Lord no, not even close. In 2004/5 I was… well, it varies. In 2004 I was in Manchester, and working in Oldham. I’ve never worked out quite what I’d done to deserve such a punishment, but there must be something. In mid-04 I got together with Herself, so spent the latter half of 2004 living in Manchester, working in Oldham, and travelling to Reading every weekend. It was probably the Golden Age for D4D’s train rants (sadly since lost to time and backups) but made for a lot of travelling.
In 2005 I moved to Bracknell (again, still not knowing what I’d done to deserve such ongoing punishments for places to live) to be with Herself, and by the end of 2005 was working in Wokingham while living in Bracknell – but we already had plans to move to Norfolk.
And bloody hell, doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun? I can’t believe that’s nearly ten years ago. Of course, since 2005 I’ve also lived in two places in Norfolk, three in Suffolk, and one in Bedfordshire (just). Which goes to explain the first of DG’s questions later on…
Would we recognise you if we passed you in the street?
If you’d ever met me, yes, you’d recognise me still. I haven’t changed much – or at least I don’t think I have. Others will be better placed to comment on that, but still I’m pretty similar.
What do you think is the best/most important new technology/online thingy to have appeared in recent years?
Best? Probably something like Twitter. It has it’s downsides (the number of people thinking a Twitter protest makes things important etc.) but it’s a fantastic channel for seeing what other people think. Some of it makes you deeply depressed about the future (see @Harrymycatdied for a perfect example) but some of it is exceptionally funny. I use it almost like a chat-channel for staying in touch with friends, rather than following the inanities of celebrities, but that’s part of the joy of it (in my opinion) – that it’s got so many different uses for different people.
Most Important? For me, the increasing prevalence of decent e-commerce – the ability to look online, see something you want, order it, and get it the next day. (Or with e-books, the next minute) Much as they’re less popular nowadays (tax avoidance etc.) I think Amazon in particular changed the whole game, and continue to do so with Kindle and the like.
We all had a blog back then. Do you still have one, or are you mainly present somewhere else?
Yep, D4D™ is still going. It’s been a bit slower over the last couple of years, I don’t write as much, and in some ways I feel I’m a bit “written out”. Or maybe my quality control’s improved.
I do still post, but it’s less regular, and depends on what I’m thinking/feeling/doing.
What achievement of the last 7 years would you most like to celebrate here?
Um. Keeping on going, I suppose. These last seven years have had very good bits, and very bad bits, so I guess it’s an achievement of sorts to even still be here. I’ve thought about giving up on a few occasions – and yes, there’s a corollary to the bad bits – but in general I’m quite pleased that I haven’t succumbed.
And here are your questions from DG:
How do you cope with moving around the country so often ?
Simple answer? Easily. I love being in motion, finding new places, new people, all that. (I know, sounds a bit ‘Star Trek’, but wasn’t really meant to.) I can handle longer stays in one location if I’m changing jobs regularly (The joys of usually being a contractor) or be in one job if I’m changing locations.
(Slightly) More seriously, I do find it easy. I get twitchy if I’m in one place too long, whether that’s a place to live, or a place to work. With other events over the last eighteen months, I’ve actually been in the same house and job for over a year now, and it’s beginning to scratch at my brain a bit. I feel migratorily late, and a bit chained down. That doesn’t sit well with me.
In honesty, I’m seriously bad – some would say almost pathological – about having roots. I don’t know why. It’s not inherited, my parents have been in the same place for 40 years now. Who knows, maybe that’s why? On a deeper note, I guess I’ve just not found anywhere I’d be happy to stay long-term.
Were you secretly glad to escape from Norfolk?
Yes and no. There were bits of Norfolk – and East Anglia in general – that I liked a lot (and not just the A11 out) and bits I didn’t. I miss being closer to the sea, I don’t miss the hour-long drive to anything remotely resembling civilisation. I miss some of the green space, the wide open skies and so on, but I don’t miss the fact it took ages to get anywhere – even shopping was more hassle than it needed to be.
On the flip side, I’m still blown away by how easy it is to get away from where I live now. I’m less than 4 miles from the M1, and a three-hour drive can get me to either Manchester, Middlesbrough, or Devon. That’s one heck of a radius/range, and it’s just so easy. Which might, I suspect, be part of why I’m actually not too bad with living where I do currently.
How do you feel about 73 day’s time?
Honestly? Quite ambivalent. It’s just The Next Stage, and there’s still a long way to go.
For me, declaring myself bankrupt was a big step, but it was the right thing to do. I wouldn’t recommend it to just anyone, and there’s a lot of it that’s soul-destroying along the way. People call it an “easy way out”, and it’s certainly not that. And it’s a long old process.
I’ll also probably feel happier at that point about my ability to change jobs and so on. The entire process hasn’t affected by work at all, nor my ability to change jobs, but there has been the thought in the back of my head that it’ll be easier to have at least something that’s stable while everything else gets sorted out.
In 73 days my bankruptcy will be ‘discharged’ (assuming I haven’t done anything to annoy the courts by then) and I’ll be able to start rebuilding things, slowly but surely. I still have to make a payment – and a not inconsiderable one, at that – every month for the next two years, so I won’t be fully clear of this until the end of 2015. But I know what that amount is, and that’s fine. I never expected to get away “scot free”, it’s fine.
But from then I can at least start to sort things out. I’ve no intention of falling into the same traps and mistakes again, but I do want to be able to rebuild life a tad, get things to run more smoothly.
Has anyone ever bought anything off the Amazon wishlist ?
Back in the day, yes – quite a few did.
More recently? Nope, not a one. I could get rid of that link completely, but well, nostalgia
And finally, of course, who’s next, and what to ask them…
UnreliableWitness – although I don’t think he will answer. If he does, my main question would be “Where the hell have you been?“.