tom bh
#Digital Nomad
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  • Headless Browser Tests - Hello World

    These were run on Arch Linux using Chromium 57. You don’t need Selenium and all the Java that involves. Both Chrome and Firefox (though it’s not headless yet) have Selenium-compatible interfaces using what’s called the Web Driver protocol. So let’s start up Chrome/Chromium’s background daemon that understands and listens for...
  • I am Donald Trump

    To paraphrase the Vietnamese Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh in his poem, Please Call Me By My True Names: I am Donald Trump. I fundamentally disagree with the new American president, let that be clear. But he is not a different species, neither biologically, nor more importantly culturally. I have...
  • Delhi Limbo

    Fuck. I’m entrenched in Delhi, at the mercy of Indian bureaucracy, waiting to get my laptop screen out of the Fedex depot just 40km away. The screen in fact landed in Delhi from Texas, the day before I did from Leh. This was two weeks ago and every day since...
  • When Your Screen Breaks (In The Himalayas)

      Usually when your laptop screen breaks you curse and just fork out the cash to get it fixed. Perhaps whilst you’re waiting for the replacement parts you plug in an external monitor. It’s annoying but it needn’t be a show stopper. But what if you’re two days bus ride...
  • A Month-Long Retreat In India

    This wasn’t a retreat in a monastery or ashram, but in my little two bedroom house in Leh, Ladakh amongst the Himalayas. I’d done solitary retreats like this before, but no longer than a week, in fact the longest retreat I’d done of any kind before was two weeks. So...
  • Living In The Himalayas

    For about a month now I’ve been in the capital, Leh, of the Ladakh region of North India. And last week I found a little house to rent on the outskirts of the town, you can just see it in the blue circle. I’m hoping to stay here until my...
  • Some Photos

    I noticed that I haven’t posted many pictures since the alps last year, so here’s a random assortment from the last 6 months travel. ⭐   The springs of Bad Kissingen, Bavaria, Germany. They tasted like blood!   Waiting for the bus in Birnfeld to Bad Kissigen, after a week...
  • Tweets from Trans Siberia

    At 13.50, Monday May 9th 2016 I left Moscow for Irkursk in Siberia, which is 5178km away. Without changing trains, I arrived at 08.47 (local time, Moscow +5h) the following Friday morning. These are the tweets from that journey. My life for the next 94 hours pic.twitter.com/5icWaLlHxB— Tom Buckley-Houston (@twombh)...
  • Swedish Pronunciation

    My notes on Swedish pronunciation after advice from Emma Eurenius. These are currently only the long vowel sounds. a: are b: - c: ss d: - e: ay from ‘okay’ but more ugh, reminds me of welsh ‘ehh, no’ f: - g: could be g, ch, ee h: - i:...
  • Unbound

    ##Bondage Naively I had assumed that I would be bound by my hands and feet to a bed and be punished by a leather-clad dominatrix. So I was understandably nervous arriving at Schwelle’s weekly bondage evening in Berlin. Fortunately I’d been invited by my good friend Becky, who assured me...
  • German Grammar Cases

    ##What are cases? If you are an English speaker and don’t speak any other languages, then grammatical cases are likely to be unknown to you. Their raison d’être is actually pretty useful, they mark the structure of sentences; like subject and object. I (the subject, or the subjective case) love...
  • Das München Mädchen

    For the last five or so years I’ve taken the Christmas and New Year holidays for retreat. Which means, no Internet, no talking, lots of sitting still and this year, with a special guest appearance from the click of an electric heater turning on and off every 5 minutes. I...
  • The Alps

    From the French Alps through to the Swiss and German Alps, I have spent a total of about a month in Europe’s largest mountain range. I arrived in Chamonix at night and woke up to this view from my bedroom window… That there is the Mont Blanc massif. It contains...
  • The Sponge Relay

    After the roaring success of Sponge Watch I’ve decided to bring a sponge theme to my journey around the world. When I left my flat in Bristol I took a brand new sponge with me. That sponge was then exchanged with a sponge from the host of the next place...
  • Farewell Fontainebleau

    I’ve just spent 3 weeks in Fontainebleau, the world’s most celebrated bouldering region. For those of you unaware of the sport, it is exactly the same as rock climbing, except you never climb high enough to warrant the need of safety ropes. Though you do very much benefit from a...
  • Around The World

    I am now a Digital Nomad; a software engineer of no fixed abode. I am attempting to travel around the world, starting and returning to Bristol, UK. I have a rough plan, but I want to be flexible. It may take months or years. If you have any recommendations, or...
  • Thought For The Day #53

    Broadcast 11th of September 2015 on BBC Radio Bristol So tomorrow we’ll find out who the new Labour leader is. It’s been a dramatic election leadup and I think we’ve all been surprised by the fuss it’s caused. I’d very much like to weigh in with my opinion about it...
  • Thought For The Day #52

    Broadcast 4th of September 2015 on BBC Radio Bristol Refuge is something we all unthinkingly seek. When there’s a sudden rain shower, we don’t get out our smartphones and google for bus shelter reviews. No, we make a beeline straight for the nearest doorway, to huddle like sardines with strangers....
  • Plasma 5 (KDE5) in Debian Sid

    Just writing this up, because no-one else on the Internet seems to have done so. KDE 5 is a bit of a misnomer now, the more common name seems to be KDE Frameworks or Plasma 5. It looks like Plasma 5 will hit Debian Sid’s official unstable repos very shortly,...
  • Thought For The Day #51

    Broadcast 2nd of July 2015 on BBC Radio Bristol It surprises me to say it, but I’ve been inspired by a pogo stick jumper. As you may have heard, Jack Sexty, a 25 year old Bristolian, is jetting off to Philadelphia in America today to compete in Pogopalooza: that’s The...
  • Thought For The Day #50

    Broadcast 24th of June 2015 on BBC Radio Bristol So I’ve been thinking about the recent Business West survey. Its results indicate that as many as 80% of businesses are worried that leaving Europe will have a negative effect on them. I know it’s a business survey and that businesses...
  • Thought For The Day #49

    Broadcast 18th of June 2015 on BBC Radio Bristol I’ve been reading about the Battle of Waterloo. Which, as we’ve been hearing, was fought exactly 200 years ago today. To be honest, I often find it hard to get genuinely interested about human history. Sometimes I feel like it’s all...
  • Thought For The Day #48

    Broadcast 10th of June 2015 on BBC Radio Bristol The European Commission’s Director-General for Environment, Karl Falkenberg has an interesting cycling ritual. Every year he rides from Brussels to the European Green Capital. Which of course this year is Bristol. I’m impressed by Falkenberg’s fitness but I’m more impressed that...
  • Thought For The Day #47

    Broadcast 30th of April 2015 on BBC Radio Bristol We all know politicians love a good photo opportunity or sound bite. Oh look there’s Ed Miliband chilling out with Russell Brand. And did I just hear David Cameron casually joke about supporting West Ham, or was it Aston Villa, I...
  • Thought For The Day #46

    Broadcast 16th of April 2015 on BBC Radio Bristol I got a text message from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs the other day. It was just a reminder about my tax return and sadly didn’t contain any LOLs, smiley faces or kisses. I must say I was surprised that such...
  • Thought For The Day #45

    Broadcast 9th of April 2015 on BBC Radio Bristol On the wall of the derelict building in Stokes Croft, where controversial plans to build modern flats have been made, there’s a quote by the Austrian artist and architect Friendensreich Hundertwasser. It simply says, “The straight line leads to the downfall...
  • Thought For The Day #44

    Broadcast 2nd of April 2015 on BBC Radio Bristol I travel to London by train once a fortnight for work. Door to door it’s about a 3 hour journey. Normally I don’t mind it, I quite like the fact that I have no other option than to do pretty much...
  • Thought For The Day #43

    Broadcast 27th of March 2015 on BBC Radio Bristol I always have mixed feelings when I hear about plane crashes in the news. On the one hand they are clearly tragic events. 150 human beings just like you and me died in the Germanwings crash this week, which is shocking...
  • Thought For The Day #42

    Broadcast 20th of February 2015 on BBC Radio Bristol So literally, as I speak, the Moon is passing in front of the Sun. They do both spend a lot of time in the sky, so it’s not totally surprising that one would occasionally eclipse the other. Still, it’s quite a...
  • Thought For The Day #41

    Broadcast 19th of February 2015 on BBC Radio Bristol Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year. It doesn’t always fall on this day because the Chinese calendar uses the moon to calculate its months. Which means that a new month, and therefore a new year, has to...
  • Thought For The Day #40

    Broadcast 10th of February 2015 on BBC Radio Bristol My thoughts are with the family and friends of those killed in yesterday’s tragic road accident in Bath. I worked in the city for 3 years and I know it will affect the community deeply. Looking at the pictures of the...
  • Thought For The Day #39

    Broadcast 1st of December 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol Today is World AIDS Day, where we raise awareness for one of the worst pandemics in human history. The stats for the disease are horrendous, especially when you consider the numbers of children that suffer from it. Not to mention the...
  • Thought For The Day #38

    Broadcast 24th of November 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol It’s been a rather morbid weekend in Bristol, with two separate cases of finding bodies. One was found on the Downs and the other in the canal by Netham Park. Death is of course not unusual. There are nearly half a...
  • Thought For The Day #37

    Broadcast 17th of November 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol So today, 30 years after the first one, we have a new Band Aid single. I hadn’t realised that there was actually already a second one, recorded 20 years after the first, for the war-stricken Dafur region of Sudan. I must...
  • Thought For The Day #36

    Broadcast 3rd of November 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol Audio available at http://www.mytalky.com/sXX So we need stop using fossil fuels by the end of the century or we’re doomed. This is the conclusion of a report published yesterday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Ed Davey, our Secretary of...
  • Thought For The Day #35

    Broadcast 29th of October 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol Audio available at http://www.mytalky.com/wSM It’s been in the news that we may not have enough electricity this winter. Last year we had 5% more than we needed and this year we only have 4%. That does sound like a close call,...
  • Thought For The Day #34

    Broadcast 22nd of October 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol Audio available at http://www.mytalky.com/rTM I’ve recently finished a three week journey across Wales, walking from the North coast to my flat in Clifton. I travelled alone and spent every night in a tent. The highlight was sleeping by the trigpoint on...
  • Walking Wales - Tweet Archive

    Walking Wales
  • Walking Wales - Days 18 to 20

    The final days! Abergavenny to Monmouth was a wet and boring slog. There was not much to see and it was raining. I had to keep persuading myself to just keep on walking, reminding my grumbly brain that the Wye Valley would be more exciting. The campsite in Monmouth town...
  • Walking Wales - Days 12 to 17

    A lot to catch up on. I’ve covered about 75km since my last post; Rhyader to Builth Wells to Brecon to Abergavenny. Brecon marked the end of the second stage of the journey, that of the lower lands of mid-Wales. Still wonderful countryside, but more rolling hills and walking on...
  • Walking Wales - Days 9 to 11

    I left Machynlleth about 4pm on Saturday, I could still hear the bass thumps of the fair as I got into the hills. I took a little B road, with a sign that said “Llanidloes 19 miles via narrow mountain road”. I made a surprising distance before nigthfall - roads...
  • Walking Wales - Days 5 to 8

    Leaving Beddgelert was a pleasant walk along roads and through woods. I came upon the first rain that evening, but I enjoyed the opportunity to get out all my rainproof gear. I left finding a camping spot a bit late and ended up having to camp in a picnic area...
  • Walking Wales - Day 3 & 4

    What a couple of days I’ve had! Day 3 was a rollercoaster. I started off at a campsite at the base of the Carneddau and began by climbing one of Wales’ hardest mountains, Tryfan. It’s steep and requires a lot of scrambling, therefore moving slowly on your feet and hands....
  • Walking Wales - Day 2

    How geeky is this? I am in a tent, in the middle of Snowdonia, writing a blog post on my phone. I have weak Edge Internet reception and I have been charging my batteries using the Welsh sun. These first 2 days have been epic. It’s still sinking in that...
  • Walking The Length Of Wales

    I am walking the length of Wales. From Llandudno to my flat in Bristol. It is some 275km and will take me about 2 weeks, give or take a day or 2, or 5! I don’t have a strict route, but would like to pass some waypoints on the way;...
  • Thought For The Day #33

    Broadcast 27th of August 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol Audio available at http://www.mytalky.com/wo0 So Banksy’s gotten his way again. His piece Mobile Lovers has made the financially struggling Bristol Boys Club hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even though Banksy admitted in a letter to the club that it is the...
  • Thought For The Day #32

    Broadcast 20th of August 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol Audio available at http://www.mytalky.com/CAC So, we’ve been talking about self-injury this morning. It’s a difficult subject to get my head around. There’s so much suffering in the world, why would anyone want to add to it? Of course, self-injury isn’t straightforward...
  • Thought For The Day #31

    Broadcast 317th of July 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol Audio available at http://www.mytalky.com/IOa I have some friends who live on canal boats in and around Bristol. I’m even considering buying one myself. I’m attracted both to the romantic life of being closer to nature and to the possibility of getting...
  • Thought For The Day #30

    Broadcast 30th of June 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol Audio available at http://www.mytalky.com/oZm It looks like the rain wasn’t so bad for festival goers in Glastonbury this weekend. I’ve been twice before and both times were mercifully dry. Glastonbury Festival is one of those things that’s best to experience for...
  • Thought For The Day #29

    Broadcast 16th of June 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol Audio available at http://www.mytalky.com/1oN Our PM’s criticism this weekend, of what he described as ‘bashfulness’ about being British, has been a helpful reflection for me. His concern comes in the wake of findings published in the Ofsted report about religious fundamentalism...
  • Thought For The Day #28

    Broadcast 9nd of June 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol Audio available at http://www.mytalky.com/dXZ I’ve been thinking about this public row between the Education Secretary and the Home Secretary over their handling of allegations about Muslim extremism in Birmingham schools. On the one hand I’m wondering why this has become something...
  • Thought For The Day #27

    Broadcast 2nd of June 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol Audio available at http://www.mytalky.com/w0i So reports are circulating that the Prime Minister is prepared to pull Britain out of Europe if Jean-Claude Juncker becomes president of the European Commision. It’s hard to know Cameron’s true motivations through all the political spin....
  • Thought For The Day #26

    Broadcast 19th of May 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol Audio available at http://www.mytalky.com/ctm So it’s the Pint Of Science festival this week. Pubs across the world, including Bath and Bristol, are being host to bona fide scientists sharing their knowledge in down-to-earth laymans terms. It’s an opportunity for us humble...
  • Thought For The Day #25

    Broadcast 15th of May 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol Audio available at http://www.mytalky.com/nnX It’s Stamp Out Stress week at Bath University. They’re putting on a series of events like a Petting Zoo of cute animals, Health MOTs and massages. Why don’t we see this kind of thing more often? Like...
  • Thought For The Day #24

    Broadcast 8th of May 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol As we’ve been hearing, the topic of beggars in Bath has come up again. I work in Bath and pass beggars most days. I don’t have a problem with them. In fact, if I’m honest, my heart doesn’t go out to...
  • Poem by Mike Kewley

    It’s frustrating, I know. You’ve read all the books and sat with all the right Teachers Guru’s and Healers. Yet your third eye didn’t twinge, let alone open. Your sacred Kundalini energy didn’t wake up and seems to be sleeping deeper then ever. You didn’t see visions or lights in...
  • Thought For The Day #23

    Broadcast 7th of April 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol Audio available at http://www.mytalky.com/cZm How often do you listen? I mean really listen? The nearest I have to pets are some pretty little ladybirds living in my window frame. Now and again I see them delicately crawl across the glass. They’ve...
  • Thought For The Day #22

    Broadcast 13th of March 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol Banksy’s in the news again today. It’s for his reworking of The Girl With The Heart Shaped Balloon which raises awareness about the Syrian Conflict. I enjoy street art and I’m a particular fan of Banksy. So I’d like to share...
  • Thought For The Day #21

    Broadcast 6th of March 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol Legend has it that one lunchtime in 12th century China, a student of meditation sought instruction from a famous teacher. The kind teacher asked the student, “Have you finished eating?” The eager student replied, “Yes I have, thank you.” At this...
  • Thought For The Day #20

    Broadcast 28th of February 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol I wonder whether people a hundred years from now will look back at us the same way we look back to the First World War? We’re not in the middle of global military conflict, but perhaps future West Country folk will...
  • Thought For The Day #19

    Broadcast 17th of February 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol The coldest it ever gets in the Jamaican mountains is 10°C, which is nowhere near enough to snow. But that hasn’t stopped the island of Cool Runnings fame rubbing shoulders with Olympic bobsleighers. Now, I’m not an expert but I’m pretty...
  • Thought For The Day #18

    Broadcast 14th of February 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol In the comedy film Team America, there’s a scene where the lead character Gary admits his feelings to his beautiful colleague Lisa. “I really like you”, he says, “there’s no chance we can ever get together is there?”. After a moment’s...
  • Thought For The Day #40

    Broadcast 10th of February 2015 on BBC Radio Bristol My thoughts are with the family and friends of those killed in yesterday’s tragic road accident in Bath. I worked in the city for 3 years and I know it will affect the community deeply. Looking at the pictures of the...
  • Thought For The Day #17

    Broadcast 7th of February 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol For the last few years I’ve been playing a game with myself where I count the number of people I recognise on my commute. I set off on foot from The Downs in Bristol and usually see three or four familiar...
  • Thought For The Day #16

    Broadcast 31st of December 2013 on BBC Radio Bristol I’ve been tweeting pictures of my washing up sponge. Yes I’m serious and there’s no twist. About once a week I balance the sponge on the edge of the sink and snap it with my smartphone. Reactions have been varied; from...
  • Thought For The Day #15

    Broadcast 16th of December 2013 on BBC Radio Bristol A famous Buddhist once quipped that, “meditation is just one insult after another”. Even though he was being overly dramatic, I can relate to it. My mind is constantly pointing out, how I’m not good enough and where my life could...
  • Thought For The Day #14

    Broadcast 25th of November 2013 on BBC Radio Bristol How often do you think about door handles? Not much I imagine. Now how often do you use a door handle? Multiple times a day no doubt. Okay, so let’s say you go to open your front door to leave for...
  • Thought For The Day #13

    Broadcast 18th of November 2013 on BBC Radio Bristol Loneliness has always been a big part of my life. Not necessarily because I haven’t had people around me, I think it’s my temperament as much as anything. In fact I can feel lonely when I’m with other people. Perhaps I...
  • Thought For The Day #12

    Broadcast 11th of November 2013 on BBC Radio Bristol “It’s on the tip of my tongue.” That’s an odd phrase isn’t it? Like saying that one part of my mouth knows what to do, but the rest doesn’t. If only I could remember what my lips, my jaw and the...
  • Thought For The Day #11

    Broadcast 4th of November 2013 on BBC Radio Bristol Maybe it’s just me but I find boredom very difficult to cope with. Usually it’s things like jealousy, fear and anger that have the notorious reputation for being difficult emotional visitors. But for me boredom can be just as challenging a...
  • Thought For The Day #10

    Broadcast 28th of October 2013 on BBC Radio Bristol A friend of mine recently introduced me to Kite Boarding. That’s where you have a very large kite that looks more like a parachute. And a small board that looks like a skateboard with big rubbery wheels. At first I was...
  • Thought For The Day #9

    Broadcast 16th of October 2013 on BBC Radio Bristol For a large part of my life I’ve been deprived of basic mental wellbeing. My parents separated when I was a toddler. My father was an alcoholic and died in my early twenties. I’ve had drug problems and suffered from depression....
  • Thought For The Day #8

    Broadcast 2nd of October 2013 on BBC Radio Bristol Every apple that I’ve ever eaten straight off a tree, at this time of year, has been satisfyingly crunchy and juicy. But much to my disappointment shop-bought ones have been unpredictably soft and dry. When British fruit is out of season...
  • Thought For The Day #7

    Broadcast 25th of September 2013 on BBC Radio Bristol As a teenager I once spent the night in a police cell for possession of daffodils. Though I should say they weren’t mine, they belonged to a roundabout, a busy roundabout, a busy roundabout on a Saturday night. You get the...
  • Thought For The Day #6

    Broadcast 29th of July 2013 on BBC Radio Bristol The great wit and raconteur Oscar Wilde once made the shocking quip that, “a good friend will always stab you in the front”. Of course, given the choice, I’d rather not be stabbed at all. But unfortunately life doesn’t always afford...
  • Crowd Box - Implementing Crowdfunded PaaS

    A while back I blogged about something I’d coined Crowdfunded PaaS. The basic gist being a Heroku-style platform where anyone can pay for the hosting costs of an app. Think Wikipedia’s business model but formalised as a service that anyone can use. Over the last months I’ve slowly been developing...
  • Thought For The Day #5

    Broadcast 22nd of July 2013 on BBC Radio Bristol Can there be anything more different in the universe than the description of drinking a cup of tea and the actual experience of the hot infusion on your taste buds? Although the two things are related, thinking about Earl Grey compared...
  • Thought For The Day #4

    Broadcast 15th of July 2013 on BBC Radio Bristol Currently, my favourite part of the day is the first 5 minutes after a shower, when I’m not a restless, sticky mess of clothes and sweat. Yeah (sighed), we’ve reached that rare watershed in the UK where it has been hot...
  • Rubik's Sudoku Kenshō

    Kenshō: a Japanese term from the Zen tradition. Ken means “seeing,” shō means “nature, essence”. Yesterday was the final day in the academic year of my psychotherapy course and for me the last ever day of the training (as I blogged about recently I wasn’t allowed to complete the year,...
  • Thought For The Day #3

    Broadcast 8th of July 2013 on BBC Radio Bristol I was touched to see that one of the first things Andy Murray did after winning Wimbledon yesterday was climb up the spectators stand to individually thank each member of his team. To me it was a public acknowledgment of how...
  • Thought For The Day #2

    Broadcast5th of July 2013 on BBC Radio Bristol When the Tyrannosaurus Rex in the Hollywood film Jurassic Park breaks free, it hunts down two of the main characters who are cowering in a jeep in the dark and rain. The calm, knowledgeable Doctor whispers to the understandably panicked young girl,...
  • The Technology Of Sharing

    Here’s a talk I gave at this year’s ITMegaMeet. It’s about how the Internet is the fourth media revolution; orality, literacy and print being the first three.
  • Thought For The Day #1

    Broadcast 24th of June 2013 on BBC Radio Bristol Roads in central Bristol reopen today after many were closed for the city’s first Car-Free Sunday. The streets came alive with music, games, theatre and food. It’s all part of what George Ferguson has dubbed “Make Sundays Special”. It’s a notably...
  • The End Of My Psychotherapy Training

    After a long, drawn-out process, I’ve been officially told that I won’t be able to pass the year on my psychotherapy course. It’s more than just failing to make the grades, it’s a break up, we don’t see eye to eye, so that even if I were to change in...
  • Lying In The Rain

    It’s the day after a week-long meditation retreat. I’m still trying to digest the experience — mostly, by slouching on the sofa catching up on what I missed from last week’s episode of the Internet, which so far I’ve gathered is; Drunken Dubstep Surprise and The Ultimate Filing System. I...
  • Resources for newcomers to meditation

    I was asked by a friend recently what resources I would recommend for someone new to meditation, so here we are. Firstly, it’s always worth quoting Suzuki Roshi on the preciousness of a beginner’s mind; So the most difficult thing is always to keep your beginner’s mind. There is no...
  • BCPC Essay on Klein and Winnicott

      Preface: Bear in mind that I needed to write an unchallenging essay, one that tows the party line. After getting very poor feedback on my last essay, my tutor had to tell me that I wasn’t meeting the course criteria. So, I would have loved to write what I...
  • Daniel Miller on Citations

    I’m back in the academic seat of writing correctly referenced essays. I like writing, but formal academic references just get in the way of good writing. There is no reason why academic texts should not be good writing, and by that I mean, emotionally engaging, personally involving narrative. Who wants...
  • Practitioner Development

    It is a requirement of my psychotherapy training to regularly provide self-assessments of my progress as a trainee. It doesn’t make for the most exciting reading but I like being transparent because in many ways a psychotherapist is really just a professional ‘open book’. I’ve not started in a placement...
  • 2012 Winter Retreat

    I’ve just got back from a 7 day silent meditation retreat at Gaia House. I’ve been doing these things for 10 years now and every one has been a profound experience. From the last few I’ve noticed a bit of a pattern, one which I thought I’d share. I’ll break...
  • BCPC Psychobiography Essay

    Explore your current understanding of the ways in which early and subsequent life experiences may have shaped your sense of self in conjunction with your patterns of relating. “What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” — John Lubbock, British Anthropologist, 1834-1913 I What does it say about...
  • TEDx Youth Talk

    I had the great privilege of being invited to talk at Bath’s TEDx Youth event. If you would like to know more about the Breaded Cat images I use, read Know Your Meme’s article on the matter.
  • Leaving The Cinema Before The End

    I visited Alan Chapman last weekend and one of the things we got talking about was the future of humanity. As we’re all no doubt aware there is mounting evidence that humans are digging themselves deeper into the hole of environmental disaster. How is this story going to unfold? Is...
  • Essay On Carl Rogers For My Psychotherapy Course

    ##Discuss the basic qualities of empathy, unconditional positive regard and congruence, showing your understanding of them and exploring the ease and/or difficulty you have in adopting each of them. Unconditional positive regard (UPR), empathy and congruence, also known as the core conditions, are the central concepts of Carl Rogers’ approach...
  • Coding Haiku

    I’m hoping this is the first of a series. It’s nothing more than a relaxed stroll through a trivial problem on my website. In it you get to see how I generally go about writing code and solving problems. It’s nothing special, but nevertheless, it’s how I spend most of...
  • Crowd-funded PaaS

    What if there was a service like Heroku or AppFog that covered the computing costs of an application through crowdfunding? To encourage donors this service could only ever run code from a specific public repository like Github. That way you would know that any money you donated would only be...
  • Rackup For Wordpress

    One of the great things about the Ruby ecosystem is the development practice of firing up quick, per-project development servers. So, you can be in the root of your project and you issue; rackup And a server is fired up serving your app from lcoalhost:8080 (or whatever port you specify)....
  • A Few Kind Words

    “What I had wanted to do with muscle and meanness had been deftly accomplished with but a few kind words.” Terry Dobson in Aikido Surprise I’ve been dumped. What follows is an attempt, mostly for my own benefit, to process the grievance of being professionally exploited. I shan’t name names,...
  • Becoming a Python Programmer

    I’ve been working at Potato for 3 months now. They’re a Python shop and I’m slowly but surely becoming a Python programmer. It’s one thing knowing about the existence of a programming language and even dabbling in it now and again, but committing to using it every day is a...
  • The Buddhist Geeks Conference 2011

    “You are totally double rainbowing my world.” Nikki Chau (@dragonc) I was at the first ever Buddhist Geeks conference last week. It was epic. I’ve been to Buddhisty meetups; retreats, dharma talks and so on, and I’ve been to geeky meetups; web conferences, usability groups etc. But never have I...
  • Mounting Rackspace Cloud Files locally

    Since writing this I’ve discovered Cloudfuse, which, seeing as it’s designed specifically for the task at hand, might be more suitable. Firstly, let’s talk about how awesome cloud storage is. Unlimited storage. Okay, well it’s not infinite obviously, but to all intent and purpose it is. The point really though is...
  • How I elasticised my web app

    By ‘elasticising’ I mean, separating the heavy application logic from the lighter website logic in such a way that under high demand it is a simple matter of firing up new application server clones to cater for the increased load. The other significant benefit of this is that by placing...
  • The Point of Meditation

    “At first, I saw mountains as mountains and rivers as rivers. Then, I saw mountains were not mountains and rivers were not rivers. Finally, I see mountains again as mountains, and rivers again as rivers.” Basho You would think that the study of religion was largely about how humanity has, over...
  • ChromePHP setup for all your local sites

    As you may kow you can output your PHP debugging into the Chrome console using ChromePHP. Hallelujah! However, there is a 4k limit to the size of the output ChromePHP can return. Bugger. Therefore you need to use ChromePHP::useFile() in order to allow unlimited output. This works by outputting debugging...
  • Underscore Skillswap

    At 7pm, on Tuesday, November 30th in The Pervasive Media Studios, Bristol there’ll be a traditional Underscore skillswap on the subject of Social Network Application Development. It’s free! But please book a ticket first from Eventwax first. Since the Web got its 2.0 badge, there’s been a lot of stuff about social...
  • It's Big Banging

    What if the Big Bang wasn’t just something that happened millions of years ago but is something that is happening right now? Perhaps the Big Bang can be thought of as less of a noun and more of a verb, so that just as the river is flowing, existence is...
  • Integrity

    “Sandalwood is considered the epitome of excellence, imparting fragrance even to the axe that cuts it.” The Hindu Vedas Sandalwood Are you good at what you do? Or are you just good at appearing to be good at what you do? Those who fall into the former category are the...
  • Frintr

    A week ago today I launched Frintr. It’s a project, of my own inception, that I’ve been working on for 10 months. The basic gist is that you create a mosaic of your own profile picture from all the smaller profile pictures of your friends from Facebook, Twitter and Myspace,...
  • MySpaceID SDK and PHP 5.3

    If you’re trying to get the MyspaceID SDK working in PHP 5.3 then you’re going to need the updated version of the Janrain OpenID library instead of the version that it ships with as default. You’ll know your version of the OpenID library is a problem because you’ll get lots...
  • Lenny, Nginx, FastCGI and Symfony

    Running Apache on 256MB of RAM is not ideal and when I started worrying that my VPS might not be able to cope with sudden spikes in traffic I decided to give Nginx a shot. This isn’t a concise tutorial, I mainly just want to share my Nginx config that...
  • Being Ordinary

    As some of you may already know I’m really into spirituality; what with a Religious Studies degree, a daily meditation practise and a book on the subject. So a good friend of mind‒and current housemate‒, Mike Kewley, who’s also very much into the spiritual world, have decided to experiment with some...
  • Inserting unicode characters on Linux

    If all you want to do is insert a special character like an em dash (—) or an ellipsis (…) in Linux you don’t need any special programs like scim or kcharselect, you simply; Hold down CTRL+SHIFT+U and a little underlined u will appear Type the unicode hexadecimal number for...
  • #uksnow timelapse

    I love snow, it makes everywhere look so beautiful and clean, plus it disrupts all those boring things like work and school. So I also love Ben Marsh’s Twitter mashup that plots #uksnow tagged tweets onto a map. Watching Ben’s map I itched to see the ebb, flow and movement...
  • Facebook, MySpace & Twitter Connect Buttons

    I needed to create these custom signin buttons for a recent project, you might like to use them in yours. They’re based on Rogie King’s work over at Komodo and so are licensed under the same Creative Commons license, which means they are free to use as long as you...
  • Cyberpilgrimage

    I suspect there are many who would find it odd that religion and the Internet appear in the same sentence, let alone the same word. Yet I’m sure most would agree that the Internet is having profound effects on the world and that we are only just seeing the start...
  • I've written a book

    I’m proud to announce that my first book, The Last Beyond, is available for download. I never knew how much time and effort went into making a book, of course the actual writing is a significant task, but then the editing, re-editing, notes, bibliography, typesetting, cover/art work and all the rest...
  • What if Facebook was as open as Linux?

    It all started with one simple thought, “I like the way that Facebook keeps me in touch with my friends, but I don’t like that it is a multi-million dollar, commercial business. Surely there must be another way?” So after a little bit of Google research I was tremendously excited...
  • RSS feeds per user in Wordpress

    Googled for a while expecting to find some plugin to do this, but no luck. So here’s a quick hack; Open up /wp-includes/feed-rss2.php and at about line 35, after where it starts the while() loop, add; <?php if ( isset( $_GET['author'] ) ) : if ( get_the_author_ID() != $_GET['author'] )...
  • wNOP no longer maintained

    Largely because I am no longer a Puppy user (read this for an explanation) I will no longer be actively developing wNOP :( Thanks for all your positive feedback, I hope wNOP continues to bring pleasure for years to come :)
  • Why I left Puppy Linux

    As some of you may know I am, albeit to a lesser extent now, a huge fan of Puppy Linux and I was, up until last October, actively involved in the community. So why the change of heart? Perhaps the most significant reason was the stepping down of Barry Kauler...
  • Nine to Five (thirty)

    So I got a job working for a local web development company called 2bebrave, they’re a fairly new company and I make the numbers up to 3. We do all the usual stuff; design, hosting, programming, SEO and so on, I would of course highly recommend our services. Our offices...
  • The future of tombh

    Through the Prince’s Trust I have been assigned a mentor to help me with my business, his name is Jimi Ogunnusi, managing director of BQM Consulting. He’s a very nice man and I feel really privileged to be able to share time with him. After our first meeting he suggested...
  • The Prince's Trust

    A few months ago I got involved with the Prince’s Trust. I’ve been hearing about them for years from various sources, then one day I visited their website, just to find a bit more about them, and the next thing I knew I was being showered with help and support...
  • HTML Parsing and DIY RSS feeds

    A PHP library that I think more people should know about is SC Chen’s Simple HTML DOM Parser. An HTML parser is a very powerful tool that allows the systematic ‘reading’ (i.e. parsing) of an HTML document so that specific elements can be accessed. One example of this would be...
  • Simplate -- a very simple PHP templating system

    I have designed a very simple PHP templating system called Simplate, you can download it from here. Instructions on how to use it are contained within the Readme.txt file. I sometimes like to describe PHP as ‘HTML with conditional statements’, this is perhaps on over-simplification, but for anyone new to...
  • CSS Rounded Corners

    CSS Rounded Corners – Using only one image file! There are lots of tutorials on this subject, yet most of the one’s you see require the use of four separate images, which means a lot of fiddly photoshop work; cutting, pasting, naming and saving – all times four. This method...
  • Something about Puppy Linux

    I am just about to release the second (and hopefully stable) version of a little project I’ve been doing in Puppy Linux. It has been a complicated and fascinating project, and one that has taught me an awful lot about Puppy Linux, but it has also taught me a lot...
  • How holes make websites

    Okay, so lets go back to the beginning. Even the spear and the wheel were groundbreaking inventions at some point! Sometimes it seems like computers are magic but it’s really just lots of little bits coming together – little bits that are no different in functionality to wheels and spears....
  • The Internet

    Relatively speaking computers have only been around for a very short while - and the internet even more so. Yet the differences they have made to our lives has been radical and unprecedented. For something to effect such change in such a short space of time makes one wonder where...
  • What is this?

    So if i’m going to be saying stuff on this blog I must start with one of the most important questions there must possibly be - What is this existence thing? OK, so I don’t pretend to have the answer, but I do know that it is here, that it...
  • Online

    I’ve had the idea for this website for a couple of months now, and been making it offline for a couple of weeks. It’s not completely finished but today’s the day it’s ready to go online. So here it is. Some links don’t work yet or they send you to...