Wednesday, 30 December 2009

How was it for you?

31st December 2009.

We finally come to the end of the decade. The Noughties. And it does feel like the end of something and the start of something new.

As it is the end of a decade, I thought I would look back on the last ten years of my life and reflect on the highs and the lows. For many of you, doing this will take a lot of time, as you sit with a glass of wine and ponder. The extroverts amongst you will chat to people who went on the journey with you saying "Oh, yes, remember when we went to....". The introverts will grab a pencil and notebook, sit alone and sketch out a timeline.

No such effort for me. I simply go to my files, pull out the folder marked "My Life" and skim down the date-order list, selecting major events. What do you mean that's a bit weird? You mean you don't have a year-by-year list of events in your life to hand? Hey! You're the weird one, buddy!

It's a funny list though. Some years clearly had more of an impact on me than others. For example

Year 2000: (intentionally left blank)

(it appears nothing of particular note happened in my life that whole year)

Year 2005: Left Egg plc. Founded new company, Garlik. Received Honorary Doctorate of Technology. Elected Fellow of the British Computer Society. Visited Poland, South Africa, Jamaica (for wife's big family reunion), USA (New York, Los Angeles, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas), Nigeria. Met a President or two. Found a long lost sister in a country thousands of miles away.

Overall the "noughties" has been a positive decade for me. I became a grown up (i.e. reached the splendid age of 40), bought a new house, became a Freeman of the City of London, was invited to 10 Downing Street, appeared on national TV & radio, attended Davos, travelled through USA, Europe, Africa, India, China, learnt the Wu style Tai Chi Long form, met the world's richest man and some of the poorest, set up a new charitable foundation, and emerged from all this only about a stone heavier than I started!

By far the low point of the decade for me was the sad and untimely death of my brother-in-law Roger Gill in early 2006. Roger was like a big brother to everyone who knew him and just a wonderful, warm, down to earth, hilarious man. We miss him so, so much.

The high point was undoubtedly searching for and amazingly finding my half-sister in Uganda after over 30 years of having completely lost contact and not even knowing whether she was alive or not. The story of this experience is worthy of its own telling so I won't rush it here.

Poised on the edge of another decade (the "One-tees"?) I am very excited about the future. The world is getting nicely interesting. It's throwing some head-scratching challenges at us, just in case we were getting a bit complacent. Hey humans, thing you're clever huh? You're in control? Got it all sussed? Wrestle with a downpour of global warming with a dash of terrorism thrown in, it's saying. It's given us these vast technological landscapes to explore and it's given us friends. Friends, friends, friends everywhere we look. It's given you to me and me to you.

So, celebrate the highlights of the last ten years. At midnight share the very best thing that happened to you with the friends and loved ones around you. And then let's boldly go and explore this fascinating new decade together!

Happy New Decade to you all

Mr Bojangles

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