Self Portrait

I have gone back to drawing again. I was working through Betty Edwards book “Drawing on The Right Side” back in 2013. I am going over the exercises again.

Here is where I am as a starting point – my “before” self portrait:


My “before” self portrait. Drawn using a #2 pencil only. Time taken about 20 mins. Crickey! I look old! The stern look just shows how much I was concentrating!

I also include a foreshortening exercise: my left hand.


Relay for Life Rally – Cancer Research

Today I attended the opening ceremony for the Relay for Life fundraising event for Cancer Research. My colleagues and I at FPS Group put together a team to walk in relay for 24 hours.

Relay for Life FPS Team
Relay for Life FPS Team

I am walking the penultimate leg at around 8:45am tomorrow morning until about 10:35am.

It’s still not too late to make a donation. My donation page is

All money raised will support Cancer Research UK’s life-saving research into preventing, controlling and curing all cancers. Cancer Research UK aims to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured and every step we make towards beating cancer relies on every pound donated. Your donation will make a real difference!

Wild Eyes

I just finished watching a documentary on Netflix called “Wild Eyes”. This is a story of a 16 year old girl – Abby Sunderland – who in 2010 embarked on her dream of sailing around the world solo!

Her yacht – Wild Eyes – was knocked down, rolled 360° and dis-masted by a rogue wave in the middle of the Indian Ocean. She was about half-way into her adventure. Though Abbey was knocked down she was not out!

Her story is a great inspiration to all young people who may have met their own rogue wave.

Abby’s experience did not diminish her love of sailing or put a stop to her adventures. Well done Abby!

Follow the link below to read her story in her own words.

All it takes is 10 mindful minutes

Noise was my companion this evening. With headphones on, I was browsing my Smart TV and found myself on one of my favourite websites. For some time now I have been a frequent visitor to TED Talks.

Today I learnt several things. One of those things, was to close my mind to distractions and be mindful. I sat enthralled by Andy Puddicombe. Do nothing for 10 minutes everyday. Be mindful for just 10 minutes. Follow this link to Andy’s TED Talk and do nothing for 10 minutes!

Begin programming: build your first mobile game

Learn the basics of Java programming by developing a simple mobile game that you can run on your computer, Android phone, or tablet. This is a short free course run by Reading University UK. The course starts early January 2014 and lasts 7 weeks and requires 3 hours of study per week.

This course is suitable for complete beginners – you do not need any knowledge or experience of programming to take this course.

This free short university course is part of the international “Massive Open Online Courses” or MOOC which aims to offer free quality short university courses for all online.

You can learn more about the MOOC scheme at Wikipedia.

Where Do I want To Be In 5 Years Time?

There comes a time when we must review the direction we are heading. Our time is finite and we cannot do everything!

Some serious thought needs to be made on how my time is spent. I know where I am going, or where I should be going, but I have spent too much time procrastinating on alternative distractions that interest me. They are fun things but they have no relevance to what I want in the long run.

Only two questions are of any importance.

  1. Where do I want to be in 5 years time?
  2. What am I doing now to make that happen?

If what I am doing now has no bearing on the first question then leave well alone! Get back to doing the things that will help me to achieve my prime objective.

Perhaps, we can all take something from this post and review what you are doing.

Does what you are doing now, help in any way towards where you want to be in 5 years time? If it doesn’t then stop doing it!

If in 5 years time you have achieved what you set out to do then you can review your status again and see if there is time for these other interesting activities.