Yearly archives: 2001

It’s nearly New Year. I’m going to be so glad to see the back of 2001. It had such promise early in the year, but that all gave way to disappointments, frustration and bad management.

I’m into the final straight of my 3 1/2 + years employment with The Gas, my absolute final day has been set as 15th February. Tthough the way things tend to work out, that’ll probably become some time in March. There are a few people I’ll miss, and one ex-manager who I’ll be glad to never see again (though someone with a mysterious resemblance to her will be popping up in The Eliza Effect- why make up idiot managers when you have such a rich source making your life hell.) It feels wierd, and a little scary, but it’s past time to move on.

List time (it is the end of the year, after all)-

Places I’ll gladly never visit again-






Places I’d happily return to under other circumstances-









If someone wants you sacked for another person’s mistakes, you’re probably in the wrong company.

Never promise more than you can deliver, and bitch slap anyone who does it for you.

In this networked world, why did I have to drive over 10,000 miles in the last six months?


Happier, healthier, wiser.

And there it goes, barring the epilogue. The final chapter may get reworked, I had problems on the first draft capturing the sheer enormity of it. I may yet fill in the gaps to show how everything got to that point, as I have said, I didn’t get enough time to flesh out the story as much as I would have liked.
I’ve received the Ink Link award from Planet Cartoonist. And with the bare minimum of cartoon content on the site compared to what I have planned for next year.

Another Sunday night special. Two short chapters as I begin two wrap everything up.

Tuesday’s update will close out the stories in time for Christmas, leaving just the epilogue, which will be published on New Year’s Day (barring monstrous hangovers).

I’d planned to have more chapters to this tale, more snapshots of the character’s lives outside the two main narratives, but work commitments saw me spending more time in cars and hotels than my own home. Ah well, that’s over now, and it all provides material for The Eliza Effect- which will be coming your way from late January.

Stay tuned.

I’ve started reading the last Tom Clancy, The Bear and The Dragon, to satisfy my guilty techno-thriller craving. I’m only a fraction of the way in (it’s bloody huge), but first impressions-
You can’t stop reading it, you need to know how it’s all going to pan out. The good news is it looks likely to be another large-ish conflict at the end, just based upon the characters being set up, rather than the nasty anti climax of Rainbow Six. The bad news is you get more than the usual Clancy editorialising through characters- a depiction of the Chinese which isn’t quite racist but is certainly xenophobic, some unnecessary homophobia, dismissals of ecological concerns in ways which would sound stupid to anyone but an oil baron and regular slagging of Clinton (despite the fact that in Clancy’s universe, ol’ Bill never even made it into the White House.)
I’m still going to read all the way to the end though.


I was supposed to have a snowboarding lesson tonight in Sheffield. I got to the city with a half hour to find the ski centre and promptly got lost. Then I drove round for an hour trying to make sense of a piss poor map I’d downloaded from the internet.

I guess I could have found my way easily if I’d known that Sheffield Wednesday played at Hilsborough. But I didn’t, and all the other stadia were in the other direction. Finally, I gave up and started following signs for Manchester, which was when- you guessed it- I found the bloody ski village!

No snow board lessons for me, but I should be able to find it next time.

Back in Manchester again after the jaunt down to Croydon. I’m still sleeping on the bedroom floor because there wasn’t enough time to get fully unpacked. By Wednesday I should have everything, including myself, into the right rooms.
Based upon the rucksacks I used to carry them, I’ve brought about 80 litres of CDs and over 90 litres of books up with me. How many CDs in 80 litres? I’ll tell you when I’ve racked them all.
Time for bed.

Ah, minimalism. I’m in a two bedroomed house with a large living room and my furniture consists of- some shelves.

I don’t plan to get much furniture either- a bed, a futon, I’m inheriting a computer desk and a chest of drawers and maybe a few throw cushions (how camp is that?)- because maybe then I’ll be able to overcome my natural untidiness.


I haven’t double checked, but an article appeared in the company magazine today and I think this is how it read-

Most of us could just about manage to make dinner and read the paper after work � Ian Pattinson, though, is a regular word machine.
After a full day in Staines, designing databases to improve the efficiency of the sales force, he still has the energy to write novels � not just one either. In his words: �I hope to produce a novel every six to nine months, in a number of genres and experimenting with different styles every time.�
Ian�s latest novel is made up of two stories � Another Education and Ruby Red � both set in fictional university towns in the north of England. They�ve been made available as print on demand from Planetree Publishing.
In Another Education, a group of friends are trying to reconcile study, politics, job-hunting, romance and beer, when the community is hit by murder. Ruby Red is the story of a bereavement, a new romance�and a deaf cat with no tail.
�I do my writing in the evenings and at weekends, between learning to snowboard and games on the Playstation 2,� says Ian. �I also maintain a website � � where I show samples of my work.
Already in the offing is a 7� square comic about an ill-fated musician and his band, and a workplace comedy called The Eliza Effect.

First day back in Manchester. There are some people who would rather I wasn’t here, but they’re exactly the people I don’t care about any more. (I went off and did a national project. I’m only interested in talking to people who could go off and do the same.)

Part of me wishes I were above this pettiness. But most of me just wants to point and snigger.

Moving Music- Embrace, The Good Will Out, Queen, Greatest Hits, Rolling Stones, The London Years (Disk 3)

I’m back! The money’s paid, the lease is signed and I’m in an empty house in Manchester. And when I say empty, I mean empty. If it didn’t fit in the back of a Volkswagen Polo this morning it ain’t here.

Of course, the first thing I’ve got to do now I’m back in Manchester is drive South again on Sunday and visit the Croydon office. A last chance, at least, to see one of the few people down there who I’ll miss.

Other random thoughts for the day- Queen gave me another song for the soundtrack of my next (but one) project. The Eliza Effect might just make it to a script as well as a novel. I can see it all wrapping up with our three heroes karaoke’ing ‘We Are The Champions’ as a sort of drunken finger to everyone who’s caused them trouble during their project. Other soundtrack snippets- Stress, by Jim’s Big Ego and Only Living Boy In New Cross/ Re-Educating Rita, by Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine.

I haven’t told you anything about The Eliza Effect yet have I? Let’s just say I’m going to be writing a novel/ script based upon my experiences travelling the country trying to get an IT project off the ground.

It’s going to be a farce.

I was in Kingston on Sunday night and I realised that there is one thing I’ll miss down here. The Thames.

I’ve always maintained that rivers are good for the soul and ol’ father Thames is particularly special because it’s alive. There’s human activity all the way along it. You just don’t get that on the Mersey, which is little more than a glorified drainage ditch while it runs through Manchester.