It’s two years since my previous blog post. So much has unfolded during the era of the covid-19 pandemic that it’s hard to know where to start. I suppose it might help if I explained what I thought was going to happen.
At the start of 2020 I have to say I was very happy. I had a great girlfriend and the kids were doing as well as could be expected. Work was hard going but I was on the cusp of starting a new project that I was pretty excited about.
We I had plans for a big holiday; a visit to Orlando, en route to Tampa where we’d attend Wrestlemania. My girlfriend had no idea but on our last night in Orlando, I was going to propose to her beside a lake that we’d found ourselves beside when we were there together in 2018. The idea had taken shape in my mind in the time since.
I also had my annual trip to Indianapolis all booked up with no idea how I was going to pay for it once I came back from Tampa. But that was all in the future and, at the time, I had no cause to worry about the future. All I knew was that I’d be engaged to the girl I was in love with and I couldn’t wait for life to unfold.
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.