In Melbourne, in apologia…

I hope all and sundry had a happy new year!

I am now settling down in Melbourne in a new role and in a new apartment. Just yesterday the home internet connection chestnut was cracked at last, so that means that service here will resume shortly. Despite being shocked by the chilly winds that blow around the Yarra in the late afternoon – even in Summer – I am excited about being in Melbourne and having a whole new city to explore. Melbourne readers feel free to drop me a line (guy -AT- guyberes.com) if you’d like to catch up for a chat and/or a beverage over the months ahead.

2009 promises to be a fascinating year in Australian politics, and of course global politics, what with the ongoing fallout from the financial crisis and the enormous expectations placed on the incoming Obama Administration in the United States. Nobody ever said that being a political tragic was easy.

Hiatus

This blog is somewhat involuntarily being put into hibernation. This coming weekend I am moving out of my apartment in London, and for the majority of August I will be abroad seeing as much of Europe as I can before returning home in early September. My access to the Internet will be itinerant and is unlikely to result in a discernable degree of productivity here. I may post the odd photo if I can.

I will be back with a vengeance online here and down under sometime in September. As much as it will be sad to leave London, it will be excellent to be back home. It is something like returning to the old life that I left behind; it really does feel a bit as though I have been living someone else’s life for the past year. In short, it has been a mesmerising experience!

Needless to say, the last year I have spent over here has been fantastic both from both a career perspective and a travel perspective; or should I say, an educational perspective. I have seen a whole bunch of places that ten years ago, I honestly never would have dreamed that I would ever visit. Cities like Rome or Stockholm are no longer just abstract concepts that I read about in the news or glance at idly on world maps. Great Britain, as it happens, amounts to more than just a useless cricket team, an idiosyncratic monarchy and a gaggle of perennial sporting underachievers. The world is truly alive for me now in a way that it never was before, and I am glad that I will be carrying some of the most special parts of it with me in my mind’s eye, whatever happens from here on in.

Eponymous now

Well welcome to this site, the new repository for my writing online. I have shifted from Movable Type to WordPress, which so far has been a disconcerting and frustrating experience, and perhaps just a bit more interestingly, from blogging under a fairly non-unique portion of my name to blogging under my full name. It’s a bit of an idiosyncratic step, in this modern age, when we are probably more concerned about privacy issues than ever. It is just plain natural to be concerned that the information we enter or store online may potentially be misused or misinterpreted. Truly, if the Internet and more specifically the blogosphere has achieved one certain thing for global society, it has been to ensure that more people are quoted out of context more often and more flippantly than ever before in the history of human civilisation.

So why, if this is the case, move to eponymous blogging? I won’t claim to assert there is an entirely rational decision-making engine that decided to throw the switch. However, there are some rational reasons for doing so. Having a site in your own name allows you to a certain extent to more robustly shape your presence online. If someone types your name into a search engine, Google will work its web spider magic and throw up a random collection of links featuring your name. Assuming there isn’t a website out there that actually features your name, anybody who has been active in society to a reasonable extent will probably find their name associated with a fairly strange and unrepresentative collection of web pages. As society increasingly progresses (or regresses) towards a society that finds out everything it needs to know by asking an imperfect computer program with a silly name, it becomes increasingly obvious that the appearance of one’s presence online is worth a bit more than a moment’s thought.

It goes without saying that I will probably be more self-conscious of what I write here than I have been previously. For the time being, at least, I also intend to be more prolific than I have been in the past. Given that one needs to have something of a life whilst working in a fairly demanding industry and having such a time-consuming hobby, this will probably prove difficult in practice, but we shall see how things develop. My focus will remain fairly political, although from time to time I may delve into other areas which manage to catch my interest.

In the meantime, I would certainly be interested in hearing about any eccentricities anybody notices with the layout of the site or otherwise. The theme is for now a scarcely modified version of the default WordPress theme, and was tested on Safari. It would nevertheless not surprise me if Mozilla or Internet Explorer were playing silly buggers with it to some extent.