that was the year that was

Thunk on or about 31st December 2003

Well, that about wraps it up for 2003. It's been quite a year.


There's been a lot of movement at the station in my immediate family. My parents decided it was time to bite the bullet and leave their Brisbane home for a retirement village. They have moved to a place in the Gosford area which has the advantage of being only about 90 minutes drive away. Robert gets to see a lot more of his grandparents which is a Good Thing. I think they miss Brisbane but the village is a nice one and a lot less stressful. Dad's health has been a bit dodgy so the close availability of help is important.

My sister Louise has returned to Sydney after fifteen years of self-imposed exile in London. Somewhere in the middle of that she acquired a husband, Anthony. They are now happily resident in a very pleasant flat overlooking the harbour. Anthony is currently trying to educate me about French wines - a project of which I can only approve.

My other sister, Jane, remains firmly in England despite all pleas to the contrary. Still, we saw quite a lot of her this year as she very nobly came out to help our parents with the move.

Robert turned two in August. It has been fascinating watching him turn from a baby into a small boy. His co-ordination has improved to the extent that he can climb up and down the ladder to the loft (when we let him) with perfect ease. He is talking to the extent that you can hold a real conversation with him. He retains his fascination with symbols of all kinds - letters, numbers, road signs, whatever. And - possibly only parents will appreciate the importance of this - he decided about a week ago that he is now old enough to use the potty. The amount of washing we have to do has dropped off dramatically.

Pamela, despite being chief Robert minder, has had a productive year. She has written a series of three children's books (the Network Mysteries, published by Koala books) which are selling well. She is also about 50,000 words into the adult fantasy novel she is writing for her DCA. I don't know how she does it all.


This has been a mea culpa year for me on the friends front. Frankly, I have been Bad. Contact has been sporadic to say the least and often initiated by others.

New Year's Resolution: I will have more contact with my friends.


Life at Optus changed a lot with the demise of the interactive television project (for which I was originally hired). Early this year, we moved offices from North Ryde to Chatswood. This is good. I can commute on the train and there are lots of shops nearby. After much moving around I have finally got myself a window desk so that I can gaze wistfully at the sky.

At some point I got promoted to Team Leader which is pretty much what I was doing anyway but with more money. Most of the year has been involved with a major software project which descended into headless chicken mode towards the end of the year. This involved a lot of stress we could all have done without. Our immediate manager and two team members have subsequently resigned - there may or may not be a connection.

Things should be a little better in 2004. One of my fellow team leaders selflessly volunteered to take over the manager's position (none of the rest of us would touch it although I flirted with the idea for a while). He should make an excellent manager - far better than me. Also, we have a new project manager who seems to be a lot better at saying no to marketing.

New Year's Resolution: try and do some actual programming - I have done virtually none this year.

Performance Review

Robert: obviously, the boy has been the dominating factor in both Pamela's life and mine. On the whole, we're happy with our performance here. He's a lovely kid - intelligent, inquisitive and with the potential to be an all round nice guy. What more could you ask?

Website: I started this back in August, partly inspired by Jonathan's site which has enabled me to keep better contact with him in California than I have with some friends in Sydney. The layout is a bit rough and ready but it can be updated quickly which I think is more important in the long term. It perhaps provides some small mitigation for my dreadful record with friends this year.

Writing: I'm just finishing the third draft of a children's novel what I have wrote. Helpful comments by Pamela and her friend Rose have occasioned the new drafts but I think it is just about done. Pamela's agent has offered to read it for me so I shall be taking advantage of this offer shortly. I'll keep you posted on the outcome.


Australians remember: it's a federal election year. This time, lets do it properly and vote the little bastard out.

A Happy New Year to all my readers.


last updated