Gurgs turns 27

Hey All,

How’s it going, it’s been a long while. Apologies for the absence! So for those of you who don’t know it’s my birthday today (High Five That) It’s a strange one as I don’t quite feel the age I am on paper, which is 27…. I do however I’m not not quite at that point to be worrying about the numbers, though could change at the drop of a hat :s

With every birthday comes reflection and a pause to evaluate, at least that’s my routine. What better time to do this then on the train to Oxford! It’s been a good year for me in terms of my work, family and friends. I don’t think I can really complain. It’s funny though I can remember vividly this time last year.

I was tanned from my holiday to the Algarve, it was my last week in my current role at the time and my brother’s musical pop up performance was waiting for me at home. The end of one, chapter, new beginnings and biding friends farewell. Most memorable at the time was the positive energy and sense of appreciation I felt for everyone. The same holds true today a year later.

I have an amazing set of friends and a family to match. At 27 I feel I know where my place is amongst all that a bit better now. With age comes clarity and wisdom in my case according to a few Individuals.

Birthday’s should be the birth of something new not just an anniversary of what is. With that thought in mind I am looking for something new, though I can’t pinpoint what exactly. Either way I’ve got a great team behind me (You Know who you are).

Presently I’m looking forward to today, boozing it up with my bro’s in Oxford and hopefully in the near future with the rest of the family.

Have a great weekend and thanks to all those who have wished me a Happy Birthday. I’ll be sure to have a drink to you ūüėČ



Grade G in China and Hong Kong

Hey How’s it going?

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted, my apologies :/. This post has been a long time in the making, since my¬†returning from the two-week holiday, though I’ve spent much of my time whilst back thinking how best to go about summing up the experiences in both China (Beijing) and Hong Kong? It’s a difficult thing to do but from the get go I can say that Beijing and Hong Kong are like night and day, the feeling of being in both is so very different but that’s not to say that neither have their plus points.

Beijing is definitely a place that is full of hustle and bustle as well as life. If you’re not constantly watching to see where the next 2 or 4 wheeled vehicle is heading towards, behind or to side of you, you might just have enough to time to appreciate just how much is really going on around you night or day. Initially the feeling of being in Beijing felt quite alien at first, getting my bearings and figuring out what was around the area near the hotel, it’s worth mentioning that I was with two of my good friends, however that only served to amplify the feeling of confusion sometimes :s. In all fairness we managed to get by thanks to our trusty Rough Guide to China as well as the simple train system, which was written in English as well. Lack of mobile internet on the go and barred Google Apps was a bit of a show stopper at times ( The things we take for granted eh.)

Beijing certainly has a lot of tradition and culture that attracts tourists such as ourselves¬†but it was interesting to see that people from within China or locals taking in the sites as well, whether is was the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven or even the Great Wall Of China. There is that appreciation for the old despite it being a modern city and the capital of China. Whilst we were there I felt I tried to get as much of the tourist stuff done and see as many of the sites as possible, unfortunately it didn’t always pan out the way I envisioned it would, but actually that’s were I went wrong during my time to Beijing.

I was too focused on doing the tourist thing that I forget to take the time to soak it all in, to go out and get drunk with my mates and just relax etc. It’s always a challenge when yourself and your friend’s each have different idea’s of what a holiday should entail and coming to a decision on things to do, but in essence as long as you have fun it tends to just work itself out!! People in Beijing were quite hospitable towards us and we even had the odd person/persons wanting to take pictures with us, apparently very common behaviour towards tourists (so the Rough Guide tells me..)

The language barrier proved to catch us sometimes especially in scenario’s involving food though eventually we would reach the end point after much broken english and pointing to pictures. Despite how awkward we felt sometimes trying to communicate in vain I admired how our hosts wouldn’t give up when trying to get “blood out of a stone” and get our orders, though funnily enough when it came to business transactions in market type situations, the universal language of money seemed to take over and both parties were very much fluent.

Hong Kong

Where to begin with Hong Kong? As soon as we arrived at the airport after a three to four delay due to adverse weather conditions, we felt a sense of familiarity. It was almost as if we were back in Heathrow Airport in London, that feeling grew as we got in the taxi towards our hotel and drove from the airport Island to into HK and it was as if we were back in London on the motorway! We were definitely in a different place but the atmosphere was so very western, so very much like home. We were only there for the best part of four days but I was glad that we chose to go to HK in the second leg of the holiday. I guess we all felt a weight off our shoulders being in HK, the sense of familiarity and lack of any real language barriers and no sign of government security which we had grown accustomed to in Beijing.

Two very different places Beijing and Hong Kong, I would definitely go back to both however I could see myself working in HK in the near future. Me and my mates could easily have spent more time in HK, however we didn’t have that luxury, though we certainly made the time to enjoy ourselves. Without going into it too much, one thing that really spoke in volumes was the opinion of a native Hong Konger who was cutting my hair at i PRIVATE i SALON¬† at festival walk said that he hasn’t been China and that he had no reason to want to go. He said that here in HK he can speak but in China he wouldn’t be able to … I can appreciate where he was coming from but at the same time as a western tourist with a British passport I couldn’t fully realise it either. Hong Kong is calling out for me to go back and see more it, I just need to plan the next holiday and maybe try to see if I can go to Japan as well which would be a long time dream come true!! Oh I forget to mention another interesting piece of info about the gentleman who cut my hair, he’s been to London which he is very fond of but more astounding is that he has been cutting for hair for 26 years, that’s as old as myself and he also started a month before I was born. That in itself was somewhat bizarre and reassuring knowing I was in experienced hands (Y)

I hope the pictures and vids in the link above help give you sense of experience I had in both Beijing and Hong Kong, if you’re even presented with a chance to go to please do. Till the next time, take care and speak with you soon.


Penguin Flies to Bologna Italy ?!

Hey How’s it going?

Currently this post is being written was being written¬†whilst awaiting take off. Where was I going? I was actually on the way to Italy more specifically Bologna. I’m fortunate enough to have been given the chance to provide tech support for my colleagues in Penguin, Random House and DK at the annual Children’s book fair. Have to admit though it’s the first time I’ve ever flown for business so naturally I was¬†pretty excited but I knew it’s going to be a highly charged few days, but I hoped to compensate for our hard work and enjoy what Italy had to offer.

Where to find Bologna

So the plane was currently taxing down the run away and we were told that the flight would take roughly about two hours, potentially it take me longer than that to get from work from one side of London to another on the odd occasion, definitely food for thought there.. Have you been abroad for business before, is it something you’ve grown to enjoy or even look forward to? I can definitely answer those questions now that I am¬†back in Blighty but more on that later.. We finally had lift off¬†‚úą‚úą and I managed to get a cheeky nap in on the plane ūüėī. I didn’t think I would have much time to explore on my own though, though I did manage to get a snap a few pics of the town.

BookFair finished and on the flight back home

Week is over and I am happy to say that my job was successfully completed with loads of positive feedback from my customers. At times I was at a bit of a loss as to how to occupy my time as the IT systems which I set up pretty much worked without a hitch. Bad for me but great for my customers.. Probably the highlight of the whole book fair was being being invited into the DC comics stand by one of the directors (All thanks to my colleague in DK Books) on the last day and be given the chance to take some free comics. It was a strange moment being ushered in past the crowd of people waiting to get their chance to get some freebies, I could sense some of the negative vibes being sent our way as we casually browsed through the shelves of comics… I got some interesting comics which have a bit more of an asian theme.

DC Comics Freebies
DC Comics Freebies

Things to take away from Bologna

  • Good place for foodies
  • Brilliant Wine
  • University Town so you’ll find very familiar brands and shops
  • Teeming with life even late at night, families especially
  • Dogs are very much loved
  • Probably not a first choice for Tourists but nice to stop by

All in all it was a great experience as I was made more aware of the importance of the various book fairs and how integral they can be to helping our respective brands grow in different markets around the globe. On a personal level I was curious as to how I would respond to the responsibility such as settings up, maintaining and helping with general IT issues and queries as the only representative from my team at the Stand. I soon realised though thanks to my prep before hand the systems just ticked along nicely and me just being there on made people a little bit more at ease. In turn though I have to say that my colleagues looked after me very well especially when it came to dinner in the evenings ūüėČ

Here are a few snaps from the Fair itself (Should have taken more..) otherwise till the next time!


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Mothers Day

Hey how’s it going?

Hope you are well, I know it’s been a while since I’ve published a proper post (forgive me!). I thought today I would dedicate this post to my mother on most appropriately Mothers Day (at least here in the U.K). So where to begin… I guess I should start by saying how fortunate I am to still live under the same roof as my folks and have my mother still in my life as I know some aren’t so lucky.

My mother in my eyes: Strong, Independent, caring, warm and hardworking. These are just a few words to describe her. The hardships, darker days and the losses she has had to live through, she still manages to be someone that holds onto strong belief and hope which I really do admire. I would like to think that myself, my Dad and three older brothers provide her strength in part to keep on being the amazing women she is.

As her son I know that I come off as being a bit moody at times and a bit distant (My family know what I am talking about…) this isn’t because I don’t care about about her, quite the opposite really. For some silly reason I tend to get really frustrated with my mum when she fusses over me. Maybe it’s down to age and feeling that I am more independent and can do things for myself. A perfect example, no matter how many times I say no to tea or dinner when I get back from work, she will always drop everything to cook or make me tea. I feel bad knowing that she’s been busy all day and worse knowing that I am just adding to workload when I get back from work, but yeah I understand that she’s my mum, she will always do these things because it’s her way of showing she cares regardless of what my response is.

That is mum, always thinking about others, putting others first, whether it’s her Husband, Sons, Nieces, Nephews, Friends and Clients. It’s always about someone other than her, she has a genuine warmth about her that really has touched a lot of people. I could keep on going but I just want to say that ironically on her day that she has given me a gift and that is what it means to work hard.

I don’t think I’ll ever reach a point in life I can say that as I am as hardworking as my mother but she definitely has set a standard for me and Brothers to always strive for.

So Happy Mothers Day Mum, you may not be perfect and I know it can be difficult being the mother of four boys. You’ll always be number 1 and we hope today you feel blessed and loved.


The place of Faith


How’s it going? You may have noticed I’ve changed the design of my blog (Hopefully) what do you think? So I wanted to talk a little bit about ‘Faith’, some would say: it’s unquestionable, it’s constantly in flux, it’s just an after thought, it doesn’t hold any real value. Of course that’s not a definitive explanation but ones that just came to mind.

Lately I’ve been giving it a lot of thought as to what I have faith in, when was the last time I put it in something or someone. Placing complete trust and confidence in something that it will never let you down, that you can depend on without a question of doubt? Hand on heart I can’t remember a time when I could have said that I have absolute ‘Faith’. Maybe it’s just a product of getting older, more cynical, less trusting or having learnt not to rely on anything apart from what you can do with your own hands.

Deep down I think probably the main reasons for the lack of faith most likely stems from the fear of taking “The leap of faith”, once you take that step there is sometimes no turning back, the reality of being let down becomes real, the fall will hurt that much more and you may even be powerless to influence the destination of where that leap may take you.

You can’t lead a life without taking a few falls and sometimes you just have to accept that not everything can be influenced by your hand alone. With this in mind think about how others around you place their faith, what leaps they are taking everyday. From personal observation I’ve seen that having faith can mean or manifest itself as: Strength, confidence, determination, trust or even love. Those with unyielding faith seem to reap the rewards more readily and to a greater extent.

I believe though to have strong sense of faith requires a strong heart, that you act with it even if the mind says otherwise. I imagine or at least have been lately what it would be like to have absolute faith to give away a part of myself with no guarantee that it will be given back unscathed. A bit melodramatic but it’s a valid thought at least concerning myself.

Bringing it back onto a lighter note I hope I’ve given you a little something to think about going into the new week. Where could you go or achieve if you had more “Faith” in what you hold dear?

Back to page one


How’s it going? Hope you had a good transition from 2014 to 2015, it’s already the 4th of Jan but I don’t feel as if the Year¬†has been let out of the starting gate at break neck speed as of yet, If you know what I mean.. That being said a few days into the new year I have been reflecting and trying to figure out what to aim my sights on with (hopefully) laser like precision and focus. Figuring out what I like to do, so I can do more of it, figuring out what I should be doing less so I have more time and energy for things which demand my attention. The brainstorming continues but one thing I have realised is that I should be doing more of is blogging, but why may you ask, what do I get out of it, in fact why did I start to begin with?

Well from what I can remember I started blogging to showcase my progress through University and the projects I was working on. Eventually though after my time at University my commitment was sketchy at best for various reasons (Excuses I know..) After a while though I decided to give the whole blogging thing another go, give it a different look and talk about thoughts and experiences that I felt the urge to share.

The process of transmuting thoughts to word was difficult¬†though it become more natural after a few posts and a bit more confidence. The thought of who I was writing for always raised questions in my mind, I didn’t really know who my potential readers would be or what my focus was, same holds true to this day, looking at my blog it is mishmash of posts. Again I put my hands up and admit that I haven’t really committed to what expressing what it at the core my blog and why it warrants attentions.¬†Regardless I still then and to the present moment feel¬†a sense of satisfaction whenever I publish a post but I have been wondering though what would my blog be if I gave it greater attention like I do my 9-5 to job for example?

There are certainly plenty of directions I could take Grade-G,¬†what more do I want get out of my blog, what do I want my current subscribers to gain from reading my blog and what can be done to really get more people reading. It’s always been food for thought, more so now as it’s the start of the new year and an opportunity to lay new foundations. There are obvious things I can do such as: Post more content, post more¬†frequently, promote more through social media. I feel without the right motivation though it will only come across as half hearted and frankly probably not worth anyones time (harsh but true).

The plan, get more focused and revaluate or even reinvent, there is no shame in changing and mixing things up a little!

Till the next time.


The Festive Flash Back

Happy Holiday’s All.

I hope you’ve been well and are still enjoying the festivities, whether you’re taking time out to kick back with loved ones, partying it up (tis the season) or just having some time to yourself.

As for me I am still on holiday (thankfully) and have some time fully do whatever I please, though I realise it’s been a long while since I’ve blogged so needed to get back into it before the year ended! As is customary on my part I always like to reflect on the year gone by, many of you may do the same¬†around this time of year. Seeing how far I have gone, If I am better of now, what has changed, things of this nature but not limited to.


The Highlights

  • ¬†Career progression – New role with Penguin Random House Books
  • ¬†More Interaction with Family – Seeing an estranged face or two
  • ¬†Going on Holiday with my closest friends and actually relaxing
  • ¬†Knowing that people genuinely see and appreciate the good in me (Not that I am a monster or anything like that :/ )

The Not so great 

  • Personal development hasn’t gone as far I would have liked
  • Haven’t really done anything extraordinary
  • Haven’t played enough Video Games (No Seriously this is a big thing for me !)
  • Fitness hasn’t been a consistent regime as much as I would have liked.

There is plenty more I could add but for the most part it’s been a pretty decent year for me and happily a lot of good things have happened to those closest to me both friends and family which is definitely an added bonus. It’s strange to think this time last year my Grandmother passed away on boxing day, but this year on that day we were hosting dinner at the Bhogal house hold. Life goes on I suppose, remembrance as a sign of respect but not letting the memory weigh heavy on our minds and hearts (at least how I see it).

On a lighter note there is definitely a good base to build upon the new year, providing I keep on challenging myself, doing new things and giving myself a little bit more credit. I know I’ll have those around me to give me a swift kick up the backside if I ever falter (Thanks guys in advance).


I hope reading this you take the opportunity to have your own moment of reflection, appreciating the better memories, letting go of the negative and envision what the future could be if you take the necessary steps and knowing that support is there is some shape or form.

Till the next post, enjoy the rest of the Christmas break and be very merry!!