Connections, Ideas and Emotions

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The Bitcoin Few Can and Should Help The Bitcoin Several

I bought Bitcoin about a year ago. It soared in price. I sold enough Bitcoin to get my original stake, (it was a total gamble) back into my UK bank account.

I also bought a hi-spec laptop for my 13 year old son Louis for Christmas with my Bitcoin.

I’m not a looser in the Mt.Gox potential bankruptcy, but I have lost big. And not just me, but the Bitcoin community, I think.

A year ago I trusted the Bitcoin Foundation, the first place I read information about how to buy Bitcoin. I went with what I trusted on the Foundation site. I went with OKPay to send my Pounds to Dollars then send to Mt.Gox so I could buy my Bitcoin. Mt.Gox was ‘the’ exchange that stood out as working closely with the Bitcoin Foundation, what could possibly go wrong ? I was joining a community committed to fare play and economic liberalism, two things  I really believe in.

I knew I was gambling and I was prepared to loose all I had put it in to support something I believed in, a digital currency not controlled by established institutions, but a community of likeminded people that really knew what the future was about in computing terms.

I started to spread the word and encourage others to take part in owning Bitcoin. I set up a blog BitcoinCoach.co.uk

Right now, today, I’d like to spread the word that members of the Bitcoin Foundation and/or Satoshi Nakamoto will do all they can to donate as many Bitcoin as possible to account holders of Mt.Gox.

Bitcoin has very small number of  holders owning very big piles of Bitcoin. Of those few a lot of bought their Bitcoin at very very low value.

If my bank account or credit card had been hacked, I would not loose anything today. In Bitcoin world it’s not the same. The Bitcoin concept cannot work for the mainstream unless there are protections.

The Bitcoin community could underwrite Mt.Gox losses and show the world, the community supports it’s early pioneering community members.

Crypto currencies are the future, I’ve lost my stake in the future because of the experiment that was Mt.Gox. I can no longer promote Bitcoin with any confidence, nor can I spend my Bitcoin to support vendors, I’m out of the experiment and I was a valuable member of that experiment.

Sometimes I think my trust in the Bitcoin Foundation and Mt.Gox trust has been abused, my reputation and intelligence brought under scrutiny. But then I think it was one giant experiment I choose to be part of , so ‘deal with it Daren’

The only people that can help, are the big Bitcoin holders and the Bitcoin Foundation. I hope you read this, and think about rescueing me and thousands of others like me, that got behind your experiment.

We are worth keeping in the experiment.

It won’t cost you very much and could yield massive returns for the future of mankind. 

Please share. Thanks



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Can You Trust a Romanian?

Damn right you can! 

Frankly I’m embarrassed to be British, the media hype around immigration and  morons espousing about “foreigners taking our jobs” blah blah blah.

In March this year, I had the very great pleasure of meeting an amazing man, Oleg. Oleg has a PHD equivalent in Design Engineering, a special visa to be in the UK because of his talent, a strapping teenage son and a wonderful wife who is a Doctor (Neurologist).

Oleg came to my home to fix my car (it wouldn’t start), I found Oleg on the Internet after two very poor experiences.

  1. Mercedes Benz wanted £80+Vat to just to plug my car into a computer before they would even take a guess what my problem might be.
  2. Greenflag recovery sent a lorry and a truly ignorant man to tow my car away, he didn’t arrive to diagnose a problem, just two it away to a garage. Useless.

Whereas Oleg (I now call him the Car Doctor) jumped into the car and asked me to explain what happened. We chatted for a couple of minutes. He said “I can fix this”. You know, that’s all you want to hear isn’t it? When you reach out to a professional, you want some little words of confidence to make you feel better.

Oleg checked a few things and within five minutes the car was started, amazing!

The problem? A fuse, a bloody fuse! I hope you are reading this Mercedes Benz and Greenflag! A FUSE!!!

Now, I would be lying if when Oleg first arrived and I heard his accent, for a split second I was doubtful, but I try to be a great human being and treat others fairly, no matter, colour or creed. I’m glad because I now have a true friend I admire and trust.

I had pre-agreed to pay Oleg £60 for the first hour of his time, I was very happy with £60, but Oleg refused to take my money! He said “It’s a fuse, I cannot charge you for fixing a fuse” – Amazing!

We settled on £20 for petrol and I asked if we could become friends and he work on other cars I had, I’d just started dealing in Mercedes SLK Roadsters. Lucky for me Oleg agreed.  I suspect a British mechanic may have charged me more by making up a problem and burning up the hour so he could charge me £60, it’s happened before.

Over the summer I introduced Oleg to friends and he helped others too.

Oleg had the time to help because he quit a job at a local garage because they were ripping off customers. Not replacing filters on services, charging for new oil when they were using old mixed oil. Customers were paying full price for servicing and were being blatantly robbed! Oleg said he just couldn’t take part in that, so decided to work alone, mobile.

I could make this blog post much longer and explain the racism I encountered whilst being with Oleg in situations over the summer, but I will try and end it here.

Oleg is Romanian, he’s an academic, he has principles and ethics and he is also highly skilled. During a conversation about the UK and Romania, Oleg shared how totally shocked and disappointed at the lack of ethics and morality in the UK. He didn’t expect it, he thought we would be a professional and ethical country, in his experience so far, we are anything but, some of his employers have been horrendous.

Take a good look in the mirror Britain, we are not all we think we are, I’d suggest we are living in the past, measuring ourselves against days gone by, and we are coming up short. Like I say, I’m embarrassed, but at least I have a new good friend that I admire and respect. Give people a chance huh and ignore the press, you never know, you may be delighted by what happens next. 

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“It Took Us 5,000 Years to Put Wheels On Our Luggage, We’re Not That Smart.”

It’s time to be back in the world full time. A full diary, lots of disruption and supporting great projects and ideas around the world is my goal for 2014.

What is the motivation for my goal?

Well, it’s something I listened to Bill McDonough say:

“What is our objective as a species, since we are the dominant species on the planet?”

“What if we could offer our children a strategy of hope?”

“How do we love all the children of all species for all time?”

“Our goal as a species could be… A delightfully, diverse, safe, healthy and just world with clean air, water, soil and power, equitably, ecologically and elegantly enjoyed.”

What part of that don’t you like the sound of ?

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 13.15.23

                                                                                                                                                                                        Image Credit: http://twitter.com/solobasssteve

I’ve had a few years off (my blog doesn’t lie), well, I did start working at 15 and was a father at 19. I really needed a break and some time to deal with some demons, refocus and understand what the next chapter of my life is going to be about. I thought hard about walking away from the digital sector, but digital is part of me, for almost twenty years now. I have a strong digital instinct and as several friends have said, “you know stuff and think so differently”. Digital (Technology) is a huge driver for change in so many ways, how we live and share our lives has changed forever. There is no going back. What consumes me often is, how can the world be a better place for everyone now everyone can connect instantly to anyone anywhere in the world?

Right now we are a divided planet, the haves and have nots, those that love and those that hate. There are those that own and control assets, infrastructure and media and their are those that consume and are controlled.

Energy and water will be vital commodities in the future that will effect “national security” strategies for many nations. That really means war, over water, oil and gas. The thing is, we have enough water and power for everyone, so why “defend” and kill for something everyone should be able to access. Money, it’s all about money. Money makes the world go round, we all know that. Supply and demand equals profit.

So, I took away money (it’s all just numbers on a computer anyway these days, money is not backed by gold anymore, it’s just printed when the Government asks for it from a central bank, it’s nonsense if that makes sense?) from my thinking and decided to try and rethink how the world might change with the new shared knowledge we have. The only answer I came up with by myself was, that emotional intelligence needs to be raised in everyone before any real change can happen in our world. When every single one of us cares just a little bit more about other peoples feelings and situations and less about our own, in every situation, our world will change. It’s not the only thing of course, how we plan and design around nature is paramount too. It’s back to Bill on that one.

I’m busy with some new projects of my own, you can find me at http://bitcoincoach.co.uk for the blog and http://twitter.com/bitcoincoach – it’s all about ‘digital cash’ and ‘Gold 2.0’ – You will have a ‘digital wallet by 2020’ remember where you read that.

I’m buying and selling Mercedes Cars from 1963 up to the present day, in the main I’m dealing with two seater Pagoda and SLK sports models, but I love them all. In fact I love beautiful and classic things, so I have another project called http://beautifulClassics.com the website site is being built, so more on that soon, but for now you can follow http://twitter.com/beautclassics

This TED talk from 2005 is a Beautiful Classic – give Bill 20 minutes of your time, he is amazing!

Thanks for reading 🙂

I haven’t blogged since July 2010, for those that know me, you know why. For those that don’t know me, that was then, this is now, and after two testing years I’m back, “On it”. yay! 🙂

When your life changes and its causes you deep pain, how do you know when your’re back on balance, as you were before the change and  pain came along ?

Well, it doesn’t just happen one day, at least it didn’t for me. For me, the first clue ( I’ve also called it an unblock) was in January 2012, but the final clue was on Saturday night ( September 1st 2012), on this beach (below) in North Norfolk.

Mundesley 2012

I was feeling a little different last Bank Holiday, I was watching Country File on BBC One ( I don’t watch TV usually), it was a special programme for the Bank Holiday prime time audience and it  focused on the North Norfolk Coast, so I decided to take myself up there, with Claire this weekend.

Saturday September 1st was the night after a Blue Moon, so a big bright moon was guaranteed for our night time beach walk. And what a beach walk it turned out to be, we had some music, a Union flag (to sit on) and a little LED ‘Mood Cube”. The moon was directly in front of us as we started walking, it was lighting up the beach for miles with a silver path of light for us, it was amazing, one of the purest experiences of my life. The sound and smell of the sea a gentle breeze and a moonlit path of silver light. Then I tunred my body toward the sea and there was a red shimmering star in the sky, I knew it was a planet but I didn’t know what one. I reached for my iPhone and fired up the SkyWalk app, it took a few seconds to fire up, I was so excited, it felt like 3 minutes!
Then SkyWalk revealed it was Jupiter!  The largest planet in the Solar System, amazing! But then SkyWalk also mapped the star alignments too! It was Jupiter into Taurus. “I’m a Taurus!” I shouted out to Claire, “bloody hell, all of my stars are aligned tonight and I’m here to see it!”, “I can’t believe it, what does it mean Claire?”

Right then, at that second, I felt my old self (a positive flow as sense of purpose), as I was before the change and pain that came in 2010.  I knew, I was “On it”, aligned, balanced, positive and ready for “lift off” again.

I could start listing some amazing people that were there for me over the last two years, but I’ll see them soon, hug them and let them know just how special they are and that I’ll always be there for them.

I’ve got a really busy September and October workwise and I’m going to blog more regularly, at least once a week is the aim. This is the first of many, thanks for reading 🙂

If you have time… I discovered this song the day before our trip and I played it several times in the car on the way up there, it’s beautiful and some of the lyrics really touched me (the clues are in this post) – thank you @2morrowsvictory

Below is the astrological translation of Jupiter in Taurus ( I’m not a big Star Signs etc fan! but…) and the picture I took on the beach, sorry for the poor quality, but hopefully you get the idea.


   Jupiter in Taurus

Biggest benefic planet Jupiter will move into taurus on 16th may 2012.
It will remain in taurus till 30th may 2013, and during this period it will effect our experiences, knowledge, and our understanding. Jupiter represents optimism, growth, generosity, joy, and abundance. Jupiter in earth sign taurus, there can be a delight for sensual pleasures and a desire for the simple good life.



#OpenHouse Thursday (Night) 26th August till Monday 30th August 2010

It’s an #OpenHouse invitation/gathering during the last days of #Summer2010  (doors of my home open for people to drop by, stay a while, cook a bit, drink a bit, talk a bit, play a bit maybe even sleep over) on the very edge of the Countryside in Surrey.

Although it is #OpenHouse,  I’m specifically inviting people I love, respect, admire, listen to, learn from, take strength and motivation from. I hope you can come to my place for any amount of time, from an hour to a few days, you’re very very welcome. I’d love to share my home and outdoor space with you.

I have dreamy ideas of great debates with the many brilliant people i have connected with in the last two years (yes it’s that long since Twitter, leaving BBC land and embarking on a new journey. A journey I am really enjoying and that is taking me to places and experiences that you just couldn’t “script”).  I have visions of laughter, silliness and amazement, bad jokes, goood jokes, funny accidents, and great song 🙂

We could have days out… Brighton and the Seaside (40mins), The Surrey Hills (15 Mins) , Devils Dyke (30 Mins), plus lots of National Trust sites that are localish,  trips in Central London are only  35 Mins too. Or we can have days “in” lounging. My garden backs onto woodland it’s circa 4/5 miles of fields and woods and walks with views on high. It’s easy to just go hike, and there is a lovely pub about 30 minutes into a walk.

To get to #OpenHouse is really quite easy…

Zone 6 on the Rail Network direct from Victoria, London Bridge 32 Mins and Clapham Junction 25 mins on modern air conditioned trains. From the South around Brighton, it’s a quick whizz up to East Croydon by train and a change for a journey 15 Mins back south.  I’m 10 Mins and a straight road from Junc 6 on M25 too, I can handle up to 6/7 cars if parked right :), there’s no yellow lines on the road either.

I’ve connected and built friendships with an incredibly wide section of people via Twitter, I’m really hoping a good slice of you can come and meet each other, swap stories, world changing views maybe.  Everyone is guaranteed a hearty welcome.

What about Kids ? Well look at the garden… of course! they are welcome, lots and lots to explore :-).

It would be excellent if you came and you’re in to gardening and/or cooking, you’ll be a very special guest indeed – Bring your tools and gadgets, recipes and ingredients.

I’ve got room for 10 or so to sleep each night, I reckon (airbeds, sharing the floor etc), and the garden can take a good selection of tents, even a couple of massive ones!

If @leashless comes, maybe we could build a Hexayurt ? I would really love that!

It would be very cool if you brought along some supplies (anything you like), enough to share maybe ?

I’d defo like a big conversation about #BigSociety. Oh…. music, there will be MUSIC and your welcome to come and “plug and play” wherever you find a set of speakers.  Not BIG! LOUD!  I haz lovely neighbours, but, well, you know, loud enough for the moment.

Not sure how to structure knowing who’s coming when. The Serendipitous potential of the #OpenHouse is something I’m quite excited about, but… I guess it would be good to know who’s maybe coming on what days. EventBrite seems a bit ordered, any ideas ???  Do share, I need some spark of genius 🙂

I really hope to see you and yours, thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy some of my garden snaps.

#OpenHouse Garden on Flickr



#140Conf – Tel Aviv – Israel

I’m still recovering from my trip to Tel Aviv. I’m still thinking about my trip to Tel Aviv and how I happened to find myself there, “representin”.

I have many many people to thank. So I’m going to try like this, A Twitter List for you to follow http://twitter.com/DarenBBC/irlcontributors-4 , some photo’s and some thoughts, experiences and emotions I went through. If that sounds interesting then please do read on, I hope you enjoy, it was EPIC for me.

London Heathrow – T5 – Jayne had the great idea that I drive myself to H/Row and park using long term parking. I found a new service that meets you at the short term parking area and takes your car away for you, then when you return, they meet you back at short term.
Alfred the Jag
Perfect and only a £5 premium, which given a black cabbie quoted £100 one way to heathrow, it was a no brainer.

Heathrow T5 8.45pm on a Saturday night was deserted, if you’re going to fly, fly then, it was heaven.

Empty T5 Heathrow

Charity Gallery - Heathrow T5
Take off was 10.30pm and I have to say the British Airways plane was great, got us in 30 mins earlier at 5.00am. I spoke to the crew because I thought the plane was new, but it wasn’t it had been refurbed. Good job, it felt new. Whilst chatting with the crew, I found out that they would be on my flight home, they were staying in Israel the same amount of time as me, 26.5 hours, of which I slept for 1 hour between 8.30am to 9.30am and 3 hours between 1.45am to 4.45am. I’m not complaining, but I;m not in my 20’s anymore, i’m still feeling the pain of no sleep.

Jeff Pulver graciously offered me the use of his hotel room to shower and change before Conference, I woke Jeff up at 6am, I was earlier than expected. Jeff bought me coffee and cake and gave me some background to Tel Aviv and his activities there, the key to his room says how highly he’s thought of in the tech powerhouse that is, Israel.

Jeff Pulver Room Key
So…quick kip, shower and change into the suit and tie. I was later to find out I would be the only person in a suit and tie 🙂 [ I like that]

The cab ride, was I have to say, that of a middle eastern experience, no english from the driver and no idea where the venue was, Coool! 🙂 I was running a bit late, but, I’ve learnt on my travels, let destiny take it’s path, I’m powerless in effecting the outcome.

Taxi Tel Aviv
I arrive just as Jeff is finishing his intro, the energy and buzz in the room was off the scale, physically, there was standing room only. I had my suit carrier and “man bag” so felt very concious walking to the front of the room, there were 200 people plus. Once settled I was greeted by smiles from the people that surrounded me. Jeff then announced to the audience that I had arrived and the room applauded, I felt joy, embarrassment, great pride and a real sense that I was “welcome”. I was in room of full of Israel’s “thought” and “geek” leaders and achievers.

Audience at #140Conf Tel Aviv

First up was Yossi Vardi – The Grandfather of the Israeli Tech Sector, founder of ICQ. Amazing charisma, wisdom and humour.

The laughter and engagement from the audience was amazing, and so natural, it was just part of what seems to happen when a couple of hundred tech/media/education/spiritual/young/old/political/music/finance related people get togethr in a room. There was a stage, with mic’s and seats for “speakers and panelists”, but that stage was for audience “use” too. I learnt, that Israeli’s take part, they don’t sit back and think it, maybe talk it down in the corridors quietly, they say it, share it, challenge and act. If it was too cold, someone shouted, “turn the heating up” or if someone said something funny ( which they did a lot) lots of people would laugh, but laugh properly and look at each other while they laughed. It’s a tough subtlety to describe, i guess you had to be there :-).

And “be there” I was… Lot’s of people chipped in cash to make the experience (trip) possible, and I have expressed my gratitude to you all in some way, but there are seven people I’d like to really show my deep appreciation to. They were the catalysts, and often the work of the catalyst is under valued, if valued at all, as it’s often forgotten, but is actually the vital spark that is always required. So…here are the catalysts, thank you once again.

http://twitter.com/digitalmaverick – He suggested asking the community on Twitter for funds – Drew is a teacher

http://twitter.com/bensaint – He made it clear, very clear he would make a major donation early on – Ben owns Evolv Digital

http://twitter.com/gemmawent – She matched Ben’s support within minutes – Gemma is founder of Red Cube Marketing

http://twitter.com/scottgould – He confirmed covering the cost of flying within 30 minutes of my appeal. Scott is a partner in Conference Group #LikeMinds

http://twitter.com/drewellis – He is Scott’s business partner and signed off flight costs within minutes of Scott’s suggestion

http://twitter.com/robocallaghan – My 1st “Chip In” donator, and what a donator. Just amazing.

http://twitter.com/JeffPulver – He invited me to Tel Aviv

Next edit, I will go into some of the people I met. Until then enjoi the music vid. The tempo is reflective of the intensity experienced and the “here I am” line sums up my feeling once I’d settled into my seat for five minutes.



It’s Conference Season

11th October 2009 (Ayden’s Birthday) – Six Months Blogging, two years on Twitter, three years on Face Book, four Years on LinkedIn.

I’m still nowhere close to being a social media “expert” or “guru”. But I do have some views and personal insights (Who am I ? Check the About “Building Better Connections” section). I’ve been doing some practical sessions  (speeches, workshops, consultancy) in the third sector on the subject of Social Media over the last 8 months.  I’ve been speaking to the public sector and civil service too, getting to know folks in that sphere. Finally, of course I’ve met with a good handful of private sector (profit focused) organisations too. There are some great people with some great ideas and case studies in all the sectors, but not really any experts/guru’s yet IMHO.

There is definitely a very healthy appetite to learn about Social Media in all the sectors, so 140Characters.co.uk has a “reason to exist”, which feels very cool I have to say.

Even better, industry peers and conference organisers have placed their trust in me to share my views and insights at various conferences during October and November 2009. Here they are in date order:

16th October 2009 LikeMinds

Exeter Devon, I can’t wait to speak outside of London: Just £35 a ticket ( #LikeMinds )

I’ll talk for 20 minutes on “Organisational Change” and be a member of a 40 minute panel discussion. Thanks Scott Gould

23rd October 2009Social Media in Business

London – Under £200 for a full day conference  (discount codes around on Twitter #SMiB09)

I will be introducing the conference and being the “anchor man” for the day. Thanks so much Chris Hambly

October 26th 2009 Media140

Brands + Advertising,  London Under £100 (promo codes on Twitter #Media140) for a full day conference.

I’ll be taking part in the panel debate about Trust & Brands. Thanks for the invite Ande and Kate

Novemeber 17th 2009 140Character Conference

The O2 in London.

I’ll be a “character” really looking forward to that.

Thanks very much Jeff Pulver #140Conf

If you can get to any of the events, please please come and say hello, it would be brilliant.

If you can’t make anyof the  events, defo watch this 🙂


Big Brother… it’s deplorable.

Summer 2000

A banging Paul Oakenfold track blasts out of the telly.

I’d had the tinter net for 3 years now and just upgraded to a home ISDN  Line – 64k  from BT (or was it 128k) No more “nic dong kao dene, crrrsss, crrrssss, crssss ( my attempt a writing out the sound a dial up modem made), 56k modem.

Top Tech from 1999

Top Tech from 1999

Life was good, I had a web agency (Fernhart) that was going great guns, we were working with ITV, Virgin and Domino’s Pizza. Kinda living the life actually. Jayne was 8 months pregnant with Louis too 🙂

We (Jayne and me) just kind of stumbled on Big Brother 1 because we watched a lot of Channel 4 back then, although my TV viewing hours had taken a nosedive over the last few years, but BB 1 hooked me. Why… well they were streaming the cameras from the house 24/7 over the web of course!!!

Geeee… what did you think? I wanted to watch people (total strangers to each other) living together in a house, being filmed for editing and TX across the network ? Nah, course not, but I was one of 10 million that watched the final and witnessed the winner give £70,000 to a little girl with health problems.

I was also one of a small group of people watching a TV broadcast live across the internet. Bloody amazing, in it’s day. I saw the nasty Nick and Craig classic live, as it happened. My good fortune.

We didn’t get anywhere near the project as an agency (Fernhart New Media), we were working with ITV, Victoria Real of Brighton had nailed the corridors of Channel 4. Victoria Real did an awesome job, many many other claimed Big Brother involvement, but it was Victoria Real and Peter Pedersen (C4 CTO) who were the heroes. Peter built the online play out (streaming) infrastruture, Victoria Real did front end.

Big Brother (Endemol)  innovated. Thankyou Channel 4 and Endemol.

And that’s it. I had a loyalty for Big Brother for 10 years, I’m a Taurus, I’m loyal.

Oh sorry… one more thing…The title of the post, about being “deplorable”, well a guy on Twitter called @audio thinks Big Brother is deplorable. I don’t agree, but I respect him.


Do you listen to tweets, real ones ?


July 2010: It was a year ago this week, we had #CozyTweetUp in the Queeens front Garden – St James Park, the blog post from that night is below, it was awesomeness, a lot of love, really. This year we are gathering at Regents Park, and celebrating Glenn @Lesanto 50th Birthday. See you in the park around 7ish – Baker Street tube entrance – somehwere around there. Just tweet #CozyTweetUp.

Skip to the first photo below of a Picnic if you’re not interested in a *Totally* indulgent section about me, it could be be a waste of your time and I wouldn’t want that.

If you know me from Twitter, you can also skip to the picnic photo if you want, as you probably know all the stuff below already.

Where to start, erm…I’m a very fortunate man, discounting monetary value, I  believe I am quite rich, certainly in 2009 anyway, who knows what might happen in 2010 though ?

Why and how am I rich? (you maybe thinking, oh please)

  1. I don’t have to work the 9-5 (does that exist?) five days a week , but I do have to work, which I love because, I love my work, so it doesn’t feel like work (most of the time).
  2. I have three sons, the age spread is 21, 16 and 8 – all three have different natural talents and they know what unconditional love is. Jayne my partner loves me (still) too. I’m surrounded by love.
  3. Physically, despite my best efforts (I smoke too much), I have good health, I am not impeded in anyway,  hearing, sight, touch, smell, no disfigurements and all my limbs function.
  4. Mentally, I invest in the fitness of my mind. I’m paid by some to think ( others to talk), so it makes sense for me to spend money on servicing my mind. I am blessed with a two forms of intelligence, the “normal” ( i.e. measured) IQ and Emotional Intelligence (CISCO rate it, I like CISCO, but not academia really, I could be wrong though?).
  5. I’m trusted, respected, quoted and I’ve been “missed” (being “missed” is I think the greatest compliment you can receive) both on a personal and professional level.
  6. I know how to love men as well as women and I’m not afraid to cry. ( I cried the heaviest for many years a few weeks back when Richard Mitchell died, Richard was just 28 and a truly exceptional young man).
  7. I may have another 20 years on the planet with my good health.
  8. I know how to use the internet, Wifi and some other mobile devices. I can have a good Mac and when I need to I can buy “Game Changing” gadgets like the iPhone.
  9. I’ve worked (and still work) at a senior level in industry, I really get about 🙂 For example: I’ve been with Bill Gates in a meeting for over the usual  hour.  (please… it’s not a brag, just trying to frame things for later). And right now, my embryonic business is starting to progress beautifully into it’s next stage.
  10. I can dance and I love music. But I’m not big on Rock, not sure why, I think because I can’t dance to Rock, I feel stupid when i try to dance to it.
  11. Because of Twitter, the number of wonderful people that are a part of my life has  blossomed like a great big like a sunflower over the last 12 months.
  12. I belong.

If you have listened to my tweets ( I say listened, because a tweet is a noise right?) over the last year or so, you would know all of that 🙂

If you haven’t listened, I don’t blame you 🙂 I’m noisy, and it’s a bloody noisy place, full of all sorts including Porn Spammers (that’s the internet I’m afraid)

I haven’t always been rich, I started  life very poor (maybe one day I’ll cover the poverty story, this is about life’s richness) which is why this week has been such a special week and I just wanted to share it.

CozyTweetUp Nomnomnom

I went to a #CozyTweetUp Picnic this week, I missed the first one (#CozyTweetUp) in the restaurant, because Joe(21) had SwineFlu. But @mazi asked me where we should do the next one, I said a picnic in St James Park London SW1 (Her Majesty the Queen’s Front Garden) and @ilicco agreed. Then as he does @mazi made it happen, even securing a drinks sponsors because of Twitter conversation with @hedgewhytch (pic below)


Sponsor 1. #Magners… who delivered 7 cases (84 bottles) of Pear Cider to my flat in Westminster. Thank you #Magners ( and their London based digital marketing agency), it was delicious I loved it. I don’t drink pints of anything usually. so here’s to Pear Cider 🙂


Sponsor 2. #Media140 who I went to the Tesco’s with to grab some wine, plastic glasses, black bin bags and some ice. Ande (#Media140 Founder) picked up the bill out of his own pocket as well as the Black Cab fare to the park. “Well Played” Ande thank you very much.

#Media140 Founder

#Media140 Founder

So… We arrive at the park and someone is “on” Ande within seconds, literally as we were getting out of the cab, nice guy was congratulating Ande on his London and Sydney events being confirmed. Anyway, walking up to the picnic area there are loads of people (scarey to walk up to) under three big and beautiful shady trees, it 30 degrees in London. Thankfully ( I get really nervous entering any kind of gathering, just the entrance bit.) I was greeted by Izzy who had also invited Olie. Olie had decided to do a wonderful spread of food, enough for 5/10 people maybe (see first pic in this post).  Amazing!  he also brought along some nightlight candles to take the edge of the darkness. I had never met Olie, so Olie was, you could say, a total stranger! from Twitter!

Has that ever happened to you ? Someone you’ve never met before, creates and serves food for you by candlelight for no other reason than kindness and a desire to connect. It’s weird stuff some might say, for me, it’s a new age of computing and communication. The art for me will be, how we you use online to connect people offline to deliver real, social and world change. Mankind 2.0 by 2050 maybe 🙂

Anyway, back to the picnic! The Picnic was a first for me. Heading to the park, for a picnic with friends and friends of friends after work is something I have never done before, I’m in 41 years old, I felt like a child. But… this is no ordinary picnic, it’s a picnic for “twits” or is it “twats” ?  well I prefer “tweeters” myself, so I can relax and just be a me and enjoy the moments.

The picnic lasted about three hours. And for three hours I was just in this bubble of relaxed pleasure with some great people, (some uber smart and earthy), some I knew, most I didn’t. One person, Britt traveled all the way from Devon for the picnic, and saw her kids in London on the same day. “Well played Britt” 🙂 [When I use “Well Played” it’s in the style of a very pleased Football (Soccer) manager.]

Inevitably I got a little merry on the cider, It doesn’t take much for me to get a little cheeky and say edgey things to shock or make people laugh, sometimes I get it wrong and offend people ( it mortifies me), I’ve seen Jayne cringe several times over the last 21 years (that’s another post I guess).

About 2 hours in, I was stumbling through the darkness trying to avoid treading on rugs and food etc, as I was stumbling around Vikky reached out with her voice, “Daren, this is one of the most lovely nights, this year”. Hearing those words, from a person I had only met a few weeks previously, whom I admire and respect, just melted me.


Well… I’ve never had a large picnic in the park with friends, especially not in the beautiful St James Park and since being a  kid, I have always dreamt of it.  Vikki re-enforced my own feelings of just how lovely the picnic was, it felt surreal, it was Perfect! actually. I don’t think you can get any richer than that. And “that” is being with friends, feeling at one with them and sharing your thoughts and feelings with them. We often share our frustrations with our family and friends, how often do you share your feelings of enjoyment ?

Thank you Vikki and James who tweeted the same feelings the next day.

IMG_1873 IMG_1876

So… that’s it really, a beautiful night in a park with friends, for very little expense but with a big bag of Happiness in return. I was brought up to believe happiness was achieved by having more than somebody else, a better car, a bigger house, more fashionable clothes, in my house, even being a better fighter (harder) was supposed make me happier. Luckily that’s all behind me now (my  up bringing), and my son’s have certainly never had a whiff of such nonsense. If you can find some happiness, you’re rich, and you’re richer than most, because to me, it just “feels” like there ain’t (I know that’s not a word) a busting lot of true happiness in society. Except on Twitter of course 🙂

The picture slide show below was put together by Benjamin Ellis (great man). The pictures in the show were taken by Paul Clarke, Ilicco and Benjamin. I hope you enjoy the slide show. I like listening to the track from Elbow, performed with the BBC Concert Orchestra (I trained at Ashridge Management College with a wonderful man from the BBC Concert Orchestra team) – One Day Like This.

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more about “cozytweetup tag“, posted with vodpod