Tag Archives: Driving

62 Penalty Points and Still Legally Driving

As a new driver one of the things which bothers me is getting points and losing my license. In the first 2 yrs after a driver passes their test, you are permitted 6 points. This means you basically get 1 strike for many offences before you lose your licence. Unless its using a mobile phone, accidents, drugs, drink, massively over speed limit, all of which are 6 points or more which are instant losses for a new drivers.

There is a list on Driving Ban, about what offences get you what points and fines. The discretionary powers of police officers surprised me, even if the police vehicle camera gets you, the officer can overrule it given sufficient reason. 

In the South East of England alone there are around 10,000 motorists who have more than 12 points on their license, the vast majority have 12-18, but there are a handful who have 30+. This potential means there maybe as many as 70,000 in the whole of the UK, which is a scary statistic. I can’t find FOI requests for the whole UK, and can only find reference to the South East.  

Accidents Happen

More recently on a Friday night when a couple of drunks were messing around and dipping into the road. I spent a little too long watching them to ensure they didn’t come in front of my car or anyone else’s car for that matter. I was also keeping my eye on the road in case I needed to swerve around them, checking for other vehicles, and I wasn’t checking speedo as often as normal. At the time of writing this, I don’t actually know if I got a penalty for that, but it will suck if I do. 

Gatso Speed Camera

Gatso Speed Camera

Its a rubbish situation to be, do I check the speedo more often, while scanning road conditions, my rear, and increase the risk hitting an drunken erratic behaving pedestrian or prioritise I guess situational awareness. In hindsight, as soon as I saw them messing about in the road, I should have slowed way way down and increased my stopping capability. I guess once I’m a more experienced driver I will make better decisions like this. In future this will be my course of action, slow slow slow. Its hard not to “rubber neck” I guess.

This were one situation where C.O.A.S.T. didn’t help me, I was Concentrating on what was happening, Observing other cars, and what the drunks were doing, Awareness of where the cars were and where I could drive to avoid them, making sure I could allow Space for them fooling around and Time to react. What I didn’t do was check my speed often enough, I’m going to modify it to C.O.A.S.T.S. with the final S for Speed. I only noticed I *could* have been speeding because I had hit cruise control button at some point. When I had passed the hazard I checked my speed and it were set 4mph over the limit.  

At the time I was just like Oh My God, how drunk/high do you need to be to pushing each other into the road for a game while there are cars coming. If they walk just a few hundred meters up the same road they are on a 40 mph zone with energy saving in effect so no street lights, its pitch black. There are also road works so the road narrows too. I was debating phoning the police to make them aware, I haven’t heard of any accidents so hopefully they were ok. I keep debating now if I should phone and ask to settle my own mind.

Many Many Risks and Trickery

Speed Camera Consealed on A6 in Stockport

Plant & Forget Digital Speed Camera

Following on from the above its easy to accidentally accrue points, I have to drive through 3 traffic light cameras, 4 speed cameras, a few times per day. Which is 30 potential opportunities to get points every day just on my commute. The worse ones are traffic light cameras, when they are green all the way on approach on I have a little debate about speeding up, or slowing down to let them go red. Many times I have been going 30 mph, about 2-3 car lengths and they have turned Amber, if I have a car tailgating me, stopping is asking for a rear end, so I’ve had to carry on. A few times I’ve chosen to emergency stop, and once the lights actually turned red just as I passed them.

Out of nearly 200x I have had to go through traffic light cameras and/or speed cameras on my daily commute in the few month I’ve been driving, I have had 2 close calls, 1 of them very close. Once were when I had a car very close behind and the lights changed red. In hindsight I should really have stopped since it would have been their fault. I now try to slow down on approach in these circumstances so I can safely stop. 

I recently found out that Traffic Light Cameras can also Speed Cameras and can result in points, so speeding up to get through before they turn red, can be a major hazard. Which makes Traffic Light Speed Cameras all the more problematic. 

Concealed Cameras

Concealed Speed Camera

Concealed Speed Camera

Another situation is concealed cameras, the (right) image shows the speed camera concealed by a yellow sign at the bottom of a long steep hill. You don’t see the camera (Dubbed Stockport’s Scammera) until you are where the black car is, which has its brake lights on. The only way to see it from a safe breaking distance is where this Google image is taken from.

The image (above right), shows this camera is a new style digital speed camera, which means it never runs out of film, and is what they call “plant and forget”, operating 24/7. I assume plant is in relation to its eternal producing of fruit (money). This camera is between 2 steep inclines, directly at the bottom one, before, you go up another steep hill. Its ideally placed to get people who (1), allowed gravity to pick up speed, or (2), gained speed to make the lights, or (3), gaining speed for the upcoming hill. The fact its concealed is just a bonus for the police camera partnership.

There are various reports of this camera catching people for cutting the red light, and for speeding, many many many caught because they speeded up to make the lights before it changed red, and they assumed it were a traffic light camera. Its due to this camera, that I read about the fact traffic light cameras can be used to issue speeding tickets.  

62 Penalty Points 

In saying all the above potential traps, trickery and such hazards there is a driver in West Yorkshire which the BBC reported to have 62 Penalty Points on his license, the last 6 points given for Speeding just a few months ago (according to reports). Further more a driver in Oxfordshire has 51 Points, another in Essex has 42 Points, and one in Norfolk has 39 Points.

Where exactly does the “exceptional circumstance” come in here, how many times can you accidentally get points even  with the above examples. There must be a point where where Mr 62 Points has simply decided the rules don’t apply to him, he can speed, cut red lights, do as he bloody well pleases because the courts won’t take his license away. You only gets 6 points if you are significantly over the speed limit, not just a few miles over which can be an accident. I would really like to know exactly what he got and what his excuses are.

There are circumstances where you could accrue a few points, but surely there can’t be an excuse for getting 15-21 points per year, can there ? I estimate in my (at least) 2,000 Opportunities to accrue points, I have come really close once, which were extraordinary circumstances, and not normal at all. I also think a more experienced driver wouldn’t have made my mistake so where is the limit ?. 

Red Roadster picture by Pixabay, Speed Camera by Andrew Dunn, other images by Google Images. 

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Mobile Phone Use While Driving Gets You 6 Points from Today

Driver using Mobile Phone

Driver using Mobile Phone

I’m a day late I know, but I’ve been a busy bee with surgery issues and winding up business for my down time. The law came into force on Wednesday 1st March 2017. From Wednesday, using your mobile phone while driving, means 1 text can get you 6 points and a £200 fine on the spot, scrolling your music, making calls etc will all get you 6 points and £200 fine. It used to be £100 and 3 points with an optional retraining scheme. 

Its bad for experienced drivers who are allowed up to 12 points within any 3 year period before you receive a ban, but its even worse for new drivers like myself, if you get 6 points in the first 2 yrs then you lose your license.

The mobile phone retraining scheme where you could choose to a do a safety course instead of the points has been withdrawn, so its points, points or points oh and a fine. I’m not sure the seatbelt and speed awareness course are still running or not. Best to drive on the assumption that Tullocks Going to Get Ya. 

This legislation were brought in after Polish Driver Tomasz Kroker killed 4 members of the same familey while he were playing with his mobile phone. From memory he claimed he weren’t using his phone but instead were scrolling through his musical playlist. 

Police Crack Down

Police Crack Down Barrier

Police Crack Down Barrier

The police are reportedly doing 7 day crack downs, the first of which runs from 1st-7th March 2017, with another rumoured to start 22nd March 2017, a similar week long crack down in February 2017 resulted in over 3600 motorists given points, a fine or retraining scheme. With the scheme now withdrawn and the points doubled and fine increased, there is a world of pain heading to 1000s of motorists in March. 

According to government figures there about 2 dozen people killed per year and 100 seriously injured my motorists using their phones every year. A survey I saw reported that about half of young drivers think its acceptable to use their phone for short calls or quick texts. With many young people unable to stand switching their mobile phones off, its a recipe for disaster. 

Insurance Punishment

I phoned my insurance just for giggles (and fuck yeah I lied about who I was) and asked them how much it would increase my premium if I were banned within 2 years of passing. It really would be pointless me driving, it nearly tripled the premium. With a clean license having been driving 6 months the quote on a 1.4T Astra SRI were £1,200. Now add 3 points and the premium shoots to £1,800, next add a ban (non drink driving) raised the premium to £3,500. A driving driving ban they said they wouldn’t insure me.

They also pointed out that mobile phone use penalties are a CU80 Penalty and put you at more of risk than someone who were 5mph over the speed limit. Given there are reasons you could be caught speeding, but there is no excuse for using your phone, so your wallet will get more abuse for such a penalty. The official figured being bandied about suggest a CU80 will get you 30% insurance increase, which is quite close what I were told. 

Mobile Phone using Driver image by Breakingpic and Police Car image by Unsplash.

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

My Driving Test

L Plate

L Plate

I finally succeeded at passing my driving test, I say finally but given my first driving lesson ever were less than a month before hand, I guess it weren’t that long. It just felt like longer due to the pressure and rushing to fit it all in before my shoulder surgery, work issues, business and other stuff. I’ve included more about my theory test and driving test results later along with some commentary. 

First things, my Driving Instructor were John Swain (FB link) or 07968956860. He does both slow and steady as well as high intensity driving courses. Basically this is lessons from 1 hour to 5 hours (with breaks), between the hours of 6am-8pm. He can be flexible beyond that too, but best to talk to him about your specific needs.

I did a mixture of lessons, I went with 3-4 hours for my first few lessons, then between 1.5-3 hours, using the longer lessons to work on my sticking points. I believe it were a total of 11 lessons, spread over about 3 weeks, with lessons from 7am to 8pm fitting around my work timetable.

What I will say is intensive teaching seems a little overwhelming at first as you literally dive right in. Lots of things, for example moving off safely, at first I were thinking, where are my peddles, check mirrors, look over shoulder for blind spot, damn it man you forgot to indicate, indicate on, check mirrors, look in blind spot, press clutch down, find my gear stick, move into first gear, its been too long, check my mirrors, and blind spot again, slowly raise clutch, don’t stall, find the bite point, don’t stall mofo, check my mirrors again, steer out the spot, last glance to right, ease on the gas, mirror check, off the clutch fully, and pull away. 

Once you’re more in to it, you don’t think so much about the actions, or sequentially its more check mirrors while getting into gear and finding bite point, blind spot check, move out, speed up and away. The intensive courses made this process harder at first but the extended driving lesson time meant you could keep trying and trying and get it nailed.

My Driving Test Pass Score

My Driving Analysis Form

My Driving Analysis Form

My test started out potentially really badly, firstly the number plate I were asked to read had a bolt and cap in one of the letters, which made it near impossible to determine M or N and possibly even a W. Angela (my test examiner) struggled a little too, but I chose M and upon inspection at about 5m we both agreed M.

For reference in this instance its the examiners discretion if they accept M/N/W and your option to ask to read the car next to it or another plate, if you wish. 

The nitty gritty, I got 3 minor faults. One of them were as simple as poor positioning of my left foot and the heel got caught on the floor mat so I fluffed some consecutive gear changes. The other 2 minors were for mirror/signal category. I’m not 100% sure where they were, but I’m sure 1 of them were signalling (indicator) before a mirror check. I’m working on this, when I’ve been checking my mirrors on approach to a turn, I have sometimes forgotten to double check or rather include a dedicated mirror check.

I made an absolute point of NOT looking at what my DVSA Examiner were writing or marking, I didn’t want it to distract me. This is why I’m not 100% what the minors were for, other than the gear one.

I asked Angela for an extra critical assessment at the end to which she jokingly offered to add some extra minors if I liked. To be crystal clear I’m 100% sure I earned those 3 minors and they were genuine. I included mention of this joke as often I hear examiners are very stuffy, but they are only human. In her more critical assessment she said her only suggestion were work on mirrors and observation in general, everyone always need more observation. In general my driving were fine.

John also parroted her observation comment saying more experienced drivers often don’t do blind spot checks, so hammer the checks home as a newly qualified driver and build the habit.  

Excellent Lesson 

Poynton Round About Hazards

Round About Hazards

On my test day, a really helpful thing happened, confusing at first but helpful. Right by the test centre in Bredbury is a BP petrol station, which has a HGV/LGV fuel pump (I’d never seen one, or noticed before). We needed air in one of the tired and a screen wash refill to make sure all tip-top for the test. A large truck was in the right lane, indicating left, so I’m thinking slow down, give it space, its going to turn left at the lights. Suddenly its hazard lights come on, it did some weird positioning and manoeuvres, so I come to a near stop, then it became clear it were heading into the petrol station.

It were an excellent thing to happen, and taught me when you’re going to perform unexpected manoeuvres bang the hazards on and hopefully the cars behind will give you extra room. The first day I were driving, a transit van pulled up towards the end of a one way road, and banged the hazards on, so I hung back an sure enough the driver performed a tricky reverse park into a obscured drive way. His hazard lights meant I allowed space and all good. 

Consealed Car Park Entry Hazard

Consealed Car Park Entry Hazard

The pic on right is a place I sometimes park to stop at the pharmacy and its a nightmare, the green dot is a tree, the blue dot a statue and the red line is my route of travel. Invariably people expect you to enter the round about, so when you indicate left into the concealed entrance between the tree and statue you’re risking a rear end bump. I have seen many actual bumps and near misses in this very spot. When I approach now, I bang my hazard lights on about 2-4 car lengths before the status and the car behind me almost without exception drops back and I can safely make that turn.

Just for completeness as I have said before, I passed my theory with 49/50 on questions and 67/75 on hazard perception, which is a very good score, since I had never had a driving lesson before. 

Generation Gap

Huge Round About Portwood

Huge Round About Portwood

My early days driving has highlighted many things, many of these things are linked to potentially overly confident drivers, or perhaps drivers who were trained the old ways. My mum for example said she had never seen a round about with more than 2 lanes before. She as a younger person had never even seen or been on a motorway as a passenger.

The biggest round about she encountered for years of driving were 2 lanes, and she never came across one with lane guidance which negated the need to indicate in the first decade (see left). Lots of other things she had to figure out as she came across them. There is a growing argument for drivers to take refresher tests or a second driving test to see if you’re still safe, I can see why. I can however see that actual driving is about the road not the book, so I’m not sure it would help massively. 

I get the feeling many of the things which confuse me as a new driver, are because I’ve been taught the 2016 way, and my mother were taught the 1990s way, my older sister the 1980s way, and so on.

Its not so much people are driving wrong, they are just driving to a different era and we all have to find a working middle ground, and get by. 

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Driving Examiner Sues Learner Driver for Whiplash

Crash Test Collision

Crash Test Collision

Ben Williams, 24, from Sutton Coldfield has failed his driving test when DVSA Examiner Keith Priestly accused him of “braking too quickly” and causing whiplash. Luckily on this occasion Mr Williams Driving instructor Elaine Rose were in the rear of the car and she is reported to have argued that Ben executed the emergency stop manoeuvre perfectly. 

Ben who is an Engineer said “It was a nightmare. Its nerve-racking enough doing a driving test – let alone the examiner trying to sue you afterwards. He asked me to perform the emergency stop, so I did, and then he started groaning that I braked too hard and fast… but I felt fine and so did my instructor”.

His test were cancelled due to the examiner not being fit to continue the test, which gave Mr Williams a free retest. A few weeks later Mr Williams revived a letter from solicitors saying they were lodging a claim for damages to Mr Priestly for whiplash. On a side note, this is what happens if your test is cancelled due to bad weather, heavy traffic or anything else which isn’t the candidates fault.

Not So Emergency Stop

Sorry pedestrian peoples, your dog, your 3 year old child and your granny need all the kings men to put them back together, I decided to plough you down because, well I didn’t want to brake too fast in case I got whiplash.  My examiner said that’s fine but you’re all dead so all good, doesn’t matter. 

The emergency stop is essentially the ONLY manoeuvre you accrue faults and fail for checking your mirrors and being too slow, the key is EMERGENCY, not when its safe, convenient and legal, it means RIGHT NOW!

Lets do the maths, 30 mph, you’re travelling at about 15 meters per second and thinking time 10 meters. The very idea is that you cut the time in half and save lives. My instructor John told me off for worrying about lurching him forward and other stuff, STOP!

The Final Outcome

A few weeks later Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) wrote to Mr Williams saying Mr Priestly has been disciplined and the case has been dropped. A DVSA spokesperson has said “Mr Priestly no longer works for the DVSA. We can’t comment further”. 

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Driving Test Changes for 2017

L Plate

L Plate

I posted about the consultation on changes to the driving test previously but the results from that little experiment are starting to filter down. Whilst some of the things I agree with, some of them I have major issues with.

As a learner driver now, my experience is very limited, too small to be statistically relevant. I will of course update this with a new post at a later point and reference this one once I have more input.

Change Is In The Air

There are a few major changes, some are good and some appear to be minor tweaks, and one is questionable at best.

  1. An increase to the ‘independent driving’ part of the test from 10 to 20 minutes.
  2. Asking the candidates to follow directions given from a SatNav during the ‘independent driving’ part of the test.
  3. Replace the ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn in the road’ manoeuvres with more real-life scenarios such as driving into and reversing out of a parking bay. Parking on the right side of the road.
  4. Ask one of the two vehicle safety questions (known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions) while the candidate is driving, such as asking them to use the rear heated screen or use screen wash and wipers to clear the window.

The replacing the manoeuvres is a little eek, we already have the “Bay Park” which is reverse parking into a bay, on top of this they are planning on adding forward parking as well. I’m not sure this counts as real-life scenarios, but I guess its a start.

The using SatNav is a definite plus, and honestly its about time this were in there, so I guess on balance its ok. 

What’s New

Motorway Speed Light Lines

Motorway Speed Light Lines

One of the things suggested by Transport Minister Andrew Jones is actually really very good. He wants learner drivers to be able to take driving lessons on motorways before passing their driving test. Just when you think its getting good, it turns out these lessons will be voluntary. It would also be up to the driving instructor to determine when they learner driver is competent and safe to have motorway lessons. 

Currently the only way to get motorway lessons is pay for them after you have passed your test or as some new drivers do by completing the also voluntary Pass Plus or similar scheme.

Its complete madness yet again by not making them mandatory. Sooner or later you MUST use the motorway so you should be trained to use them.

High speed driving is a very different animal, during my first 4 driving lessons I never went over 31mph, and 51mph were the fastest speed I went in the 8/9 professional lessons I have had.  I went up to the next major town to me in a relatives car, and theres a NSL Dual Carriageway. Steering at 70-72mph is VERY different than lower speeds. If you’ve never gone 50+, the odds of you turning too aggressively are so high, and flipping the vehicle becomes a reality if not cracking something.

Making It More Modern

I mentioned changing the manoeuvres earlier to add forward bay parking and parking on the right side of the road. This is all well and good but its hardly scratching the surface of what’s needed. If you drove like you are trained to, and what you MUST emulate to actually pass, you would be Schrodingers Handgrenade on the road. By that I mean at any given moment someone tests your status, and its BOOM time.

The only way you get away with it while learning is because of the L Plates, and the exceptions others make for you. Excluding White Van Man who either wants to claim whiplash off you, or is too high on paint fumes to realise how much danger they are causing. If ever there were an advert for dash cams it should just be a picture of a white van in your rear view mirror.

Round About Lane Discipline

Round Abouts No Left

Round Abouts No Left

Today while I were out, one of the techniques I was taught and expected to use went wrong, horribly wrong. The round about technique is essentially if you are going left or straight ahead, you approach just left of the curb or in the curb lane. You then have to follow the curb around to the left and steer with the curb around to the exit and off. 

This works amazingly well on multi-lane round abouts, but as soon as you have a single lane, which is wide enough for 2 or more vehicles such as this one. In this google maps image, you can see a few cars have parked at the bottom.

I drew in the white line to show its wide enough, there are no lines though. What are you supposed to do, is in blue. While I followed the blue line, another car came up and followed the red line. The brown splat is where the others Christmas tree air freshener became ineffective against the load in his pants.

There is an argument the other guy shouldn’t over-take on a round about, but there also an argument that sticking to the curb is nuts in such circumstances. A more defensive road position would have solved this potential collision. I can see the point of instilling lane discipline on round abouts, but single lane round abouts need some work. There are slightly different rules for mini roundabouts, laned roundabouts, and normal roundabouts, so why not for single lane vs multiple lane ? 

Co-incidentally, the red line would be what is called “Straight lining The Round About”, it would fail your driving test, should a police officer be really kinky and enjoy the punishment of writing reports it can be an endorsable offence. While talking about this, Straightlining a mini round, as in driving over the hub, is a 3 point offence. Rule 188 prohibits it, but doesn’t expressly prohibit using a mini round about as a U-Turn location. 

3 Point Turn vs Turn In The Road

Austin Powers 3 Point Turn

Austin Powers 3 Point Turn

The 3 Point Turn has been renamed Turn In The Road some years ago, which is probably good, since its not always possible to do a 3 point. However as I understand it, you can still earn minor faults for doing more than 3 points. There are actually about 5 different ways to fail during a turn in the road manoeuvre. 

If its a 3 point turn, then call it that. The name Turn In The Road implies that as long as your observation, control and technique are on the ball then 3 or 6 should still be acceptable. There also needs to be a point where you are performing a 10 point turn, and holding 200 cars up, that you simply accept if the curbs low enough, its safe to do you, you have to mount the curb as its safer to do that.

I ended up on a new build housing estate where they hadn’t quite finished the road, the madness they hadn’t even lowered the curbs for drive ways, it were double parked and a nightmare. I hadn’t been prepared for that kind of turn, trying to use standard techniques I would have hit another car, mounted the huge 9″ curbs, or something worse.

 Reversing In General

While reversing, you’re expected to look out your rear window for about half of your time going in reverse. I can’t see much of anything out of my rear window, so I had to literally take my eyes of the road, and look into space. I may as well have been checking my phone and texting for all it helped. 

This needs to be updated, the technique for vehicles without a rear window needs to be taught and then the option given. I could see more by using my left, right, interior and checking my side (front and rear/blind spot) than I could in the rear, the rear window check made me feel like I were taking my eyes off the road.

The vehicles I have learned in have both had rear cameras, so the odd glance at that revealed a better rear view than any rear window glance ever could. While they are adding technology like SatNav usage, they should also include the usage of Parking Sensors and Rear View Camera’s. You should absolutely learn how park and reverse without using technology but you should also be taught how to use it too. 

I could go on way more, but hopefully this update is just the start and other updates are coming, more useful ones. 

 

Highway Image by Tookapic, Map Image by Google and Austin Powers image by New Line Cinema / Warner Bros.

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Happy New Year for 2017

WARNING: WALL OF TEXT

Well its a new year, as per usual I have no real resolutions nor plans to create any. The lifestyle changes I made last year which could be considered resolutions. They just happen to start with a new year, or a new month in the case of reducing my sugar intake (July-ish)) and increasing my cardiorespiratory fitness (April-ish). 

I’ve been thinking about what I would like to achieve in 2017, and decided that again no resolutions but more some lifestyle changes and objectives. I debated posting or rather sharing them here since its such a cliché to blog about them, and I’m not sure this blog is the place either.

1, Driving

Top of my list is finally sorting a driving license out. For someone who has owned multiple cars, many number plates and actually understands how a combustion engine works, I don’t actually drive. I’m hoping the fact I passed the theory test with a near perfect score of 49/50 on the Multiple Choice and 67/75 on the hazard perception, that it will be easy to learn the practical part. I have never had a single lesson and managed that. 

I’m so confident that I’ve already booked a practical test for less than a month away, and I still haven’t had a single driving lesson. I really should book some lessons, 2017 will be the year I pass. 

Confidence much.

2, Fun

I’ve been that busy sorting everything else out, I appear to have lost track of actually having fun in every sense of the term. I’m not quite sure how I shall interpret this, but I’m going to try work on it. 

I may actually try the whole date thing, so I have someone to Netflix and chill with. The only Netlix and chill I do, it more AmazonTV and chilled Wild Turkey and Ice Cubes. Amazon and Chill…ed Beverage as I call it.

I need to think of more fun things, not sure I remember how to do that. 

3, Health

Early on in the year I expect I’ll be having potentially major shoulder surgery will will knock out a large part of my health plans for the year. Mostly strength wise, certainly upper body work will be wiped out for many many months. During the rehabilitation I’ll be going back to basics, and hopefully correcting my bad form and enhancing my lifts. Over the years I’ve picked up bad habits “just get it up”, rather than maintain solid form. 

This also gives me an opportunity while working on my recovery and rehab unable to lift much, so I’ll be working on increasing my cardiorespiratory health. I’m going to work on hitting the 100km cycle ride this year (2017) as a target. Maybe aim for 100 miles next year, who knows. Keep the small achievable steps for now. Based on my current efforts that’s about 3 and 1/2 hours of riding with some short breaks added. 

4, Photography

I plan on making time in 2017 to actually do photo-shoots that I want to shoot. Its been a long time since I shot something I actually wanted. Around 5 yrs ago, I approached a friend of mine Beckie Armitt about doing a very dark and twisted Harley Quinn photoshoot. This is long before any dreams of suicide squad existed, had to be 2010 maybe 2011 and certainly before Halloween 2016 became Harleyween. It however got side tracked and things went another way, I recently mention it to her and she said “You should have explained more about what a Harley Quinn was” heh. I have loads of similar plans which could be unique. 

I’d also like to get back to shooting some stock images along side, in the fitness, health, and similar niches. I use about 200 pieces of stock a year, about half is free stock the rest paid for. I should be shooting my own again. 

5, Websites

I not too long ago (March) I consolidated all my blogging here into one blog. It still doesn’t feel right posting some things here, that goes for both private stuff and professional stuff. Some times code based posts feel wrong here, other times personal blogs feel out of place, as do rants and such so I’m curating and censoring myself, which can be sucky. I’m going to work on this. 

I am also changing my operating method, currently I have a few dozen website, I plan to cut this down to 2-3 bigger sites.

Bigger sites will take more work for less return in the short term but the long term potential and return is massively improved. 

The Summery

I don’t know what else to say here, were going to post a year summery but so much has been censored and removed from my blogging it will would look out of place. I also didnt’ get a complete year or blogging. I will post a summery next year, and see how my 5 points above pan out. 

A few days ago someone told me I need to message more when they don’t reply as they read messages when they are unable to reply then forget when they are free heheh, so I’m going to try to message people more without feeling stalker-ish or pushy. I figure this should be here too. 

P.S. I left this post without a picture or any pictures as I don’t really want any reading it 😛 

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.