There is a good reason for the lack of updates

I don’t often write about myself here these days. Despite the fact that I went to all the effort to set up a personal website, I do think it is a tad self-indulgent to bang on about myself. However, some readers may be interested in recent developments in my life.

Regular readers will know that I haven’t had the best year when it comes to work. After graduating from university last year, I struggled to find employment. Then I lost my part-time job when Woolworths closed down. I had done bits and pieces of freelance work, but not much else.

A few months ago I decided to bite the bullet and look for unpaid work. I saw an internship at the office of Willie Rennie MP advertised, and went for it. It made sense in a lot of ways. The Liberal Democrats have long been the party I sympathise with the most.

Plus, Willie Rennie’s constituency of Dunfermline and West Fife is just next door to mine, so there is the local connection too. I liked the fact that he beat Labour in an area that is so left wing that it was once represented by a Communist MP — a great achievement.

I spent a few months helping out there doing a variety of tasks, and I enjoyed it so much that I will still help out from time to time. It is worth pointing out, in the interests of transparency and what-not, that I have joined the Liberal Democrats.

But I no longer catch the bus to Dunfermline to work there. That is because I have finally found a proper job — one that involves being paid and everything.

I am now working as the Web Editor at the University of St Andrews. When you read this, I will have started my second week there. As you may imagine, I’m really pleased to have got the job.

Despite the recent navel-gazing about the value and future of blogging, which I wasn’t very positive about, getting this job is a vindication of the time and energy I have spent running websites.

All the knowledge that enabled me to get the job was gathered as a result of my hobby running websites. I have no other background or qualifications in editing content for the web. Mind you, I gather that this is no barrier.

There is another way in which this blog helped me get the job. I was originally alerted to the position by a reader of this blog. Then, despite expressing my initial reluctance, she encouraged me to apply. That person has proved difficult to get in contact with since. But if you happen to still be reading, you know who you are — thanks so much!

I am not yet sure what this means for the future of this blog. While I have been busier over the past few months, my already-infrequent updates have become even less frequent. I will spend the winter months experimenting to see what works.

Hopefully I will be able to continue updating, but maybe with a different different focus. Less about sin taxes, and more about syntax? Less about dealing with the DSS, and more about dealing with CSS?

Whatever, stay tuned. I’ll be back with more posts soon.


  1. The Lib Dem thing was inevitable, not for political reasons, but because I’ve never met a Formula One fan who’s not one apart from Yousuf.

    Congrats on the job. St Andrews is a great place to live, and you’ll hopefully love the working environment. If you meet a certain wee red-head Director, say hello from me.

  2. Thanks James. I love St Andrews and it would be great to live there, although I think it’s a wee bit on the pricey side. However, the commute from Kirkcaldy to St Andrews is a bit on the lengthy side…

  3. See, this is why I want icons instead of a gravatar. I want to use my “a toast” icon.

    Bloody well done, and hope it works out. I now also understand John referring to you as a “former colleague” now.

    If you do keep going blogging (and I hope you do), then remember to poke Ryan to get you added to the aggregator.

  4. In fairness, you can probably pick any town or village in north east Fife and it would be lovely. Somewhere like Anstruther would be good.

    Mat, thanks. I will get onto becoming an “official” Lib Dem blogger. I might see if I can beat John at getting onto the Lib Dem Voice Golden Dozen — he is terribly competitive about it. 😉

    Funny, I always used to get quite irritated if I was described by anyone as a Lib Dem blogger. But now I’m knocking on the door!

  5. I am so pleased to hear you are working – well done. It sounds like the perfect job for you too. I’ve been reading your blog on and off for years – and it is, for me, the ultimate example of best practice. I suspect the St. Andrews website will soon be punching way above its (already considerable) weight in the academic world.

  6. I always used to get quite irritated if I was described by anyone as a Lib Dem blogger

    So don’t be one. Be a blogger who happens to be a Lib Dem, which is how I’ve always approached it–I didn’t list myself for ages, and got told off by friends at conference.

    It’s when you start getting comments from MPs and question in the House or speeches with stuff you’re sure is a quote from you that it gets freaky…

    (and I also just got the job I applied for, phonecall as I type this, so happy)

  7. Congratulations Duncan; it is not surprise to me that you get such (academical) work. Over the years you have demonstrated the essential skills, and although I still think you could go farther by engaging in research etc., certainly you seem happy. So enjoy it and go for the lovely country side house you seem to like!

  8. Lis — I’m hoping to get settled into a good routine soon. 🙂

    Juan — Thanks so much! I don’t think academic research is really for me. The truth is that I didn’t enjoy studying at university, so I decided not to pursue that avenue any further. For now, you are right, I am happy! 🙂

  9. Duncan, thanks for your comment about my enthusiasm for the Lib Dem Golden Dozen! I think wouldn’t decribe myself as competitive I think more ‘aware’!

  10. My first comment on your blog is for a good purpose- congrats on the job, even if it is a bit late!

    I happened upon my current job in a similar way. When I first graduated last year I wokred at the local library- great people to work with and a good start, but it was something I was looking to move up from. Last October I started doing freelance writing for a weekly newspaper in a nearby community- a former love itnerest had done the same thing before me, and they were starved for sports writers, which is something I enjoy.

    I kept up that deal from October 2008 until the end of this summer, when one of the other writers left for grad school overseas. My work to that point left me in great position to take over, so here I am today. The job is still only part-time, and I need to pay my own health insurance, but it is a good deal.

    The ironic part? The guy I replaced is now attending grad school in Scotland- I think it may even be the school you’re working at or your alma mater! I will need to find out from him and let you know on that one!