SketchShe – Mime Through Time

A few years ago, I used to love stuff like this, but I’ve seen so many poor versions that it just doesn’t keep my attention any more.

I came across SketchShe via a friend’s post on Facebook and have Kind of become a little bit obsessed :P Credit where due, these Aussie ladies are great!

Yes, I’m late to the party (29 million of you plus Ellen arrived first), but in reality the party never starts until I get there, ha!!

Our chickens have landed!

What an exciting day!

All the gear that we bought from Omlet arrived this morning, the wood chips arrived this afternoon and the chickens this evening.

We weren’t sure when the chooks were arriving so we did have a pretty busy hour when I got home setting up the Eglu Go Up.

Initial experience of the Eglu Go Up is positive though it was a bit of a pig for Max to set up (I helped a lot too!!).

No names yet – we know the three names but need a few days to get a feel for their personalities.

The breeds that we have selected are Bluebell, Speckledy and Suffolk.

Having chickens was a massive part of ‘the dream’ when we left the city and it’s been amazing to realise the dream today :D

Attending An ‘Information Day’ Organised By The Brain Tumour Charity

As many people reading this will know, I was diagnosed and treated for a rare Medullablastoma tumour last year. I’ve aligned myself quite closely with The Brain Tumour Charity as I strongly believe in the work that they do, and most importantly, the support that they provide.

I know that some people may find this hard to believe but throughout my initial ordeal I was overlooked and received zero support from a certain well established and embedded Cancer charity or otherwise. Many people must have just assumed “28-year-old kid, he’ll be fine”. My family and I were pretty much left to do stuff on our own. Of course, the NHS staff were brilliant, but they exist to try to fix you – they are not oncology experts. Around this time I stumbled across The Brain Tumour Charity and found that there was such a wealth of information and that people were prepared to engage with me in multiple ways (including through social media), which felt brilliant. Suddenly I started to understand the bigger picture and feel like I was part of a community.

The Brain Tumour Charity runs Information Days with that purpose – bringing together a local community and sharing ideas and information in a way that I’ve seen no other charity do.

As an example, the colleague of one of the surgeons who operated on me spoke and discussed what it’s like to be a brain surgeon. She was visibly moved and you could see that she really took each patient to heart. Despite what you’d think, she only performs about 150 operations a year – so it really isn’t a case of one-in-one-out, she really does have the time to plan, operate and follow-up –  there’s a lot more than just cutting in to someone’s head and debulking a tumour. I’ve encountered this surgeon before, when I was brought back in for life threatening dehydration, and I’ll admit, she terrified me. Seeing her in this light has definitely made her more human to me and helped me to understand her role a lot more thoroughly.

There was also the opportunity to ask questions at the end, which is a pretty rare opportunity in the world of oncology. You think that ‘cancer’ automatically gets you 20 questions – with the NHS it doesn’t. That’s where brilliant sessions like these come in.

I had the opportunity to meet some really wonderful people on the day, both staff who have supported me, and fellow people who’ve been blighted with a brain tumour. It’s additionally great to hear from the ‘partners’ – it gave me, as the guy with the tumour, a much more rounded view of the situation.

Next time they hold an event local to Manchester – hope to see some of you there maybe? :)

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Below is a link to the ‘main’ Jake video which was introduced to the group and which I saw a while ago and think is fantastic.

(there are others too – see them via the YouTube page. GREAT for adults or kids and explaining to friends and family)


REVIEW: Cool Rider Live Album

First off, I should declare that I didn’t get to see the show itself – brain tumour and all that – so I was thrilled to learn about the album.

Recently, a successful Kickstarter campaign was held to raise the funds for this project.

The existence of the album itself is a fantastic triumph! I do think that more shows that are hesitant/can’t justify the expense to produce a OLC Recording should use this method to allow fans to get the recording that they really want! Fans are always happy to pay in advance for a recording – it’s a great way of giving something back to fans through additional rewards – and it shifts the issue of risk away from the producers. Win/win!

I’m a MASSIVE fan of Grease 2, and it’s been amazing to see that I’ve not been the only one out there all these lonely years!

The sound and feel of the recording is very ‘musical theatre’ and different to the movie version. It’s taking some doing for me to set aside the movie version, which I’ve obsessed over for like 15 years, but on the whole, I liked a few of the changes in music that have been introduced, though some of the tempo changes did wrong-foot me a little. The movie version on stage wouldn’t have worked, so it’s still great to hear some innovation, which I’m told was very well received by the theatre-attending public.

I don’t think that you can compare this to the original movie soundtrack. Listening to the recording, I’d go along to see the show were it ever to tour – admittedly mainly for nostalgia reasons and as nobody else has been brave enough to produce another version.

I don’t regret my purchase one bit, as it’s great to support the theatre industry – something which I feel is very important that we all do.

You can pick up your copy of Cool Rider Live from


UK based musical theatre geek with a brain tumour!


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