Happy Christmas 2014 & a Happy New Year–Some blog stats

Happy Christmas 2014 and a Happy New Year for 2015 to all my friends and family all around the world!!

With a Thank you to everyone that reads my blog, I thought we should take a quick look at some stats…image

I think this is interesting you can see the Green dots over the past 12 months of the year when I have written (aka Posted) something on my blog. I’ve been pretty consistent this year!image

It seems funny that a lot of strangers come to read my blog about articles I’ve written a long time ago, some as far back as 2007.image

These are the most read Posts & Pages and most viewed photos on m,y blog but over all time so pretty much nearly 10 years. A lot of people come to my blog to read and look at Lotus stuff.image

and where do all my blogs visitors come from….image

Christmas holiday 2014 in Sussex England –Christmas day & end of trip

Sanna and I spent 3 weeks in Sussex with my parents for the 2014 Christmas break. Here are some of the best photos. They might be in a bit of a random order.

This is Christmas day 2014 with all the Bedford family unwrapping their presents., Here’s my old Nan unwrapping a pressie.20141225_140231Father Christmas’s here with my mum.20141225_141859

Christmas day dinner with 13 of us for dinner.20141225_174905_Richtone(HDR)I visited my old friend Mark Akky on boxing day at his house in Felpham, he must have the 4 most well behaved kids I’ve ever met.20141226_131406

The Tea Pot I gave my mum for Christmas and some good quality Twinning’s tea from the Twining’s shop and museum we visited in London.20141226_135832_Richtone(HDR)

I visited my old College in Chichester where I studied Computing for 4 years to do some reminiscing. On the wall I found where I scratched in words.
“Kickass Rulez” Mu old name in Doom and Quake was ‘Kickass’.
”MT is GOD” MT was my old friend Mike Thompson.
”Rumsey is a poof” me taking the piss out of old friend Paul Rumsey.20141227_101457Sanna and I made Jamie Oliver’s big Turkey Wellington again this year like we did for her family last year. It was a great success again and I think came out even better than last year.IMG_20141225_173403

Nicki, Katie and Sanna, having a good chat over a cuppa.20141218_165339

Sanna, Dad and mum in Portsmouth seafront as we took a walk along the ‘Millennium walk’ to Portsmouth’s Gun Warf for shopping.20141219_141511_Richtone(HDR)

Exploring Portsmouth’s old round fort on the ‘Millennium walk’.20141219_142638_Richtone(HDR)

A small harbour in Portsmouth’s gun Warf area, I would think this would be a lovely place to live, but the houses would be expensive.20141219_143659_Richtone(HDR)

On board the HMS Warrior for a Black tie dinner event.20141219_191834_LLS20141219_192002_LLS

Cornish Sharps Doom Bar Ale, a very good beer.20141219_194406_LLS

Before dinner on the old HMS Warrior for dinner.20141219_194550_LLSAll the old tables were set for dinner for the ‘Victorian Christmas; dinner event.20141219_201353_LLS

Sanna enjoying her food as always20141219_203800_LLS

We were free to explore the depths of the HMS Warrior whilst on board, this photo is of Sanna in the engine room level in the base of the old ship.20141219_205807_LLS

Above ship on the main deck, a lovely photo but it was around 0 degree’s when I took this photo, so it felt REALLY cold.20141219_224618_LLS

Joining dad and Grandad in the Nags head in Chichester before the annual Christmas wheelbarrow club event. 20141220_112630-SMILE

The annual event which goes back hundreds of years, the local people dress up in silly clothes and take some presents to the old peoples homes in return for some mulled wine and mince pies.T20141220_113447

There was no sensible answer given to why this guy had a large rocket?20141220_113541

As part of the tradition of the event, Father Christmas pushing the mayor of Chichester in a very old wooden wheelbarrow being joined by traditional Morris dancers. No one really knows how all this started but its over 100 years old.20141220_121805

Sanna trying to make a phone call at the Black Rabbit pub in Arundel.


Another great English Ale, this one called Cocker Hoop.20141223_184313

My nanny Bedford enjoying her TV quiz shows in my parents living.20141224_094711_Richtone(HDR)

My dads alcohol cabinet, full of all kinds of drinks from all over the world.


Visiting my old friend Claire from Bognor Regis for the day, I said she looks similar to the bear Smile20141224_121856_Richtone(HDR)

I hit this Black boxer in the face with my plastic bag to take him down.20141224_123316_Richtone(HDR)

Sanna with Nicki’s little Harry.20141224_153842_Richtone(HDR)

Me Sanna went for a chilly English countryside walk in Slindon with Nicki and baby Harry,20141224_160440_Richtone(HDR)-SMILE20141224_160507

Sanna doing a lot of chilling out time at the family kitchen table to chill out from Cousin Jacks.20141224_182532

My dad and Sanna looking for a drink for Sanna from the alcohol cabinet.


My grandad bought a special Christmas festive jumper for Christmas day.20141225_131152

Father Christmas (my dad dressed up) came toot see the children on Christmas day. Little Katie was scared until after 1 minute she released it was my dad and started saying “Grandad that you”.20141225_135208

Presents giving time with Father Christmas on Christmas day.20141225_135307

Christmas 2014 trip to London

Sanna and I spent nearly 3 days in Christmassy London during our England Christmas 2014 break. Here are some of the best photos. They might be in a bit of a random order.

We are happy to visit London at Christmas time Smile20141215_154833

Here is a nice angle of 2 of the most famous landmarks of modern London, the London eye and Big Ben, lovely winters sky too.20141215_163435_LLS

Sanna and I with the famous Big Ben and the houses of parliament.20141215_172212

We visited the annual Winter Wonderland which is every Christmas in London’s Hyde Park. Its a German style outside winter market with food, drink, live music gifts and rides.20141215_182916_Richtone(HDR)

Sanna enjoying a nice German sussage Smile20141215_184432

Inside German traditional a style drinking hall, its quite amazing this is all temporary and is taken away at the end of Christmas.20141215_190002Outside drinking with live music was fun.20141215_190010

Salmon being smoked on a open wood fire.20141215_190214

A crazy but impressive looking themed ride.20141215_191913

My date for the night Smile


Ice skating on a temporary outside ice skate rink.20141215_200017Sanna booked us to stay at London’s famous Dorchester hotel, one of the most exclusive where the wealthy and famous stay. I don’t want to know how much it cost for the room for 2 nights but for room service a Chicken club sandwich cost £25 $50 crazy!20141215_202341St James park the one right out the front of Buckingham Palace has lots of swans, but Sanna was a bit scared to put her fingers out.20141216_094318_Richtone(HDR)We made a very interesting trip to the famous ‘Tower of London’ The beefeater who gave the tour was very good and slipped in a lot of jokes.20141216_104734_Richtone(HDR)

Map of the tower of London from 1597. There is actually not one tower but 22 on the whole site.20141216_115041_Richtone(HDR)

Old armour looks so heavy to wear.20141216_120458

In the armoury there were lots of very old weapons.20141216_123012_Richtone(HDR)

Hundreds of old rifles.20141216_123033_Richtone(HDR)

and hundreds of swords to project the tower of London.Famous tower bridge.20141216_123106_Richtone(HDR)

Famous tower bridge.20141216_125430_Richtone(HDR)The home of Twinning’s tea, this is where it originally came from. It is now a small museum and shop.20141216_153750_Richtone(HDR)

Lotus London’s showroom in Piccadilly circus has to be the most posh Lotus dealership ever.20141216_174734_Richtone(HDR)

The hotel Dorchester’s corridors to the room were very plush with thick carpets, padded soft walls and antique vases lining the halls.20141216_183625_Richtone(HDR)

We visited the famous Winston Churchill’s underground bunker war rooms from where Winston Churchill and his stall ran England’s efforts during the 2nd world war against Nazi Germany.20141217_112123_Richtone(HDR)20141217_112828_Richtone(HDR)20141217_112847_Richtone(HDR)

This room and BBC outside broadcast equipment was used by Churchill to deliver his famous wartime speeches to the people of England all to the troops all over Europe. 20141217_120303_Richtone(HDR)

The main control room with telephones linking to head generals of the armed forces all over Europe.20141217_122359_Richtone(HDR)

For lunch I had Christmas Ale, it was strong and tasted great, I wish we got beers like this in Australia.20141217_133437_Richtone(HDR)

Lunch was very good with some of the best scotch eggs and caramelised onion relish i’ve ever had.20141217_134217_Richtone(HDR)

We visited the famous Natural History museum. Such a massive museum and all totally free paid for by the government (our tax). It is a  great educational museum to take children.20141217_160139_Richtone(HDR)Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar A T-rex head!20141217_162807_Richtone(HDR)

The museums building has the most beautiful architecture.20141217_173704_Richtone(HDR)The famous and poor Dodo bird is now extinct20141217_175017_Richtone(HDR)

Famous Harrods, all lit up and Christmassy.20141217_180955_Richtone(HDR)

Scones with clotted cream and Jam and a good cup of Tea, how English and yummy.IMG_20141217_141056

Back in the Dorchester hotel, the main reception area felt very Christmassy.20141215_125320_Richtone(HDR)

The large Christmas tree in the foyer of our hotel.20141215_125940_Richtone(HDR)

Sanna wanted to visit Jamie Oliver’s American style Diner in Piccadilly Circus, it was good but not excellent, but wasn’t overpriced anyhow.20141215_134606_Richtone(HDR)

Just by chance we spotted BBC’s Top Gear being filmed in the streets, the Stig was sitting on a  motorised arm chair with two big machine guns sitting out the front being filmed from a Smart car.


The river Thames of course.20141215_162720_LLS

A lovely Winters sky for the evening before we leave to go back to Sussex.20141215_162753_LLS

Christmas holiday 2014 in Sussex England

Sanna and I spent 3 weeks in Sussex with my parents for the Christmas break. Here are some of the best photos. They might be in a bit of a random order.

Kellys Clotted Cream Cornish Icec ream, perfect with homemade apple cake made by the cake expert Sandra. I put this on the Cousin Jacks Facebook page and our customers were jealous Smile


The West Cornwall Past Co. in the UK inspired me to open up Cousin Jacks Pasty Co. in Australia, going back for the first time in 3 years it was good for me to try a lot of their Pasties to compare. Nicki below walking out with a funny face on her.


I know I’m bias, but  Im sure our Pasties are without a doubt better, they look really good though.20141209_134226

A ploughmanslunch my dad made for me, very impressive20141209_182151

Sanna a cold Australian, we went for a walk along Dell quay just south of Chichester.20141212_151708

Dell quay just south of Chichester, it was very cold as it looks.20141212_153855All local food of the West and East Sussex area.20141212_154448

We put stickers on Harrys face for fun Smile20141212_164911

Proper Cornish beer for the family party we had.20141212_175253

A lot of the Bedford family together for a pre-Christmas party20141212_190146

22 members of our family I counted20141212_190357Fireworks are illegal to buy in Australia with out a license but not in the UK,so Sanna had a go at lighting a big 36 rocket barrage, she screamed as she lit it and ran away.20141212_194911

Sanna helping the kids Christian and Alexis with their giant sparklers.20141212_195219We had our own mini real Christmas tree in our bedroom.20141213_071712

The view in the mornings from the upstairs landing from my parents house.20141213_114506

A reunion with a lot of my old friends from England.20141213_155851

The Christening in the local Barnham church of Harry and Katie.20141214_134110Some English Ale beer, Hob Goblin which is a strong beer with lots of flavour.


Stopover in Guangzhou, China

On our way to the UK and we had a quick stopover in Guangzhou, China for one evening and a morning. The hotel we stayed at was right at the international airport, very handy it was and very good.


Sanna was very very tired from the flight from Sydney at dinner.1417955361891

The hotel reception area was very nice!1417956535189

The room had a glass wall in the bathroom to divide it from the bedroom, it was a interesting design. A electric blind could be lowered to give some privacy for the bathroom.1417956625231

Breakfast area was all buffet and had some very decorative chocolate art.20141208_073136

IT Position Suitability Analysis

Something I put together after a coffee with a local IT recruiter the other day. We got chatting about what is the perfect IT position (job), what factors do you need to decide if its right for you? This is especially important to me as a IT contractor where I switch job to job every 6-12 months and you often have to compare if the engagement/project your being offered (or at least to discuss) is better or not compared to your current one.

IT Position Suitability Analysis

With the attached sheet you just simply just rate the position out of 10 for each attribute, 10 being the best. The larger the surface area in the chart, the closer you are top your perfect position! These are the attributes to rate:

1)      Money (as high as possible).

2)      Tech stack (as interesting/new as possible).

3)      The job itself – projects/ops, senior/junior, specialist/generalist.

4)      Commute/ hours logged per week / times of day worked (night shift, changing shifts etc) (the fewer and most convenient the better!).

5)      Length of role / progression opportunities / safety of tenure (the longer the better or the most flexible the better depending on situation).

6)      Culture fit – Social aspect of your team or the company fits with yours.

Here’s the link to the Excel sheet (Excel 2013 .xlsx):

IT Position Suitability Analysis