Fine refunded thanks to Social Networking

£60 parking fine being refunded thanks to a Google+ post. I left my car for a couple of hours for a full valet at the Park Inn hotel in Telford. A month later I received a bill from Parking Eye for £100 (£60 if pay quickly) for parking on the hotel’s car park without paying. As I had no proof of the valet, I decided to pay up. I know many now argue that private fines have no standing and also realise I could have appealed but frankly I did not want the hassle, and these things can drag on Read more […]

Peace of mind for valuables at the gym

I have for some time been concerned about leaving valuables in the locker at my gym (DW Fitness) – not specifically because of any problems reported at the branches I use but because lockers in such locations are clearly vulnerable and there have been reports of gyms being targeted by thieving gangs. There are not many portable lock boxes with movement alarms around. Frankly, this is the only one I found that looked at all substantial in the UK. It is the Xitel mySAFE. I purchased two, one Read more […]

Living in a flat v. living in a hotel

All of my assignments since joining PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting over ten years ago (most of which have been with IBM of course since PwC sold their consulting business) has seen me living in hotels at least three nights most working weeks. Until my last assignment that is. For the last two and a bit years, I have been able to reside in a flat rented on the Marina in Swansea (the photograph shows my view from the patio doors of my flat). Now, whilst Swansea would not be my first Read more […]

A journey to Gym & Swim

I never thought I would say the following … I enjoy going to the gym. I have been going for around a month now, pretty much everyday for at least half-an-hour. I have also often followed a gym session with a relaxed swim. My diet has also changed. I have had practically no really bad food since I started going to the gym. Weight has started to reduce, a few kilos already, and my body shape is changing. The warning These incredible changes have been brought about as a direct reaction on my part Read more […]

You know you have been a consultant too long when

When I first joined PricewaterhouseCooper back in 2001, I was sent a guide on when you know you have been a consultant too long. I happened to see this today when searching for an old email. YOU KNOW YOU’VE BEEN A CONSULTANT FOR TOO LONG WHEN: 1) you refer to the yield of the tomato plants in your home garden as "deliverables"; 2) you can tell the copier repair person at the client site exactly what’s wrong with the machine and what parts need to be replaced; 3) the new client Read more […]

A weekend in Swansea

Last time I rented a flat, I was unmarried and living in Ripley in Derbyshire. The flat was something of a come-down from living in my own home, but I’d had to sell up because of some bad business deals (actually, trusting someone too much – we live and learn). I was at the time working for Butterley Engineering as their IT Manager.Whilst living in Ripley, I met the woman who a year later I married and we moved into a rented house in Hemingford-Grey in Cambridgeshire. After renting and owning Read more […]

Bye bye Marriott

After years of working away most weeks, living in corporate hotels, and generally suffering the ills of such a lifestyle, I have landed on a project that positively encourages you to get out of your hotel and into a flat. No surprises that it saves a lot of money (a hotel room typically costing over £100 per night in most places). When I was doing more traditional consulting (technology strategy type stuff), I tended to have several clients on the go at the same time, or being working for Read more […]