Now I know I haven't been here for a while, and to be honest, if I don't write something this week, it'll be another 12 months since I wrote anything here at all. That doesn't mean I haven't been writing just that I've not been publishing much / anything.....
I could prattle on about all of the change, but that’s going to make for a very very long post, so instead I’ll share some of my more recent opinions and experiences, oh, and I promise NOT to use the "B" word..
Tough year. I thought 2018 was busy, what the highs of changing jobs, daughter getting married and the lows of losing someone I really admired. In all honesty, 2019 wasn't bad, although there was loss (of a different kind) which I've found particularly hard to deal with. The realisation that people aren't as good as you think they are comes as quite a shock initially, until you see the signs were there all along. It's depressing.
It was milestone year for me, and I think given that loss, it just was not a birthday that I was looking forward to. Getting older was always going to be fun anyway, but I really didn't want it.
The good people around me helped. Mrs G- came up with the great idea of doing something to celebrate every month for the whole year. It worked out pretty well too. All sorts of shenanigans, from TV Studios, the Cheltenham festival, the Grand National, trips to the theatre and over indulging to weekends away in all sorts of places, and a lot of cricket. Time with friends, time with family, all made for a much better time than I'd anticipated and made the whole "cemetery side of semi- century" thing entirely bearable.
We became proud owners of a racehorse. OK, thats a little exaggerated, insofar as we bought two shares in a very large syndicate, but it does make for interesting learning. You get to visit the stables, get regular updates on the training and progress and details of the races he's entered into with the opportunity to get access to the owners and trainers enclosures at race meets. Oh, and if you get really lucky, a share of the prize money. It's a lot of fun and has introduced a whole new level to the "sport of kings".
I had the annual week away with the AGS to play golf in the sun. This year was Spain. The golf was great, the company was good, the rest was OK. As much as I've enjoyed the banter with those lads, it looks like its coming to a close. I'll go along in 2020, but its just not what it was. Sad when great teams go their separate ways, but it seems thats the norm nowadays. People change. We had a good run.
In amongst all this has been some seriously hard work that I've really enjoyed. I do seem to have found work that I love again, which has been quite a revelation to me.
IBM had great people and I made some great friends, but it really wasn't a great place to work. They nearly kill you and barely pay you for the privilege. Of course from the way it looks now, IBM no longer exists. They spent so much money trying to buy their way into the cloud (by buying Red Hat) that the only thing left is the name. They don't appear to have much of an innovative or reactive business left. and I'm not sure they have much of a sales pipeline. But what do I know? It's just a viewpoint based on my experience of working there for much longer than I should have done. ;-)
The new job has had me working back at the sharp end and it’s been brilliant to finally work - somewhere where a) They know how to use the technology properly and b) they know how to treat people that work for them. I've had a great set of education, got top certification and delivered challenging projects for a very challenged customer. I've loved (almost) every minute of it.
I rounded the year out with a trip to AWS re:invent in Las Vegas, (athough I've been up to my neck in MS Azure for most of the year), which has served to inspire me to push even more through 2020. None of that would ever have happened at IBM.
The other challenge for 2020, is the Cotswold Way. A walk of just over 100 miles which I'll be doing with a small group of great people to raise some much needed cash for Pancreatic Cancer Research. Expect to see a link to a justgiving.com page very soon!
For now, heres to a Happy New Year for you and yours.. Best of luck for 2020 and do yourself a favour -. --. Don't be a dick to people....
P.S. You see, no mention of Brexit or politics or any of that nonsense.