Closing a business isn’t failing, it’s a reason to celebrate

This year, both my wife and I have closed our businesses, and for very different reasons. My wife has closed her pet sitting business because COVID has negatively affected it. I closed mine because I don’t want to carry on as a contractor/freelancer. I’m going back to permanent work, and my wife was using hers as a side-hustle.

We both felt differently about closing up. I saw it as moving from one opportunity to another. Unfortunately, my wife saw hers as a failure. She felt as though she failed as a business, and she let all her clients down.

The thing is, neither of us have failed. Especially my wife. She kept a business going through thick and thin. She has dealt with a wide array of clients, and held it out all on her own. It was a success, and she did an amazing job at building relationships and gaining trust. If she restarted at any point, her client base would jump at the chance of having her back. To me, that’s a massive success that many people struggle with.

Running a business is always a huge learning experience. There’s many ups and downs, but the struggle is worth it. Even if you end up closing that business down, you would learn a lot from it. Learning from the business is what makes it a success. If you are closing down a business or have closed one in the past, please don’t see it as failure. See it as a success and just learn from what you did to get it to where it is or was.

Working out with sore muscles

When you’re working out, it’s obvious you will get sore muscles. Your muscles are generally more sore when you take a big break or you have never worked out before. It’s also easy to stop working out at the first sign of sore muscles. I’ve been guilty of doing this in the past, and I was close to not working out today.

Usually, you get what’s called delayed onset muscle soreness aka DOMS. This usually happens a day or two after a workout, and it’s when they are at the sorest point. My workout on Monday caused me to have DOMS which I really felt today.

I woke up and had second thoughts in going because of my soreness. However, I decided I will go to CrossFit, and I will force my muscle to work. Embracing the soreness can actually help create less soreness. While deciding not to work out due to sore muscles can actually make it worse. When I turned up to my workout, my coach said something similar. It is best to embrace as long as your body is able to complete full range of motion. If your muscle can’t complete the full range, then it’s definitely best to rest until you can.

People say the best form of recovery is rest. While this is true, it can also be false. You need to listen to your body, and ensure you don’t push it too hard. Especially if you’re trying to build a foundation for muscle growth and cardio build up. Sometimes your mind wants to rest more than your body, and when that happens, you need to push your mind. Push it and make sure it takes you to that workout so you can become a stronger person.

Being added to PHPNews

It’s kind of funny because when I started this blog, I was writing PHP tutorials. This is because I am a PHP developer. If there was something I was stuck on and I had to piece information together, I would bundle it up and turn it into a blog post. This was mainly so if I had the same issue again, I could go back and read what I wrote.

It was also nice to have other people read and find those posts useful. However, things changed, and I wanted to blog about more than just PHP. During my time of writing, my blog posts were added to PHPNews and were relevant. However, they are no longer relevant and I’m surprised to see my posts still appearing on the site. It is also nice to see them on there, and it does help with SEO. 😉

PHPNews has come a long way from what it was, and I do check in to see what other people are posting. It also looks like I’m the only irrelevant blogger on that site which does make me laugh.

Getting back in the game

If you’re a regular reader, then you probably already know what this post is about. Yup! It was my first day back at CrossFit! While it was a rocky start as I struggled to wake up and had to take my coffee to go. It needed up being a great first session back.

I didn’t go too heavy or too fast. It felt just right.

With an empty barbell

  • 5 high hang power-cleans
  • 5 hang power-cleans
  • 5 power-cleans

For 10 minutes start off light and gradually get to a mid to heavy weight.

  • 3 power-cleans

Then for the workout… For time (15 minutes) three rounds of…

  • 10 ground to overhead (GTOH)
  • 200 metre run

In the remaining time use any cardio equipment (run, row, bike).

For the GTOH, I kept it light (empty 20kg barbell) and went with snatches. I was able to go unbroken for the first two rounds, and on the last round I did two lots of fives. The runs were pretty consistent, and I paced myself really well. I can’t remember my time for the first part but it was definitely under ten minutes.

For the final part, I chose a rowing machine as it’s my favourite cardio machine. I stayed under 1,000 cal/hr which I don’t normally do. However, I haven’t been working for over three months and my body wouldn’t have managed a steady pace at anything over 1,000 cal/hr.

Before we went into this lockdown, my cal/hr was very close to the 2,000 mark, which I was really impressed by. Hopefully, I can get back to that level of fitness in a month or so.

Picture of me deadlifting a 65kg barbell. Going into a power-clean.

Things are opening up here in the UK

From tomorrow, we’ll be able to go back to the gym. Since the beginning of this lockdown, I haven’t been able to do many workouts. People say it’s easier to workout from home but to me it isn’t the same. My wife can see that I begin to withdraw from myself and become more depressed when I don’t go to CrossFit. To some, this may seem sad but it’s what I love doing. When you love that thing so much, and someone takes it away from you, then you would feel sad.

I love being coached and working out with a group of people. That’s where I thrive, and have accepted this reality. Once I get back into CrossFit tomorrow, my life will be able to begin a new. I want to keep pushing myself but I have to remember that I haven’t worked out for over three months. My body won’t be the same as it was, and I need to prepare for that.

If you have managed to get back to the gym or a more normal routine, how has that been for you? I would love to know in the comments. ☺️

Forcing yourself to write

I’ve read a couple of blog posts recently that try to do away with the motivation and inspiration. The premise is that you don’t need motivation or inspiration to write. You need to be organised and persistent. Persistence can’t work on motivation alone. If it were the case, then everyone would be posting irregularly.

I used to use motivation alone, and it led to sporadic posts. One week, I would be posting every day, then the next, my motivation would dwindle and there would be zero posts. Today, I don’t feel motivated, and yesterday, I didn’t either. Some days you just have to sit down and force yourself to write.

I want to get into the habit of writing and scheduling multiple posts in a day in case there is a day when I don’t write a single thing. Today, I didn’t know what to write about. The same thing happened yesterday. It wasn’t until I actually sat down with the iPad on my lap where I began to write.

This is because I felt like I had to write something. Anything. I’ve made a promise to myself that I will complete the Personal Challenge: 100 Posts in 100 Days.

The one time I felt like Batman

This is a story I haven’t told many people but I feel I need to get it out there now. My wife and I go to a beer fest in St Austell called “Celtic Beer Fest” at St Austell Brewery. We went for about 2 years, and the third year we decided to bring my mother-in-law.

We all had a great time, and the live bands were awesome. I remember playing a random game of rock, paper, scissors in the toilets while waiting, and I used the 🤟 hand for rock. Everyone, including myself was confused but we had a great laugh about it. It was pretty hilarious.

After lots of beers, and enjoying the music, we decided to head home. We took the train there so we headed back to the station. While waiting, we were talking to each other, and I noticed this drunk elderly guy. He was walking toward the edge of the platform and went to turn around. As he turned around, he lost his balance and fell backward onto the tracks.

We all saw, and tried to get him to move toward the platform. However, he was in shock and complete disarray. He was sat there for a good five minutes just looking around and not doing anything.

This is when I decided to take action!

I looked both ways to make sure there were no trains coming. The adrenaline and booze rushing through my veins! I jump down and help him get back up onto his feet. Then, I help him toward the platform and push him back up. The surrounding people help to pull him up, and once he got back up on the platform, they helped to get me back up.

I felt like a real-world superhero, and to this day, I still do. Batman is my true hero because he has no super powers and save people. At the time, I was wearing a batman hoody, and I really felt my inner Batman come out.

After the incident, I had to give a statement alongside my mother-in-law and wife. We were all in shock and surprise but the train came shortly after and the night was over. A part of me was hoping it would be in the local newspaper or on the internet somewhere but unfortunately, it wasn’t. C’est la vie.

Roasting unroasted coffee beans – Continued…

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Yesterday, I attempted to roast some unroasted coffee beans that I accidentally purchased. I also received a coffee roaster from Amazon and attempted a fourth roast. Here’s how the whole process went, and my thoughts on the final attempt.

Fourth roasting attempt (here we go!)

The machine we purchased is a little standalone device that can sit on your kitchen side. You can set a temperature from 0C to 240. When you switch it on, the arms start rotating to help give the beans a more even roast. For those that are interested in what temperature I used during this roast, I put it at 200C. I want to try another batch at 160C and see how that goes because I felt like 200C was roasting them too quickly.

There’s a lot of steam coming off because the beans are wet. You need to remember to open a window or two and turn on an extractor fan if you have one. I was mesmerised by the beans spinning around and slowly changing colour. However, I kept feeling light-headed because the beans are letting of CO2 as they roast. This is another reason why you should open windows and use an extractor fan. Breathing in all the CO2 can cause you to become light head and possibly make you faint. BE CAREFUL!

Getting rid of the thin shells (or paper bits)

Once you have finished roasting, this will leave you with some beautifully roasted beans and these tiny shells. The little shell bits are thin and can blow in the wind. A friend on Twitter showed me how he roasts his beans, and in his video, he has his process for getting rid of them.

He takes two bowls and puts all the beans in one of the bowls. He will then go outside and pour the beans from one bowl to another. I tried his technique, and despite losing a couple of beans, it worked out really well. I had two batches that I needed to do this process. However, I left the second batch on the side, and my wife came up with another technique.

She places the beans inside a colander and keeps shaking them around until all the shells move through the holes. It seems like a better process since there’s less chance of losing any beans in the process.

Finishing up

Today, I had two brews using the coffee I roasted on the roasting machine. It’s a smooth medium blend with caramel notes. There was no raw taste which means the beans were definitely fully roasted, unlike the batch from yesterday. The grind is also a lot darker than yesterday’s batch.

Final verdict

They taste a lot better, and they’re very smooth. I’ll be keeping this little roasting machine, and I’ll experiment with different temperatures and lengths of time until I get a roast I’m 100% happy with. As my roasting experience improves, I will keep updating the blog with more posts for anyone who might be interested in following along.

It’s funny how this started off as a happy accident because I accidentally purchased unroasted beans from Rave. Rave are also a great company who sell roasted and unroasted beans. I just happened to click on unroasted and forgot to read the description. 🤦‍♂️

If you enjoy reading this article, please feel free to follow me on WordPress, my newsletter, or Twitter. I look forward to seeing you here tomorrow.

Roasted coffee beans

Roasting unroasted coffee beans

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On Monday, I ordered some coffee beans from Rave Coffee. To my surprise, they were green and unroasted. When purchasing these beans, I had no idea what I ordered, which isn’t like me when I’m buying coffee beans.

First roasting attempt

Yesterday morning, I decided to try and roast a batch in my oven. I set my oven to 200C and kept a close eye on them. I read that you need to listen out for a popping sound to signify a light roast. A second popping sound means it’s now a dark roast.

However, this didn’t go to plan, and I couldn’t hear any popping sounds. It might have been because of the oven fan or because I was feeding my cats, and there was a lot of noise. Also, it might have been because of the fact they weren’t in there long enough. The whole situation wasn’t perfect, and I was playing a big guessing game.

Some beans looked very dark, while others seemed very light and possibly under-roasted. I thought that overall, it would have been okay, but it wasn’t. I had my second coffee using this batch of roasted beans, and it was pale and tasted like the beans weren’t fully roasted.

Second roasting attempt

For my second roasting attempt, I decided to use a large frying pan on a hob and see how it would fair. It seems to have worked a lot better than placing them in the oven. I used a smaller batch, and it seemed to cook through without burning.

Third roasting attempt

I still had beans leftover from the second batch, so I tried to put them in the oven again at a lower temperature of 150C. The outside looked a lot better, and the beans maintained an even roast. However, I still don’t think it quite got to the middle enough, and they still smell undercooked which is unfortunate.

Fourth roasting attempt

Today, I will attempt a fourth roast but using a coffee roasting machine purchased from Amazon. We’ll see how it goes, and I’ll keep you updated on the process. Hopefully, I will maintain a better, more equal roast, but we’ll see.


So far, I haven’t done very well when it comes to roasting beans. However, I’m keeping a positive attitude, and I’m hopeful the next batch will fair a lot better. I’ll write another post to show how my process went with the fourth and fifth batches.

If you enjoy reading this article, please feel free to follow me on WordPress, my newsletter, or Twitter. I look forward to seeing you here tomorrow.

Image for "Personal challenge". This image has a stack of perfectly balanced rocks in the foreground. In the background there's a waterfall surrounded by green grass.

Personal Challenge: 100 Posts in 100 Days

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I watched Noah Kagan’s “The law of 100”, aka “How to stick to your goals and routines. It got me thinking that I should give myself a personal challenge. Create 100 blog posts in 100 days consecutively.

I have already created three blog posts in a row (this will be the fourth), so I’m off to a good start before I’ve fully started my challenge. However, I will start it from this post, so I should have a 103 streak on WordPress. (For those that don’t know, WordPress give you streaks and achievements to keep you motivated).

I did something similar a few years ago where I tried to create a post every day of the year. Unfortunately, after around three months, things happened, and I stopped my stream of posts. I believe this time will be different since 100 posts are definitely more achievable. Also, it means that I will be pushing the total amount of posts to over 300, which is apparently a milestone to reach. I read it on a WordPress ebook that says websites with over 300 blog posts are somewhat favoured in the algorithms. I have no idea how true this is since no one knows how search engines truly work.

If you want to join in, then please feel to post away. It has to be at least 1 post a day, and you need to make it to 100 days. Let’s go!