After a restful Christmas and New Year, in which I avoided blogging deliberately, and in which I ate far too more than necessary, drank a fair bit, and played with my new toys (Rock Band full set, an alarm clock that fires a rocket, remote control Caterham 7) while doing not much else, I had to go back to work today.
So, after that ordeal, I thought I’d do what pretty much every other blogger still active does and look back over the last year, and the last decade from my perspective.
Just over a year ago I was on ‘garden leave’, having seen the contract I was working on cut short due to an outsourcing deal, and awaiting reassignment. That came, starting early in the January, but meant that I had to relocate from Sussex to the Midlands. Even though work is in Northampton, we (the gf and I) decided to move to Rugby, as it’s closer to her family in Brum, nicer than Northampton, and houses are cheap. The idea was that she would follow me up as soon as she found work up here, but as yet we are still living apart. We are hoping that gets sorted out soon, so that we can sell the place in Crawley and find a permanent home up here in 2010
In terms of politics, 2009 has been pretty dire. Labour in government seem to be unable to sort themselves out, meaning that the best hope for the General Election is that the Tories shoot themselves in the foot over the next few months. The BNP got seats in Europe, and the Tories joined up with a bunch of far right wackaloons there too, meaning that the UK is less influential where it matters, and in both Rugby and Crawley I saw decent councillors lose their seats while MPs from across the land were staying put despite dodgy expenses claims.
Football was far brighter. Fulham achieved their highest ever league position, finishing in 7th place and qualifying for the Europa Cup. I went out to Basel to see them win a fantastic match that puts them into the knockout phase of that competition, and despite dire prognostications of the effects of a European run, Fulham are having a pretty good season at home so far. Best of all, Fulham have beaten Manchester Utd twice in 2009, both times without conceding a goal.
On a personal note, I am happy to relate that my sole remaining grandparent has fought back against the cancer she was diagnosed with in the year – with the help of the NHS and some pretty powerful drugs – and is fighting fit.
In music, there have been some reunions and reprises from bands I love from years back, with Metallica touring and putting on a great show at the O2, Alice In Chains putting out a new album, and Rage Against the Machine getting a Christmas No 1. Slightly more modern acts have been around too, with Kasabian putting out the stunning West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum being my highlight. I also took a trip down folk-memory lane when I saw the tribute to Ewan McColl in Salford.
Ten years ago, I had just bought my first house, was working in IT support (which meant 24 on call cover, including on the weekend of the millenium), and was preparing to stand for election to Crawley Borough Council. I spent the last night of 1999 in Wandsworth, at a party held by friends from Uni (most of whom are now married, many with kids), while some of them watched systems they support just in case the Y2K bug hadn’t been completely vanquished.
I didn’t know what to expect from the past 10 years at that point – I suppose I was assuming that I’d still live in Crawley, would probably be on the Council for a while, perhaps even take a stab at being MP, and that at work I’d be moving from mainframe to more modern technologies but would still essentially be coding or doing support work.
As it worked out, I’ve left Crawley, stood down from the Council after one term and am not likely to go back to that level, let alone national politics for at least some time if ever, and I barely ever get to look at a line of code at work, now that I’m moving towards Business Analysis.
The most important difference between then and now is that I was single back then, and in December 2009 I’ve been in a relationship for 8 years.