Italian break !

italyI took two weeks off from work in May this year, to sort out some things that piled up for ages, and work on some secondary projects.

I thought about sharing those “things”, mainly to show off :D.
Naah, nothing to show off, but I thought it’d be self-motivating to explain how I wasted  used two weeks without increasing the balance in my bank account. In other words, by publicly declaring what I’ve done so far and what I’m going to do for the rest of those holidays, I’ll be motivated in both doing something useful and do more. Never been a fan of sleeping until midday. Also, tracking what has been done helps myself in the future in case I have to go back fixing/continuing those tasks.

Back to the point. What I’ve done and I’m planning to do:

  • PHP Conference. I only worked in Italy as a freelance during univ. Small projects, often paid peanuts, but from which I technically learnt a lot. After having attended many conferences and talks abroad, attending one in Italy was inspiring. If you are a PHP guy, more tech details about it in my software development tech blog;
  • er-5Sold my motorbike. I bought a Kawasaki ER-5 almost 10y ago. Had lots of fun with it on the Italian hills an mountains. Unfortunately, in Italy taxes to keep even a 2-wheeled vehicle are ludicrous, and that forces me to sell it since I use it 2/3 weeks a year. Road tax and insurance are too high, especially compared to the UK ones, so … Adios motorbike. Hope I won’t swear too much with paperwork, signatures, paperworks etc.. So far the paperwork for the property certificate replacement (that got magically lost) took just 1h at the police office. and lots of fun seeing the eldery officer using a computer writing an UK address road name without spaces, and without writing the postcode. I guess the Italian police is able to locate a road in a country by just giving the road name. City and postcode are useless !
  • Opened a cash accounts in euros. Withdrawing money from my English account means paying a 3% each time. Annoying when I am in Spain or Italy, and even more annoying when taking a deposit for car hire. Bank accounts in Italy are very expensive, around 100 euros a year, plus not all of them offer online access. Not convenient when rarely used then, but I found one at only euros a month, to which I could transfer money using transferwise and pay less commissions;
  • Alfa 156 blackpunt car radio: the activation code was lost, and for almost 2y no music. It’s a 2003’s radio, so I did some googleing and found out that there is an algorithm (that thieves probably know) to calculate the activation code starting from the serial number. Had to pay a few euros for it, to but worth it as it worked like a charm;
  • WordPress: I’ve launched some e-commerce websites, such as a website to sell films, on which I’m experimenting some product filtering advanced plugins; Also, I want to export a wordpress plugin to attach twig rendered-templates to hooks, and enrich templates, I’ve used it for a project and might be useful for others, so good to distribute it;
  • Projects: I have tons of business ideas, just have to filter out the one I actually have time to launch;
  • Got rid of house from old stuff. I still have web magazines from the last 10 years, a bit useless since they explain how to optimise a 56k line 😀
  • Read some books. Started “emotional intelligence” by Goleman, looks good so far. Also read a preview of a book of a guy initially working for facebook, than sacked. A pity as it could have gained $ 170M with stock options :D. Apart from helping to see things from the right prospective (I’ll complain less when the weather is shite, there are worse things in life), I gave it up reading, not interesting so much after a while.
  • Bought some things I don’t need, like funny sticker for the macbook,  a small cheap mixer to combine TV, phone with spotify and bluetooth receiver to the same speaker
  • Beach, Friends, Relax, last but not least as that was 90% of the time spent

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