In the last week as I was rearranging my bedroom to better accomodate new new working space and future furninture I plan to bring up here, I came across an old refill pad that’s mostly unused save for the first few pages (I had an awfully bad habit of doing that when travelling between home and uni between semesters, visits and term years). This particular one had the front cover missing and the writing on it caught my eye. After reading it through as probably a long since archived (circa 2011) and subsequently expired idea for an old website post, I feel it’s a thought worth showing the light of day, especially after studying sound and learning of the world becoming R. Murray Schafer’s idea of Soundscape hell (a saturated environment of artificial sounds drowning out the ornaments of ‘pure’ sounds within the environment heard), even though ironically my advice kind of goes against his (link here if you’re interested in what any of the last sentence meant).

So here is one of my musings of 2011, reshared for this week and typed exactly as was handwritten (graphical errors and all):

I was taught one life lesson in Acoustic Ecology. Don’t just filter out the “everday” sounds and listen to what you deem to be “important”, because some of the most interesting sounds are best heard when you let them speak. So go somewhere quiet, stick on your headphones, get out your recorder and listen carefully to the world around you, and record it if possible.

You’ll be amazed at the little things that present themselves to you. I feel this concept applies to life too. So take time, shut out the hustle and bustle of life. Sit down, relax and listen to your head and heart, instead of just what your mate says or your family tell you. Listen to the thoughts and face the issues that you pretend aren’t there or that you haven’t got the time for. You never know you might just solve it. And record it somewhere: Phone, Portable Recorder, Laptop, Diary, Note Pad – whatever. So in case you feel bogged down about stuff, you know you still can be and what you value and believe in. Whatever you believe, you’ve only got one life as the person you are on this planet and you should value every second of it you’ve got, so that at the end of it all you may have a few wrongs but you can still smile and know that you haven’t wasted the time you have and fulfilled your thoughts.

You know, it still stand by and believe in this musing to this day (proving that, although ery meta, it does work) and I with us all having a note taking device in our pockets or bags these days (unless it’s a Galaxy Note 7, in which case don’t keep it there!) high tech or low. So if in doubt, write/speak/record it out. You never know when it might come in handy again.

Happy Sunday everyone (or whatever the day future Mike or anyone else reads this).

(Present) Mike

5 Years From Now

That’s a popular question for some. Mostly it’s in interviews asked in the hope you have ambitions for the future. But when you get to that stage, it’s worth stopping to reflect on what you said and if you managed to achieve any of it, or perhaps changed direction.

I’ll admit every year seems to be a different adventure for me.

Looking back at both my social media history (except for the lost stories of Bebo) and indeed old memories, I’ve at least managed to trace back to this day up to 7 years ago, but for the sake of the title, I’ll stick to only mentioning the 5 🙂

In 2011, I was in my first year of my MRes in Scarborough (Hull University) with the prospects that it might help me with a career in the music production industry and making my way into younger adult life with my coursemates that I’d gotten to know a couple of years prior and started my second attempt at running a WordPress site.

In 2012 I was still working on the MRes and just getting into the everyday swing and regular tasks of being a residential warden for my fresher family in Scarborough at the almighty Crawford House and trying to sort out the imfamous boiler system that was attached to it, during this year was when I first experimented with running multiple blogs and also did some work with the healthcare organisaation Nuexcom. In 2013, now redrafting my MRes with another approach, I had moved to Attenborough House (still in Scarborough) whilst trying to make things work with my former partner, part way through this year I restructured all of my sites into ‘The Porto Flynn Network’ and added extra blogs for Katherine’s photography portfolio and our adventures together in helping her complete the football touring challenge known as ‘The 92’. In 2014 I was in Bolton living with said partner and had just completed my first month at Lancashire Teaching hospitals, a bit of an interesting start to my career and now paying off expenses in anticipation of my MRes being marked. Last year I had got my MRes back and was redoing it again after many corrections to the writeup and things had unfortunately changed in my partner moving out and into her new house and I…wasn’t. However one year on, the transfer of the contents of ‘The Porto Flynn Network’ were complete and the site was wound down a few months ago. I’m quite happy in the career I’m in and may continue to keep it this way for the forseeable future.

Looking at all of that, I must admit I never imagined life turning out this way. But do I regret not being the friendliest, yet got things done warden, that partnership didn’t last, or that my career veered from Computers to Music to Music Technology to Technology in Education? Not at all. They may have all been different adventures, but they all helped me get to where I am today and if time travel was possible, I would only revisit it all for the memories, not to change a thing.

So I guess the next question is, where will I be in 5 years time? The answer is, who knows? All I wish for is that whatever I’m doing, whoever I’m with (myself, friends, family or another half), I’m still here sharing it with you all and that I’m happy and I hope you will all feel the same.


So if you’re reading this, try it for yourself. Where were you 5 years ago? Would you change it if you could? Where do you think you’ll be 5 years from now? You don’t have to share it, but feel free to discuss below if you so wish.

Happy Sunday and I wish you all a wonderful future week, because you never know, it might set you on a path to make you who you are in 5 years.




This is an interesting topic that’s been on my mind a lot, but particularly in the last two weeks. Whilst this isn’t a formal blog per-se, I will try my best not to let it become a rant (as I’m sure my colleagues, family and friends will agree has happened before).

So a big problem I’ve seen recently seen and heard about in projects and in work (not just corporate business, this can apply anywhere from community organisations and volunteer groups all the way up to military operations)  recently is people either failing to communicate or people not taking in communication.

When you start a project with somebody, communication is such a fundamentally important principle. If you don’t establish your aims and goals and expectations clearly from the start, you’re setting the stage for something to go wrong immediately. I’ve seen this happen so many times and in the advisory role, experienced it myself making the mistake of not asking enough. I’m not saying we can’t trust anyone and must be brutally anal about every hair on every brass tack, but hidden surprises can be dropped on anyone, any time and often the blame will be shifted to you because “you never said we couldn’t/shouldn’t or I didn’t know we couldn’t/shouldn’t”.

Likewise, it’s important to engage in listening to each other’s side of the conversation and if you’re unsure about something, ask. As the proverb heard through pop culture says assumption “makes an ass of u and me”, this is often the case between a service provider and the client when the service user suddenly has more pressure put on to pick up the pieces.

Once you’ve established this pact for communication, stick to it and update each other regularly and make sure you keep this going all the way up to your go live date. Once you’re past this, comes a really really crucial part that most people overlook. Make sure you have a post-live support plan of sorts. If this is a product, make sure there’s a service level agreement to make sure end users and clients aren’t abandoned and make sure this is clear from the beginning of the project (not just tacked on at the end by needy clients or an afterthought by the service provider).

Now to the other side of communication. If you’re a comms. provider (published or broadcast media, PR, social media, promotion & marketing etc), clarity is beyond required, it’s the very foundation to the trust you will try to build with your audience. It’s always best to be honest with your audience and if something cannot yet be said or at all, explain that to people that ask questions (this is particularly important with confidential information, product releases, trade secrets etc). If you hide it or fabricate the information and you’re found out you might lose the trust of your audience and it may take a long time to rebuild that trust again. If something can be said though, shout about it, represent the brand you’re working for and keep reminding people why you are awesome and people should be subscribed to your content (even in a human sense if you’re not a place or entity that provides a subscription service).

At the end of the day, as good as we are at listening and interpreting, non of us have yet developed a natural ability to read minds (voodoo, magic or technological methods are a different story), so if we don’t communicate our intentions in one form or another, then things may not turn out the way you expect or sometimes the right people may not always get the right message.

Have a great week everyone.


Find Your Community

So recently after settling into a new place I’ve been thinking about getting out and meeting some of the locals (whom I don’t already know through work). After uni I only really had my previous partner and her family to converse with locally with my other lifelong friends being in my hometown back in the East Midlands and my uni friends spread all across the country and internationally. Once we went our separate ways and I moved out I needed to find other people to talk to. Sadly in my temporary housing this wasn’t the most successful endeavour (although that said I got on with my housemate really well when we did see each other.

After being where I’m now based for a couple of months I’ve met a few people here and there and got to see a few of my colleagues from work let their hair down and it’s been good fun and the social circle of the outside world slowly continues to grow (it grew today in fact when I was drafting this post in The Ferret just outside of Preston City Centre and got to chat to the bar staff for a bit – seriously, if you’re ever in the area and you want a really good burger or sandwich and/or you like an unapologetically good gig night, give them a go!).

Whilst I was worrying previously after nearly 11 month whether I was being too introverted, I’ve come to realise the community I have both online with old friends and family coupled with the amazing people I know both in Blended Learning and the wider Health Academy and the few people I’m getting to know here and there are my little community.

So, for those who are feeling lonely or feel thrown into the lurch of not knowing anybody (be you a student starting in University, somebody that’s just moved to the UK or just people starting out somewhere else in general), don’t panic about meeting hundreds of people at once. Even at university it took time for me to meet the large circle of friends I had in halls and over the year that only grew and grew.

If you feel you’re not meeting the people in your local proximity, the Internet also provides a wealth of different places to meet new people and build your own circle of friends. You could sign up to a set of forums where people share common interests, or maybe start playing your favourite game online to meet like-minded players. This option often opens up the whole world to you, allowing you to meet people everywhere.

If you fancy getting to know these people further there are both dating based sites out there and well as the idea of Pen-friends in both the traditional and newer electronic form  that allow you to talk to people all over the world either by email or, as you get to know them, sending letters through ‘snail mail’. Two I have discovered are PenPal World and Interpals, but I’d do your homework on search engines to find the right site for you.

Whatever path you’re coming from and whatever you choose to go forward, take time to find your community and don’t force it! You never know who you’ll meet around the corner. But equally don’t let the opportunity pass when it comes to say hello (Unless it’s night time and they’re dressed in something a little clown like – in which case you may want to walk in the other direction!) or you may wind up wondering if it ever could have been.

Take Care and Be Safe.



In The Beginning

Hey there. So unlike some of the other blogs I run, this site is a bit more personal. Despite the term being used differently in today’s internet culture, this blog isn’t focused on comedically making fun of people and things (well, not toally) so if you’re looking for something out of Comedy Central, sorry to disappoint you.

I’ve started this blog as a focus on my weekly musings living in the north west of England in the UK as a semi-recent graduate. It serves partly as a personal journal of my thoughts, opinions and what I’ve done as I get used to adult life outside of uni and indeed now without the help of my former partner and her family whom helped keep the long lifestyle of home, student and early being supported somehow. Don’t get me wrong, without my truly wonderful family and amazing colleagues at Preston and Chorley hospitals I wouldn’t have a chance of being where I am now, but now I’m solely in charge of life in the ‘real world’ it’s an interesting challenge taking on this grown up stuff. It’s also a chance for those interested in life across the pond or indeed landlocked continent to life on our little collection of islands in the eyes of an everyday (albeit geeky and partly introverted) guy.

Whilst I’ll try not to reveal too much personal information of other people (since they have a right not to have their life broadcast online unless they say so), feel free to ask questions or comment if you’re so inclined, otherwise I hope you enjoy these little Sunday posts.