It’s a busy month isn’t it? With the end of the year approaching, I’m looking back and reflecting on current and past matters. If you’d like to get to know me a little better, read on.
We’ve moved from a provincial hamlet to a provincial city. I’m still near the centre of the country, and I still take an eon to get to work in the morning, but our house, while being a standard box, is lovely and more spacious. Our new city is bijou and incredibly unbelievably friendly. People say ‘good morning‘ to you in the street; it’s quite a shock.
We’re still unboxing things, and I’m finally getting hundreds of books I haven’t seen in months on to nice shelves our spacious home office. But we end up doing most of our work in our cosy lounge; we really have moved on to laptops these days.
Christmas came early
Graciously, I’ve been allowed to open my present early, because it’s a ‘netbook’ (a mini laptop) and I need it for my various personal projects (like now, blogging while on the train to work). I’ve got the Eee PC 901, from Asus. I think it’s fair to say that Asus started the netbook revolution with their 701, and they set the standard of small form-factor and solid state drive (instead of a moving hard drive). Oh, and Linux. Yes, that’s right, I’m not using Windows half as much as I used to. My evenings are spent working on my Mac and now on my new Xandros GNU/Linux netbook. I love how fast it is to boot.
Being in a new city means that we can either cloak ourselves in anonymity, or get out there and meet people and see what happens. While December is crazy-busy for us, we hope to find time to meet interesting people for the odd drink, and see if we can make friends and get involved with local affairs and what-not. I hope I can meet some adult roleplayers (White Wolf, Mage, etc.) but also we’re just looking for cool people to drag us out at the weekend for a good session in the pub / club.
I must have been in my new job for over four months now. I guess I’m settling in. I had hoped to make more contacts and perhaps friends, but I’ve found that if I want to leave on time (which I need to, as I have a two hour commute) I have to work pretty solidly, and chat and distractions just make me overheat; there’s so much to do when you’re in Internal Communications for a big regional company. And I have to ‘fix’ the intranet coz it sucks a lot.
We went out for an office meal on Friday, and this (charming) 19 year old asked me if this “was my first job since leaving uni?” – how utterly awesome of him to think me so young! I can barely remember university!
The real meaning of Christmas
I don’t celebrate Christmas, I celebrate friends and family at Yule (so yes, I’m happy to put a tree up). The winter solstice marks the darkest time of the year and it’s the right time to reflect on the year past and plan for the year ahead. I don’t have much family to speak of, and I hope that my friends will remember me this Yuletide.
This Yule I shall be meeting up with @Julesxv to discuss marketing and diversification of her originalerasers.co.uk (@OriginalErasers) business, and we’ll be cogitating on the future development of www.FirstSigns.org.uk (@FirstSigns) – our established and respected voluntary organisation. I smell charity registration (again) and expansion, don’t you?
Then, there’s a plan to meet my partner’s family over Christmas dinner. Nervous? Yes. Then, the very next day we’ll be driving through the snow that won’t have fallen all the way up north to spend Boxing Day drinking around the gambling tables with my school friends from yore. I hope to see my brother too.
Come the new year, and I shall celebrate my birthday proper (albeit a month late) with a house-warming bash. Food and drinks for everyone! That should inject some life into my new sleepy neighbourhood. If I haven’t invited you yet, please drop me a hint!
I’m just finishing Naomi Klein’s ‘No Logo‘ – even though it’s old now, it’s so well researched and so well written that it’s a joy to read, and has opened a window on the global economy of sweatshops to me. I have changed my mind about global brands and out-sourced production, and I want to know the working conditions in India, China and Indonesia now. I need to know if they’ve improved (unlikely if what I see on BBC 2 is anything to go by). How can I buy clothes that are ethically and fairly produced when the factory workers are divested from the branded company? Who’s safe to buy from?
I’m about to start reading Frater U.D.’s “High Magick II” – which could be an expansion of the previous edition, or an actual sequel; I don’t know. I’m disappointed to find that U.D. seems to have written an introduction to historical shamanism and magick traditions from around the world. I have read such details time and time before; I grow weary of ‘introductions’ to past traditions; I have such works on my shelf already. What I need is practical (not spiritual) ideas and aspirational workings for everyday life. I want to learn how other magickians live their lives, and what they do with themselves – what do they count as success, and how do they account for failures?
Me? well, I did loads and loads of magick when I was a little younger, and over the years it’s paid off. I now have almost everything my heart desires, and no, it hasn’t been easy, because I enjoy work and the achievements it brings. But I am ‘successful’ as I self-define. I live by magick, but I don’t demand much from it. Will you be having a magickal 2009?