It was this very week in 2008 that I moved into my current house, having taken a rental agreement on the property and hastily moving up belongings from the house in Liverpool.
Of course, I say “I” now, but back then it was very much “we”, with myself, Fliss and nearly 3 year old Elisha setting up home again as a family. In the six months since I’d made the decision to take a job back in Scotland, we’d been in a state of limbo making do with living part-time in the Liverpool house or cramming into the spare room at my parents’ place.
The old naval estate house in Graham Place felt spacious – bigger than our house in Liverpool, for sure. I considered it a good placeholder at the time. Something that would do to get us all back together but not somewhere I saw myself living long term before I was back on the property ladder.
Somehow, ten years have flown by and a lot of change with it. What I couldn’t have known back then was what an emotional rollercoaster it would turn out to be.
In mid-August 1998 I began my first job as a web developer, happily accepting the somewhat grand position of “webmaster” at Scottish Radio Holdings. Based at the offices of Radio Clyde in Clydebank, that first rung in the career ladder was a whirlwind of on the job learning fueled by the nervous excitement that came with being a part of a nascent industry.
I hadn’t ever worked as a web developer (not many people had!), nor endured the level of pressure that came with the workload of designing, developing and maintaining over 15 separate websites. How was I to know that one person couldn’t possibly do all that? It was my dream job in an exciting profession in an era – the turn of the millennium – that seemed to brim with untapped potential for what the internet could bring to the lives of everyday people.
Last month I watched my long-serving Honda Jazz leave from outside my house, almost fourteen and a half years after I’d driven it out of the showroom in Liverpool, bound for the scrap yard.
As the scrap merchant prepared it for departure, putting jump leads on the battery to give it some life, I busied myself clearing out the contents of the car, with Fliss coming over to help scramble items into either a bag of stuff to keep or one for the bin. With so many family memories centred around the car, I couldn’t help but feel sentimental at the finality of the moment.
A few months before when its MOT had been due I didn’t think it was worth the money to get it through and, when the due date passed, I declared it “off-road.” Feeling that it had had enough money spent on it over the years – from a couple of pricey low-speed bumps in its early years to a brutal £700 bill to replace a failed door deadlock and the exhaust, I decided that it was now in the state that it wasn’t a worthwhile investment to keep it on the road.