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A General Life Update (with Photos)

By Amazon, Books & Authors, Friends & Family, Life, TechnologyNo Comments
Mental-Health-Wisdom-Printed-Paperbacks-0

My first batch of 13 paperback copies. They have all been signed and sent out to people.. More have been ordered.

This is a general life update. As most of you will be aware my new book Mental Health Wisdom has been released. It was due to be released in May, but was moved forward due to the way Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing Works. I realised that it is also available on Amazon internationally. You can learn more here here.

The whole process of writing, editing and publishing the book has been a huge learning curve. It’s awesome to see my own work in print. I feel really happy and very proud of myself.

I’ve managed to get my book on Goodreads. I’ve reached out to some bloggers who have agreed to review my book. I now need to get some reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

As I spent the end of last year and the beginning of this year working on my book, I’ve used the time since to catch up with family and friends. I’ve met with my mum and she’s shared her excitement about going to Thailand and Cambodia. My brother Shaun and his girlfriend are adding to our family. My brother Neil and his fiancee are excited about a move.

My friend Kay has shared her experiences from a recent trip to Australia. A family I’m close to (they have all but practically adopted me!) have shared stories of their children and grandchildren. My friend Sye shared that he has passed his theory driving test.

There’s been so much going on for the people that I love and it’s all positive. It is wonderful to hear.

My iPhone 6 Plus had fingerprints on the camera that no amount of lens cleaning would remove. The battery was beginning to die. This is the second iPhone I’ve had in two years and I really look after my stuff. So I decided to upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy S10+:

galaxy-samsung-10+-front-and-back

Samsung Galaxy S10+ SmartPhone.

This phone is superb. The only annoyance is that often the fingerprint scanner doesn’t recognise my fingers. Here are some features on the phone:

  • A massive screen.
  • A long-lasting battery and fast charging.
  • Three camera lenses on the back and two on the front.
  • A sensor that can detect you heart rate, the oxygen saturation in your tissue and levels of stress.
  • It was quick and easy to transfer my data (contacts, photos, music, calendars) from my iPhone to the S10+. In fact Samsung has an app that does it all for you.
  • The settings make the phone highly customisable. You can download full themes, or just wallpapers and icons.
  • All Apps available on iPhones are available in either the Google Play Store or Galaxy Store.
  • It has plenty of RAM.
  • A huge amount of storage, the amount customisation on order. It can also be extended by Micro SD.
  • It can be wirelessly charged and can be used to wirelessly charge other devices.
  • Has a headphone jack.
  • Dual speakers that are really loud.
  • Affordable accessories made by third parties.
  • The list could go on.

I’ve planned and booked my annual leave off work until the end of January. I am in the process of make plans for my time off.

After-Life-Ricky-Gervais

After Life by Ricky Gervais is on Netflix and a must watch.

I’ve been enjoying Star Trek Discovery on Netflix. I also watched After Life written by and staring Ricky Gervais.

After Life is a must watch. It’s about a man (Gervais) whose wife dies due to cancer. It is about how he deals with the loss and gets on the path to contentedness.

After Life is funny, pulls at your heart strings and is overall brilliant. The ending felt rushed, but the reasons for this are understandable.

Here’s a trailer:

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Learn more in YouTube’s privacy policy.

Finally, I’ve recently had feedback from a 360° online anonymised questionnaire as part of a Leadership Programme at work. This questionnaire was sent to a wide range of people that I work with. I don’t discuss work on my blog. But I will say that it was hugely positive, with only a few minor areas for improvement. This affirms my beliefs that I am good at my job and perform well.

Blog soon,

Antony

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Adios Vodafone – After A Nightmare Trying To Upgrade, Hello Giffgaff

By Life, Money / Finances, Shopping, Technology, ThinkingNo Comments

Recently my old iPhone 5 battery started dropping it’s charge. So as a loyal long term Vodafone customer, one that had been with them for years, I decided to speak to them about an early upgrade. They said I could and I opted for Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus (64GB, GOLD) as a new handset, which they said would be delivered the next day.

After three weeks of telephoning Vodafone customer services practically on a daily basis and receiving many broken promises, I still had no new handset. I felt frustrated, that the order was no further forward and like anything that they said to me on the phone would be a lie. Despite how I felt, I always remained pleasant and patient. But I decided to cancel my telephone upgrade order and re-order the upgrade in store.

My local store had Apple iPhone 6 Plus (64GB, GOLD) in stock. Hurray! But wait, I couldn’t have it because of their IT systems still showing the original upgrade order as open – despite me cancelling it and reassurances from Vodafone customer services on the phone that I would be able order in store. I tweeted my frustration to them, not that the staff in store, on the telephone or on twitter seemed to care.

I’d lost my trust in them. A search online revealed that I wasn’t the only one experiencing issues upgrading. Vodafone’s problems seem to be:

  • Their IT systems. An order gets canceled because they don’t have the handset in stock, but the order still shows as open and gets stuck.
  • The warehouse stock levels, warehouse management (in terms of ordering more handsets before they run out) and distribution.
  • No complaints department or way to escalate order issues to get them sorted.

Up until this experience, Vodafone have always been good with me. But this experience felt like a bad joke. I decided to show them what I thought of this experience by walking away and taking my wallet with me.


Get a free giffgaff Sim

giffgaff-logo A friend on Facebook recommended that I sign up with GiffGaff. I did and everything went smoothly. The handset was delivered the next working day as promised. It’s been a brilliant, easy and enjoyable service so far.

Here are some advantages of being with GiffGaff and how they are different to other providers:

  • They do sim only deals or handset and sim deals.
  • You buy the handset as a credit agreement. Meaning you can pay a small or larger deposit, choose the term of the credit agreement and it’s all really clear and easy to understand.
  • All handsets come unlocked, so can be used on any network.
  • You buy monthly goodbag packages, rather than having a fixed term contract.
  • You can leave GiffGaff at any time by turning off the auto-renew goodybag and getting a sim card for another network.
  • They’re competitively priced – cheaper than most other companies from the prices that I’ve seen.
  • Free GiffGaff to GiffGaff calls.
  • They regularly listen to customers and take their ideas on board.
  • And much more…

So if you’re looking to switch mobile phone providers, I’d highly recommend GiffGaff.

Blog soon,

Antony


Get a free giffgaff Sim

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Minor Tweaks

By The Web, ThinkingNo Comments

The internet giants like Amazon, ebay & Google only make small tweaks to their sites, rather than design overhauls. The reason for this, is that it gives visitors a sense of familiarity. Over the years my blog has had many designs (see Geeky Post: Website Development). I love the current site design of my blog, but like any design their are flaws and things that could be improved.

So here’s a list of minor tweaks I’ve recently made to the design and functioning of the blog:

  • WordPress Menu functionality added.
  • Booklist pages now have book image covers, along with a link to Buy The Book on Amazon. Pages include: Book List 2014 & Book Lists.
  • Older Book Review blog posts now all have had image book covers.
  • Rearranged layout of comment form, including: changing title to ‘Your Comment’ and adding ‘Name:,’ ‘Email:’ & ‘Website:’ labels before respective textfields rather than after.
  • Removed spam-stopper Plugin, which required an extra question on the comment form to confirm that you’re human. This was removed as already have Conditional CAPTCHA for WordPress which is sufficiently effective. This overall makes commenting/interacting on my blog easier.
  • On comments, Authors websites (appear as link on their name) open in new window/tab.
  • On sidebar, added an Amazon banner that isn’t java based. This increases compatibility with Apple devices, such as the iPad and the iPhone.
  • On sidebar, shorted About Me section to less than 50 words (46 words to be precise).
  • On sidebar, added Book Chic Club and Urbangay under Blogs of Interest.
  • On sidebar, removed several blogs that haven’t been updated in sometime under Blogs of Interest.

I’ve got more small tweaks planned over the coming months, along with the usual reviews and other great content.

Write soon,

Antony

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My Yearly Review

By Friends & Family, Gigs & Shows, Happiness & Joy, Life, Thinking, TV, Online Streaming & FilmsNo Comments

Welcome to my yearly review. 2013 has been a great year; both for me and my creative writing. There’s so much to tell you about my writing that I’ve given My Awesome Year in Words it’s own post on my Writer Website. Here I shall focus on my personal life.

Alex Memorial 1 - Chinese Lanterns In January I did Something Uncomfortable, which was attending Alex’s Chinese lantern memorial. It was something I had always avoided, and became part of my New Experiences for 2013.

In February I went to a friend’s 50th birthday party and one of my nephew’s 18th birthday party. I undertook my February Photo Challenge.

free-speech-06.03.13-E March came along and I was on TV – Live To The Nation! Although an exciting, uncomfortable and anxiety ridden experience, it was also one of great learning. Educating me in the world of the media. And unbeknown to me at the time, it wasn’t going to be my last excursion into the media world this year. Oh and I got an iPhone 5.
My Birthday Presents - Happy Birthday Cake

My Birthday Presents – Happy Birthday Cake

I did so much in May. I had a great Bank Holiday Weekend. I celebrated my twenty seventh birthday by seeing friends and family; they got me some fab Birthday Presents. I got an extra special birthday present off the wonderful Writer Mel Bossa. I had a Cumbria Adventure. I enjoyed this Get Lucky Cover, as well as the original song by Daft Punk.
Rocky Horror Show 2013 In June, Steve came to live with me. We went watching The Rocky Horror Show. It’s a night out that I’ll remember for a very long time. I remembered Something I Forgot Along The Way.
Outside Rivington Castle - Covered In Greenery

Outside Rivington Castle – Covered In Greenery

July was filled with good times. I bought A Flashy New Car – Olly, The Citroen DS3. I attended Pagan Con for the first time and discovered Posh Coffee: The Flavour Collection from Douwe Egberts. I had some time off work and had an adventure in Rivington (see Rivington Adventure: Lever Castle and Rivington Adventure: Ruins & The Picni). I even witnessed A Sensational Sunset.
up4ameet3 In August my iMac Hard drive failed and I took it to the Apple Store for repair. Steve and I went watching Up4aMeet? – An Evening of Naked, Gay, Laugh-Out-Loud Comedy. I started reading the Gone Series.
More Minions!

More Minions!

In September I watched Despicable Me 2 and Percy Jackson – Sea of Monsters at the cinemas. I started Reading for Pleasure.
Me Wicked Outside Manchester In October Steve and I went watching Wicked at Manchester Palace Theatre. I had a bug, got offered a job which I initially accepted and then later declined. My contract at work got made permanent. I got interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live.

I started regular Reiki treatments at Halsa Healing. Jayne and I went to Castlerigg Stone Circle for Samhain.

Stephen Lynch LIVE My cousin and I saw Stephen Lynch in Manchester in November. I donated to two Homelessness charities.
My Christmas Presents

Presents People Bought Me

In December I bought an iPad, went to Manchester Christmas Market and spent Christmas with family and friends.

Blog soon,

Antony

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