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Glamorous Dubai Remote Office

tech, travel

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Trailwalker 2012

lifeblog, travel

This is easily the biggest physical challenge of my life, Trailwalker, walking 100km non-stop from Petersfield to Brighton. What a stupid idea I hear you say, well yes I guess it is, but all in a good cause. The good cause being Oxfam and the Gurkha Welfare Trust.

As a team, the four of us are taking on this challenge, backed up by our awesome support crew. Who it turns out we wouldn’t have got close to completing it without.

After months of training, aka the odd walk here and there, the odd diversion to a cricket match and the odd rain out, the day came. The night before the start we camped in Petersfield with most of the other peple with early start times. The Gurkha’s put on a BBQ and cultural show, there was an air of nerves, excitement and rain!

Alarms set for 5am, to give time to get up and get some carbs in before the 6am start time. We went off in the first group to give ourselves the most light to walk in. When picking the start time this seemed like a great plan, what we didn’t know then was that the weather was going to be abysmal! Driving sideways rain for the first 8 hours of the walk to be exact. This hit even the most experienced walkers hard, the Gurkha’s talked about how this is the worst conditions they’d seen at a Trailwalker event and their times went down from 8 hours to 11 hours.

Once it stopped raining things got a bit better. Eventhough everything was beyond wet the sun was shining and you could see further than a few meters again. This lifted spirits, spirits were lifted even higher when our support crew returned from the dry cleaners with warm dry clothes for us!

I don’t want to go into too much detail about the experience during the walk, the pain, the emotions, the commitment. If you want to know more about it, ask me, I love talking about it 😉

We finished in around 27 and a half hours, in the top 20 or so percent. Very impressed considering the longest walk we’d ever done in the past was around the 25 miles mark. And most importantly, we raised nearly £2000!

Coming up the finishing straight.

For some reason Che and I are holding Jeff’s walking sticks?!

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Quick Bull Fight Anyone?


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New Bike


As part of the Government’s Cycle to Work scheme I got this:

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Sat Nav Test

tech, travel

So today I was lucky enough to take delivery of a Mio Moov Spirit V505 from Brands2Life. The in car Sat Nav system which as a little quirk works as a built in TV as well, this isn’t something which I’ll be fiddling too much with today though.

Tonight we are driving to London, to a part of London we haven’t driven to before so an accurate Sat Nav will be a lifesaver. First thoughts on the Mio are good, the big buttons make everything easy to do, and I’m sure even easier when driving along! I have already been able to program in the destination for later which saves time, I don’t have a GPS signal in my room to plan the route however, which is no surprise as I struggle for Vodafone signal as well.

As a comparison I will also have my N97 out, to test out the new(ish) free Ovi Maps navigation support. It’s about time this service became free, could this be the thing which clinches the mobile Sat Nav marked? And probably more importantly pushes Nokia users to use Ovi services instead of Google ones… Until now I have always been a Google Maps man so we will have to wait and see how it goes. My main concern is battery life, I some what doubt the N97 can handle 2 hours worth of ‘doing’ without a charge.

So what points will I be comparing:

  • Time taken to plan out the route
  • The planned route
  • Accuracy of route
  • Appropriate warning times
  • Display + Instructions
  • Anything else which comes up

Valladolid – Spain Day 3 Roasting The Stadium


Oh yay its Sunday, the day of rest, the day built for relaxing and doing very little. I don’t know why they have Sundays in Spain, every day seems like a Sunday…

The day started off in a similar way to which the last had finished, with a nice beer. After getting up and stuff we headed to a local Tapas place for food. More details which I can’t remember about, the name of the place we went to and the name for the drink we had. It was basically lager with a load of lemon cordial in it. Very refreshing, perfect for that early drink. The Tapas here was also better than the stuff from the day before (did I mention we had Tapas the day before?), highlight was definitely the croquet style yummyness.

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Quinto’s Shortcut


This morning had to walk down to St Clements to get the bus instead of driving out to Thornhill. Quinto decided to take us the ‘cut through route’. Decide for yuorself:

My route:

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Quinto’s shortcut route:

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It only added just short of half a mile… good result.

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The Good And The Bad Reasons


You’ll know from my constant whinging on Twitter that I’ve been commuting to London recently for work. Today is a new low, terrible weather conditions and heading in. I just tweeted that there were 5 reasons not to go in, and only 1 advocating the idea of going in. So here goes:

Bad Reasons
1) Ice and abandoned cars on M40.
2) Severe delays and a reduced service on buses according to Ox Tube.
3) Radio advising to only make journeys which are vital.
4) It took 5 hours to get home yesterday.
5) I can do almost all my work remotely.

Good Reasons
1) There is one thing I need to do work wise today which requires me being in London, however if this place remains closed (as it was yesterday) this will negate the whole concept.

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Strange Driving Related Stuff

random, travel

Ok so I don’t think I’m very original here, but if I hadn’t seen it yet there is a semi decent chance some of you haven’t either. So I thought I’d share…

I don’t know the origins of this, and I can’t be bothered to look them up right now. But isn’t it funny? If I saw that drive past me I would want a picture of it. In the same way I wanted a picture of the Hummer I walked past earlier that had learner plates on it. Seriously, who learns in a f**king Hummer?

(disclaimer: not a real image)

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Valladolid – Spain Day 2 Exploring A Mexican


I’ve been meaning to finish off these posts and get them up ever since I got back from Spain, it really is time to do so. Over the next few days you will see, hopefully, lots of them going up.

After waking up bright and early, OK stop there, what a lie. Our flight in was delayed which meant we didn’t get into Madrid until very late, and then had a number of hour drive to Valladolid. Luckily Nicko didn’t fall asleep… unluckily Vicko did meaning Nicko had no clue where to go. Funny scenes as you veer across lanes and slip roads. We survived, and got back in time for a beer, but there is always time for a beer, even when its 3.30am.

The plan for the day was to check out a bit of the city, grab some Tapas and head to the pub for some rugby. Sounds like a good plan to me, especially when we added in the siesta and Mexican we were going to have for dinner.

I will talk more about Valladolid tomorrow, as by then we will have had a much more in depth look around the place and actually taken some pictures. For today, I only captured one thing and that’s the Bullring. Unsurprisingly, that’s where they do the Spanish tradition of Bull Fighting. A totally pointless, ridiculous activity (not even going to classify it as a sport), saying that though if there had been any on whilst I was there I would have liked to go. Cultural experience and all that.

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