7 years of me

As a child of the world, there are very few things that remain constant in my life for any length of time. In the past 7 years, I’ve moved house 7 times. I’ve started and finished university. Had a few serious (and a few more not-so-serious) relationships. I’ve learned how difficult it is to live with someone, and I’ve started understanding what a challenge long distance relationships are – but also how both have serious upsides.

I’ve lived in 3 magnificent cities – Liverpool, Bristol and London. I’ve started (and closed down) a company. I’ve written a book about photography under my own name, and 2 more as a ghost writer.

In the past 7 years, after jacking in my own business, I’ve had a brutal career progression, starting as a PR assistant, jetting through to journalist, then editor, then editor again, then editor for a different publication, and now Senior Producer in the digital division of a major broadcaster.

I started a blog about photography, which took off and ended up on Slashdot, then on Digg’s front page about half a dozen times, and did very well on Reddit and stumbleupon, along with getting significant traction in the blogosphere, and visitors from 212 countries. Yes, I know there are only 192 countries in the world. I blame Google.

I’ve owned a dozen cameras, seven different cars (two minis, a Rover, a Suziki Carry micro-van, a Citroen CX diesel which I ran off chip-fat until the fuel pump exploded, and a Honda Prelude which was tuned to having closer to 250 horsepower) a scooter (Gilera runner) and a motorcycle (Kawasaki Versys 650cc) – of which I’ve only got the latter left.

In the past seven years, my parents have lived in The Netherlands, Norway, India, Trinidad, Scotland and England. My sister has lived in Australia and Viet Nam.

I think it’s pretty safe to say that my life has been pretty transient over the past seven years. A lot of changes. A lot of new things. A lot of new people, ideas, knowledge, and experience.

7 years of E2

In fact, the only thing I can think of that has really been persistent over the past 7 years is E2.

I’ve got 419 living write-ups and 325 deleted ones. I’ve turned half a dozen people to noding (although I’m not sure if any of them are active anymore). I lived with a noder, I dated a noder, and I’ve met lots of noders. Quite a few of the people I consider to be my very closest friends are noders.

I was a content editor for about a year and a half, but was ejected when I didn’t have enough time to spend on E2. Both before, after and because of this, I have left E2 in a huff several times, but came back time and time again.

I remember when dem bones and nate were still running the show, and I remember a lot of noders since departed with fondness. I’ve donated my fair share of money to E2, and always felt slightly guilty for not contributing more.

It’s rather quite an awesome place, and one I think I’ll keep coming back to again and again. Who knows, perhaps it’ll eventually turn out to be the only thing that’ll remain stable over the next 7 years of my life.

. / -30-

I heard today online that GM is cutting back on its "Volt" electric-car project, even to the point of laying off engineers. This, if true, is idiocy.

If GM is cutting back because fuel prices are down, they are idiots, because oil prices will come back with the economy.

If GM is doing it because they are short of cash, they are idiots because they should cut something else, as this and other technologies is what will save them (and us).

Frankly, we need to move away from oil for energy as much as humanly possible. (We also need to push harder on clean-coal technology.) I would rather give my money to an alternate-energy startup in New Mexico than some f**ktards who are trying to kill me all the time.

The consumer public has demonstrated time and again early adopters will accept "growing-pain" shortcomings in advanced technology (hell, that's Apple's business model) if the design philosophy is compelling and the product performs within the envelope of its competition.

As long as the Volt delivered on most of its promises at a reasonable price point, there will be those who would buy it for the statement, if nothing else. (I was in Los Gatos last week and there were so many hybrids around I thought a Prius was being raffled off each week by the town.)

GM is being penny-wise and pound-foolish if they truly decided to put the brakes on this project.

I just registered my son's birth in Dublin, and now I'm sitting in the bowels of the Arts block in Trinity. I used to sit here, in what feels like another lifetime. There's a warren of lecture theatres and sitting-places, and I used to hide down here, where I couldn't see whether it was day or night, and do whatever it was I wanted to do when I was on my own — usually, reading, writing, sleeping or meditating. On a good day, in an orgy of solitude, I might stay here for hours. I remember waking up once from a meditation that became a nap, having just had a dream in which I was reading burning words on a page; those words then became a poem, which I probably lost later on. I remember another time being down here and crying because my girlfriend had dumped me. Another, earlier time, I came down here to meet her and gave her a flower.

Flying back to Dublin for the day has been an odd experience. I grew up here, I lived here with Jo for the last year, and I've only been in Yorkshire for just over a month, and yet when I was on the coach on the way from the airport to the city centre, all I could think about was getting back there. I felt homesick for the first time I can ever remember since I was a child, and I think that means that for the first time since I was a child, I feel like I have a home. Having a family has changed me in some very profound ways that I'm only beginning to discover, accidentally, when wondering why I'm feeling or thinking certain things.

My best friend Paul was visiting with us for the last 3 days in Yorkshire, and asked me one morning when I started whistling so much. I wasn't aware of whistling any more or less than usual, so I couldn't answer. Then he said that one thing he's noticed, having known me for 8 years, is that I whistle when I'm happy. Later on we were talking about our respective situations (he's just quit his job and is going to spend the next 4 months on the Brazilian coast working in a kitchen and surfing). I said, and realized as I was saying it that it was true, that I didn't want to be anywhere else other than where I am right now. This is a remarkable thing for me, because for as long as I can remember, I've never been fully happy where I was. There has always been somewhere else that I wanted or needed to be, or something else that I wanted to do. If this isn't so any more, it's one of the most amazing things that has ever happened to me, and it crept up on me without my noticing.

I've been hanging around Dublin and I can't identify with the person who used to call it home all those years ago. I feel a huge gulf between myself and the boy who brought his girl a flower in the arts block and then cried when she dumped him. I'll be in Dublin until evening, then I get the coach back to the airport and fly over to Leeds Bradford airport where Jo is going to pick me up, and Joshua will be with her, and we'll all go home.

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