November 2018

Quit smoking

Finally got round to sticking a nicotine patch on and getting myself some nicotine gum.

I have attempted this in the past but always had the odd cigrette which led me back to smoking again.

This time I have decided to just stick to the patchs and the gum and not have any cigrette at all.

I figure if I can break the habit of wanting a cigrette in the morning or after having something to eat then it would be a good start.

After I have broken the actual habit I can reduce the amount of nicotine content by lowering the nicotine amount on the patches I buy.

Losing weight

Weight has remained steady over the last month. I have lost 2.5 stone so far in the last 6 months.

I have still got to lose about the same amount of weight again to reach my goal.

Since quitting smoking I have noticed a marked improvement when going on my treadmill.

I can now go at speeds I have never been able to go at before and also I am not out of breath when I finish my treadmill session which ultimately means I could remain on the treadmill for longer if time was not a consideration.

Client work

Managed to secure myself some nice client work.

I cannot say much about this particular client work as I am under an NDA however it has to do with creating a medical software web application.

I am building this system mainly using Javascript with some HTML and PHP.

October 2018

Losing weight

I have lost 3 pounds in the last month. Technically I should lose more than this in a month however I have not stuck to my treadmill and diet as much.

Hope to get back on track with both the treadmill and diet this month.

Client work

I have taken on some client work making changes to an existing website. I am also in the process of securing a new long term client.

Removal of old blog reduced traffic

I wondered whether the removal of my old blog would reduce the amount of traffic to my website.

For those of you who do not know I use to run an old blog which had around 50 posts in it.

Since the removal of the old blog my website traffic has halfed although I am not too fussed about this as most of the traffic was not converting traffic anyway.

Warwick castle

To get out and about I decided to visit Warwick Castle. It was a good day out but probably would have required 2 or 3 days to see everything.

I enjoyed various aspects of the visit however in my opinion Warwick Castle seemed a bit to commercialized for me.

I prefer the old style feel but most of the visit seemed like a visit to Alton Towers with the tour being specifically guided and the interior style of the tour being more what the castle was like in the 1900’s feel.

Some towers where converted to be a video tour rather than actually leaving the tower in its original form and most of the castle interior was not accessible to the public.

Also although I did not visit all of the eating establishments they seemed to be more for children than adults for example an “Italian Restaurant” was actually more like a buffet that you would find in a secondary school canteen.

Meeting with business advisor

Had a meeting with my business advisor at Friar Gate Studios.

It is always nice to pop in for a chat with my business advisor we sit in the Bean Cafe and talk about various aspects of my business.

I like the feel of the Bean Cafe and visiting gives me the same feel I use to feel when I use to go to University.

Obviously freelancing from home can get stale so every visit seems throbbing with the professional feel.


Added a new “Regular” category to the leads section within Toolkit my internal business management tool which I created myself.

The “Regular” category is used to store client leads that I deal with regularly, basically ongoing client contacts.

I have also altered the reports in the system to accomodate the new category.

September 2018

Client work

I finished the work I have been doing for the helpline module and handed the work over to the client.

The client is happy with the work I did so all is good from that perspective.

Since that time I decided to have a couple of weeks off work whilst I wait for the next project from a different client.

I was suppose to be moving onto quite a large project but the new client has not got the go ahead for the large project yet so the new client has provided me with some smaller work whilst I wait.

Losing weight

As part of my couple of week holiday I fell a bit behind on my exercise and diet and managed to put on a couple of pounds.

These activities have now been resumed and I hope to shave some more weight off very soon.

Jodrell Bank Observatory

As part of my effort to get out and about more I decided to visit the Jodrell Bank Observatory located in Lower Withington, Cheshire, United Kingdom.

The observatory houses a number of radio telescopes with the main telescope being the Lovell Telescope which is the third largest steerable radio telescope in the world.

Mid August 2018

Client work

Carrying on with helpline module I have been doing lots of refactoring for the up and coming handover of the project.

Also I have been creating update actions for both case notes and case alerts.

A user can click on the edit pencil icon next to case note or alert, an edit form appears at the bottom of the alerts or notes and the screen scrolls to the edit form.

When the user has finished editing the alert or note the screen scrolls back to the alert or note.

I have done a major refactoring of the case merge section to now use a special case merge model which handles the validating and saving of the case merge action.

This has reduced the number of lines in the case merge controller significantly.

I have currently got another project with a different client in the pipeline so I will be starting that in the near future.

Losing weight

I have now lost a total of 2 stone since starting my weight loss program.

For those who do not know I have done this by exercising on my treadmill at least 4 days a week for 1 hour. I do not run on my treadmill but walk at a moderate pace.

As well as this I try to stick to around 100 – 120 carbs per day. I have some “off” days maybe once or twice per week but I generally stick with it.

I notice that by having a lower carb diet the diet naturally becomes lower in calories except that it is made up of foods that actually keep you fuller for longer. So the lower carb diet has been a win all round.

August 2018

Client work

Refactoring, refactoring and more refactoring. Continuing on with the client work I have been doing quite a bit of refactoring lately for the helpline case module.

I have been making sure all the code is commented, all the function parameters are type hinted and have return types as well making some of the functions more streamlined and have less lines of code.

One particular function I have refactored was quite large due to the nature of what the function was designed to do.

The function was a huge form designed which works with 4 database tables and is used to merge 2 helpline cases together into 1 new helpline case.

The function also shows and works with different database tables and shows or hides certain fields depending on the type of helpline case as the helpline case can have a number of different types.

I streamlined the code to half the number of lines of code the function contained.

Other than this I have been working on the update button on the helpline case datagrid.

When a case is locked I have implemented access rules to stop the case being accessed by any other user other than the owner of the locked case.

It only made sense that when a helpline case is locked that the update button needs to greyed out and become un-clickable to all users that do not have access to the case.

So I have implemented this functionality and used ajax so that the button updates in real time.

I have also recently started implementing the case alerts.

Alerts are messages that can be given a date range, when a user enters a case if there are any alerts for that case the user will be informed and can view the alerts.

Garden furniture

It has been hot recently. So to sit outside and enjoy a cup of tea I decided to buy some garden furniture …

I actually bought 4 chairs and a table from B&Q costing a total of £85.

Cleaned car show photo

Hand cleaned my new car this month …

Updates to Toolkit

I have updated my personal business management system I call Toolkit.

I have built a new set of reports on the project level and a new set of reports on the client level.

The reports show a break of time and earnings over various periods of time.


I have continued using PHPStorm and I am liking it the more I use it which is strange for me as I use to prefer the smaller text editors with less functionality than a full blown IDE.

However some of the features really come in handy such as the ability to automatically generate “use” statements, generation of code comments, code completion, code structure viewer and error reporting.

That just about sums up what I have been doing the last couple of weeks.