What have I been up to whilst in lock down in London?

What have I been up to whilst in lock down in London?

I am still alive and well! I’ve realised that I’ve not posted on this blog in a while, so thought I’d take some time to write this blog post to give an update on what I’ve been up to.

First of all, I’m now a published co-author. I work in the marketing field, specifically regarding search engine optimisation (SEO), and so I’ve managed to get myself included in a book which effectively covers the work I did at MoneySuperMarket (my previous job).

Second, I’m now managing a business called Energy Switching which is an energy comparison & editorial advice website. It is doing well from an organic search point of view and I’m hoping to grow it further this year. With more people stuck at home, people will be paying higher energy bills — and with many out of work, saving money is now a key objective for people.

Last, but not least, I’m still exercising. It’s definitely a lot tougher in the conditions we have in London with the whole lock down situation. However, mentally, it is something I need to do – and physically, I’d like to be in a good position during and after all of this craziness.

You can see I’ve been running around the track (and I’ve been trying to do this most days):

I’m definitely behind on my targets.

The hot weather isn’t going to make running easy, but it’ll be worth it! Wish me luck!

Happy New Year #2020 from London

Happy New Year #2020 from London

It’s now officially 13 minutes past, and we’re well into 2020.

For the past 3 years, I’ve been going to Hampstead Heath Park with Victoria Levine, to celebrate with the many hundreds that turn up to watch the London firework celebrations from afar:

Here you can see a video I’ve posted up on Twitter:

New Years Resolutions

  • Be successful in my new role at Forbes.com and achieve some great results for that business
  • Sign up, be fit enough, and complete the triathlon in Norway in June
    • Working on my fitness is definitely something I struggled within 2019, but I am keen to get back on track (and yes, I know I did Tough Mudder and a Half Marathon, but I just about did those)
  • Setup new websites to make more passive income, with websites I am passionate about
  • Have enough to put down a deposit on a house in Q4 2020
  • Read more books (I’ve already ordered Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future)

I’ll hopefully hit some of these goals for 2020. 🙂 But for now, let’s not worry about this and see what happens.

Connected to the internet [at home] again

The past couple of weeks have been terrible for me. 3 months ago I moved into a flat in Camden Town and agreed to sublet a room. For the first 2 months, things went well and there was really no worry. The couple I live with are great and we have nice conversations together. Plus, we do not get in each other’s hair and are generally all quite laid back.

Now the person I’m subletting the place from was a complete disaster.

She asked us all if she could stay in January for a week, as he had come back from a two-week-long holiday to South Africa. She works as a nanny, or so she says, and she stated that her nanny job would not start until a week into the month. So we were kind and let her stay for free for a week. We have a pretty big living room, so she stayed in there. If that wasn’t enough, she didn’t go out for the week, just stayed indoors with the heating on and generally was always in the living room. That irked me a bit, but the fact I knew she would be leaving soon made it all bearable. However, after a week she comes back to all of us asking if her boyfriend can stay for a week. She was almost pleading as she said that they’d have nowhere else to stay (her boyfriend would not be able to stay at the place she has a nanny job). She also mentioned that she’d pay £100 to us if we’d let them stay. Just because we are nice, we let them both stay. Again, they both stayed in the living room for the majority of the time they stayed here, so it was a bit awkward going through the living room to get to the kitchen.

Anyhow, that was okay, at least with me, as I knew they’d both be leaving soon enough. Plus, I wanted to stay in her good books as I actually wanted to take over the tenancy for the place. A week goes by and she asks my other flatmate if they can stay another week. The other flatmate sends me a text message telling me about this. Of course, at this point, I’m furious. I send her a text saying she’d have to pay for the entire period she had already stayed – if she would like to stay longer. That scared her and so they both moved out that day. I couldn’t believe that they were asking to stay another week in addition to the time that they had already stayed here. She also never told me that they’d be staying even longer. They just assumed it would be all okay. The boyfriend even delayed his flight back to Denmark just to to stay longer without even notifying any of us first! Unbelievable and rude.

And so they both moved out that day, but not before coming in and cooking dinner in the kitchen. I assumed they came back to get all their stuff and just leave. They then left all their dirty plates on the side for us to wash. Not only was we nice enough to let her stay for a week (for free), but we allowed the boyfriend to stay as long they paid £100 (which is something she suggested) AND even so they left the kitchen in a complete state. Oh, it’s been almost a month and they have not paid us this £100. Annoying as fuck.

Then we come to the ‘internet issue’. The internet is in her boyfriend’s name and he of course lives in Denmark. We make payments to the boyfriend to pay for the internet. Silly, I know, but I’m only subletting the place (silly again) and don’t really have much choice. The contract is now going to be in my name (hopefully), so today I signed up to Virgin Media broadband which will be installed next month on the 7th of March. Not to derail, paid the money for the broadband (with TalkTalk) of £30 to pay for the month’s bill, but TalkTalk still cut us off. They tell us they’ve made the payment of £30, but I call TalkTalk and they say that there is a ‘balance’ left on the account that needs to be paid. So they obviously have not paid for it. We’ve since had no internet for about 2 weeks. Two excruciating weeks. I’ve got online university assignments that need to be done, and I need the internet to do them. I’ve had to stay at work late and go to work on Saturdays and Sundays just to finish off my assignments. During this time we are texting the soon to be, former tenant, asking her to update us on the internet. She tells us that she’s trying to sort it, and yet nothing happens. We then group up together (all flatmates) and decide to text her a clever message to see if she has been telling the truth. She stated that it has been impossible to get through to anyone at TalkTalk, yet I got through to someone in the first go on a Friday. They asked me if I wanted to pay money to them (they wouldn’t tell me the exact bill amount). We text her this, and she makes up some sort of bullshit.

We now have internet – only because we decided to ask our neighbors if we could use their WiFi. From this access, I ordered a broadband package with Virgin Media via MoneySuperMarket.com that affords us 50 mb upload speed and unlimited usage. Only problem is that they take their time with engineers. So we have to wait until the 7th of March to get someone around to install the internet. At least, it’s coming and soon enough our house will have a super-fast connectivity!

Note: I did not proof this or expect any part to make sense. This is just a big fat rant. I’m glad I let this out though. I’ll read it next week and will probably laugh. 


Mordeth13 Seriously Injured in Motorbike Accident

Mordeth13 Seriously Injured in Motorbike Accident

I lived in Taiwan for 2 years and used to watch Mordeth13’s videos on a regular basis. I stopped due to work commitments, life in general and because I just stopped using YouTube to watch people talk about their lives. But for the period that I did, it filled a void where I had nothing better to do; I could simply open up a video and find something interesting about someone’s life. Watching any of Mordeth13’s videos was purely for entertainment. He’d be riding around in his scooter or motorbike talking about his day as a foreigner living in Taiwan. I sort of felt like a foreigner, even though I’m half-Taiwanese, so I felt like in some of his stories there were connections of where I experienced similar encounters. One thing about Mordeth13 is that he is mysterious and doesn’t share too much info regarding his personal life, except that he has an incredibly cute son and a loving wife.

However, something bad happened to Mordeth13 recently and he was involved in a serious motorbike accident on a tour he was doing. On Monday 17 of November (not the 14th as stated in his FB post), Mordeth explained that he crashed into a small partition wall when just for a moment he took his eyes off the road. He then went flying off his bike, “35 feet” into the air and plummeted into the pavement on the lower road. His injuries sound devastating; he’s lost half his left hand and broken both his ‘upper legs’. I feel bad for his future and his family’s future. He has a cute little son called JD who is fucking awesome:

He’s currently asking for donations from people via Facebook. I’m going to donate what I can when I next get paid. It’s absolutely heartbreaking though to see him like this:

Mordeth13 Seriously Injured

He’s also actually never showed his face before this, as mentioned in his Facebook post. But you can just see from the injuries that he has sustained that this is very serious. The nice thing about Taiwan is that the initial treatment will most likely be free, but there will be costs involved such as staying in a hospital bed, buying a wheelchair and high costs involved for recovery, further treatments/operations and more. On top of this, he has a kid and wife to take care of financially. His main job is making these YouTube videos and earning money from advertisements. Obviously, now that he is in this state, there is no flow of income likely to be coming in anywhere other than those donating money to him. He’s a genuinely nice guy and has in the past donated to those that needed money, but I guess now it’s now time for others to do the same for him.

If you’d like to donate, go to his website and find the ‘donate’ button that leads you to PayPal and his PayPal details will show up:

M13 Online – Motorbike Vlogger 

I promise to donate at least £15 if not more. He’s getting a steady stream of donations at the moment via reddit and the Facebook post. I hope that he gets way more than what he needs. I really can’t imagine what he is going through right now.

Last Day at ZenithOptimedia

Last Day at ZenithOptimedia

Yesterday, was my last day working at ZenithOptimedia, UK. It was not as emotional as I thought it would have been (for myself), but my good friend, Christina Hirst, was shedding the tears on behalf of everyone else (I think that’s what happened).

They created an excellent presentation which consisted mostly of pictures of me in a really drunk state. Let’s just say that there was no shortage of those types of embarrassing images. It was a sweet end to my time whilst working at ZenithOptimedia. My friendship within the agency, I hope, is still as strong as ever, perhaps even stronger.

Bringing it back to my speech actually, I tried to be quite funny and mentioned the people I had worked the longest with, whilst apologising for not being able to mention everyone. Of those that I did mention, I tried to find something funny, telling and perhaps nostalgic in encounters we had had.

This guy named Marcus, bought me my first pint of beer in a year and a half when I interned at ZenithOptimedia and I got really drunk just after a pint. Since then I’ve still not bettered my drinking of alcoholic beverages. For my boss, Lauren, I thanked her pushing me to do things that I had felt uncomfortable with (people giggled at this), but actually, she pushed me to do presentations and to come out of my comfort shell, so I’d like to think she got that message; rather than me taking the piss. There’s also this guy named Antonello, a funny Italian man, with an amazing accent. I always, always loved pissing him off, it sort of became a hobby for me. So I stated that I’d have to find another Italian person with a funny accent to annoy at my new job.

Oh, and let’s not forget Christina, my good ole’ next door neighbor. She’s from the north, so has an amazing northern accent (from Bingley – known for Bradford & Bingley). I mentioned that she was like a little sister, and that I’d miss making her jump and generally having a laugh with her.

Now, I’ve seriously grown whilst working on the clientele that I have been working on. Whether if it’s communicating to clients about the field I work in, providing recommendations to some of the biggest brands in the UK, or overcoming my fear of presenting, I’ve certainly come a long way from a year and half ago. It’s time to move on however, and look on to a brighter future in my career.

Who knew, Jonny Jones, would have come this far with just £1,000 in pocket and a dream to succeed in some sort of IT related field. I’m here now and I’m actually going to say it: I’m quite proud to have achieved what I have done so far. I’m now going to university as a result of all this and I’m going kick ass at it.

It probably looks like I have a huge ego as a result of all this, but a year ago, it felt like I had nothing. Now I have something to be proud of and an actual future in a field that is continuously growing and looking for good people (yeah, I said it!).

It’s been an amazing journey at ZenithOptimedia and the opportunity that working there has presented me with is unparalleled.

House Hunting In London – Nightmare

House Hunting In London – Nightmare

Where do I begin?

Finding a decent place to live in London is unbelievably difficult as you’re literally competing against others for that awesome room that you found on either Spare Room or GumTree. Am I right guys? I viewed a place in Edgware Rd only a week ago and 10 people were viewing that place on the same day as me. How much did that place cost? It cost £700 incl bills and was available as a double room. But the room was hardly worth paying that much as the area it is in is like a ghetto and when I first walked in entrance of the block of flats, I asked the agent showing me the place why there was water on the floor. He explained that it was, “rain water”, and I just looked at him with amazement that he could say such a thing with such integrity without even batting an eyelid. At that point I wanted to get out, as the place was obviously having damp issues. We then walked into the actual place where the rooms were, on the 4th floor, no elevators, just stairs, and the actual flat was not any better. The kitchen was as if they had turned a big closet into a kitchen, and made every other room a bedroom. The bloody washing machine was situated in a corridor, which you had to turn sideways in order to get the toilet. The place could only be described as horrid and disgusting.

The next place I went to was Kings Cross, where I viewed a room just outside of the British Library. The location was great, but the actual house left much to be desired. I get it, it’s central London and you’re going to have to pay a bit to get something nice. But this was place was £700 (not including bills) and the place had not been refurbished in years. I walked in and again, like the other place in Edgware Road, it smelled of damp and for some reason, god knows why, this seems to be a common theme in most of the places that I’ve viewed so far. I don’t get it. If people are paying that much on rent then surely the money they’re getting collectively from that would be enough to make the place look somewhat acceptable. However, in every instance the rooms and the house generally have been horrible. I would rather live all the way in Essex than live in these rooms (oh wait, I already do!).

Then that shining glimmer of hope and all that is good and holy came along with a place in Camden Town that came available. I was hopeful as I spoke to one of the housemates on the phone and it seemed like we would get on quite well if we lived with each other. He invited me to the house to check me out and for me to see the place to see if I wanted it. I said to him that I’d take and he said, “that’s great”. He then said that he’d hand over the keys the next day. I thought, “sorted” – I don’t have to look elsewhere anymore. I was wrong. So wrong. He had actually lined up two others to view the place. Apparently one of those two had begged for the room stating that she been in a hostel sleeping with 10 others and was almost crying in front of the aforementioned housemate. They gave her the place and at 2:30AM, he had sent me a text saying that the, “room was no longer available”, and apologised stating the girl was almost in tears. I was sort of furious, but at the same time felt sorry for the girl that begged for the room. That left me in a sticky situation. I then had to take two days off of work because of this to find a place and I had already told my then landlord that I was moving out on a certain date. He, of course, had found someone else to take the room I was in, so effectively I would have been homeless had it not been for my sister.

This entire weekend, I’ve been looking for a place to live. Oh wait, when I say entire, I mean just Sunday. I actually did Tough Mudder, a 12 mile obstacle course, said to be one of the hardest obstacle courses in the United Kingdom, on Saturday. That was a lot of fun. But when you have to move out the day before to a place that is ages away from London, you don’t have enough time to prepare mentally or physically. If I was still living in Angel then I would have likely gone the gym after work to do some jogging, but I didn’t have the time for that. Today, Sunday, I actually went to the local Tesco and used the WiFi and sat in Costa Coffee, as I feel guilty for staying in my sister’s house-share – even though everyone is cool about it in her house. And today I actually traveled to Camden Town, again, to view a place and to meet my potential flatmates. I actually got along with them really well and can imagine being their flatmates. They seemed so nice and laid back. The place was also awesome. Nice big lounge, kitchen and the double room looked fantastic. It was not 7 minutes on foot from Camden Town Underground Station, and also a walkable distance to Tottenham Court Road – where I work. I arrived there at around 9PM as the flatmates, Lucy and Fury, work late hours. It took me around an hour and a half from Highams Park to get there, but I’d absolutely love to live there. We spoke for around an hour and a half!

They do however have two other people that they’ve promised a viewing. However, I heard Lucy saying that they would like to give me the room when I stated that I wanted to live there. But Lilly stated that they had 2 others coming to view the place. Fair is fair! Hopefully I’ll get the place though. I think I did a pretty decent job considering we chatted for over an hour! I even got a follow-up on SpareRoom saying that the housemates liked me! 🙂  I really hope that a person doesn’t come along and starts begging to live there. I mean, I’m in a situation where I’m having to live in the same room as my sister… it’s not ideal and I don’t actually have my own ‘space’. With a full-time job and studying at university part-time, I’ve realised the importance of having your own personal space to make this all work mentally. I can’t wait to move out and hopefully I’ll be able to take that place! I think I’ve got a really good shot at getting this place as I genuinely got on really well with the guys living there! Fingers crossed. 🙂