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Monday, July 24, 2017

Job Offer

You know those e-mails from recruitment companies?  As someone with the word 'JavaScript' on my portfolio, I am in demand.  Mostly I delete them without reading, but occasionally I am tempted to play along...especially when they have a Spanish name...

******

Good afternoon James,

I hope you are well. I just tried to reach you to discuss a Javascript
Developer role we have in Malaga (Spain):

http://www.pentasia.com/vacancies,frontend-developer_5243.htm [1] [1]

In case you could be interested, please let me know when I could
contact you so we can discuss it further. Otherwise, you can always
reach me here: +34 933443225 [2].

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards,

******

Hola Sandra, como esta?

Trabajar es España?  Si solo...amo España mucho.

I'm actually very happy living and working in London at the moment.  However with Brexit approaching, and especially if Jeremy Corbyn becomes Prime Minister, then I would be very keen to work in a vibrant, growing economy like Spain - as long as Podemos are not in government.  I know Rajoy and his lot are a tad crooked but it seems like their economic reforms are working.

I fear for the future of my country at the moment - it is like everyone has gone insane - but Spain looks like it is putting solid foundations in for a good future.

Feel free to keep my details on file and contact me if disaster happens and the socialists take over the United Kingdom.

All the best
James

******

Shock horror - she didn't read my e-mail...


******

Good morning James,

Thanks for the quick reply.

So, would you be interested in having a little chat over the phone so
I can tell you a little bit more about the roles?

In case you are, please send me your contact details and tell me when
it would be a suitable time for you to talk.

Best regards,

******

Que pasa?  Is Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister? :-(

To clarify, I am not currently interested in a new job - however if the UK becomes a socialist disaster then please do contact me.

Gracias, tiene un dia buena.
James

******

Good afternoon James,

Thanks for the information. Let's stay in touch then.

Best regards,

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Review Of 2016 Goals

I never bothered reviewing my 2016 goals, or setting 2017 goals, as I was unemployed.

Better late than never.

Lifestyle

Lose Weight – My original plan was to get down to 87kg last year, then 83kg this year.  Given that I failed, I’m amending this to 85kg this year (I’m currently 91kg as of writing).

Failed.  90kg by the end of the year.

36 Day Detox – I’m upping it by 5 days this year (in effect an extra weekend, eeek!) and including processed meat such as bacon and sausages.  It started on 27th January.

Passed.

Get On My Bike, More – I’m aiming to be able to cycle 12km in a single stint by the end of the year.  I can currently manage 6km.  I will be going for a ride most weekends that I’m not partying, and some evenings when it is light.

Failed.  I can do even less.

Vegetarian Day – I have cut down the amount of meat I eat – not for any other reason than trying to manage my calorie intake.  However I still always eat meat every day so I am going to go one day without eating any meat to see what happens – this does not include those days post-nightclub where I am too fucked to eat.

Passed.  I think I inadvertently managed one day without meat.

Pie Day – You can work this one out for yourself.

Failed.

Living

2 New Countries – If I go to 2 new countries a year for the rest of my life, I will have been to a fair proportion of the planet.  I’d particularly like to go to Romania and Switzerland this year, but I’m not too fussy over the exact countries.  Dipping my toe into Scandinavia appeals, as does Athens.

Failed.  Only made it to Romania.

1 Party Holiday – The obvious choice will always be Ibiza and assuming I can find appropriate dancing partners then this is likely to happen.  Alternatively maybe a festival abroad such as Sunwaves, or if I don’t do Ibiza, then book Mexico next January for BPM.

Passed.

1 UK Adventure.  There are still some areas of the UK that are unexplored for me.  Cambridge and Brighton being two examples of places that I really should have been to.  Others such as Newcastle, Liverpool and Bristol I have been to, but to a very limited extent.  I live in a fantastic country and I want to explore more of it.

Failed.

Cricket – I want to go to a new cricket ground, and also to watch a 20/20 game live.

50% passed - went to Lord's.

Castles, museums and country houses – I want to visit at least one countryside-based grand house, and one London-based museum, or similar cultural experience.

Probably passed.

See Ricardo Villalobos.  It is my only must-do clubbing adventure.

Failed - I did go but he didn't turn up.

Go clubbing 6 times.  Not fussed where nor who to see.

Passed.

Fabric birthday.  Best party of the year.

n/a.  It was closed.

Learning

Free Code Camp – There is a really good website which is helping me practice my coding skills.  I want to be at least close to completing the Front End certification by the end of the year – say 2/3rds done.  Given that the certificate takes an estimated 800 hours, this is quite some objective!

50% passed.

JavaScript – I particularly want to focus on learning JavaScript this year, and try to get more of a handle on it.  It really is very difficult to learn.

50% passed - not as focused as I should have been but certainly improved.

SASS, PHP, Angular, React & CSS Animations are other languages/areas of web development that I would like to at least like to start learning.

25% passed - learn some PHP.

Portfolio – I must have a portfolio of a few websites very shortly.

100% passed.

Become 100% fluent in Spanish.  According to the app that I use, anyway.  Duolingo reckons that I am 41% fluent right now.  I can read it pretty well but speaking and listening are so much more difficult.

50% passed.  I got bored.

Cooking – I want to get another cookbook from another country, and also expand my knowledge of salads.  Yes, you read that correctly.

Failed.

Learn About Music – At some future point when I am not spending huge amounts of time studying web development, I would like to learn how to make music.  My goal for this year, is just to do some little thing about it.

Failed.

Literary

Blog Refresh – I aim to refresh all of my blogs, giving them a slightly different feel at the very least., with the exception of the recently-launched blogs.

25% passed.  I refreshed a few.

Top Tunes Blog – This I aim to professionalise.  Unfortunately what I want to do costs a bit of money so I keep putting it off.

Failed.  Kind of started.

Weather Forecasting – I’m currently close to 2,400 readers on my weather forecasting page.  I want to reach 3,500 by the end of the year and also I intend on starting a new weather project via a new website I am soon going to be building.

Passed.

Ubereadoolische – This is being relaunched soon with a more modern look – it is also written in Drupal, which is a content management system that I wanted to learn.

Failed.

Roast Dinners Around Reading – This finishes this year and I want to go out in style.

Passed with flying colours.

New blogs – I have ideas for new blogs, and I want at least one of them to replace Roast Dinners Around Reading.

Passed.  I have too many blogs.

Discard blogs – Some old blogs have to be disposed of.  Time is short.

Hmmmm.

Lavishments

Technics – I will be buying a pair this year, along with CDJ stands and some decent headphones that I will not let anyone borrow (ie steal) ever again.

Passed though I barely play them.

Supermarket Slut – I want to test out all the major supermarkets to see if there is anywhere else that I prefer to Sainsburys.

Passed.

Life

Get out of Bracknell – Pretty self-explanatory.

Passed with style!

Get a job – There is some uncertainty as to how long I will have this current job, so at some point I will need to start looking for another.  Ideally as a junior web developer, but the money would be low to start, very low, so maybe as a senior credit controller if I can find something interesting.

Passed.  Then failed!

Laugh more – Quite simply I want to enjoy life more and I want to be happier.  Therefore I must laugh more.  Even if it is just a daily belly-laugh to weird out my colleagues.

Not sure.  Let's call it 50% achieved.

Exactly 50% success rate.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Loving London Life

You know when you ask someone how they are?  Many people just give the same answer every time - their cat might have died but they're fine.  They just had an amazing blow job but they're still fine.

I normally think and give an answer.  Occasionally if I'm tired, in a rush, too many people have asked me or just don't like the person asking me, then I'll give the bland answer.  But I like to treat people's questioning of my health and happiness with respect, and give them a considered answer.

At the moment, it is noticeable how often I am using the words, 'good' or 'happy', or words to those effect.  Perhaps it is the sunshine.  But I don't recall using such positive adjectives this time last year (even before the referendum).

What has changed?  Quite a lot.  This time last year I was doing credit control in Bracknell, living in Bracknell.  Now I am doing web development in London, living in London.

I simply love being in London.  I have been threatening to move here since about 2005 and sometimes question why it has taken me so long.  Though I wouldn't have all the wonderful friends I have now, were that the case.  Definitely no regrets.

But still, it does feel like this is the making of me.

London is a tiring city.  Yet so energising.  There is always something to do - always something I want to do.  From walks in the many beautiful parks, to museums, bars, clubs, mini-festivals, restaurants, drag king nights - my to-do list is rammed.

Time is limited by work though.  It's a long day, working 9-6, with over an hour each way for commuting.  Rare is there an evening where there isn't something I want to do - rare is there an evening where I actually do anything though, for fear of not getting my 8 hours sleep (which never happens anyway).

But work doesn't feel like work.  There is a buzz walking through the city, I have a nice park to sit outside and in my lunch in.  There is a myriad of street food places to try - which I am promising myself I will when (if) I lose this belly - amazing looking food everywhere.


Work itself doesn't feel like work.  A comfortable office, very nice people, a few absolute hotties, free food and drink at times - the actual work I enjoy.  Well, occasionally it is frustrating, I can spend hours trying to fix the position of something - then make a semi-complex function in 5 minutes.  But the frustrating bits are part of the fun - the feeling of elation when I solve a problem, which was utterly non-existent in credit control.

Even the tube journey I am content with.  Air conditioning helps.  Normally I get a seat at some point during the journey if I position myself correctly (I always allow women or old people to sit down first).  And normally there are some hotties on the tube too.

In fact, I seem to fall in love several times a day.  And I am in love with London itself.

One is definitely happy right now.

Time to go straighten my hair and go for a walk.  Regent Street is closed to traffic so I'm going to take a wander down there - I might get myself a glitter moustache, there is apparently a Brazilian samba going on, and a steel band, then onto my roast dinner haunt in Farringdon which is allegedly a Time Out Top 5 roast.  Will it make my top 5?