This post serves as a catch up for friends and family I haven’t seen in a while and reminder to my future self. I have spoken to people to varying degrees about much of what 2012 has been about and will be about for me. This post is likely to jump all over the place, as I have a lot to talk about. So, in no particular order…
I was recently contacted by a recruiter working at Facebook about a position they wanted to put me forward for. I was incredibly flattered and excited to have been contacted by Facebook, but alas, they were looking for someone who would attend conferences around Europe and the USA and give talks to big companies on integrating with the Facebook platform. Anyone who knows me, knows I can’t do public speaking. Talking to a crowd of 5 people is enough to put me in a sweat! It would have been cool to see how Facebook worked from the inside but I have so many ideas to work on this year that I don’t think I could become a full-time employee anywhere.
As I write this post, I am on a short break in Rutland, one of the smallest counties in England. It is very tranquil and I highly recommend it as nice getaway for anyone who wants to just chill for a long weekend. The weather is good and quite warm. I’ve brought my telescope with me as there isn’t much light pollution out here. Which brings me on to:
A few days ago, I became the owner of a new Celestron 8″ Schmidt-cassegrain telescope. I sold my old Russian-made TAL-1 on ebay as I hadn’t used it in years and wasn’t really powerful enough to look at much other than the moon. Astronomy has been a passion of mine since I was very young, but after leaving school and becoming a web geek, I had somehow lost my way with it. I partly put this down to my A’level Physics teacher who dissuaded me from studying astrophysics at university. This year I have decided to throw myself back into science and my telescope is part of this shift. Another is:
I have been accepted to do a distance learning degree at UCLAN in Astronomy. I start in October and I can’t stress enough how excited I am to get started. I feel like a little kid again when I think about the universe and I know I will get much enjoyment out of studying again. I visited Jodrell Bank last month, one the most influential places of my childhood and Keele university’s observatory is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary later this month which I look forward to attending.
Most of you know I will be getting married next month to my wonderful fiancee, Sarah. The wedding date is set as the 23rd June (close to the summer solstice) in a beautiful part of Wales near the foot of Snowdon. I have been with Sarah for over 9 years and I originally asked her to marry me before I went away to uni, so you could say it has been a very long engagement. I look forward to spending the rest of my life with her…
Just a quick one liner to say that Sarah has started a new blog about finding happiness that I’m sure many of you will enjoy reading.
Electronics & Programming
This year I have also decided to take up a new hobby and learn some new programming languages. I have mastered much of PHP and with James Welch moving away to work in Manchester, I don’t get stretched (programmatically speaking) as much as I used to. So I am taking up learning Python and C++ this year. Although the uses of these languages (for me anyway) are a little fuzzy at the moment, one thing I want to do this year is program an mbed microcontroller to do something awesome. Not sure yet quite what though.
So there it is. You’re all caught up. Feel free to comment on any of the above; I would love to discuss with anyone who has any views on anything I’ve talked about here.