100,000+ views on YouTube and thought to yourself: "How has this video get so many views?" Content is obviously important but there are many factors involved that will influence the outcome of the material.

Today has been unproductive, Saturday provided the foundations and whilst attempting to recover I was introduced to a video that deserves attention. The improvisation was an inspiration, the choreography enlightening and the finale was sensational! The footage is taken from a Britain's Got Talent audition which is a British television show on ITV and part of the Got Talent series. Presented by British celebrity presenters Ant & Dec, singers, dancers, comedians, variety acts, and other performers compete against each other for audience support.

Embedding has been disabled by request but I recommend watching this footage because you need this in your life. If you feel this deserves recognition then I urge you to comment and express your

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Have I Got The Wrong Number..

James Dean in ClassImage by pheezy via Flickr

Recent developments at work have been encouraging and I have a renewed ambition but with an increased workload it went off the boil slightly this afternoon. Composure wasn't in our vocabulary because we were in pieces for most of the afternoon.

Trying to meet deadlines and respond to customer escalations was difficult but achieved eventually!

Listening to call observations earlier provided great entertainment! Set up the weekend nicely, I'm already optimistic for next week which I probably wouldn't have said a few months ago. Opportunities have become available to enhance the reputation of the department and my personal brand within the company! I'm certain that with the positive outlook this weekend will be an absolute belter..
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Not Ready For Prime Time, There's A Prototype For That...

Robot Attack!Image by Dan Coulter via Flickr

There's an App for everything it seems, with applications playing an integral role in our lives through innovation and functionality. I have many that I use frequently through Facebook, Google and the iPhone which offer many advantages. Facebook have now launched a new feature that provides the opportunity to try experimental products called Facebook Prototypes.

If you're familiar with Google Labs this is a similar project which I feel makes sense to allow users to test features which aren't quite ready for prime time. There are five currently available which are definitely worth checking out -
Facebook Prototypes let us share the experimentation going on inside the walls of Facebook with the rest of the world. You'll be able to test any of the products and features we launch as Facebook Prototypes and then provide feedback directly to those of us who built them. To access Prototypes, visit the Application Directory and filter by "Prototypes." From there, you can activate or download any of the Prototypes listed.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

This isn't a test, Sir...

The Passage of TimeImage by ToniVC via Flickr

“They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself” ~ Andy Warhol
A funny thing this time, we either have too much on our hands or we're struggling to meet deadlines and questioning our very sanity. Scientists believe that it's just a measurement of the earth’s rotation, this measurement of the speed of light and the energy that forms matter in our mortal existence. As we travel through the space we occupy making decisions, prioritising, taking on roles of importance. Making use of the time that we have available...

I have reached the conclusion that September isn't a good month! I'm enlightened as this month hasn't just provided a learning curve, I have reached the "hockey stick effect". Looking in the rear-view mirrors I now realise that "jumped the shark" couldn't be more appropriate in this instance!
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Facebook Introduces @Mentions

Gun & Doll Show iPod Speech BubblesImage by lawgeek via Flickr

Facebook announced a few days ago that it would be introducing Twitter-like @mentions, today they enabled this feature. When you update status or type a message onto a friends profile, enter the '@' prefix and begin typing a friends name, group, brand (that you're following) and a drop-down menu appears.

Admittedly you could write the names anyway but this update provides a trackback to the friends profile, group, brand etc. I can see this proving a popular feature on Facebook but I also expect that services that aggregate status updates like Friendfeed could see a negative response. Facebook again imitating popular features from rival services, did I hear Twitter mentioned at the back of the classroom?! Are we content with the amount of control we allow Facebook over our online identity?
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
Soon, Facebook will also allow users to tag friends in applications as well. Sound familiar? It's clear that Facebook has its sights on becoming a massive company on the order of Google, Microsoft or Yahoo. At the rate the userbase is growing, how long will it be until they achieve that vision?

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Monday, September 14, 2009

The Best Meme Of All Time?!

Kanye West at MTV VMAImage by Photo Giddy via Flickr

It's apparent that in the era of YouTube and user generated content any incident has the potential to become a viral success on the Internet. It's like the William Shakespeare quote “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” Through the ability to reshare and the increasing popularity of lifestreaming services everyone has influence. There's an emphasis on the ability to break news, contribute to the real-time conversation and have an opinion. What would we do without the Internet?!

I'm sure that you have seen the incident at the MTV Video Music Awards; Taylor Swift won the award for “best female video” but during her acceptance speech, Kanye West interrupted to inform everyone that Beyonce "had one of the best video's of all-time." Why?! Kanye West apologised after the VMA's but that didn't prevent the Kanye meme circulating which is everywhere at the moment! The video mashup entitled “Kanye Interrupts Obama” was well received and even President Obama responded - off the record - calling Kanye West a "Jackass". This looks like going the distance and has generated a tonne of press which have many indicating that this was staged. Especially after the Eminem/Bruno incident that also went viral earlier in the year! What are your thoughts?!

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Match Point

Amazing Roger FedererImage by toga via Flickr

This evening I settled down to watch the US Open semi final between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

It's been an enjoyable tournament with several incidents quickly spreading across YouTube. Novak Djokovic and John McEnroe entertaining the crowds proved popular, Kim Clijsters advancing into the final after Serena Williams was docked match point also generated interest.

Although Roger Federer tonight proved why many rate him as the player of our generation. Reacting to an impressive return, Roger Federer hit the greatest shot of his amazing career on the penultimate point. The back-to-the-net, between-the-legs running forehand in the US Open semi final was incredible to watch.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

(930) Days of Summer

500 DAYS OF SUMMERImage by althene via Flickr

Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love. Girl doesn't. I travelled to Vue Cinema, Greenwich (O2) this evening to watch the post modern love story (500) Days of Summer. Just like Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) I also became blindsided when I separated from my long term partner and tried to figure out where it went wrong.

Tom believed that Summer (Zooey Deschanel) was 'the one' but when they seperated he began a journey to rediscover his true passions in life. Like the character I shifted back and forth through various periods of when we were together looking for answers.

Our entire history is documented through different social networks and media, the rise of instant communication technologies made possible through use of the Internet have changed how we build relationships. We are a transparent generation, but should we be? The boundaries we impose online, the people we interact with and the content we share. Do we really know anyone personally anymore, have we all just become brands?!

(500) Days of Summer constantly reminds us that the two characters are different people with different ideas of a relationship. There are some beautiful moments in the movie and I was able to relate and find perspective. This is something I have lacked lately although I expect it will be a distance before I reach a conclusion!

Amidst the demise of the relationship are three children, I have been in this position before when I separated from the older children's mother. The difference here though is that I'm not the biological father of the youngest involved. It's not an amicable separation either and this means I have been prevented from any form of contact. I have found it really difficult because I raised her and the bond we shared is what any father has with their daughter. I don't want to right-click and delete everything because I care about her considerably as do the older children. I know that she will forget everything in time because of her young age but I won't and neither will my children. This is due to the fond memories and extensive history available through social networks and media. Providing a snapshot of when the pieces of the puzzle weren't so complicated!

This is not a love story. This is a story about love....

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Feel The Magic?

Trick or Treat cards ...Image by CalamityJon via Flickr

This week has seen plenty of speculation surrounding British magician Derren Brown who predicted the lottery numbers on live television. Many sources have wondered whether it was a scam, whether there was a split screen and questioned how he managed to achieve the impossible.

Watching the show this evening was definitely entertaining although I felt the method unveiled on the show wasn't the true explanation. Many people have created lottery syndicates and not experienced success but obviously where they have failed is because Derren Brown wasn't involved!

I believe that the mouse featured in the show could hold the answers..

After Derren Brown, I watched David Blaine and seriously I don't understand how he produces many of the techniques that he performs. Listening to him it's obvious that he knows how to entertain and provoke a reaction from crowds. I remember several years ago I travelled to London with the family to witness the 'Above the Below' challenge and he definitely pushes physical boundaries. An entertaining evening of television and a break from the usual routine...

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Facebook Lite And @Mentions Introduced

Facebok LiteImage by boogah via Flickr

Facebook introduced new features this week, Facebook Lite was officially made available after being discovered last month. The social network has returned to what first tempted me from MySpace. No Bells and Whistles, Vampires, Farmville or whatever the latest application.

The site used to be about socialising with friends, photos and catching up on gossip. As it entered the mainstream space though it evolved to introduce more features to engage and keep us locked into the social network. I prefer the new interface because the signal-to-noise ratio is definitely pro-signal now with the concentration being 0n the content. Many sources are comparing Facebook Lite to Twitter although the introduction of 'tagging' must concern the microblogging service more.

Tagging is the ability to tag friends in status updates and other messages from the publisher, similar to how Twitter operates with the @mentions. As you type the name of what you would like to reference, a drop-down menu will appear that allows you to choose from your list of friends and other connections, including groups, events, applications and Pages -
Friends you tag in your status updates will receive a notification and a Wall post linking them to your post. They also will have the option to remove tags of themselves from your posts. We hope that tagging your status updates and others posts from the Publisher will enable you to share in a more meaningful and engaging way, and connect with even more people. ~ Facebook
I have wrote many times about Facebook implementing popular features from other services and social networks. The introduction of tagging changes the game, bringing an entirely new referencing tool into the Facebook platform. What do you think of the feature, does this really make Twitter redundant?!

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

It's Only Rock And Roll

Apple's key note 'It's only rock and roll' eventImage by via Flickr

I'm sure that you're familiar with the announcements from Apple's 'It's only rock and roll' event. Hosted at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, everyone had read the speculation and today Steve Jobs returned to provide the details.

The introduction of new, video camera, mic and speaker equipped iPod Nano, iTunes 9 providing a collection of new features including the ability to share to social networks, and iPhone OS 3.1 which introduces Genius for apps and other improvements.

I'm currently updating to iTunes 9 and also iPhone OS 3.1, should have waited until tomorrow but like that was considered. For further coverage check out the many extensive live blogs and in depth analysis. Disappointed that the Beatles back catalogue weren't made available but I'm not too bothered as I have many of their albums already! [UPDATE] The app recommendations provided by Genius aren't exactly incredible, does that mean the service is flawed or personal choice of applications not being cool enough?! :)

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Closed Books And Final Bows..

Paolo NutiniImage by Alice J-T via Flickr

I really enjoy listening to live performances and I'm spoilt for choice over the coming months. Plenty of music to experience and through services like and Spotify I'm being introduced to new artists and genres.

Listening to Folk through Spotify was different but also surprisingly enjoyable as not usually a genre I would embrace.

Listening to music has been really defining recently. If it means I'm vain because I think that every song is about me then I hold up both hands. I'm guilty as charged on that statement! Last night provided what could be described as an encore. The show must go on but the closed book felt like it was accompanied with a bow and Paolo Nutini playing in the background..

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Monday, September 07, 2009

Spotify For iPhone Available Now

Spotify on iPhoneImage by cellanr via Flickr

I was greeted this morning with the news that the Spotify iPhone application was available to download. I didn't hesitate for a moment as the Internets have really got behind this one with the amount of hype being generated. I registered and downloaded the desktop client as well so that I would get the full experience and the ability to sync playlists.

Had I known that the desktop client had integration, providing the ability to scrobble tracks, I would have definitely installed earlier. Disappointed to learn that the Spotify iPhone app doesn't have scrobbling enabled but I presume that will be made available in future releases.

I wasn't able to experience what the iPhone app had to offer as it requires a Premium subscription to even progress passed the login screen. First impressions with the Spotify service are very good though and it's highly likely that I will subscribe when I have created several playlists and familiarised with the functionality. The Next Web provide a detailed analysis of what the application offers, limitations and are considering moving overseas to gain access to the iPhone app as it's not available there.

Many had expected the Spotify application to be rejected by Apple, due to the service providing similar features to iTunes. With Apple's iPod event Wednesday, I'm interested to see if we'll see Apple unveil any significant developments to the iTunes service. Personally I would like to see iTunes become more social, with Spotify being labelled as an iTunes killer will Apple respond accordingly?! Looking forward to finding out what's on the agenda..

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Sunday, September 06, 2009

The End Has No End

BirthdayImage by joedawson via Flickr

Today presents the conclusion of the summer holidays, tomorrow there will be no more 'I'm bored..' statements. They're back to school!

It's been an eventful summer for my children; they have definitely had many experiences, travelled to different countries and sampled exactly what life can offer!

Disneyland® Resort Paris was my highlight, the energy I got from them made the road trip worth every mile! I had high expectations for V festival but hopefully next year will be the one and I get to experience a festival w/camping! My daughter has also expressed an interest although I'll see what she thinks closer to the time!

All the best for the coming year, I have high expectations and I'm confident that both will continue to make advances.
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Saturday, September 05, 2009

For This One Night

Best wedding cake dolls ever.Image by ToastyKen via Flickr

"It's like I waited my whole life, for this one night.." ~ Chris Brown 'Forever'
Watching the Jill and Kevin Wedding Entrance Dance that recently became a viral hit on YouTube was inspirational. I would like to attempt something similar although I feel it's fair to say that without a partner at the moment it's going to be a while before I walk down the aisle with any prospective princesses! Onto this evening and I travelled to Essex to meet several work colleagues to celebrate the marriage of our manager.

Does that class as overtime?

She looked beautiful and the evening was amazing! I travelled with a friend and arrived earlier than anticipated so we made our way to the bar to start proceedings. We soon infiltrated the table area and joined in with the reception. I was supposed to have a sofa reserved at a friends place to sleep for the night but he retired early so I was effectively abandoned. Having just ended a two and a half year relationship I'm not sure why I suddenly have a reputation as a lothario?! Being advised to stay away from a friends teenage daughter and then told by the mother of the bride that she had "heard a lot about me" wasn't good?! Reminded me of the scene in My Best Friend's Girl and I will end on that note, wrong..

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