Recently in Personal Category
April 27, 2013
I've been travelling for work, which has kept me busy and quiet - here at least.
It's also given me some time for thought and reflection, and that means I've made a few decisions, and come to some conclusions in my own head, which I need to clarify for myself by writing them out. I actually have a blog "calendar" for myself for next week - with the intention of writing one long-form piece a day through the working week (Thursday might be the exception for reasons that will become clear).
Things change. Two years ago I was so terrified of flying that I refused to get on a plane. This week, the London / Berlin flight was a chance for quiet reflection. Sometimes you need to take stock of those changes, and figure out what they mean for what you believe. That's what next week will be all about.
Those of you who have missed my occasional rants here over the past few years will probably find it quite fulfilling... ;-)
April 7, 2013
After saying that I'd be commiting some of my expanded free time to this blog, pretty much ever since I've been committing it to a more worthy cause: my wife and daughter.
The last few months have been tough: very tough. If the lesson of 2012 was that buying a new house, having a baby and starting a consultancy career in the same year is a bit much, the lesson of early 2013 was that your daughter weaning, your wife going back to work, and the busiest period in your consultancy career to date do not make a good mix.
This morning, we spent an hour just lounging by the sea a few minutes' walk from our house, chatting and enjoying the sun, while Hazel explored the pebbles and other things that make up the beach. Simple bliss.
Makes it all seem worth it.
March 5, 2013
Ten years ago today, the alarmingly brown-haired chap above put finger to keyboard and wrote the words
And so it did - One Man & His Blog came into being. At first it lived on Blogger and at the URL http://adam.tinworth.name (.name never really took off, did it?) and now it lives on Movable Type and http://www.onemananandhisblog.com. This time next year, it'll probably be on WordPress, but all will otherwise be the same. It'll be here - if I am - and I'll be blogging away merrily.
(I have to say, looking at that picture above, I've aged...)
This site has been in continuous publication for a decade. I'm slightly staggered that it has survived - and thrived - over that time. This has been the backdrop to nearly a quarter of my life, through my marriage, my mother's death, my redundancy and the arrival of my beautiful baby daughter. So many other blogs have come and gone in that time. Those of us with the stamina to stay put and keep on going seem to be a vanishingly small bunch. A signifiant proprtion of the links in those early posts are now dead, the sites they pointed to long gone from the net. Indeed, the first link in that very first post is dead.
This blog represents the largest continuous body of work I've ever done, and I'm immensely proud of it with all its mistakes, wrong turns and failed experiments. There's been some great writing, some great conversations, some fun photography, more links than I'd care to count, and the odd great argument along they way. It's got my name into national papers, lead to speaking gigs, and been behind every piece of work I've done for the best part of seven years.
I did my "decade of blogging" post 18 months ago - there was a blog that preceded that one - but I didn't want this anniversary to pass unremarked.
And I'm not going to mark it with a long self-indulgent post - just a short(ish) one. :-) I am going to make it with a series of changes to the way I run this blog, and the posts you'll see coming through fairly quickly. In preparation for the anniversary, I've been looking through my own archives, looking for things I can learn from; ideas that drifted away that can be brought back, elements of the blog I never explored to my satisfaction. Over that decade, my blog has actually moved to the centre of my working life. Without this here database of content, none of the work I've been doing over the last year or so would have materialised. Now that I've had a couple of months where I earned more than I did in my corporate job, but for working fewer hours (Fridays are devoted to childcare for my daughter), I have a lot to be grateful for, and to the work I put in here particualrly. But the blog got a little neglected in recent months. I was too busy working or being a family man to give it the attention it deserved.
It's time to repay that with some investment back into this site. So changes are coming - indeed, they started yesterday and will continue through the next few months.
Thank you for coming with me this far, and I hope you'll join me on the journey to come. It's been a hell of a lot of fun.
As I said a decade ago:
I'll be your host on this particular Blog until I run out of things to discuss or you run out of patience for my words.
Luckily, neither of those things has happened just yet...
February 2, 2013
Very, very long term readers of this blog - those who have been tolerating my words for nearly a decade - might remember that I was once more print-centric than I am now. For the best part of a year in the 2003 to 2004 period, I editied a magazine called GRID. It was designed to sit at the intersection of property development, architecture and construction, and it was my pride and joy.
It had a stunning design by Balwant Ahira:
It's the print project that I was most proud of, which I devoted every ounce of my skill as a journalist to - and it was killed off by an incoming publisher, whose approach to profit growth involved slashing investment and costs. It was strangled before it had the chance to get going. At the time I was deeply upset, and really quite bitter. Nearly 10 years on, I see how it shaped the rest of my future. My dreams of being a print editor died with GRID, and I began to focus on my blog, blogging and the digital future. Within 18 months of the death of GRID, my transition into being a professional digital journalism expert began.
Why am I bringing this up now? Well, I finally got around to having one set of issues bound up into a beautiful hardback book at Wyvery Bindery.
I collected it last Monday on my way to City University, and I couldn't be more happy with it. I'm not sure how much else survives of the magazine. RBI no longer has any copies kicking around - they were all disposed of years ago. I believe some - but not all - of the content is on estatesgazette.com, but I no longer have access to the paid part to check. Apart from a box in my garage, this might be all that remains of the magazine.
This bound volume makes it slightly more likely that the work we did makes it into the future, somehow. And it certainly gives me something to enjoy on those days when I get nostalgic for print:
November 30, 2012
Apologies for the sudden outbreak of silence around here - look on it as the lull before the storm, if you like. This week is likely to be quiet, as I'm deep in a deadline crunch or five, with Hazel's christening and a trip to Paris coming up soon. Next week, of course, will be the normal storm of liveblogging from Le Web...
Things have been so busy, in fact, that I missed the anniversary of my redundancy on Wednesday. A year before, after lunch, I was pulled into a meeting in an anonymous little HR meeting room, and told that my days with RBI were over. At the time, all I could think was that I was in the middle of buying a house with my first child on the way, and suddenly I had no job. A year on? I'm too busy to note the passing of the day. Between flying to Helsinki with some brilliant people, working with the next generation of journalists, and keeping up my commitments to various other clients, things are busy, fun and reasonably profitable. Oh, and I'm living in that house, and spending more time than I would have otherwise with baby Hazel.
I'm not prepared to say that being made redundant was the best thing that ever happened to me - the timing was too appalling and stressful for that - but I will say that the way I've spent the year since has been so incredibly rewarding that it more than makes up for it. Certainly, I'm enjoying life, work and family far more than I was this time last year, and I'm significantly more optimistic about the future.
And that has to be a great thing, right?
November 11, 2012
November 4, 2012
Sunday was always going to be the hardest day to hit the #back2blog challenge. My weekends have utterly changed since I became a father. They're the time I give my wife some relief from the frantic business of new motherhood - and actually get to spend some time with my daughter. Even the spells when she's asleep tend to get sucked into household chores rather than online stuff. In fact, these weekends are the closest I get to genuinely unplugging - and I'm enjoying it.
Hazel doesn't care at all about the internet or iPads or magazines yet. At the moment she and I are celebrating the fact we've figured out a way to communicate between us about when she wants to be picked up, and see the world from the excellent vantage point of my shoulder. Hazel drags me into the here - and the now. She has little concept of past or future yet, so here interactions with me are purely in and of the moment. It's healthy. I love it.