A new career in a new town

This post takes its name from a short David Bowie track I've always liked. It has a plaintive harmonica line that expresses the sadness of leaving an old home, and the uncertainty of what the future might hold.

But there's a strong underlying keyboard motif that drives the music forward and, I think, communicates the traveller's belief that this is the right thing to do: the time has come to go, to make a new start in a new place.

Bowie wrote it in the mid-70s when returning to Europe after a rather troubled period in the United States: relocating from Los Angeles to Berlin. I'm making a rather less dramatic journey soon, from a Borders village to city centre Edinburgh. My wife has a great new job and our location makes no odds to me, as just now I'm self employed doing the kind of work which can be done pretty much anywhere.

We'll be moving in just under a week. I have to say I am really looking forward to being back in a city centre after several years in the country. It's beautiful here, and we've met some great people, but - certainly at this point in my life - I really need the energy of city life again. It is easy to live a rather reclusive life in the country, especially for a confirmed introvert like me.

Earlier this year I made some tentative steps to start engaging with what seems to be a vibrant Edinburgh web and tech community. I've been too busy of late to attend many events but I shall be much more in evidence shortly. I hope to contribute as much as I can. I'm also hoping to re-engage with aspects of myself that I've rather neglected over the past few years as I've struggled to keep my little business going: writing, music, illustration. Perhaps the city will afford new opportunities for pursuing those.

At any rate I will be seeking to reconfigure my career somewhat: I'm just not sure how viable self employment is for web designers any more. With the emergence of the truly mobile web there are just so many challenges in designing even small websites. It seems to me that top quality design and development is becoming possible only for the collective expertise and purse of an agency or co-operative: there are just too many skills for one person to master, too many devices to design for and test on.

Anyway, that will the subject of another blog post I'm mulling. In the meantime I'm really looking forward to getting to the city and participating in its life as fully as I can.

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