Important Messages, such as Service Disruption.

Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM UK time. We will try to give assistance to those people not living in the UK outside of those hours if possible.

We are closed for the Christmas holidays from the evening of Wednesday 20 December 2017 through to Tuesday 2 January 2018.

We would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas and happy New Year!

The Global Voice presents a Music Machine documentary!

Hi everyone

Tomorrow, at 1600 UTC, 5 PM UK, 12 PM Eastern, please join me for the Music Machine as we celebrate artists and groups from the late 50's and 60's in a special documentary!

I'll be telling you about how a number of the groups and artists began their careers in the music business during this period. This documentary, which has taken many hours of production, is in two parts. Part 1 focuses upon British groups and artists, and then in part 2 we cross over the pond to the United States and hear in particular about teenage singers, teen idols and girl groups from the time.

Among others, you will hear about the careers of Cliff Richard, Billy Fury, Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Hollies, Billy J Kramer, the Four Pennies, Brenda Lee, Dion and the Belmonts, Ricky Nelson, Little eva, Bobby Vee, The Shangri-Las, and many more.

If you would like to contact me during the show, please do so, you can email YourVoice@TheGlobalVoice.Info or tweet @BrianHartgen on Twitter.

While much of the show is documentary-based, there's plenty of room for your interaction, and if you would like to comment on the songs I am playing or to say hello, it would be wonderful of you to be there. But please, no requests for this show, thank you very much.

If you enjoy this kind of programme, do let me know as I can very easily produce more of them.

That's the Music Machine, tomorrow, at 1600 UTC.

Brian Hartgen

Ready to go Down for Double?

Hi, Everyone!

Saturday is a great day in our house, we relax, listen to music, have a chat and a laugh, and now we even get to hang out with our friends, and we'd love you to join us, Brian Hartgen and Lulu Wells, today at 20:00 UTC, 4 PM Eastern, 3 PM Central, 1 PM Pacific or 9 PM UK, when we go Down for Double.

We'll be playing a great variety of feel good music, talking about what's been happening this week, we also have lots of room for your requests. You can get in touch with the show by Emailing yourvoice@theglobalvoice.info or by sending a tweet to @lulu_bear.

We look forward to seeing you later today, when we once more go Down for Double, only on The Global Voice.

Brian and Lulu.

"If you throw that thing at me, ..."

Hi everyone!

This is going to be a very lighthearted blog entry but with quite a serious conclusion!

When I first met L, it really wasn't in the best of circumstances. She was in very poor health and I needed to "look after" her for a while. She survived, so that's OK!

During the time I was with her, I wrote a blog entry, (although I didn't have a blog at the time)! Let's not even go into how that works.

Anyway, I wrote a blog entry about my initial impressions of L's home. I thought it might be good to review that and perhaps enlarge on it a little and to see what has changed, if anything.

Original Text Begins.
I get the impression that L's flat is situated in a very modern block of apartments. There is a lot of security around, including entry phones, alarms, and so on.

In the flat there is a fair size bathroom with shower, a bedroom which can easily accommodate two people without any difficulty, but the most impressive space is the living area. It is much much bigger than I was expecting, although through Skype I had gained an impression acoustically as to what it may be like as I've heard L moving around it. But it is a very spacious living area which has a kitchen at one end of it. Yes, the big squashy sofa exists, but there is also room for desks, chairs, any equipment she may need, and so on. Despite accommodating quite a number of items, this does not obstruct most of the floor space. I can easily walk across the floor without fear of treading on something or tripping over an object.

One thing you cannot fail to notice is the large collection of Lee Middleton dolls, (L's babies), which she has here. They live in both rooms. The latest arrival, Miranda Taylor, lives in "the den", the living area.

Now that I've broadly described the flat itself, apart from being with her what are the things I have enjoyed most about being in L's home and my time here.
1. The peace and tranquility. I love the fact that there is very little noise going on unless we specifically want music to be heard, more of that later. Usually however, I just hear clicks from the two wireless keyboards, the occasional nature sounds, harp music, wind chimes, that's about all. Its all very gentle. Heaven!
New Text.
That still is very true, but wait, peace and tranquility does occasionally get interrupted? To repeat, L often uses a headset which has this "noise cancelling" ability, not from a microphone perspective but very little outside sound intrudes into L's hearing. There are two problems from my point of view about this headset. First, she can't hear a word I am saying!

Now some people may think that is an advantage, but I can be quite happily carrying on a conversation, and is she listening, no, not a chance. If anyone has ever heard that Down for Double promo where I say that I am not listening to what L is saying. Believe me dear reader, the reverse is true. Quite often, I just talk to myself.

The other thing that often happens is that L will recite snatches of songs or just sing out loud! Actually, L does have a lovely singing voice so that's fine. But take today as an example. I was sitting on the sofa, just relaxing, playing around with StationPlaylist Creator. The room was nice and peaceful and I was concentrating hard. Suddenly, I hear a squeaky voice saying, "If you throw that thing at me, I'll jumpp right on your head." I mean, I ask you! Where did that come from? It came from L, that's where. It was so incongruous. That odd phrase being spoken against the lovely calm atmosphere. Obviously I got the reference immediately and knew what she was listening to. Why I let her have access to my music library, I'll never know! (smile).

Oh yes, there's something else. She's got herself into these iPhone games like the Accessible Fruit Machine. So she's playing this game, I am trying to do something, and suddenly, there is this humungous scream! You have never heard anything like it! "I'VE GOT 960 POINTS, WO'O'O'O'O'O'O'O'O''O!" Gosh!

Original Text.
2. No television. The fact that the TV is not switched on for most of each day is just awesome! If I have to sit through another quiz or reality TV show where celebrities are featured I will scream! There is no TV here so it cannot be switched on.
New Text.
I cannot say I have missed the television at all. There used to be TV shows I would listen to just because they were on at the time. I read tweets and Facebook posts from people who talk about shows I used to watch, such as Britain's Got Talent or The X-Factor, and I have thought to myself, "Do I miss that at all? Do I want to be part of that again? Do I want to watch it?" Just because there is no TV available when I do come to see L, that doesn't mean I couldn't watch it if I wanted to. There are ways I could do so if I really wanted to. But no, I haven't missed that.

Original Text.
3. Listening to music on good quality speakers. When we do hear music or a movie, we hear them on speakers which just make everything so lovely and gorgeous to listen to.
New Text.
Actually that is still just brilliant. Whether it is in the evening, or first thing in the morning while we are having breakfast etc, to hear music which sounds good is wonderful. Actually we both like similar music, but where our musical tastes differ, we are quite tolerant of each other. For example, L is now very tolerant of my penchant for slushy romantic songs, aren't you L?

Original Text.
4. Watching movies with AD. Watching films with audio description is just the best thing ever. Without AD, often you lose the concept of the plot and you miss out on important information. L has plenty of these. I have come to enjoy them.
New Text.
Yes, we've watched quite a lot of movies together and it's wonderful to sit down for an evening to watch a film or two. L does have this great collection of movies we can watch.

Original Text.
5. Having time to read a book and to do all the things I otherwise couldn't do, like finding out new things about my iPhone.
New Text.
OK, I want to comment on this issue of reading books.

Yes, we both do like reading, it's just that the way we tend to do this is quite different. When I come to see L, I know I cannot possibly listen to a book and become engrossed in the story. I cannot get through a whole book when I am here. Why not? Because L will keep the book on for hours. If she falls asleep, it doesn't seem to matter. When she awakens, she'll not go back and re-read a section, and she won't let me go back either, no no no. Worse still, the book is on "looped play mode". So when it completes, it starts again at the beginning. Just ugh.

So, to enlarge on my earlier statement, I do get to hear the whole of a book, but it's just that I hear chapters in the wrong order. It's a bit like a jigsaw puzzle as I have to sort out the whole book in my head having heard it all in the wrong sequence. If I want to hear a book from start to finish, I get it from Audible myself and hear it on my phone when I go away.

Original Text.
6. Doing housework for L. There are times when L really isn't well enough to do some things, so I like being able to make food, drink, tidy up, that kind of thing. I can do it at my own pace without being rushed. Consequently, things get done which should be done.
New Text.
You'll have to ask L about whether that standard of mine has been maintained, I hope so in the most part. But please see point 8, below.

Original text.
7. Acktimel and real coffee. They are to die for. L has both of these each and every day and I don't blame her.
New Text.
And so do I when I can! I still enjoy them! L has introduced me to lots of new things I never thought possible. Rosé instead of cold red wine, having a really good time, appreciation of the good things in life, staying up into the early hours of the morning, her lovely family , to name but a few things.

Original text.
8. Neatness. L's flat is just so incredibly neat and tidy. As the saying goes, there is a place for everything and everything is in its place. I think that's important. When someone is blind, its even more essential that everything is kept exactly in its correct place and I have to say L is quite fanatical about that which I love. She doesn't need to be in the kitchen for example to know exactly where everything is and can describe it down to the minutest of detail. Hopefully, I have followed this tradition. It has certainly helped me.
New Text.
Quite fanatical? It is obsession! Absolutely every single item has a place in the flat, and sometimes, I do admit to getting it wrong. Every individual cup has a place for example, oh, and a name as well. It's OK, this is Planet L we are on, where every object, (almost), has a name. If I put something in the wrong place, panick stations! There's a real problem! Believe me, you can hear her squealing all the way from here to Australia!

Seriously, I know why she does it and it is all perfectly logical, but to say L is a "neat freak" would be an understatement.

Please, please, you mustn't run away with the idea that I am complaining in any way about L, I am not. She knows I am posting this. I wouldn't change any of her characteristics in the slightest. It's just an outsider's look at Planet L!

Anyway, that's L for you. There is a serious side to this entry though, and two things which I left out of the original 8 items I posted.

I am so so glad that L cannot see. There is nothing better than having a partner who knows about how blind people adapt to life's challenges, who understands that we need things to talk or there are particular ways of doing things, who likes the same things as I do, who has memories related to visual impairment which are similar to my own, and much more besides.

The other thing I love (apart from L's loving and caring nature), is the fact that she is so so feminine. That has always appealed to me. I love the fact that she likes to dress up and makes herself look good when she goes out, that she loves perfume, make-up, jewellery, to keep her hair nice, all the things that many ladies like to do. I like that a lot.

I cannot end this blog post without telling you of the beautiful ring L has just bought for me. It's not been a great week. I've not been too well of late, and also there was that fiasco with the website I wrote about in a previous blog entry. Now as well as being loving and supportive over that, L bought for me a ring which is wonderful. It is a titanium ring inlaid with enamel, set with 2 small diamonds. It was so good of her to get that for me and I will have it with me always.

So despite "neat friekery", the strange way she hears books and her tendency to chunter away (or squeal) about whatever she is hearing in her head, she will always be my L.

News, Technology-Related

Hi to everyone who reads my blog!

This is going to be a technology-related post as quite a lot has happened recently in that regard. I'll follow it up with a more personal blog post as soon as I can.

I've been doing quite a lot of work on the website and intend to do some more soon. I added the ability to vary the font size of the text being displayed together with changing the foreground and background colours. This is something I had wanted to implement for a while.

An ongoing project has been to get a desktop computer which would replace my much older desktop. For at least five years, I used a desktop computer with a very noisy fan. Particularly in hot weather, this machine used to scream the place down! Not good if you are doing audio production work or internet broadcasting.

Anyway, the machine eventually stopped working a couple of months ago and I wondered what I was going to replace it with.

I now have replaced it with a nice quiet Del computer. I had to search around a while to find a machine with Windows XP installed, but I now have one, and it is far far better than the old desktop ever was.

To say again, the best thing about the machine is that it is quiet with very little fan noise. But it is very fast, especially for audio editing!

The one bad thing about getting a different computer is that you have to spend time getting all your applications installed and configured the way you want them. But it is now done, and it really is a great machine.

Because of the large capacity of the hard drive (although I do have an external USB drive as a backup), I am now able to share out the music library here on the network. This means that, when I am at L's, we both have access to all the music for broadcasting which is really cool.

One of the things I have been investigating is to give people the ability to search our music library for a track they would like to hear when we are broadcasting, and then send a request to Lulu or myself when we are on air. I do now have a very very good solution for this which I would like to implement soon, however at the moment there are a few changes I want to make to our library before that can be done. So it definitely will happen as soon as I can invest the time to do what I need to do.

The last thing I have been working on is using StationPlaylist Creator. This is software which allows you to effectively structure shows (or anything you are broadcasting). It is important if possible to divide your music into categories, tell it where your promos and jingles are, together with any sequences you might use. That is putting it in its simplest terms.

This has taken some configuration but it is now all in place. There are some shows we produce for the Global Voice where Creator would be absolutely ideal. If the forward planning and organisation is done well, Creator can be a really excellent tool and I can see how useful it is going to be.

That's all for my technology news at the moment. I am looking forward to broadcasting on the Global Voice over the weekend!

Catch you all later!

Today, at The Bear's Lair.

Hi, Everyone.

Do you fancy two hours of fun, friendly chat and, of course, fantastic music? Then I'd love it if you could join me at 13:00 UTC, 9 AM Eastern, 8 AM Central, 6 PM Pacific, or 2 PM in the UK, in The Bear's Lair. Take your seat on the big, squashy sofa, let Bert, my little lep helper pour you your favourite drink, and prepare for a good time.

This week we have two absolute belters in the Crank it Up corner that I haven't heard for ages, and two great songs by boy bands in the Love Zone, as well as loads of great tunage and plenty of room for your requests.

Contacting the show is very easy. Just Email yourvoice@theglobalvoice.info or send a tweet to @lulu_bear. I really look forward to seeing you later today in The Bear's Lair, only on The Global Voice.

Some News, and More Survey Fun

Hi, Everyone.

Well, this has been a fairly quiet week, taken all in all, made slightly more awkward than usual by ill health for both of us. We do not need a combination of Alergies, Migraine and Osteoporosis stalking the halls of the Lair, but here they have been, and they are taking their time about leaving, how rude!

Still, there have been nice things about this week. I always love it when I have a new game for Glinda, my beautiful black, glittery IPhone. The number of games I have does tend to fluctuate, because so many I try I find insult my inteligence, or just get plain boring after a while. I find that many games which are fully accessible with voice over are text based adventure games, which involve me reading a story and answering multiple choice questions. Yawn yawn! Please, don't misunderstand, excellent they are, I am sure, and I know a lot of people like them, but I just lose interest very fast indeed. I want a game with sound, music, it either has to be accessible or else if there are difficulties I have to be able to overcome them fairly easily, it mustn't crash all the time, and it has to be fun to play.

This week I found Accessible Fruitmachine. It is fully accessible, never crashes, is wonderfully easy to play, has, to my mind, good sounds and music for what it is, and I find it completely and totally addictive! The thing I really like is that the game improves, the more you play. At 69 p from the Aps Store, It is cheap at double the price.

The other game I got last night is Dimensions. Now this is not so much a game as a sonic experience, although there is a game element in it. It is free, but be warned, there are hidden charges, because to do anything, you need quantum cells, which you can only get by buying them, or you can get free ones by taking out free trials of things, I did not want to do that. I have to say, I am finding the sound of the game, and the music, amazing, the way that it reacts to your surroundings is very weird, but cool, but there are problems which I am having difficulty overcoming. For a start, the game does seem to mess up things on the phone, so that I sometimes have to reboot after having played for a while. This gave me a real scare the first time, because it turned the volume right down, and I thought we had a dead IPhone before I remembered the disconnect headphones and turn up the volume trick. As well as what the game does to the phone, there are in-game problems. To collect artifacts, you have to touch and hold down a button, which, obviously, necessitates the turning off of VO. However, you cannot keep it turned off, as information sometimes comes up on screen which you need to read. Also, I find said beam button hard to find, and by the time I have turned off Vo, tried to find the button, pressed and held it, I have usually missed what I am trying to catch. Pressing Beam burns up cells, which is annoying, as I usually press it to no purpose! I have a lot of cells left to play with, but if I have not made more progress by the time they are gone, I will not be buying anymore, and I think this ap will be leaving my IPhone for the journey into the dimensions of the deleted.

Finally, B seems to have caught the survey bug! He seems to like looking at ones which I have filled in, and has asked me if I can find anymore, so I have been scouring my old blogs to see what I could find, and rather an ouchy journey it could be at times. Anyway, I have not one, but two here, although the second is very short, as the answers only consist of one word. So, before I buzz off to get ready for The Bear's Lair later, have some Surveyage!

50 questions

Random questions to get to know me better!
Sometimes deep, sometimes just random. Either way, It'd be nice if you'd answer honestly.

1. How old are you? 45.
2. How old do you think you are mentally? A difficult one. Some parts of me never grew up, I am playful, I sometimes live in fantasy, witness my love of my babies. But parts of me feel battle scarred and very grown up, even maybe older than my years.

3. Diet coke or coke zero? Neither! Yukk in a bucket! Regular coke all the way.

4. Summer or winter? Winter, as long as I can be cosy and warm!

5. Do you have a life motto? I have two. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.

6. Happiest year in your life? I honestly can't answer this one. I have just lived each year as it has come, each one has had its happiness and its troubles, I don't think I have ever had a year without those.

7. Happiest day this year? I don't think I can answer that one either. I have had wonderful days and awful ones. The day I first physically met B should have been amazing, but I was so deeply sick physically I could not call that the happiest. I am just grateful for all my good days.

8. Singing or dancing? Singing all the way!!

9. spontaneous or well-planned? Usually well planned. I can be spontaneous, but more often every I is dotted and every T crossed!

10. School or work? Work. I was useless at school. I only had one dead end job, but I have learned lately that if I need to work, I can, and do a good job, work very hard and get things done.

11. Rice or pasta?
Oh both. My boyfriend hates both, so I rarely get the chance to eat them now. Just thinking of all the lovely things I could make with them is making me drool! Ah well!

12. Are you happy where you live? Totally. I love the town where I live, and have a lovely little home, which I really love. I would not really want to move, unless it was to a larger flat in this block, or one near it.

13. What do you wish the most right now? That things which are not settled could become so, it is not good to have worries hanging over us. Oh, and of course, there is that person called Sherry Collette, who I am longing to meet on one sweet and distant day.

14. Your dream holiday? I would like to go to a house where we have a swimming pool and a hot tub all to ourselves. We could just laze about and swim and splash in the tub whenever we like. Bliss!

15. Your goal in life? To be there when I'm needed, to make the most of every day, to know, each night before I go to sleep, that I have done my best.

16. Bodyshop or lush? Neither! I like body shop products, but can't get them often, as the nearest one to me is miles away in a town I can't visit. Never had anything from lush, but hate the stink of it! You can always tell you're near one, the smell's fit to knock you down!

17. Ever wanted to host a bodyshop party in your home? Nope. The only times I tried hosting parties, they were dismal flops.

18. When you look in the mirror (or, if you can't see, if you think about yourself), do you like what you see and what you are? Yes, I do. I'm not perfect by a long way, but I've worked hard to accept myself, warts and all.

19. Do your clothes have to be fashionable or comfortable? I can't see why one precludes the other. My clothes are both. I always dress in things I find comfortable to wear, but I also wear clothes that look modern, and won't date with time. I think it is very important to look wel-groomed and fit into the sighted world. No one is ever going to be ashamed to be seen out with me, ever, ever!

20. What do you think are your strengths? My loving heart, sense of humor, loyalty to my friends and loved ones, my ability to take hard knocks and go on standing.

21. Do you tend to think more about your weaknesses than your strengths? No, I have plenty of weaknesses, but to dwell on them would be self-distructive. There are enough people in this world trying to put you down, without you doing it to yourself!

22. How do you usually react when someone compliments you? I smile widely and thank them, and usually feel very pleased.

23. Are you good at giving compliments? yes, I try to do it whenever I can, knowing that it makes me feel good, I want to do the same for other people.

24. Can you sense atmospheres around people, like uneasiness or easy to talk to etc.? that really depends on who it is. If there is something wrong in the world of anyone I love, I usually know without being told. It doesn't work so well for people I don't know.

25. Where would you like to go on holiday? Hey, come on! You already asked me this one, move on already!

26. Would you say you are an honest person? Yes. I have made forays into the path of un honesty, and it was awful. Now I'm always honest about myself and my life, and with others when I can do it without hurting them.

27. Have you ever loved anyone, but were afraid to let them know? Oh yes indeed and indeed! It went on for a long time, and was miserable in the extreme, and great was my relief when I could finally get it out into the open, especially when I found I was not the only one who felt that way! Big smile.

28. Can you keep a secret? Yes. I am fierce about my privacy, if I tell someone something in confidence, and I then find I have had it betrayed, it is something I find hard to forgive, so I treat people as I would like to be treated. I hear all, as the old saying goes, and I say nowt!

29. Milk or water? Again, I don't like either much as a plain drink, but if I had to choose which, I'd say water.

30. Tea or coffee? I love both, but asked to choose, coffee's the one I couldn't do without!

31. Do you sometimes wish you were still a child? Not on your nellie! I wouldn't go back over that again for all the rice in china!

32. Describe yourself in 3 words! Passionate, impulsive, caring.

33. How much time do you spend caring for your hair and skin? For my skin, not. I generally leave it to get on with things, unless it feels really dry, in which case it gets a quick rub of whatever moisturiser I've got. For my hair, not a huge amount, but more, as I like it to be clean, and tied back off my face during the day.

34. Do you think you changed this year? Yes. I have learned some very bitter lessons about who I can and cannot trust this year, and I have grown harder, and much more self-contained. I don't like the change much at all, but I can't help it.

35. If someone hadn't seen you for a while and they'd see you again now, what do you think they'd say about you? Wow, that's hard. What people usually say is, Gosh, you're hair's long, you lost weight, you look well. We'll leave it at that, shall we? Smile.

36. Like getting drunk? Not drunk as such. I love having a couple of glasses of wine with B, having cigarettes, listening to music and relaxing after the hard work week, but we only ever get mildly buzzed, never really hammered.

37. Do you do things that your parents did and you swore never to do? Oh yeah. I used to hate my parents smoking, and then I started at twenty something, and it's a habit I never could kick, even though I use an electronic cigarette now, which doesn't pollute anyone else's air and is better in lots of ways.

38. favourite ssmell? Orange blossom.

39. which famous person did you fancy when you were a teen? Jeff Lynne, the lead singer of the Electric Light Orchestra.

40. Has anyone ever read your private diary and embarrassed you? No. Luckily, all my diaries have been on the web, and what I wish to keep private stays private, thank goodness.

41. What would be your perfect Christmas? All the people I love most under one roof, loads of presents, turkey, love and laughter.

42. Who in your family are you closest to? My Mother. She annoys me to screaming blue rage at times, but I wouldn't be without her for anything.

43. Anyone found you on facebook after more than 10 years? Yes, my friend Sue Hadfield, with whom I used to be at school.

44. Swimming or running? Swimming, I just love it, but haven't been in ages. a dream of mine is to have a house with an indoor pool, all to myself!

45. Most relaxing sound? I love nature sounds, so a summer garden, or a forest, maybe? I have lovely nature sounds on my IPhone, and play them to relax me.

46. Can you play an instrument? Yes, a bit of keyboard, but I suck royally!

47. If you could invent a job, what would it be? I'd love to do something with babies, help someone who makes reborn babies, maybe I could dress them and get them ready for going out to customers or something, anything to do with dolls would be my job made in heaven!

48. Best gift anyone ever gave you? This is such a hard one! I have had so so many wonderful gifts. Let me say that the two most recent best gifts I have had have been my ruby and diamond eternity ring, and a little blonde person called Miranda Taylor Hartgen who arrived back in February, she is an enormous comfort to me when I'm here alone.

49. Sweet or savery food? Both! Often!

50. Do you like gossiping? No, I hate it. Having too often been the victim of it, I try to keep a very tight control on my lips and fingers. The trouble is it's insidious. It's so easy to pick up things, especially over Twitter, and before you know it you've casually mentioned it to someone, who's casually mentioned it to someone else, we've all done it, I know I have, not meaning to do any harm. But too often what starts off harmless gets blown up out of all proportion, so I try to leave it strictly alone.

One Word Survey

Where is your cell phone?

Dock.

Significant other?

Gorgeous!
???

Your hair?

brown.

Your mother?

Rock.

Your father?

Unreliable.

Your favorite thing?

love.

Your dream last night?

Non-existent.

Your favorite drink?

champagne.

What room are you in?

den.

Your hobby?

Broadcasting.

Your fear?

Insects.

Where do you want to be in 6 years?

Married.

Where were you last night?

Here.

Something that you aren't?

Vindictive.

Muffins?

Yumpsk!

Wish list item?

Reborn.

Last thing you did?

Recorded.

What are you wearing?

Robe.

TV?

Yuk!

Your pets?

Never!.

Friends?

Kind.

Your life?

Good!

Your mood?

Cheerful.

Missing someone?

no.

Drinking?

Nope.

Your car?

None.

Something you're not wearing?

Coat.

Your favorite store?

Amazon.

Your favorite color?

Red.

When is the last time you cried?

Yesterday.

Who will resend this?

B.

Where do you go to over and over?

Gran's.

Five people who email me regularly?

B, Friendmail, GlobalVoice, Jane, Charles.

My favorite place to eat?

Home.

Favorite place I'd like to be right now?

here.

And I think that is more than enough! If you have read all of this, thanks for taking the trouble! See you later in The Bear's Lair, I hope. Have a great day, everyone.

Book I am Reading: SmokeScreen by Dick Francis.

I am looking forward to: doing the Bear's Lair, a couple of glasses of wine tonight.

What Price Helping the Community!

One of the things I have always enjoyed doing is giving something back to the visually impaired community. I am blind, I always have been, and while I have to have a professional life as I need to put food on the table, I have always tried to give something back. I count myself very lucky to have a job which I enjoy doing, but I accept that a lot of blind people do not, either due to having little opportunities for self-improvement, because of prejudice on the part of employers or just simply because there are no jobs about. So because I am more fortunate than most in our community, where I can do something to help, I always will. Through various projects, I donate hundreds of hours a year to our community and generally enjoy doing it.

So when things happen to me of the kind which I am about to describe, I have very mixed feelings. Certainly there is initial anger, but mostly disappointment that some people really have very little regard for the work I put in, and it does make me think, is it really worthwhile?

Some months ago, I was going through quite a busy and emotional period of my life. But someone approached me who I knew well, and said that she really did want a website creating. She had a tremendous amount of talent and I very much wanted to help as she had helped me in the past. She knew absolutely nothing about website development and I agree to help the best I could.

So, I advised her as to a suitable web hosting package to purchase from an excellent provider, and I then began to work on the site. I don't mind saying, I spent many many hours developing it. She wanted me to develop the initial site for her, and if possible show her how to maintain it herself so she could add content and features.

I built the initial site using Drupal. This involved installing Drupal onto the domain and setting up a database. I configured a number of pages, two blogs, the ability to add pictures, and a number of other features.

Ideas then developed, and she wanted to enhance it further. She would not research what was necessary on Google, she preferred me to find out what was necessary. I provided her with full thorough written instructions on how to accomplish what she wanted, and with credit to her, she followed them and gained what she wished from them.

The site went live, and I helped promote it on Twitter and through what resources I had available to me.

I remember one day, she wrote to me, saying that she wanted to include a page with comments from e-mail messages she had received. She wanted each new comment to be denoted with a new heading and wondered how this could be done. I had some time available, so I produced most of the page for her. As she had the syntax available, she could then learn by my example and add to it.

Following this, she posted a blog entry, referring to the fact that she had struggled to learn how to implement this particular page, but that she had "got there in the end". Not a reference to me helping her at short notice, but I let that one go. Perhaps that was a sign of things to come.

I did place a site design copyright notice at the bottom of each page, naturally stating that the entire text content belonged to her (which is only right), but that the site design was credited to me.

Inadvertently two days ago, I discovered on Twitter that the site had changed to some extent. I was locked out of it administratively and my name had been removed from it completely. There was no reference to me at all. It was as though I didn't exist and had not been a part of it.

I don't mind in the least that someone else has taken over the site development as this always had been the original intention. But when I had invested so much time at a critical period in my life in this project, not to receive any thanks or credit on the site for its initial design is, I think, not very good.

When something like this happens, you really do feel like not investing considerable time in anything like this ever again. I know I will, that is how I am, but I am not sure I would ever do anything like this without ensuring I didn't get something back from it. This is the third voluntary project I have been involved with over the past year or so where I have invested so much time, and for no result.

I have to say, L (as usual) has been an absolute rock to me over this as she always is about everything. I think, (well I know), she was angry and upset on my behalf too, and I thank her for that.

So, if you are blind, and sometimes you wonder why you don't always get the help you need, it is because of experiences like this that some of us will now hold back and may not be as keen to assist as we once were. Some people like to give in this community, others like to take. There are some people I must say who are willing to pay for services, either financially or by crediting an individual with the help they have received. But there are others who just do not care at all and I have found that out rather late. I certainly will think very carefully before doing anything like this again.

For Fun, Another Survey, Next Question?

Hi everyone!

L has presented to me another survey of over 100 questions which I am answering. If you read this, you are mad! Grin.

130 questions… promise you won't lie?
I asked L to find another survey, for the fun of completing it, but I won't provide any false answers. Having looked through these questions, I will be evasive with some of the answers but the content of them will be true.

Please note that the term "friends" is used in the below questions to represent people I meet, together with those I talk with using Twitter or Facebook.

Do you get jealous easily?
No, I don't get jealous easily. If I thought I had cause to be jealous, I would confront the issue. It can only turn out in one of two ways. Either there would be nothing to fear, or if it had foundation, I would leave as quickly as possible.

What are you currently waiting for?
To get to Crew station. I am travelling by train and I need to get to Stoke-On-Trent for work purposes. Crew is currently 2 hours and 30 minutes away!

Do you think more about the past, present, or future?
When I think about the past, I try and remember the good things about it, and fortunately, I have lots of good memories. Other than that, I just live very much in the present.

Is there anybody you wish you could be spending time with right now?
Yes, L. She is getting further and further away as I travel!

Honestly, did you really love the last person you said I love you too?
Absolutely!

Is anything wrong with your eyes?
I don't have any eyes at all. Now that wasn't the answer you were expecting was it?

Do you have nice eyes?
Now listen, I've told you already, I physically don't have any, so move on.

Have you ever received a love letter more than a page long?
Are we talking e-mails here too? If so, the answer is yes, definitely.

Who's thinking about you right now?
Hopefully it is L, although she may well be asleep. She hasn't been too well the last day or so.

Is this year the best year of your life?
Despite some of the things that have happened, it is certainly the best year I have had in a very long time. There's still some way to go, but I am positive and think it will end up being good. I am very very much looking forward to Christmas.

Which of your friends lives closest to you?
That's a difficult one to answer. At the moment, I don't have a permanent home as such. I have a house in St. Helens that I want to sell so I can move somewhere sensible, but at the moment I cannot, and believe me, that is a complete and utter nuisance!

How do you feel about Diet Dr Pepper?
Its OK, I could drink it.

Have you ever thought someone died, when they really didn't?
No.

Does your bedroom need cleaning?
No I don't think it does, it is quite tidy, certainly I left it that way this morning.

Would you rather take a relationship really slow or really fast?
I would rather take it at the speed it naturally goes. I am not in a particular rush though.

Do you ever hang out with someone of the opposite sex?
Yes. As I've said, the people I mainly talk to are women. Sorry about that. That is just who I am.

Are you comfortable with your height?
Very, I am quite tall and that's fine.

Do you act differently around the person you like?
Well obviously I do! I don't go around calling everyone "Darling" or similar as I do with L, so yes, of course I do. But other than that I do try to treat most people the same. There are a few people however in this world that I definitely do not like because of situations they have forced me into. But that's life, you can't like everyone. You just have to make the best of it.

Do you think anyone has feelings for you?
I am sure they do!

Is there one person in your life that can always make you smile?
Yes, there is. No matter how bad things get, she always can.

Do you like thunderstorms?
I am not bothered either way.

Do you think teenagers can be in love?
Of course they can. I was, and most of them will be!

How fast does your mood change?
Usually I am optemistic and upbeat by nature, Outwardly at the very least I do try to act positively. When something bad happens, I have to say I am very good at shrugging it off and getting on with life incredibly quickly, and I am talking a matter of hours here. I think I am quite mild mannered and that doesn't often change, certainly not rapidly. If someone really annoys me though, be warned, I am vicious, smile.

Are there things that can't be joked about with you?
I really hate coarseness, smutty jokes and sexual innuendo, and I find it really upsetting when I am imitated. I definitely never do that. It has happened to me at a couple of places I have carried out voluntary work for. Interestingly, those people who do imitate usually have a greater number of quirks of speech (oar other more personal facets of their character) which would afford mimickry, and I definitely would not reciprocate. Certainly if they imitated my ladyfriend and I found out about it, I am likely to strongly react.

What do you always take with you?
Always my keys, cigarettes and my phone.

When is your birthday?
19 September. Note the way I have written the date, day first, month second. I said in the last survey I was British through and through. I meant it.

Where is the weirdest place you have slept?
I really cannot think of a good answer to that one.

Anything on your walls?
A couple of pictures.

What do you bite more, your tongue, lip, or cheek?
My tongue, I think, I sometimes bite it when I am eating. ouch!

Has a boy/girl called you babe/baby lately?
Yes, quite often!

Is there something that you want to tell someone but can't?
Oh definitely. One day I will let the world know about something which happened to me during 2011, I can say that. There was a series of incidents which occurred during the year which cost me what I thought was a very good friendship which I will never get back. It is very very disappointing. It is best not to think about it.

Do you think you can last in a relationship for 6 months or more?
Yes, I know I can.

This time last year, can you remember who you liked?
Well, this question is aimed at teenagers, as is most of this survey, but I will answer it. I liked a lot of people who I have since found not to be terribly likeable, which makes me very sad. I also liked someone who I have since come to love, which makes me incredibly happy!

Would you ever want to swim with the sharks?
No, I cannot say I would. Maybe Dolphins though.

Does anyone know your passwords besides you?
One person a password to a few services but no, not all.

What is the last non-alcoholic beverage you had?
A cup of coffee at about 5 this morning.

I bet you miss somebody right now...
Yes, L, incredibly.

Do you have a box where you keep all your important things?
No, I don't.

Can you count past 100?
Yes, in both English and French, (smile).

Would you ever date anyone your parents disapproved of?
I have done on every occasion as far as I can tell.

If you were abandoned in the wilderness, would you survive?
Absolutley not! I am ashamed to admit I would be completely useless! Put me in an unknown house, and I could get to know it, and get used to it in no time, but put me in the wilderness and ask me to find food and fire, and I'd be a goner in hours!

Is there someone you can tell anything to?
Now I have L in my life, yes, there is.

At this moment in time if you HAD to have someone's name tattooed on you, whose would it be?
I thought I made it clear in the last survey what I thought about those. No, and no again.

Most memorable thing that's happened to you over the summer?
My growing closeness with a certain special someone, and learning more about setting up an internet radio station. Technically I appear to be very good at that kind of thing and at the moment I haven't seen a similar station that accomplished everything that Team-FM did, certainly not relating to web development and an online web presence. One day, believe me I will get back to doing that and taking it much much further. I have thoughts in my head where I want that to go, a lot of really good ideas I want to work on.

Has anyone called you perfect before?
No I don't think they have, and that is OK. I am not sure I would want them to, I am not.

Do your best friends' parents tend to like you?
I don't know who they are so it's not likely.

Are any of your friends taller than you?
I wouldn't know about the height of all of them.

Do you prefer the ocean or pool?
Oh, the pool every time. My dream would be to have a big house with an indoor pool all of my very own.

Ever liked someone whose name started with a B?
No I haven't.

Does the last person you shared a bed with, mean anything to you?
Everything in the whole wide world and more besides.

What's your favorite part of the song that you're listening to?
I am not listening to music right now although I often do. I will when I have finished writing this. I am listening to the jaws screen-reader when I review the text I have written, the sound of the train and particularly listening out for the refreshment trolley as I want more coffee.

Ever really cried your heart out?
Yes, I admit that and it's OK to do that.

Are you the same person as you were at the beginning of 2012?
No, I don't think so. I am now much much more relaxed and that is not surprising as the environment I am currently living in is far more tranquil. I used to be very reserved about what I wrote on Twitter and Facebook. Now, I don't care as much. I know people follow my accounts even though I have blocked them, and that's OK. If I don't want people to know something then I am not going to publicly publish it! I will send direct messages or email to people I want to talk to privately. Anything which I do publish on my Twitter account is linked to Facebook. Absolutely anyone can read those comments. There's nothing on here I wouldn't want the world to know. Carry on, please have a good read! (smile).

Do you get good grades?
I got excellent grades at College. On the course I studied for, my results exceeded all seeing candidates for the same course in the UK during that year, so I thought that was OK.

Is there a difference between love and IN love?
Oh there surely is.

Have you ever been on a motorcycle?
No I haven't, but I would quite like to.

Does it bother you when someone says they will call you and they don't?
Yes, it is infuriating!

Was 2011 a good year for you?
It was a very mixed year, but in the end, things worked out for the best. That is the most positive thing I can say.

Do you think you were raised well?
Yes, I do.

What's worse: liars or cheaters?
I'd say there is not much to choose between them.

Have you ever broken someone's heart?
Yes, unfortunately, more than once.

Does it matter if your boyfriend/girlfriend smokes?
At the moment my ladyfriend and I both smoke, we use what are commonly called electronic cigarettes, whereby we can inhale flavoured nicotine, without polluting anyone else's air or inhaling the harmful cancer causing chemicals normal smokers inhale, they suit us well.

Give me a random lyric from the song you're listening to.
I've already said, I am not listening to one! But ah, wait, here comes the man with the trolley, and it's the strange one who is always on the train. He is saying, "don't give me any notes, I cannot be doing with notes at this time of the morning!" OK, whatever.

Do you like competition?
Well that depends on what level. If it's work or related to a hobby, actually yes, I thrive on it! I do much much better if I think someone is competing! I tend to really throw myself into whatever it is even harder than I would have done originally!

Do you think two people can last forever?
Yes, I do. It has not worked for me yet, but I know it can work, and maybe for me it will.

Do you consider yourself lucky?
On balance, yes, I think I am.

Is there someone that cares about you more than themselves?
Oh, absolutely, and it is very much reciprocated.

Who was the ugliest person you saw today?
I cannot see, so I don't know.

Freedom or safety?
I like to have the independence to choose what I want to do, and on the whole I can do that. I have very very good mobility skills, and since last October, I have found that I ccan do things I never thought I was able to. But obviously I try to be as safe as possible. I try not to put myself in vulnerable situations.

Has a song ever made you cry?
I don't think it has, no.

Has a book ever made you cry?
Oh not one of these crying questions again. No.

Is the world crumbling to pieces?
I am glad we are getting near the end of this survey now. I don't think so. I think you are running out of good questions to ask me!

Will you be in a relationship next month?
I really do hope so!

Your phone rings, what do you say?
That depends which phone I am answering. If its my work phone, and I don't know the caller, "hello Brian Hartgen". If it's my personal phone, "Hi".

Has anyone ever said they wanted to marry you?
Yes they have most certainly.

Is your birthday on a holiday?
Nope.

Do you always answer your phone?
No, not always. Sometimes I will let it go to voicemail.

Has someone of the opposite sex ever told you they loved you?
Yes, they certainly have, more than once! Giggling.

Who was the last person you had a sleepover with?
Do you know, I have never had a sleepover, and that is a shame, because they do sound like fun!

Is there someone you wish you were still close with?
Yes. But it is no good looking back. Be positive and look forward! There are always, always new people to meet and to like.

Next Question?

Hi, Everyone!

Well, yesterday, as you will have seen, B and I both had fun with a survey, which we both filled in and posted to our blogs, and B has caught the survey bug, and implored me to see if I could find some more! So, here I have been, scouring my blogs for surveys, and I have come up with a wowzer!

Most of these things are aimed at teenagers, so some of these questions are a mite incongruous, as you shal see, but I do rather like surveys, as answering these questions will tell you a lot more about us than you know already. I always like reading someone's survey answers, if they're done properly, it's like looking through a window into their psyche, or as much of it as they want me to see. I was actually rather surprised by some of my answers to these questions, it showed me that some old scars have not healed as wel as I thought they had. I will have to work on this.

Ok, enough chit chat, here is my survey.

130 questions… promise you won't lie?
If I were going to lie, there would be no point in me doing this. I might perhaps evade a little, or refuse to answer, if you ask me something silly!

Do you get jealous easily?
Yes, I am afraid I do. I am a Scorpio, and scorps do get jealous, it is a trait about myself I don't like.

What are you currently waiting for?
I am waiting for the Music Machine to come on, I am looking forward to the show. Ah, there it goes!

Do you think more about the past, present, or future?
Well, the past is gone, and I do not like to look back at it much, except to remember happy memories. The future is always uncertain. So I stay in the present, and enjoy the moment as much as I can.

Is there anybody you wish you could be spending time with right now?
No. I am in the company of the person I love best in all the world, thank God.

Honestly, did you really love the last person you said I love you too?
I honestly did. I still do, as a matter of fact!

Is anything wrong with your eyes?
Not a thing. They just don't work, unfortunately. The eyes themselves are fine.

Do you have nice eyes?
Yes, they are large and hazel, I am told they are very nice.

Have you ever received a love letter more than a page long?
Yes I have, and I have also received some long love Emails.

Who's thinking about you right now?
The person sitting across the room, doing his radio show. WE always think about each other, even when we are working.

Is this year the best year of your life?
That is a ratehr difficult one. It had a very rough and rocky start, but it has improved dramatically, and it is getting better all the time. I don't know what year I would call the best year of my life. I am just glad things have started to go right for me and that I am settled and happy.

Which of your friends lives closest to you?
That would be Simon Cowan, he lives in Bridge End, not ttoo far from here.

How do you feel about Diet Dr Pepper?
Diet anything is absolutely disgusting, and I have never liked Doctor Pepper.

Have you ever thought someone died, when they really didn't?
Yes. My Migraines cause me sometimes to hallucinate, and once I was absolutely sure a friend was dead. I nearly screamed myself hoarse until someone called her and she talked to me and convinced me that she was alive and well.

Does your bedroom need cleaning?
Yes, it probably does at the moment, my treasure is not due till Wednesday!

Would you rather take a relationship really slow or really fast?
I would rather take it at the speed it naturally goes. Usually I am quick to love and quick to trust and impulsive by nature, which has got me into trouble in the past, but the one thing I hate is playing a guessing game. In any relationship I have to know where I am, or I just can't deal with things at all, so slow normally doesn't happen for me!

Do you ever hang out with someone of the opposite sex?
In a friendship capacity, no, not really. I used to, but it too often leads to messy situations, so I have had to learn the hard way to be a lot more reserved than is my nature.

Are you comfortable with your height?
Oh absolutely. They do say that good things come in small packages. Grin!

Do you act differently around the person you like?
I hope that I treat everyone the same, I try to be polite and friendly to everybody, though some people make it a bit more difficult! Smile.

Do you think anyone has feelings for you?
I would certainly hope so! If not, I am in serious trouble!

Is there one person in your life that can always make you smile?
yes, thank God there is! It is sometimes very difficult, especially when I am in pain or feeling scratchy because of my health issues, but he can always do it.

Do you like thunderstorms?
No, I hate them now. They mess up computers and make me nervous.

Do you think teenagers can be in love?
Oh absolutely! Love is no respecter of age, it strikes when and where it wants to.

How fast does your mood change?
Usually I am optemistic and upbeat my nature, but if something stresses or upsets me, or if someone presses my mad button, or does something bad to the one I love, I can flare up like a fireball, or drop into deep blackness faster than a stone.

Are there things that can't be joked about with you?
I hate prank phone calls, play one of those and I have to leave the room, they are just so unfunny and not fair on the person the prank is played on. I also really hate smutty jokes and sexual innuendo, and I find it really upsetting when I am imitated. It has happened to me at a couple of places I have worked, and I still hear about it. I cannot help the way I speak, nor can anyone else, and I can't see why imitating me is funny.

What do you always take with you?
My handbag. It has everything I need in it, including my keys. I'd be lost without it.

When is your birthday?
November 9.

Where is the weirdest place you have slept?
I slept on a barge once, the bunk was very narrow, and conditions were privitive, verging on squalid.

Anything on your walls?
A couple of pictures. I am just waiting for Mum and Dad to find a frame for the amazing picture of Bert the Leprechaun that Scott Clark painted for Bert's area of our site. I can't wait to have it hung up in here.

What do you bite more, your tongue, lip, or cheek?
My tongue, I think, I sometimes bite it when I am eating. ouch!

Has a boy/girl called you babe/baby lately?
Yes, indeed he often calls me babe. Big smile.

Is there something that you want to tell someone but can't?
No, not at the moment. I did use to have a lot of anger bottled up inside me, but it is all gone now. It only hurts me, no one else.

Do you think you can last in a relationship for 6 months or more?
Yes, I know I can.

This time last year, can you remember who you liked?
Well, this question is aimed at teenagers, as is most of this survey, but I will answer it. I liked a lot of people who I have since found not to be terribly likeable, which makes me very sad. I also liked someone who I have since come to love, which makes me incredibly happy, so I guess we'll call that an even break.

Would you ever want to swim with the sharks?
Hell to the no! Sharks give me nightmares!

Does anyone know your passwords besides you?
Yes, one person knows some of them, which is necessary.

What is the last non-alcoholic beverage you had?
I have just had a cup of tea.

I bet you miss somebody right now...
No, actually you're wrong. At the moment I don't, but if you ask me tomorrow I'll be missing the hell out of him!

Do you have a box where you keep all your important things?
Oh gosh! I have no end of boxes! I have a jewellery box, a makeup box, a box for my hairclips and scrunchies, but my important documents and so on are kept in the filing drawer of my desk.

Can you count past 100?
Anyone who cannot is an idiot, or else would be too young to be doing this survey! I should have thought you could think of something better to ask, or else made this thing shorter! Hahaha!

Would you ever date anyone your parents disapproved of?
I would, and frequently have. I am not my parents' plaything, I am me, and life is far too short to be living under Mummy's thumb, or Daddy's either. I feel very sorry for people who live their whole lives being looked after by their parents, because one day they're going to be on their own, an what will they do then?

If you were abandoned in the wilderness, would you survive?
Absolutley not! I am ashamed to admit I would be completely useless! Put me in an unknown house, and I could get to know it, and get used to it in no time, but put me in the wilderness and ask me to find food and fire, and I'd be a goner in hours!

Is there someone you can tell anything to?
Yes, indeed and indeed, and I often do!

At this moment in time if you HAD to have someone's name tattooed on you, whose would it be?
I would refuse to have anyone's name tatooed on me, I hate tatoos.

Most memorable thing that's happened to you over the summer?
My growing closeness with a certain special someone.

Has anyone called you perfect before?
Someone has called me perfect for him, does that count? But as for being perfect, I am not, and could never be.

Do your best friends' parents tend to like you?
I don't think I am liked very much in that quarter, but there is time. It is still early days.

Are any of your friends taller than you?
Yes, most of them!

Name the bands you have band tees for.
I hate band tees, and do not have any at all.

Do you prefer the ocean or pool?
Oh, the pool every time. My dream would be to have a big house with an indoor pool all of my very own.

Ever liked someone whose name started with a B?
Oh, yes indeed I have! Funnily enough, I still do, very much indeed! Giggles.

Does the last person you shared a bed with, mean anything to you?
Everything in the whole wide world and more besides.

What's your favorite part of the song that you're listening to?
Scissor Sisters, I don't feel like dancin' has a good bouncy beat.

Ever really cried your heart out?
More times than I care to remember.

Are you the same person as you were at the beginning of 2012?
No, I don't think so. Life has knocked me about this year, as well as giving me happiness, and I am a lot more self-contained and a lot less ready to trust people. I have been taught some very bitter lessons I could have done without learning.

Do you get good grades?
I got ok grades at school, and better ones at college, but I have long left grades behind me.

Is there a difference between love and IN love?
Oh there surely is. In love is a straw fire that can flare up, burn brightly then fizzle out. Love is a slow, steady flame that will, if properly tended, burn in your heart all your days.

Have you ever been on a motorcycle?
I have, quite a few times, I absolutely love them to bits!

Does it bother you when someone says they will call you and they don't?
It does indeed, it makes me madder than a wet hen. I used to go out with someone who would say he would call me at one, and then it would be not one, but two or two-thirty, and I'd be just stuck there, unable to settle to anything, waiting like a wilting bunch of flowers. To my mind, if you say you will call someone at two, then, except for urgent circumstances beyond your control, you should call at two. Anything else is rude and uncaring.

Was 2011 a good year for you?
It was a very very up and down year. I had some wonderful times, and I had some truly truly awful times too, but isn't that what happens in everyone's lives?

Do you think you were raised well?
Yes, I do. I know a lot of things which an awful lot of my blind friends just have no idea of at all. I was independent by nature, and I was helped and encouraged all the way. I had a difficult childhood for several reasons, but when I think back on all I was given, all I was taught, all that my amazing parents did, and continue to do for me, I cannot but bless them, and say yes indeed, I was raised very well!

What's your favorite super-hero?
I do not particularly like them, but if I need to choose, I'll go for Wolverine from the x-men. How gorgeous is he? Well, he is in the film, anyway, yum yum yum! He'll just have to watch that those knives don't shoot out of his hands in, er, moments of intimacy! Giggling!

Can you say the alphabet backwards?
I probably could, if I thought about it, but as I am trying to get this done before Christmas, we'll leave it for now!

What's worse: liars or cheaters?
I'd say there is not much to choose between them.

Have you ever broken someone's heart?
Yes, unfortunately, more than once, it sucks the big fat one, and I did not do it lightly nor take pleasure in it.

Does it matter if your boyfriend/girlfriend smokes?
Hmmm. how to answer this? At the moment my boyfriend and I both smoke, we use what are commonly called electronic cigarettes, whereby we can inhale flavoured nicotine, without polluting anyone else's air or inhaling the harmful cancer causing chemicals normal smokers inhale, they suit us well. If my boyfriend wanted to smoke normal cigarettes, then yes, it would matter, partly because the smell is bad for my asthma, also because it is in the contract of these flats that you can't smoke here. Sorry for the longwindedness! Smiles.

Give me a random lyric from the song you're listening to.
My heart starts missing a beat.

Do you like competition?
No, not much, who does?

Do you think two people can last forever?
Yes, I do. It has not worked for me yet, but I know it can work, and maybe for me it will.

Do you consider yourself lucky?
That is a hard one to answer. There are luckier people, and there are certainly unluckier. Sometimes I wish certain things had turned out differently, that is for sure, but thinking like that gets you nowhere. I just prefer to focus on my blessings. I am lucky to have a lovely little home, enough money to pay my bills and eat, someone who loves me, a loving family. In those things I am lucky.

Do you live in a ghetto neighborhood?
No, thank goodness.

Is there someone that cares about you more than themselves?
Oh, absolutely, and it is very much reciprocated.

Who was the ugliest person you saw today?
I have seen no one today, but anyway, I believe it is what you are on the inside rather than on the outside that matters.

Freedom or safety?
Another difficult one. I like to be safe, I do not believe in doing dangerous things, nor in living dangerously either. On the other hand, I have fought for most of my life to live freely, the way I want to, independently and in no one's debt.

Has a song ever made you cry?
Oh gosh yes, more songs than I can count. At the moment, Chris Rice's Come to Jesus is the one that gets me every time. It is just heart stoppingly beautiful and just puts my own needs and feelings into words.

Has a book ever made you cry?
Yes, many do. I remember Stephen King's The Green Mile made me howl my eyes out at the end.

Is the world crumbling to pieces?
No, I don't think so.

Will you be in a relationship next month?
I really do hope so, because if not you will be picking me up with a stick and a spoon!

Your phone rings, what do you say?
Hello?

Has anyone ever said they wanted to marry you?
Yes indeed they have. Marriage and I are very good friends, but unfortunately we keep having make ups and break ups. At the moment we aren't speaking, but I don't think that's a permanent state. Smiles.

Is your birthday on a holiday?
Nope.

Do you always answer your phone?
Usually, even if it rings at the most inconvenient time. The only time I don't is if I'm on air.

Has someone of the opposite sex ever told you they loved you?
Yes, they certainly have, more than once! Giggling.

Who was the last person you had a sleepover with?
Do you know, I have never had a sleepover, and that is a shame, because they do sound like fun!

Is there someone you wish you were still close with?
Yes. I lost people this year, and it makes me so so sad, but I will not look back, I will look forward, count my blessings, and wait for the good things which I know life has in store for me.

Hmmm. and there you have it. I am going to be very interested in what B writes in this one. I might have to wait a few days, as this week is a killer, very busy.

In the meantime, we have a nice evening to enjoy, so I shall now pop off and keep him company. I hope you've all had a good weekend. Toodle pip!

Book I am reading: I blush to tell you: Mary Poppins by P L Travers.

What I am looking forward to: spicy chicken wings and a glass of wine.

The Music Machine celebrates the 80's, 90's and now

Hi everyone!

I hope you can be with me later today at 16:00 UTC, 5 PM UK or 12 PM Eastern for this week's Music Machine, right before the Atitude Test!
www.theglobalvoice.info

After last week's dive into the 70's, today I'll be playing music from the 80's, 90's and now. So if you like something a little more up-to-date, or you are feeling nostalgic and love your music of the 80's, I hope there is going to be something for you this week! Plus, I'll be looking at the UK chart from this week in 1988, there were some great songs!

Now apart from the usual ways of contacting me by e-mail and Twitter, this week you are very welcome to call into the show via Skype or the phone. Feel free to have a chat with me on air about the kind of music you like, or maybe you would like to request a song or have musical memories to share, that would be even better. It's always great to hear the voices of our listeners! If not, e-mail and Twitter is absolutely fine too of course if you would like to get in touch.

So, you can e-mail during the show to YourVoice@TheGlobalVoice.Info,
tweet @BrianHartgen or use Skype, the username is the.global.voice.

Phone numbers:
Phone the United States: (+1) 305 434 4132
Phone Europe and the UK: (+44)(0) 208 123 6806
Phone New Zealand: (+64)(0) 9 974 9636

Whatever you are doing today I hope I can be in your company. And, just a word about next week's show. If you love your music of the late 50's and 60's, you are not going to want to miss this! At The Global Voice, we can not only play music but we know about it too. So for 2 hours, I'll be telling you about how many of the artists and groups who were most famous in this musical period got started in their careers. More about that during the show today.

Thanks so much for listening to The Global Voice!

Brian Hartgen

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