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It’s May already?

I’m just checking out the iPhone WordPress app here really. I installed it several weeks ago but haven’t had the opportunity till now, at 5:45 on a Saturday morning, to look at it.

I should point out that I’m not getting up at 5:45 on a Saturday, but have of late developed a strange ‘insomnia hour’ habit. This comprises roughly one hour of unwanted wakefulness, inconveniently starting at around 5:30 each morning, and therefore ending just in time for me to catch an unsatisfying 30 minutes, or less, of light sleep before Radio 4 wakes me up for work.

No such troubles today of course, and once I’m done with this somewhat bloated Twitter post I’ll be back in the land of nod for a well overdue lie-in.

The fact that now is the first opportunity I’ve had (yes, or created) for several months to actually write something is in all honesty a fair reflection of how ridiculously busy I’ve been. Busy to the point of unpleasantness really. Even the photography has been more than a little thin on the ground which is something that nags me constantly.

I’ve mostly been behind a desk creating ‘Flash stuff’ for people, from 8 till late, six days a week.

The problem is that – being a freelancer – I started the year full of Daily-Mail-style *Credit Crunch Fears*, and thus took on each and every piece of work (within reason) that landed on my desk. And those financial fears weren’t helped by the fact that we had a large chunk of the back of the house rebuilt starting the first week in January.

That’s all done and nice and paid for now so maybe (definitely) it’s time to become a little more selective about which jobs I take on.

Despite the bags under my eyes I count myself very lucky in having this as an option – I know a few people who have been out of work. I guess it all depends on who your client’s (or employer’s) client’s are, and whether or not they’ve gone into administration.

But (I vaguely recall an English teacher telling me that one should never start a sentence with the word ‘But’) it’s 6:30 now so sleep beckons again. I usually spend my insomnia hour browsing blogs in Google Reader on the phone (there’s an excellent mobile web version) so thought it time I wrote something instead.

With the latest project all but finished, and a trip to OFFF in Lisbon next week, hopefully I’ll have an actual *subject* to write about soon, and maybe even the time to do it. And at the very least I’ll post some photos.

Have a nice weekend.

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851 words

Squirrel

It’s been almost three months since I made a non-photographic blog post, and even that one was essentially me pimping a website I’d just made. Prior to that was a blog post about CSS and before that a somewhat more popular post entitled Seven Seas of Bullshit. And before that there is only really one other text-based post in this blog.

Back in the early early Gridrunner days I’d regularly bore my audience of none with the minutiae of the day’s mood swings, dietary habits and failed attempts at attracting the opposite sex at parties. Nowadays picture posts are just a hell of a lot easier for all of us: two clicks on Flickr and it’s done.

But right now I’m actually starting to run out of decent images to post. The last two sets I posted to Flickr are basically just holiday snaps – and nice as they are – they have limited appeal to those outside of my family.

I’ve not literally run out of shots to post, of course. I’ve got hundreds of RAW files waiting to be processed, some of which will (I hope) make nice images, but I’ve not had time recently to go back and browse through them, nor have I taken anything particularly portfolio-worthy of late… apart from the squirrel shot above, of course. Maybe I should do an urban squirrel series?

So, I thought I’d write an actual blog post. And for all intents and purposes it’s a “what Ade has been up to” one, so feel free to switch off now if that’s not your thing. Normal service will be resumed…

Anyway let’s start with Today. The Olympics are happening. In Beijing. This afternoon I watched some of the synchronised diving, which struck me as a slightly strange and rather abitrary thing to become really good at. Impressive in its own right though. And a couple of our guys did OK at the swimming, though I don’t think they made it to the final, sadly.

On Friday my friend Will’s first child was born. All I know is that it’s a boy, he’s very cute and that they haven’t named him yet. Congratulations and best of luck to them! I’m looking forward to meeting the li’l fella.

On the work front: Over the past few weeks I’ve been busy doing lots of varied jobs for various clients, while waiting for a couple of bigger projects to emerge from meeting room and actually start happening.

Last Wednesday I finally started on one of those – a pretty big Flash project that’ll take me the best part of a month to create. So that’s a month of head-down programming for me. It’s a lot more techy than it used to be, what with ActionScript 3 and all that entails. It takes longer to set up, but is more rewarding and you generally end up with a more solid product at the end. The (not-so-hidden) geek in me finds it really satisfying when it all starts coming together.

And it pays the bills too, which is very handy at the moment. Rachael and I are in the process of remortgaging the house, which is fairly costly. And that’s straight after paying for some expensive roof repairs, a weekend in the Lake District, a honeymoon in New York and Toronto, oh and a wedding.

Oh yes, so Rachael and I got married. Hurrah! Months of wedding planning stress paid off and the wedding – in Lincoln at the end of June – went really well. It was a fantastic day.

Afterwards we went straight off to New York where we spent a week, and then we went on to Toronto for a few days too. We basically did most of the obvious touristy things, along with lots of eating, drinking and sleeping. And as a result I put on over half a stone in weight. I think if I lived in New York those big cooked breakfasts would be the end of me.

And suddenly I’m back and it’s already more than six weeks since the wedding. There are over 2500 wedding photos still to sort through, which is slightly daunting. Maybe at this rate there’ll be an album for the parents by christmas. Time seems to be marching on at an exponential rate.

Anyway I’m afraid to say there’s no tidy point or conclusion to this blog post. I seem to be a little out of touch at writing. Or maybe it’s all the programming – I keep wanting to put odd arrangements of brackets around the paragraphs, and end the sentences with semicolons;

I’ve still got plenty of projects in the pipeline, though I sometimes wonder whether I’m starting too many things to ever finish any of them. Right now, as soon as I can afford to take a few weeks off from the ‘pays the bills’ Flash work there’ll be some fresh photography to post. Meanwhile I’ll try to dig out some older images and polish them up so you don’t have to read any more of these wordy posts for a while.

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Use FriendFeed?

I know I’ve probably got too many of these social web applications on the go at once, and perhaps shouldn’t be adding yet another one. But FriendFeed looks as though it might actually improve the situation. It ought to cut down the amount of time wasted visiting all those various sites, because it consolidates all of the feeds onto one page.

My FriendFeed page is at http://friendfeed.com/aderow. Get involved!

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My work here is done

I love the feeling of freedom that comes at the end of your last day at a job you’ve resigned from; as you walk out the door. My fondest memory of this is leaving my job at the small company in East Yorkshire, in July 2002. It hadn’t been a bad two years there, but it offered no further career prospects I was interested in, and I’d made my mind up to head to London. And what made it all the more exciting was the fact that I had nothing lined up in London. I was going to try my luck as a freelancer.

5pm came (Yorkshire working hours – something I do miss) and I walked out the door, got in my car and (rather childishly) wheel-spun it out of the gravel car park, never to return. Freedom!

Freelancing didn’t actually work out too well (I had no contacts) and I ended up back in full-time work the following March, which continued until August of last year.

My exits from the two digital agencies I worked at in the interim period were less exciting (and certainly less gravelly), though they felt good nonetheless. It’s not that I’m work-shy or anything, but once you’ve made your mind up to leave, nothing feels better than to finally do that.

Now I get to have last days all the time. I don’t normally like to take on in-house contracts that go on for more than a couple of weeks – better to not get bogged down in the meetings and politics.

At five weeks, the contract I’m currently in is my longest to date. It’s been good, but it’s time to go. In about five minutes in fact. And after that I’m my own boss again for a whole month. Shame I have to effect my getaway via a packed Friday night tube train.

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NOT a new blog

On at least one occasion I’ve been accused of setting up too many websites and blogs. And the accuser was probably right. It’s all too easy to do. And considering the frequency (or lack of) with which I write blog posts, the content gets spread too thinly.

So this is not a new blog. Think of it more as a continuation of the old one, with a different address. And that means that this blog has actually been going since September 2003. So there.

But long since gone are those heady days of semi-emo anonymous waffling, (or so I intend). Expect nothing but topical and engaging techno-creative content, combined with some pimping of my photographic exploits.

Update your feeds, feed-folk.