Breaking Barriers and Reflection

Hello fellow followers.
Apologies for my lack of blogs, I have recently moved roles and have poured all my resourcefulness into my first week in my new role.
My breaking barriers comes when previously in my last role and on reflection all my roles up to the last role, I have and a rather tentative start. With great ideas amongst my energy and flair. I was almost always restricted to implementing those ideas from the very beginning.
Now, I’m not simply saying that I have changed overnight, but during my last role which I have now left behind, a lot of events happened. Events which pulled out the dorment potential within me. Namely getting married, buying a house and losing loved ones. Each of these happenings brings a vast array of emotions which make you a better person depending how you deal with and absorb that information.
I’m already excited about my new challenges that lay ahead. With a fantasic opportunity to further myself and protect the environment in the future.

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Beautiful England

We all do it. 9-5 everyday Mon-Fri and cram social and interactive activities into our weekends.

What I’ve learned this weekend is that time away is important to appreciate the finer things in life.

Unlike flying away and getting those golden sand beaches abroad. We opted for a nice UK summer break. Aquiring a new car recently, packing and space was certainly not an issue.

  
The Cotswolds is on our doorstep, albeit a 2 hour doorstep, having lived in Hertfordshire for the past 4 years we finally found an excuse and reason to visit this picturesque part of the UK.

My first day in the Cotswolds… Overall review. Stunning and relaxing. I highly recommend staying in this part of the UK. Everything seems so quaint, with easy access by all means of transportation.

OSX or Windows

The age old debate

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I’ve probably started a Technological war now as this has been done to death, but why not contribute and add fuel to the digital fire!

Having originally been a Windows user, I moved over to Apple firstly in 2009 buying the first iPhone 2G, then buying a Macbook in 2012. Probably the same as about 99% of apple users, it did take a little getting used to, but gestures, layout and interface was intuitive between devices (Phone, Tablet, Laptop, Desktop, Watch)

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For many Android and Windows users, it always reminds me how they are so fast to slate and tarnish the apple brand, yet they have never tried an iPhone or any of their products previously. This transparent opinion has frustrated me, as they constantly harp on about how they have better features, processor, camera… zzzz.

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Using a iMac for the last 3 years daily for work has made me realise the ease of navigating the interface and finding folders. Soon I will be switching back to Windows, which to be fair, will either be a breath of fresh air, or most likely a steep learning curve.

Having spent the last few years on apple products exclusively, I am intrigued to find out how Windows 10 compares to OSX Mavericks. Suddenly seemingly I will be taking a step back into the system I haven’t touched since my days at university and now a very unfamiliar layout of Microsoft.

Please do let me know about your experience with using Microsoft and Apple products!

Bag it up

Who has a ‘bag of bags’ in their house?

Hands up in the air everyone…

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Wales is leading the fightback from using an average of 8 million bags. Previously we were not charged for use of plastic bags, but since charges were put in place 4 years ago, plastic bag use has fallen 40%. Which is decent, but is it god enough?

http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/carrier-bags-reducing-their-use

We live in a throw away packaging lifestyle and mentality where packaging serves it purpose then is thrown away in the bin.

On my weekly shop, I use 4 large tesco jute bags, 1 plastic bag I obtained from Austria on holiday and a canvas bag. This easily covers my weeks shop and these bags last a long long long time compared to plastic bags.

A short blog today but here are some shocking facts regarding plastic bags…

  • The European Commission is to publish proposals in the spring designed to reduce the number of plastic bags used in Europe each year. Most of the 15,000 people who took part in a public consultation favoured an outright ban – but what are the options?
  • Every year 800,000 tonnes of so-called single-use plastic bags are used in the European Union – the average EU citizen used 191 of them in 2010, the Commission says, and only 6% were recycled.
  • More than four billion bags are thrown away each year.

Home Alone

Tonight for the second night of the week I am alone for the majority of the evening!

The wife was out partying on Monday night in the woods with her local scout group (by partying I mean a picnic and agenda meeting. Tonight she is at a team meeting or something similar with her work, meaning she is back around 9pm.

Now this ‘freedom’ feeling when you have an evening alone is something along the lines of…

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Well, the world is my oyster, I leave work around 5.30 usually, I get home at 5.35, I get changed and I do whatever takes my fancy… I’m going out to do some exercise!

So, by 6, I will be in full lycra and will embark on a nice long long long bike ride, usually 30-40 miles. I think I may extend it, I have freedom, 3 hours of freedom! Of course I need to embrace and make the most of my freedom!

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Oddly enough, when I am left to my own devices, I would do loads of domestic chores, the same applies to my other half, who when left alone would typically blitz the house and decontaminate every room from dust, dirt and tidy everything.

I find spending time alone hard these days, being so used to participating in some activity in the evening makes the evening more enjoyable and strengthens the bond between us. ‘Couple time’ is such a short part of the day where the majority is spent staring at a screen or in meetings.

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Before, I would happily spend 5 hours on the Playstation console and not feel guilty, time alone at home needs to be productive and must bear fruit instead of being wasted.

Attraction and Adios

I remember that awe of purchasing something new or something 2nd hand that I have wanted for a while. It’s truly a warm feeling. That moment of, “This is mine”

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Things that come to mind are my car, my Macbook Pro, my iPhone, my bike, most if not everything in my house and the wedding / engagement rings.

The attraction of owning something new or old is spectacular, but the fact is that it’s your personal item and no one else’s. That is what gives me ‘oooo’ face.

However, when that item becomes surplus to requirements it’s a sad parting that you must experience.

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My bike is the focal point of this blog post. Having acquired ‘her’ in 2012, she was my first road bike, she took me many miles and to be honest… wasn’t particularly looked after for the first 2 years before I learned how to give her a full service, clean and maintenance.

For a while she struggled through the gears until I cleaned her and made her road worthy again.

All in all, I imagine that I covered in excess of 1500 miles with a 65 mile loop being the longest and most recently London > Brighton.

So adios my beautiful bike, I just hope that the next owner in Kent looks after her as much as I did in the last year.

Carbon Carbon Carbon

Carbon (from Latin: carbo “coal”) is a chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. As a member of group 14 on the periodic table, it is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds.

Having recently upgraded to somewhat of a miracle, I am saying goodbye to my old faithful Carrera that has served me over the last 3 years. Picking up a Specialized Tarmac last weekend, I spent the last week cleaning her and making her shine.

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 10.44.49I briefly took her for a spin around the roads (2 miles) last week, but yesterday was the real test.

Inflating the tyres to 100psi, I was ready to rock. Having done the London to Brighton bike ride last Sunday on my Carrera, I had high hopes for my new Carbon Lady. 26 miles was the target and with route set, off I went into the Hertfordshire headwind on a Monday night.

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 10.57.18Immediately, I was weary. Having replaced the brakes, the pedals, tyres in the post, the handle bar tape and added a few gadgets. Newly tweaked bikes always feel different. But my self service and maintenance had paid off. She ran smoothly, better than smooth, she was flawless.

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 11.01.14Everything was instantly better. Handling, less road noise, better relative power conversion, everything… The hills I had previously slowly trundled up was a breeze and my average speed was 1-2mph quicker. Every segment.

To summarise, I am perfectly happy with my lovely new carbon machine. By bank account lesser so, but I am happy so that’s all that counts!