A Big Decision: The Year Since

Newcastle #NMTrain

So, the above is a picture that Timehop has just sent me (it sends me a daily reminder of what I shared on social media a year ago) – at our #NMTrain event in Newcastle. A couple of days before I had been promoted to Senior Fellow in Teaching and Learning at the University of Winchester (Grade 9) and offered a job as Research Fellow in Social Media and Online Learning at St John’s College, Durham University (Grade 7) – so I had a big decision to make…. as you’ll likely know (and see Pete’s blog post) I decided to ignore the ££ head for Durham, where CODEC is doing such unique things… I’m achievement-driven, and it’s not been the most straightforward year, I’m always thinking about what I’ve not YET done, so let me take time to think about some of the things I’ve done:

  • Spent 4 days looking round about 20 houses in Durham with Tracey Hulme: purchased one of them – with all the mortgage rigmarole that goes with that!
  • Prepared lots of material for handover at University of Winchester, brought 3.5 years of counselling to an end, packed up, deep cleaned the flat I left, & leaving parties (one after I’d moved!). Met with Brian Draper a couple of times to try and work out how moving to Durham would mean a healthier lifestyle, slowing down, more time for friends, etc. (hmm, that’s not quite working yet!)
  • The BIG move!  Furnished & painted the house top to bottom (with a little help from friends), including lots of little fixings (several of which I’ve got stuck on – I may hire someone for a day!). Having started decluttering 13 years ago based on this William Morris quote – I have this week reached the stage where I have 2 sets of shelves that need sorting, pictures to put up, photos since 2007 to sort, 200+ badges to sew on my blanket, and “quite a big” pile of books to read… otherwise if I ain’t using it, it’s not there!  Even a couple of weeks after I’d moved in it looked like I’d be there for quite some time. Garden is making progress (not sure if I’m a natural gardener), and also slowly pulling together stuff for a new bathroom. Plan is to sit back and enjoy the house then!
  • Maintained and  continued to re-develop BIGBible (see also Tumblr), with help from #digidisciple(s), and particularly Bryony Taylor as we seek to find a way to interact healthily online – so Bryony takes over for at least 4 weeks of the year!
  • book-coverPublication Wise, quite a lot going on, including radio interviews, journal articles, magazine interviews, reviews, – and new deadline for my book manuscript is 9th July (it’s already on Amazon!) – so far about 18k written, to reach 45k this week (notes are all there – read about 40 books, lots of online material & 120 questionnaires returned) – lots of social media activity also & participated in Advent Book Club!
  • Digital Decluttering: Gradually working Inbox 0 (workwise = all is in the to-do list; other emails still need more work); hard-drive tidy aside from a bit-too large “sort me” folder; and both drbexl and Digital Fingerprint have had a bit of an overhaul – though quite a lot of work still to do on my online ‘digital fingerprint’ (digital footprint to many others)…
  • Spoken at lots of events (including co-organising CNMAC & NMTrain/NMThink with Premier) including academic conferences, run several workshops – which has included lots of travel – how else do you get 5 free first-class vouchers on EastCoast!
  • Things that were planned when I moved: Holiday in the Scillies (having a holiday is always an achievement for me!); Hosting Heidi Campbell, running a stand at #GB13, #BigRead13 with Rowan Williams, #MediaLit13; ODHE Project, LST events, kickstarting CODEC website.
  • Things that weren’t planned when I moved: a boss off long-term sick, teaching in Romania, Tearfund trip to Uganda, intensive teaching at Spring Harvest, moving CODEC offices… oh, and 3 colds + ‘proper flu’…
  • Locally I’ve only managed to visit Cathedral/Castle, etc, Hexham and Alnwick so plenty more local sites to see…
  • I think I’ve nearly retained my sanity – still only been in Durham for 10 months tomorrow … quite a lot has happened, right?!  #probablyforgottensomething #allowedtofeelabitweary!

Probably forgotten some stuff, but lots to think about and plan for next year, including ensuring we have processes/lists in place so can focus on the more interesting stuff, ACW competition, #BigRead14 with Stephen Cherry, BA Supervision, potential PhD supervision, how to ensure that Cranmer Hall turns out some of the most digi-aware vicars in the country, time to research digital behaviours… and how we continue to fund CODEC – that’s in my 4 days a week … also continuing to develop Digital Fingerprint, and turn my PhD into a book!


BBC: 50 Places to See before you Die

50 places to see before you die, according to 20,000 viewers of the BBC’s “Holiday” programme (2003?). See also interesting article “things to do-before-you-die-ism“, and my travelblog(I never quite finished the text – I blame the chest infection I got on Europe Tour! Decided to make myself feel grateful for all the opportunities I have already had to travel – and you can pretty much assume if I haven’t been somewhere, I want to go there…

  1. The Grand Canyon, USA
  2. Great Barrier Reef, east coast of Queensland, Australia Been here!
  3. Florida and Walt Disney, USA Been here!
  4. South Island, New Zealand Been here!
  5. Cape Town and Table Mountain, South Africa
  6. Golden Temple at Amritsar, Punjab, India
  7. Las Vegas, Nevada
  8. Sydney, Australia Been here!
  9. New York
  10. Taj Mahal
  11. Canadian Rockies
  12. Uluru (Ayers Rock), Australia Been here!
  13. Chichen Itza, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
  14. Machu Picchu, Peru Been here!
  15. Niagara Falls
  16. Petra, Jordan
  17. The Pyramids, Cairo
  18. Venice Been here!
  19. Maldives, Indian Ocean, 450 miles SW of Sri Lanka
  20. Great Wall of China
  21. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
  22. Hong Kong
  23. Yosemite National Park
  24. Hawaii
  25. Auckland, New Zealand Been here!
  26. Iguassu Falls, Argentina and Brazil Been here!
  27. Paris Been here!
  28. Alaska
  29. Angkor Wat, Cambodia Been here!
  30. Nepal, Himalayas
  31. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Been here!
  32. Masai Mara, Kenya
  33. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
  34. Luxor, Egypt
  35. Rome Been here!
  36. San Francisco
  37. Barcelona Been here!
  38. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  39. Singapore Been here!
  40. La Digue, Seychelles, 1000 miles E of Kenya.
  41. Sri Lanka, S of India
  42. Bangkok, Thailand Been here!
  43. Barbados, 100 miles E of the Caribbean chain
  44. Iceland
  45. Terracotta Army, Xi’an, China
  46. Zermatt, Switzerland
  47. Angel Falls, Venezuela
  48. Abu Simbel, Egypt
  49. Bali, in the Indonesian archipelago
  50. French Polynesia (Bora Bora), 165 miles NW of Tahiti

List from here, wonder what it would look like in 2010. I am looking at going to Amsterdam with Fiona at Easter. Here is some of the places I have said I want to go, what do you think I’m missing?!


The Kerslake Company

The Kerslake Company

Dr Deborah Kerslake is the owner of the Coaching College where I did my Life Coaching qualification, then known as Serenergise. I went to see Debs for a day, gave her some advice on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc. and advised that her site needed a more professional look/more functionality, and put her in touch with Brown Bear Art… and here’s the result. Almost as proud as if it was my company/I had done it, now I just need to persuade Debs that using Twitter/Facebook are fun – although Camilla has so much experience now, she doesn’t need my help any more!


Woo hoo!

I used those precise words when I sent an email to my Mum the other day. My plan on coming back to Winchester was to get enough work to see me through to June… job done, but although I’d had lots of conversations, I didn’t have anything concrete for my next stage – enough work to see me through until October. I was then offered 2 pieces of work which, if I’m careful, will at least keep me that long, and there’s other conversations in the pipeline!

I think that deserves a big WOO-HOO of celebration!

Digital Life(style)

My bucket list starts with: Visit Canada

Visit Canada
Canada looks a beautiful, friendly country, and all the Canadians I’ve met (and shared rooms with on my travels) have been lovely! I read all the Anne of Green Gables novels when I was younger, and have always wanted to go and see Prince Edward Island… also want to get the train across to the Rockies, see the bright lights of Toronto, ski in Banff, and just take in the beautiful landscapes… while trying out some daft activities and taking a million photos no doubt, see: for evidence of that!

Publish my PhD as a Book
I will never feel like I’ve finished my PhD until I see my name on the spine of a book in the bookstores. There’s plenty of interesting material in my PhD (see, lots of interest in it (see the recent furore over ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’: Originally I intended to call my book “It’s Up To You” after a poster which takes the Kitchener “Your Country Needs You” as a design inspiration, but now Keep Calm and Carry On seems far more appropriate, as I’m particularly interested in why such images still resonate over 60 years later). At my PhD viva we spent most of the time discussing turning the thesis into a book (would probably take around a year on top of a steady job), and the book proposal is in process… meantime, travelling and job-seeking have rather taken away from that!

Visit Israel
OK, so it’s another “visit somewhere”, as the remainder may be… I want to take a trip to Israel with I know loads of people who’ve been and they all say the same thing… really tiring, but completely awesome and inspiring (well, that describes pretty much any Oak Hall trip that I’ve been on!)

See a Formula 1 Race live
I used to follow Formula 1 avidly, watching heats, races, repeats, highlights – you name it, and reading all the magazines. I then realised how much of my life this was taking up and pretty much went cold turkey. However, getting to know Emma @ Manchester we chatted about Formula 1 lots, and I would still like to go to see a live race… not sure where yet. I have stood on the starting grid and podium at Albert Park in Australia, and may watch some of this weekend’s… if only to remind me of the time I spent in Australia (and there’s somewhere else to go back to!)… I had a day’s race car driving experience:, whic was great… bring on the skid-pan racing next!

Run the London or New York Marathon
I’ve done a couple of 10ks, and would even need to build back up to that length at the moment, but I’ve always wanted to run the London Marathon (although sometimes I think the New York would suit my traveller mind more). I have actually completed a full-length marathon event:, which is maybe almost harder than a daytime marathon, but still, running a marathon beckons…