Cover Image for Who I’m Voting For In The 2024 General Election

Who I’m Voting For In The 2024 General Election

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Before I tell you who I’m voting for in the 2024 General Election, if the cover hasn’t given it away, a reminder of what I believe in. I Am A Liberal I am a liberal. I believe in social liberalism – the right to live your life how you want to, to be free to make the choices within the construct of society (ie you are not free to not pay tax, for example) and law (ie you are not free to steal, etc). I believe in personal responsibility – you have freedom but also you are responsible for your …

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James Went To Liechtenstein

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It was was time for a day trip to Liechtenstein – the smallest country that I have been to. Just the 6th smallest country in the world. Let’s see if I can write this in the time it takes to get from Basel to Strasbourg, for the next stage of my adventure. Doing some research beforehand, a lot of Swiss people seem to think going to Liechtenstein is weird – because there is little there, and what there is there are better versions of in Switzerland (ie mountains, forests, galleries, etc). So I went with the idea that maybe I’d …

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James Went To Bilbao

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Why Bilbao? We kind of picked Bilbao at random – it was to be the first holiday with my folks since 2018-ish. Somewhere not too expensive, somewhere walkable, somewhere with good food, and hopefully good weather in June. Ah. The rain in Spain falls mainly in Bilbao? Actually it poured down elsewhere in Spain, and was more intermittent in Bilbao, but hey, I wanted sunshine. Something About Bilbao It likely won’t have missed your attention that some places in Spain are protesting about “mass tourism”, which possibly boils down to not building enough homes for locals – Ibiza is a …

I realised that I’ve been meaning to finish this post about Málaga for 6 months now…and I’m about to go to España once more. Last October I moved to Spain. Alas, only for 4 ish weeks until my flat purchase completed, but it was an opportunity to live one of my dreams. Most of the time I stayed down the coast in Benalmádena, but I did also spend a week in Málaga, and had multiple evenings there too. Why not?! Doing Tourist Stuff I always used to have Málaga down as being a bit basic – an association due it …

It’s time to think about a long term plan. I’ve clearly got my shit together. I have a career and I’m reasonably well paid – well paid enough for a £1,438 a month mortgage and several holidays a year. Also I’ve lost weight and I’ve had a quote to sort my teeth out. In 6-9 months time I might even feel comfortable enough to smile – and go onto dating apps. Yet there is a cloud looming over the horizon. Artificial intelligence. Though with thanks to Google Photo’s AI for filtering my photos to find those of clouds. Could AI …

Why has it become so hard to find good new music recently? I don’t want to be one of those middle-aged blokes who drone on about how music was better in my day – just 2-3 years ago there was plenty of music to excite me. Why am I unable to find good new music now? It’s not for the lack of effort. On an average week I guess I consume 100+ tracks that I’ve never listened to before on YouTube (mostly). These are found mostly from combing DJ set lists, a few radio shows by the likes of Hessle …

And finally I start writing about my holiday to Palermo, in Sicily. I’ve got into this groove of going away late March, to celebrate the end of my detox, and also to try to find some warm sunshine. In 2022, there was no shortage of sunshine in Las Vegas and San Diego. In 2023 there was likewise no shortage of sunshine in Malta. Yet there is no guarantee of warm sunshine anywhere in Europe in late March…it needs a bit of luck, and a good weather forecast. Having just had a sudden stratospheric warming, I thought this ruled out Spain …

Those that know me well know that I’ve had my ups and downs over previous decades – not depression, but I’ve had some emotional struggles at times. But it’s kind of struck me recently that actually, I feel like I’m achieving emotional stability. What happened? Having My Own Space Holy cow, having my own flat, my own space – being able to do what I want to do, when I want to do it, is so refreshing. I can play music when I want to, at the volume I want to, do the washing up the next day (or never …

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Beating The Match.com Promotion

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I was reminded of this exchange with Match.com recently, and realised that I had never posted it. Basically, back when I thought I was vaguely dateable, circa 2017 (and I didn’t even own property back then), I came across a special offer from Match.com which was that if I didn’t have a girlfriend by Valentine’s Day, then I’d get a full refund. Challenge accepted! How hard could it be to still be single 6 months after signing up? Refund Request to Match.com Dear Match I succumbed during a weak moment of loneliness around a year ago into signing up for Match.com. I …

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Welcome to Croydon

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Another one of those posts that I meant to write a long time ago – like 4 months ago, but hey, Welcome to Croydon. I arrived in November, after living in the south of Spain for nearly a month. Once the initial wonder of actually having my own place settled in, albeit I’d had my own place(s) in Spain for the previous month, I was wondering around in the cold and dark, wondering what kind of place Croydon was. I was a little unnerved – appreciating the M&S within walking distance, but really missing Spain. Christ, what am I doing …

Cover Image for Detox Is Over…Long Live Retox

Detox Is Over…Long Live Retox

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Detox is over…long live retox. The feeling is a bit like moving into my flat…phew…it’s over. What took it so long? Yet it officially ended on Monday, and it took me two days to celebrate it. At first I really wasn’t feeling it. The first few weeks of January I was pretty miserable – memories of 4 weeks in Spain were long gone, the weather was cold and crap, bills were flooding in, I didn’t do as much as usual – little in the way of trips to theatre, etc – and I couldn’t have a beer. It almost put …

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How Many Holidays Could I Have In A Year?

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Back in September, when I was on the beach in Gandia, I started to think how nice it would be to have one week’s holiday every single month. Alas, 5*12 does not go into the 25 days’ holiday allowance that M&S offers. So how many holidays could I have in a year? Definition Of A Holiday I guess we need to start by defining a holiday. I think it needs to be some stay away from home, which isn’t my parents home, for a minimum of 2 nights.. So a weekend in Devon, staying Friday and Saturday night is a …

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2024 Goals

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Yay it’s one of my favourite blog posts of the year – that of my 2024 Goals. I try to ensure that I can track every one of these goals, yes I do have too many spreadsheets and keep too much data. I should get out more, but also I now have an expensive flat so I shall go out less. There’s only so much I can do in a year – this is to try to ensure that I get maximum enjoyment out of life, but also improve my conditions so that I can continue to enjoy life even …

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Review Of 2023 Goals

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So in 2022 I managed a 61.6% success rate in terms of reaching my goals – could I beat it in 2023? Time to review and see how I did: Health Lose 12kg. Well I actually lost weight in 2022. Not quite 12kg, but 6kg. Happy with that. 50% success. Do 3 forms of exercise that are not walking. Lol, maybe in 2024. 0% success. Get some data on my health. Well I’ve started measuring my blood pressure. 33% success. Find out what sorting my teeth out will cost. I did send an e-mail to a private dentist but didn’t …

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23 Moments Of 2023

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Welcome to my moments of 2023 – as usual these are not highlights, though most of them are. They are the most important moments of 2023 in my life. I achieved some pretty whopping things in 2023 – bought a flat, left Harrow, spent 6 weeks in foreign countries including living there. And I damn well enjoyed quite a lot of it. However, it all has to be taken into context with the first of the 23 moments, and pretty much the first thing that happened in 2023. 23. Heart failure So my sister took herself to hospital on New …

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Favourite Things Of 2023

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So I thought I’d do a little collection of my favourite things from 2023. Starting with food, because, well, it’s like the most super important thing ever. It really is. Believe it or not, I need food more than I need holidays. Favourite Restaurant Meal I’ve ticked off quite a few restaurants this year, not as many as I’d like to as my socialising tends to be focused around the Sunday roast. Some of them are pretty ordinary yet good, like Honest Burgers, Brindisa, Ceviche, others a little disappointing like Steak & Co or German Gymnasium. Butchie’s did some amazing …

It feels like ages ago, though was only towards the end of October, in the week before the clocks went back, that I went to Benalmádena. Why Benalmádena? Well, I needed somewhere fairly cheap to stay as I was being evicted from my old place, and the flat I was buying in Croydon was still 2, 3, 4, 178, fuck knows weeks away from completion. An Airbnb in London was like £100 a night, an Airbnb on the Costa Del Sol was £40 a night. I expected to be 3-4 weeks in Spain at a minimum, so I needed somewhere …

Well I thought I might be completing on the flat today, but c’est la vie or whatever the Spanish translation is – esta la vida? Instead I’m stuck in my Spanish limbo for a little longer. Oh no, hot Spanish women, glorious sunshine and 21’C, you may think. And you are right. But it hasn’t all been full of joy. I keep having to remind myself – I’m still doing my 9-5 – I occasionally start getting carried away with excitement then have to stop myself. Plus I was on call one week, and we were on high alert too …

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James Went To Gandia

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There’s going to be a few of these. James went to Gandia. James went to Valencia. James went to Benalmádena. James went to Malaga. Who knows, I might even get some more places ticked off by time my solicitors and the management company decide that I can buy the flat that I put an offer in for 7 MONTHS AGO. Firstly, don’t go to Gandia. The city, that is. I had a wander through Google Street View before we went on holiday, and crowned Gandia as the “Slough of Spain”. And then I found out a TV programme that was …

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Two Flights Cancelled & An Eviction

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This is Watford County Court. You have been evicted from Harrow. Please leave the damp, grotty house. I had a great September. Honest. I really enjoyed it – had some gorgeous tapas before I even went to Spain, a fun day out in London for my sister’s birthday, a fun and drunken work do, visits from the parents, watched Crazy For You in theatre, had one excellent roast dinner, a long walk in the gorgeous summer sunshine (wasn’t the weather great to start the month) and went to see the only politician I can stand nowadays, Rory Stewart, at the …

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