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 July 2018

Client work

This past couple of weeks I have been carrying on work for the medical helpline web based software module.

The system now has “Advanced Case Search” and “Merge Cases” functionality.

The “Advanced Case Search” allows a user to search existing cases in detail.

The “Merge Cases” functionality allows the user to merge together two existing cases, picking and choosing the information the user wants from each case to create a new case from the existing cases.

I have been really going to town on this module in terms of the subtle but nice features that make the software easy to use.

One of these features is the “search before create” functionality.

Originally a user would access the case screen which lists all the cases and click “Create” to create a new case.

However as this part of the system will need to be used by support staff who are answering support calls more functionality for this part of the system was needed.

Now when a support user clicks “Create” to create a new case, the user is given a text field to enter the callers name.

After this the existing cases the caller is already potentially a part of is displayed to the support user from which the support user can then use to select an existing case or create a new case.

If the support user creates a new case at this point the support user is then presented with the case create form with the callers name fields already filled in.

If the support user updates a case at this point the support user is then presented with the case update form with the callers existing details already filled in.

This is an improvement from the original separate create case / search case areas that where the support users only option originally.

Now the system has a “case search and create” all built into the same area to make the process quicker for the support user.

Another feature I have enhanced is the “case note” creation form.

On the case note creation form there is a section where the support user can fill out the duration, call received time and call returned time …


I used the Kartik TimePicker plugin for the time-picker input fields …

Originally I thought I could get rid of the duration field as that can be calculated automatically based on the call received time and call returned time.

However the client wants the flexibility of having the duration field there as well so they have option of typing in a duration in minutes or setting the call received time and call returned time.

I built a solution for this that would allow the client to have both.

When the duration is altered it modifies the call returned time in relation to the duration.

When the call received time or call returned time is altered it modifies the duration to match the minutes between the call received time and call returned time.

As well as the above areas I have implemented case lock functionality which allows a user to take ownership of a case which means no other user can edit that case until the owner user clicks save.

Bolsover castle

One of my new goals has been to get out and about more. There is nothing worse than being stuck in week after week so I have started to put some effort into making sure I go out and do something at the weekend.

Recently I have visited Bolsover Castle. Bolsover Castle is a 17th century castle built on the site of a 12th century medieval castle.

Bolsover is not a military style castle but is more of the stately home built in a similar form to a castle.

Some photos from my day out at Bolsover Castle can be seen below …

New car

My Dad bought a new car which gave me the opportunity to purchase his old car of him …


The car is a Renault Clio Mark 4 with alloy wheels, sat nav, cruise control, IPod music player and a diesel engine.

This is the first car I have had which actually seems like a proper car. All the other cars I had before this seemed old because they where old.

My last car had a tape player and no air conditioning which is strange because the car I had before that had a CD player and air conditioning even though it was an older car.

Feels good to have the air conditioning on in this weather as well as the music playing. This car has a much more stylish interior than any other car I have had to date as well.

Losing weight

I have bought up the weight loss a couple of times in the past but this time I am really going for it.

I have modified my diet and I am have made an effort to do more exercise and stick to it. I have lost just over one and half stone so far.

So that concludes what I have been up to the last couple of weeks.