car on the road with motion blur and sunlight in the mirror
Evening cityscape of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Westminster Bridge at sunset, London, UK

Moving On…

I am seriously thinking about moving on. I know that somewhere in this blog you probably read about how much I love living in Scotland. That has not changed. I still love my life in Huntly and that is probably why I am quite torn about getting up and moving to a new location to live.

I practically lived all my life here and the thought of packing my bags and trying out a new life somewhere else intimidates me. This is my comfort zone. But I then again, the thought of not knowing what awaits me in another place makes me feel incomplete. So I guess this is one thought that is worth contemplating on.

My options for moving on…

In the event that I go through with my plans of moving on, I am considering 3 cities as my next destination.

Edinburgh

The first time I thought about moving to a city, my first choice is moving to the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh. It is the fourth largest city and the best place for the science and arts. It is a growing city and one of the best options to live and work in Scotland. Food and shopping are both quite excellent and the quality of life is going up. As a business centre, the city is starting to become very productive. That means a lot of career opportunities. So if I ever want to put my career to the next level, this is a great option to live in. I am worried about the supposedly “congestion” issue in the city but I heard the city officials are trying to do something about it by having a new tram service. The cost of living will definitely be higher than Huntly but then again, that is expected. It is not as expensive are the other cities though. I also heard that the entertainment and sports scenes in the city are thriving and that is something that will probably make living there quite exciting.

Glasgow

This place has a certain appeal to it. After all, it is the largest city in Scotland. Some people may think that this city is grey and a bit depressing. The high-rise flats do tend to cast a shadow over the bustling life on the streets. However, that is no longer what the city is all about. Thanks to the campaign, “Glasgow’s Miles Better”, this city is more vibrant and alive. It is now considered as one of the liveliest cities in the UK. The music scene and clubbing are very much alive. The restaurants are in abundance and easily found within the city – giving a taste of great cuisine from around the world. The same is true for shopping and cultural experiences. It even has cheaper residential areas – at least compared to the average in the UK. With several sports centres, pitches, fitness clubs and various leisure activities, the city of Glasgow is a great option for someone who is thinking about moving on to a new city.

London

The last city that I am considering is London. While this is a very populous city, I feel like this is where my career will have the most chance of taking off. I know that there will be a lot of opportunities for me to work in this city. Of course, I am not too keen in actually moving to England but this is an option that I would like to keep. I know that both entertainment and leisure are in abundance in this city – so my work-life balance will not be in danger. The cost of living may be a bit high – but that means the compensation rate is probably high too.

So that summarises the three cities that I am considering before I decide if moving on is really the right step for me. What do you think of them?

Huntly
scotland
Beautiful view of the city of Edinburgh

What Is It Like – Living In Scotland?

I love living in Scotland. I am happy that this was where I grew up. There are so many things to love about the country. More than anything, I believe it is the quality of life that makes it really amazing. The beautiful scenery, the landscapes, and the overall culture and demeanor of the people makes everything really appealing.

What is life like in Huntly, Scotland

Even life in a simple town like Huntly boasts of a high quality of life. The house prices here are definitely cheaper. And regardless of where it is located, commuting is easy. Traveling by car may be convenient but you will also find that biking is a great way to get around. The weather, while there is not an abundance of sunshine, is not bad. There is not much rain so you can go biking without feeling too hot because of the effort. And the scenery will make it all the more worth your while.

Apart from that, there are so many things to do in Huntly. The people in town is more than 4,400 and is steadily growing. There are tourists here and there – you cannot blame them for visiting because Scotland is a very beautiful place. The rich history of the town is written everywhere and it gives us locals a sense of pride in it. After all, this is considered to be the historic home of the regiment that recruited the North-East of Scotland – the Gordon Highlanders.

The art scene in Huntly is also very much alive. And a lot of enthusiasts have made a lot of effort in preserving the rich culture and history of the town. You can see how living in Scotland, specifically in this part of the country, can be quite appealing.

When it comes to the economy of Huntly, the local government is working hard to promote both business growth and development. The town is being promoted to encourage tourists and visitors – which can fuel the local businesses. Infrastructure is being improved upon and famous historical sites are being preserved.

Overall, you can say that Huntly is on the brink of taking off. I also love how the town is taking a special interest in sports – like the one I am most passionate about – cricket.

The real deal about living in Scotland

Of course, there is a lot to living in Scotland that you should know.

Probably one of the most important is the work/life balance that is usually promoted everywhere. While the cities in Scotland remain to be the business centres, there are various towns and villages surrounding it. That means you get to access the opportunities in the metro and still have a peaceful and relaxed place to live in when you are not working. The impressive public transport makes the commute easy and convenient.

The benefits in Scotland are great as well. You get 4-6 weeks of paid vacation – more than enough to keep your life from feeling stressful. You also get to benefit from the National Health Care – allowing your to get medical attention at a very minimal cost.

As you can see, living in Scotland will give you an overall improvement in your quality of lifestyle. Traveling is cheap all over the country. Regardless of where you live, it is possible for you to explore the country without breaking the bank.

Three friends during poker night
Poker game
Men playing dice and drinking beer

Night Out With Poker And Drinks

Poker and drinks! If you find yourself exhausted after a very tiring week, this is the pair that you want to accompany you on a Friday night.

At least, that is what my friends and I thought. After a week of grueling cricket training, we planned to spend our Friday night playing poker and drowning ourselves in our favourite drink.

One night of poker and drinks

Instead of driving out to a casino, we decided to go to a friends house to set up a poker table and spend the whole night playing. There were 5 of us so we split into teams to set up everything. My friend headed to his home first to set up his house because that was where we will be staying. It was perfect because he is a poker enthusiast and he had all the equipment that we need. Apparently, it was not the first time he has hosted a poker night.

The truth is, I am not really that big on gambling but I have played online poker before. As you know, I am a website developer and I had a project involving an online casino. I did not build it from the ground up. I was asked to make some changes. But what I saw got me interested in playing online games – specifically poker. When I’m bored, I find myself playing every now and then.

Which is why I knew that the night of poker and drinks will be epic. I did not plan on backing down without a fight and I intended to win big!

Well, I did not really lose a lot of money but unfortunately, I did not come out as the winner. One thing is for sure, it was a very fun night for all of us. We got to relax, play poker, and talk while drinking. It was a great way to end the week full of activities. Obviously, it was a lot better for my friend who won most of the money that night.

Tips when playing poker at home

If you are thinking of something to do with your family and friends, a poker and drinks night is probably one of the best options that you will have. However, you need to make sure that you do it the right way. Here are some tips that I think you will find useful as you organise this night.

  • Make sure everyone is acquainted with the basics of playing poker.
  • Assign only one person to handle the buying in and cash outs. The same person can take care of rebuys too. This will limit any misunderstanding when it comes to the money handling. This will also make sure that the cash out at the end of the night will balance out.
  • Limit the denominations on the chips. This will simplify things and avoid confusion.
  • Prepare two decks of cards. That way, no game will be forced to stop as the deck of cards are shuffled.
  • Set the buy-ins and make it simple. Try to have 100 big blinds – regardless of the level that you are playing. Feel free to discuss this with your friends so everyone is comfortable with the amount. Affordability might be an issue.
  • Encourage everyone to be vocal about their actions – whether it is folding, calling or raising the bet.
  • For the food and drinks – keep it simple. Get something that everyone will enjoy. And avoid getting oily food. You do not want oily fingers handling the cards.

Consider all of these tips if you want to have a successful poker and drinks night.

Cricket Ball Hitting Wickets
Huntly-Cricket-Club
Huntly-Cricket-Club-Castle-Park

About Huntly Cricket Club

The Huntly Cricket Club is one of the reasons why I can freely play the sport that I love. I have always been a very active person – going from one type of sport to the other. For the past few years, I have found myself focusing on cricket because – well, I am pretty good at it. While I know I am athletic enough to be good at any sport, I find myself more drawn to cricket. I enjoy the game and I have formed several friendships that are founded on mutual respect and camaraderie.

To say that I love hanging out at the club is an understatement. I practically see them every day.

About the Huntly Cricket Club

The Huntly Cricket Club meets at Castle Park in the small town of Huntly. The place has a cricket pitch that allows us to play and also a pavilion where we change and store most of our gear. Although a lot of us play in the North of Scotland League or the Strathmore Union, we also have seasonal and weekly coaching sessions.

We pay a small fee for the membership – something that opens every summer. The club sometimes recruits people who exhibit a talent and love for the sport. We do want to promote the sport to the young ones – which is why there are a lot of coaching sessions.

The contact person for anyone interested in joining is Patrick Scott. He currently serves as the secretary of the club. You can get in touch with him through 01466 792647.

Daily training at the Huntly Cricket Club

So what happens when every time I go to the club? After I change into my training clothes, I usually do warm up exercises. It is nothing special – just some stretching. Sometimes, I run laps to help make me feel more energized.

As a sport, cricket is a very technical game. It is important to be quick with your movements. Not only that, you need to wrong on your strength to be able to bowl balls as fast as possible.

This is why my training concentrates on strength and conditioning. Regardless of my role in the team, this will always be a focus in my training. Of course, I also have to focus on what I usually do on the pitch. That means making repeated efforts to improve my techniques as either a batter or bowler. The club has the equipment, machines, and facilities that allow me to train based on what I need to improve on.

While most of my time at the Huntly Cricket Club is focused on training my skills, I sometimes help out coaching kids who are learning the sport. Nothing like sharing what I know to the young ones! It is a lot of fun and motivating too!

Cricket-Bowling-Machine
Cricket-players
Ladder-work

My Cricket Trainings

I try to schedule my cricket trainings on a daily basis. It is not just because I love the sport. It helps me get the exercise I need. Not only that, it allows me to improve my skill – which will really work well for the team when we have to play. When we play as a team during training, it does not only improve our individual skills. It also helps us work as a team more efficiently. In the end, that is what helps us win.

We usually have a coach when we are training. It makes everything feel more organized. However, there are instances when we train on our own. There are a couple of equipment that make this possible. If you are interested in playing cricket, you are probably wondering how a typical training happens.

About my cricket training

The truth is, cricket trainings usually vary. We do not have the same training programme every day. The coach usually decides what we will be doing at a particular time. And in training, we are not always playing a game of cricket. Most of the time, we are strengthening specific skills like our footwork, shots, etc.

When we train during the pre-season, we start by analysing what our opponents did in the previous one. It helps identify the skills and techniques that we needed to improve on. We also study games that we played to see which skill should be improved and the mistakes made. While the coach does most of the analysing, it also helps for us players to understand what needs to be improved so the team will function well. It is not just the skill but the way we play together that is important.

Once the analysation is done, we work on what needs to be corrected. Here are some of the things that we do during cricket trainings.

Ladder work

This is a good drill for your feet. Batting is all about your ability to move your feet very fast. The idea is to place a ladder flat on the ground. You will then shuffle over the ladder while going back and forth placing your each foot in the middle of each spoke as fast as you can. If there is no ladder, you can visualize the motions and do it. This is a great warm up drill before any cricket training.

Underarm throws

This will help you develop better forcing shots. Underarm throws are better than overarm throws because it is more accurate. It is easier to hit a higher percentage of balls this way. It is possible to use other balls for this – like a tennis ball.

Net

This is probably the hardest of all the drills that you can do in cricket trainings. After all, in an actual game, you have a couple of bowlers guarding the net. But in training, you simply stand in front of a net to try and get as many balls in it. Start slowly and then try the more tricky shots.

Bowling Machine

This is a great way to train your skills in cricket. You start feeding half volleys and keep hitting it. This helps practice your form, rhythm, and movement. However, it is best to do this with someone else – just to gauge how you measure up. It makes things look more challenging.

These are only some of the things that happen during cricket trainings and some of the equipment that you need to develop the skills you need to improve on.

Cricket player
England-Cricket-Team
Scotland-National-Cricket-Team

Best Cricket Teams In The World

The best cricket teams go beyond the statistics or the scores. At least, that is what it means for me. Obviously, getting a high score means the team is skilled enough to play better than their opponent. But that is not just what makes a team great. Beyond the numerical value, you have to see the quality of the play. You have to see how the players in the team work with each other.

What makes the best cricket team?

So what exactly makes the best team in the world of cricket?

I usually look at their pace and the synergy by which they play. My favourite teams have an energy or awesomeness that will make you look at every movement. As they run back and forth across the field, you have this sense that they know what they are doing. They know what is going on. Every thing they do on the field is planned and that they have spent countless hours practising with each other.

That is what I look for in the best cricket teams in the world. I know how the ICC ranks the best ones but I have my own criteria. It is not in the trophy or the number of accolades or games won. I look at the synergy in the team and how they hold themselves up and each other in every game.

Like every other fan out there, I am all for the heart-stopping moments, the mind-blowing passes, and unbelievable scores. But that is not everything for me. I look at the manner by which every score is made, the flawlessness and ease in the movements. That is what leaves me in awe. I guess you can say that my perception is different because I am a cricket player myself. I understand the depth and techniques used. I can appreciate the movements because that is something that I would probably want to do – or have done in the past.

My two favourite cricket teams

Given all of those, let me tell you about the two teams that will always be my favourite. Since I have been open about myself being Scottish, I think you will understand why these are the best cricket teams in my book.

England Cricket Team

While they have never really gone on top, I have deep admiration for this team. Of course, I felt quite anxious back in 2016 when they made it to the finals. But although they still underperformed, it is okay. This team will always be my favourite and will have my respect. The team continues to be in the top 5 so I am quite proud of them nevertheless. I like how the team has very young and talented players like Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, and Joe Root. Let’s hope these guys will develop further to bring the team to the top.

Scotland National Cricket Team

I am very patriotic about this. I do not care if they have not reached the finals or are not included in the top 10 of the best cricket teams in the world. They just joined the ICC. Let us see what the team can do. But before then, this team will always have my support no matter what. It is not like they have not performed really well in the past. The team has had their share of spectacular wins but it is probably not enough to topple those at the top. But with Kyle Coetzer playing captain and making some awesome runs, there is hope for the future.

Maybe if I join the team, there might be hope – probably.

Cricket-player
Glossy Ball for Cricket Sports concept.
Training, close up of young man running upstairs

Want To Know About My Main Hobby

Everyone has a main hobby. Or at least, everyone should have one. I believe it keeps life interesting. You may live for your job or your family but a hobby is something that you do entirely for yourself. When things are not going your way, your hobby can help make things bearable. After all, this is supposed to be something that you love to do. It makes you happy because it can be something that appeals to you greatly or it is something that you are good at.

At least, that is how I view it and that is how I use my hobby positively.

My favourite hobby – cricket!

Just like other enthusiasts in Scotland, my main hobby is playing cricket. Let me give you a bit of insight about it.

Cricket is a bat-and-ball game that requires two teams to play. Each team is composed of 11 players. The cricket field is where all the action happens. In the centre is a 22-yard-long pitch that is rectangular in shape. This pitch has a wicket, which is what they call the target. This is a set of three stumps (usually made of wood) that has two bails at the top. The wicket is placed at each end of the pitch.

The play is composed of phases called innings. In one inning, one team bats in order to attempt scoring runs. The other team will field. Each team usually get one or two innings in a game. The teams swap roles after each inning. Whoever scores the most runs in each inning will win. Before the first inning, the captain of each team will toss a coin to determine who will bat first.

To be able to play the game every day, I decided to join the Huntly Cricket Club. There are a couple of us meeting to play and compete. It gives me something to look forward to every day. Not only that, it serves as my form of exercise. I really need it since I spend most of my time sitting in front of my laptop.

All about my hobbies

While cricket is my main hobby, there are also other activities that I am fond of and I try to do from time to time. I love sports in general. When my friends invite me for any game, I am usually up for anything. You can say that I love doing a lot of physical activities.

Apart from sports, I am also quite passionate about living a healthy lifestyle. It helps keep me fit and allows me to play cricket really well. I am enjoying my life so much right now and I don’t want any sickness to keep me from living. It might come as a surprise that this comes from a guy in his early 20s. This is usually the time when we feel most invincible – indulging in drinking and smoking and other crazy habits. Well, that is really not my style. I am fortunate to have found friends who feel the same. Sure we go out and drink but we don’t do it to drown ourselves crazy with alcohol. I personally make it a point to watch what I eat.

Another thing that I really love to do is to travel the world. I have gone to a couple of places but I am working on going further. When my financial position keeps me from exploring the world whenever I want to, I try to explore the beautiful sights around me. My friends and I sometimes go hiking or biking.

So that is it about my main hobby and the other things that keep me sane and happy in this crazy life. What about you? Do you have a hobby?