Merry Christmas and Thank You Friends and Family

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With all my Love xxx

As many know, this year has been both stressful and devastating with the recent passing of my Wife at the start of December this year.  As I sit on my own with a glass of wine and slice of pizza I wanted to say “Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Thank You for your help and support in 2016” to both friends and family during this season of good cheer.

No I haven’t gone soft, and I’m not celebrating Xmas or the New Year for 2016, but I do want to recognise the help and support from everyone who has been here to help us both.

I do want to say that Janice is a private person and didn’t broadcast her illness, at the same time she didn’t hide it.  Anyone who asked how she was, would learn the terrible truth.

When the news of her cancer broke, people reacted in different ways.

  • Some close friends ran to the hills to never be seen again (Fair weather friends).
  • Others kept in touch and said “Hello” from time to time.
  • Some of you went over and above to provide help and support, especially during the last few weeks of hospital.
    • Two of my friends had suffered their own personal loses and yet with all their added pressure really stepped with support for which I can not thank them enough.
  • There are those that gave us the space needed during the final days.
  • A few I don’t hear from for months/years at a time are behaving angrily.
  • And old friends who learned of this tragic news have shown their regular support.
  • Those who were completely unaware of the seriousness of her illness are shocked and devastated.

For everyone that has been supportive, picked up the phone to say hello, dropped an email, a PM or text, thank you, your words and thoughts are encouraging, even if I am a miserable old git.

To friends old and new, don’t be strangers or feel awkward, sometimes it’s the phone call, the simple hello or text that helps me get through these very dark days and thoughts, but also don’t be surprised or take it to heart if I’m an emotional wreck, grumpy or erratic.  I’ve never been good at either asking for (or accepting) help, just stick with me and good things will happen I’m sure!

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Jason x

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In Loving Memory of my Wife

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In Loving Memory of my Gorgeous Wife

It is with deep sadness my best friend and wife passed away peacefully having bravely fought a ferocious, extremely aggressive and rare form of Cancer.

At the time of her diagnosis, I stupidly asked “Why you?”, she looked at me lovingly and calmly replied “Why not me?”.

We both knew it would be a rough year, as she underwent an extremely tough regime of Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, Scans, Tests, set backs and more surgery than most can endure, and yet she never complained, got upset or cried.  She took each day as it came and focussed on each days problems in a bid to beat her cancer, a fighter to her very last breath.

In November a new (and fatal) tumour was discovered and grew from nothing to a very large size in less than two weeks.  At this point we were told that there was no surgical, radiotherapy or treatment available.  Thankfully the hospital allowed me to sleep on the floor next to her bed for the next 12 days and nights, never leaving her side taking care of her needs until her passing in December.

This years journey has been extremely tough on friends and family dealing with her cancer, and I will tell my story when I have the strength and energy to do so, please believe me when I say she is an inspiration to everyone who knew her during these difficult times.

I am heart broken, devastated and in pain as I have lost my best friend who is gorgeous, caring, witty and a fantastic wife.

I won’t be celebrating Christmas this year (it’s cancelled) and I won’t be sending any cards or festive cheer.  Instead I will sit on my own on Christmas Day with a pizza and a bottle of Jack Daniels for company as I try and make sense of what has happened.

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Dobré Ráno! Ako sa máš?

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Well it finally happened, took a while to sort out but here I am back in Slovakia and it’s been an absolutely gorgeous week so far with temperatures rising as high as 26 Degrees!

 

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Sadly though, an office looks like an office anywhere you work around the world, and so far no time for any proper site seeing/orientation. I did however manage to say Dobrý večer! to the Danube 🙂

Now which of my friends are making the short hop skip and a jump over the pond to come and visit me and party all night long?

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Posted in Bratislava, travel | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Amazing Sense of Architectural Humour

IMG_7413.pngWho here has watched the fantastic Cold War Drama  Deutschland ’83?

You can catch up on the  series here :- http://www.channel4.com/programmes/deutschland-83

There’s a scene in Episode 6 where Stamm is on the train and you catch a glimpse of German architecture which was captured above.

Now who says architects don’t have a sense of humour!

 

 

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Funniest Birthday Card…

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Knowing my love of all things Apple and an impending birthday, a friend sent me what I think is the funniest birthday card to date.  #WellPlayed 🙂

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Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Should I Stay or Should I go ?

Possibly one of the most confusing traffic signs I’ve seen in a while.  I shot this just before I was due to go on stage at a conference in Madrid to give a 40 minute talk on Security…

If you’ve watched the film “Team America” then you know that “Change is Inevitable” (in the style of South Park’s creators voice over of Kim Jong-Il)…  I know you’re playing that accent over in your mind right now aren’t you?

I often reflect on this picture when making decisions that have an impact in my life or those around me.  Choosing the right path is never easy, given there’s 50 shades of equally good and poor choices, there’s often no right or wrong path.

If only we had the natural intelligence of great foresight, hindsight would become a thing of the past.  We often have to make poor choices to understand and learn what went wrong and how we can improve our decisioning based on experience to change our lifes journey.

Red is associated with Stop, No and Danger, whereas Green is Go, Yes and Safe.  Maybe I should include Amber for procrastination, indecisive or Maybe…

Or in the words of “The Clash” :-

If I Go there will be trouble (Si me voy, va a haber peligro)
If I Stay it will be double (Si me quedo, es doble) …

Maybe it’s the start of a mid-life crisis, I’ve not yet got the hankering for an open-top hairdressers sports car to pootle around town, however I am sat reflecting on the choices I’ve made from my teenage years to present day and even started playing the what-if game, how much different my path would have been had I learned from past mistakes and changed my decisioning rather than being a trusting fool that I am.  Would I still be doing the same job? Would/Should I have been more driven? Should I have discarded the false promises and hope that organisation and people consistently failed to deliver?  Would I have chosen a different career path?

Of course I won’t know the answer, I can dream of different outcomes, the only real tangible answers are the decisions I’ve made to date, but how do I break a pattern of choices and improve on better outcomes?  Would they have been better outcomes than the decisions I’ve faced?  I don’t know, I have more questions than answers at the moment and unusually don’t have the clarity of thinking I once had.  Am I alone? Maybe I should relax with a good bottle of Single Malt or JD and mull these things over…

What mechanisms do you use to resolve difficult decisions?

Your’s confusingly….

 

 

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Email and ISP Hell…

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I chose to leave my ISP last month and move to a new service that actually delivers high speed 200mbs broadband… unlike my incumbent whose promised broadband faster than 3mb for the last 4 years and consistently failed to deliver.

In the style of Austin Power you may say “Whoopdy Doo”

However leaving my incumbent supplier of 26 years turned out to be more traumatic than it should be.  I’d like to think it was more incompetence rather than petty tactics, that my email briefly ceased to work, in fact email for many days now gone astray to the great white data processing cloud in the sky and at this point its pretty much unreliable.

At first they were putting whitelisted mail in the Spam folder forcing me to logon to my ISPs web mail service (something I rarely do) to discover this when some important emails hadn’t been received (No I’m not a fan of IMAP and do prefer POP3), so who knows how much has been lost over the years before I discovered their over protective SPAM measures….

The next phase is no emails at all, and it came to ahead over the weekend when I gave the security firm I was engaged with, a hard time for not sending me quotes for a new CCTV system installation…

Of course, since I have left the service, I have very little to none negotiation or influence with my old supplier…

Losing email addresses you’ve owned since the mid 90’s is a real bind and damn frustrating… I don’t know the way forward….

Grrrr so frustrating….. Anyone else have horror stories when leaving their ISP’s? or is it simply just me that attracts these kind of issues?

Ah, you’re probably wondering why the photo accompanying today’s blog? I was trying to find a photo that best symbolised the fiery depths of hell and failed, so chose one of candles in a paper bag which I took during a wedding in Slovakia (Bratislava) a couple of years ago.

 

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