Category Archives: Thoughts

Reboot – Blog Update

The planets have aligned and a new chapter seems to be opening up with new opportunities

The arrival of a company car (a first for me) has opened up an opportunity to explore new places both in the UK and into Europe without the worry of putting loads of miles on my own car and the cost that this entails. This alone has seen us make a commitment as a family to get out more. To visit new places and explore the country that we live in. So expect to see more day trips getting blogged about. Our approach is simple. If we see somewhere that looks interesting, we will add it to the list and make a point of going there.

In addition, trips onto the EuroTunnel and beyond are likely to become more common so watch this space.

So if you have read through this blog, you will know my love of photography however on recent trips, I have really struggled to get the shots I wanted which has forced me to rethink my approach to photography and resulted in me upgrading my camera equipment. More on that in a future post.

And finally, I am going to use this blog to tell the world about my travels. Both business and personal. Expect to see a bigger emphasis on travel. Whilst I am not claiming that this will be a full on travel blog, travel and photography will be a big theme but as well as trip reports, I will also post more reviews on the restaurants I eat in and hotels I sleep in. After all I already take the time to post reviews on TripAdvisor so why not include those reviews here.

So notable changes, a slightly different approach and more emphasis on travel and traveling. Enjoy the ride

 

 

Kicking And Screaming–They Killed Google Reader

Maybe it’s an age thing.

I am sat here questioning if I am turning into a dinosaur.

We used to joke about how you needed to get a child to help their parents program the VCR (remember them?) but I can’t help thinking I am heading in that direction myself.

This week I have been reminded that the online world that I have existed within since around 1995 is constantly changing and evolving as Google has announced the retirement of Google Reader.

For me this was my primary source of news and information online. With some 250  RSS feeds, I was able to sit down in a morning and rattle through hundreds of relevant (and not so relevant) news items in a matter of minutes from many different sources. The workflow was efficient and, in line with modern thinking, I could access this “river of news” from any device at any time. If I read an article on one device it was marked read on all other devices.

But now I am forced to change.

So it’s not as if I haven’t done a whole hearted shift in approach before. Not that long ago I went through the exercise of moving my online world online. Shutting down my own servers and using platforms such as Google Apps, WordPress and SmugMug to do the heaving lifting. Enabling me to concentrate on the content and not the platform.

Continue reading Kicking And Screaming–They Killed Google Reader

More connected but I still haven’t got my flying car

Well another year has passed and even though I am sure that the vision of the future included hover boards and flying cars, Santa isn’t bringing me any of these this year.

So what has changed in the last 12 months?

Often it hard to pick out those advances in technology that impact your day to day life because the don’t arrive with a big bang. The arrive bit by bit so that you think you have always done things in a certain way.

I mean 6 years ago, none of us were using Facebook or Twitter and now look.

But as I get to the end of 2012 I can’t help noticing that my life and my home is a lot more connected.

Take my living room as an example. Continue reading More connected but I still haven’t got my flying car

Virtual Tourism

It’s no secret that I love to travel. See new places, experience different cultures, try different food and so on. At the same time I have to balance this against the ever increasing cost of air travel, hotel costs, tourist taxes and what have you.

But at a conference in Frankfurt a couple of years ago, one of the keynote speakers was Dr Robert Ballard who is a oceanographer and devotes his life to exploring the depths of our oceans . His big claim to fame is that it was he who discovered the wreck of the Titanic.

He talked about how technology now enabled him to explore deeper and for longer than ever before. By using robots backed up with high speed data communications, instead of flying out to a ship somewhere in the Pacific Ocean and then spending 2 hours slowly descending in a submarine to spend just 2 hours exploring before spending 2 more hours trying to get back to the surface without getting the bends, he can now do his exploration from the comfort of a university campus on the mainland.

Continue reading Virtual Tourism

2012–Looking Forwards

If you have read my post regarding 2011 then you will know, most things turned out well and I managed to tick off most of the stuff I wanted to do.

So now we are into 2012 and it’s time to look ahead and set some goals.

Travel

Heading off as a family somewhere special

We did a lot of this in 2011 and want to carry this on as much as possible. Exploring a new city with a different culture as a family has been fun for all of us.

So far this year we have a trip to Budapest in Hungary booked and our summer holiday is going to take us into Europe once again although this year it might not be France.

In addition I am looking to get away with my camera for a couple of days although haven’t quite worked out where yet and we should be able to sneak a couple of weekends away.

As for business travel, it’s all a bit early and there isn’t anything in my diary but I am sure something will come along

Work

I need to get out of here

To be honest, work is frustrating me at the moment so 2012 is the year I have to fix it. I have been in my current role for the last 11 years and had thought I had seen it all but over the last 24 months, things have really turned for the worse.

The good news is that we have a new CEO (fresh blood) with a new vision. We get to find out what that is in February.

In the meantime I am looking at some of the companies out there that are way ahead of us both with vision and strategy and wondering if this is the time to move. Certainly this is not something I intend to rush into and I have to be mindful that 11 years service is significant but I have to look to the future for both me and my family so watch this space.

Either I am able to fix some of the things that are frustrating me where I am or I need to move which in turn (I hope) will address that whole work/life balance thing that has eluded me over the last few years.

Health & Lifestyle

2011 wasn’t good health wise. At times I wondered what was going to stop working or start hurting next and due to all the medication I was on, I always felt tired.

So the doctor has now halved the medication that was making me tired and I am already feeling a lot more alive and better about myself. In addition the diet I started last year is working. I gave it a rest over Christmas but am now fully committed again. Over the next few weeks, I will be picking up the exercise piece as well.

Finally I am trying to change from being a night time person to a morning person. Easier said than done and I am well on the way but those early Friday mornings still hurt.

Fun

Reliant Robin Racing At Norfolk Arena

Last year Sam and I had some great days out including the Reliant Robin and Caravan racing (yes really) at the Norfolk Arena and also the BTCC at Silverstone. We also had a number of days out and trips abroad so as a family I think we managed to do a lot more fun things with less trips to Ikea.

This year I already have the 2012 motorsport calendar on my desk so hopefully I will get to have some fun with Sam again and with some decent trips lined up and plenty of ideas for days out, I think we are looking good for 2012.

Changes

I have spent a lot of my adult life worrying about how my actions impact those of others and trying to put other peoples feelings in front of my own.

Nowhere is this more apparent that with our summer family holidays over the lest 3 years.

On 3 separate occasions, I have planned and booked our family break to accommodate friends and family and on 2 of those 3, we have been dumped upon from a great height causing upset and expense and on at least one of those occasions putting me and my family in a very serious danger.

Those people are no longer part of my life but it has taught me to start thinking about me and my family more and getting my priorities right. If you want to join in, you fit in with us not the other way around.

Wish me luck

So 2011 was great. I am looking to 2012 to be even better.

I will keep you posted throughout the year but in the meantime wish me luck.