I drafted this on the train down from Birmingham to London, which seems an apt point to post about my move, i.e. moving from Birmingham to London. Meandering reflection on this now follows, punctuated by station stops. Birmingham International.
The unique campus has been the picturesque backdrop for my work since I came back in 2001 to study and research. It’s been a fairly eventful period of my life, taking in a PhD, a startup failure, half a dozen homes, a quiz show appearance, a lot of juggling, three relationships winding up in a marriage. I’ve met lots of awesome people there and had some great times. Leaving it feels like a fairly major deal.
Looking back, I realise I have some many memories of Brum I can only take on board a meagre fraction at a time. I started taking photos, inspired by the emergence of the local Flickrmeet. Many good friends from Circus Society which seemed to attract cool geeks like a steaming coffee mug attracts juggling balls. The crystallisation of Birmingham’s creative digital (or is that digitally creative?) scene. Luminaries, all.
For the last two-and-a-bit years I’ve been working on the STACK project at the University of Birmingham which has been a great lesson in being the buck-stop for a complex, innovating open-source code base that depended upon other complex, evolving projects. I got to show it off in Helsinki, Slovakia, Aachen, Paris and… Milton Keynes Central.
Whilst I’ve bounced around different corners of Brum, my knowledge of London is relatively sparse. I’ve taken up a research post at City University and I need to find a houseshare thereabouts. The excellent Airbnb has been sorting me out with a roof over head meanwhile. After three months or so, Naz’ll join me and we’ll get ourselves a flat or somesuch.
It’s been a while since I’ve kicked off in a new city but it’s something that I genuinely enjoy. Naturally, it’s unsettling and that’s all for the good. A chorus of alarm bells start to go off when I get too comfortable and I’m expecting London to take a little while before cosy familiarity starts to set in. Watford Junction.
My new job title includes the phrases: Research, Web Intelligence, Semantic Web and Social Networks which makes me happy (as you’d know if you’d read this blog for any length of time) especially as I’m still fuzzy on what some of those terms actually mean – plenty to learn.
In any case, having been at the job for a couple of weeks, I’m happy there’s a big opportunity to make an impact and try stuff out. London Euston.