Are you sitting comfortably?

Then I'll begin. This is going to be a short story about a long story

Yes, dear reader, if you want to keep up with the continuing adventures of Blogger Smith you'll have to re-tune your set (or RSS feed) for I have found a space of my very own at

I'm not going to take this blog down. Who knows, I may even pop by every now and again to dust and to clear the mat of junk mail but if you want to find me, you've got no excuses -
you know where I am

That wasn't so long, was it?


Not on the rug, man

My Belgian blog buddy Serge is back with a vengeance after his summer sabbatical. I have a theory about his lack of posting over the last few weeks being something to do with his sudden hair loss affecting his blogging output Sampson style but he may argue and say it was just because he was on holiday and enjoying the real world after a tough few weeks.

As a fellow Lebowski fan (I've just proudly hung my Lebowskifest poster in room of Castle Smith) his link to the edited version of that cult classic made me laugh. I'm offering my own link to an homage to the Dude with a nod to all those kids in my generation who ran around the playground shouting 'By the power of Grayskull!' and other He-Man related phrases.

The Dude abides


Long story

Is it possible to be in two places at one time? Not according to the laws of physics, but I, the great Houdini, will attempt to make the impossible possible.

Almost 2 weeks since my last post, I've been busy moving the Monkey's stuff, doing more interviews for the BBC and working on moves of my own. The last year has seen me try, forget about, find inspiration again and get addicted to blogging but I think it's time to move on. Not that I'll be deserting you completely. Like I said, I'm going to attempt to be in 2 places at once, at least for a while.

What am I on about? Well,, the new home of blogger Smith is almost ready for it's official launch (almost - not yet. Patience!). I've been seduced by the simple yet powerful charms of wordpress. I am going to try to post in both places for a while but I don't know how long I'll keep that up. So here it is, the last days of pub-lic spaces and the birth of long story

Blogger, it's been emotional


BBC before Breakfast

Sunday morning, picture the scene: too early for much activity on the street apart from the odd early riser walking to the shop to get the papers. A black cab waits outside Castle Smith, diesel engine thrumming. Yours truly, unshaven and casually attired, sneaks out of the house as quietly as possible; taking care to not bang the awkward front door and wake the Monkey slumbering upstairs.

No, I wasn't up to no good (shame on you for thinking that), I was heading off to the BBC's Birmingham base at the Mailbox to give an interview about blogs and bloggers; the third I've done for them in 2 weeks. You can listen to what I sound like early on a Sunday morning here, by choosing the 'listen again' (sunday) option. I think I was on about an hour into the show.

Keeping on the Asian theme, I called into the Desi Sweet centre on the way home and woke the Monkey up with mango kulfi for breakfast. Quick radio interview before an ice cream breakfast: who says the life of a blogger isn't rock and roll?


Boodhoo Voodhoo

The Boodhoo Lounge session pt1

I love looking at old photographs of musicians and actors, taken on tour or backstage and capturing moments that you'd never get to see otherwise. Letting you into what is usually a very private space and somewhere where the artists can relax and be themselves. I'm always jealous of the photographer - the person who gets to be there, backstage, on the bus, where the real stuff happens. Not just a spectator looking at a stage from an enforced distance.

Last night I got to be that photographer – an insider. Thanks to my friend Kalpana, I got to sit in on the inaugural 'Boodhoo* Lounge**' session with number 1 selling artists Nizlopi (yes, they did the JCB song but for those of you who don't know anything more by them check out their website or myspace). I took some photos and chatted to John and Luke and the radio crew from the Asian Network who were there to record the session and they all made me feel like I was part of that inner circle.

Apart fromthe Nizlopi boys' incredible talent and quick sense of humour, what struck me most about them was the amount they smiled and laughed throughout the whole session and even in the pub afterwards.

The tour starts on the 3rd of September (my birthday) and the album's out the next day. Check them both out if you can, you won't be disappointed.

*Kal's last name
** well, Kitchen as it turns out – much better accoustically


It's good to talk

Now that supermarkets are starting to offer IP phone packages (£15 from Tesco for a basic model – although it's not Mac compatible and according to my mate Nick doesn't work too well with wi-fi), can it be long before the VOIP revolution reaches the masses?

With Sky and Orange announcing free broadband offers for their customers and internet phone companies like Skype selling 'free' internet calls to other internet phone users all over the world, things are surely looking up. Evidence surely of web 2.0 (or even 2.1) coming into effect.

I have a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone (although I still haven't managed to set it up at Castle Smith due to lack of internet*) and I know a couple of others (Serge, Nick) who have them or are using VOIP via MSN or AIM. Not many though. I think it will be a while before we adopt the internet phone quite as readily as we have done with the mobile phone. Mind you, I did hear an interesting story about some enterprising folk who are using their web browsers on their mobiles to run their VOIP phones via wireless connections, letting them use their internet phones like a mobile. Clever.

This piece in the Guardian today is slightly worrying and could have a serious impact on the mass take up of internet phones. Security is all well and good but this has a distinct whiff of KGB/Big Brother about it. I wonder if it will be enough to distract people from the magic word of the VOIP revolution's USP – FREE calls.

*also responsible for sporadic posting – I've been leeching wi-fi from friends and my local coffee shop for outside work web use


om mane padme hum

The last few days at work have been eventful, stressful and seemingly endless all at once. The hot weather (and our British inability to cope with anything above 22c) is making people uncomfortable and irritable. Add to that a pinch of uncertainty (changes are afoot) and a dash of insecurity (people feeling threatened by some of the changes) and you've got a pressure cooker waiting to boil over. All credit to the University (although I think the timing was fortuitous rather than planned), the workplace wellbeing event on Friday afternoon certainly seemed to diffuse a bit of that tension.

Most people shunned the makeshift volleyball court and headed straight for the free food and drink although I did see a few brave souls taking salsa lessons in Chancellor's Court. I headed for the shade of the trees and tried my hand at meditation with the University's buddhist chaplain. I think the goofy smile speaks for itself. Ommmmmmmmm