Steve (akicif) wrote,
Steve
akicif

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The truth behind the rabbit-hole post....

As with the fictional post, the day-job's beginning to pall somewhat. Bluntly, it takes too much time for what it pays, and while there's the odd bit of potentially profitable part-time stuff turning up occasionally, I don't seem to have the time and energy to do much about it. I am starting to get emails and the occasional phonecall from agencies again, so things are getting better in that direction, but it's still all either short-term stuff or back down south, and very little of it would still be there when I factor in the delay for a month's notice.

I spent most of 2000 contracting in London, staying with the_magician. Some good companies (Honda, Brand New Media/Fi System, SCEE), some dodgy (the one that's not on my CV that kept me hanging around for a week in their office with no work to do, and then tried to sack me for not doing anything - guess who hadn't noticed the notice clause in the contract!). Portsmouth for the bicentenary of the first meeting between Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin. Beltane as a torchbearer (Honda let me take the time as a "religious holiday"). Dental Hell. Stewarding the Solstice at Stonehenge. Glastonbury with sparrowpunk. More dental Hell. An incredibly international GBBF. A pretty good year all round, really.

"The Scottish Con" dominated rather more of 1995 than was quite right. But apart from that.... At the start of the year I'd been back up in Edinburgh for about three months, with about four more to go before Jenny and the family moved up. Work (in the Pharmacology Department) was interesting - a mix of molecular modelling-related stuff, LIMS stuff, and doing work-related webby stuff for the first time. It looked like I'd a fairly long term position in the department, with the odd trip or extended visit to Japan lined up, but the Kobe earthquake a year later put paid to all that.

I'm going to swap the next two snapshots around: they cover the longest period of least change I've had, the decade and a bit down in Leeds.

Ah, yes. It was good to be alive in 1985. Almost at the halfway point of my first post-doc (modelling collagenase inhibitors by the method of receptor fit: which meant lots of playing around with fancy molecular modelling kit and rather a lot of number crunching), settling into our house in the Aviaries (not yet the millstone referred to as Schloss Asbestos), and on the point of discovering that SF conventions did indeed happen in the UK.

High points of 1990? The Dutch worldcon, attended en famille. Non-con memories include the nightly fireworks, and discovering on arrival at Hull that we'd tickets for the wrong ferry. Oh, and as the only bearded person on the return ferry with a passport indicating birth in Norn Iron, being held back until every single other passenger was off the boat. Con-related memories included hardly any programme and spending far too much time at a desk in the ops room. This should maybe have been a warning for Intersection... Before ConFiction, the kids stayed with their grandparents, while we'd a week or so travelling round Scotland visiting various SF groups: most spectacular low-point being the bottle of Halley's Comet whisky smashing on an empty Old Peculier bottle and scenting Jenny's rucksack for the rest of the trip. Earlier that year had been Chronoclasm in Derby, which went well, but maybe not as well as Iconoclasm (tissmws), and before that had been a couple of months working in Nantes on molecular modelling of sulphated carbohydrates (I think this was the trip that I stayed at brisingamen's when passing through Kent - a very pleasant evening, and then a lift to the ferry the next morning). Oh, and we were still doing Matrix back then, so there were bimonthly all-nighters and occasionally hitching down to Guildford to drop the masters off (and wandering into the ULCC computer room near Lambs Conduit Street to get almost a full day's work done before hitching back in time to meet the boss in the pub).

Just back from visiting tigermoth's sister and her family in Morocco, and settling down into my final year project. The main events on the horizon were our wedding (in the Potterow Chaplaincy Centre on the Saturday of the Spring Equinox) and my finals -- it really did seem sensible to get the wedding out of the way before starting to revise.

Spring term, 1975. Mock O-levels and suchlike. School about as nasty as it could get -- I thought. Being called out of class and similar for drunken phonecalls from Dad. I don't think any of us knew just how bad things were, then. He'll have been dead for thirty years at the beginning of April, and it still doesn't feel right that I'm older than him.
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