In January of 1978 I was born in a hospital in Redhill. My life isn't that worthy of note in most of this so will skip through it in leaps and bounds. I lived in Caterham in a wonderful house with an older brother and sister. I went to Oakhyrst Grange School until I was 11 when I moved to Caterham School until I went to university. I fairly predictably went on to do a Maths Degree at Keble College, Oxford.
This is roughly when my life gets more interesting and relevant. I had a lot of good friends back at school and a lot of good times and a fair few that probably did a lot to make me who I am today. However, being years ago I can't be bothered to write about them.
At university it was a new place where I knew nobody. I made a few good friends, mainly in three groups: roleplayers, mathematicians and computer room people. It was only at university that I really became familiar with the internet and I spent a lot of time in the computer rooms in college playing around and surfing the web. It was during these many late night computing sessions that I got to meet some of my friends.
The roleplayers were all met through the Oxford University Role Playing Games Society. If you are unsure on what roleplaying is then go have a look at my page on roleplaying. There is far too much to say about it to slip in here.
The Mathematicians I met obviously through the fact that I had tutorials and lectures with them. We all got on well together which was nice, it meant we were always happy to go round to chat with each other and help each other out when stuck with work.
The year rolled on and before I knew it mods had come and gone and we did the summer vac (it is a common oxford thing to refer to all the holidays as "the Vac" being short for Vacation obviously). Then we came back and suddenly we were no longer the freshers, the young and inexperienced ones, there was a whole new batch of undergraduates who knew less than we did.
I made more friends and this repeated in later years too. I took some time out before going at my third year in full force during which time I did various bits of temp work and over the summer worked as a junior web designer for a company called Domino Systems.
In my third year I was living with four people out of college (where I had been living previously) in a great little house. Well, the house itself wasn't great but the people living there made it great. There was no living room and the kitchen was fairly small but one of the downstairs bedrooms became a kind of communal room since it was where we had cable TV. This was my first taste of living in my very own house.
Finals came and went and there was much celebrating afterwards as is traditional. During the run up to finals I was offered a job by Domino Systems to be a kind of researcher into new tech for the company. This was to involve prototyping software we had no experience with and getting to know it so I could then teach others the basics. This sounded a lot of fun, was a nice company and so I accepted the job, thus saving me the stress of job hunting.
So in September 2000 I started working for Domino Systems. I worked there for two years and my life was fairly stable for that time. A few ups and downs and some really challenging projects at work but in general a great time. Two years after I started though the company decided that it wanted to cut a few staff due to the internet market being at a low point. Feeling like a bit of a change I offered to be one of those people and the management accepted so I was once again jobless.
I had planned to remain jobless for a while but two days after my last day at work I got a phone call offering me contract work for the BBC. Figuring I couldn't turn down a chance like that I did the work and spent about a month and a half working on one of their websites.
This made me think seriously about doing contract work which is the position I now find myself in. I am a self employed web developer doing contracting work to earn his living. Its slightly scary since it makes me feel very adult to be self employed, having to pay NI for myself, thinking about the benefits of being VAT registered and having to fill in a proper tax return in April. However, it is a great opportunity to work with lots of different people and have a lot of new and challenging roles.
So that is me now. I still roleplay. I still play lots of computer games. I still sit around and watch too much television. And I have a slight addiction to anime due to friends who will remain nameless if not blameless.
Hong Kong Cinema Ping Pong
A wonderful little video with kung fu movie style stunts and you can even see the men to see how they do it. OK, might not sound it but it is very cool to watch.