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Friday, 1 January 2016

Review of 2015

Well, 2015 was a 'different' year for me.

Starting with work, I managed to have had three fulltime jobs this year! The first was the job I'd started in January 2014, servicing and maintaining medical equipment in people's homes. It wasn't a bad job and I had a very good group of workmates, but it was a bit poorly paid and the work wasn't really challenging enough.
In April I got a job with another firm as a Calibration Engineer, travelling around calibrating and servicing medical and dental equipment. Or so I thought! Basically I applied for one job and was given another. I ended up working for a 'company within a company' doing less technical work and driving a lot more than I had been let to believe. I was given some vague promises that I would be transferred to the job I had applied for, but nothing seemed to happen. A colleague based in Newcastle left and I ended up covering his area in addition to mine. This led to long drives to and from jobs, a lot of time staying away from home, and it just wore me out. With travelling and work I was doing 12 – 14 hour days, and in August I drove 4917 miles (7913 km). I decided 'enough was enough' and looked for another job.
Job 3 was as an Equipment Support Engineer with a bioscience company, calibrating and maintaining laboratory equipment. This is based at their site in Glasgow, so no more driving all over the country! This is the first job I've had for 15 years where I've been base at one place, have my own desk, a tearoom, regular workmates, and commute to and from each day. I started in October and am enjoying the work. One drawback of having had three jobs is that I didn't manage to accrue many holidays, and up to Christmas had only four days off – two for job interviews, one to get my works van and my car serviced, and one where I waited in for someone to come and measure my house for new doors, so I've had no actual holidays this year.

This leads me onto my bikes, and not having any holidays, and being worn out most of the summer with Job no. 2, means that I've hardly ridden them. I've only been to one bike event, Easter Egg Run, and the occasional weekend run. Since I started my current job I've been commuting most of the time on my silver Traveller, but the very windy weather recently has meant it has been a bit too hazardous and I've had to use my car.
State of my bikes at the moment:

Silver Traveller. Currently being used for commuting and running well. When I get by white Traveller on the road I'll keep this as my 'holidays and runs' bike. I might get the petrol tank resprayed as since ethanol has been added to petrol the paint has started to flake around the filler cap.

White Traveller. Have done a bit of work on it, mostly painting and tidying up scruffy bits. As this is going to be used for commuting (15 miles (25 km) each way, mixture of motorway and town traffic), I've added heated grips, extra lights, louder horns, etc. It's already in lowered gearing and I'll fit higher bars. Have worked out that it should last me until I retire.

Works in progress!

Yamaha SZR 660. Did quite a bit of restoration work on it and it's getting on well. Hope to finish it by the Spring and sell it.

Honda CL 350. Have done no work at all on it in the last year other than buying a pair of rear shocks.

My plan for this year is to have the white Traveller for commuting, the silver one for holidays, and the Honda as a hobby.

As for my private life, not much to report. I started going to a yoga class in about May or June and I think it's done me a lot of good. I'd been troubled by stiffness and pain in my upper back and neck, but this has gone since starting the class. I've also been sleeping a lot better and feeling 'looser', so that's helped a bit.
Have only been out a few times – a couple of concerts, a comedy night, and couple of meals. No dates last year, might manage one this year with a bit of luck!

Seth Lakeman and band, Oran Mor, Glasgow

As for plans for 2016, looking back at previous ones I rarely mange any on the things I plan! Hopefully I'll get more of the bikes on the road and ride them more. In my current job I get 6 weeks holidays, and I'm planning a trip to France (more later) as well as more rides locally.
Socially, I'm going to try and go out more and you never know, I might find someone to go on a date with!

My sister got me this for Christmas!

All the best to everyone and I hope 2016 is a good year for you.


  1. I bought that Ladybird book for my daughter!

  2. Happy New Year!
    I shall look forward to your blogs throughout 2016.

  3. Happy New Years Norman, thinking you should get "The Hipster" Ladybird book I saw at another blog...pretty funny stuff. Stalled 350 projects...yep...know how that one goes.