Friday, May 25, 2007

Ten minutes of Amsterdam life

From the legendary Staalmeesters near Rmbrandtplein.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Furyon, ULU
Originally uploaded by davehodg.
My last hurrah in London, seeing some old friends in a new incarnation: Furyon. Previously, they were mildly AOR. Now they rock big stylee.

Check it out.

Good to catch up with Matt, July and Jamie for one last beer too.

Update: Pics on flickr as usual!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

That's it, I'm off.

Me by Joana
Originally uploaded by davehodg.
Off from this sceptic Isle at least.

It's not often you get the chance to turn the clock back ten years but, wrinkles and minor beer belly situation nothwithstanding, that's exactly what I'm doing.

As of Monday I'm off to Utrecht to lend Dave-fu to the Market Risk group at Rabobank; a team I was consulting at before joining the web 1.0 rush.

This came about totally by chance. I pinged one of my former colleagues to see what he was up to. That led to lunch. He described how some of the original team had been moved back on to the project, but they needed someone to bridge the business and IT and give the IT folks some leadership. "Sounds like you need me". Pause. "OK". A day trip to Utrecht to seal the deal and I'm packing boxes. Eat your heart out "six months to hire" Goldman Sachs. *That's* the way to do business.

I'm *really* looking forward to this: great people, really interesting project and of course, fantastic location. And it's long-term too: everything needs to be in place by 2010 and there's a lot to do. With luck, there should be some travel too.

There's also a good chance we'll be hiring more bodies and the Dutch tax system is awesome for expats. So watch this space.

I'll miss Camden. It's been an amazing six months of friends, gigs, emos and even some work in between!

Now the path to hell paved with good intentions:

1. I'm going to learn Dutch properly this time. Despite the protestations of the IT manager: "Noo! We need to improve our English!".

2. I'll get a two-bed apartment in Utrecht or Amsterdam so y'all can visit. I expect it to be booked out most weekends (and weeks!) when I'm not on the road.

3. On successful completion of the project I'll take a year and get that photography MA. For now, I'm retiring from serious photography.

If I sound full of it, it's because I am. This is going to be great.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Meet my tailor*

...he's called Tee. I've just blown a not insignificant amount of money on a couple of sharp suits, dressy shirts, ties and stuff. I just want to give a big up to my man "Tee" down in the basement of Moss Bros at the TCR end of Oxford Street. He knew exactly what size I was, immediately picked out the right suit and got exactly the shirts to go with it.


* Ian Dury. What a loss.

Monday, May 07, 2007

RTA on the M4
Originally uploaded by davehodg.
Yesterday, Sunday 6 May, I was pootling up the M4 back to London having taken a small detour to Swindon to get some beer and nibbles for my "Leaving London" party. About a mile from the Chievely exit I saw a puff of brown dust and then what appeared to be a car going end over end.

It was.

I pulled over with a few other cars expecting the worst and called 999 to scramble everything. Two adults had been pulled from the car and were laying on the grass ,and a toddler was being cradled by a fellow passer-by. After checking that there were no more people in the car, I grabbed a little girl as she was about to wander into the traffic. As I carried her up to the verge and tried to calm her, there was some activity further up the bank as some cries had been heard. After a few moments searching, another child was found in a tree having been thrown completely clear.

It took at least 20 minutes for help to arrive but fortunately, two doctors had stopped and got to work with the triage, pulling first aid kits from cars and performing basic first aid.

Once help arrived, it arrived in force: two or three fire engines, several ambulances and plenty of police. The Eastbound M4 was closed, followed half an hour later by the Westbound to allow the air ambulance to land.

According to the traffic police, the car had been in the overtaking lane, so doing at least 80mph, wandered into the drainage gulley, overcorrected, crossed all three lanes, mounted the bank, flipped and touched down at least three times before coming to rest on its roof.

As a skeptic, I don't use words like "miraculous" very often but it certainly verged on it in that no-one was killed in this: either the occupants of the car or any of the cars whose path it crossed.

After an hour or so, I put the little girl into the ambulance complete with space blankets, firmly gripping a new teddy bear given to her by a fireman and donated by the local Lion's Club (I think!) and waved her goodbye. She had hardly a scratch on her, just a bruised finger.

Now the angry part: anyone carrying children in their car without proper restraint should be prosecuted immediately. In this case the parents could well be once they are out of hospital: the police were taking a very strong interest in whether the children were buckled in and the absence of child seats. This is too little, too late. [* Update: the father was driving while disqualified *]

On a personal note, the whole thing was completely surreal. Firstly, this stuff never happens to me, I really hope it's not the start of a trend. I was also frankly impressed with myself and everyone else who stopped, the situation was dealt with calmly and efficiently. It was only when I stopped at Reading searvices and had a cup of tea that the enormity of what had happened sunk in. On the subject of tea, and I realise this is totally trivial, but everyone involved could really have done with a cup of tea while the paramedics were going about their work. What's happened to the Blitz spirit, eh?

Lastly, and I don't know whether it's just the way I am, but I felt very sad that the connections that had been made in that brief time, the bond between the helpers themselves and particularly with the little girl would be so transient. After I file a pro-forma statement today, that'll be it, all over. We'll never know whether the endng is happy or not. Life isn't like TV after all.

[* Update: OK, I've got some closure now. Everyone is fine, the worst injuries were a fractured skull on the youngest child and a broken collarbone on one of the adults. All's well and all that, but it should never have happened in the first place *]

Friday, May 04, 2007

Originally uploaded by davehodg.

I hadn't seen Kumi since Montreux in 2000, then we met up after the Purple show at Wembley. Turns out she's moved to London and was playing Monkey Chews tonight. It'd be rude not to! Watch out for the video: three DV cams there!