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That Was The Week That Was

February 13, 2011

I’m a big fan of the Weeknotes that various people I admire write at the end of the week. I’m not sure if I have the discipline to keep it up, so this is more liable to work as occasional notes.

The big news as far as I’m concerned is I no longer work for O’Reilly. I was laid off on the 3rd Feb. I’m a bit raw about it as yet, as you might imagine, and I’m not going to go into details in a public place like the Internet, so I’m only going to write about the positive side of it. One of the upsides is I don’t have to work the notice period, so in theory I have 3 months of salary in the bank and nothing to do except make sure I have work to pay the mortgage at the end of it. If you’re a pal of mine, tweet me on smithylad and I’ll let you know of my plans, (which for the record, I’m very excited about).

The 4th Ignite London took place on Tuesday 8th, (my wedding anniversary – my wife took the news rather well. Thanks, Fi) and it was glorious. So many great speakers. The Guest Speakers were all superb – thanks Al, Ant, Max and Tom – and all the people who put themselves forward stepped up wonderfully. I won’t name highlights, because that would be unfair on the people who I don’t name, but no one let us down, everyone got a laugh, a gasp, a hearty round of applause or all of those. The cheer of the night probably belonged to Paul Downey, with a slide showing his Bile Card, which read ‘In the event of my death, it is my wish that my spleen is harvested and thrown forcefully at the editor of the Daily Mail’. Something like that. Paul was at school with Steve Whitfield, who produced The Scaremonger’s album Born in a Barn. Small world.

Equally as exciting is Ignite Music, which I’m putting together with Rob Dix from Partisan PR. It’s going to take place at the Horse and Groom on Great Portland Street in London in the evening of the 19th of April. Matt Sheret of Last.fm has agreed to be a Guest Speaker. The first Ignite Music is bound to be a proof of concept affair, so who knows how it’s going to go. But it’s going to be very exciting finding out. More details to follow.

I got into the garden for the first time this year, in fact for the first time since the lad was born. My good friend Mike helped me plant a plum tree, a pear tree and a nectarine tree. We also shifted a couple of olive trees around. This year’s meadow seeds arrived from Pictorial Meadows – I went for short stalked plants this time around as last year they wrapped around each other and dragged themselves down. Hopefully shorter plants should rectify that. Photos to follow.

Went to see the Boy Armitage talk at Kings Place. He was on a panel with Martin Carthy, Hugh Lupton, Chris Woods and someone from the Times whose name I missed. The topic of their 40 minute talk was Anon – orphaned works. Interesting-ish. After a half hour break, Chris Woods and Martin Carthy did a set, some of which was stunning. Though I did fall asleep 4 or 5 times during the set. Eh, it was warm and cosy and I’m a mammal – what do you expect. We grabbed a pint with Richard Watson and his pal afterward. Richard has just finished recording an album with Bernard Butler, which was great to hear about. And it turns out Richard uses Partisan PR. Everyone knows everyone else.

Saturday afternoon, Arlo and I walked the streets of Pimlico with Rob Jenkinson from my NCT class and his daughter, Matilda, finishing off at The Grapes in Shepherd’s Market. It was a thoroughly lovely afternoon, as was today, around at Mike and Allyson’s, ostensibly to help them with the blog for their block of flat’s website, but they’d done it, so we ate biscuits instead.

These notes have taken about 2 hours, which suggests either a) I’m crap at them or b) they take this long for everyone. I won’t keep it up, I’m telling you!

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