Andy McKay

Dec 31, 2008

New year

Well 2008 is at an end. We just completed a move back from the UK to Canada. This is a period of big change for us, as most of the last two years have been. Looking back, UK was a lot of fun overall.

What I'll miss:

  • BBC Radio (well Radio 2 and 4 specifically) it became our constant background noise. CBC doesn't have any interest for me.
  • The Guardian, wandering down to get that on a Saturday from the local newspaper shop with the girls was one of those traditions.
  • Emily going to school full time. In Canada they go to school at 5, part time. In the UK she goes there full time at 4. She's now stuck with 9 months of no school, she'll struggle.
  • Lots of different kinds of cheese. It's cheese hell over here with little appreciation beyond orange and white.
  • English accents, darnit everyone sounds weird over here. Especially down in the US.
  • Cheap and always available Branston pickle.
  • A working iplayer (which we only had for the last few months).
  • Walking everywhere.

What we won't miss:

  • The weather, two worst summers on record I think while we were there.
  • Crappy internet access everywhere.
  • Expensive and generally bad eating out. There were some good restaurants, but lots of bad pubs and cafe's is the norm.
  • It cost 50 pounds a week to fill up the car. It costs 15 pounds a week here to fill up the car.
  • The traffic and specifically my commute down those motorways, which mercifully, became less frequent towards the end.

Things we are happy to see in Canada:

  • Our dog.
  • Sushi, everywhere.
  • Snow and skiing.
  • House prices going down the toilet.

So here we are back in Vancouver. What's got us shocked here at the moment (apart from the price of cheese) is the cost of renting. It's tough to find anything in North Vancouver for under $2,000 a month to rent. About 7 years ago it cost us $700 for a 2 bedroom place, that's a 100% increase.

What's happening with me, well back to Clearwind Consulting and providing consulting services for clients. This time focused less on writing on the code, there's training coming as well. Also ramping up Arecibo for the next set of features, which I'm quite excited about. All in all I'm very excited about striking out on my own in business again.

Anyway, have a good new year.