Am I on holiday in Norfolk, still?

We say it every time we travel down the Acle Straight, towards home, which was Gorleston until 3 years ago, and now Bradwell, a suburb of Great Yarmouth. Not the eponymous “Are we there yet?” but does it still feel like we’re on holiday here?

Last weekend, heading back from Norwich  the question, usually habitual, wasn’t raised. Bet you’d love to be a part of the riveting conversations the Waltons have!

Let’s rewind.

We moved here in July 2008, gifting the house away in Crowle, near Scunthorpe, for a fresh start in an area I’d cycled through once and loved in 1994, with a teaching colleague, Dave Southern from Bolton. We’d parked at Hunstanton and toured East Anglia by bike, ending up in London and then heading back to Hunstanton.

Coming from Bolton, the weather in Norfolk amazed us – warm and dry for a two week cycling tour, and I decided then, single and childless, Norfolk would be a future home.

Two teaching jobs secured locally, for myself and my wife, we upped sticks and to the anger of our then 7 year old son and 1 year old daughter, who didn’t understand events, we moved south and east.

There’s been good times and bad times here professionally, which are well documented.

But Norfolk, Great Yarmouth, after 11 years, is beginning to feel homely, even though my heart belongs in the north, I like where we live and I love the lifestyle and climate. So much so that I may be reluctant to forsake Norfolk in 6 years’ time if we do make the trek back north to County Durham, where we stayed last week at Grace’s Retreat.

I designed that website and was smitten, as usual, by the area – which I blogged about here.

But heading back from a long day in Cambridge three weeks ago and Norwich more recently, that choral conversation of “Does it still feel like we’re on holiday here” never reared its tedious head and instead other conversation flowed.

Perhaps, at long last, after living here for almost 11 years, Norfolk is home and my SEO efforts to climb page rankings as a freelance web designer Great Yarmouth and Norwich are absolutely worthwhile.

I’m getting found locally, and not just in woods  and being commissioned locally to write and design websites – my passion from my Norfolk home office.

Distance is no object though – if you’re looking for a web designer in Norwich, Great Yarmouth, or Lowestoft or you’re in Edinburgh, Manchester, London or Cardiff, I’m happy to oblige with market-leading prices with no corners cut.

Wherever you’re based, I can help your business grow.

Contact me today.

Apple to Android and back again

I’m a fickle, feckless spender of earnings and having defected from the walled garden of Apple before Christmas to Android and a snazzy Note 9, this week I knocked on the orchard door and asked to be let back in – wearing the metaphorical sackcloth and ashes.

Now don’t get me wrong, the Note 9 was a superior device to the iPhone 8 Plus it replaced; Android was no longer the mess it used to be and Android let me access anything online without restrictions.

But this week, I entered the Apple chapel, in Norwich, knelt before the blinkered hipster staff and prayed for a safe return.

With profits sliding, from an almighty 1.1 trillion in case you’re tempted to weep, I was welcomed with open arms.

The prodigal son returned with a fatted lamb in the form of an XS Max (forgive my biblical ignorance if the analogy is inaccurate, as I stopped believing in God from the age I could reason – about 10 years old).

It’s good to be back too, as my primary work device is a 2016 iMac 27, which syncs beautifully with all iOS devices, but petulantly refuses to even phatically acknowledge the Note 9 perched on its wireless charging plinth, just 5cm away.

Plonk an iPhone near it and there’s an almighty digital ejaculation.

I went back.

This Norwich web design freelancer broke the adage – never go back.

In many ways, the Note 9 is a superior device – the screen, the battery, the S Pen, the widgets, the layers, the camera, but, alas, the iMac and iPad Pro refused to cohabit so it had to reluctantly leave.

I traded it in and got an exceptional price and bought a new one from one of these trading shops, where I went all Arthur Daley raiding drawers and cupboards for old tech like iPhone 5s models and old Samsung handsets and the like.

With my Note in Grade A condition, and the bag tipped on the counter, I could get an upgrade for far far less than with my network or in the Apple chapel. I did it. Stumped up cash walking out with a fine XS Max with vast memory so that the iMac and iPad Pro would stop sulking.

Why change?

I like change. I like trying new devices. The Apple iOS is still redolent of that on my first Apple device – an iPhone 4 and the tiled layout is a bit shit, tbh, after Android, but the chip, the A12 Bionic chip set is superb, better than the Snapdragon in the Note 9 which was no slouch. It is like a knife through butter and the way it talks to the iMac makes for a happy desk.

I’ve also pissed around in recent weeks, with various smart speakers: my office desk began with a modest Echo, then upgraded to HomePod, which I sold on eBay last week and then to a Google Home Max, which is terrific in terms of sound and Google Assistant.

But the Home Max looks odd now on the desk – it looks like someone in the Apple store without tattoos and piercings, I guess, so yesterday a new HomePod was bought. Again, its integration with the iMac, iPhone etc is staggering and I realise now why Steve Jobs was so evangelical about a locked digital tech space – once you buy one product, you’re hooked.

I had 6 months in Apple rehab, but alas now I’ve returned and to be honest I’ve no regrets.

Until next month?

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