A Night at the Hilton

Up at 4am, working 10 hours, 90-minute drive to Gatwick, and then 10 hours of drinking.

Well that was my day in the simplest form. Obviously there was much more to it. There was an award ceremony, photos, silly antics, meet and greets, laughs, eye candy, and an all round drunken time.

As our company lost their contract it will be our last ever winter ball sadly, however a cracking good time was had.

I left work at 4pm ran to Asda and grabbed some vodka and then made my way to the Hilton. I arrived just before 6 and got straight into the shower. Shortly before 7 the friend I invited turned up. Drinks in hand we headed into the crowds and mingled.

Dinner and celebrations started at 7.30. After the awards the live music started, and the drinking began.

At about 10pm a photo booth was set up where people could dress up and take photos. I had to get in on it this year. We grabbed a few friends to come and join us to have a laugh. I even grabbed someone from upper management!




Winter ball - John and Darren

Winter ball - John and Martin

The band who played the music were amazing. They really did some great numbers that night, and everyone seemed to agree.





As the night drew to a close at 3am we wondered as a group over to the McDonalds across the road. Grabbed something to eat and headed back. As I arrived back at the Hilton I had an unfortunate encounter with the kerb. As I stepped up I misplaced my foot, and ended up twisting my ankle. Down I went like a sack of shit. Being very drunk I didn’t feel much pain, but after a night of sobering up and trying to sleep off the alcohol I woke up to a foot that I couldn’t even put it down on the floor without almost crying.

Even after all of the pain from falling over I can honestly say I had a good night. It’s been a long time and I think I deserved it.


Why you can’t talk to the uninformed

Somehow today the topic of suicide got brought up and a discussion quickly ensued.

This is a topic close to my heart, and it really pisses me off when people try to say something “intelligent” on the subject or they have their “opinions” about it when they haven’t even experienced it first hand.

If you know me, you may know that I went through a really rough patch in my life a couple of years ago. What you may not know is that I tried to and succeeded at committing suicide. Why? I broke up with the mother of my children who I had been with for over 10 years. I didn’t take the news well and had no idea how to process it. The only option I felt I had left to try to remove the pain was to end my life. I tried and succeeded at killing myself albeit only for a short while.

August 16th 2013 – It’s was a very personal, very shameful, and very difficult day for me. I just found out that the woman who I had spent more than 10 years with, the mother of my children, the woman who I lived with, the woman who I loved with all my heart was leaving me for someone else.

I had no way to process this, and therefore no way to comprehend the fact that “my world” had just imploded in upon itself. In my eyes there was nothing more important to me than what I had just lost, and the only viable way I saw to remove my pain was to end my life.

So as you can see. I have a rather unique and personal view of the subject.

It is with no surprise then that I will get pissed off when people spout comments such as, you will have to just deal with it, it happens. You will get over it, it just takes time. Why are you so selfish? You’re a time waster. All you want is attention. Think of the children. What about me?

Let me break those comments down for you and give you a reason why they are just wrong, and should not be said to someone who is depressed nor anyone who has seen suicide as an option. All you will do is anger them and or make them feel worse.

You will have to just deal with it – Are you that fucking stupid? The reason I attempted suicide in the first place was because I couldn’t deal with what had just happened to me. I had no idea how to deal with it. I didn’t have the knowledge nor the tools to be able to start dealing with what had just happened. All I wanted was for the pain to stop and go away. The only way I could possibly see that happening was to end my life.

Looking back on my whole ordeal I still can’t see a better way of dealing with what I lost. Is it even possible to deal with that type of loss properly and healthily?

The only reason I’m still alive writing this blog post today is because people forced me to go through the pain. Understand the pain, make it apart of myself, and use it.

You will get over it, it just takes time – It’s been more than two years for me since I split with my ex, and I can 100% positively say I will never get over it. How the entire break up went was horrendous for me. During the break up I lost my home, my children, my job, the woman I loved and to top everything off I had to move more than 110 miles away from my children, because I had nowhere nearby to go. It is not something that I will ever get over, however it is something that I hope to be able to live with, without getting myself down when I think about it. It is now apart of me. Who I am and how I deal with things will all affected by what I have experienced.

Why are you so selfish? – This one is simple; because not everything is about you. What I did was about me, and it’s what I felt I needed to do for myself. I was in a great deal of pain; emotional and physical. I needed it to stop. I couldn’t cope any more. I wasn’t strong enough. I needed it to end.

You’re a time waster – A time waster? Just whose time am I wasting? Committing suicide does not waste your time. Your argument is invalid.

All you want is attention – If I wanted attention I wouldn’t have taken enough pills to kill myself. I did. My heart stopped beating, and I died. I did not want attention. I wanted to die. I did die. I achieved my goal. Someone intervened and pulled me back from death. While many people say I should be grateful for this it made me gain attention that I did not want.

Think about the children – Sometimes you have to just think about yourself – See my response above about being selfish. Sometimes thinking about them makes the problem worse. In my case thinking about them and knowing that I had lost them due to the breakup made things worse for me.

What about me? – Who’s the selfish one now? I’ll answer this question with the same question. What about me? I didn’t see a way through the pain. I wanted the pain to end. This was the only way I thought I could end it.

The discussion I had today and one I have regularly with people at work due to my line of work are all started by people who have not experienced suicide. They do not know the kind of pain, the mental anguish, the loneliness, the crying, the confusion, and the judgement that someone who has attempted suicide feels, and I hope they never do, but I implore them to please have some empathy without judgement towards those that have.

Sometimes just having someone listening to our problems without injecting their own into the mix helps. Sometimes we need to be the focus. Sometimes we need a million questions thrown at us before we start to open up about the issues we face. Admitting to someone else that there is actually a problem is very scary. You could be that person to help the one’s suffering silently before they see no other alternatives.

I said above that I won’t ever get over what happened to me, and this is true. I live with what happened to me. I still experience the depression knowing that I hardly get to see my children. Knowing that I’m alone. Knowing that I will never properly be apart of my family again. I miss waking up next to someone. I miss the kids coming in to my room because they’ve had a bad dream and want comforting. I miss seeing each and every new behaviour the kids pick up. I miss seeing them grow as people. All I get is snapshots. A week here. A week there. Two weeks then. It’s not enough. It will never be enough. The way I “cope” with this is to bury myself in work, go to events, spend time on myself, “treat” myself to things. I go on trips to very random places. Just to take my mind off of things and try to prevent all of my old feelings boiling to the surface, because surely there is another way? Surely it’s not all about burying them? I can be happy. Right?




Visiting C.E.R.N has been one of the things I have been wanting to do for quite some time. I found out recently that they have tours of their facility and ordinary members of the public can request to join them.

After finding out they did tours I naturally got excited. It took me a couple of weeks to find a slot between seeing the kids, work and an availability in the tours. The next challenge was the price of the flight. I thought it was going to be expensive as hell to get a flight over to Geneva, Switzerland. Turns out it wasn’t! Using a website a friend from works introduced me to called Sky Scanner I was able to book a return flight for £42! It makes you wonder how it’s even possible!

I’ve never been on an aeroplane before, so the trip over to Geneva was going to be a completely new experience for me. I was so excited but so scared at the same time. I didn’t know what to expect.

So this was the plane I was about to get on

I boarded the plane and all of my anxiety went away. I didn’t book a specific seat I left it all to chance where I sat on the plane. I ended up with window seats on both the journey out there and back, which was great luck.


The weather was quite gloomy that day so I wasn’t expecting a great view up on the plane, but boy was I in for a surprise! Less than 10 minutes after taking off we were above the clouds. It was that sunny and beautiful I was shocked!



I touched down in Geneva at around 11am local time. The airport was like a ghost town. I was expecting so many more people there.


After finding somewhere to buy a drink I headed off to C.E.R.N. I walked in the direction of the taxis, and got a little lost. Quite surprisingly everyone I approached spoke english. One of the guys who works at the airport spoke to the taxi driver and told him where I wanted to go. 40 CHF later I arrived at my destination. I later found that I could have got a free ticket for the tram system when leaving the airport. If I ever go back I’ll know not to spend a stupid amount of money on a taxi again.

I arrived at C.E.R.N. a couple hours before my tour started so I had some time to look around their exhibitions. Sadly the Universe of Particles exhibition was closed due to major renovations on the exterior of the building.


However the Microcosm exhibition was open and I wondered around and snapped a few photos.









It soon turns 1pm and my tour guide turns up with 12 other participants.

This is the control room where they control the experiments and record all of the data.
A close up of the ATLAS experiment monitor

Near to the control room they had a lego version of the ATLAS experiment. I thought it was rather cool and had to snap a photo of it.


After a talk about some of the experiments, what they are for and what has been accomplished from doing them we headed over the road and into another building where we had a walk around one of the earlier accelerators.

It was housed in a large room with 5m thick walls and was only recently opened to the public due to the amount of radiation that it produced while it was in operation. It was a huge piece of equipment. We were in there for around 20 minutes. We had a video presentation with some of the history surrounding C.E.R.N. and the early history of the accelerator, what it discovered and how useful it has been, and then an answer and question session.


After my tour which lasted roughly 2 hours I went on a walk around the airport to see what bargains I could grab while there. Turns out bugger all, but as with all places I visit I have to grab myself a hat (one for C.E.R.N. and one for Switzerland) and some Toblerone.


I was going to get some cheese as this in my eyes is the most famous thing that Switzerland produce, but I couldn’t find anywhere that sold any, however I did come across this while searching! Melting cheese using tea light candles!


I was also looking into getting a genuine Swiss Army Knife, but then I had second thoughts about bringing it back on an aeroplane! They would probably stop me and take it off of me. A waste of money!


Maybe I can post myself one next time I go! Probably not the most efficient or even cheapest way of doing it!

Sadly I didn’t get to see either the ATLAS or ALICE projects, but while I was at C.E.R.N. I spoke to the guide who works for C.E.R.N. and he suggested that I should write to them and simply ask and see what was possible. He said others have been on a tour of the detectors before, so he doesn’t see why it won’t be possible in the future.


Ryans 10!

My son is now 10 years old! His birthday was on the 14th, but I had to see him the weekend before. This was a good thing as I found something that Ryan would enjoy so much.


Ryan is heavily into beatboxing. He watches hours upon hours of videos on youtube of various artists performing their talent. What better gift could I get him than to take him to the Championships?


To go along with the trip out to Clapham I got him a few things as well. A speaker system with a microphone so he can perform his beatboxing at home properly, some new games and a headset for his Xbox One.

As with most kids a box somehow becomes a toy!


From his house we took the train to Clapham. The championships were held around the corner at the Clapham Grand. A short one minute walk from the train station. We arrived before the event had even started, so got to see some of the warm ups.

We scouted out our location and stayed there through the entire show. We had an excellent view. Below are a few clips and photos from the event.