...being the blog of steve kirkendall egomaniac-about-town

31/12/13

Farewell 2013

I’ve never reviewed a year before on this blog, but it’s been a happier 12 months compared to Team K’s annus horribilis of 2012 that I thought it was worth seeing it all flash before my eyes one more time.

Having been a huge fan of Ace Jet 170 for the longest time, imagine my surprise when a throwaway remark on Path in January led to an invitation to write a guest post about Ken Garland: Structure and Substance published by Unit Editions. I was humbled (as well as very nervous) to do this and it made me think about doing more of this kind of writing.

One last sorry subplot of 2012 played itself out in March, when my Uncle Brian finally succumbed to his leukaemia, nine months after being diagnosed. Raising money for Cancer Research as well as Asthma UK is the reason I ran the Virgin London Marathon in April. The months preceding the marathon were dominated by training runs. How I laughed in the face of the worst British winter for 50 years as I spent long hours skidding across the snowy, icy roads of Norwich (when I wasn’t getting drenched by the rain) pausing only with shock at the rare sighting of the sun. The mud, sweat and tears were worth it as on marathon day I crossed the finish line with a sprint, three minutes inside of five hours. It was one of the few times I was genuinely proud of myself and the £4,297.52 (with gift aid) that I split between my two charities.

Riding high on my marathon fever, I completed three other races this year – the Dereham 10, the Humpty Dumpty 10k and the Norwich Half Marathon (again) and tomorrow sees me running the Wymondham New Years Day 10k. In May, I proudly watched my daughter Eve run the Race for Life for Cancer Research in memory of her Grandma, Pat, who died suddenly in 2012.

After a stressful build up and the longest completion EVER, we finally moved to Hethersett in the summer to a tidy little bungalow we’d fallen in love with in February. The summer whizzed by in a flurry of decorating and curtain pole erecting. Also during the summer, I became an official Mozilla Mentor after successfully completing a nine week MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). So now I can #teachtheweb to encourage young peeps to get creating instead of passively consuming it. My first gig in this new world came in August when I was invited by fellow Mozilla Mentor Dorine Flies to help #teachtheweb at the Kent Scouts International Jamboree 2013. It was a really rewarding, fun day watching the Scouts get to grips with Mozilla’s online web making tools, making projects out of the videos and photos they’d taken during the Jamboree.

Of course, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy so Team K took two breaks in 2013 – our usual beach break in Greece, then a few days in New York City in late October.

On our return, I joined the Virgin Money Studio peeps in raising money by participating in Movember. Our nine dodgy moustaches raised over £1,085, a sum which created history because Studio member Big Paul promised to shave off his 40-year-old moustache if we raised over £1000. His old moustache is now on display at Norwich Castle Museum if anyone’s interested.

Reading through my posts this year I couldn’t help notice that the first post forecast great design changes for this blog which, er, didn’t happen. So one of my New Year’s resolution is to rectify that – look out for a better, bolder, beautiful and responsive version of this tatty thing you’re reading now.

Happy New Year folks!

Tags: happynewyear

24/12/13

Merry Christmas Eve(ryone)!

Steve Kirkendall wearing his wooly Santa Hat with beard protector

In a few short hours, Team K will be winging their way up to Boston, Lincolnshire, for the Christmas meeting of the clans. The run-up to Christmas day has been enjoyable so far, what with the impromptu present opening this morning, while rocking my Secret Santa pressie from the Virgin Money Studio (above). Also of note was my Path Secret Santa, an original copy of Elvis Costello’s brilliant third album Armed Forces in all it’s wonderful Barney Bubbles designed glory.

Front cover of Armed Forces by Elvis Costello

Whatever you’re doing, wherever you’re going, I hope it ends in a very Merry Christmas!

Tags: christmas

01/12/13

No Mo'

Steve Kirkendall with and without his Movember 'tache

Today’s the day the Virgin Money Studio’s Movember ‘taches go to that great barbershop floor in the sky. Those fund-raising follicles leave us, knowing they created a huge pot of £1,029 (over £1,150 with gift aid) supplemented by auctioning the Studio’s various creative skills within Virgin Money. See the Virgin Money Studio Movember page for the glorious result yourself.

And if raising money and awareness for men’s health issues wasn’t enough, we also created history. Big Paul, the Virgin Money Studio’s answer to Hagrid, pledged to shave off his 40 year old moustache if we raised over £1000. The smashing of the target was marked by the buzzing of an electric razor wielded (somewhat shakily) by Jason, our Head of Traffic, and Big Paul’s upper lip tasted fresh air once more.

Big Paul Bennett losing his 40 year old 'tache for Movember

Tags: movember, virginmoney