Between Eastbourn and Beachy head

We have just spent 3 days at a 5 van certified location on a farm on the south downs between Eastbourn and Beachy head.

On a very still day we had a fantastic walk along the south downs way from Eastbourn via beachy head over the seven sisters to Westdean, and the bus back. A very good walk but a lot of ups and downs for a old Lincolnshire couple

Eastbour is a lovely large town with a fantastic promenade, gardens,smart hotels and a pier. The area is exceptionally clean and tidy, no rubbish or vandalism. But the best thing is the vast number of memorial benches all along the front, ideal for coffee breaks and lunches somewhere we will visit again.

Like of the day

At Eastbourn there is always a seat to have a cup of coffee and look at the view

Classic Quote

I know I smoke a bit, but I don’t drive on the M25 or eat at a Subways

Dislike of the day

Seagulls in the middle of the night

Public Information

As a young man it is very good to marry a younger woman. But remember they are very expensive to keep as you grow older, as they don’t get free bus travel or senior discounts at attractions as soon as yourself.

New Anime Series- Black Star Rock Shooter the Series

First Episode Review for: Black Star/Rock Shooter the Series

Summary : Girls in a normal high school have alter egos in a dark and sinister dimension that battle it out to determine the hearts of the girls in our world

Animation : The animation is mixed, the real world is just ordinary quality, but they have kept Black Star’s world up to the amazing quality of the original OAV (with an extra watercolour feel)

Plot Potential: I know this is at heart only another alternative personality in an alternative world anime, but it just feels as if its more going for it than normal

Characters: Oddly enough this might be the animes week spot, the good guys are a bit shallow, the bad guys more than make up for that (the girl in the wheel chair nearly made me hide behaind the sofa)

Music: A lot of piano tootling, but good rocking tunes to go with it

Reminds me of: hmm tough one, I think it’s going to be a somewhere between Angel Beats and Rozen Maiden

Overall: I have been waiting for this series to start for ages, and it really does not disappoint, its flipping awesome

Disclaimer: These are mini reviews of anime’s that are fresh out in Japan and are not licensed in the UK, buy them once they have been licensed or at the very least buy the merchandise, remember if the anime makers make a loss, THEY WILL STOP MAKING ANIME!!

My New Time managment System

Now recently there have been quite a large number of changes in the work I do and how I do it, my old system of crazed caffeine ridden keyboard hammering just was not cutting it, and I started detecting in myself the first symptoms of Burnout (but not due to over work, just due to bad organisation), clearly I wanted a very simple system to manage my time, something that just lets me work thought my clients requests in a way that delvers timely responses without waste and still lets me keep a grip on making sure I do not run my self into the floor (which would be no use to anyone)

After a good search round the net I choose the Pomodoro Technique

Which basically consists of:

  • Choose a task to be accomplished
  • Set the Pomodoro to 25 minutes (the Pomodoro is the timer)
  • Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings, then put a check on your sheet of paper (or in my case PomLife for android)
  • Take a short break (5 minutes is OK)
  • Every 3-4 Pomodoros take a longer break (15-20 mins)

    This looked perfect for me, as I tend to work off a liner task list for multiple clients ordered by if I’m ‘on site’, priority and due date/time, and it does not add any over head to the paperwork,

    In addition there are a number of studies that indicate that the human mind can only REALLY concentrate for 5-6 hours per day ( I don’t have formal references for that), this means that I aim for a minimum of 10 Pomodoro per day and a max of 12, now that does not sound much, a total of 250-300 actual mins work a day, but its not “at work” time but rather “exam level concentration” time, and I’m finding that I am worn out after doing this for a day, managers might want their staff to work like this for 8+ hours a day but frankly the human brain in general is not capable of this day in day out, where at this level I can provide excellent service comparable with a 10+ normal working day.

    I’m finding it also gives you a definite indication of how hard you are working (rather than just pottering around and thinking at the end of the day, “What have I Done?”) as I dont use my Pomodoros for stuff like reading emails, meetings and such, the only down side I have found is clients perceptions, they tend to think “oh, I only need to pay for 5 hours if that’s all your working” or that 5 hours elapsed is the 5 hours of concentration i.e. I should have done a full days work by 1.00pm, but still I’m getting more stuff done than ever before and that is a good thing for both me and my clients

    Update After a few days of using the system in anger, I am now including meetings and normal day to day tasks like email and client admin in my time allocations, but batching them up to into 25 min segments at the beginning and end of the day, rather than the constant interruptions they normally are this is saving me tons of wasted time and meaning that clients can now cope with the system as a method of keeping track of time, all this means I now do between 16 and 20 Pomodoro per day End Update

Old Comments

Andrew Magerman(22/03/2012 13:01:08 GMT)

Hi Mark,
I also use a pomodoro-system and it is unbelievable how more efficient you become when using this.

Another methodology that has worked very very well for me (and de-stressed me completeyl) is GTD, Getting Things Done. eProductivity make a replacement for your Notes Mailfile which I can also recommend. In any case, order the book, it’s one of these rare self-improvement books that isn’t utter nonsense, if you momentarily forgive the american hyperbolae ‘e.g. a dramatic paradigm shift which will revolutionize…’

It’s kind of complementary – one of the messages is that basically, you need to stay on top of the list of things you have to do to be relaxed, and to be able to communicate to your clients what are realistic delivery dates. When asked ‘When can it be by’, I used to be unable to recall all the other things I was supposed to do, then I would give an unrealisically estimate, and then, shock horror, discover other things I had to do.

Regarding your productivity, getting rid of the interruptions is key. And I would never ever go into the discussions with clients about ‘I am paying you only the time you are really productive’. When I look around me when at clients, it’s shocking to see how badly resources are allocated. Just the time spent in meetings is enough to make me cringe. They pay for your presence. The occasional bursts of creativity more than make up for the hours of unproductive scratching.

Heard your taking notes podcast, well done sir!


Brighton 11/3/12

We have just had a 8 day stop over in Brighton, based at the caravan club site, which is situated 2 1/2 miles from the centre of town and 1/2 mile from the marina

The marina is a fairly new and very big development, with a large boating marina, apartments, shops, cafés restaurants,cinema and 24 hour asda all very nicely done.

Brighton its self is much larger than I thought, with all the well known shops and a lot of the expensive brands with restaurants and bars in abundance It has a typical Victorian prom and pier with hotels facing the sea The best building is the Royal Pavilion built by George iv as a summer pad it is way over the top in décor it was sold by queen Victoria as it is so public. well worth a

Show Review

Show Review

Dreamboats and Petticoats the musical

Theatre Royal Brighton

This is a musical set in 1961, based in a youth club where a group of teenage friends love music and the opposite sex. The story follows 2 young people on there quest to write a song for a competition. It is in a similar format to Mama Mia where the songs are the story using Rock and Roll greats from the early 60’s. It is a fantastic feel good show which by the end of the performance has everyone stood up with sore hands from clapping and big smiles on their faces

Likes of the day

A crepe with orange and grand marnier with a scoop of vanilla ice cream

Sons who give you big cigars

A good friend who buys you a 1ltr bottle of Metaxa brandy

New Anime Series- Nisemonogatari

First Episode Review for: Nisemonogatari

Summary : A quite reasonable guy (for anime hero standards) who’s world seems to be filled with only strange women and who seems to be a vampire of some sort, who knows other supernatural creatures and sometimes gets kidnapped tries to live his life (look don’t ask me I’m as confused as you are) but does all this strangeness have something to do with his possessive sisters?

Animation : Washed out and highly detailed but strangely abstract, like a modern artist was put in charge of a world filled with normal people

Plot Potential: Sodded if I know at this stage, but there are references to other anime so I suspect it will be a parody of some sort

Characters: Strangely formal but hugely endearing characters, all highly philosophical but innocent with it

Music: A lot of adding music to speeches for dramatic emphasis, the opening theme is very catchy

Reminds me of: An even odder Mawaru-Penguindrum (but with less humor)

Overall: This series started with a total WTF!! moved to a section that contains lots of WTF, but thankfully only ended in confusion, I think I need to watch more
EDIT: episode 2 makes more sense but its still a potty series


Disclaimer: These are mini reviews of anime’s that are fresh out in Japan and are not licensed in the UK, buy them once they have been licensed or at the very least buy the merchandise, remember if the anime makers make a loss, THEY WILL STOP MAKING ANIME!!

New Anime Series-Smile PreCure!

First Episode Review for: Smile PreCure!

Summary : The merchandise engine that is the PreCure brand pumps out another series, this time books seem to be the cause and cure to all the worlds evils

Animation : In the old days I would fear for the phosphor in my TV, now-a-days I’m just worried that my graphics card is designed to show that many vivid colours at once, on the plus side the animation is quite good even if the bad guys look half finished

Plot Potential: Same as all the PreCure, battles between innocence and evil in its most monochrome and pure form (with accessories for you to buy)

Characters: Too stereotypical to even look normal in an anime, the main characters look shiny and plastic to the point of disbelief

Music: All I can hear is “tinkle tinkle”

Reminds me of: The original PreCure (well it doesn’t actually remind me of it much but it would be good for you to go and watch it if you have not)

Overall: I remember the original PreCure (which makes me a very old man) and that had plot and even a serious couple of episodes, this one is just bouncy bouncy, but that makes it an ace background no stress anime

Disclaimer: These are mini reviews of anime’s that are fresh out in Japan and are not licensed in the UK, buy them once they have been licensed or at the very least buy the merchandise, remember if the anime makers make a loss, THEY WILL STOP MAKING ANIME!!

Site Review

Site Review 4/3/12

Rutland caravan and camping site Greetham is a affiliated site to the c.c. It is a family new site created from a flat field just outside the village of Greetham in Rutland. Pitches and shower block are of normal high c.c. standard, but the site will benefit from ageing. The site is divided into 2 sections one for family’s and the other for adults only, a footpath with a security gate leads to the village with a P.O. shop and 3 pubs one giving 10% off food and 50p off a pint or a glass of wine to anyone staying on the site.

The site is very convenient for greetham valley golf course and rutland water.

I would give the site 4 stars.

Dislike of the day

Caravaners who leave there outside lights on all night