Happy New Year (yes it’s early)

Okay, so it’s fairly certain that I’m having far too much fun here in Cape Town.

If you haven’t visited South Africa and your inner voices are telling you to get out there and travel, then I can’t recommend either SA or more specifically the Western Cape and Cape Town highly enough.

Anyway, I wanted to take this opportunity, as I won’t have access to the internet tomorrow evening, to pre-emptively wish anyone who can see this post a very Happy New Year, and health, wealth and above all happiness for 2012 and beyond.

Big Love to you All

*hugs and kisses from Africa*


Round Robin

I have realised that there is an inherent irony in what I am about to do, and that is that what I am about to do used to raise naught but derision from this quarter in the past… What I am about to do is write a “Round Robin” letter, of the kind that I have consistently mocked for not only all of my adult life, but also much of my pre-adult existence as well. Why do I find myself in this predicament you ask..? Well that is kind of you, I thought that I was going to have to engineer an opportunity to explain my bald faced vault-face, my trip down the hypocrisy highway… It boils down to this… I have not travelled widely, nor have I lived in far-flung corners of the world, but I have worked in London, I have travelled a little, and there have been people in and out of my life that have not been “from around these parts”, and as such I have a far-flung crowd to cater to. When I add to that the unavoidable truth that despite my genuinely incalculable joy at becoming father I now have no time to myself, whatsoever, I reach an unfortunately inescapable conclusion; I cannot help but give in to the need to write one of those god-awful “Round Robin” letters that appeared in Xmas cards sent to my parents in days of yore that I would pour scorn upon, or (forgive me for my hubris) the ones that came later, courtesy of blogging platforms and email and (heavens forfend) Facebook, from the brave pioneers amongst my peers who got on with the whole parenting thing fucking years ago… To them in particular, I am truly, truly sorry about the jokes that were made about your various offerings in the vein that I am about to mine so shamelessly. So, prepare yourselves… In years past I have done a video postcard, and that perhaps should have been a clue that I had way too much time on my hands, but now it has come to this; I hope to at least raise a smile or two along the way… I don’t suppose that anyone who can see this posting can have possibly missed that I became a husband at the beginning of this year, but in case this fact has escaped your notice… On January the second of this year (being 2011), Lee-Anne Marie Robinson did me the inestimable honour of becoming my wife. We were joined in matrimony before a small crowd of friends and family within the historic walls of Hever Castle in Kent, formerly the childhood home of Anne Boleyn (as well as that other Boleyn girl that the made the film about). It really was a magical affair; not only was it lovely in every way imaginable, but (for me at least) it was the realisation of a lifelong dream; at last I am married to someone I really rather like (okay I do love her very much indeed), and conveniently she seems to like me quite a lot too, so the dream’s realisation has a chance at survival! Hurrah! We had already been living in SIN for a good three months before the big day, and while I’m sure that both of us would describe that as an adjustment, I think both of us would want to highlight our surprise at how little adjusting was actually necessary. Our post matrimonial idyll was delayed, pleasantly I would want to stress, by my father-in-law remaining with us (at least for some of the time) for an extra week. Nonetheless, we settled into married life as a kind of business-as-usual with wedding rings and lovely memories thrown in on top as bonuses. We went back to commuting together, a pleasure I now miss terribly – no really that’s not a joke, I really do miss commuting with my wife – and looking forward to our future together. The humdrum, while pleasant to be sure, was punctuated by all kinds of fun; we spent a long weekend in the heart of Welsh Wales in honour of my beloved’s birthday, and there was a visit from my parents in there somewhere as well… It really is the case, however, that the event of the year in our minds came about in early May. On the morning of May the sixth, our beautiful daughter, Christine Olivia Godby was born. Yes, those of you doing the maths may chortle (a little), but that could not matter less to us. Since that day life has indeed changed, though on balance I would not change a thing. The two weeks immediately following Olivia’s arrival were filled with visits from my parents and Lee-Anne’s mum, and were a very happy time during which I forgot about grown-up things like jobs and commuting, and lost myself in the wonder of my child. All good things must come to an end, and I had to go back to work, just as Christine (my mother-in-law) had to fly home. And so began a new chapter in our marriage with me going out to “stinky London” every day, missing out on all the fun and new developments at home, while my wife and daughter stayed at home. Please do not misunderstand, my wife has not simply focused on childcare; though that is a task enough in itself in my book, but she has also made home-making (for all the horror that this Americanism suggests) into an art-form. Despite my continued assertions that I am not a husband from the 1950’s she continues to make dinner for when I arrive home and handles all of the washing and much of the cleaning, not to mention provisioning the good ship Camden Terrace, while inexplicably managing to keep our little Pumpkin alive. You might, dear reader, wish to discover some irony in these comments, so allow me to disabuse you of this hateful notion. I am still confounded, amazed and generally in awe of the fact that my fabulous wife has neither gone doolalley nor killed Olivia. Throughout all she thrives and conquers with redoutable panache. Moreover, I am convinced that if forced to trade places with her for a week I would fall so far short of the mark as to be unworthy of comment. In short I owe her much, perhaps more than can be said, and I can only hope that she knows of (and believes in) half of the honour I give her and thanks that I bestow upon her. As some of you may know my “five year plan” was derailed quite spectacularly in July of last year when I was made redundant (along with 50% of my co-workers) from the job that was going to set me up for emigration, due to share options and potential and all that crap. My knee-jerk reaction to this turn of events was to set up (yet again) as a contractor, and within three weeks all was arranged and I began what was supposed to be a six month stint at the BBC, as a PAL developer, which is BBC for web application developer. I cannot say enough nice things about the BBC. There really is not enough time to properly express the positive feelings I still have about Aunty, even having worked there. There is something really fulfilling about contributing to the work of this august institution, but on top of that personal warm glow, there is the very real fact that regardless of what you may have been led to believe by some of the right-wing press the BBC is populated (at least in my experience) by thoughtful, committed, intelligent, accomplished and generally excellent people. Everywhere I have ever worked, apart from the BBC, there has always been “that guy” or “that girl” that is just dragging things down. You know that person from your workplace, right? Well, I have not encountered that person in the last fifteen or sixteen months, and that is pretty unusual. As I walked away from the Television Centre Bar this evening, saying goodbye to my sojourn at the BBC by wandering the halls of “The Dream Factory” alone I have to admit that I had a lump in my throat. There is no doubt in my mind that if I have a chance to go back one day, I will. For now I am focusing on 2012 and my new job; I can’t wait to get into the new challenges that are waiting for me at Wonga, but not to get ahead of myself there is amazing adventure to be had between now and then… Adventure? What is that you ask? Well now then, if you didn’t know, we (Lee-Anne, Olivia and I) are about to leave for Capetown on Sunday, and we are going to see Livvie’s grandparents and uncles for Xmas and New Year. Bluntly, I cannot wait; I have not had a holiday for 14 months, and I NEED this! So, why have I done this? Why am I foisting my blasted “Round Robin letter” on you? Well, it’s simple really; I’ve made my peace with the fact that fatherhood takes so much of my time that first of all there is no way that I am going to send individual Xmas cards, and second of all I want to tell you all stuff because even if I’m not around as much as I was I still think about you all, much of the time. So, let me know your news, I do want to hear it 🙂 To all who may read this, have a smashing Christmas and a splendid New Year, and hopefully I’ll see more of y’all next year as I get better at time-management versus parental responsibility 😉