So, it’s been a little while since I last posted anything on here. I’m going to see if I can start writing a bit more often (but let’s not get carried away, it won’t be THAT often), so I thought I might as well start by looking at how the last year has gone.
2012 was a weird old year, it turned out to be one of the best of my life even though it didn’t start out feeling that way. I was counting down the last six months working for the company I’d been at for the previous ten. It was an odd last six months, too, having left the old office, a big, busy place (but not overwhelmingly so), and moved into a small room with just a dozen people. It also involved working in Paris quite often – not as glamorous as it sounds, with early starts to get on the Eurostar and lots of work to do. But it was still lots of fun, working with a great bunch of people and having some good evenings at the Irish pub across the road from the office in Paris, with the nights during Euro 2012 when the pub would be full of Dutch, Germans, French, English, Irish and lots of others to watch games.
When those six months were coming to an end, I had to start looking for a new job, something I’d not had to do for a decade. I started by applying for sort of “dream jobs”, planning to move on to others I thought of as having a more realistic chance of getting later. But in the end, I didn’t need to. Somehow, I have no idea how, I got an interview for the first thing I applied for and a few weeks later found out I’d got the job.
I really do love what I’m doing now. Without going into too much detail, it involves editing and writing some of the programme descriptions which appear on the BBC website and when you press the ‘i’ button on EPGs, as well as updating the schedules when things change, such as live sport going over the scheduled time. It involves spending two days a week in an office in Ealing, a part of London I’m still getting to know – it’s nice and leafy, but I don’t think I’ll take it to my heart in the way I did with Whitechapel and Shoreditch. It also involves two shifts a week (either starting very early in the morning or finishing late at night) working in Playout, where the BBC network TV channels come from. I cannot begin to describe how thrilling this is, getting to sit right in the middle of where everything is happening, working alongside the directors and continuity announcers, and having to deal with all the excitement and unpredictability of live telly. Perhaps one day I’ll get used to it but for now even when I think I’m totally settled in, I still occasionally get moments when I suddenly realise where I am and get a sudden rush of excitement.
As well as going to Paris for work, I went for a weekend at Disneyland Paris with my son, which was loads of fun. Last time I was there I was about 15 years old and it has changed a lot in the meantime, at least doubling in size. We had such a great time there, making the most of the three days, which was pretty much the perfect length of time to stay there. And then there was the unforgettable trip to New York, which I’ve already written about on this blog.
2012 was dominated in London by the Olympics and Paralympics, which were better than I could have ever imagined. After several disappointments with applying for tickets, I was lucky enough to log on to the ticketing website at exactly the right time to get tickets to the Opening Ceremony for just £20.12 each. I’ve posted some photos from the ceremony here. I was also lucky enough to see some other sports, including hockey, football, archery and the thrilling wheelchair rugby. The Olympic Park was a great place to be, and surprisingly beautiful in parts, with it’s wild flowers and quiet corners. Away from the events themselves, London was a great place to be during a glorious few weeks of sunshine, with big screens in the parks, things to see all over the city from all of the competing nations and excitement in the air, with the feeling that the whole world had come to visit.
It was a summer, and a year, I’ll never forget.
There’s one, last, other thing that’s happening at the moment that I’d rather not talk about for fear of jinxing it. If it goes well, it might be the greatest thing ever, if it doesn’t then, well, it won’t be. But whatever happens, it has made me finally realise for myself that there is truth behind some advice that has been handed down through the ages but is usually ignored until you experience it for yourself – it really is better to do something, even if it might go wrong, than to not do it and always wonder what might have happened. Whatever ends up happening, I’ll never have to wonder what might have been. And that’s a great feeling.