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Swings and Roundabouts


I mentioned before that it looked like my office was being closed down. Well after a pretty good attempt at a management buyout we’re still getting closed down at the end of the year. It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve made some pretty good friends but alas it’s all coming to an end. I’ve got mixed feelings. On the one hand I’m sad that our product is going to end up on a shelf somewhere in America (I think our colleagues believe they’ll still be able to sell kit without us but, to be honest, I’d tend to doubt it). I’m also sad that our team is being broken up and I’ll most likely never work with any of them again.

JBC Bliss

But on the other hand I’m getting a very good redundancy package that will last me quite some time and if I get a job quickly enough it’ll give me some decent savings for a rainy day. It also means change, I’ll be looking to work for someone else on a different product with different people and that should be fun. I’ll be able to bring everything I’ve learned to my next employer and learn from them too. I’ll also get a chance to step back from the coal-face of software engineering for a while and write some software I’ve been meaning to get around to and strengthen some of my skills. I’ll even get the chance to redecorate my house (great).

But I suppose the main reason for my optimism is that I can’t really take anything in just now because I’m flying to New Zealand next Wednesday for a month. Better than that, I’m flying business class to New Zealand next Wednesday for a month! Honestly, I’m not trying to gloat (after all, I’ll be switching executive travel for the dole queue when I get back to the UK), I’m just really excited. And that doesn’t happen to me very often.

We’re staying with friends in Christchurch and are hiring a car for the full stay. Our plan is to just drive to places that seem interesting and make Christchurch our base of operations. We have a few destinations in mind but we’re mostly going to play it by ear. Of course we have the Lonely Planet guide so we’ll never run out of ideas but we’ve decided not to plan too much and avoid turning it into some kind of military operation and take the fun out of it. Likewise we don’t want to just sit around and not see anything, we’re looking for the happy median. I’ll do my best to update this site with photos and stories of what I’m up to when I return to Christchurch between trips but I’m not making any promises – I might not!

But one thing’s for sure. When I come back from New Zealand I’ll be coming back to a fresh start. That is, if I ever come back at all…

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Creator of John's Background Switcher. Scotsman, footballer, photographer, dog owner, risk taker, heart breaker, nice guy. Some of those are lies.

10 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Hi JC
    Sorry for not getting in touch sooner after returning from my trip but this publication has just prompted me to say hi for 2 reasons. 1) (for anyone else reading this comment) I used to work with John in the office which is now closing down so I am a bit sad to hear that my old colleagues and friends are all being made redundant and moving on to new places and 2) to tell you that you MUST go to the Abel Tasman national park, the glaciers (and go kayaking as well as hiking when you get there), Milford sound or Doubtful sound if you have the money as it’s less touristy, and Rotorua if you make it to the north island. Wherever you go and whatever you get up to in NZ you will have the best time ever. It’s a fabulous country and one place I could definitely live in… Enjoy! 🙂


  2. Hi lisa! I’ve been told on numerous occasions by a Kiwi friend of mine how good the biking is at Abel Tasman so it’s on the list, as is Milford Sound. We’re sticking to the south island only though…

    Catch up with you soon!


  3. It looks like there’s a tree to the left, out of picture, so shouldn’t the shadows fall away to the right? 😉

    Are you the fourth one in from the left?


  4. No no no. The shadows on the grass are from clouds overhead. I decided on a light source above and behind the camera!

    Yes, I am. Standing in my natural relaxed pose.


  5. Have a good trip John. Do some thinking while you are away about a regroup attempt in a different arena; that’s where my thoughts are at currently.

    Lisa, follow John’s link and get in touch!


  6. I want to go to New Zealand just to tour the land that was filmed in LOTR. My life tends to revolve around LOTR!!

    You guys over in the UK don’t get unemployment? If you are terminated because of downsizing or company closings, Americans getting unemployement salaries for like a year and a half. Unfortunately, sometimes this system is abused, although it doesn’t give you the full salary.


  7. If you’re an American citizen you get that. If your’re married to one but not legally adjusted you are SOL Snicks. And here I stand, in exactly that position.


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