...it's been about three, going on four years. Vinny, you looked so much more chic in black 'n' yellow!
I've rediscovered one of the things I should have remembered about phpBB3 fora - if writing a long post, copy/paste it somewhere BEFORE hitting that Submit button, lest it log you out for inactivity and you lose an epic piece you've been writing on and off for three hours...
Well, I'm not doing that again, so here's a summary of that summary.
Last time I was here in any regular capacity (mid-2013) I'd just dropped out of uni and was angsting about my future. I didn't go into the games industry, as had originally been my intention - apart from not having the qualifications, I was completely burnt out by the whole thing. I scarcely play at all anymore, though am quietly impressed with what I've seen of Breath of the Wild.
Instead, I spent a year in and out of odd jobs and vocational schemes - a month as a deliveries temp tracking Christmas toy orders; one DAY as a charity canvasser, running up and down tenement flats in Arbroath in the middle of January; trained as a bus driver and to obtain a heavy-goods licence, then never actually drove a bus or other large vehicle; a month in a bank; and three months as a music journalist for a local radio station, conducting interviews, doing album reviews, and writing feature copy for the website - this was a great job, getting *paid* to go see gigs like Rosanne Cash and write effusively about them!
Then I went back to uni to do a 12-month Masters degree in Writing Practice and Study. I wrote theses on Sylvia Plath and Dylan Thomas, poetry inspired by Ezra Pound and WC Williams among others, presented a conference paper on internet meme development in the context of Derrida's Of Grammatology
(teaching a roomful of literary scholars how to speak "Doge" is my academic zenith, such wow), was chief editor of the uni's arts review magazine, did an internship with Freight Books in Glasgow, and graduated in November 2015 with a First-Class Distinction. Not that I'm proud of it or anything
I made the most of my degree by... working at a call centre for a well-known supermarket for the next year. It wasn't a terrible job, nor were most of the customers, and it paid relatively well. But it was relentless, hundreds of customers a day, and I was saddled with 4:30-11pm shifts, which meant I missed out on most evening events my friends were at, and couldn't really enjoy the days as I was simply waiting for work to begin. Whether it was for being unable to keep up the pace or for writing haikus and rhyming couplets in the contact logs we'll simply never know, but my contract ended with mutual agreement last September.
I spent the first couple of months of this year volunteering as a "deck hand" aboard HMS Unicorn
, a 19th-century wooden warship that now serves as a local tourist attraction, and as a "grave archivist", transcribing burial records for the ancient Howff cemetery in the city centre (and I do mean "ancient" - some of the graves go back to the mid-1500s!). I am now one month into my new role at DC Thomson, who are probably best known as the creators of Dennis the Menace and Desperate Dan of the Beano and Dandy comics, though we also do several newspapers, puzzle books, glossy quarterly magazines, and, erm, bronze busts of various comic characters
. It's a regular 9-5 Monday-to-Friday for the most part, you get an hour for lunch, two tea breaks whenever you want them, there's a tuck shop in the corner of the office, free tea and coffee, and enough time and freedom between calls/letters/emails to mess about on the internet (hi there). And for the first time in my life I have a salary! Feels good, man.
That's already more than enough for now - haven't even touched on family or relationships or non-work/academia pursuits. Just glad to know this place is still alive and somewhat kicking, and I look forward to catching up on all of your stories!
"Little bug, little bug... I might mistake you for a grain and put you in my cereal..."
Princess Agitha, LOZ: Twilight Princess
J'écris, donc je suis