January 2020 has started off with a bang and it won’t be long before the Portfolio page is updated with 7 or 8 new website projects. I’m in Birmingham this week to discuss retained writing for a company and am quite excited for the Thomas the Tank Engine trek from Great Yarmouth to New Street.

5 and half hours of being a train wanker but it means I can work on my iPad and be productive en route though I was quite excited about driving on motorways, which are conspicuous by their absence in Norfolk.

I used to love trains as a kid.

In fact, fishing and trainspotting in Doncaster were about the most common childhood pursuits – before trainspotting developed all the social cachet of a paedophile on day release.

Like them, I liked the freedom.

Board a train at Thorne North (posher with a footbridge) or Thorne South (more council estate) and hotfoot to Doncaster to spot 08 shunters, Deltics with perhaps an onward train to Sheffield to spot 31s (Brush 2s) and Peaks (44s and 45s). Never left me, has it?

I still occasionally glance at train numbers and get a frisson of nostalgia when I see an old diesel as they remind me of being 13 and that travel freedom in happier times, pre Tory hegemony.

I like Birmingham

Birmingham always appeals to me too as a place as like London it has that multicultural buzz so sorely missing in East Anglia; the work I’m hopefully commissioned for will be satisfying too, as I’ve already done work for the company and it’s a bellend free zone. I’m looking forward too to a proper curry – a vegan balti no less and wandering Selfridges on Thursday or Friday dreaming of what I could spend if all my late payers coughed up. I can dream.

I’ve been asked – fo sho too not as some apocryphal bullshit of self worship on my part – how I’ve made such a success of self-employment.

Copywriter and web design thrills

Lest we forget, I have a decent academic background in English – A at A Level and a 2.1 degree, coupled with decades of teaching. I’ve always had a passion for writing and I sometimes pinch myself when I think people are paying me, and paying me well, to ghostwrite for them, add engaging and optimised copy to websites and manage their social media marketing. It really is a dream job. I do love what I do. I’m grateful too for the trust placed in me by so many people.

Web design is well sick too.

It’s a process. A complex and time-consuming one. It requires research skills and creativity and imaginative energy oozes from every pore (I use Lynx Africa to combat it) since the straitjacket of education was removed and the brain fog from stress and depression dissipated.

I’ve made a success because I’ve played to my strengths – my ability with words and creativity. I don’t charge piss-taking web agency prices for websites, or website fixes. I am honest, an open book and although I have some haters online, I’m generally respected and liked.

2019 was the year that saw VAT being levied.

2020 will be as successful, because I’ll make sure it is.

If you’re in Birmingham this week, please leave me alone. I don’t want to meet some randoms for coffee, I have my eyes firmly trained on pleasing a potential new client and sourcing a decent vegan balti.

No doubt, I’ll blog on the train if I’m not too preoccupied with collecting train numbers.