Tag: <span>London</span>

Home, fighting off a cold, thinking back over the past few days. London is always interesting, a hustling, bustling, somewhat odd place.

I spent Thursday wandering around with my mate, eating a huge, delicious salt beef sandwich for lunch, chatting about life, love, and more. We, as usual, set the world to rights, and caught up on everything that’s happened over the past few months.

And then we watched a burlesque show. If you ever manage to get to one of The Rebel Rebels shows, do it. Sexy, funny, I had a great night. Chatted to some fun people, including one woman (who was part of the show, along with her ukelele) who once was made a cup of tea by Guy Garvey!

Friday found me out and about on my own. I had no real plan in mind so wandered, both physically and mentally. Pondering photographs, considering the coming year, determined that it will be a good one. It was relaxing to have no real aim for the day, other than getting to the pub to meet a weird bunch of people who have things called “blogs” or use something called “Twitter”.

I don’t know either.

London remains an interesting place that is fun to visit but I just don’t think I could live there, or even work there. Just too many people. I like my wide open spaces (I spent most of Friday morning wandering Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park). The upside of London is the vibrant cultures, giving a wonderful mix of references, sights and smells.

Thanks to everyone, all 14 of you, who turned up at the pub on Friday night, some I hadn’t met before, all of which I’d happily share a beer or … 8 with again!


As I previously mentioned, I’ll be in London at the end of the week and, specifically, on Friday night I’ll be in the Ship & Shovell from around 6pm (probably earlier, I’m always early).

Several other people will turn up, some you may know online, some you may have met before, some you may have wanted to meet but haven’t managed to yet, and some you will want to meet even if you don’t have the foggiest idea who they are. You’ll also have to put up with me.

If you are thinking of going, but are a bit wary, please let me know. Most people will be bloggers/twitters, and none of them have two heads (ohh except him, but he always leaves early). It’s a ragged group of smart, funny, and down to earth people, the last twice I’ve managed to arrange something like this it’s been great fun.

Also, it’s in a pub. Pubs serve alcohol. What can be so bad?

Ohh and happy to exchange mobile numbers if you aren’t sure but want to check we haven’t moved on if you decide to come along (we won’t, although reception wasn’t great when I was last there), let me know.

Hope to see you all there, mine’s a Guinness!


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I’ve packed in my photography course, largely because the ‘lecturer’ was about as far from a natural teacher as I could imagine and, whilst it’s interesting seeing someone talk about the photos they took, I couldn’t face sitting there for 3 hours a night, 10 weeks in a row, hearing story, after story, after story.

Still, I have a new camera and I’m determined to experiment. I’ve got precious little time in the coming weeks, but the lighter mornings and evenings have kicked in so that gives me a bit more scope as to when I can go for a wander with my camera.

I’m also going to take it to Brighton/London next week, so that’ll be fun. Never been to Brighton. I hope it doesn’t rain.

Regardless, it’ll be good to get some time with my new camera, re-teach myself the basics as, for the last year or so, all I’ve had is my iPhone. It was a deliberate decision, not to have any other camera, and I find myself far more prone to a quick snap with it, allowing me to leave the camera for when I want to be a bit more thoughtful/artistic/expressive.

Time will tell how my usage of both the iPhone as a camera will balance out now I have a dedicated camera again, but it’s gonna be fun whilst I find out.

Life Photos

Right then you lot, let’s get this sorted out.

I will be in yonder London Town for a couple of days at the end of the month so this is your chance to meet a world renowned blogger, ply him with booze and hope that you can understand his Scottish brogue. Alternatively, it might just be me, but same rules apply. Apply booze. Repeat. Etc etc.

I’m flying down on the morning of the 24th (Thursday) for a couple of nights.

I’m already busy on the Thursday, drinks with my mate then on to The Rebels Elixir.

I’m staying in the city, so will spend the day with my new camera but as yet I have no plans for the evening of Friday the 25th. That’s where you come in!

I’ve managed to get a few people along for drinks in the past, and, let’s be honest, it’s an excuse for a few drinks, innit.

So, if you fancy a few drinks in the centre of London somewhere, leave a comment and suggest a venue. Somewhere central, easily accessible and cheap (I’m Scottish, remember) preferred. I don’t know London well enough to suggest anywhere so it’s IN YOUR HANDS!

What’s the worst that could happen?

Apart from bumping into me, that is…


I’ve almost finished my Christmas shopping. I have one more item (possibly in two parts) to buy and all that will be left will be to badly wrap said presents.

And I guess I should buy a Christmas tree at some point but that can wait.

Part of my longer term plan for the coming year, financially, was to get a credit card that offered 0% on purchases within the first year, and use that for the few remaining things I need to buy for the flat (a chair, some pots, some kitchen knives and maybe a new camera).

Alas I’m STILL waiting for my name to appear on the credit scoring system check against the electoral roll. It is more than a tad annoying. Nothing is hugely urgent though, although I may need new front tyres after yet another heavy snowy/icy night and the odd bit of sudden wheel spin.

As ever, with Christmas approaching, the weeks are starting to fill up with nights out and Christmas events. Mine kick off on Friday, with our team Christmas lunch, and include a viewing of It’s A Wonderful Life at the Glasgow Film Theatre, a possible ‘Moon’ night (weather dependant) run by Glasgow University, a couple of nights out to clubs, the Company Christmas ‘do’ and the Monday before Christmas a viewing of TRON: Legacy at the IMAX (wheeeee!).

After all that lot it’s just the usual eat, drink, sleep pattern from Christmas through to Hogmanay.

I’ve already got some things sketched out for the New Year, including a few gigs, a photography night class, and I’m thinking about a wee trip to London in February.

But enough of all that. One thing I won’t be doing, as I’ve rarely managed them in the past so thought I’d just skip them all together this year, is any “Best of 2010” lists. It’s been one helluva bumpy ride this year, but it’s ending on a high and I’d much rather look forward to 2011.


One of the reasons I started this blog was as a way of exploring my thoughts about our profession, from specific issues to wider themes. It’s only been going a few years, but I’ve learned a lot since then both writing here, and reading the thoughts of other bloggers in this industry.

I live and work in Scotland, far from the thriving centre of capitalism that is London and the surrounding areas, M4 corridor and the like. There aren’t all that many Technical Communicators in this neck of the woods so blogging helps me keep up to speed with the latest trends, and with fellow technical communicators.

I don’t really have much other motive than that, to be honest, so I was more than a little surprised to find out that I’ve been included in a list of the 25 Most Influential Technical Communicator Bloggers and, looking at some of the names on the list, I’m hugely flattered to be there.


Travelling back from London last week, I landed at Glasgow on time so knew I had 30 minutes to kill until I was getting picked up. Plenty of time for a coffee and to continue reading the book that had held me engrossed for the short flight.

Seating was at a premium, but I spotted a low, comfy looking seat over by the window, across from a man who was sitting quietly, staring out the window. I enquired if the seat was taken, he assured me it wasn’t.

I sat down and, as I tipped some sugar into my coffee he turned to me and asked where I was going.

“Ohh I’m actually just back from London, just waiting on getting picked up. You?”
“I’m waiting too, my wife lands in three hours and I know I’m a bit early but I’ve not seen her three months as she couldn’t get a work permit”, he said.

And so I found myself chatting to a complete stranger about how he had travelled to China to receive treatment for a rare disease, a disease that had brought about the end of his 15 year long marriage, and how he had met and fallen for one of the nurses who had cared for him whilst he was there.

He was very open, talking about how close to death he had been, about his divorce, and about how excited he was to be seeing his new wife again. He talked with passion about China, the people and the culture, he talked with fondness about his wife, and his ex-wife, he told me about how his sons had been accepting and understanding, and the whole time he smiled.

I don’t know his name. I don’t know if his wife’s plane landed on time, I don’t know if his disease will kill him in the next few years, or whether he will out live me.

But I like to think she turned up and they are as happy as he looked that day when he was talking to me.


Organised under the ISTC, we hope you can join us for these events which are complimentary and open to all.

London Group, Adobe Offices, Regent’s Park
Sponsored by Adobe
What: The Potential of using Video in Technical Communication

When: Friday April 30th, 13:30 – 16:30
Followed by Drinks Reception and Finger Buffet hosted by Adobe
Where: Adobe Systems, 12 Park Crescent, Westminster, London W1B 1PH
Who: Everyone’s welcome (there’s no need to be an ISTC member), but places are limited
Cost: FREE

About This Event
Video is beginning to be used more frequently in technical communication. This event offers you the chance to get to grips with the basics, offering a hands-on introductory training session with Adobe Captivate, one of the popular tools available for creating and editing this type of video. We’ll also explore some of the pros and cons of using video in technical communication in a short discussion, and there’ll plenty of opportunities for networking and talking over your ideas with other technical communicators in your area over refreshments.

Matt Wicks is a professional trainer and developer of applications and eLearning within the Flash platform. He is expert in Captivate, and will provide an in-depth training session on the uses of this application for Technical Communicators.

To reserve your place, contact Elaine Cole: istc@istc.org.uk

New! Southern Group, The Brittania pub, Guildford
What: Social/networking meeting

When: Monday March 22nd, 18:30 – 21:00
Where: The Brittania, 9 Millmead, Guildford, GU2 4BE
(5 minute walk from Guildford station public car park outside pub)
Who: Everyone’s welcome (there’s no need to be an ISTC member); if you’re interested in technical communications and you’re in the area, come and meet your peers
Cost: FREE to attend; you’ll need to buy your own refreshments at the bar

About This Event
This is the first meeting of this brand new group, and will offer an opportunity to meet other technical communicators in the area in an informal setting.

Coming up!
The Southern Group is already planning an April event which will include presentations by fellow professionals. Watch out for more details in the ISTC’s InfoPlus+ newsletter.

To attend the March event or to register your interest in the April event, contact Elaine Cole: istc@istc.org.uk

Cambridge Group, CB2 Bistro, Cambridge
What: Social/networking meeting

When: Thursday March 25th, 19:00 – 21:30
Where: CB2 Bistro, Norfolk Street, Cambridge
Who: Everyone’s welcome (there’s no need to be an ISTC member); if you’re interested in technical communications and you’re in the area, come and meet your peers
Cost: FREE to attend; you’ll need to buy your own refreshments at the bar

About This Event
This is an opportunity for anyone interested in technical communication to get together with like-minded people in an informal setting, over drinks and/or dinner (some attendees will be ordering a meal, but it’s not obligatory).

To attend this event or register your interest in future Cambridge events, email Richard Truscott and Jeff Bronks: cambridge_areagroup@istc.org.uk


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