Continue following Myles’ adventures at his new blog

Hello! A quick search on Google for my name “myles de bastion” reveals that this old blog (from my travels a few year back) is one of the first results you get so in the interest of continuity I just want to inform any new visitors here that they can follow my more recent escapedes over at:

Hope to see you over there! 🙂

What am I here for?

An assessment of today, a look at what I have achieved so far since coming to America. It is eye-opening and intriguing to consider where I came from and where I am now.

 Never stop the thoughts

Thoughts run deep

Crucially it is a time to remember the real reasons I left a fairly cozy life in England and chose the challenge of making a life for myself in a whole new country. I was fully expecting it to be difficult, and have so far been proved correct with the tough times encountered and many obstacles to overcome.

Above all, I am happy, I keep a positive attitude at all times, even when things have been and are bad, I chose to bound over any set-back with a leap and a smile on my face. This has been the most valuable of all things that I have taught myself. It really does make things bearable. My motto or personal philosophy has evolved from telling myself “Everything will be OK”, to a more charged “Onwards and upwards!”.

In the nature of this self-reflecting post, I am pleased to share with readers a BBC radio interview that I partook in just before actually flying over here, almost 6 months ago. I have mentioned the interview in this blog before, but I only had it in tape form and no hardware means to convert it to a digital counterpart to put on here. That is until recently, my Uncle in Berlin was good enough to do the conversion for me and send me a CD. You may now hear it too by clicking on the little player below.

BBC Radio Interview

Listening to myself speak hither and thither about the dreams and aspirations I had back then, it dawns on me that they are still very much the truth, my passion is music, I am a composer and am happiest with a guitar in my lap and leaning over to tweak the soundscapes on the computer.

The realisation however that I have done next to nothing to actually put forth into action these aspirations, get myself into situations that would put me in a position to pursue my dreams did come as a bit of a shock and wake-up call. Why am I wasting my time trying to find gainful employment in fields that are only at best my 2nd, 3rd or even 4th hierarchal interest. This is New York, where dreams can come true. Where I am allowed to create such an opportunity for myself to live the life I want. There is all and everything in this little corner of the East US coast, should you look for it, you will find the things you require to play out your lifes passions. I haven’t been seeking such things till now, it is time to go hunting. What prize will I catch?

Pondering life in New York City, Pt I

These days, I’m constantly tired it seems. It’s 8:27pm here and I’m already shattered and thinking of reheating a frozen slice of pizza before packing in and calling it a night.

I’ve been trekking all over the city and procuring elite subway navigation skills. Sometimes fully laden down as needed in my laptop-in-a-rucksack ways, or otherwise with no burden and with a sprightly step.

Me unner'neath th' Franklin Roosevelt Drive-way

Sometimes I have a camera with me, sometimes no, but I always make sure to appreciate any deserving moment, and I tell myself “That’s beautiful”. It happens a lot, especially at twilight, when the skyscrapers awaken and the windows of light freckle up. I’ll try and capture a shot like that soon so it may be shared with you all.

Oh, and I’ve been experimenting with panoramas somewhat too.

NYC Franklin D Roosevelt Drive over looks Brooklyn

Walking under Franklin D Roosevelt Driveway, Brooklyn’s way over there! Aaaar.

I went over to Brooklyn to visit my mother’s old art teacher from her days at Pratt Institute, that was enjoyable, took photos, ended weirdly. Have to write that up here too.

It’s not just the insatiable furlongs of walking that are tiring but also this internship lark, PLUS a full-time continued search for PAID work. Bah, I suppose I shall have to vent about that in the following blog post won’t I?

I have to tell you, after a heavy days work interning, passing through the high-tech security (with a nod from the elevator porter) and exiting the posh high-rise office building (which also homes the likes of Google and up-scale design firms), and then heading to the Seaport Public Welfare Assistance center and applying for benefits plus temporary financial help feels really… weird.

Change happening before your very eyes

Just a note that I am making some (mostly visual) modifications to the blog.  Have been meaning to do this for a while.   So just wanted to enlighten people to the fact that they have arrived at (hopefully) the right place.  The blog for Myles de Bastion and his travels of the US.   It just looks a bit different.  Akin to ‘do not adjust your TV set folks, this is all intentional’.

 I won’t be keeping this design either as I have some fairly big things planned as well for the near future.  For now however, it should hopefully make it a little easier to read and follow my journey.

Let me know if there are any problems though, change can be painful, but keep in mind, it’s usually for the better.

Oh and there are some ‘catch up’ posts coming very soon,  ideal closure for the punter who feels hurt that I didn’t properly document how I got from Savannah back to Vermont in (mostly) one piece.  It was quite the experience I’ll have you know (very shortly, I promise).

Time to get serious

Alright, so hey, enough pottering about and hibernating in Vermont…

Neat VT Panorama, view from Chucks house

View from Chucks house, Plush snow

Pretty as it is, I’ve decided to take a big leap and get back to the hustling, bustling New York City with the sole purpose of finding work/career/a life to call my very own.

I’m in a very privileged position and have contacts in Manhattan that I am able to stay with while I find some grounding. In emergancies I can also retreat to Long Island where my Grandparents seem happy to see me. Being in the actual city environment for an extended period of time should offer many more doors to me that I wouldn’t otherwise get in the isolation of Vermont.

In fact the cue to get down to the city would to be due to an eager response to one of the internships that I applied for using the same ‘warped-prose-cover-letter’ that I showed you all in the previous blog posting. This company were quite impressed enough to demand that I come down to their office to see them as soon as possible. OK, so this wasn’t a paid opportunity but it’s crucial experience, great for the resume and may lead to some stable employment. The company had a great website and seemed to be producing/distributing really interesting films, documentaries and music. I really liked vibe they had going. Check it out mmmkay:

Palm pictures logo


I decided to take the plunge and come straight away to take up on this offer. I would potentially be able to find and take on some part-time paid work at the same time as internships are generally flexible with only 2-3 days a weeks work expected of you. You are volunteering to work/slave away for no pay after all..

Excellent, excellent, with some trepidation I make the first few steps to financial security…

I first did manage to squeeze in a visit to Karl & Susan, where we

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I seek work!

Hullo peoples!

I have yet again, an awful lot more stuff to update you all on but that can wait, because for now I seek work.  Yes,  I have lost a banana,  Yes I am back in Vermont, No, my roadtrip isn’t over yet, merely put on temporary placeholder whilst I see to raising some much needed and often desired monetary funds.

For y’see, my cash is running out at a rapid old rate,  I tried repeatedly to minimise such expenditure by say, for example bi-weekly non-existance but it’s still not enough.

Therefore my new plans for the time being are to get some form of job and for the next few months sit tight and put right my bank balance.   If all goes well,  I hope to set off West properly once the Summer heatwave finishes climaxing and it gets safe to walk on tarmac barefooted again.  Unfortunately since we are cooking the skin off the Earth with various forms of pollutants and evil emissions, this might mean setting off sometime in late November.  At least I hope it won’t be that long.   We shall see eh?

Since Vermont is THE place to be if you are a tree, there are generally a disproportionate amount of lumberjacks, carpenters, luthiers and beavers in this area, employment rates are up for the wood-workers and way, way down for the creative digital artist like me.   Sure I could hole away (much as I am now) and create lovely works of digital art on my laptop including many a web-site which incidentally a lot of beavers have been requesting of me (,,  etc) HOWEVER,  this isn’t very fun to do all on my lonesome,  in particular I get frustrated when I stumble or get stuck on some of the bits that I’m as good at in web-site development and thus lose a lot of motivation.  I’d much rather be doing this sort of thing as part of a team, creatively collaborating as a small company.   This way you get to share the job and allocate tasks to people who have strengths in that area which makes for better productions in the end (greater than the sum of its parts etc).
Anyway,  so here in VT there are NO jobs going for companies like what I just described.  I could create the opportunity myself by seeking some like-minded individuals but at this point in time I’m not ready to commit to starting my own business or any such thing as that is quite the serious investment of time and resources.

Therefore my eyes drift south to the city of New York where I have spent quite a bit of time at already,  you only need to take a quick gander a classifieds posting site such as Craigslist to see the sheer volume of job opportunities in the field of creative digital services,  take a look for yourself,  just the web design section: Impressive eh?  With dozens of jobs posted daily,  I’m sure to find something,  especially at the entry/junior level.
And so for for quite a while now, I’ve been sending out emails with resumes attached and links to my portfolio website in hope that I may land an interview.   However I was beginning to get disheartened because I wasn’t even receiving any replies let alone offers of a chance to impress in an interview.  despite sending my dozens of emails in answer to the dozens of opportunities getting posted that matched my skill set,  nothing was happening..
I began to doubt that maybe my portfolio good enough for the standards that they require,  or perhaps I don’t have enough ‘commercial’ looking examples that would reflect real life results if I were doing this type of work.   Yes,  that is probably it,  most of the contents of the portfolio are of the ‘arty farty’ theme,  actually reflecting the type of work I had to do as a Computer Animator at University,  but I don’t want to get a job in that field at this time..  Hmm.  So it looks like I need to urgently flesh out my portfolio with different types of work..
So whilst I was getting underway with that (actually no I wasn’t I was madly procrastinating,  although have some quite good excuses, more on that later)
I actually receive my first reply to one of my applications!

“Register with our site navigate around and call on Tuesday to set up an interview.  We will be asking questions about the site to you

but on Tuesday I got:

“Hey Miles
The position has been filled  Keep in touch”

So I said

“I’m glad you were able to find someone to help you guys, saddened it wasn’t me :)”

and then they said:

“Thanks Myles,
Stay in touch we are growing fast!  Seriously stay in touch!”

Which was nice.

So, that didn’t work out, and whilst I’m sure they are definitely growing fast, it probably won’t be fast enough to require to hire me in time to save my finances!   However I was left feeling better that this sending out applications and resumes lark was actually working.  However it didn’t seem to be working very efficiently..  sending 30 applications to get 1 response,   looks like I need to step up my game!

I wondered also if what I was writing for a cover letter was any good.  Usually it was a fairly formulaic affair stating why I thought I my skills were good for the job and what it would be like to work with me, all in quite formal prose.  So for a change today I wrote a more perky and colourful one for a graphic designer opening for a start-up company headed by in-fact a chap from London, who graduated the Royal College of Art called Paul Worthington

It went something like:


A little bit about me then…

Most critters of the galatic plane find me to be an oft oxymoronic character,  the jolly but nice, introverted type. Not afraid of ridicule, always ready to share a thought be it a spark of inspiring, blinding brilliance, or sometimes for good measure, a dud thrown in to keep people on their toes.

I have an excellent approach to work, sloppy back-handed perfectionist that I am.  I work very hard, very long and hard, and topsy-turvy, and going into overdrive when crunching to hit those all important deadlines

I am also laid back but always ready and willing to jump into action. Often, having mustered up enough steam, my hurricane of creation is an unstoppable all-coming monster wreaking havoc, both the good and bad, more fun that way.
I enjoy the titillating thrill of brainstorming and the rush of problem-solving.
At night I can be found, under the bed covers, basking the glow of a laptop screen, thinking and doodling new ideas and unique projects. they usually hit at odd hours like that.  Cheese helps too.

Since finishing up at University I decided to be adventurous,  to dump the smelly armpits of England for now and relocate to the States, land o’ th’ free and that.
Thus, I find myself seeking work in NYC.   I do miss my favourite bitter lager tho,  the creamy stuff,  if you’re reading this, you’re not helping! Mister Phil Worthington!!

So, if you dare,  interview me.
I may be contacted at all hours”

So this is the experiment there, did I go too far?  Or will I be rewarded for letting my inner inverted bunny-rabbit take over the reigns of typing for a moment.  Shall let you know if I get a reply or no.

There are some more things I want to say but the bunny wants to finish for tonight so I shall put him away and hope to see you guys all here again soonish.


A quieter New Years Eve

Aaah,  I thought I would be going to Times Square again or something for the count-down to New Years Eve, however I read some articles in the papers that were essentially ‘survival guides’ for the Times Square celebrations and I realised just how crammed and jam-packed the place is going to be.  Apparently once you’re there, you get penned in and cannot leave until midnight rolls by.  Add to that the large amount of security (mandatory rucksack searching by police) and the fact that the ‘bow tie’ area where they actually drop 7,000 pounds of confetti on the crowds gets totally filled up by 6pm.  Meaning that you wouldn’t actually see anything if you turn up later except maybe if you’re lucky enough to get a view of one of the large television screen…  Well not quite my idea of fun tonight,  especially on my lonesome.

So instead, I choose to practise my music theory in the relative peace and quiet of my Grandparents basement.  I run through the modes I’ve learnt on my newly acquired Yamaha Pacifica guitar.   Yes I have bought an electric guitar, finally I do my late-night recording sessions that I have missed so dearly.   Plugged straight into my Sound Interface Keyboard, and that into the Laptop, I can play and record in silence (thanks to headphones) in the early hours.   I will share with you here the good recordings as they happen!
Oh and the classic Marx Brothers movies are playing all night on public television so I might catch one of those too.

A happy new year to all and sundry.

All American Christmas / Festive Winters Solstice

My father announced that he was going down to New York to help his parents out for the holiday through to the New Year. I’d been meaning to visit my Grandparents on my previous trips up and down however I kept missing or skipping the opportunity. So it felt high time to go see them and help my father out some too.

So in my father’s truck we hurried down on the weekend before Christmas, I took with me my laptop, a new MIDI controller keyboard that I had ordered a week previous and some hard-drives full of music-making related material.

It was nice to be back in the little house of Merrick, NY. Mmm Suburbia. Much of the neighbourhood had attempted to out-do each other by filling their front lawn with assortments of kitschy inflatable snowmen, plastic raindeer and grotesque santas, their homes were lined with industrial-sized fairy lights and had transformed front yards into shining beacons of cheesy festiveness. It all seemed embarrassing to me in regard to the mild weather. Not a snow-flake in-sight.

I haven’t been outside of the house since Continue reading