2015 was the best year on record. Absolutely wonderful in every way.
Obviously the biggest thing to happen was getting a new Macbook. After 2 years without a laptop, using an iPad as primary computer, it’s been great to be back with the beautiful unibody silver Apple machine to help me achieve my digital needs. Working in tech without a computer is difficult, but doable — though I wouldn’t recommend it. The iPad is capable, but there are just so many limitations.
But the biggest change was moving to London with my beautiful girlfriend.
Quite simply, the move has been the biggest and most successful changes ever.
After a 2 1/2 year hiatus, I got a new laptop.
Visited Brighton Beach.
This year I ventured into beer brewing to varying degrees of success.
40 days ago myself and my beautiful girlfriend set off on a ferry from Dublin to start our new life in London, and they’ve been the best ever! Not without it’s trials, worries, stresses and challenges — to be expected when moving to a new place — however everything is amazing right now and so far London is fantastic.
I secured a job in IT after less than a week, so there wasn’t much time to stay in pyjamas all day in exchange for early mornings, late evenings and long commutes. A busy working-week has ensured that weekends are spent tasting the varied cuisine available, getting to know the local area and generally floating around the city.
I always wanted to live in London — though I never thought it would happen. I love cities. However, when Vicky first suggested she was thinking of looking for teaching jobs in London I was nervous and excited. Mostly excited. But also nervous — mostly because we hadn’t discussed moving in together yet.
Later came adding property alerts for a reasonably priced flat around Greater West London where a job had been acquired — finding “reasonable” properties proved difficult. In the end we got a great little ‘starter’ place at a lower price than everything else in the area.
And so over the last 40 days I’ve lived in the borough of Ealing, West London — the very borough my Granny grew up in. In the biggest single change of my life, I now live in one of the biggest and best cities, with my best friend, in a job I enjoy and currently life is wonderful; a dream I never really thought would be a reality, to live in a place where anything is possible.
How to move all the stuff?
With difficulty. Seriously it was difficult. The photo above is all of my worldly possessions — I jokingly include Vicky in that category. This isn’t including a handful of stuff I left with a friend in Carlow to be picked up at a later date. Here we’re waiting for the bus from Carlow, which would be followed by a bus from Dublin which took us to London Victoria Station, via the ferry. Thankfully it was all very smooth, and the 24″ TV in the blue suitcase survived! This was followed by an Uber to the house.
Now I’m just another person you know who moved to London. I had already fled Northern Ireland. Then gave up on the island altogether. I’ll be back at varying intervals, most likely keeping to the same schedule of the last 2 years; Christmas and summer (for my birthday).
Life is genuinely exciting right now and there’s so much to do!
Yesterday it was announced that ‘selfie’ has been named as word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries, and sure why not commemorate the occasion with a selfie:
While it is considered by some to be one of the truest forms of vanity, it is true that, as humans we are certainly quite vain. We wouldn’t leave the house in the morning without spending a few minutes in front of the mirror, whether it is styling hair, covering blemishes, exaggerating cheekbones, extending eyelashes, blusher, lip gloss, eyeliner, mascara, foundation, lipstick, gel, wax, polish. Extend this and highlight that. Or go full-on Barbie or Ken. Then there’s the photo to show it off (not forgetting pouting/duck-face).
There are extremes to all things; No one is “God’s gift” and indeed, think like that and you should be shot down, but everyone should be proud of who they are and how they look. And in this age of profiles, avatars and countless online photo albums, we all like a some good photos of ourselves. of course some people’s idea of a good image of themselves is certainly questionable, the “selfie” is not something to be ashamed of.
It took a while, but I’ve certainly become partial to taking the odd photo of myself. Whether it’s due to living on my own and enjoying sharing my life with a number of people who I rarely see (more on that another day), or that I have grown more confident in my own self-image (I’m sure I’ll get around to writing about that too), but I accept that self-portraiture as no bad thing – it is not new. Technology today may have led to an influx of self-portraits, and the English language brought us to shortening words – making them fun – this is a great thing, and the way that it is changing us is wonderful, and to be embraced. Embrace it or be left behind. Be creative. Accept these things and enjoy them for what they are. Take a photograph of yourself. Embrace technology. Embrace the modern world. Enjoy the word. Just don’t go overboard, yeah.
November, once simply the Thursday of the year, is now just an excuse for self-important attention-seeking knobs to be well, more knobbish than usual. Posting selfies on their social network pages to update us all on how well they can grow facial hair, as if to prove that they made it past puberty and are now real men. Or maybe they just attention-seeking dicks.
Rather than quiet altruism, giving to charity has become a self-congratulating act: ‘Look at me! Look at this growth on my upper lip! I’m doing it for charity! Now give me money!’
Just no. Stop that.
“Oh but it raises awareness,” they say. Yes, I’m very aware, now do away with the fluff and just give some money to charity. Not everyone needs to know about it. If you cared more about giving to charity you would do so any other month of the year and not feel the need to tell everyone that you’re doing so, whilst unashamedly contorting to self-promotion and asking strangers to give you money so that you feel better about yourself.
So enjoy your mustache, or ‘mo’ as you will call it now, but know that everyone thinks you look like a dick and you appear to be showing us pictures of your face more than you’re telling us how much or how little you’ve raised for charity. You deserve a gold star. It will be awarded to you in heaven. Or perhaps do something that requires a little effort.
But maybe I’m just bitter because I can’t grow proper facial hair…