2013 Phase Three

This time last week I wrote about starting the final third of 2013, and what I wanted to be working on with that. Part of that project/phase is to be healthier, and ideally weigh less too.

Because of the change in working location, I’ve had to stop my membership of the gym in Luton, where I was working before. There’s no point in my having a gym that’s 30 minutes away in the wrong direction, and that thus I now wouldn’t be using at all.

I may sign up for a gym in Milton Keynes, as I’m there a lot more often, but I don’t know yet, and I don’t need to decide right now.

What I am doing right now is

  1. Cutting out bread for a while, to see what happens.  I’ve never really done this before, so it’ll be interesting regardless.
  2. Related to one, changing some of the stuff I have while at work, lunches and the like.
  3. Getting out and walking/cycling more.  I went out for a short cycle ride yesterday for the first time in *cough* years, 3 miles in 20 minutes, and I’m hoping that’ll improve pretty quickly.

All told, it can be summed up as “Eat less/better/differently, exercise more.” Whether things will change or not remains to be seen – after all, things only really started yesterday, so there’s some time to be taken yet.

The plan is just to get into a routine on this stuff for the moment, see how it all goes.  I’ve got the plan in my head, but we’ll see how things work out when the real world gets its ass involved.

2013 : Final Third

So here we are, the start of September. Which means we’re two-thirds of the way through the year. Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun?

For me, the first two thirds of the year have been more about staying stable, getting stuff done, getting things in place and ready for whatever comes next. It’s been pretty successful: I’ve got through the bankruptcy period,, I’m pretty settled on location and house for the moment, and  I’ve changed jobs, with all the fun that entails. (Oh, and got some pretty good contacts and future opportunities from people within ex-employer)  It’s looking pretty positive.

But now it’s time to step things up a bit. There are things I want to do, or at least want to start, and see how they work out. The plans and ideas are there, but now it’s implementation time.  (Yeah, I know, heard it all before)  I’m not saying they’ll all work, I’m not even saying they’ll all get out of the starting gate – but I want to at least try.

For this next period there’s really three main projects going on, alongside the general gradual development/sorting of finances, which is now just an ongoing process. The other three are :

  1. Health / Fitness
  2. Project Development
  3. Writing

Pretty self-explanatory, I think. But a bit more detail…

Health / Fitness

One of the goals for 2013 has been to improve fitness, improve health, and lose weight. So far it’s kind-of happened, but not properly. I’ve been going to the gym, but it’s not really working for me – and even less so when it’s now in the exactly opposite direction to where I’m going for work…  So it’s time to rethink (again) and get back into doing something. I’m not yet sure what it’ll be, we’ll see. There’s a couple of ideas, anyway.

Project Development

As always, I’ve got some ideas for some web-based businesses. I think I’ve now got the overall plan, so it’s time to see how things work out. The primary ideas are all based round a particular theme this time, so who knows, it might actually work out. I’m aiming to get the main sections for the first significant project written by the end of the year. Maybe more, with a bit of luck, but I’d like to be ready to get it launched in early 2014 and see where things go from there.


Similar to the above, I’ve got two ideas that I want to get into some kind of shape over the next four months. I think that’s a reasonable timescale. We’ll see.

So yeah, the next four months ’til the end of the year should be quite interesting. That’s what I’m hoping, anyway…





It’s now been confirmed that I’m gainfully employed in a long-term contract from Tuesday 27th August. It’s a six-monther, based in Cambridge, and stands to pay me more than a year with my previous employer – and that’s before taking into consideration the expenses thing and so on.

Going through this whole process again has been really good for me, as it turns out. I was beginning to wonder whether I was still in the right place/industry, and while those doubts still remain to a degree, at least my own personal confidence has been somewhat restored.

All told, the events for this last month have been :

  • 17th July : Made redundant
  • 19th July : Last day of employment
  • 22-29th July : Week off, no CVs sent out etc.
  • 29th July – 4th August : Send out some CVs, talk to some agencies
  • 5th August – Phone Interview with Company X
  • 7th August – Interview with Company Y, with immediate job offer and immediate start for a short-term contract
  • 12th August – Interview with Company X.
  • 13th August – Phone Interview with Company Z. Job offer from Company X. Interview offer from Company Z

So – two face-to-face interviews, both of which have led to work.  One further phone interview, leading to face-to-face interview.

It took me three weeks (including a week off) from notice of redundancy to getting work. I could’ve done it quicker, most likely, but I took it slow and was wanting something that I wanted to do, rather than just whatever comes next.

All told, I’m really quite chuffed with that.

Year One

As of today, I’m no longer technically in bankruptcy. (Which is a weird word to type, but that’s something else entirely)

I declared myself bankrupt a year ago today, and that discharges automatically after one year, other than in exceptional circumstances. Basically, if the court decides you’ve been obstructive, or untruthful – or you’ve continued to build debt while in bankruptcy, or done anything else seriously stupid – they can extend the period of bankruptcy, but I’ve not done any of that, so it expires today.

There’s still a long way to go before it’s completely expunged from the record – another five years, in fact – but regardless, this is a milestone. (Rather than the millstone that the debts themselves were)

I’m still paying what I can afford for the next two years too. Once that’s done, it’s about rebuilding properly – for one thing, the amount I’m currently paying through the court system can go into a savings account. I haven’t missed the money, so I might as well keep paying it, but for my benefit rather than anyone else’s.

Bankruptcy isn’t an easy process, it’s not one I’d wish on anyone else. But it’s also not the great stigma on one’s character that it used to be, and while it’s not The Answer, it most certainly is An Answer.

For my own life, I’m glad I made the decision to go down this route – not that there were many other options, to be honest – because it’s allowing me to start again, to build up from those solid foundations that the last year has let me build.


Somehow, D4D™ has now made it to its eleventh birthday. I never expected it to do so, but I can’t deny, I’m actually fairly proud that it has.

Events over the last eighteen months have meant that the writing here has slowed down, and lost its frequency (and in some ways I feel it’s also lost its way a bit) but I’m going to see how we do over the next year, and wait ’til this time next year to see what happens.  I might close it down, I might just keep it with irregular updates. Right now, I just don’t know.

The last couple of years have been – interesting, I think it’s fair to say.  D4D’s been through that time with me (well, obviously) and will continue to do so, I think. There’s still a long way on this old journey, and I think/hope the next year (or two) is going to be instrumental in whatever comes next.


This last week has involved getting quite a lot of stuff organised, and it’s felt pretty successful, to be honest.

Among other things, this week I’ve

  • Sorted out the Car Tax for the next 12 months
  • Paid a power bill that nPower had totally screwed up (and that’s the subject of an ongoing fight/complaint)
  • Halved the cost of my car insurance from the start of September (and raised a complaint regarding the amount I’ve been paying for the last six months)
  • Sent out CVs and organised interviews for the coming week
  • Organised myself (and a fair amount of my life) for the coming month
  • Started a couple of new projects, both techie ones and writing ones
  • Generally sorted out a whole load of things, most of which aren’t overly relevant to D4D™ or worth writing about, but are worthwhile for me to sort out
  • Even made time for lunch with the parents!

So all told, it’s been a pretty good week. In some ways the last twelve months has felt like being in Limbo, waiting for things to pass/happen, and that’s been OK. But with the changes of the last couple of weeks, as well as things that’ll be coming to pass at the end of this week, it’s now time to get my ass back in gear, and start figuring out what’s next.

Week One

For the first time in ages, I’ve had a proper week off, following on from the changes with my employment status. While I was there, my email never really turned off (partly through my choice, partly through knowing there was no-one else to support the things I’d written) so in some ways it never felt like ‘holiday’ or ‘leave’. Work always intruded, emails to answer, and even phone calls for assistance on a few occasions.

This week though has allowed me to properly slow down, relax a bit, and get on with non-work stuff.

Yes, I’ve been sending out CVs and so on – and also paid a final visit to the Devon office to say “bye” properly to people, rather than just disappearing into the ether – but it’s still been a very pleasant piece of time, and helped by it being some of the best weather we’ve seen in a year or more.

The search for work will kick up again on Monday, plus there’s quite a few I’m waiting to hear back from, and I’ve already got a couple of interviews lined up, so we’ll see how things go.

For the moment I feel pretty optimistic about the entire thing. That might change over the next few weeks if nothing serious comes up, but for now I’m quite chilled and optimistic. It’s all a bit ‘wait and see’, which usually does my head in, but for now I’m OK.

We’ll just have to see how things work out.