Blog Archives

Summer is here… I think!

Wow! haven’t blogged here in a while and thought I should post an update. It’s been pretty pretty hectic for me the last month or 2 with studies, exams and work, I’m not complaining though! It has just meant that some things have taken a back burner while I focus on the priorities in the right order (God, Wife, Study, Work, Other). So roughly in that order :).

ChristChurch has been good, Marie and I got to witness Andy Tilsley being officially “prayed in” as an elder and the general comings and goings of church life, Marie has joined the crΓ¨che team to help combat the current and further impending baby boom! and they couldn’t keep me away, am back serving Sundays on the sound team now technically called the tech team (excuse the pun) which encompasses the visuals team also which i think is a brilliant move purely because the 2 teams were quite small on there own and trying to organise social events was rather difficult because normally what ended up happening is 2 guys end up meeting up for a beer (which is not a bad thing!) rather than 5 or 6 people meeting up having a meal and enjoying good fellowship.

Marie has been the usual busy with working for Newfrontiers, carrying on as usual despite all the ongoing staff changes that take place regularly, she is still knitting a woolly green scarf for me for Christmas, hopefully its ready in time although i wont need it because we are going to Zimbabwe for Christmas again, Woohoo!

Studies have finally concluded for the summer, I am still awaiting results and have one exam to do in august – due to the bad organisation of Uni which I have probably mentioned before. i had to spend 4 weeks at uni after my exams attending lectures which apparently had been the plan since the beginning of the academic year but we weren’t informed until mid way through our exam period despite several people including myself asking for clarification several times throughout this year (i think that shows how badly organised the uni is) in fact some were so badly caught out because they had already booked flights home for the summer and couldn’t attend the lectures. gladly though its all done, i cant wait to get this degree over and done with purely because it holds very little relevance to my day to day freelance work, and any content that did is already going out of date, that’s how fast paced the IT industry really is.

Work has really ramped up the last month or so, I’ve had the chance to meet and even work with some great teams like (new web infrastructure), Rackspace (got to see the Rackspace mini and got a goody bag) and have met the awesome GoSquared team and WooThemes just the other week, its keeping me busy which i like and importantly its earning money, I’m actually quite thankful to God for all the work as I had to replace my laptop a few weeks ago (the old one couldn’t take the load i was throwing at it) which cost a seriously painful amount of money which if it wasn’t for the work i wouldn’t have been able to buy.

Other than that, not much has changed, still busy busy busy, off to see my dad and Karen for the weekend next weekend which should be good as we will probably get to go to the village church too so that should be an experience for Marie (its not Newfrontiers!), the weather here has been pretty miserable the last few days but we got a couple of thunder storms that Marie and I both enjoy watching.

3 months to go

its 3 months until the big day and i cant wait. in 3 months i get to witness my best friend and the love of my life walk down the aisle towards me as we step out on a journey of faith that will take the rest of our lives to truly enjoy to its fullest. and i truly believe that Jesus is with us on this adventure, he has been with us already in the previous 5 and a half months since we got together and even since before then working seperately within our lives for His Glory. a few people have been surprised by how quickly our relationship has progressed but if you were “on the inside” over a year ago (ie working in the Newfrontiers, London office) then it doesnt come as too much of one πŸ™‚

Having worked alongside each other for over a year has had its great advantages but as you know now that i no longer work for Newfrontiers it brings different challenges over the next 3 months. firstly is contact time, now that i am not in the office i dont have anywhere near as much time in contact directly with Marie, i cant just make her a cup of her favourite tea (Peppermint or Earl Gray) and there are just less opportunities to see her. this means that i do have to be more intentional in seeing Marie, i have to pursue like i have never pursued before, i think Mark Driscoll says something like this over on his blog (although aimed at married couples i am pretty sure most of it can apply to not yet married couples) “Men, if you don’t date your wife, someone else may eventually volunteer for the job.” the buget is tight because of studying, freelancing and all the expenses that are incurred as a result of preparing for a wedding but that still shouldnt stop me, its one of those challenges that will be fun and i will only learn good habits ready for marriage

The next challenge for me is communication, i am no longer in the same office or next room from Marie every day, i cant just walk by her desk and say “Hi” or discuss anything and everything over lunch. this means again i have to more intentionally communicate, we have to use the phone more than we used to (hooray for a linked contract with free minutes – Finally O2!) communication is probably often not my strongest point especially if i dont see someone all the time, yes i can articulate myself if i need to particularly on a geeky level but remembering to initiate will often be my weakness. this challenge is gonna be a big one and again i only think God is going to use this next 3 months to build some more strong foundations with the existing ones and only make me a stronger more solid Christian Man of God and it will only set things on the good foundations when we are married, focused on Him.

and thirdly (sounds like a mini sermon doesnt it!) Absence really does make the heart grow fonder! I have only been freelancing for a week now and working mostly from home but i do miss Marie when she is not here, and i cant wait for the moments we can spend together, even when its not just the 2 of us! its only making me love her more and want look after and protect her and cherish her more (sounds like i am saying my vows already!)

will get off my soppy love box now πŸ™‚ in short (and in guy speak) its gonna be a hectic 3 months full of challenges that i am going to need prayer for and to pray about, so would appreciate any prayers you have. I know God is in this because he has been there every single step of the way so far and i really dont doubt that that will change anytime soon either!

No Internet…. grrrr but good in a way

Going into our second week without internet in the flat its tedious but in many respects it has also been equally a good thing for me.

Firstly a little background. About a month ago, Sky our broadband provider phoned us up on a sales call to basically get us to transfer our line rental from BT to Sky and save us some money, at the same time getting free broadband for 6 months. We thought, great free broadband for 6 months and one less bill to worry about. Roll round last Saturday a BT Openreach engineer turns up unannounced to perform the line switchover to sky, we initially thought nothing of it, a few hours without broadband wouldnt kill us. Just to make sure we phoned up sky to get the low down and were told that it was all normal and we should expect broadband back on within 24 hours (1st Lie).

Roll around Monday (48 hours) and still no broadband, another call to sky ensues, this time we are told they cant proceed as the BT line is a business line (2nd lie) and it would be up to 7-8 working days for broadband to be enabled. I phone up BT on the Tuesday (3 days) to confirm what i knew to be correct that our line in fact was a residential line and sky were lying to us. We recieve a call from a very nice manager at sky just after telling us they were still waiting for the new line to be shown as active from BT and that it could be up to 15 days before broadband is active, she was the first person to actually explain what was going on.

We called up again sky in the evening because it wasnt acceptable, after holding for what seemed like eternity and getting thrown between different teams and departments we finally found out what the actual issue was, that one of their sales staff incorrectly processed the order, in fact they were not even supposed to have offered us the upgrade in the first place. As a result our old broadband is still showing as cancelling on there systems (dont ask me why it takes so long to flick a switch and press a button). Now the mind totally boggles between how a simple migrate a line from BT (retaining the old number) turned into a serious lack of communication between teams and how such a grossly negligent mistake was made. The mind also boggles as to why they cant simply start the process of recreating our broadband connection on the new line (we cant keep our old number now) because the system will only allow one process to happen at the same time (and probably only unless you are adding packages like sports or HD). We are told it will be up to 30 days, friends have told us that they were out for 8 weeks when a similar mistake happened (gulp).

In hindsight if it had have been explained to us that we may have had to have gone without internet for a few days or that we couldnt keep our number, then we probably would have gone and said no to the sky salesman. To give Sky a little credit however, they have given us half price line rental for a year and are going to give us the free broadband offer we weren’t eligible for in the first place. its still tempting to try and bill them for accessing BT Openzone during this time as i somewhat rely on internet for a good chunk of my job, but i think that will be a lost cause.

Anyway back to my topic, its Grrr but its actually quite good in a way. This last week I have not been up all hours just mindlessly surfing the internet at all ungodly hours of the day, I have been going to bed at decent times and in some respects have been less reclusive. I really find this a positive as I am feeling more energised each morning (good for cycling but more later) and being less reclusive is always a benefit. perhaps I can find a little more time to post here as I notice i havent been about for a little while (will have to compose thoughts offline and upload when I do have internet). Its annoying not having internet because I cant watch tv on demand and catch up on missed shows, and a large part of my work means for example if a server goes down for whatever reason I need to be online and somehow looking at the problem – my mobile broadband dongle only has so much traffic it can take on the contract for free in a month, I am feeling somewhat relieved that all servers i rent or manage have just about hit there sweet spots in terms of running reliably and well that I havent yet had any issues (big touch wood here).

Last day as a 21 year old today and my GoCycle is good but more on that another day πŸ™‚

Winter is upon us – clothes shopping

well what can i say the clocks have gone back, its now dark when i leave work πŸ™

the gale force winds and lots of rain is back, the big warm coat is firmly attached to my body whenever i step foot outside, topping it all off i got another cold grrr.

next step will be snow, but i dont expect that until about may 2010 based on the previous 2 years experience in london. this sudden cold snap though has meant i have had to evauate my wardrobe somewhat, i need some more jumpers and a proper coat (i didnt have a new one until last week)

this meant i had to do the unthinkable… go clothes shopping! i have to admit as a guy i dont really find much joy in going clothes shopping, i find it too much of a faff to go round lots of shops just finding something thats the right shape, right colour, and at the right price, i like to be efficient and not pay a fortune at the same time.

so last week i find myself wandering down oxford street on my own, getting annoyed at all the tourists that insist on walking at 0.5 mph when all i want to do is get to a few shops take a quick look around and get what i need. i am pleased to say i am still alive, my bank balance is still just about in check, i managed to get a decent winter jacket at a reasonable price, 2 more jumpers and a new pair of trainers as i had worn holes into my old pair.

i think i need a pat on the back for braving oxford street on a busy day in the run up to christmas and coming out alive, this is no mean feat for a guy without the assistance of a female partner! so i am now nice and warm when i go to and from work/uni/anywhere else and i still look reasonably smart at work (it still surprises some!) next time i will take backup!

All Change please!

If your taking a look here and have visited previously, you will have noticed 2 things:

  1. New look
  2. A new post (yes this one!)

well yes you guessed it, i am kind of back! i have been thinking for a long time that i needed to give my site a long overdue update and sort out, even if only to stop the daily emails informing me that there is an update to drupal (the backend of the site)

as my work for Newfrontiers involves a fair amount of web work and the fact that i needed to create some sort of portfolio of my skillset (web and otherwise) having just finished the build of my first official website set to go live within the next week or so (more info later)

i thought about putting it here, sadly my choice of domain name several years ago just didnt feel appropriate (i was just a motorsport and racing game mad kid back then! – to some extent still am!) so my solution…

obviously my new site is still under active development (i only got the domain today!) but i am happy to say that i have my first working instance of the drupal multi-site functionality so only one update to do each time πŸ™‚ so as i obviously have 2 sites now i thought that i need to layout my idea and plan for them.

i want this site to very much remain as my ramblings and other personal stuff, i dont want to say how often i will post (i will try as regularly as i can) and what i will post, but i would like to post anything and everything from my goings on personally, to random geek things i have learned or discovered or just plain random postings.

my other site will very much be a showcase of what i have done and can do so will have content relating to that (so geek stuff mostly!) i dont particularly want to run 2 seperate blogs so i will see how things pan out with regards to how i develop the new site.

this post is already too long so i will cut it short here, i already have a fair few things to say but i figure holding a few things back will give me content when i cant think of any and also build some suspense πŸ™‚