Harpur’s of Melbourne.

Harpur's of Melbourne

As I have recently moved to Melbourne as I stated in my previous blog, My First Impressions of Melbourne, Derbyshire today I had the opportunity of testing the local hospitality as a very dear friend from Guildford who recently relocated to Birmingham decided to pay me a visit, and so we went to lunch at Harpur’s of Melbourne but originally had no idea where to go, as I have not been here long it was difficult to know and so after a short while of walking around we decided to pop in to have a look at the menu. After a while we decided we were eating there, but I also think it was encouraged by the fact that today was bitterly cold. After looking at the menu we ordered drinks (both non-alcoholic as one was driving, the other (moi)…was simply not drinking…boring? Maybe), I made the mistake of ordering a filter coffee but forgot to order hot milk (I really do think its time pubs/restaurants started asking if you want hot or cold milk on principle) and my friend ordered a bottle of mineral water both of which were served relatively quickly and served with a smile by the manageress (I presume); prompt, smiley and efficient is always the way to make people want to come back and even spread the word.

After a while of catching up and looking at the menu it was time to order lunch, the barman came around to take our order and both ordered the Harpur’s Fish & Chips (beer battered haddock, tartare sauce, chunky chips, mushy peas). It didn’t take long before our order arrived and so we tended to our meal. It was absolutely delicious and very well cooked, it was great. The chips were done to perfection, fresh and chunky and the fish and mushy peas were delicious.

All-in-all it is a great little restaurant, the atmosphere is warm and friendly, you feel comfortable as soon as you walk in. Service was professional, efficient and with a smile. I can certainly say that I will be going there again and I will be recommending it, not only to friends and family but to anyone else who decides to pass through Melbourne. I have provided a hyper-link, so take a look, they even have an online menu to look at to wet your appetite. It is also a bar and a hotel, have not tried the hotel yet, I’ve had no reason to but maybe in the future but as I have somewhere to live nearby that is not necessary.

The stop there is worth it and you will not be sorry.

My First Impressions of Melbourne, Derbyshire.

Melbourne Pond, taken on my iPhone and then enhanced it on Photoshop Express
Melbourne Pond, taken on my iPhone and then enhanced it in Photoshop Express.

A week ago this past Saturday I relocated from Guildford, Surrey of what had become my home in over the decade that I’ve lived in the UK, I culturalised and in that time I obviously swung into the Surrey/London way and pace of life, so having come from Zimbabwe and a farming background I would have settled into life in Melbourne quickly had I come here first, but, Surrey became my home and in over the ten years that I lived there I think it would only be natural. I grew accustomed to the way of life there and life’s faster paces than I am coming across here in the East Midlands of the UK.

I have already done my rounds of town and met some people and on Thursday last week I had to get a key cut and so I went to the local cobbler, a decent chap, probably standing at the same height as myself (5.5ft), a pretty broad accent and it turned out he originally hails from Sheffield but prefers the slower pace of life – like…here. I am sure we have all heard that phrase “talk for England”, well, he sure does that saying proud – as I am still pretty “Surreyfied” I do find it difficult to keep on chatting and if I feel like I’m in a hurry, I’m in a hurry, but also, I have become a bit of an introvert, but, I think that might just be circumstantial rather than who I have actually become, perhaps? Then I met the woman who cut my hair, again, could talk for England, well…she’s a hairdresser, what hairdressers can’t talk for England? (no offence hairdressers). Then I also met my hosts boss, again, a nice fellow. The folks that I have met are friendly enough. I even got lost yesterday on my way home (after a very annoying yet embarrassing occurance involving my iPhone screen – I cringe and to avoid embarrassment I shan’t be blogging about that) and had to ask directions to my street – how embarrassing is that? Its so small here I may have gotten away with “excuse me, do you know where I live?” and they’d probably know already. We’re in the back end of nowhere and so…we don’t need satnavs to find where we live, we just ask the towns folk.

And then On Monday I went for a slight wander to see some of my new surroundings. I went to Melbourne Pond and how beautiful can you get, absolutely gorgeous, very picturesque and falls onto a manor (above photo). It sure is a very beautiful area.

I have found the people of Melbourne friendly and welcoming. Due to the fact that Guildford, Surrey became my home in over the decade I’ve been in the UK it will take a while to fully adjust to the much slower pace of life and so today I am in Derby sat in Costa having an Americano and tending to my blog, but I am confident that I will get used to it and though London and my friends are all down south they are but a train or bus ride away. This however might be a prelude to a completely different life, who knows – time will tell.

So here I am, a new change and a new pace of life, who knows where this new path will lead…

Edit: Back to Surrey…

My Take of Apple over Microsoft

In my years of working with computers (since 1997) I have primarily worked on Windows, both professionally and for pleasure – I’ve worked on Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT 2000, XP and then finally Windows 10, I have to say that for me I preferred XP and 10 the best and loathed Vista with a passion.

I am a relatively new Apple user with my first Apple device being my very first iPhone 5c which I purchased last year when I got enough of my Samsung S3mini giving me gip. Android was really annoying me and did not find it as stable a platform as everyone had been raving about – several friends of mine had been swearing by their iPhone’s and so I decided to give it a try. I took the plunge and bought my first iPhone, all I can say is it is the very first smart phone I have owned that I have not looked back on, in fact – there is no going back, I am stuck with iPhone.

Now, I am by no means an IT expert and I don’t claim to be, I never will claim to be what I’m not but what I am is an end-user, as are many of us. Recently a friend of mine sold me his MacBook Pro and though this is not the first time I have used OS X, having had my first introduction to using an iMac of one of my best mates in 2007 and then I used this same model  MacBook Pro in 2014. I instantly fell in love with Apple, both with my mates iMac and the other one. But, one thing I could not do is afford one.

As a writer I already knew that Macs were the way to go due to their functionality, their preinstalled publishing software, as well as the software that you can get for writers on Mac that you cannot with Windows, I for years desperately wanted a Mac but I feasibly could not afford one and so I stuck to Windows. Last year I purchased an Asus running Windows 10 of which I had to replace three times until it worked properly, it was brand new that I bought from PC World in the Easter Mega-Deal Sales. At that point I desperately wanted to get back into my writing and so had already started saving for a MacBook Air but then the sales came along and my patience wained and so went to PC World to buy a Windows laptop – if anything it has taught me to be patient.

Towards the end of last year a very close friend dropped me a message to say that he was selling both his iMac and his MacBook Pro and that he’d sell the Pro to me for £200, well – I jumped at the chance. We worked out a payment plan and I knew my friend who I was living with at the time was interested in a laptop, so I offered my laptop to him and due to the favours he’d done me told him to name his price. Expecting it to be quite a low price he offered me a very generous price and so we arranged on when we’d do the transfer. And as such am now a proud MacBook Pro 15″ early 2011 model. All I can say is I love it.

Here I will give my own experience of OS X vs Microsoft Windows (aka-Win-blows). As a first time, long-term end-user of MacBook and OS X I will touch on both the hardware and software benefits for me.

MacBook Pro and OS X Sierra:

  • Its interface is entirely user friendly, the machine itself is designed with the end user in mind and the end user being the artistic types; the writers/authors, musicians, painters.
  • OS X Sierra works perfectly for me, it is easy to find your way around, again, entirely user friendly and not at all complicated. The applications available are great, something that completely outdoes Microsoft Windows.

Here I am ranting about Apple and while I know that there are users out there that absolutely hate Apple products – its understandable that we all have preferences. For me I do not ever see myself going back from iPhone or from Mac, OS X is good for me, it works better for my needs than Microsoft ever did.

I’m a writer, I have plans to further my writing and have an idea for a project that I want to start working on, by way of a screen writing course and whilst I am doing that a project that I want to focus on at the same time. And as many of my fellow writers also use Apple because it works better for us than Windows ever did. It is also easier to crunch away on the keys of a Mac than it ever was on a normal laptop.

So for me, bring it on. There is no going back.

Going the Distance – New Website

When I was given the encouragement to create my own webpage and take it from wordpress.com to my own domain by the guy who is now hosting my page I thought about it but again today I have learnt yet another lesson within my journey. When I came up with gtaylorblogging.com I didn’t think about the full distance, I didn’t really think about the goal, I didn’t think about my full potential as a writer, I thought about just a very small part of it, blogging. I didn’t think about the long term, I thought about the interim. I went as far as thinking about implementing vlogging into the future of my journey, that’s as far as I went…

The problem is, so I have noticed within the last two days is I have not applied myself into thinking about the future, into “GOING THE DISTANCE” and that distance is as I have said above, my full potential as a writer. And what started this was a website I found entitled Helping Writers Become Authors which naturally made me think of the draft stories I have in place, not the biographical drafts I have started on but the novels. And on going through this website yesterday I noted each and every little detail of the creation of the website, the site owners/authors words and pieces, as well as blog updates.

My problem here is I created gtaylorblogging, the problem with this is it doesn’t encompass much at all on the writing circuit, but…as it says, blogging, so it is a blog and so I have decided that in September 2017 I will be closing this page down and will be moving it to a whole new website which will be embodied in writing, generally. I need a website which will be focused on writing which focuses on the whole thing, blogging, as well as writing in general. So, the creation of a new website is in motion.

This is just like everything else in life, its a continuous lesson. This is the price of not thinking of the end goal and have only lost out on £4.00, the bigger picture. Not thinking about what it could become, only thinking about a very small part of the goal. About Going The Distance…

Edit, 21 June, 2017:

I have thought about this and through the advice of an entrepreneurial friend of mine who has seen my potential as a writer I will be keeping this website going, as is but will be creating a whole new niche website.

The Definition of a Zimbabwean.

As Zimbabweans we are more than a nationality, we are a people who live, eat and breath resilience, we are characteristically a strong people because of our lives, because of our upbringings. But, we still have a heart, we still hurt, we still love and when we do it is deeply, we can still break but every time we do we bounce back stronger, faster, wiser, sharper.

When we are given a reason to defend and protect that and those that are a part of our very being, our very existence, our very soul we do it fiercely, loyally and passionately. When we forge real and powerful relationships we are loyal to the very extreme.

Who are we, who am I? We are a people who learn what death is from a very young age, we have known what it is like to lose dear friends from a young age, we are a people who shelter those we love and appreciate from what we have experienced for the protection of their being.

The majority of us have lived lives that can only be imagined by others, or believed to be not true. Some would wish it, others would believe it was from a movie. Unbelievable lives, varied, from good to bad.

Now, who are we? We are Zimbabweans, some African cowboys and cowgirls, others, silent warriors.