INDEX 18 December, 2007

2007 robin

This year, like many of the ones that came before it, has been a strange year for me. I got sacked, my younger brother died and lots of things went wrong, yet somehow I feel happier at the end of the year. For one thing I got another job which was better for me.

More good news is that both my children seem to have settled down to a certain extent. Laura has been a teacher at a school for difficult kids for a couple of years now and is reaching the end of her psychotherapy course that has been a great drain on her resources, financial and physical. Arthur is taking a teacher training course and should end up like his cousin Adam as a scripture teacher. Apparently there is a great call for them at the moment.

After a two year harassment campaign Unity Media sacked me. So much for the anti age discrimination legislation the Government passed a while back. When it comes down to it even after working for a company for nine years you have no protection whatsoever. Well that's what the lawyers tell me. I can't even take the company to an industrial tribunal.

Strangely being sacked turned out to be very good for me. I started picking up freelance work almost immediately and have now got pretty much a full time job editing a rival magazine to the one I used to edit. I am not earning quite as much but I'm not doing badly. To pick up a job when you are 55 is not supposed to be easy. But I didn't even apply for a job, it just came to me. I am going to be able to do my new job from home. No more commuting. This is just what I have wanted for a long time. It also gives me the opportunity to rattle my former employer by producing a better product than my old magazine, GGP.

This year I spent a lot of money on the latest professional video equipment. A few years ago I went on a course to learn how to edit videos and bought the latest professional editing equipment and I updated that last year. This month I spent two days on a very intensive course designed to teach professional camera use. A chunk from one of my videos was shown at this year's Cannes Film Festival (another video maker put the section into his video and gave me a credit at the end of it. He then got his video shown in the small films section at Cannes.).

If you had asked me what my ambition was five years ago I'd probably told you it was to get a video at Cannes. Job done. I am currently editing one fairly major project (I promised to have it ready for a World Premier in March) and have several things in the pipeline (including a couple of projects I have been promised money for).

When I was a teenager I used to enjoy wallowing in the mellowness of Autumn. That was the time when I wrote poems (thankfully I have mostly given that up). But as I get older I find the dark days before Christmas to be more and more difficult. I wondered if I was suffering from S.A.D. (Seasonally Acquired Depression). This year I decided to do something about it and bought a full spectrum light bulb (for less than £15). Strangely, it seems to have worked. I have definitely had a happier autumn. I can thoroughly recommend it if you are worried about the winter blues.

I haven't taken a holiday this year but I got to go to Venice again (for work) which was fun (though tiring). I don't really enjoy travelling and find airports unpleasant. But I also went over to Brussels on the Eurostar and that is a civilised way to travel. Not only that I think it is cheaper to go to Brussels than Manchester!

Family history has taken up a huge amount of my time in 2007. In my youth I never saw or even heard of a Brind other than a member of my direct family. In 2007 thanks to Facebook which has a Brinds group, I seem to be getting emails from Brinds almost every day. One day I came home and found about a dozen (admittedly, I think someone had been sending the same message several times, but even so it surprised me). The internet allows people with even the most surprisingly uncommon interests to quickly find crowds of other similar enthusiasts. Anyone who doesn't think this is going to change the world, is living in a dream.

I still think I live in an urban jungle but it is surprising how fortunate you can be if you look out for good luck instead of hiding under a stone, fearing disaster.

Anyway, this is to wish you a happy Christmas and a prosperous (and healthy) new year. I am sorry if this seems like an arrogant or perhaps an impersonal sort of missive. But if I don't send this, I won't send anything. I'd really be interested to hear about what you are up to.
18 December, 2007INDEX