Submitted my application for a student loan

Submitted my application for a student loan

That’s right! I’ve just submitted application for a student loan request to the Student Finance England website. Hopefully, it goes through and I receive it back as early as possible. Thinking about it now I probably should have applied for this a lot earlier in the year.



This is the same course that I’ve wanted to do since the beginning of this year, and I’ve really only come around to just going in head first and actually doing it. I did go to an open day that Birkbeck University setup just around the corner from where I work. And from this I talked to a professor teaching the ‘Web Technologies’ course at Birkbeck. I told him a bit about myself, where I work, what I do etc and somehow from this he said that his only concern was that this course might not be challenging enough for me. I’ve looked at the course structure and I think it would be more than challenging enough for me if I can train myself to be an expert for each of these subject matters. Although the ‘Year 1’ doesn’t look to be that challenging, I do want to join a course that will teach me from the ground up, as the fundamentals and basic elements, in my opinion, are the most important things to learn.



Now I just need to apply for the course. Of course, I do need to wait to hear back from Student Finance on whether they’ll give me the loan. If not, then I’ll have to sort that out and possibly apply for the course start in January.

I should be able to learn more on the technical elements behind HTML5 infographics like these:

So that I’ll have to confidence to make recommendations regarding mobile optimisation techniques and other technical jazz.

Back to Studying Web Development?

Back to Studying Web Development?

In August, last year, I briefly touched upon the idea of wanting to go to university to study ‘Web Technologies’ at Birkbeck University of London.

I’ve since not followed through on this and that is due to the fact that I’ve been busy at work and generally a little stressed. I have aspirations and personal development goals – gaining a qualification from university is one of them. I’ve yet to fully work out how it will work. But from the way that I’ve worked and the passion that I’ve shown, I feel I have the right motivation to do something like this now. Before working at ZenithOptimedia, I don’t think I had that and as time has gone on I’ve just wanted to better myself and develop my skill set. I now have a focus on life where before I had none.

I’ve been looking around for courses and whilst the Birkbeck course looks awesome, it’s all the way in Stratford – a place that I’ve just moved from. Now that I live in central London I’d like to go to a university nearby, so that I can simply walk to university from work. It’s a little difficult finding a university that does evening courses. Fortunately for me, Birkbeck teach the same ‘Web Technologies’ course (foundation degree) in central London and the location of their university is around the corner from where I work and is in the right direction to where I currently live in Farringdon.

Obviously, it is going to be a huge thing for me to do all of this, but I think it is achievable. I’ve signed up for an ‘Open Day’ at Birkbeck in August, so I’m hoping I can find my answers then and there. There are a lot of things going on in my life right now, and I’m just sussing things out to get that point of making the all-important decision.

1st day in the new house

1st day in the new house

I have to say that I’m delighted at the fact that I’ve moved to Farringdon. I walked around the area for 3 hours yesterday, which in total led to around 8 miles of walking. Luckily my new running shoes are really, really comfortable. I’m even wearing them to work now and even during work hours as well — instead of my smart shoes. Not that that would be an issue.

One of the nicest things that I’ve discovered is that I don’t actually need a drying rack anymore. The fucking washing machine is a tumble dryer as well as a washing machine. However, I’m too afraid to use the bloody thing in case my clothes shrink. I’m a poor sod at the moment having spent quite a bit of money moving into this place and I don’t want to ruin my clothes. I washed only my towels yesterday and the fact my towels came out DRY – in a washing machine – pretty much amazed me. I’ll eventually come up with the courage to wash my other clothes, but I’m likely going to do a bit of testing to see what works and doesn’t. Apparently, clothes that contain or that were made with cotton should explicitly not be washed in hot or warm water. I’m going to turn the nozzle down to 0 degrees or whatever it is and see what happens. I’m a little scared, but I’m hopeful at the same time.

Aside from my washing issues I’m looking to join a gym in the local vicinity. I was thinking about joining Easy Gym on Oxford Street, as it’s really cheap (around £20 per month) and you don’t have to sign up to any contracts. However, all the same it’s a little bit of a walk and I really only want to walk to gyms that are within 5 minutes of where I live now.  Unfortunately, they are all expensive with the average cost looking to be around £50 per month. I have indeed budgeted for this, but it would be nice to find a gym that isn’t so costly.

For example, here are a few of those gyms within 5-15 minutes walking distance of EC1V that cost around about £50 per month:

Fitness First – Angel:  £53 + 12 month contract

Virgin Active – Barbican: £66 + 12 month contract

LA Fitness – St Pauls: £45 + 12 month contract

On the face of it, LA Fitness looks to be the cheapest and I’m almost thinking of going with LA Fitness. Of course, with most of these gyms there is a joining fee. I’m too lazy to look up what they are at the moment, so it’ll get even more costlier.

However, if we look within 20-30 minutes walking distance from EV1V there are a few cheaper gyms:

Easy Gym – Oxford Street: £19.99 – No contract – £25 joining fee

YMCA – London: £45.50 + 12 month contract – with corporate membership

The gym I went to before only cost me £15.99 per month. It’s a big shock to the system and my bank account to be paying this much. 😮 I guess I’ll get used to it in the end. I’m thinking of taking advantage of these free 1 day trials and then by pay day I’ll join whichever gym suits me best.

Moving to Farringdon – Room Found

Moving to Farringdon – Room Found

Let’s just say that I have been extremely stressed this month because I’ve been frantically looking for a place that is close enough to where I work. Now, I work on Tottenham Court Road and it’s really expensive if you want to be within walking distance (up to an hour on foot is what I call walking distance) of Tottenham Court Road. According to Rentonomy, if you wanted to live within the City of London then the average rent for a 2 bedroom flat is £592 p/w, 87% higher than the average elsewhere. I assessed that it was going to be bloody expensive, unaffordable and likely horrible to find a place in London.

I looked in Angel, Islington, Camden Town, Regents Park, Shoredtich and found a few places that looked good. But of the few places I went to view – they were not what they looked like in the pictures. The first place I went to was in Shoreditch. In the pictures the single bedroom looked decent and so did the kitchen. However, those were just the pictures. When I arrived to meet the agent, the door was spray painted with graffiti and the room was 4 floors up without an elevator. Not that any of that bothered me. What bothered me was the fact that he showed me around the double room when I specifically asked for the single. Unbeknown to me the single room that I asked to view had been taken an hour earlier, as the current tenant had given it away to one of his mates. Yet this never came up when I spoke to the estate agent over the phone. The price for the double room was £170 p/w, but it wasn’t even worth the £135 that I could afford and what I wanted to pay for the single. The kitchen was dirty, the flight of stairs you had to climb up was horrible and smelled of damp. It was horrible. I had other experiences of a similar nature until I came across a place in Farringdon – not 40 minutes from where I work. 

A friend from work who lives in Shoreditch walked with me down the road that I needed to go to, as I’m totally clueless when it comes to navigating around London. This place in Farringdon only took 35 minutes to get to on foot from Tottenham Court Road. I’m really happy about that as I thought that I’d be walking a minimum of one hour for the sort of place that I’d like to live in. The place isn’t a palace, but it’s a lot better than the places that I’ve viewed so far and the area is absolutely gorgeous. 

Working out my monthly expenditure

I’ve also taken the time to do a bit of budgeting with Excel. As it stands, living in Farringdon will cost me 43% of my income – a huge chunk. Right now I’m only paying 30% of my income on rent, so that extra 10% is certainly going to hurt a bit.

Monthly Expenditure in London

The last thing I wanted to do was spend 35% of my income on rent; however, I figure that if combine what I’m currently paying for rent with what I’m currently paying for travel to and from work (£135) then that equates to around 39% of my income. I guess if you combine what I think I’m going to pay for travel with my future rent costs then that equates to 47% of my income. I think it’s still worth it and that 4% (TfL) that I’ve budgeted for might not actually be a monthly cost as I’ll likely be walking everywhere or perhaps I may even buy a bike!

It’s going to be interesting living on this budget. There are also a lot of one-off costs that I’d like to budget for as well. I’d like to buy a computer monitor so I can hook it up to my laptop and have dual monitors going and this should make it a lot easier for me if I want to finish off work that I’m behind on at home etc. I’m quite excited about moving! 😀

New Smart Shoes for work

New Smart Shoes for work

I don’t seem to be a very good picker of decent shoes. Any of the shoes that I do buy break or start wearing down considerably within a month. And it’s not that I’m buying them cheap either. The last pair of shoes that I bought was on ASOS for £60. £60 for a pair of men’s smart shoes seems to be quite reasonable, no? The last pair before that cost me only £26.99 as there was a deal going on and it seemed like a bargain at the time.

I think it might be due to the way I walk that these shoes are breaking.

I walk in a very stern manner and I’m thinking that is what is making my shoes wear down so easily. It’s the fact that I almost glide when walking and think it’s quite cool, even though I’m breaking my shoes whilst doing this. I’ve got to either stop doing this or start wearing sports shoes to work that will last longer than a pair of smart shoes.

Anyways, here’s my latest pair of smart shoes for work:


With trousers on:

New Brown Shoes

Rear side of the shoe:

New Brown Shoes - rear

I bought this from Blue-Inc in Stratford for the nice price of £26.99. Not a bad price at all. Let’s see if this makes it past a month. I will post an update with the state of my shoes in 1 month’s time. 🙂

Work Is Tiring Me Out

Work Is Tiring Me Out

 I seem to be constantly thinking about work and it’s getting quite hectic at work as we’ve won new business. I’m likely not allowed to talk any further than this about work, but I’m certainly feeling the heat.

I was reading this BBC article before about stress and it has a useful stress testing tool on there. One of the first questions I answered was, “How often do you find yourself being irritable with friends and family?!” and I realised that quite often I’m irritated by what my sister does or when speaking to my parents. It’s certainly something I need to work on. I’m thinking of taking next week off and perhaps booking a short holiday somewhere just by myself to somewhere nice. Anyways, here’s how I scored on that stress tester: stress test bbcRight now, I just have this really bad headache. For the entirety of this week I’ve started work at 8:30AM and finished at around 8:00PM. I suppose I feel overwhelmed with the amount of work that I’m doing. Whilst this is occurring I’m finding that I’m not doing as much work as before and my head just seems to be all over the place. The only good thing about this week is the fact that I’m proud of myself for going through with the presentation I had to give to the new graduates who had just joined the company I work for. It was in front of 30 people and that’s actually the biggest audience that I’ve presented in front of. I’m really proud of myself for doing that as I didn’t think I had that in me to be as confident as I was. It’s time to sleep.