Uplink

@uplink

The less you know about me the more I reveal. #100days

21,925 words

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2019-10-06 Netbook thoughts, plus a family out on their tablets

2019-10-06 Netbook thoughts, plus a family out on their tablets

So I'm typing this on my little netbook toy laptop again. Just using a simple notepad text editor. I'll then paste into standard notes. I still like standard notes, but I still prefer plain text files for longevity. They really will be fully functioning in years to come. I also love that I can use any text editor of my choice to edit these files. This works the best for me. I do love standard notes and the encryption it offers, but I just fell in love with plain text files a few years ago, so I’ll probably just keep everything in that format as I go forwards. There really isn’t a better way to journal in my opinion, especially if all I’m doing is typing plain text.

Weird Family

We went out for a drink at a local boozer. We love that pub especially after a ncie walk with the doat down and there was this really weird family next to us. Husband, Wife, Son, Daughter. g. SAll of them around a table with their iPads on the table looking at the screens. The dad even had his headphones in to watch some video. The mum was shopping for shoes. I don’t know what the kids were watching or gaming. We spoke to them briefly (before they put their heads back down into their tablets. They couldn’t have a dog as they both worked full-time. How mental is that, they work all week away from their kids and yet they then spend the weekend in a really nice boozer looking at iPads each. I guess that’s the modern way of the world. I don’t see that very often which is good. I know I shouldn’t be judgemental and let’s face it we all use our tech all the time, but there have to be some times that are sacred, especially times out and about. Maybe they are all tuned in to each other when at home and this is their special time out when they can all sit on their devices. Maybe I’m just old fashioned, and like I said, who am I to judge what other people do with their kids.

Getting pestered for presents

It’s my birthday soon enough and I’m getting pestered for what I want for my birthday. I’m lucky in that I’m a man that has pretty much everything I need. This causes tension at birthday times as I can’t tell anyone what to get me as a gift. I really can’t think of anything I need. Sure maybe a new bit of tech would be good, but I really don’t need anything. What’s the point in a new camera or a new laptop? My existing kit performs exactly as I need it to. It performs really well. I guess I could do with a new 2TB external drive which would be my life drive - storing all of my text, photos and music on it. But again, I don’t really need this so it seems a bit pointless to just buy one.

End of another week

I’m writing this on a Sunday, I don’t know when I will publish it, but another week has flown by. That’s crazy really we are punching through October faster than ever. I’m back on the daily writing which is nice, I’m reading a lot again which feels much healthier than just sitting on my phone or laptop pissing around not really learning anything just running down the clock until the end of my life.

The tiny underpowered laptop for staying productive in writing

The smaller and more underpowered laptop the better it is for writing. I really believe this to be true. The great thing about a little laptop is that you really don't get distracted by a web browser. Mainly becasue it's so underpowered

2019-10-05 Encryption

Today I created a encrypted hard drive using Veracrypt. This will be my offline non cloud digital life. Of course, I will need a decent backup plan too. I have decided to do this as I'm fed up with all of my personal data, especially photos being sprayed across the internet into various data servers. Sure here i am blogging in the wild and writing this onto a data centre somewhere out there. But these words are public, I intended them to be that way. I no longer want my personal writing or photos to be on public data centres. That will suit me just fine.

I'll just have everything available on a little netbook that I can take around with me. I'll type my private journal up there and all will be golden.

I also encrypted a little 32GB microsd that nicely slots inside my netbook (which has awful storage - like 4GB left after the operating system is installed. That's cool with me as I'll just store everything on that encrypted SD drive.

I don't know if I'll continue to use standard notes. I do like that it's cross platform and cloud sync, but I'm trying to spend less of my time using cloud services and just want to use simple offline encrypted text files. I want to spend less time online overall. That's why I love this tiny underpowered netbook. It really is pretty shit, 2GB ram and some underpowered processor. It's still way more powerful than my first desktop, but somehow struggles with the web these days. I like that, less multi-tasking, more focused on what I want to do, which is writing and reading and 'thought taking'. It's a case of only firing up a web-browser to check something then closing and moving on. Any more than 10 tabs open in a browser and this little netbook will creak. I'm also getting used to the little keyboard and it's actually pretty sweet. I think I'll write more about this keyboard sometime in the future as although it's probably worth £10 now, it's one hell of a machine that I would have killed for back in my early 20s, so why dismiss it now as some little computer toy, which is what it really is. It's a toshiba satellite cl10-b-100, which is a joke of a laptop compared to my MacBook, but somehow I'm really loving the portability of it. I think I'll install linux on it at some point, just for fun and to see what I can do with it. Although having said that I think that it could be impossible to go back to windows after as I don't have any recovery usb etc. Windows is ok for me for now, so I'll probably stick with it.

Loving my books again at the moment. Just finished - Permanent Record by Edward Snowden. Loved the short easily readable chapters. I powered through this book in no time. He really seemed a genuine kind of guy that was trying to do the best for citizens of the world. I didn't learn too much more about the secrets he revealed. I took a bunch of highlights so need to go back through those. It was good to read his account of things, and the kind of book that passes the time well, but I wouldn't say it was a 'must read'. I might change my mind as I reflect on it a bit and read the highlights again.

2019-10-04 Looking back, I'm not a computer

Just go offline. There is no need for the cloud for anything. Why the need to share across platforms? This is the safest way to type. Store everything on a single text file happy days. It's more about the process than the actual storage of what you write.

Write, just write, worry bout what you are writing about. Except you won't. But maybe you will. Only on your deathbed. Did I write too much, no enough. But did I live? Ain't that the truth? Did I actually live? Or spend my whole life thinking, texting, looking at my phone and worrying.

Be bold. ..... Honestly, just be bold with your life. Enjoy it, live it and love it. Don't look at other people, just roll with what you have. Ignore material things. Self publish. Look forwards.

I think the reason I want to document my life, is because my memory is fucked. The internet and computers will remember every bit, byte an terabyte of what I did. My memory is fucked. I can barely remember what I did last week, let alone 10 years ago. I keep getting flashbacks of my life from wayback, like 10-15 years. Fuzzy memory Deja Vu things. It makes me sad. I'm not sure writing or photography will help. Maybe my memory is just fucked. That's the probelme with working around computers all your life. You expect your brain to work the same way as a hard drive. It doesn't. Oh well.

I think I've always looked forward, now I'm thinking about looking back. I'm not wired to look back, it makes me sad.

2019-10-02 Random Thoughts

It's a weird one today. I don't feel motivated like I should. I have no idea what is going on with me. I am 100pc going through a midlife crisis I rekon. I'm still writing so that's all good. I'm not reading as much though and that is all bad. I should be reading at least a bit every day. I love it so much, so don't know why I've stopped. I really need to clean up my act a bit. Stop the boozing and bad eating and get healthy. I'm 40 next week for goodness sake. That as far as I'm concerned is bloody old. Not quite the "downhill" from here old, but still old enough to have some of my best years behind me. Oh well I'm not going to well on that. I think that I need to be a bit more positive in my writing. I need to lift myself out of a bit of a funk that I've got myself into. It's all a bit pointless just writing 20,000 words of negativity. I think the problem is the time of year. The summer is leaving us and I'm sure that has something to do with it. I love the autumn, but not so much the winter. Also, I've really let myself go physically. This time last year I was in tip-top shape. This year I'm probably the fattest I've been in my life. I need to get back on that fitness streak. Disappointed with myself for letting that go. I've got football training tonight so at least that is something. Time to step it up. I might even start this daily writing to motivate me to do that and keep me honest. I've also dropped back from my photography. I haven't shot anything since I've been back from Spain. Well just a few snapshots. I'm in London today and don't even feel the motivation to take a camera. This is weird for me.

The sun is shining today which is nice though. Absolutely stunning out there. It feels great to be alive.

2019-09-31 Campervan

I signed-up for Reddit. I had a question on privacy so I decided to sign-up with an anonymous username generated by a random username generator. I've always lurked on reddit, but never posted. My question was answered in seconds which is amazing really. What a great resource it is. I used to love internet forums back in the day, especially before facebook. I was in an online minidisc forum way before most of my friends were online. I had 2000+ posts on that forum and eventually became a mod. I loved that back in the day. Now we have an obsession with being seen as our real-world personas online and I hate that. Sure it's useful for somethings, but for other's it's nice to be anonymous.

In other news we have bought a campervan (well more of a motorhome). This totally makes me want to go off grid even more. Of course I won't be doing this because I have my responsibilities, house and job etc. The thought of being offline in a self-contained camper van. Kindle fully loaded with 1000 books. A 1TB drive loaded with all of my music and photos. The odd film I download whilst on public wifi. Then just stay off the web and the grid as much as possible. Ideally just dialling in when I need a small bit of information. A very simple life. Just me and my loved ones, a bike and surfboard. Really limited tech, low power, low usage, just chill. I'd be well happy with that.

2019-09-30 Time racing, Instagram, On Being a hermit

Time is absolutely racing away. It's ridiculous, it really is. I wake an start to type or grab a coffee and half the day has already drifted by. I want to absolutely maximise each day. Each moment is fleeting and it's gone before you know it. That's the thing - maybe I'm trying to fit in too much but cataloging every aspect of my life. What's the point in spending forever cataloging, I never really look back. I only ever look forwards. I should simply shoot photos write text, publish and forget. I'm still finding this blogging a nice way of simply letting off some steam. That's all it is. I'm considering moving back to a simple HTML file for my blogging it was such a simple way of doing things. I can't be arsed to run a massive CMS for my needs it's just not worth it. Ideally I'd just run this off my this off a home websever. I use strapdown.js and just edit a singe html file with a massive TOC. It isn't pretty and it's not going to win any love from readers. That's not the point though the point is to just try and get away from the technology that is slowing my creative process down.

That's bloody easy to be honest. That's probably good enough for me. One massive html file. Once again I just really like the notion of getting everything offline and encrypted. I'm going to try my best to keep that philosophy going.

Instagram
I've been off instagram now for a quite a few months. I really don't miss it at all. In fact I feel pretty liberated by being off of it. I have thought about signing up a few times it, but really fuck that shit. I really don't have a need to go anywhere near it in my life. I was only drunk when I installed the app again and thought I'd give it a whirl. Totally pointless, but that's the way it its. What was it about being drunk that mean that I'd want to connect with complete random strangers. I don't get it. Maybe I was showing off, maybe I was just bored, maybe I was just drunk. It's funny though how the user interface felt really familiar and I actually felt at home again. I guess when you have spent literally hours of your life in an app you kind of love it for what it is.

On Being a Hermit

I feel like being a hermit, I genuinely would be interested in just chilling the fuck out on my own away from things. I'm not running away, I'm just getting over and feeling a bit more introspective. A bit like all this shit of trying to get offline. I picture a less stressed out life with just me and a portable hard drive.

2019-09-26 Thoughts again

Today is a brand new day and I'm going to treat it as such. I plan to get my all of my stuff organised on an external encrypted hard drive. This will be my life. Ok so I'm typing here into the cloud, but I really am thinking about ditching it all together.

I've also created a separate anonymous twitter account. I'm really hating having to have my real identity online. I really preferred the days when I had a user handle, not because I was up to no good. Quite the opposite more often. I now hate the way the internet is intrinsically linked to your real life, mainly so tech companies can serve ads. I equally hate ads, they are usually pretty useless when it come to targeting me anyway.

Work
I'm back in the 'office' after a few days out travelling and realise what a drain work is. I'm not sure I'm enjoying what I do anymore. I guess I've been doing the same thing over again for so long it's not quite as much fun. I think that could probably apply to quite a few aspects of my life. Again I'm rambling, but these are morning pages afterall and I get to ramble. The weather in the country is shit too. That really doesn't help, although I need to catch myself from being too miserable about things.

I'm going to see a partner today and catch-up with some old work buddies, so perhaps that will be more fun. I'm just fed up with the relentless barrage of questions with the obvious person on my back.

Photography

I'm going through a backlog of my photos, boy I take a lot of then but then that is just what I do. Again I'm just starting to chuck everything on an external disk drive after all that is what I did back in the day and had no problems in life. There really wasn't a way or a need to store MBs let alone GBs of photos in the cloud. It all seemed a lot easier. The ONLY drawback of not storing stuff in the cloud is access to it when out and about from the phone. I think I can probably live with that.

2019-09-25 Where have I been?

That is a pretty good question. I've been becoming more increasingly introvert and private in my digital life. I'm reigning back from social media almost entirely. Instagram has gone, facebook I don't use anymore and I'm seriously thinking of getting rid of Twitter. Although here I am publishing things to the web. I will do this in a more anonymous way in the future. It's nice to express myself in words and I love the feeling of just me and a keyboard, a blank white screen. It's a pleasure just to type and not be judged. So who knows when I will publish again, or even if I will. Maybe I'll try this daily writing challenge again. I have a little netbook with me right now and it's quite a nice form for typing in plain text.

So I think I might give up on my online blogging life, It's just to much hassle. I've come to realise that online and cloud isn't all it's cracked up to for me. I would be better off with a1 1TB usb hard drive for most of my needsI. Just encrpt that and back it up. The only real usecase I have these days for cloud is to access everything on my phone on the move. I imagine eventually, I'll just have a 1tb SD card or phone or something with all of my data. that would be pretty cool to be fair.

So this isn't really addressing the question of 'where have I been?' I guess I have just been away from the online space. It's nice to be back on Listed and standard notes and just ramble on about things. I think I'll continue to use this as and when I need to. I still have my blogger account, but increasingly wonder who I'm writing for. I would post these blog posts to twitter, but it all seems a bit pointless now. There are some quotes I need to dig out on why it's just madness to be on social media. I've been reading up on a few blogs on digital minimalism and I really like the notion of just doing things privately from now on. I really love to streamline things and really minimise how I do things.I just need as few tools possible to document and publish my life, Standard notes being a prettty decent note taking app. I just love the encryption. Let's face it we are getting less and less privacy by the day, so it's nice to have a safe space to be able to capture one's thoughts.

Here's the things I use digital tools for::

  1. Writing a journal and capturing notes
  2. Capturing photos of my day and everything I see
  3. Capturing vidoes of my day and everything I see
  4. Consuming media - Music, Books, News
  5. Communicating with people realtime

1-4 I could achieve largely offline. Why do I need blog tools, flickr or google photos, cloud music or even the internet? Perhaps I should try a life offline and see how i get on. I could even go back to paper journaling, which I adore, but I just can't seem to stick at beyond my digital journal. So I might just try and stick to offline for a bit, just use this little netbook that I'm typing on along with a high capacity drive.

2019-06-07 2019-06-07 Caroline goes to wedding - Working at home with the dog

Up early today 0730 and I'm typing away. I updated my blogger profile:

Born and live in England. I've always been a writer and photographer. In early 2019 I decided to put it all in blogspot. I hope they don't kill the platform. I write about everything that is on my mind. It's got to be better here than in my head or a bit of dross on Twitter.

I'm not sure I'm even gonna use blogger anymore. I just may self host some text files. That always seems a bit easier.

It's absolutely pissing it down today. Horrible weather, even Bella doesn't really want to go outside. I don't blame her. When are we gonna get some nice weather? Just plain horrid this rain. Considering I was in baking Spanish sunshine earlier this week. It's a total washout.

C has her Indian wedding today. Fortunately It's all inside, but it has been raining solid for several hours. Bella just sleeping like a baby.

On this listed thing again. I'm running into a problem. Firstly I'm having to censor myself. Clearly nothing on the web is truly anonymous. It wouldn't take a rocket scientist to track me down. I'm feeling like I should open up more in a journal. That's on of the great benefits. Here lies the rub, I'm kinda keeping two journals. Or maybe even three.

  1. The public one I'm posting to listed
  2. The actual narrative in my head that I'm having to censor
  3. A separate set of encrypted notes

This is not good. And I'm torn. Do I just keep two journals? One public and one Private? Do I open up a bit more here on this blog? What's the point then in having a public journal? It's all very confusing. In typing this, I think I'll just have two journals for now and see how it goes. I'm enjoying the semi-private nature of Listed right now so may well continue.

Also, I was looking for a way to nuke my account if I needed to. Seems I can only delete a post at a time, so if I thought listed had become a bit too much, I'd have to delete hundreds of posts. Seems to me that self-hosting might be a better way forwards. Just selfhost a plain text file. Or I might just go back to written journals. I kinda liked those. Anyways I'm just a bit confused on what I'm trying to achieve here.


Anyway I feel absolutely knackered today. I think the shite weather does this. I don't feel at all motivated and just want to sleep like Bella. We went for a walk when the rain stopped for a bit. Really muddy out, but warm in the sunshine. Back home to finish up work and a few calls. Rounded off with a Thai Green curry and sat down for a few beers and a book. Crazy cold, actually had to put the fire on it was so chilly. That meant I promptly fell asleep until 2200. Woke up to missed calls and texts. Phoned the wife, she'd had a good day, all went smoothly, not too much work to do. Opened a few more beers and read some more of my book. Pretty cool so far - Peter Crouch, How to Be a Footballer. Will finish this this weekend without a doubt. Also downloaded Metro 2033. I fancy reading a bit more good fiction. Especially after- Kiss me Judas, which was a trippy book, very readable, but didn't;'t make much sense. I still don't get the ending.

2019-06-06 Thoughts on Maslow again, Mehendi Night

0740 up with a coffee and writing. This is almost becoming a ritual. I'm sure it's one of my old buddies birthdays today, I can't remember who. I'm a bit rubbish like that.
I changed the blog text font to Courier. I don't know why I like to write in this font so much, I just do. It's not a readable as other non-monospace fonts, but I just like it.

Maslow's Heierarchy of Needs

I've been thinking a bit this morning as I've woken up about Maslow's hierarchy of needs and where I am on the pyramid. I've definitely got the basics covered.

  • Physiological needs
  • Safety needs

Totally nailed if I'm honest. I can eat and sleep, I'm warm and I feel safe.
The next three I think is where I can work on:

  • Social belonging
  • Self-esteem
  • Self-actualization

I don't know exactly how I would work on them or what I need to do to get to self-actualization. It's worth me pondering these over the next few days and weeks. Maybe then I can draw some conclusions on how to improve my life.

Social Belonging : According to Maslow, humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance among social groups, regardless of whether these groups are large or small.

I guess I do have that covered. I also guess that social media covered that for me a lot in the past. I used to be a social media fiend. I would post multiple times a day to Instagram stories. Sharing all sorts of mundane stuff, then check the views. What was the point in that. "Oh wow, my life is so amazing look at me" Fuck that, those days are over. I'm actually becoming more insular I rekon. I'm actually starting to care less about the wider world. I care less about social belonging on social media. I care less about Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Flickr. I really don't feel the need to share much more beyond this little blog here. But it's good to share and I'm relishing a bit of anonymity. Being online and in the spotlight of the world suddenly feels a bit creepy to me.

So how am I going to improve this area of my life? What practical things can I do to feel a belonging? Firstly I think it needs to start with my wife. She's the single most important person in my life, so if I start anywhere it should be there. Maybe I'll start a bit of a gratitude journal or something that will just improve how I think of our relationship. Maybe I'll come up with new ideas on how to improve this area of my life going forwards.


1045 Decided to get back into Blogger. Will use this a bit of a journal too. Posting to both Standard Notes and Blogger. I never stick at any one system for long so It's no surprise that I now might move to a different platform.


Mehndi

C and I went to Mehndi night at the Watford Hilton. It was a real blast. Left home at 6.30. Dropped Bella off at Emma's. She was in the garden and didn't hear the doorbell at first. We left the party around 10pm to pick Bella back up.

We met the printer a chap called Raj from Leicester. He is sun is something to do with the GSMA forum and Mobile World Congress. He is also part of "Case for Change". Really nice bloke, but talked a lot!

The groom did a first song of you'll never walk alone, which was a big cringe, but what else could he sing to be fair.

2019-06-06

0740 up with a coffee and writing. This is almost becoming a ritual. I'm sure it's one of my old buddies birthdays today, I can't remember who. I'm a bit rubbish like that.
I changed the blog text font to Courier. I don't know why I like to write in this font so much, I just do. It's not a readable as other non-monospace fonts, but I just like it.

Maslow's Heierarchy of Needs

I've been thinking a bit this morning as I've woken up about Maslow's hierarchy of needs and where I am on the pyramid. I've definitely got the basics covered.
Physiological needs
Safety needs
Totally nailed if I'm honest. I can eat and sleep, I'm warm and I feel safe.
The next three I think is where I can work on:
Social belonging
Self-esteem
Self-actualization
I don't know exactly how I would work on them or what I need to do to get to self-actualization. It's worth me pondering these over the next few days and weeks. Maybe then I can draw some conclusions on how to improve my life.
Social Belonging : According to Maslow, humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance among social groups, regardless of whether these groups are large or small.
I guess I do have that covered. I also guess that social media covered that for me a lot in the past. I used to be a social media fiend. I would post multiple times a day to Instagram stories. Sharing all sorts of mundane stuff, then check the views. What was the point in that. "Oh wow, my life is so amazing look at me" Fuck that, those days are over. I'm actually becoming more insular I rekon. I'm actually starting to care less about the wider world. I care less about social belonging on social media. I care less about Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Flickr. I really don't feel the need to share much more beyond this little blog here. But it's good to share and I'm relishing a bit of anonymity. Being online and in the spotlight of the world suddenly feels a bit creepy to me.
So how am I going to improve this area of my life? What practical things can I do to feel a belonging? Firstly I think it needs to start with my wife. She's the single most important person in my life, so if I start anywhere it should be there. Maybe I'll start a bit of a gratitude journal or something that will just improve how I think of our relationship. Maybe I'll come up with new ideas on how to improve this area of my life going forwards.


1045 Decided to get back into Blogger. Will use this a bit of a journal too. Posting to both Standard Notes and Blogger. I never stick at any one system for long so It's no surprise that I now might move to a different platform.


Mehndi

C and I went to Mehndi night at the Watford Hilton. It was a real blast. Left home at 6.30. Dropped Bella off at Emma's. She was in the garden and didn't hear the doorbell at first. We left the party around 10pm to pick Bella back up.

We met the printer a chap called Raj from Leicester. He is sun is something to do with the GSMA forum and Mobile World Congress. He is also part of "Case for Change". Really nice bloke, but talked a lot!

The groom did a first song of you'll never walk alone, which was a big cringe, but what else could he sing to be fair.

2019-06-05 Back on the grind

0300 woke briefly and wondered where I was. Hot and flustered. Had slept deeply though. I'd had another weird dream but I don't recall it. I'm gonna try and note more of my dreams down. They have to be quite interesting to analyse.

0630 awake again for good. The sun is shinning and it looks like it will be a stunning day. I slept like a log. Refreshed and feeling ready to take on the day. I need to be ready, it's a full on day. Got an award submission to write for work, deadline tomorrow. I'm not a professional copy writer and I know nothing about the solution we are providing. I'll give it a good go though. 0750 Breakfast. Walked Bella for a bit, but then a call from PC, had to cut the walk short and get back to work. Not too bad I suppose, was only at my desk


1630 Wow it's been a busy day. Haven't really stopped work wise except for a little spot of lunch and a bit of a run with Bella. My first run with her. Only a little one. 2.35 KM in 16:23. Wow, how slow is that? Well out of shape lol.

Not really enjoying being back at work, but I guess that's understandable. A bit of a waste of time, too many internal politics. Let's face it most of us wouldn't work if we didn't have to. I kind of enjoy a bit of satisfaction from what I do, but a load of people seem to really love what they do, it must be nice. I've been lucky enough to make my trade in the tech industry. Well paid and in demand. Luck more than judgement got me here, not complaining, it's a great place to be, I should really stop being so ungrateful. Maybe I'm suffering from a midlife crisis, having reflected on my past few days in Spain, maybe that's the the problem. As I realise my life is wasting away working for some massive faceless conglomerate seems like a bit of a waste of a life. Maybe I should volunteer or do something worthwhile outside of work. Maybe it's because I don't have kids and have missed that calling for now.

C is out tonight so I'll stay in and watch the football. She's meeting her international lot. She usually has a blast with them, but not feeling it tonight apparently. Just realised England are playing tomorrow night and I've agreed to go out with C to this wedding Mendhi thing. Talk about annoying. Never mind, I've got to go and support her where I can I guess. We really need a plan to have her give up work. Also, now getting a quote for the next rounds of IVF, gonna try and find a cheaper supplier than the one we've got. Oh well I'll just go with the flow. This thing is going to drag on into 2020 there is no doubt about it.

So rounding off the day I had a few beers, changed the bed sheets. Climbed in, read a book and waited for C to come home. Sleep is good.

2019-06-04 Travel home from Spain

0515 the alarm goes off, but I've barely slept. Perhaps I managed to snatch one hour of solid sleep. Having an Irish coffee midnight was not a great idea. I had planned to just jump in the car and go, but was a bit sweaty overnight, showered and C packed the rest of the luggage. Out of there and into the hire car around 5.50am. A pretty easy drive in all, the roads were almost totally clear untill we got to Alicante. Then we had a quick circle of the airport to find fuel for the hire car. Filled the little Fiat up with 20 euros of fuel and another 10 minutes back to the airport. Arrived about 7.10am. The guy inspected the car and all was alright. That's good, there was a small scrape on the car when we collected it. I took a photo and was worried about it, but the guy barely checked.

7.22 at the Ryanair check-in desk it was pretty rammed and of course I started to worry about not making the flight. Was fine though, checked in at around 8am. The bag was exactly 20.0 kg. We took some shoes out just before l, but amazed it was bang on.

Through security and time to grab a bit of breakfast. Coffee & Baggette for me. Orange, yoghurt and pastry for C. Much needed as hadn't eaten anything before a 1+ hour drive. Boarded the plane pretty much last ones on. Seats on each side of the aisle. No way worth paying another £17 to sit in the middle for a 2 hour flight.

Man I hate flights and flying. To say I'm nervous is absolutely bang on. I'm not sure why I'm so scared, I've done this at least 100+ times. I don't find it gets any easier and I'm convinced every time I fly that we are going to crash. I guess if this gets posted to listed it means I survived another flight, but not without a certain amount of anexiety. I've got at least one long flight coming up, I really need to learn how to enjoy them.

Big time looking forward to seeing Bella again, she's a little cutie and just hope she remembers us. It's been a week without her, so I'm hoping she forgives us for leaving her.


Landed on time, actually slightly early, around 1010am. Was a pretty good flight all in all except another hungover Liverpool fan that was spreading himself all over the seats and making loads of noise. Got back to the in-laws ok. Said hello to Bella, she seemed really pleased to see us, but it's clear she's made some new friends. She was just as happy with P and S as with us. I had a bit of a kip as absolutely knackered from the journey. C had a call with her clients and 1400 we then left for home around 1530. Back at home and straight back into work. What a pain in the arse. Again, a short turnaround for something that wasn't even planned. There goes the holiday in a puff of smoke, straight back into work. Holiday a distant memory.


1800 back at home and fish and chips for supper. Well tasty and shared a chips instead of making the classic mistake of ordering two (over ordering). It's nice to be back in the house, but this house is bloody freezing. Need to get some cavity wall insulation or something. It's almost heating on cold. It's May for fecks sake.

I think Bella is either sulking or just tired. She's asleep and doesn't seem to like me too much. Maybe it was because we abandoned her with the in-laws. If I got abandoned at the in-laws I'd be sulking too. Gonna have to get to bed early tonight. Now back in the UK with the time difference been up since 0415am. Plus having not slept at all last night, I'm totally knackered.


In the news; learned that the Woodford fund is in trouble. I'm not invested, but shows how sentiment can turn pretty quickly. Was the golden balls of investment around 30 years ago.

Also, Trump in the UK. I'm not a fan, but he is what he is. Think all the protests are over the top and Corbyn is just being his usual wanker self, trying to appeal to the cool student socialist liberals. Should have just been diplomatic and met with Trump. That's the point of being a master statesmen. There are going to be loads of people that he doesn't like but would need to meet if he ever became Prime Minister. Stop acting like a pretentious shit and meet Trump, who happens to be leader of the world's biggest superpower.

2019-06-03 Last day in Xavier, meal out, tired

Finished reading Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life by Gary John Bishop

Terrible book, that didn't provide anything insightful to my life. Full of random bit of advice that aren't at all meaningful. Poorly structured so it just feels like a series of random motivational quotes. Maybe this is what people are after these days in a book. It's easy to consume, felt like I was reading an instagram story. At least it was short and over pretty quickly.

I should really have given up as life is too short for rubbish books, oh well.


On today, it's my last day in Spain so up and in the sun early - 0830. Cleared up all the empties from last night and getting a bit of writing done. Still enjoying the 100 day challenge. C is well stressed out over these weddings she's planning, seems to be getting worked up over it all. She needs to chill out, supposedly a dream job.

Here's a few thoughts for me today.

Tomorrow is a mystery

This is a pretty cool philosophy.

I wake up most mornings feeling emotions. These emotions can vary. Usually they are those of excitement and joy. It's a new day with loads of opportunities. These emotions then fade during the morning as I run into the mundane. Work, or just existing. What if I could bottle that joy I feel when I wake up and keep sipping at it all day long. That's my plan for June. Wake up tomorrow and every day through the month and stay motivated, productive and joyous. I'll try and use this journal to keep me motivated on that path. So for today, despite being mildly hungover, I'm going to live for the day. I'm here with my morning tea, typing away with a feeling of zen. Life is what we make of it. After all we are all going to die, so why not live today. Easy to say difficult to do.

We are what we do, not what we say we will do


Today I'm going to finish a book and start another. I set out to read more books at the start when I deleted Instagram. So far so good. Damn I don't miss that app at all, frankly what a time zap that was. Even posting took too much effort. A great book is awesome. I just need to find more great books. Speaking of which, I'm off to the lounger to read.


1900 we went to the port for dinner. Was quite a nice meal, but very small portions. I was incredibly sleepy. A bit anti social really on the last night. Then we all went for a night cap at a bar. This was about 2345. Stupidly I had an Irish coffee. So that will keep me a ay for sure. The alarm is set for 0515 so an early start without much sleep. Was a really nice trip away and there were a few nice speeches at the end. Really top bunch of guys. Will be glad to get home though.

2019-06-02 Villa lounging in the sun- couple of goals - Paella night

0900 up and about. I had a weird dream that I was commuting in a ryanair flight to a small little island, with AJ and Danny, who had forgotten their laptop passwords, but I were going to be able to restore an image. Was a bit of a weird one. Quite vivid from what I recall.

Anyway up and about getting some of those valuable sunshine rays. Really not good for the skin I know, but I'm on factor 30 and not really got burnt. Still gonna age me somewhat, sun, booze and too much food. That's what holidays are for. They are also for reflecting on things and resetting. Maybe some goals. Here's some thoughts.

  • Run more. This is always on my list, I've been neglecting this since the winter. Last year I did pretty well on getting at least one in a week. I even ran whilst on a work conference. Crazy days! Let's get back on it.

  • Lose the 1 stone I need to get me to a really lean and dare I say ripped weight. That will just do me nice. A bit of a trimmer belly and a bit of weight off my face.

  • Bike just get out and ride, I love the freedom and solitude of that. If it's dry just go for a little ride. Have to love it.

Actually, just generally focus on health a bit more. A bit whacky but I need to do a bit of yoga. As my joints always ache after footy or any other exercise. I'm a pretty fit guy on the whole, but I need to exercise at least twice a week. That for me is essential. I need to figure out how to use this Standard Notes or listed thingy to try and track my goals and keep me motivated. I'm in this app every day, mind you I'm in Trello too. Maybe between the two, I can capture these goals and stay accountable. Maybe I'll set the goals on Sunday or report on my week on a Sunday. Also, I'm just journaling the stuff I do at the moment. I'm not really writing my thoughts on a specific subject. I want to get back into that for sure.


So the rest of the day was basically a lounger day. Enjoying the sunshine, book and beer. Was quite a relaxing day. Nearly finished my book, but not quite. The guys went off to play golf, so I was left in the villa with the girls. The baby was pretty noisy but she dropped off to sleep in the end. 1815 I started cooking a Paella for 10 people. Was a pretty mammoth task to be fair. But I pulled it off well. C decorated it with the seafood and I have to say it looked awesome. I probably would have added a bit more spice, but not everyone likes chilli so I kept it pretty tame.

A far few beers over the day, red wine with dinner and all wrapped off with a brandy. Sore head tomorrow for sure.

2019-06-01 Beach and Champions league final

0915 up and about. Another slightly sore head, but nothing crazy. Heading to the supermarket at 10am shopping list:

Beer
Water
Crisps
Tonic
Bread / Rolls
Cold meat
Milk
Paella stuff for 10 people

All came to 86 euros. Not bad. Wanna live out here for sure, cheap as and great weather.


1130 went to the beach. Rented some sun loungers for 6 euros each. Was pretty windy, noisy and hot, but nice beach. We kinda put our loungers away from the others. Paul an Alla turned up later, we then went for lunch. Had a few tapas, and a beer and rose wine. 32 Euros, not bad value I guess. Back to the loungers and fell asleep. Read a book for a bit. Getting pretty board of Head Hunters It's really starting to drag. Might be one that I need to grind out. Started reading Dreamseller alongside. A story of a skateboarder who could have had it all, but instead turned to drugs.


1600 C went off to do a bit of shopping and came back around 1700 with a couple of beers for me and Paul. That was a nice touch. It was roasting on the beach so nice to have a cold one. Drove back to the villa after that and decided that we would get a taxi into town so had a few more drinks while everyone was getting ready. J went proper glam despite telling everyone it was casual. I predicted this weeks ago, so it's no surprise. We went to a nice little restaurant to watch the champions league final. Liverpool vs Spurs.

The game was proper dull. A penalty in the first minute to Liverpool, then nothing much for the next 80 minutes. Then Liverpool scored again and that was that. A pretty boring game, but I guess not if you are a Liverpool fan. I ate a steak and C had Calimari. It was OK I suppose. Bill with Drinks 60E per person with tip, so not too bad.

After this the fun and games really started. J decided to take us off dancing, but not dancing. We went to a really chilled out restaurant and all sat in a row. The music was crap and there was no atmosphere. C and A were getting a bit annoyed with it all as they came out to have a party too. The baby was clearly the number one priority, which I get, but C was making the point that in days earlier, J had said don't let me get like that. I guess people change when the bambini arrives. So anyway we finished one drink and decide to part ways. Me, C, P, A to head to a club and everyone else to go back to the villa. Probably for the best. So we first started off in this little cuban place with Latin dancing. Was ok, and stayed for a drink. Then C wasn't happy as she wanted something to sing along to. So we checked out the club upstairs. What a super choice, cool music, little dancefloor, stage with dancers and 4 euro mojitos. Can't go wrong with that. So we stayed and danced until around 3.15am. Eventually getting pretty tired and getting a taxi home. Stayed up for a little bit of fun and then a groggy sleep entailed. Fun night!

2019-05-31 Hanging around the villa - thoughts on travel and owning stuff, Xavier, Spain

0830 Up and about. A bit groggy, but not too mad. Must have called it a night at around midnight and got a decent night sleep. C cooked eggs for everyone for breakfast and a few coffees later and felt right as rain. The weather is truly beautiful. The villa is great, but there's work next door. Doing the pool area so drilling and cutting all week which puts a bit of a downer on things. Think we got about 300 Euros back as a gesture from the owner. Can't really make up for the place not being as relaxed though. Never mind.


1300 - A few beers by the pool, reflecting on life. I totally love holidays and traveling light. Just having a few belongings and a few gadgets. I feel like the world is my oyster. I've seriously got to think about what I'm doing with things where I'm just wasting my life away at home. There is so much to see and experience. It's always been a dream of mine to cycle around the world, one day I've got to make that happen. Just take a year out and do it. I've got the cash now where If I lived fugally, I could probably travel on my bike non-stop for the rest of my life. Wouldn't be much of a sociable life, plus I now have a wife and responsibilities it's not really feasible. Still, travel even short holidays to Spain make me realise just how little I need. A pair of shorts, flip flops, a few T-shirts, Jumper, MacBook, Camera, Phone, GoPro, Credit Card, Passport. That's it. That's all I need to have the huge adventure that is life. I miss those days when I travelled through Australia for 3 months. No internet, just a cassette player. That was the life. Ofcom have just released a study that shows Brits spend 50 days year online. What a waste of life. Much preferred it back in the day when I wasn't constantly connected to the Matrix. This is always a theme of my life and certainly when I travel. I really need to take that philosophy home. Do what makes you happy. I need to clear out a load of shit I have at home. I've collected way too many belongings in the 39 years I've been on the planet. I really need to have a bloody good sort out. I also don't need any new stuff. No new gadgets, no more Amazon. I'm pretty good at mot buying stuff to be fair.

On the stuff business, I've even brought too much gear out here. I really don't need half the stuff I have. I brought way too many clothes. I guess when dressing to impress you have to wear a different outfit every night for 7 nights. Pointless, but that's the way society is. I've always been a bit different, I hate designer labels. They actually look stupid to me. If I see someone wearing a Hugo Boss polo, I just think what a wanker. That's just the way I'm wired I/m afraid. I think maybe people think I'm a bit of scrooge, but what's the point of spending 300x more on a polo shirt that's been made in the same sweatshop in Vietnam because It's got some label on it. I should really take that list of things I need in life, and just work with those for the rest of my days.

The other thing that's been cool is I've been relying on one plug point. That's cool because it makes you think about what device to charge when you can only charge one at a time. I'm also trickle charging my MacBook, so that means I have to limit how long I can use it for. This is nice as thinking about power as a finite resource across all my devices means I don't waste time on any. I use them as a utility. Then shut them down. This is a really cool philosophy I need to adapt at home.

Anyway, time for more beer, sunshine and book. Reading Head Hunters now, decent book, but I need to nail it as I want to get on with the next one.

Still loving this daily writing, even more so when on holiday. Write, walk, drink, read. Life is sweet.


1530-1730 Walked out to Cap Prim with Ethan. Was a fairly hard walk. A good old climb up, the roads, then off road for a bit. The veiws were spectacular. Well with the effort. Everyone else hung out at the villa. Boring old fat gits. It was a really nice walk though and E was a pretty cool bloke for a teenager. Chatted a fair bit about video games and how his mates would never have done anything like it. Good for him to get out and about. It's sad that a lot of modern kids don't have the drive to go on mini adventures climbing hills and rocks and things like that. It was a long hot walk back so I jump d in the pool.


The evening was basically a repeat. Groundhog night. Lots of booze and red meat. I need a break, but then I always need a break. It turns out D is a bit of a knobhead, C certainly thinks so, made it known when cutting the cake too. Still it was a fun night, bit of wall ball. Still feel a bit like we are crashing a family thing. Never mind they did invite us.

2019-05-30 First day in Spain Xavier - Private chef

0800 Awake and typing this on my phone in bed.

This room is bloody dark. Shutters on windows lead to a great night sleep. I don't know why we don't do this in the UK. Maybe because we just don't have as much sunshine as Spain, so the last thing we want to do is shit it out. We also dont have siestas the Spanish. I know C will want to sleep in, but I want to get up and face the day. I usually shower in the evenings when on holiday, (no point having a shower then hitting the beach to sit in the sea). Bit don't know what the etiquette is even away with friends. That's the thing too. Never really done a holiday with other people. It's usually just the two of us. This is gonna be a weird experience we will either love or hate.


Went to the market to grab some veg and drinks for the BBQ. Was a nice little market. Really busy. Worth going though, the churuos we well tasty, 12 for 4 Euros. Talk about cheap. Also bought 30 eggs for 3 Euros you could live like a king for nothing out here. Got back to the villa after a trip to the sea and party shop for balloons etc. The balloons then blew off into the neighbours, but the builders gave them back. Hung around the pool for a while, looked a bit chilly to get in though. Maybe tomorrow. The weather is around 26c but feels much hotter in the sun. Had a few beers and cooked pasta up for everyone. Pesto and a few tomatoes. Was pretty decent.


Evening BBQ Dani Bowler private chef came over and cooked for us. Did an amazing job, so much food it was unreal. Delicious freshly prepared meats - steak and belly pork. Loads of prawns and ribs. He did the ribs in coke, and a bunch of other unusual ingredients. Well hungry by the time it all came to eat. All the guests turned up around 6pm. Was a real blast. Funny how we made a joke of all being dressed like Roger. Was a real family do and felt a bit like a crasher. Felt welcome of course. Drank loads of booze, stuck to the beer and a couple of glasses of red wine. Avoided spirits so not to to bad. T got a F1 Tag watch for his birthday. Well decent, but some one mentioned that it would cost £300 a year to service. What the hell is that about? Buy a £3k watch you'd expect it to work with out a service every year. Each to there own. Was an absolutely brilliant night, though, loved it good food, drink and friends.

20190529 Traveling to Spain.

0530 I'm in a good but not good mood as I wake up (at 0530am bloody hell that's early). I'm in a great mood as I fly to Spain. The weather looks amazing and I can't wait for some chill out time. I'm also a big pissed off as I times it so I'll miss the Europa League Final. That's a real shame as it would have been really nice way to start off the holiday. Instead I'll be negotiating Alicante airport, picking up a hire car and driving an hour north. Only to get to the villa as the match ends and see everyone allready pissed and in holiday mode. Totally messed that one up. Oh well, can't complain. Chelsea will probably lose the thing anyway.

Plan to be out of here at 14.30 and get to Bristol airport at 15.30 and a flight at 18.00. Land at 21.30. Grab the car and go to villa. I've loaded we go here app with offline Spanish maps so all should be good. The car I've rented is the cheapest possible so I expect it will be tiny.


0830 At work again. Feeling pretty enthusiastic about work today, but that's probably because I'm going on holiday later. Still it's good to get things fired up before I go. The only problem with that is I'll probably get a load of responses to the stuff that I kick off, so will probably have to take my laptop on holiday after all. Mainly to book a trip to Singapore, hopefully. It's quite nice working at the in-laws for a couple of reasons. 1. I get to hide myself away on my laptop and be less sociable ;) 2. There are way fewer distraction on getting stuff done. I just love a change of scene. I really like getting a clearer mind when in new environments.


1400 on the road to Bristol. A pretty uneventful journey. Got to the airport with plenty of time. Was absolutely pissing it down today though, glad to be leaving the country for sunny climes. The check-in was a bit of a ball ache. It always is when Ryanair is involved. Still got the job done and through to the lounge. Got well and truly fleeced on a few drinks in the pricey lounge. £22 for two pints and a gin and tonic. Bollocks to that, then a load of food to take on the plane. Another £20 down. I'll probably just get the lounge next time especially if I'm not driving and I can sink a few more beers.

Got on the plane. Pretty much the last ones on. There was a 30 minute delay due to some screwup on the number of bags in the hold. One extra cos some guy had scanned a bag on his mates boarding pass or something. So they had to offload the bags till they found it and got it back on. All good though sorted and ready to fly. Got a row to ourselves so that's cool. The plane has a load of pissed scousers on it. Clearly making their way to Madrid for the champions League final. Scousers really are one of a kind. I'm not a fan, all tattoos and aggression. On the right side of them and you have a mate for life. On the wrong side and and they'd head butt you. Rekon you'd wanna fight alongside them in the British Army though.

If all goes to plan should land at 2200. That won't be too bad. Glad I went for the hire car that was open later though, otherwise we could have been stuffed. Sensible to check opening times. Spain being an hour ahead, I shouldn't be too zapped on this drive.


0000 arrived at the villa after an hour drive in the dark. Was ok though as the roads were mainly clear. Got shafted on the hire car. Told us we couldn't fit our luggage in the small two seater. Another 60 euros later and we are off in a fiat 500. There was a scuff on the bumper recon they will try it on with that. I took a photo, but it will be in the back of my mind all holiday.

Anyway the villa seems nice and our room seems decent. Not much of a view, but it's clean and comfy and will do us for a place to crash. Hopefully a bit of sunshine tomorrow! Oh and Chelsea won the final 4-1 happy days!

2019-05-28 Getting ready to leave for Spain

Logged back into Trello. Think I'm going to start using that again for my to-do list. I like todo.txt but I just can't seem to stick with it... I really need to get a bit better organised. There is shit loads going on right now.

I've got a lot to get done today. I'm off on holiday tomorrow yesssss!

Loads to do, I'm not packed and I'm still doing washing which I'm desperately trying to get dried and outside when it keeps raining. I'm trying to do this all through the backdrop of conference calls and closing off work so I can enjoy things a bit with my laptop closed for a few days.

All equipment needs to be charged and packed. Cameras, laptops, tablets, phone, power bank. Cables, so many cables. I really could do with traveling light again. My headphones are buggered too, so I'll need to get some of those at the airport. I lose or break so many of these buggers, I should have a subscription service to headphones.

The flight tomorrow is pretty short - 2hrs from Bristol to Alicante. Should be a lovely little hop. Love these short little flights, the last one I was on before that was a 15 hour slog back from Mauritius. Wow talk about ungrateful. But 15 hours in economy isn't nice for anyone. A two hour flight is cool. Sit back, have a rest, read a book and unwind for a bit. I'll be driving the other side so no beer which is a bit of a shame. Got the car hired which is decent, certainly cheaper than getting a taxi £105 for the week, which is good.


Been a pretty manic morning. Managed to get everything done that I wanted to. Except the pesky internal training on ethics. I just can't access the survey. What a pain.

Washing dried and packed, think it may be a struggle to squeeze two people's stuff into one 20kg suitcase. Still it saves £40 to do this and I'm a cheapskate, so worthwhile.


Was just about to travel to Somerset to drop Bells off and had a call from ND. She was on holiday and having a beer. She still wants to hire me in the next 3 months. Very weird and I'm trying to figure it all out to be perfectly honest. She only met me for a couple of hours and is now so impressed she wants to hire me? Suggested an interview with her boss when I get back from holiday. May as well have that chat, but I don't intend to go anywhere right now.

Got to the in-laws ok. Bells went nuts, proper excited, but a nervous kind of excitement. P is being a dick as usual, threatening to spray her with water. Dunno why he does that, just to wind everyone up. Miserable old git. Still he's giving us a lift to the airport so that's decent of him.

In bed by 11.30 and read for a bit. Busy and long day tomorrow.