On this day, 10 years ago, I landed in London.
I landed without a plan, other than wanting to do something a bit different with my life.
Lots of things have changed for me. I own property. I have a magnificent lovely girlfriend who I’ve been with for nearly 4 years. I can snowboard. I’m not connected with the Scout movement at all. I have a red hat. I run a whisky tasting club with over 400 people on the mailing list, which has held nearly 90 tasting sessions. I’ve visited 21 countries that aren’t Australia which I hadn’t been to before, and every county in England. I have loads of awesome British and European friends. I’ve been within touching distance, and a couple of times met, idols of mine like John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Robert Plant, Dawn French, Bobby McFerrin, Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Ade Edmondson, Nigel Planer, Rik Mayall, Terry Jones, Bill Oddie, Patrick Stewart, Lenny Henry and Geoffrey Robertson QC. I buy Apple laptops. I’ve seen lots of bands that I love, and lots of bands I’d never heard of – notably (for me) Spinal Tap and also Pink Floyd. Many of my friends have kids now – sometimes several. I’m a British Citizen.
Lots of things haven’t changed. I like beer. I hoard things under the optimistic notion that it’ll be less painful to reacquire them if/when I need them than it will be to haul them around the place with me or put them into storage. I like wearing ridiculously coloured trousers. I have a vague feeling I’m not in the right line of work. I love meeting & connecting with new people. I don’t feel like I miss my friends and family because my life is full of richness and part of that is when I get to reconnect with them. I have loads of t-shirts. I don’t care if the glass is half full or half empty, because I drink from the bottle. I find myself gravitating towards the organising end of extracurricular groups I get involved in. I don’t do anything sensible regarding exercise. I have loads of awesome Australian friends. I don’t trust – or pay any attention to – weather forecasts. I’m not very sensible with money. I write blogposts with no sense of where it’s going to go and feel like I ought to probably start out with a conclusion in mind. I’m usually late. I tend to live in a house for about a year and typically stay in a job about the same time. I don’t have a plan.
It’s tempting to gaze at milestones and ascribe significance to them, but the milestone’s not important – it’s just a reference point for measurement.
Sometimes there are interesting points of serendipity or chance – for instance at the end of the month I’m moving to Bristol, nearly 10 years exactly after moving to London – but then the human brain has evolved to become very good at finding patterns.
Everyone’s life should have changed a lot over the course of 10 years.
Still, as irrelevant as the milestone is – it doesn’t mean I won’t point and say, “Hey look, a milestone!”.
Nope, no conclusion in sight. I think Eric Idle (the only remaining Monty Python member I’ve not seen live, but that’s set to change come July) summed it up best: