Blog

Image of working GitHub Action

Published: March 31, 2021

Migrating a Python Package from Travis CI to GitHub Actions

GitHub Actions is the new hotness for continuous integration(CI) and deployment. To the point where it seems to be the default for new open source projects that are GitHub based.

Tags: python | github | continuous integration

Me staring seriously at the camera

Published: January 26, 2021

My Spondylitis Story

This article has been taken from Chapter 9 of my book – Taking Charge – Making your healthcare appointments work for you.

Tags: ankylosing spondylitis | book | healthcare

My face, masked, wet and tired

Published: September 10, 2020

This face...

This is not a face of contentment. Nor the face of comfort. This is the face of someone who does what they have to, despite it being the last thing they wanted to do.

Tags: ankylosing spondylitis | chronic illness | running

Laptop with code on the screen

Published: April 24, 2020

Automating new Python environments with PowerShell

I'm a big fan of automation. If I can automate something, I will. One thing I do often is create a new virtual environment for Python applications, which is just a simple terminal command. But then I have to update pip. Every. Single. Time.

Tags: powershell | python

Kids having a pillow fight

Published: April 19, 2020

Stop calling me lucky for having good kids!

My kids are just like any other. They've been tears galore at times. And the kids cry, too. But in the end, we get there. And at no point has luck played a part in it.

Tags: parenting

Laptop, coffee and notepad

Published: April 18, 2020

How to Master Your Martial Arts School's Website: Fundamentals

Optimize your martial arts school website to ensure visitors have the best experience, reducing frustration and attracting leads.

Tags: martial arts | web development

Me with a broadsword

Published: April 18, 2020

A Brief History of My Martial Arts Journey

I have fond memories sitting with my father watching countless Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris movies at a very young age. Only to be told to go to bed as soon as the movie in question had finished, which was also promptly followed by my mother yelling “stop fighting with your brother”.

Tags: martial arts | shaolin kempo | exercise

Karate class

Published: April 18, 2020

5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Try Martial Arts

Martial arts is more than just about punching and kicking. It encompasses all aspects of a person’s well-being, not just the physical. By definition, martial arts is indeed an art.

Tags: martial arts

Me recieving my Black belt from my Shihan

Published: May 22, 2017

The End Of The Beginning

Looking back on my Kempo journey so far, I can proudly say that Kempo has changed my life. Truly. If you had told me before I started Kempo that a few years later I would be doing 204 burpees in 30 minutes for charity, and preparing to test for my black belt, I would have called you crazy.

Tags: black belt | kempo | shaolin kempo | ankylosing spondylitis

Man with a tear rolling down his cheek

Published: May 11, 2017

I Cried Today

I cried today. I cried because...

Tags: ankylosing spondylitis | depression

Dan Reynolds

Published: March 09, 2017

An Interview with Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons

I spoke with Dan recently to discuss the first episode of “This AS Life Live”, living with AS, and his ambitions for the future of AS care.

Tags: ankylosing spondylitis | interview

doctor typing on a laptop

Published: February 11, 2017

Improve your healthcare appointments with this simple action

If you have at least one chronic illness, you will have multiple symptoms and problems. That’s just a fact. You health will never be still. It will ebb and flow like a river. And you won’t always know what direction it will meander next.

Tags: ankylosing spondylitis | chronic illness | healthcare | taking charge

Me holding my new book :)

Published: January 16, 2017

My first book launch - the results are in

It's not everyday you launch your first book. Yesterday was that day for me.

Tags: book launch | taking charge

My two kids walking away from the camera

Published: December 18, 2016

They don't know it, but my kids made my illness better!

In October 2014, my life changed significantly. Not only did I move 3,485 miles away from my family and friends, but I also gave up my career as a nurse so that I could take on my new role within the household — becoming a stay-at-home dad.

Tags: ankylosing spondylitis | kempo | parenting

Image of new book cover

Published: December 06, 2016

Giving Back to my Community

If you have been diagnosed with a chronic illness, there is one thing that will help you along your journey more than anything — your support network. Sometimes this is your family and friends. It could be a weekly meeting at a support group. But more often these days it is to be found online. No one can deny the power of social media, especially when it comes to closing physical barriers, such as distance.

Tags: ankylosing spondylitis | book | chronic illness | taking charge

Chess board with a single black pawn

Published: March 19, 2015

Even the most solitary pawn can do the most extraordinary things. And so can you!

It has been over 9 months since I last wrote here, but with good reason. If you can remember in my last post I announced that I was emigrating to the USA. I am pleased to report that it went to plan, and I have now been a permanent resident of Virginia for the last 5 months.

Tags: ankylosing spondylitis | arthritis | as | chess | martial arts | shaolin kempo

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Published: June 13, 2014

The Ambivalence of Change

Change can be scary, provocative, and hysteria inducing. Change can also be exciting and positive!

Tags: ankylosing spondylitis | healthcare

Poker cards and chips on a table

Published: March 02, 2014

Playing The Hand You've Been Dealt

Autoimmune diseases – such as Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) – are often referred to as invisible illnesses. This is because we often look ‘fine’ on the outside, but on the inside we are in significant pain and discomfort. As a way of coping we often develop our own ‘poker face’.

Tags: ankylosing spondylitis

Picture of a Rose

Published: August 15, 2013

Don't be a Thorn, be a Rose: Finding your Perspective

Our view of the world can differ from day to day. We all know that Mondays are evil, and Fridays are our salvation. But they are both just days in the week, aren’t they?

Tags: ankylosing spondylitis | motivation

Overcrowed train

Published: March 22, 2013

Angry Birds, Bad Horror Movies and Invisible Illness

There is nothing more uncomfortable than looking up to find a dozen people staring at you! This was the feeling I had recently on my commute to work.

Tags: ankylosing spondylitis | chronic illness

blank face emoji

Published: January 30, 2013

Hugs Optional, Compassion Compulsory: Dealing with Depression

I must admit, the word 'emotional' is not normally a word that is usually associated with me. Much like my father, I carry on my day with a stoic, expressionless face; which reflects calm and calculated thought, reflecting my practical and often clinical approach to life.

Tags: ankylosing spondylitis | depression

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Published: April 01, 2012

You can win the Battle, but can you win the War?

Living with a chronic condition like Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) makes you very familiar with the ups and downs of a disease that can leave you debilitated, with the dreaded 'flare' descending on you when you least expect it.

Tags: ankylosing spondylitis | health

Girl sitting on a bench looking upset

Published: March 18, 2012

Grieving For Your Diagnosis

One of the hardest things to deal with in life is grief. Losing a loved one or family member can cause more pain than any physical injury ever will. Grief doesn’t just strike us when a bereavement occurs, grief can also strike with tragedy, but more pertinently, grief also visits us when being diagnosed with a chronic illness.

Tags: ankylosing spondylitis | chronic illness

Cartoon of two batteries at a table. One saying "must you always be so negative"

Published: March 04, 2012

Finding the Silver Lining

One of the ways in which you can stay positive, despite your daily struggle is to look for the positives in a situation, and not focus on the negatives.

Tags: ankylosing spondylitis | chronic illness

Man with head on table in distress

Published: February 12, 2012

Finding Time to Manage

For someone suffering with a chronic illness this is only made worse by the restrictions in which it inflicts. Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis has taught me a lot about time management.

Tags: ankylosing spondylitis

Image of doctor crossed arms

Published: February 04, 2012

Doctors are people too

This might seem a bit of an erroneous title to some of you, but I have been reliably assured it is accurate. As hard as it is to believe they really are people too, just like me and you!

Tags: ankylosing spondylitis

Sign saying Ambition

Published: January 22, 2012

Chronic Ambition

Having a chronic illness can have an obvious impact on your dreams and ambitions. If you struggle to walk then your hardly going to be aiming to climb Kilimanjaro are you? Well actually maybe that is your ambition.

Tags: ankylosing spondylitis

A sign on the wall with an arrow saying 'ignorance'

Published: October 30, 2011

Understanding - An Individual Barrier

Living with any chronic illness can be isolating at times. Not just because it can limit your work and social life, but mostly because you are likely to be the only one you know suffering with your daily problems.

Tags: ankylosing spondylitis | awareness

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Published: August 03, 2011

Hope - Just a dream? or achievable?

Living with a chronic illness can be both mentally and physical debilitating. This we all know, and live daily. Hope is the one thing that keeps us going, especially through the tough and difficult times.

Tags: ankylosing spondylitis

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Published: July 17, 2011



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Published: May 23, 2011

Mind, Body..... and Soul?

Healthcare today has advanced and evolved significantly to that of previous generations. No longer do we believe smoking is actually good for you, nor that mercury cures syphilis, or any other ailment that didn’t already have a cure for that matter. What we do know now is that the human body is complex, and healthcare should not just treat the physical form we have become. It should encompass mental and spirital health.

Tags: ankylosing spondylitis | arthritis | healthcare

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Published: May 04, 2011

Sleep? What's that?

Everyone at some point experiences sleepless nights. Whether it be stress from work, crying babies at 3am, or that cough/cold that just won’t let up. This is all part and parcel of being a grown up, is it not? However; true insomnia is a different ‘kettle of fish’.

Tags: ankylosing spondylitis | arthritis

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Published: April 20, 2011

Catch 22 - The Vicious Cycle

Everyone suffering from arthritis knows the pain and restriction it causes with mobility and exercise. Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is no exception, and is often exaggerated by ‘the flare up’ which blights us all.

Tags: ankylosing spondylitis | arthritis | exercise | motivation