Before i Forget : Simon Jones's blog

December 1997


Meanwhile articleWednesday, December 31st, 1997, (12:29 am)

Meanwhile : Articles written by Simon Jones

Boy! What a ride!! That year couldn’t have gotten anymore full of incident and drama if it had tried. On a personal level it’s been a big year for me to. So in this little time we have between the seasonal parties let me take a couple of minutes to look back on a year of huge change.

I guess I’d have to start by saying that when I went ‘online’ back in January I had no idea what that would mean for me on a personal level. I thought I’d use the net to do a little bit of surfing and a exchange the odd e-mail. I had no idea that at the end of the year I would have a website, a job in the internet industry and contracts to do freelance web design! I have to say that I have enjoyed this year on that level because I have seen my life change direction radically, from being more or less unemployed and in a state of confusion about my ‘future’ to having a real sense of direction and not just a hope but real promise for the future. The mid nineties hadn’t been altogether good years but 97 was a turning point.

But what of the rest of the world? Well I guess the news story that is probably the one that everyone will remember will be… [Click here to continue reading this article at ‘Meanwhile’]

Meanwhile articleMonday, December 22nd, 1997, (2:23 pm)

Meanwhile : Articles written by Simon Jones

Well it’s Christmas! Strange really kuz it’s almost like it has crept up on me unexpected this year! But I love Christmas time and I am looking forward to the whole thing. The food, the drinks, the pressies and even the motley crew back home in Chelmsford Essex!

This time last year I decided to drive home for Christmas in my little Mini. On the face of it, driving some 250 miles from here to Chelmsford didn’t seem like a bad idea. However as I found out, it was! The car exhausted its supply of oil by the time I had done 200 miles, and I was in the middle of Cambridgeshire with no oil and no prospects of finding a gas station for at least another 25 miles!

The Mini did actually get me back to my folks’ house but it sounded like it hurt, and as I found out when I tried to return, it had indeed hurt the car. A couple of days after Christmas, loaded up with gifts and luggage and again in the middle of Cambridgeshire, the Mini decided it had taken enough. Despite having enough oil on board to supply a small country, the little green Mini saw fit to explode its engine in a spectacular display of oily pyrotechnics! Added to that the electrics also expired.

It was cold and snowing, and I was on a road that had no streetlights! I walked for ages along the deserted A10 until I reached a call box and was able to phone for some roadside assistance… [Click here to continue reading this article at ‘Meanwhile’]

Meanwhile articleMonday, December 15th, 1997, (11:26 pm)

Meanwhile : Articles written by Simon Jones

This week I was going to write something Christmasy and very seasonal. In fact I did actually start to write about the office parties that I went to this week. But that particular article made me sound like some mad sex craved tart so I scrapped it. Then I wrote an entire article about how I blew my speakers up on my stereo. But, despite being amusing, that seemed a little irrelevant when I re-read it.

However, I haven’t really been one to care about the relevance in this weekly article, have I? So with that in mind I haven’t written anything about Christmas or anything remotely related to this time of year. Instead I’m writing about space! – Well I told you it wasn’t festive!

The other night I was walking home and I decided to take a short cut through the park as it was early and the muggers don’t usually come out till after 8pm. The park was pitch black and no one was around. Normally I would try to get through it as quick as possible, but for some reason this time I looked up and was stopped in my tracks.

There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and in the darkness you could see millions of stars. Now I am a bit of a hippy at heart, and it wasn’t too cold so I found a bench and just sat there looking up at the stars. A mugger would have found me easy pickings because I soon became completely engrossed in the vast expanse above me. I had absolutely no attention on what was around me. I was just sitting there in the middle of the park on a lonely path looking at the stars.

I must have sat there for about half an hour, and I would have stayed longer had I considered it to be safer. It was amazing. There were millions of stars, and the more my eyes became accustomed to the darkness, the more I saw. A few shooting stars and even a couple of satellites crossed the night sky. Miles above my head, stuff that I never usually think about was just going along as it always does, regardless of the time of year.

As I sat there I began to think about the question that we all think about from time to time. Is there anything out there apart from the rubbish we have left? I don’t mean little green men, I mean intelligent life of any kind. I looked out into the abyss and wondered… [Click here to continue reading this article at ‘Meanwhile’]