Category Archives: Random Thoughts

A catch up (not ketchup)

I thought that after my last big post I should write a little about what’s happened between now and then.

Some of the news is sadly a little disappointing – due in large to financial reasons, I didn’t start at uni this year. I will however do everything within my power to start next year instead. There just wasn’t enough time between making the decision and being able to plan financially for it. I’m not a single woman, nor am I a wage earner, and above all I have a teenage daughter currently going through college and hoping to go on to uni. I’m pretty sure she’ll get there, being the bright and determined young thing that she is, and that most definitely takes priority. That and the current job market being far from lively in recent times means our finances will be strained for the next couple of years. In a nutshell, I’ll still go ahead with it but it’s taken a backseat for now.

In the meantime, I’m busying myself with other things.

I have, as usual, many ideas for online projects. Most of which will never see the light of day but there’s one I hope to launch by the end of November, hopefully in the next couple of weeks. I’ve been procrastinating about it for a while, now it’s time to get on and do it. Don’t get too excited, it’s probably of little interest to the few people who read here but I’m hoping it will appeal to a number of others. If not, well nothing ventured nothing gained. One of these days I’ll strike upon an idea that actually works out, I’m very much hoping this will be it!

I’ve also been more involved with my local LUG (Linux User Group) and was appointed caretaker of the website and forums. Unfortunately since I contracted swine flu in August I seem to have gone down with every darn bug floating around out there and therefore have missed a lot of meetings in recent months. Luckily that doesn’t stop me from carrying on with the web side of things, but I hope in future I can be a bit more in touch with the group by actually getting to the meets! It’s come on in leaps and bounds since I first joined and it’s great to watch the group getting bigger and stronger.

The LO Gang at LugRadio Live A couple of weeks ago I had one of the best weekends ever when my husband Carl and I attended LugRadio Live and OggCamp. Not only were both days packed full of fantastic talks (and the odd comedy sketch!) but I also got to meet some people in the flesh for the first time who’ve become very dear to me over the last couple of years. People that I originally met on Jaiku, and some who I know through Linux Outlaws (which is hosted by Fab and Dan whom I originally met online through Jaiku). There are too many to mention really, but you guys know who you are – it was an absolute pleasure and meeting you all totally made the weekend complete!

I also stood very close on several occasions to somebody whom I respect for many reasons (not least because he’s a metal god!) – Jono Bacon. Like a pitiful fangirl however, I was far too shy to actually say hello to him. I’m not good at small talk anyway, I’d probably have gushed like a complete idiot (I probably did that to a few people over the weekend, sorry if you were one of them!) so it was perhaps a good thing that I didn’t introduce myself. :)

All in all it was a fantastic weekend. The OggCamp mug! I was sad to hear that it was the last LugRadio Live, as it was my first, however I’ve heard whispers of another OggCamp next year. I certainly hope so, I thoroughly enjoyed it as I know everybody else did. Considering it was the first year it was held I thought it was presented exceptionally well. A huge congratulations to the Ubuntu UK Podcast and Linux Outlaws guys on your success, it was a job very well done. Oh, and your mugs were also an astounding success with me. I have personally road tested them with both tea and coffee numerous times since the weekend they were bought and they are now favourites amongst my huge mug collection. :)

Last but not at all least – I’ve stopped smoking! I’ve done so with the aid of an electronic cigarette – I can’t sing the praises of these little (or in my case mostly not so little) devices enough. I’m almost on day 90, and I’ll be publishing an article dedicated to the subject on that day in celebration. This post is already too long for me to delve into that subject here, so I’ll just leave you with this – after being a pack a day smoker for almost 21 years I am now smoke free. Not only that, but it was a completely painless process. I’m still amazed at how easy it was. If anyone at the LugRadio / OggCamp weekend wondered what that strange thing hanging out my mouth was, now you know. Sorry to disappoint if you thought it was some strange kind of illegal drug delivery device. ;)

Stay tuned for more….

PS I realise there were far too many smilies in this post but I won’t apologise for that, I don’t care how unprofessional it looks, this was a personal post. So there. :p ;)

Life Changes

First of all, I warn you this is likely to be a long post. Hey, I haven’t posted here in a while, this one makes up for that! Also, it’s very late, so apologies for any grammatical errors and / or waffling.

At 3am this morning, I made a life changing decision. I’ve had a rough couple of years with one thing and another, and I’ve been drifting instead of living. That’s slowly begun to change in the last couple of months and I’m gaining back some of the confidence that’s been knocked out of me. Believe me when I say that that’s actually quite a big thing for me. I’m coming out of years of depression, really, finally and properly coming out of it, not just ‘in remission’ as it were. And I’m coming out kicking and screaming!

Oh yes, the lifechanging decision. I should probably tell you what that decision was. I’ve decided that, during what is now my 35th year on this planet, I’m going to go back to uni to study creative writing. It’s something I have a huge passion for and have dabbled with on and off since childhood. Various things have prevented me from walking that path, which I won’t go into right now (otherwise you’d still be reading this next week!), but it’s time for change. To coin a phrase, ‘I feel it in my bones’.

With 16 years of the most important job I will ever do behind me (motherhood), it’s time to pursue something for myself. I’m incredibly proud of my daughter, who has turned out to be this wonderful bright, caring, studious, focused and good looking young woman (I honestly couldn’t ask for more in a daughter). I want her to be able to say she’s proud of me too. Of course she’s not the only reason I’m doing this, but she’s certainly a big part of my inspiration. As is my husband, who has supported me through every twist and turn of our 13 years together.

Speaking of inspiration, I have to give special mention here to Father Luke. This is a guy who has an obvious passion for writing, and is a sheer pleasure to read. He’s an inspiration not only because of the quality of his writing (and it really is high quality in my opinion) but because of his sheer determination.

Dear Father Luke, if you happen to be reading this, your passion and commitment to your writing is exemplary. Though I’ve been out of touch for a while now, I’ve seen you write through ups and downs, through homelessness, through heartbreak (or at least what appeared to be heartbreak) and all the other shit that life has dealt you, and still you’ve come out of whatever situation with your passion intact. That, my friend, is quite a sight to behold, and the mark of a true craftsman. I learnt today that you are studying to be a teacher of writing. I have no doubt you will succeed, and that your future students will be incredibly lucky to have you as their mentor. You are one of the best poets I’ve ever read, and a massive inspiration to me!

Back to my reasons for wanting to do this. I guess there are lots, but the main reasons are:

  • To realise a lifelong ambition.
  • To gain back some self respect and confidence.
  • To feel as though I’m somebody my daughter and husband can be proud of, as I in turn am proud of them.
  • To make my mark, no matter how small.
  • To try and make myself a better human being. None of us should ever stop trying to do that.
  • To have some goddamn fun! I love the act of writing!

And so here I am, an email drafted ready to be sent to the creative writing programme director (I’d better not send it at 4am, that wouldn’t make a good first impression) and the application form downloaded to my desktop. I’ll fill that out as soon as I hear back from the director.

I feel like the rest of my life is about to begin. I am both terrified and incredibly excited.

Something to do

I need to regenerate some brain activity by doing something that doesn’t involve technology, so I thought I might attempt to get the creative juices flowing and start writing some poetry again. I haven’t written any in a very long time, and I always used to enjoy it. Having come across a ‘how to write poetry’ type of book buried on my bookshelf, I thought it would be an idea to start with that (I don’t place much faith in these books, but it’ll inspire me hopefully). I might even share the results with you poor unfortunate souls who read here from time to time. :)

Looking to the future a little, I was browsing through the Open University site on Saturday (as you do), and came across a course that I liked the sound of. The course is titled Certificate in Web Applications Development. I realise it won’t be a career maker, and I think I’ll breeze through the first two modules, but it will teach me some new skills and it will count toward a degree if I wanted to go that route. I have until January to decide (and to get the money for it together). Studying degree level subjects again scares the bejesus out of me, but it’s something I think I will enjoy too.

On a side note, today I hit 20000 played tracks on last.fm. It’s been tracking my listening habits since last November, that’s a lot of music!

Horizons

As most of us will know, there are certain things / situations / events that you realise will potentially change your life forever. There are bridges in life, and when one is staring you in the face you know that crossing that bridge will have a huge impact on the future and maybe change things quite drastically.

I’ve been staring at such a bridge for around the past week. I feel it in my stomach that I’m in the midst of one of those pivotal moments in life. In some ways crossing this bridge will answer a lot of questions, but in others it will present many many more. This crossing won’t only effect me, it will effect others that are close to me as well, so I’ve done more deliberating than usual. In my heart I know I have no choice but to make the crossing, but there are mixed emotions involved too. At first I was relieved that there even was a bridge I could walk over, but then I became afraid, petrified even, of what I may or may not find at the other side.

But cross it I must, the only question remains when. There are new horizons beckoning to me that certainly won’t be all bad, but they won’t be all good either.

I realise this post may not make any sense whatsoever to anyone besides myself, but indulge me, I needed to get it out of my system. :)

Bonfire night

It’s that time of year again.

That time when it sounds like there’s a warzone right on your doorstep. That time when the local idiots think it’s funny to throw explosives at people. That time when little girls and boys get major burns and scars for life all because Mommy and Daddy thought it would be a good idea to have a ‘private’ fireworks show. That time when your pets shake and quiver with fright.

I fucking hate bonfire night. Yeah, I’m one of those miserable sods…