Category: Thought-spillings

March 19th, 2017
Blog Entry

Ten years of employment

On 30th October 2006, I worked my first day in my first job, a part-time sales assistant role at a games retailer in York. I’d finished my teaching degree earlier that year knowing I wanted to pursue my passions of writing and gaming. I basically took the summer of 2006 off, relaunching the site in WordPress in June 2006 and then publishing all sorts of odd bits and pieces: [url=””]complaining about Vernon Kay[/url], for instance. I won’t list the rest because it was weird and hardly seems relevant now.

I seem to remember I’d applied for a lot of jobs around that time but only got one interview, at Gamestation in York. I remember seeing my CV on the table with a big circle around “Employment experience: none”.

I really enjoyed myself there. I got games (and sometimes consoles!) a few days early which in those days was incredible. I met a lot of really nice people, and struck up some good relationships. It was always cheering to see the regulars and know they’d come in specifically to ask your advice or tell you how the last recommendation worked out.

After about three or four years, I had a chance to apply for a senior position. It didn’t work out, and I took that as a catalyst to start taking my writing more seriously again. I’d already been writing for a gaming website for some time, and knew that was where I wanted to focus my energy

Fast-forward to spring 2012, and for some reason, I wonder what jobs are going at Nintendo. I find an online editor position and think, “Hey, I’m an online editor!”. A nerve-wracking few months followed but on 26th July 2012 I moved to Germany.

In the near-five years since then, I’ve had the chance to work with some amazing people, and on some fantastic projects. When I think about how my first job was a few hours a week in a tiny game shop in the UK, and now I’m part of an amazing team at Nintendo, I can’t really process how far my career has progressed.

I’ve been very fortunate to have such an enjoyable and fulfilling ten years of work, and there’s a lot for me left to learn and accomplish, to build and rebuild. It should be fun.

February 28th, 2017
Blog Entry

Forget about fresh starts

I’ve made about a dozen posts on this website in the past four and a half years or so. Generally when I do get the itch to write, I get a bit caught up and promise myself I’ll write more. Normally I come back to this site in January or February, romanced by the promise of the upcoming year, then forget about it a few weeks later when something else catches my attention.

The other day I posted about something about [url=””]cycling home from work[/url], which I’ve had on my mind for the last year or so. Four months before that, I wrote about [url=””]B*Witched[/url].

So, no more promises. I’ll write what I write, and forget about fresh starts and promises.

February 17th, 2017
Blog Entry

Cycling up that hill

I’ve cycled to work every day for about the last 18 months. It’s about 5km, and takes me around 20 minutes each way. My route takes me past a school, through a forest, and on a few quiet roads. It’s direct and I like it. In the morning it’s mostly downhill, and in winter, the rush of cold air is invigorating.

But every day when I come home, I come to the bottom of a long hill.

And every day a voice in my head says, “If you’re tired, or you can’t do this, it’s OK – you can get off and walk. It’s OK.”

And every day I keep cycling and make it up that hill.

Because my brain is quick to forget what I’ve already accomplished, but my legs remember. I tell the voice that I’ve climbed this hill hundreds of times. Every day it speaks up, and on my weaker days it’s tempting to say, “It’s OK to stop.”

But I keep going.

November 5th, 2016
Blog Entry

Opening Lines: C’est La Vie – B*Witched

Some people say I look like me Dad

As Elvis Costello said in that episode of 30 Rock about Alan Alda getting a kidney, “when someone starts talking in the middle song, you know it’s serious”, but even more serious talking comes at the start. Like this line from B*Witched’s 1998 masterpiece, “C’est La Vie”, such a gloriously bizarre way to start a pop career.

Apparently the band revealed a few years later that this song is actually all about sex, which makes that opening line even more enjoyable, because who doesn’t want to hear identical twins mention a resemblance to their dad?

More Opening Lines

I Run – Embrace
I Will Always Love You – Dolly Parton
I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Marvin Gaye
Do You… – Miguel

October 29th, 2016
Blog Entry

Nokia Lumia 735 wallpaper gallery

Last year I got my first smartphone, a Nokia Lumia 735. I really like it, and I’ve especially enjoyed making it look nice with custom lock screens, Start backgrounds, tile layouts and so on. It really is a beautiful looking device when you show it some care.

I thought I could help out fellow Lumia owners with some wallpapers. So if you’re looking for Nokia Lumia 735 wallpapers, you’ve come to the right place.

The album below contains my own favourite wallpapers, all photographs taken with my Nokia Lumia 735. I hope you like using them!

Self-made wallpapers for Nokia Lumia phones

September 15th, 2015
Blog Entry

What running has taught me

For Christmas 2012, Hannah bought me a GPS watch. It’s one of the best presents I’ve ever received, as I’ve told her about a thousand times since.

I didn’t run much in 2013; I got to 10km once, thought that was good enough, and stopped. In 2014, though, I did a lot better, completing about 600km over the course of the year. In total I think it was about 70 hours of running (yep, I am very slow) which gave me plenty of time to think. I haven’t run at all this year because of injury, but I still wanted to post this. Here’s what I’ve learnt from putting one foot in front of the other.


I’m a slow runner. Really slow, in fact; I finished in the bottom 15% of the Great Manchester 10k in 2014. My average paces don’t even make it onto the pacing charts in my running diary. At my pace, I’d be lucky to finish a marathon before they close the course.

I am fine with all of this.


That doesn’t mean I don’t want to get faster, though. After my disappointment with my result in the Manchester 10k, I started a half-marathon training plan. During the plan, I set a new 10k PB which, had I run it in Manchester, would have put me in the top 40% of the field. And I finished two 21k training runs, which I didn’t think I could have done in 2013.


I do not get medals or awards for running. Nobody high-fives or cheers for me. I do it for myself because I enjoy it and I know it’s good for me. And if you do the next thing that’s required of you, you get a bit better, and so on, until you’re somewhere you’ve never been before.

Unfortunately it hasn’t taught me everything: it hasn’t taught me how to go easy on myself when I fail, or to think something other than, “I wish I was that fast” when people speed past me (I have that on my bike, too.) But considering I never thought it would teach me anything, I’ll take what I can get.

February 2nd, 2014
Blog Entry

Celebrating 10 years of

On 13th February, will celebrate its 10th anniversary. What started as a dark blue site to host my music became a place of experimental blogging, then truly a “collected writings” as it evolved to capture everything I ever wrote at Nintendo Life, and later its sister sites.

Primarily for my own interest, here’s an evolution of over the last decade.

The first archive: 17th February, 2004

OK, so I had the domain from 13th February, but the site didn’t go live until a bit later. The text was a reference to that Grolsch advert, but we changed “beer” to “website”, setting a high standard of linguistic creativity that the site continually fell below.

Prosody version 0.1: 9th May 2004

This very, very blue site had everything a musician nobody had heard of could need: a guestbook, forum, biography, that sort of stuff. I think at one point the forum had around 20 members, so you can tell how big things were getting.

In January 2006 (I forgot exactly when, and Web Archive did too), I started writing at It used Pivot and had a really nice rainy blue theme with a fountain pen, if I recall.

This was the first time I felt excited about writing online.

The first “Collected Writings”: 4th June 2006

(Note: this link is actually to November 2006, just because it’s the first archive of this page that looks right)

I changed from Pivot to WordPress in June 2006, and launched the first proper “Collected Writings”. This was the first design I really loved – the top banner changed every month, and I did banners for special occasions, like this one for Tails’ 14th birthday.

This version of the blog was home to a lot of ideas, as I basically did anything I wanted. I wasn’t studying or working full-time, so I had time to write diaries for my Harvest Moon farmer; virtually cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats using an exercise bike, Microsoft Virtual Earth and Wikipedia; do podcasts, and that sort of thing. Truly it was a golden age.

What this site means to me has changed enormously over the years. What started out as a promotional site for my ill-fated musical endeavour turned into a place I could try any idea I wanted. I created a Blog Carnival, podcasted, wrote match reports for Pro Evo 4, and loads more. It helped me develop my writing style and create a portfolio – there are over 1.25 million words here, spread across more than 7,200 published posts – and have a huge amount of fun in the process.

Since moving to Germany for work, I haven’t shown this site any attention. I’d like to change that in 2014.

Happy anniversary, URL. Thanks for everything.

March 19th, 2012
Blog Entry

Could GAME Stores Thrive as Dating Venues?

“No, that’s stupid, don’t be so ridiculous,” says anyone with any sense, but that hasn’t stopped dating website Date A Gamer from trying to cash in on the current media frenzy surrounding GAME Group Plc.

Here’s a press release about how single gamers could help GAME survive, as if that demographic hasn’t made up 95% of GAME’s customer base forever.


January 13th, 2012
Blog Entry

How to Make Your Games Website a Success

Since I started as Nintendo Life’s news editor in May 2010 our traffic has more than doubled. I won’t claim all the credit for this, but I have learnt a few things about how to make your site successful. Here are my tips.


December 16th, 2011
Blog Entry

The Best of Nintendo Life in 2011

2011 has been a phenomenal year for Nintendo Life, with fantastic statistics and even better content. I wanted to round up what I think have been some of the highlights of the last 12 months.


Complete Archives Older Articles »