Monday, March 01, 2021

The Current State of Play

This blog has become like a bidet - seldom used, and when it is used it's not for the purpose it was intended. Life in Ireland, despite Covid, has become busy. For the past 4-months I've been power-learning a new subject: Cybersecurity.

If you follow me on Twitter you'll know that I'm somewhat password paranoid, having spent an evening at the start of Lockdown 1 investigating the fringes of the Dark Web and having found my own email address and password for sale c/o a hack on my domain name provider. Sobering.

I now work for a cybersecurity software firm full time as Content Marketing Manager. This isn't a product-specific role (application security, cloud, bot, edge, whatever) like the bulk of our marketing team, but rather about creating graphical, written, video and audio content for our sales teams, customers, prospects and campaigns. This includes brand and content strategy, including social, obviously. It's interesting, uses my full skillset, and right up my street.

It's a steep product learning curve, but it's a ground-breaking company with an excellent product offering. Our new UK offices are based in Belfast, but I'm working from home in Omagh right now and the 'new normal' means location isn't a factor any more. My colleagues are awesome and it's solid and stable stuff, which counts for a lot these days. I'm feelin' like I'll be happy here indefinitely.

Northern Ireland is being very kind to me and I've no plans to return to England. I've just put an offer on a cottage overlooking the River Strule at Newtownstewart, in Co. Tyrone. It has private access to salmon and brown trout fishing pools, at the foot of two picturesque and quaintly named hills, Bessy Bell and Mary Gray, in the shadow of the Sperrin Mountains. Prime dog walking territory. Prime opportunity for AirBnB rental in my dotage. I may even learn to fish. Heck, it’s pretty damn private, I could even learn to play an instrument.

Fingers crossed, pending surveys and mortgage shenanigans, I hope to be in by mid-spring - ideally before the census. There's a bit of renovation work and some future-proofing that needs to be done, which I may well document, but if all goes to plan I'm here for the rest of my days. There's also an additional plot with the property, so a bargain container build (for office space or as a second home) may well be on the cards.

My sweary Who fan podcast has had a revival, which has been fun. VTT games have replaced table-top, such is the way of things, but I'm still playing and reffing a couple of nights a week. It's a social luxury I know many people don't have and I'm always grateful for the company of good friends - back to back against the darkness. Not a lot of space here for model-making and painting, but I hope to resolve that when I move. There are other projects in the works.

No promises on any regular blog updates - life is busy. Time to shed a few Covid inches, brush up on my Premiere Pro, and embrace the DIY.