I've added a post about my recent trip to Girona and Barcelona, flying from Bournemouth just before the Easter holidays.

Just a few days in a different place, with good food and drink, is so good. We also smashed the hell out of two cocktail bars in Barcelona, so read the post for more details.

2019 Bournemouth to Girona and Barcelona

Last October was European Cyber Security Awareness Month and I took the plunge and organised an event at Bournemouth University.

It was my first public event of this scale and didn't really know how well it was going to go and if anyone would turn up to such a thing. It's not the most glamorous of events to go to on Halloween itself, the day I arranged it for.

I spoke to Darren Slade from Bournemouth Echo about it, he did a piece on it and I stuck in on Eventbrite. In the end it had 81 bookings, but as always there was slightly less on the night.

This all came about because I had been hearing more and more stories of friends and their families, plus local Southbourne residents being affected by scams and fraud that I felt a huge compulsion to do it. There were no other Dorset events listed on the European website so I thought why not, let's mark the good work that businesses do in this space with an event that would represent the region.

The University were so receptive in working with me and ended up with these contributions on the night.

The students are already talking about doing the 2019 event.

Gordon Fong presenting, showing case study of £350,000 being paid to a different bank account

There were seven presenters plus contributions from two local MPs and one Police and Crime Commissioner.

For me, the real crux of the night is that technology can only do so much, we have to be able to stop and think, to check if something is as real as it seems. Also, even though we might be tech savvy and feel we wouldn't fall for these scams, it is then the vulnerable people around us that we need to protect - our friends, or family and our neighbours.

It's not often we get any meaningful level of representation in the media.

This brings back memories...


Your childhood days are your formative days. Things can happen that have a lasting impact. Sometimes it is the dislike of a certain food that you had, to something as wanting to hide away from the rest of the world.

This BBC piece about being a takeaway child brings back memories of when my parents had a restaurant and takeaways. Poignant memories in the main. There's the added context of being able to count the number of other non-white families in the town on one hand as well.

Whilst the BBC has done similar programming, the representation of the British Born Chinese is pretty minimal at times, barring some wok based cooking show and the odd walk on part in Eastenders. Probably the equivalent of M squared in "BAME". Your forced-upon role models was either Monkey or David Yip, the Chinese Detective. That's the 80's playground for you.

I will certainly concede that we were our own worst enemy. Hard working, inscrutable, excellent at education… our self fulfilling prophecy. Yes, our parents landed in a strange and barely welcoming country at times. There have been good people but as usual the noise of the troublemakers are loudest. We thought getting our heads down into hard work, we would get through it.

Our parents gave us that platform, but we didn't know what to. I still see the same questioning from the next generation in the Facebook groups I am part of.

What I have gained, through getting older, is respect for the sheer sacrifice and perseverance our parents went through. I've learnt to offer the best piece of lobster to your guests before you tuck in. If you know my love of food, that takes some doing, but it's the right thing to do.

This picture made me laugh. I was that child that slept on the chest freezer lid at the back of the restaurant. No number of blankets made it any easier.

It's nice to see that some people on Facebook also have fond memories of our restaurant in the 1970's and 80's, as I saw a post where someone was asking about its existence.

The main Southbourne events of Shake and Stir, and Frankenfest are always well supported and more importantly, FREE.

Although it is free to the public it costs money to hire the acts, for security and even to close the road off.

Local sponsors have been very generous and we hope that continues, and even more come forward this year.

Members of the public have also been very generous. Even if everyone were to give 50p per head, that really goes to help fill the gaps, ensures we don't keep worry about finances up to the very end and can commit to booking the best acts earlier.

Once we know more about the organising committee, what access to funds we might have or to bid for, we will let the community know.