Updates from the life of James

Sorry for being a little quiet on the blogging front recently…I’ve found that it takes so bloody long to write a full post that I end up not enjoying doing it. That said I am always coming up with ideas for posts so maybe it is easier to do an occassional ‘summary’ post to allow me to compress the lesser thoughts into one larger post. So here goes nothing 🙂

BMW blunders:


It is now officially 3 months (and 1 day) since I took ownership of my X5 and although I am still very much enamored with the car, there are some areas of irritation beginning to emerge. The main problem really concerns my speakers – the drivers front side one has not worked for around 6 weeks and now the passenger front side one has also stopped working; what’s annoying is that they work sporadically but then for no apparent reason stop again. There is a BMW audio specialist I’ve seen recommended online who is based only a couple of miles from where I live, but I’m worried it will end up being a simple fix that costs me loads! Other than that my problems are mainly psychological…I have a fear that the gearbox and/or turbo will go at any time and so whenever I hear any noises/feel any lag I get paranoid. Also the squeaking suspension could be a sign of worn subframe bushes (suspension bits I assume), and whilst the trip computer says I average around 37mpg on a run, an online calculator says it’s nearer 31mpg (and 24 vs 27 around town). Oh it’s also a bugger to clean, but other than that I love it 🙂


It’s now nearly 2 years since I’ve been on holiday and it’s starting to get to me a little bit. I’m somebody who loves nothing better than to spend all day relaxing in the sun and spend the evenings eating fresh food and drinking cheap alcohol/partying. I knew full well that I would not be going away this year (or indeed last year) because although I could just-about afford a decent holiday I don’t have anyone to go with *sob*. But without going into a lonely depressing rant I think it’s better that I focus on the positives and that fact that the UK is experiencing actual summer weather for once; temperatures of 23-27 have been pretty normal for the last month and hopefully that’s something that will continue at least until the end of August, if not September when I have a week booked off of work. I’m also going on a few day trips/weekends away which are at least things to look forward to also 🙂

What’s Filling My Ears:

Anyone that knows me in real life knows that I hate sharing my musical taste with anyone…not because it’s particularly weird or laughable but because I still feel like I am going to get judged. The last month or so has brought a variety of new songs to my ears after a period of having no interest in music so here is a summary of a few:

G.R.L – Ugly Heart: A pretty cheesy but catchy little number by the self-proclaimed new Pussycat Dolls (high praise indeed then). I actually really liked ‘Wild Wild Love’ which they released with Pitbull, but this is harmless pop at it’s best…I just don’t think it will do especially well in the UK without some airplay.

Ella Henderson – Ghost: A former UK #1 so I’m clearly not alone in liking this song by X-Factor alumni Ella. Totally not a traditional pop-tune, it’s very much more soulful in a Winehouse/Adele way (I don’t care if that sounds sacrilege to some) but nonetheless remains catchy and doesn’t drag you down.

The Saturdays – What Are You Waiting For: I tend to hate most of The Saturdays’ releases, but this piece of bubblegum/synthesised pop is better than their recent efforts. Knowing the way their songs tend to chart, if it gets heavy radio play the girls will be looking at a top 10 spot that drops off pretty quickly…nonetheless a summer song.

The Script – Superheroes: Again I’m not really a fan of The Script but I have found myself liking a fair few of their most popular songs after a couple of listens. Superheroes is so generic I honestly thought it was by one of those current tween boy bands with stupid names…maybe it’s embarrassing that I like the song then.

Rixton – Me and My Broken Heart: Any band fronted by the offspring of Shane Richie deserves to fail, and whilst this #1 single may be a flash in the pan for the junior version of The Script, it has nevertheless worn me down after a few listens thanks to it’s catchy hook and harmless lyrics. Don’t make me watch the music video though!

iPhone Anticipation

Although I like Apple’s products and own several, I am by no means an Apple fanboy and get quite easily frustrated by their policies and dominance. Until the launch of the first iPhone back in 2007 the mobile market was very open and smartphones were not merely massive screens with slightly different bezels…it was a simpler time and one that I enjoyed immensely with all the research, spyshots and choice I had. However as soon as I bought my iPhone 3G in 2008 I have remained roped into Apple ownership thanks to the simple user experience and seamless transition from one model to the next thanks to iTunes.

That’s not to say I don’t find iTunes horribly frustrating at times and the lack of variation between generations of iPhones means that I am perfectly happy to ‘skip’ the ‘S’ models that are released every other year despite any upgraded features. Moving from 3G to 4 I was amazed in the jump in both features and form factor; the metal design really made the phone feel premium and it finally had a camera that was as usable as my 4-year old Nokia N95! The wait between my June ’10 purchase of the iPhone 4 and the release of the 5 in September ’12 was agonizingly long by the end though, and even after lots of leaks from Apple I was still slightly underwhelmed by the slightly larger screened phone which graced my doorstep on launch day.

Nearly 2 years later and after the damp-squib 5s (albeit a successful one), the prospect of not just one but two iPhone launches seems to be on the horizon. Thanks to plenty of leaked documents and spyshots it seems pretty certain that September will see an iPhone ‘6’ with a 4.7″ screen and slightly updated looks, but what’s of more interest to alot of potential customers is the launch of a 5.5″ ‘phablet’ named the iPhone Air…a competitor to the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Note III and other massive phones. There is no doubt in my mind that if Apple release that handset for sale in September I will own it, but with rumours of delays for the bigger handset it makes me frustrated and confused about what to do.

My iPhone 5 has developed a rather infuriating habit of losing battery life as quickly as an Instagram user loses their dignity…ie nearly immediately. This means that if I have to wait longer than September to get that iPhone Air I am going to get very cranky indeed, and if I settled for the regular iPhone 6 I would end up regretting it the second it’s bigger brother arrives on the scene. The interesting alternative is for me to start using the Samsung Galaxy S3 that I’ve recently been given as a stop-gap; the S3 is a great phone and has lots of cool features over and above my iPhone, plus all important bigger screen and better battery life, but the transition from iOS to Android is a relatively painful one in terms of apps and music so I will try to hold off for as long as I can!



2 responses to “Updates from the life of James

  1. Nice update 🙂

    I’m glad you X5 is working well. The speaker issue sounds like loose or slightly corroded connections but I dare say it take ages to get the door panels off to get to the speakers?

    Don’t worry, your iPhone is not alone – my Nokia Lumia 925 eats battery power now and is only a year old. Battery will last two days if not used but barely two hours of heavy internet browsing! Basically not fit for purpose. I love the phone and all its features, especially the superb camera but I really don’t like having to constantly charge the damn thing up. If I’m using the sat nav on it I have to have it plugged into the car charger because the (albeit superb) Nokia Here sat nav app eats battery power at the exact same rate as the charger pours more in….

    • Thanks Ian 🙂
      Got the chance to have a good run to Wales over the bank holiday weekend (nearly 500 mile round trip) – the speaker thing is just a niggle but now the driver’s seatbelt has decided to stop working properly! Still usable but means I have to fiddle with it to get it to go in.

      I’m looking forward to getting my new phone, but as you say most phones nowadays have appalling battery life regardless of how new and hi-tech they are!

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