Perfect timing

With perfect timing, my M.C.C. membership card arrived today. I feel a summer of cricket as well as backpacking coming on!


Web cams

Twiddling my thumbs at work, I thought I would have a quick look at the Ogwen web cams as I will be up there the weekend after next (sorry no links as I’m typing this from my iPhone). Yesterday it was quite clear. Today the cam facing Y Garn is a total whiteout. The one facing Capel Curig showing some serious snow. I guess it will probably melt over the next week or so but I may take my Kahtoola Microspikes if the snow is hanging around. It’s quite handy to have these cams to check on conditions. I’m also enjoying Mick and Gayle’s K2CW walk. Sounds like a bit of a grim day today.

Twilight zone

I find myself in the twilight zone at the moment. I’m at work but not required to do anything in particular. I’ve read the papers and most of The Economist. It’s a strange existence. I’m not used to aimlessness. I’ll have to find something concrete to do tomorrow!


Thank you for all your good wishes. One of the good things about “social media” is the warmth of sentiments expressed in the comments. I am also pleased to report that the attitude of my employers has been constructive, which has made the whole process a lot easier. It’s also heartening to hear from others who have been this way. I’m starting to think about trips I might do this year. I may even apply for next year’s TGO Challenge when the forms come out in October.

Economically inactive

You might have noticed there’s not been much activity lately on this blog. About four months ago, the company I had been working for was taken over. After eleven years of working for one company, the new one was quite a culture shock. I’ve struggled for the past couple of months, becoming increasingly unhappy and stressed.

Today, I gave up the struggle and resigned from my job. While there is some sadness, there’s also an overwhelming feeling of relief. A number of my former colleagues have already gone and I guess I won’t be the last. Fortunately, I won’t be on the streets selling The Big Issue. I’ve been pretty cautious in my career and built up some savings. As befits an economist, I’ve modelled my finances and I’m OK. Not rich but OK.

I still have some loose ends to tie up, but I shan’t be working full-time again. After 30 years of work it will feel odd. I have some plans to try to get some non-executive directorships, doing some community/charity work and possibly doing another degree. I’d like to become the world’s expert in something, not tent mods, before you say it! Most of all I want to spend some time with my family.

So, this is a new chapter in my life. I will have a lot more time for backpacking and blogging. Why “economically inactive”? Well if you don’t sign on, then that’s how you’re classified and I shan’t be signing on!

Cheap space

I am amazed at how much the price of external hard drives has fallen. I’ve just ordered two Western Digital 1TB drives for under £60 each from Amazon. I’m going to use them for offsite storage for backups. Dave (Red Yeti) made a good post about offsite backups. At the moment I’m not keen to use a web-based service, so I’ll back up to an external hard disk and rotate the disks to somewhere safe.

Currently my entire computer is backed up to my home server, which I bought primarily to store my CDs (about 450 ripped so far) but that is no protection against a fire. I will also transfer copies of my ripped CDs as a backup, hence a disk large enough to cover all eventualities. As Dave says, how would you feel if all your pictures were lost. I’m now in extreme disaster planning mode!

iBlogger 2

As you have seen, I’ve been experimenting with iBlogger after reports of glitches in the WordPress app for iPhone. TBH it’s a bit limited. You seem to be able to post only one picture and it’s always at the top of the post. It also takes an age to post. You can’t see comments either. There have been a number of favourable reviews, but I’ve found it a bit disappointing. Hopefully it will be developed further.