Monday, 27 March 2017

Where have you been?

Hi all.

I still can't say too much but we split up (not a word) and I'm trying to sort out child arrangements. (in short my ex is keeping my kids away from me so i'm seeking legal action - it's sad but i still wish her the best despite the way she's treated me)

This has been ongoing for a while now but taking a lot longer than anticipated - so for now I'm going to get back into blogging again but with a few changes.

  • The kids won't be on here much for the foreseeable future until it's all sorted. 
  • I will post when I can - but I don't have dedicated internet at present
  • there are geeky projects I'm working on to help improve myself and give my children a better life. 
  • And maybe a girlfriend in the mix too. 
  • I'm moving soon - well if the property is ever finished
As for things like imwellconfused radio - this is still on hold due to lack of internet but we have dedicated mixing gear now and pc/transmission tools coming for when I can afford internet again. (also training to improve my DJ skills)

But for now I'll be back and blogging more over the next few months.

For now - Chat soon and be safe

Paul from IWC

Are you sleeping appily?

Hi all.

Yes i'm still here - I'll explain that in the next post but for now I want to speak to you about something close to my heart. Tiredness, something we've all experienced in one or more ways with embarrassing consequences from time to time (trust me, falling asleep on the bus is never fun.) Especially as one in three Brits claim to have slept through their stop when commuting due to tiredness.
But it's time to claim back that happy sleepy time as March is National Bed Month and our good friends at Vodafone have rounded up some of the best sleep apps to help tackle tiredness – all of which are available to download on the Vodafone Smart platinum 7


Now it's all good and well saying try some apps on an amazing phone (trust me - I own one)  but not without some of the best apps out there to aid a restful nights sleep. So here we list the best four apps for sleep training and tracking to dream journals and gentle alarm clocks to help fight fatigue right at your fingertips!

 Our top four for Appy Dreams. 

Sleep Genius – |
Android (£4.89), iOS (£4.99)
Designed by experts in neuroscience, sleep, sound and music, Sleep Genius helps you sleep longer, deeper and faster than ever before.
Neurosensory algorithms help you get ready for sleep, train your brain into its natural sleep rhythms and wake you with a gentle refreshing alarm.

PROs:
  • Guides your brain through each stage in the sleep cycle
  • Gentle refreshing alarm
  • Relaxation program which reduces stress and anxiety





Sleep Cycle | Android, iOS (Free)

Sleep Cycle is the intelligent alarm clock that makes waking up easy.
The app helps to analyse your sleep and wake you in your lightest sleeping phase – the natural way to wake up so you feel rested and relaxed.

PROs:
  • Wakes you in your lightest sleeping phase
  • Gives you detailed sleep statistics and sleep graphs each night
  • Has 15 carefully selected, high quality alarm melodies

SleepBot : Android (63p), iOS (Free)


This innovative sleep cycle tracking app will record any movements and sounds that you make during the night and can provide detailed graphs showing motion, sound, sleep debt, wake patterns and sleep times.
It also has a dependable optimal alarm that lets you customize your sleep tracking.

PROs:
  • Can track sleep talking and snoring
  • Has handy solutions to fall asleep or stay awake
  • The only sleep app that includes motion and sound graphs, sleep debt log, statistics, trend graphs (averages, sleep/wake times, patterns) and multiple custom alarms

Awoken : Android (Free)

Awoken is a lucid dreaming guide that helps you understand your dreams and has techniques to achieve and control clearer dreams. It helps you to become aware that you are dreaming and then helps shape, influence and direct your dreams with clarity.
Features such as ‘Dream Journal’ let you jot down your dreams in a diary and review them later. You can also search the most common words from your journal so you can monitor any reoccurring themes. 

PROs:
  • Keep your dream journal entries in a searchable list
  • Search the most common words and themes from your search journal
  • Helps shape, influence and direct your dreams with clarity
.

So my fellow night owls give these a try and tell me what you think - I will add more of your personal picks on sleepy time application if you can suggest some

Paul

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Miscarriage from a dads point of view.

I originally published for the now defunct Dadzclub website, but as the site is now closed and the new management have failed to respond for nearly a year. The WayBack Machine also has a copy too. Click here  - if Phil wants his story removed I shall do so.

advice and support is still avaliable via email or twitter @hooker1uk and hooker1uk@yahoo.co.uk 



Paul's story

Until I met my partner, children were the last thing on my mind. Eventually, the bond between me and her son from a previous relationship became so strong it changed my perspective on wanting children.

I brought the conversation up at first, mainly to see if it was a good idea, as we had been together for quite a while in a stable relationship, and her little man had chosen me to be his father. (it made me cry the first time he called me dad! Yes, I'm soppy)

We both agreed, and had just moved into temporary accommodation when we first tried. She took a test, and it confirmed we had a baby on the way. We were immensely happy. In fairness everything was going really well for us. Until one day I got a call from my partner while at work, sobbing down the phone begging me to come home. I did, to the disagreement of my boss.

When I got home she was crying her eyes out. She had miscarried, something I had not thought about or could begin to understand, Hugs and saying "It's ok I love you" was all I could do at that point.

A trip to the doctors confirmed we had lost our little bean. I was still unsure what to do, As if I had let down my partner, son and our little angel. It hurt, almost as much as losing my parents. A strange experience for anyone who has experienced loss. I usually try to keep going, smile through it and take stress out on the bike.

Eventually the hurt and anguish subsided for us to approach the subject again.

The day she fell pregnant again was filled with happiness and worry. I will admit I was scared  in case it happened again, I was unsure how we would cope losing another baby. Sadly my worries were confirmed a few weeks later, my partner experienced extreme pain in her abdomen and bleeding, I rushed her to the A&E where all they could do was offer her painkillers and book her into the hospital's early pregnancy unit the following day.

When the day came, she had a scan, and had to take some medication, Then she was to come back again. Two days later. The second visit confirmed our fears, we had lost another baby.

This time the emotions going through my mind were the most extreme feelings of pain, loss and inability to cope. I openly admit I've battled with depression from a young age, this threw me over the edge I had fought so hard to keep away from. I thought about suicide, even how, where and when. The only thing that stopped me was a photo of my son, which brought other emotions of how silly I would be if I joined my parents in the land of the not quite living. I went home and put the thought of suicide to the back of my mind, locked up in a box to stay away. That day I felt better for being there to support my partner.

Eventually, our first daughter was born. Our little miracle was so sweet and amazing. She had a tough time to come into the world and nearly didn't make it. But the staff involved with her emergency C-Section were amazing. I can’t thank them enough. Seriously, they rock.

Down the road we lost two more angels equally painful, numbing, and emotional rollercoaster’s. But eventually baby two was here, and at time of writing this she's shouting at Mr Tumble.

One thing that I realised really quickly was how most people rush around mum to check how she's doing, if there’s anything they can do. Usually ignoring how dad feels, what's going on in his mind or worse. Is he ok? Please, don't assume a man is ok just because he seems to be. It may sound arrogant but most would be appreciative of being asked in a situation like this, even if they do not show it.

Guys if you are going through it. Feel free to drop me a line on twitter @Hooker1uk I'll help where I can. Paul



Phils story

My wife and I had been trying for a baby for a little while, because her cycle was a little messed up so we’d not had much luck.

In September 2009 we found out that she was pregnant, it was a real shock but a very welcome one, we walked around in a bubble for about 2 days, not really believing she was pregnant, 5 tests and a trip to the docs later confirmed we were.

Everything was going fine, she had all the symptoms of early pregnancy and we had our 12 week scan booked.

The wait seemed like forever, but eventually the day arrived. I remember getting out of the car at the hospital and saying to Jo, “today we get to see our baby”

We waited for what seem like hours in the waiting room, surrounded by lots of other couples all looking as excited and nervous as we were.

Eventually we got called in, and the sonographer explained what she’d be doing and looking for.

She applied the gel to Jo’s tummy and started to move the probe around. Nothing.

I really wasn’t sure what we were supposed to be seeing but I couldn’t see anything baby shaped. I could tell from the look on Jo’s face she thought something was wrong.

The sonographer had to do an internal scan. She measured something, it didn’t look like a baby and it didn’t look like the pics I’d seen of other peoples 12 week scans.

“We have a birth sac but your baby isn’t 12 weeks old, is it possible you have got your dates wrong?”

From the measurements she’d just taken our baby was about 6 weeks old. There was no heartbeat.

We had to book another scan for a week’s time, the baby should have grown and we should have a heartbeat.

We both walked out feeling a little numb, but it was entirely possible that we’d got our dates wrong. After possibly the longest week of our lives we went back for the scan.

After another look the sonographer confirmed what we both feared, there was no heartbeat and the baby hadn’t grown.

She confirmed the miscarriage, almost matter of factly

Jo was devastated, I didn’t really know what to do except put my arms round her and give her a hug.

We got taken into a little side room until the doctor came to see us.

Jo was taken into hospital 2 days before Christmas to have what was left of our baby removed.

I felt pretty useless as they took her to theatre, an hour later she was back on the ward and I took her home that night.

Neither of us really knew what to say, Christmas came and went, neither of us were particularly in the mood to celebrate.

I was very upset initially, felt very down and pissed off, why had it happened to us? There are plenty of people who don’t deserve kids, they clearly don’t want them yet they manage to have them why can’t we?

We also found out a few people we knew were pregnant, we’d have been due at the same time as them, for some reason this really hurt, I remember feeling very jealous and angry that they were having a baby and we weren’t and then thinking that was totally irrational but it still really hurt.

At least you know you can get pregnant

If I had a pound for everyone who said that I’d be a rich man. People don’t know what to say, but I know we can get pregnant but we were pregnant and I want the baby we just lost.

What if we don’t get pregnant again? What if we do and have another miscarriage? Why didn’t our baby grow properly? Was it something we did? Is there something wrong with us?

I went through all of these, probably not as much as Jo but I was still angry and upset that we’d lost the baby we had so badly wanted.

I found that within a few weeks I felt that I’d got over the miscarriage while Jo was still really upset. I found it hard to understand how she was still so upset months later, after my initial anger and upset I was almost matter of fact about it, yes it was a shame but I guess it wasn’t meant to be, it wasn’t anything we’d done and it’s more common than you realise.

It wasn’t until we started talking about trying again that I really felt upset again, I’d told myself that perhaps I didn’t want to be a dad, I was happy with the life that we had and that having a baby would get in the way of what we enjoyed doing and that I didn’t want to give that up, looking back I just put a barrier up, told myself I didn’t want to be a dad and convinced myself that was the case.

I knew how much Jo wanted to be a mum and talking it through made me realise how much I really couldn’t wait to be a dad.
We tried again, Jo got pregnant fairly quickly. The first few weeks were horrible, waiting to get to the 12 week scan, Jo said it ‘felt different’ this time which we took to be a good sign.

The 12 week scan arrived and we got to see our baby, this time everything was fine, to see her moving around was just the most amazing feeling that I can’t really describe properly.

I’m now 2 weeks into being a dad and loving it. Phil.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Music Monday - Tunage

Morning all,

Today I'm trying to keep up with blog goodness right now and with that Music Monday needs to continue and today its got a banger.

I heard this on Radio X the other night and its already on my playlist.

So turn it up, grab a cuppa and enjoy

 Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Ballad of the mighty I





Got any bangers you need to share? Post it below.

Until next time

Paul.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Vodafone Presents the perfect paring.

Hi all,

I was invited by Vodafone to come and see two of their newest devices the Vodafone Tab Speed 6 and the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6. Long names aside, they are an impressive pairing for both new users and those looking for good, solid devices with high end specifications at a great price.

While this isn't a review I'm hoping to get my hands on these for a bit longer soon,

Lets's begin with the Vodafone Tab Speed 6, the sixth generation of own brand tablet from the network giant,. It's a 4G enabled 8 inch slab with a bright display, quad core Snapdragon processor, 16gb storage, 5mp rear facing camera and 4060mAh battery.
Boasting Android lollipop 5.1, bringing with it many improvements from the user interface to overall device security and enhanced Google services.

Overall the device felt great in the hand, was responsive and in the short time I played with it was a pleasure to use, I didn't get chance to test the LTE 4G capabilities but overall Vodafone's 4G service is very consistent from previous tests and reviews.

What impresses me more is the price, £125 for a decent performing tablet with 4G or free on contract at £16/month for 3gb data.

The Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 is another impressive 4G capable device with an octa core snapdragon processor, 13mp camera, vibrant full HD 5.5 inch display and a tasty 3000mAh battery all packaged in a beautiful shell.

Again the device boasts Android Lollipop 5.1 it had a great feeling in the hand and again felt impressively zippy while trying it out.

Overall these would be a fantastic paring for both new and existing android users and perfect for budget conscious users

I'm hoping to go back and play with these again soon and give you all a review of these low priced powerhouses in the future, so keep your eyes peeled for more Vodafone goodness.

Monday, 21 December 2015

A day in Slough with CalAid #MusicMonday

Hi all.

Yes, I know i've not been here a lot, there's a lot of things going on at the moment and it's a bit non stop for me and the family right now. Hence the lack of family stuff right now, this will improve over time but for now let's go back to something positive.

On Sunday I went to Slough with a member of B3ta, (hey Trelly!) who kindly drove me to CalAid to organise donations to go to Syria.

During the day we met some amazing people who had been to the Jungle and been building sturdy shelters for refugees in Calais. With some going back in a few days and staying through Christmas. I felt proud to be a part of a group helping others and hope to go back again in the future.

But I do know CalAid Slough needs help with their units as they have to move all the donations from one site to their second site by the end of the year. If anyone local is up for it I'm sure they would love to see you.

Now for some music I've been thinking about it for today and this little ditty by Reef fit perfectly. for some reason. It's a happy song!
So I present Reef - Place your hands!

Monday, 26 October 2015

MusicMonday

Morning all.
I've not done a musicmonday in flipping ages, let alone a family or bike related blogpost.
well there's a reason for this that i cant talk about yet, purely for confusions sake. but for now lets ramp things back up with some music on t'blog.
I've been thinking about memories from days gone by and by chance caught this on a 90's online radio station and it's been stuck in my head all week.
so in the hope it brings you good memories. I give you
PM Dawm - Sail adrift on memory bliss