Happy 100th Birthday Captain Tom!

Yesterday the UK celebrated the 100th birthday of a man many of us didn’t even know a couple weeks back. Captain Tom Moore, born 30th April 1920, served in the Second World War and even in 2020 is making the British people proud.

He decided to raise money for NHS Charities Together by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday, with an aim of raising £1,000.

He raised £32 million.

For his incredible achievement he received a guard of honour from the 1st Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment (at a safe distance) on his final lap.

On top of this, the RAF surprised Tom with a flypast by a Hurricane and Spitfire over his home.

He said of the event:

‘I am one of the few people here who have seen Hurricane’s and Spitfire’s flying past in anger. Today they are flying past peacefully. That’s what’s outstanding’.

He was sent over 150,000 birthday cards by the public and from people all over the world. He also got a personalised birthday card off the Queen.


A happy message I wanted to post about, and an incredibly moving and inspirational story. I literally filled up watching the flyover by the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, even if it was on TV. It is amazing to see what can be achieved by one person and how we can all be inspired by such acts.

Happy Birthday Captain Tom!

Life is fragile

Not long after I blogged about London Bridge it witnessed another terror attack. It is extremely sad to learn that two people died and I hope the injured make full recoveries. It has really put me off crossing this bridge, or any in London for that matter. I know it is pretty illogical to think like this though as these things can happen anywhere at any time. But on a bridge there isn’t many places to run.

I was working at the time, on a 7am to 3.30pm shift about a 7-8 minute walk away. My GM was reading something on his phone and said ‘Sam, don’t tell anyone to head towards Borough Market, there’s been an incident’. Naturally I got my phone out to see if there was anything on the news. I also went to text my mum in case she was worried, already seeing a text and missed call from her. After notifying my mum and sister I was fine I had to keep working and actually wasn’t able to leave work until closer to 6pm. It was a busy day and for charity we were holding a gin tasting event, I was allowed to have a couple of gins after work after a small donation and this helped to take the edge off the day.

You could see the police race down the busy street to the scene as it was happening, four or five cars and vans bravely rushing to the incident. I cannot imagine what that would be like. Nor can I imagine being on the bridge at the time, especially for those that fought the terrorist and for those that were stabbed. So close to Christmas too, but sadly that’s often the case.

After work I walked home, the area around Borough Market and the whole bridge closed off to public. I have recently decided to take smaller, quieter roads home that for so long had been the opposite to what I have been told. It is strange how the age of terrorism has changed things. Usually in emergencies we are told to walk calmly to safety, now we are told to run. The busy, well lit streets are now the ones I try to avoid. The less people, the lonelier, the better.


Police cars stopped traffic before stopping pedestrians, I could walk a little further before we were also stopped. My typical shortcut was the last street to be accessible to public, the road no longer full of vehicles but flashing lights and news reporters. It felt strange taking photos and videos but I am not doing it for fun. I have blogged about my life for the last 5 years or so and it would be strange to leave something like this out. Especially as it is currently affecting my day to day life.


I could get a little closer walking around the blockage to Borough High Street, at this point I was still trying to understand what had exactly happened. I heard a few things before leaving work, there was a stabbing, a shooting, a shooting on a bus… the usual mix of stories after something like this. But Borough High St looked like a movie set for all the wrong reasons. Cameras everywhere, police and London buses that had to be evacuated and abandoned now it became a crime scene.


You can see in the far left of the above photo, a policeman moving some signs. These were signs left by people- or maybe taken from people- saying things like ‘love will win’, ‘no room for hate’ and so on.

I would like this to be true, but sadly it will take a while for things like this to stop. It will also take more than a couple of signs after an incident. Now in my earlier days of blogging I would have been more than happy to have a rant and get my opinions out there on this kind of thing. But over time my opinions change, and I am realising that trying to talk on topics such as terrorism, religion, politics, immigration etc isn’t easy and very messy. Not to mention dangerous and that conversations with both the left and the right is getting more and more difficult without someone being triggered. All we need is conversation. Even if it is infuriating and with someone closed minded or with opinions different to ours, if they are willing to chat that is the most important thing. Cherish any conversation with someone that is willing to sit down and listen, even if you don’t agree with them.


Today the weather was beautiful. London Bridge seemed to be getting back to normal, traffic is moving again with a police presence.


The bridge seems to be open again, with the pavement where the attack took place still closed.



Christmas time is always magical, but is always a time when certain people want to do the cruelest of things to ruin the holidays. This is tragically the case for Jack Merritt, 25 and Saskia Jones, 23, and their families. They were the ones that lost their lives a few days ago, it turns out this happened in a building not far away. London Bridge was where the attacker was finally brought down and shot.

Life is fragile, and unpredictable. One minute we can be worrying about buying presents, planning holidays and what to have for dinner this evening, the next we are no longer here. It really makes me realise what to prioritise in life and that 99% of problems aren’t actually problems. It also reminds me that I should contact my family every day. We have been ever since my dad passed. Life seems to be a road that every year becomes more and more like a tightrope. And I am trying not to take every day for granted like I used to.

RIP to the young adults that lost their lives, and stay safe everyone wherever you are.

Can you see the $170 trap?

So in recent months Brisbane has received these Lime Scooters. And before I get into the post I just want to say I love them. I’ve been scooting up and down the streets of Brissy like nobody’s business and they can hit some pretty high speeds, not to brag but I am sure I heard a sonic boom as I put my thumb down on the accelerator riding through the Botanic Gardens.


But you have to be careful as many people have been hit with hefty fines for not sticking to the rules.


I was at a barbecue recently with my work friends as a colleague finished his employment with us. Two friends rocked up on these Lime Scooters, you can pretty much find them anywhere and the app allows you to locate where they are. After getting off the scooters and sitting down, one of the riders and someone that arrived by car both stated they have been fined in the last few days. The reason for the fine was riding without a helmet.

One colleague mentioned that as he was in line to pay the fine, the line was ALL people waiting to pay a fine. Thousands of dollars in fines right there for lack of helmet use.

The problem is hardly anyone uses the helmets, and many of the scooters- like the one I uploaded above- don’t have one. Probably thrown in the river by drunk people. But people get on them and ride off, not realising the risk of being fined. There are so many I just cannot warn them as they ride by, I just have to hope an officer isn’t waiting around the corner.


Whilst on this river walk the another day I saw for the first time someone being caught. An officer caught up to the riders on a push bike, using a modest bell in replace of a siren to catch their attention. Funnily enough if they just rode off at full speed they could have probably got away, not that I would promote that kind of GTA style behaviour on my blog but without a number plate, what could the officer do? Maybe track the scooter ID and the user, I’m not sure. On top of that, they were helmetless and riding the same scooter, hopefully that didn’t increase the fine. I tried to take a shot of the low speed chase but couldn’t get them all in whilst walking by. Shame.

Every single day dozens of people ride by, blissfully unaware that at any moment they may lose $170 in the blink of an eye. A lot of them tourists using their limited time in Brisbane trying to have fun, which is a shame. But on the other hand they go fast, and coming off would hurt. A lot. And Australia is big on it’s health and safety.

I wonder if the other cities that have these scooters are as strict on helmet use, and are being fined as much? They are being trialed in Brisbane before being introduced in other cities, looking at their website it seems like they are also in Sydney. The whole list of worldwide cities can be seen here over on the Lime website.

Does your city have these?

One of my favourite vloggers, Casey Neistat, uploaded a video about these. Interestingly he mentioned that where he was in the States they require a photo of the front and back of a drivers licence which isn’t the case here.

Here is the video.


Let me know what you think of them, and if you have them where you are, I highly recommend them!

Just wear a helmet.



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Happy blogging,


Is this building ugly? Pt 2: An update on the Sirius Building…

Can you remember a few uploads back on Wednesday, I posted about the Sirius Building on The Rocks in Sydney? A concrete building that I did not particularly like the look of, although some of you had mixed feeling towards it.

Well, it turns out that the last resident, Myra Demetriou has left the building.

Sirius building
Yesterdays farewell event. Photograph: Ben Rushton/AAP

The Sydney Morning Herald website states that:

Following the state government’s 2014 decision to sell the site and invest the proceeds into social housing elsewhere, Ms Demetriou has featured prominently to the campaign to allow Sirius residents to remain.

The campaign being the Save Our Sirius Foundation, or SOS for short. They even made a cake in the shape of the building for Myra’s farewell event.

sirius cake

So oddly, my post was published very close to the last occupant leaving. Pretty crazy timing, I must say. The Guardian in the UK also has an article on this, and briefly describes the reason for the state selling the building:

The sales are designed to fund cheaper and more accommodation elsewhere, in the hope of easing the state’s huge waiting list for public housing. It has variously been described as “heartless”, a form of aggressive social cleansing, and short-sighted.

Not many people are happy with the move, that is clear. SOS has also shown interest in buying it from the state government.

I try not to sound too much like the media when posting on these kind of local news stories, however it is hard not to. I won’t keep blogging in this style or nature, as I feel I am just copying and pasting other websites coverage. If it isn’t my own work, I don’t want to put it out there. This story was one that I had to post however, as it was directly linked to my recent post Is this building ugly?

So the question still remains, will it stand the test of time? The answer will be revealed sooner than I imagined.

Photographs taken from The Guardian, courtesy of Ben Rushton/AAP.

The art of being kind

I hardly ever watch TV, and since arriving in Australia I haven’t watched any TV other than the period before work when I am at work and trying to chill out. Today I was watching the news and the terrible story of a teenager that killed herself as a result of bullying last week.

Her name was Amy Everett and she was only 14. I don’t know how she took her own life but that doesn’t really matter. The point is that she did, and it was because people pushed her into doing it. Cowardly people going out of their way to make sure someone else suffers for no reason other than some kind of deranged self-fulfilment. I instantly fill with rage when I read this kind of thing, because I too suffered at the hands of bullying as a child. I can only try to imagine how bad the bullying has to be to end it all in this way. I never reached a point that I ever considered suicide and thankfully I was able to escape it with the help of family and friends. Some people don’t have that escape. The only escape is to take that giant leap from it all, not too different from those jumping from the towers in NYC back in 2001, except these flames are in the form of hatred burning in the minds of evil individuals. An entirely avoidable death if people could learn that being mean is an option and the option of kindness is much easier and much more respectable.

Could you imagine a world in which people decided against being mean? Instead of using their precious time to cause suffering, decided to write a song or learn an instrument? Take a walk on the beach or write a blog post? It seems like, taking this into account, people really feel the need to bring others down. It takes conscious effort to set the laptop up, switch it on, type in the password, log onto the internet and find someone to insult. It isn’t just a passing comment in the street. Some people clearly possess a great urge to cause distress and whether or not this is made easier by online anonymity is irrelevant. If anything the ease in which people can lead victims to suicide and log out without a trace makes it a much bigger concern.

I can only assume those doing the bullying are going through some kind of trauma themselves. Whether it is a repercussion of mental illness or being a victim of bullying themselves, there will be a reason. There has to be a reason. Unbelievably, as I get older I still see typical characteristics of a bully in adults. Adults! Whether it is my place of work or on the street, bullies are everywhere. Some of them simply don’t grow out of it and keep the same psychopathic behaviours on display. I am sure many of you still suffer these individuals. The hatred I feel building up as I hear such a story dies down as I try to understand the nature of a bully. Some people are no doubt born with this unfortunate urge. Others give it out as a mental release for their own suffering. It could be argued that a bully needs help as much as the victim.

As I type these words, I hear people claiming this suicide was an overreaction. ‘It is only online trash talk, don’t take it so seriously’…. ‘Why take your own life because of random people on the internet? Just block them and move on’. I admit, I find online bullying something foreign to me. But then again as a guy in his late twenties, I did not grow up with social media being a huge aspect of my life. Social media is a huge part of life now, this is something we have to accept. A quick Google tells me that teens spend more than one third of their day on social media, up to nine hours. That is a huge chunk of the day, and a huge part of life. If hours upon hours of the day are spent receiving insults and threats, that cannot be good for mental health.

This story got to me. It got to me as the nephew of an uncle and auntie that I lost to suicide and someone that knows mental illness very well. The only comfort I get from the suicides in my family is that they weren’t brought on by people. The illnesses my uncle and auntie endured weren’t consciously going out of their way to cause misery. Instead they are conditions that are still we are still trying to learn about and find cures for.

The art of being kind is one that so many people are unskilled in, I say ‘art’ as it seems like something that many people need to be taught. The nature of bullying is tragic as it involves people trying hard to bring people down when there is the option to be kind. A cure for this cannot come soon enough.



I know I said I would spend more time taking photos of places other than Circular Quay, however I have to admit I still take shots here almost everyday. Recently, Ovation of the Seas came to port and it would be a shame if I didn’t update you on this particular vessel.

Decks: 18

Maximum Capacity: 4,905 passengers

Length: 1,142 ft (348m)

Tonnage: 168,666

Can you see the stand out feature? The North Star Aerial Observatory on the top deck rises to allow passengers a 360 view of the environment, 90m above sea level. Apparently, this reaches higher than the pylons of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. As you can see, the observatory raises as I get closer to the cruise. 

I think this next shot is my favourite, one half in the shade and the other half getting all the sunlight.

Look at all the lovely people…

A pretty impressive sight. To think each and everyone of those relatively small squares is a pretty big room and balcony, it really does help to comprehend the scale of this thing. It’s a beautiful monster.

Do you have a favourite shot of the above? Do let me know 🙂


Not so fun fact: There was a gastro outbreak on board this vessel as I was taking these shots, roughly 200 people were ill as a result. I guess that is the negative aspect of being around almost 5000 people with nowhere to go. 

This is not a post about Harry and Meghan

The WiFi in my flat decided to stop working today, so after sticking my head out of the window and feeling a good bit of sunshine hit my face I decided to head to the beach. I like to blog on the move. It keeps me busy, I find nothing less stimulating than being stuck in one place. That is what prisons are for.

As I closed the laptop to stuff into my bag, I noticed the loose change jar behind it looking pretty healthy. I have been taking loose change out of my wallet (any coin smaller than a 50 cent piece) and dropping it into the jar. A little saving and a hell of a lot less weight in my pocket. As I was leaving the door my mum, back in the UK, sent me a message over Facebook.

‘Prince Harry is engaged to Meghan Markle x’

I instantly went back to 2010, a 21 year old living in Texas. Kate and William were getting married and the first question I was asked by Americans that overheard my accent was ‘Will you be watching the Royal Wedding?’. I injured my back and called in sick for a few days around the wedding, so the answer is yes I did.

I am not one to winge about the news being ‘not news worthy’. Nor complain about the Royal Family in general. They bring a lot of money into the UK and they aren’t going around beheading like the royals of yester-century. They work, they seem genuine and they can’t really help the role they have been placed into. That being said, it must be crazy to have your face on a coin or for Harry, have your nan’s face on a coin… not just in the UK but worldwide. Back in September of this year I made the three hour train journey to London before departing on a 39 hour journey to Sydney. The round-the-world journey taking me to a far away land with different animals, accents, sports and seasons. One thing didn’t change. The faces on the coins.

To think, Queen Elizabeth II had no idea as she was being formed in the womb of the life she would lead. The status she would inherit, the wealth she would obtain and the life long-role she would see through. Typing this into a post reminds me how crazy this is. It seems so outdated yet this is still the case in the same year we have invented life-like robots able to perform back flips. She didn’t build this reputation in life like Elon Musk or Bill Gates, it was waiting for her. This doesn’t mean she hasn’t worked hard or neglected the role. We live in a world that doesn’t make sense and those born into it have as much of a say as we do, those of us born into a life of less wealth and power.

So that is my thoughts today, and often my thoughts as I look at the loose change holding me down. It could be worse, I could have been born with some crazy status that despite putting me on one of the biggest pedestals of all, limits my freedoms. It isn’t bad to be born with increased anonymity, it gives us the freedom to be whoever we want to be and wear the crown of our choice with enough work ethic.


I don’t know who the lady is in this piece of street art, but she looks like she means business.


She probably just heard the news that Trump has reversed a ban on ‘trophies’ brought into the US consisting of elephant body parts killed in hunts. A move that has infuriated many people, including animal lover Ricky Gervais.

Maybe it’s not that. Maybe she wants gender neutral bathrooms. Maybe she doesn’t?

Who knows, there are so many avenues for us to vent anger and frustration in the world, maybe she just wants to climb down from the wall and have a beer in the Irish bar a couple blocks down. Heck, after a few beers there I may build up the Dutch courage to talk to her and ask how she is feeling myself.

Making the iPhone great again!

To segue beautifully from my earlier post today, an Apple/consumer story right in the heart of Sydney’s CBD.

I walked by this sign as I was entering the Apple Store on George Street after an appointment with one of the geniuses. If you didn’t know what happened, I dropped my iPhone in water and unfortunately I just have to wait for it to shut down. So far it seems fine, although it can be troublesome when trying to charge.

I noticed a few people, but not too many, queuing outside the store. The message on the board- organised by Youtuber Dave Lee- states that they are building ‘the worlds longest line’ and to join the queue you need to head to the Facebook group ‘We Are Making iPhone Great Again’.

Sadly, I cannot find the Facebook page.

It reflects what I was saying in my most recent post The Biggest Insult is to be Considered Normal, with the trend of queuing outside of our favourite stores for hours or even days for the latest product. It seems this time round people wanted the glory of being first without the effort. 

Is this a sign that people are less interested in being the first for a product that millions will inevitably buy, or that consumers want the glory without the commitment?

Featured Image: @lukehopewell

Our love/hate relationship with logic and reason

As I wake up this morning I understand that over 50 people in Las Vegas did not get the chance to. Beyond tragic. People having fun, enjoying life and being punished for it. It is hard to make sense of this crazy and dangerous world, a world that opts for faith over reason and prays even harder when unreasonable events occur.

Two people registered themselves safe on my Facebook news feed as they are currently on holiday in Las Vegas. Say what you like about social media, this is a great tool for the peace of mind of loved ones and instant news about dangerous occurances in your area. As long as technology is being used for good, that is all I can hope for. 

Sadly, members of the public are still posting on the crisis response page of Facebook about missing loved ones. These posts are gaining many replies, mostly of prayers. 

Prayers are fascinating. They are literally the most paralysing action we can carry out without tying ourselves up. The very nature of a prayer is to close our eyes and put our hands together. If someone else did this to us it would be a kidnapping. Think about that for a brief moment. The reason prisoners have their sight and mobility taken from them is to rid them of freedom. They are now immobile. Useless. Extremely vulnerable to external threats and actions. For thousands of years we have been urged to do this to ourselves if we want to see change. Do as little as possible and be wrongly convinced that it will be the quickest route to an answer. Is it any wonder why these prayers accumulate to nothing? To me, it makes absolute sense. There will be another mass shooting. There will be another million prayers. Change comes when we open our eyes and use those hands.

The problem is, the alternative is to look away from faith. This is a very scary concept for many, and illogical one for others. I understand the desire for faith, however if we choose to look at faith over reason we have to accept that we need faith even more to cope with the unreasonable acts we read about daily. If our societies were driven by evidence instead of ideologies passed down through families, think of how much progress could be made. Think of how soon we may be able to understand the mind of a man that desires to shoot hundreds of people with firearms from the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel room. Think of how soon we could persuade a suicide bomber that they don’t have to blow themselves up to please a God that they have never met before and tha a nice walk is a better option. Think of how soon we would render prayer useless as we no longer need it to comfort ourselves when human beings turn against one another in the most horrific ways.

It may take a thousand years to unlock the countless mysteries that plague our existence, this should not be seen as an excuse to do nothing in the meantime. Typing a blog post does little to help the situation, it is probably as effective as prayer. I personally believe that understanding that you aren’t being productive is more beneficial that believing you are when in fact you aren’t. It frees up so much time to make an actual difference and we should all have an aim to free up as much of our time as possible before it is taken away by dangerous minds.

The world is too beautiful to spend large parts of our day with our eyes closed. 

Have a safe day everyone and use your free time to make the most of life, not to please others.