Archive for January, 2009

Work in progress

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

On the 5th Jan, what looked to be the coldest night in a long time with temperatures dropping to -4 I think, we bravely welcome the plumbers into our home to rip out the bathroom and central heating.  So began two weeks of the outside toilet, huddling around fan heaters and spending more time at the gym than I have for a while (for the showers, you understand).  Fortunately, four days later we were graced with new central heating, which was nice.  It certainly helped us to cope with the remaining week and a half.

sink Two weeks on and we now finally have a working bathroom.  Although not finished, we have the essentials plumbed in and a particularly splendid bath which makes the entire experience worthwhile.  (It was certainly an *experience*!)  It has been a pretty ghastly couple of weeks.  I expected to find the lack of heating the biggest problem, but being squished into about a square foot of free sofa space and being surrounded by dust, dirt and a bathroom suite really did get to me.

We did the sensible thing and stayed in a hotel for the first weekend.  After a root around we decided on the Lansdowne Place Hotel, over on the Hove side of town.  It was nice (it had a bath!) and fairly reasonable for a mid-range hotel in Brighton.  There were a couple of things which let it down, but to be honest the hot running water put these into perspective for me and breakfast in bed certainly helped.

It’s odd staying in a hotel in your home town.  You’re away from home and yet there you are, bang in the middle of where you spend every day.  Walking into town, I actually looked around me rather than glazing over and wandering on auto pilot.  It was nice to walk “home” along the seafront rather than strolling in the opposite direction as usual.  It made me realise that ever since moving to Brighton eleven years ago, I have always lived in the same area.  It was refreshing to see Brighton from a different angle for a change.

A brief look back

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009 | sophie, Uncategorized | No Comments

I was sitting on a very small area of sofa last night, surrounded by tools and dust and desperately trying to catch all the heat from the fan heater; having a good old think back over 2008.

My main feeling was that 2008 was a year of adjustment.  May was my first Clearleft birthday, and I noticed that I was really starting to feel comfortable in my new career and had adjusted to the new stresses and strains of project management and conference production.  Come August it was time to move and relocate the cats – 2008’s major adjustment.  The amalgamation of stuff has been a long winded affair, there’s still a little of my stuff back at the flat, but the majority has now been integrated into Rosehill.  This means I feel a lot more settled now, rather than a half-guest-hybrid as I did on occasion in the first months. The cats of course, are another matter and one I want to write about more deeply in another post.  A fragile arrangement has come about where Horace & Monty rule the upstairs and Zack & Zeke the sitting room.  There are occasional scuffles and sorties into the opposition’s territory but on the whole they are much more settled now.  My current adjustment is dealing with the dust, lack of hot water and toilet and the general disarray in the house whilst the new bathroom is fitted.  Boy will I be pleased when that’s finished!

I noticed I travelled far less in 2008 – the fantastic Lift in Geneva in February and then off to Greece and Halkidiki in September – was a considerable drop from 2007.  I am looking forward to heading back to the States and SXSW in March though and would love to head back to Black Rock City.  Oddly, I’ve missed airports.  (Yeah, I know, that is weird!)

I don’t really have any resolutions for 2009 but there are things I’d certainly like to do more of.  And of course, there’s that whole “jumping out of a plane before I’m 30!” thing – but more on that another day.

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New Year, new conference

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009 | clearleft | No Comments

The Christmas break was lovely, well apart from the flu, but now I’m back in the office and starting to prepare for UXLondon.  We launched the tickets on Friday, and I’ve been happily watching the invoice requests roll into my inbox ever since.

There’s going to be lots to organise in the run up to June, so I’m starting to plan for this now.  Fortunately last year’s dConstruct doesn’t seem too long ago and so I don’t feel there’s a huge amount to remind myself of before I get stuck in.

They are both very different conferences, so I’m looking forward to seeing how UXLondon differs in terms of organisation.  There’s the obvious distance issue – London rather than just around the corner at the Dome.  UXLondon is also aimed at a very different audience, as Andy mentions.  It is really exciting to see it really start to take shape now and I have to say, what a fantastic line up!

On another Clearleft note – we’re looking for an new intern to come and join us.  This will be the third internship we’ve run since summer last year and are finding them really beneficial, as have our interns. Yay!

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