September begins..

Old job – left it on Friday.

New job – starts on Monday.

Good luck to New Orleans – looks like you’re going to need it. 😦

Music keeps me afloat:



Is it September yet?

In fact, forget that (much more exciting) – is it October yet?


This is the music in my head this morning.

A great song, is a great song no matter where it’s played, how it’s played or who plays it (mostly).

Ukuleles are fun

This version still sends shivers down my spine

All famous bands should be able to do what you see in the next video, in case there ever is a nuclear winter and we all need cheering up without the aid of electricity and microphones. I still think The Magic Numbers are just one of the best bands on the planet; the minute I hear them sing it makes me think of sunshine, burritos and open-topped cars.

..and finally Esther, it doesn’t matter if someone can play it a bit better than you or more accurately – you just have to sing it with some feeling..

The mega blogging

Hello y’all.  I’ve been a *tad* busy and as a consequence not got around to blogging stuff.  Those of you similarly intravenously attached to the Internet as myself may well be a bit more up-to-date due to my henious addiction to my Twitter account and gross abuse of Twitpic.  Serves you right.  I bet you really did need to see my worrying obsession with taking pictures of my food didn’t you?

Ok.  Back in the real world – and I use that term with its loosest definition – things have been going on.  BIG things.  Well, big things for me anyway.  Here’s a brief(ish) round-up of the last few weeks.

Firstly I spent a couple of days busy being a proud step-father to my eldest step-daughter at her 21st birthday.  The DJ which she booked turned out, entirely by co-incidence, to be one of my best friends – the DJ with whom I spent the infamous weekend in Grantham.  It was a surreal night where I met half of the people I used to know when I was married to my step-daughter’s mother and have not seen for several years.  Much hugging and “you must come over” times.  I find it difficult as this is no longer my life, it belongs to someone else now.  My step-daughter seemed to enjoy it despite doing her best to drunkenly fall off the stage and nearly break her ankle which meant she spent the following day in hospital.

Last week saw the arrival of my decree nisi for the penultimate stage of my divorce from my second wife.  Several people said to me “ohhhh, it must be upsetting, I’m so sorry for you“.  Actually I didn’t find it at all upsetting.  I don’t consider my second marriage to have been a failure – far from it.  I think we were very happy for many years, brought up three good kids who make me proud in several different ways and the marriage only ended because my wife and I had changed as people which meant we no longer made sense as a couple.  It came to a natural end and I’m fine with that.  I wasn’t at the time – it sent me a little around the twist for a while – but, really, we got to the point that everything we both wanted and believed was quite different (and in some ways still is).  This is why I do not consider it a failure.

We were sensible enough to split up before it got to the “I hate you” “good I hate you too” stage and we’re mostly friends and have made our own lives in our own ways.  She is with someone else and they both seem very happy with each other – more on me later.

Today is the 18th birthday of my other step-daughter.  All three kids are very different from one another and, like anyone, each have their own characteristics that make them who they are.  Despite being the one for which it could be argued I have had the most parental influence she is the one with whom I seem to have the least successful personal relationship.  In short, I don’t think she really likes me all that much.  I don’t take it too personally; she’s not that keen on her own father and can sometimes have extremely strained interactions with her elder sister and mother too but I do feel a twinge of pain that somehow she should be the one who hugs me and smiles so we can say “I love you” instead of giving every indication that I irritate her.  For the small part I played in her life I’m glad of the young woman she has become – strong, very independent and resolutely self-believing.

Let’s see, anything else?  Oh yes.  I handed my notice in at work.


I can’t really blog about my current employer too much.  I have worked there on and off for 12 years.  I write all of the software for every single computer-linked product that we sell.  The owners of the company are personal friends of mine and I’ve seen the company turn-over grow from approximately 300k per year to just shy of 1.2 million.  In short, we’ve been successful.  However, I have always written software for a number of other software houses and one of the ones I also write all of the software products for made me an offer I couldn’t refuse – so I didn’t refuse it.  I start there on 1st September.  Curiously enough I used to live above their offices so it’s a bit bizarre to be turning up every day for work at your old home!  I could easily have stayed at my current employer indefinitely – no-one is indispensable but to be honest my position within the company was unassailable and about as “safe” as you can get.  But “safe” is not enough is it?  I’ll be in charge of all the development at the new place and working on a number of existing and new products and “we” (as I am learning to think of them) also have two new fledgling companies in some fairly exciting vertical markets.  Cool stuff for a programming whore like myself.

God, I sound like some kind of San Francisco Silicon Valley market-speak geek.  It must be the influence of the woman in my life.  🙂

Oh, did I not mention that?  WordPress’ worst-kept secret.  Surely you don’t *really* want to hear about three hour Skype conversations, smelly birthday presents, and being hopelessly in love and all that jazz?  In case you do I would have to write a whole new missive blog entry about her.  An extraordinarily special person with many unique qualities, way beyond anything you could ever want and totally over-reaching your expectations.  Everybody should have their own; you can’t have her though, she’s mine.

Funnily enough, I had actually written some of these thoughts down previously as a draft and when I came to write the post today I found it once more, mouldering in the dashboard.  Here’s some of what I wrote, I think it makes sense:

It’s nice to be in demand; even nicer to have a vocational occupation that people value at a sufficiently high financial level that leaves you to think “hmmm, the dress code is ‘smart casual’ there and they have a proper filter coffee machine” rather than “will I be able to pay my rent if I take this job“.  I know, I’m an ungrateful jammy bastard – sorry.  You know the defining moment at school?  The one where the teacher said “Jenkins, if you don’t concentrate in class and get good grades you’ll end your days penniless and unhappy” – they were right; no other way of dressing it up.  I left school at 16 due to a truly shitty childhood but I did manage to latch on to a skill that the rest of the planet doles out the cash for by the bucket-load.

Sadly it’s not poetry.  It would be cool if I was able to say it was but computer-programming is my stock-in-trade (it actually says “computer programmer” on my passport and even on my divorce papers).

I’d so much rather it was ‘poet’ or ‘humanist’ or , less plausibly, ‘decent geezer’.  ‘Poet’ would be first choice but on closer examination it would appear, based on the examples of Dylan Thomas and the like – poetical life expectancy is not great and life-satisfaction levels are also bordering on “sub-optimal”.

I’ve cheered up a bit since then!

I also spent last week looking after my sister’s dog, lots of time playing with Shozu and part of today saying a very loud rude word after I managed to electrocute myself with 240 volts delivered into my fingers at 6 amps.

Any questions?