Good Luck EnglandThe Rugby World Cup starts today! And for the first time in years I can confidently say that I can watch whichever matches I want, wife permitting of course.

In previous years I have had to miss a lot of the matches due to work commitments. Now I have the ability to control when I work I can rearrange my day if I want. This allows me to keep working, and hence earning some money, but gives me the freedom to choose when to do it. I haven’t really had any real tangible use for this new found freedom until now…

Obviously I want to watch all of the England matches and the timing of all the groups games are quite nice this time round anyway, all being on weekend mornings and nothing ridiculously early. But to get really into the tournament there are lots of other matches that deserve to be watched, some of which are on during the week when I would normally be working.

Castle CottageThis year Shirley and I took a trip to Lundy Island to celebrate our Anniversary. We stayed in the wonderful Castle Cottage which has a picture window that overlooks the harbour.

I have always been fascinated with Puffins and was hoping to catch a glimpse of some and cross another item of the Bucket List. Unfortunately that was not to be but there was plenty to see and do and the trip was a great success. All except the boat journey across to the island which was pretty rough. Most of the passengers seemed to be hanging over the edge, me included, or have their face thrust into a paper bag…

One bonus was that I managed to spot a couple of dolphins while hanging over the side of the boat. Not sure what they were though. They seemed to be spotted dolphins rather than common dolphins but not sure if you actually get them in our waters?

The journey back was quite smooth though which was a relief. Anyway here is a collection of some photos we took while on the island.

Look Out!This whole working for yourself thing is a huge learning curve. I really pushed myself with lots of late nights to reach my recent deadlines. One night I was up till 5:30 in the morning getting ready to deliver a new program to someone the following morning.

So two out of the three projects were delivered pretty much on time. I released the Ski Pad iPhone app last week and it seems to have gone down well. The second project I was working on was a desktop program, developed in Delphi, to track jobs and print tickets for a skip hire company.

The other project… Well every time this project gets discussed there seems to be more issues that add to the workload…

Ski Pad App IconI have talked a lot about developing an app for the iPhone. It took me a bit longer than I had anticipated but today I can officially announce that my Ski Pad App has been accepted to the iTunes App Store and is now available to download. For Free!

If you have an iPhone then go get it and let me know what you think. Feel free to give it a 5-star rating if you feel so inclined as that can only help with getting it noticed 😉

In this post I’ll go into a bit of detail of what the app is all about so you’ll have a better idea of what you are looking at.

Rugged TreeI have overextended myself a bit in recent weeks. I had three big projects that are all due to come to a head at pretty much the same time.

My mistake was that for two of these projects I left the target date pretty much open. This seemed like a good idea at the time because then I could work on them as and when I had the chance. As with all things that aren’t extremely urgent I didn’t find as much time as I would have liked.

Time passed and as there was no deadline I had no urgency. This is not a good situation to be in.

I should have known better than this as I have experienced it over and over again when working for other people. Jobs are not important until someone starts to push for them. Then you start getting questioned about what you have been doing and why it isn’t ready yet…

Once you get to this stage then all of a sudden the job becomes very urgent if you want to keep the customer happy.

Lundy LambRecently I have been trying out a very restrictive diet to help Shirley test for possible food intolerances. It started off very hard as the choice of foods was extremely limited…

For two weeks we stuck to lamb or turkey with carrots, broccoli, parsnips, sweet potato, courgettes or cauliflower. Luckily fresh herbs were allowed so at least there was a bit of variation of flavour.

Rice was allowed in pretty much any form so Rice Krispies for breakfast with rice milk, rice cakes for lunch with a slice of turkey and so on. Sunflower oil and spreads allowed for some frying and with the addition of some rice flour even gave the option of some baking.

Along with this we were allowed only a few types of fruit, I stuck mainly to pineapple, peaches and bananas. Drinks were also restricted to camomile or redbush tea, no coffee or ordinary tea, water and fruit juice, but only from the fruits allowed so cranberry juice and the occasional pineapple juice.

Camping PodAfter my first glimpse of glamping the other week I realised how nice it is to be away from the computer & TV!

I wasn’t sure of what a camping pod would be like. The basic idea is that you take everything you normally take camping except the tent. Instead you are provided with a wooden pod, or the shed as my wife’s colleagues keep referring to it.

This is a fairly simple construction but it has lights and a heater as well as being well insulated. There is also a patio table and some chairs for the small decking area out front.

Shirley & I were lucky enough to get one of those experience gifts for Christmas and decided to use it for the night in the camping pod experience. We added a second night to make the most out of the stay on Dartmoor.

Website DesignA redesign for my business facing website, over at, has been on the cards for a while now.

I did try and set up a second blog with the idea of keeping more technical posts separate, at least that way the website would have some useful content.

That didn’t really work out though as I didn’t have time to come up with twice the content. In the end I thought it best to try and keep all of my content in one place anyway so I ported the handful of posts back to this site.

So once again the website on my business cards pointed somewhere that wasn’t very useful or informative…

The challenge then started to create a simple, static website to explain what I can offer.

Whenever I Visit Tigers, I Always Bring Along Some Good Reading MaterialI have recently finished the book The Art Of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau so I thought I would write a review of it!

Overall I thought the book was pretty good, definitely worth a read. I would recommend it to everyone out there especially anyone who has the nagging feeling that there must be more to life than the normal life that seems to be forced upon you.

There is some common ground with The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss as this book also tackles the idea of living the life you want but instead on focusing on how to reduce your time spent working on stuff you may not enjoy the focus is on doing what you really love, working harder than before but on stuff that you really enjoy…

In other words the book helps you create, or at least helps you realise that it is possible to create, your ideal lifestyle based around something you are really passionate about.

Flowering RockAt the start of the year I set myself a list of goals to try and achieve in 2011. As we have now passed the half way mark in the year I am going through my list and looking at the progress of each item.

This is a follow on post from Part 1 so you might want to read that one first. This post covers the remaining categories which are Self Improvement, Finances, Photography and Travel.

Overall I am very pleased with my progress so far. It really does help to have some goals to aim for. I wonder how many of these things I would have achieved it I had just pottered along aimlessly as I was doing before…