Good Luck Karen!

My good friend Karen has a new job – she is leaving the public sector to move to the private sector and we had a bit of a get-together for her. The event it was held at was DJ Scooby’s Big Band Sunday in Major Tom’s on The Ginnel.

DJ Scooby plays a range of old-time music that has the intention  to raise much-needed funds for MSF. We are lucky to have a friend who sometimes works for MSF and he came down too.

However, the main focus today was on Karen. Or, as I call her ‘K-Lo’ (like J-Lo but one better). The great and the good of the local body were there.

So, on behalf of me and Mrs Backhouse – I would like to wish Karen the best of British in her new role – if anyone can kill it then I know she will. We are all really proud of her. Cheers!

Doing Something For Stew

Not the food – Stew as in Stewart. Scooby – yunno, Scoob!

My hetero-sexual life companion, Stewart has asked me to design a couple of posters for his various shenanigans. The first of which is Big Band Sunday. Now then, Big Band Sunday is a monthly get together for the town of Harrogate that seeks to raise the profile of and raise money for Doctors Without Borders (MSF). Before I show you the posters I want to whittle on a bit about them. There is also one for the radio show Sound Of Wonder. Here are the posters – If you have a favourite get in contact.






Hallowe’en 2016

That’s the weekend that was …

The 31st of October is tomorrow, but people got drunk and dressed up last night, on the Saturday.

Friday saw me argueing with my computer – I have a new page called The Quantified Self and I will start a new Tag on this blog for the same thing. The Quantified Self is a way of engaging technology with my health – because, let’s face it, when anything is worth doing it is worth doing with tech. I have started to monitor my health with the Apple Watch and iPhone I have had for a bit – I will be posting up the results on this blog for all to see and giggle at.

Saturday was spent pottering about the house with no real intention until about the evening – it then kicked in at a fever pace. We were running incredibly late for Cabaret Without Borders; a fundraiser for MSF that was instigated by the amazing Farasha Albaydaa and Andy Dennis.

We turned up in time to see the last act, Ms. Albaydaa. She was so elegant and refined that it made me prouder to know her in her real-life. This was the first CwB I had been to. I did not know what to expect – but I had missed most of it due to the long walk to get to The Manhattan Club so will have to wait until next time to find out what it is like. Still, the Isis Winged Dance by Farasha was superb and I wish I had had the chance to see more of the night.

I stood next to my hetero-sexual life companion, Scooby, sipping San Miguel and watching the Ebola Tombola* for him when it was his turn to get the pints in.

The band, Rockin Deke Rivers & the Jitters, quickly set up and and played a blistering set of rockabilly classics and had the room dancing Рit was ace!

Sunday was a lazy day – I did not venture out of bed until 2pm! The aft was spent making my radio show and helping with the launch of a few albums on my record label, Focused Silence ( The show is below –

At present (2130) I am unsure of how much CwB made on the night – I really hope that it is a good amount – Andy & Farasha deserve to be rewarded for their hard work by totaling a high amount for MSF.

It really is quite humbling to see the amount of work put in by Andy & Farasha. They are backed up by a team of helpers (sometimes I am one of them Рhealth permitting) who spend their allotted free time by trying to raise money for (and the profile of) Doctors Without Borders (MSF / Médecins Sans Frontières).

*Yes, that is it’s name.

“So, You Call Yourself A Man …”


Not getting in to the gender specific, nitty gritty. However, if you want to credit someone with heroic strength you say they are ‘all man’. However, I always thought it was Vaginas that took a pounding ..?

Well, if you “call yourself a man …” I recommend that you check out a book co-authored by Andy Dennis and Anna Simon*

I have tried the hard sell with my review of it here – but – I doubt I added much to the total sales of the product. But, if you want a humanitarian account of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone then I really recommend that you check it out. I said all I want in my review for the book, so why am I writing this? Well, because Anna Simon is over in the UK from the Netherlands and they are talking about marketing it.

Whilst I do not know much about marketing – I do have a personal blog and I will shout from the roof top that all the profits from this book go towards MSF. To obtain your own copy (I would lend you mine but I do not think I will get it back) please visit this link to read more about Ebola: Behind The Mask.

*one book, four first names: bargain.

DJ Scooby @ Major Tom’s

Popped out for a cheeky libation (sports beer) and to help my good friend, Stewart, set up his equipment for the afternoon. What was the occasion – we were celebrating Tracey & Andy crossing the 4001 mile mark of their USA odyssey.

Stewart plays big band tunes every second Sunday of the month down at Major Tom’s¬† -the crowds waver, but there is always a good selection of music. Stewart takes time out of his bust weekend to volunteer for charity by playing these event – plenty of people come up to him saying they are enjoying the music but not everyone dips in to their pocket.

I reckon the best thing you can do Рif you were down there but did not reach for the tin Рwas to sponsor Andy Dennis (the MSF nurse we are all behind) to reach his £100k target.


Thought I’d Give This A Whirl

This could be seen as the height of procrastination / laziness – but, I am sat three metres away from my computer. Yet, I can’t summon the strength to get out of my comfortable tub chair to go and type this blog up properly. To get to the computer (late 2009 iMac) would mean reliqueshing the comfort of said armchair and walking in the dark. Nope, I am comfortable here thank you – and this is my view …..

It’s a bit of a silly view – a fireplace with no fire. The landlord was told they needed the fireplace to show that this was the front room :/

However, this post is for two reasons: said seating dilemma and to trial the WordPress app for a mate.

The mate in question is doing the most hardcore cycle ride in the history of saddle sores and needed some help spreading the word about progress of the ride. Tracey will be cycling with Andy Dennis across the states – starting in San Francisco and ending in New York. Tracey will be blogging from an iPhone posting on¬†– a blog I built her. It’s nice to be nice.

Raising Money For MSF

I am a lucky man. I have great mates. One of whom is Andy Dennis. Andy is a nurse with MSF.

Those of the readers who follow my meanderings across the inter web might be aware of the man. He has an excellent blog at РI garnered this information from that site:

It is very lovely when people approach me and tell me how well my fundraising is going. I always point out that it is in fact the work of a number of people. I have not raised over £50,000, at best I am a catalyst or a conduit for ideas and donations.

With this in mind I have decided to start a page on my blog that recognises friends who are doing incredible things to help MSF.

This is in anyways the tip of the iceberg. Sadly I can’t add every event and some will go on the main blog page but ones that are running an ongoing campaign for funds will feature here. Please let me know if you are doing anything that I can add here.

Some amazing stuff is being done for Doctors Without Borders (MSF). MSF is a non political, non religious medical organisation working in around 60 countries. Caring for those suffering through conflict, epidemic and natural disaster.

Andy is a Nurse who volunteers with MSF Рhe has worked with MSF in Uganda (2005) South Sudan (2008 & 2013) and in the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone in 2014.

The first mission was based in Displaced Persons camps in the north of Uganda.

In the second he was involved in setting up health care clinics in South Sudan on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. The populations of both regions were terrorised by a rebel group called the Lords Resistance Army who have maimed tortured, displaced or killed millions over a 20+ year period.

His 2013 mission was spent running the Nutrition project at Leer Hospital in Unity State, South Sudan. The Hospital was attacked and destroyed in January 2014. MSF is already busy rebuilding.

In November ‚Äď December 2014 he¬†spent a month working in MSF‚Äôs Kailahun Ebola management Centre in the most moving month of his¬†life.

In 2011 he set out to raise £16,800 for MSF . This figure represents the £1400 per month to put TWO volunteers in the field for one year. The goal of £16,800 was passed rapidly due to the generosity of hundreds of incredible people who care enough about others to help. We are now heading towards the £40,000 mark and he sees no reason to stop. Its fun and it works. He has therefore reset the goal as £100,000 and will keep going until it is achieved.

Incase you are incredibly lazy, I will post up the links here too. Please click on them to go to the pages and see what it is all about.

¬†Tracey’s Bike Ride Across America

In 2016 I am cycling over 4000 miles across the US for Médecins Sans Frontières (UK) because They save lives all over the world

Josh’s Marathon

I am running the Yorkshire Marathon for Médecins Sans Frontières (UK) because they save lives.

Laura’s Great North Run

I am doing the great north run for Médecins Sans Frontières (UK) because MSF is a truly inspirational charity.