I perform magic in my own time.


I perform magic in my own time



Its finally christmas time, that means its gettnig cold and the highstreet tried to be festive. This year we had snow, quite alot of snow compared to normal and we have had a good few snow days already. Image description Outside Image description I planned ahead this year for presents and made sure I knew what I wanted well ahead of time. I bought most of my presents onlne and had them shipped to either my house or my parents, I had wrapping paper plus name tags in. Id like to think I did a good job at giving presents people will love this year, most years I have been involved in secret santas and not had the oppertunity to actually pick out presents for people instead of having random selections.



Probably Rational Ltd. / 2014 / Link

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Motivation is one of the hardest things in my life. Throughout university I have struggled with it, and it hasn't got any better since graduating. At sixth form I had an abundance of motivation, even when times were tough I would regular stay up until 2AM working on projects in my spare time, and always have my work done ahead of deadlines. I don't know what chanced since coming to university but all that motivation is long gone, and these days I struggle to send emails I need too.

I think the problem is competition, I am very driven by the people around me and making sure I keep up with them. At sixth form I had 2 people around me who were equally motivated and striving to keep up with their work ethic kept me going. At university that is not the case, and I often find myself doing the minimum possible and it still being enough.

Photo by Jonathan Simcoe / Unsplash

I think that when I was younger I was also driven by my will to always be learning something new, to always try something different and see how things worked. Throughout university I had less time to learn. I know that sounds wrong, surly university is the place to learn! I thought that was the case, but it quickly became apparent thats not the case where I went. Because of this I had no drive to work on new projects as they did not benefit my knowledge in any way! Recently I have been looking into docker, and this new technology has given me some small bursts of motivation to do things again!

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Memes make things better, right?

Good news


You're a guy, you can't talk about your feelings. /u/80_firebird

Over the last 2 months I have had more good news then my entire life so far, I graduated university with a BA(hons) in Computer Science, I got a well paying job in the exact field I wanted (Web development). And as of yesterday I got a rise at that job, I should be over the moon. Its hard to celebrate alone, and its even harder to think people care about my good news. As much as I want to tell those around me, its just not my "character" to brag or tell people good news, and if I do, its usually shot down anyway.

Me and my flatmate pull in more than most households do there entire life, and we have only just graduated, if we had a kid, they would get the lowest student loan. Its weird how unimportant that seems just because I cant celebrate, instead I will keep it to myself.

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These days I find myself doing nothing, Not because I don't want too, but because I can't start. I know what I need to do, I even know how to do it, But I get caught up browsing social media for hours instead. Its hard to close social media, it feels like breaking a tether, As its the only thing that keeps me from myself, its impossible to leave it behind. Even when a task would only take a few minutes, Even when a task would actually make me happier.

I just cant bring myself to start, to leave behind the false social connection I have.

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Last week my Sony a290 died. Its been on its way out for a long time, I knew I would need to replace it. But there is nothing more sickening to the silence of pressing the power button and nothing happening. I have had this camera for a long time, since Devember 2010. 7 years this camera has lasted me, through all of university, and sixth form. Even helping me get an AS level photography certificate. In that time I have bought 4 lenses, and 2 flash guns for it. I love this camera as much as I loved my Kodak z740, they were both great cameras and served me well. But now its time to look forward, sticking with the sony range, I think a Sony A77ii is a good bet.

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Talking about life is not an easy thing to do. Sure people are "there" for you, whenever you need to talk, but are they really? If you call them up in the middle of the night will they still want to offer that help and support. Even if you do take the jump and trust them, whats to say they wont use it against you, or just not care? Now I'm not saying people don't say what you want to hear, thats fine and good if they do. But sometimes people knock you down on the slightest of things, it may be small to them but it builds up. After years of the same, its just not worth talking anymore.

Its much easier to keep problems enclosed, as at the end of the day, nobody really seems to care. And its less and less worth finding out if people do care. There is just less and less room for error in trusting now.

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Today I start a new job. A job that was organised last minute by a friend at the university. It is a 6 month contract with a security firm just outside of Lincoln, my role would be as a web developer to help fix up, and rebuild their product.

I am bound by NDA to say as little as possible about my role, so I wont go into any more detail than above. Its not important what I do anyway, I sit and write code for a living, its nothing special.

The timing of this offer could not have been better, as I was due to start my masters at the start of September, I don't think I am at a point where I should start my masters, so any excuse to delay it 6 months is fine by me. This way I have time to develop the research topic before jumping into it head first.

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Today is the day I get the keys for my new flat. Unfortunately I don't get to move for another 2 days.

I am excited to finally be out of my old house, over the last few months it has become difficult to live there, and its just not sustainable to live on campus and eat take out every day. I am excited to be able to cook again, and feel welcome in my own home. I will miss this place, for the first 3/4 of the tenancy it was great and I live with people who I enjoyed being around, it was a big house and lent itself perfectly to hosting social gatherings. Although its been 4 months since anything happy has happened here, its nice to try and remember what it was like before. Its just not realistic to think it will ever happen again, the people have moved onto different places and I was not invited.

Hopefully once I am setup in the new place I will be able to find motivation again, to get all the stuff I have let pile up done. I cant remember the last time I sat at my desk and worked in my old house, I cant remember a time where I've spent more than 7 hours in the place since my birthday.

Amsterdam, Netherlands


I have just got back from Amsterdam, spending one night in the city, and a night either side on the ferry there and back. Opting to get the ferry was a choice mostly because of cost but partially because the ferry is cool, and has a bar.

We traveled on the Pride of Rotterdam there, and the Pride of Hull on the way back. Other than the 2 Bars, restaurant, cinema, and three small shops there is nothing much to do on the ferry. Once you loose signal there is nothing to do but relax. The ferry set off 8pm in the evening, and arrived at Rotterdam 8am the next morning, waiting was a bus to go to Amsterdam. Photo by Billy Pasco / Unsplash Once in Amsterdam the first port of call was to find the AirBnB to drop bags off, this was a short train ride from the city, after picking up a 48 hour unlimited train / tram / underground ticket we could go anywhere we wanted. Naturally this was to Rembrandt Square for food, we picked a nice looking steak house with outdoor seating and settled in for the next 30 hours in Amsterdam. After food we walked the streets visited a few bars and a coffee shop, before long it was 4pm and this meant it was time to go to the IceBar. Once of the highlights of the trip was to visit the IceBar, although they have them allover the world this was the first time I have been to one. After that we continued to visit bars around the city until the early hours.

The next day after a lay in we headed out to go on river boat trip, as boring as it sounds its a great way to see different parts of the city without getting lost. Photo by Jace Grandinetti / Unsplash With the little time we had left before the bus arrived to pick us up we had lunch and visited tourist shops for gifts to bring home.

Barcelona, Spain


I traveled to Barcelona, Spain with two colluges from the University of Lincoln to present a paper at EduLearn 2017. 19667917_10211648315915042_2546107273654046402_o



The last 3 months have been hard, the next 2 months will be harder. I feel out of place even in my own home, so I spend most of my time on campus. Atleast there I feel comfortable, I dont feel like im allowed to go home. I miss being able to cook, to watch TV, or just stay at home without having to rush out ealy and come back late. Even when I am there I feel trapped with people around me who dont seem to care, even if I could ask for help, this is not the place for it.

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Its not nice to see it from this side. Its different when its somebody else, it feels wrong. There was so much I could have done to stop it, yet I still ended up ringing 999 in the early hours. They make it seem so serious, and when its not me I agree with them, its important and life changing when im not the one in the seat. When I am the one in the seat its silly and stupid, it makes no difference and nobody is around to stop me.



I last wrote about my dissertation and how I could have done more. I have just wrapped up the final two exams of my academic life, I dont think it is enough for what I had planned. But its definatly too late to do anything about that now. Over the last few months stress is really all thats been keeping me going, as something to distract myself. Now I dont have that.

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Dissertation is now handed in. The total time spend on my work was about 18 hours from start to finish. In that time I developed a syste to remotly monitor and manage robots that run on ROS, and a 7k report on how it all works. As much as I am proud of what I made, and I hope it gets a good enough grade, I cant help but think what I could have achieved if I didnt leave it to the day before. The entire of my life depends on what I just handed in, and I couldnt bring myself to start it intime. Its my own fault for letting things get so bad, but atleast now its out of my hands, with two exams left there is not much I can do to change where this is heading.



I thought I had more people around me, It serves me right for trusting the wrong people. Even when I needed some people the most they turned their backs after so many years. This is perhaps the worst time yet, and its probably only going to get worse.

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Its been one week, and its still a weird feeling. I thought id never have to go through this again, but such is life. It sucks knowing how much this is going to hurt. I just hope I can get through this.

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