This Blog Still Exists (maybe)

Doing some web work this morning and realised I had such a thing as a Blog that I used to care about, while attempting faux nonchalance if anyone criticised it.

Like anyone else, I don’t necessarily agree with everything I’ve written in the past but I appreciate that there was a discipline to writing long-form versus Tweeting, which is pretty much the only outlet I use now to put thoughts in the public sphere. The discipline produced some pieces I’m proud of and some rants I look back at with wonder. Like many others, I wrote to make sense of the world and to connect with others who might share my views or kindly steer me in other directions.

Perhaps I’ll return to this blog more regularly some day but life has moved on and so have I.

The most important thing I achieved with this blog was communicating my thoughts in the early days of my relationship with my other ~0.5 for the last 17 years, at a time when I needed the written form to do so. She used to say,

“There are 2 yous, the one who speaks & writes with great defiant passion and the awkward one who will struggle to communicate and wonder why the world is so harsh”

Thankfully she loved both of them & still does apparently. Over time, I’ve integrated the 2 more successfully, with her help. This blog helped me do that, a form of therapy perhaps.


Why Manchester United are losing games

I post a lot on twitter about Manchester United. I’m a fan since the mid 80s. I think the moment that sealed the deal for my 8 year old self was watching Norman Whiteside’s FA Cup final goal against Everton.

The drama of the moment was everything that I’d come to love about Utd, even though for much of the early years my fandom, they were far from a great side. They had some great players but were by no means the finished article and so it was difficult to tell which team would turn up.  Would they win comfortably or lose embarrassingly. There were enough moments of both to keep you guessing. Then there was the Irish connection with players such as Kevin Moran, Norman Whiteside and the masterful Paul McGrath.

The Ferguson years started inauspiciously. Ferguson had gotten the job on the back of a collapse by Ron Atkinson’s 86 side that had looked like title contenders at the start of the season until they struggled to win a game. Perhaps the dismissal of Atkinson was hasty but much was expected of the young scot who had taken lowly Aberdeen to the European Cup Winners Cup title a few years prior.

economics finance politics

The Joy of Self-Employment in Ireland

An ironic title as such joy is largely confined to the freedom to pick your work hours that exists in a quite limited sense if you’re providing services to people and you have to fit around their schedules.
Let’s look at the positive side:

  1. You’re the boss. Customers or clients may harass or harangue you but at least the boss won’t bully you.
  2. You have some flexibility regarding place and time of work that you may otherwise not be afforded as a PAYE worker.
  3. Expenses. You get to factor in some expenses associated with a home office into your tax bill. More on this later.
  4. Job security in the sense that you are ultimately responsible for whether you have it rather than a VP or SVP with no personal stake in your life deciding you need to be downsized because your division doesn’t look good on his spreadsheet or you’re at a grade where his costings suggest he could bring in someone younger to bugger up your job.
  5. The sense of achievement that comes with making it on your own.