Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

2009 in review

Around this time last year I wrote a somewhat optimistic post about what had happened in 2008 and what I expected to happen in 2009. While I was right about there being a lot of change, 2009 proved to be a very eventful year and not always in the good sense.
January started well, despite my unemployment – I went to Edinburgh for a job interview and took a few photos while I was there. The interview sadly didn’t lead to a job, but upon my return to Bradford we ended up with a houseful of people – Hari’s little sister and her then boyfriend, and one of our friends from World of Warcraft. As it happens, World of Warcraft would be the thing that would keep me sane for the first few months of the year.
February was when things started going downhill. I was still unemployed, and was struggling to find work, despite being registered with two temping agencies. Then I heard that my grandmother, who had been ill since September 2008, had passed away. While it was somewhat expected, as she has been very ill, the funeral was a big shock. I didn’t write about it publicly at the time but even 9 months on I still miss her. She was 86, and is survived by my grandfather. Also during February, Hari went to Scotland for 2 weeks.
In March I went on a weekend trip to Dovedale and Sherwood Forest with the University Hiking Club – despite no longer being a student or member of staff there I was still involved, and my parents offered to pay for my place on the trip. As I was still unemployed, the Bank of Mum and Dad came very much into play at this time. To pass the time while unemployed, I started walking more often on my own, and did a couple of canals and disused railway lines near Bradford. Hari was still in Scotland, and eventually came back after 4 weeks. It was then that we agreed that things weren’t working and that the time we had spent apart only came to prove this. On Saturday 21st March, after 3 years and 5 months together, we split up.
During April I tied up the loose ends at the flat Hari and I rented in Bradford, and I moved back in with my parents over the Easter weekend. The loss of independence took a lot of getting used to and I can’t say I enjoyed it a lot, especially as most of my friends were still back in Bradford.
Come May, and things started brightening up. I managed to get a new short-term employment contract back at the University in Bradford, so spent a couple of months staying in people’s spare rooms. I also reached the grand old age of 25, and spent my birthday up a mountain in Wales.
At the end of June I moved to where I live now, in the Undercliffe area of Bradford. While it’s a bit further away from the University, I have good housemates and the house is very nice (and cheap!).
The first 2 weeks of July were spent on my first foreign holiday in 6 years, which was in France, around La Rochelle. I really enjoyed the break, which after the ups and downs of the preceding few months was very welcome. There were some really memorable moments, such as riding on a tandem and seeing Fort Boyard.
While my employment contract was initially quite short, it was extended a few times (and now runs until the end of February). August and September proved to be very busy at work, although the latter month resulted in a 23″ screen which I posted about quite a bit.
In October, I visited a friend who had recently moved to Blackpool (she was my travelling partner in France and had been a shoulder to cry on over the preceding months) who introduced me to one of her new friends, Christine. A week later, and Christine and I became an item. We went to see Ash play in Bradford, which was awesome, and have since tried to spend every weekend together.
A sign that the job market was improving was that I started getting interviews again – one in September and another in November. Despite getting very positive feedback, neither resulted in a job, unfortunately. Also in November I visited Halifax town centre for the first time – not a very interesting event but it’s somewhere I’ve passed through a lot but never really visited.
And finally in December I was diagnosed with an arselump. December was also the first month for several years where I wasn’t overdrawn on my bank account – just in time for my bank to raise the overdraft charges to £1 per day. While I’m not rolling in cash at present, I’m much better off financially than I was in 2008. Christine and I are planning to spend New Year together in Blackpool.
And as for 2010? Well, I’ll be starting it on better footing than last year, with more money and a job. I also have 2 interviews lined up for January, and a weekend break in central Scotland. If all goes to plan, I’ll be getting myself a new computer (probably a Mac Mini again but still not fully decided), and a new mobile phone (probably not an iPhone as they’re expensive, but maybe an Android phone). And hopefully Christine and I may be able to afford a weekend trip somewhere outside the UK, such as Paris, later in the year.
Hope you all have a wonderful new year and that 2010 brings you everything you could ask for.

One Comment

  1. It doesn’t sound like you had a good 2009 for the most part, but hey things look bright for you in 2010 🙂 Hope you get that job soon – I’m really surprised no one has hired you yet!