Merry Christmas — looking back and forward

Snow on bridgeI would like to wish everyone who still reads this a very merry Christmas.

As time has gone on, my updates have become increasingly sporadic. I am surprised and touched that people keep coming back to read and comment on what I have written. Looking back, I have actually written almost a hundred articles for this website in the past year (I am surprised it is that many). But at times it has been at the rate of just a few a month.

My year in brief

It has been quite a strange year. It started with me losing my part-time job at Woolworths. The closure of the store was itself quite an odd experience.

But losing that job didn’t hit me so hard. My long term future was never going to be with Woolworths. I graduated in summer 2008 and was hoping to find a job that could have reflected this. But it wasn’t happening.

I spent several months visiting the Jobcentre while experimenting with being self employed. While the bits and bobs of freelance work I was doing was good in the sense that I made an amount of money that was greater than zero, it didn’t provide anything like the security I needed in order to make plans for the long term.

Over the summer things slowed down quite alarmingly. I took a break after I was amazingly invited to a tour around the Williams F1 factory and museum.

It was the first time I had gone on anything resembling a holiday for a long while. I hung around in Oxford for a day or so then on the way back went via London to briefly visit friends. But because of the last-minute nature of the trip it was very hectic and felt rushed. It is the only time I have ever felt what I would call being intensely tired.

I arrived back to bad news on the work front. After another month or so of inactivity, it had felt like things had hit rock bottom.

Luckily, it was rock bottom. Since then, the news has all been good. Having decided that doing anything was better than rotting at home, I applied for an internship in the office of an MP. Unlike the freelance work, I did not earn more than zero by doing this. However, I can safely say that nothing has been more valuable to me in terms of gaining confidence in my abilities, which had been totally shot.

I only had to spend a couple of months there before — finally — finding a good job. My first month working at the University of St Andrews has been great. The only problem is the journey from Kirkcaldy, which is a bit on the long side. But apart from that, things are going well. In complete contrast to earlier on this year, I now feel lucky in so many ways.

The future of my online activities

Now that I am settling down to some kind of routine, I am hoping to be able to update this website more regularly. Certainly, once I move closer to St Andrews I will hopefully have more spare time in the evenings.

But now that I am in full time employment, I don’t have the time or energy to continue running three separate blogs, as I have been doing for the past couple of years. At the start of 2007, I decided to stop writing about motorsport here and set up a separate blog, vee8, to act as an outlet for my thoughts on Formula 1.

That worked really well at first. But over the past year or so, as I have had less and less time on my hands, it has meant that both doctorvee and vee8 have been neglected too much. It is so easy to concentrate on one blog and forget about the other. I feel that now both websites are suffering.

So I have taken the decision to close down vee8, and bring my writing on motorsport back onto this website. I know this won’t be popular with everyone, but it no longer makes sense to have these two separate websites when I no longer even have the time to properly maintain one. The change will happen some time in the new year.

In preparation for the change, I will remind those readers who are not in the least bit interested in F1 that the F1-free RSS feed still works. So if you want to subscribe to this website without being bombarded with opinion on motorsport, subscribe to the F1-free RSS feed.

Merry Christmas!

Until that happens, I hope you all have a relaxing Christmas period. I could certainly do with a wee break to recover from the hectic nature of the tail end of this year, and the extra time will come in handy for working on the changes I am making to this website.


  1. All the best amigo- I look forward to reading your thoughts and comments on F1 well into the future.

  2. Merry Christmas. Hope you post more in 2010. You’ve always been a welcome haven of calm and neutrality amidst the war-ravaged world of the Scottish blog.