[ 00:29 monday 16 april – bodgriggy street , hayle , cornwall ]
this evening i cycled to gwithian towans and scrambled down the cliff onto the sand . there was hardly anyone around . perhaps a dozen people visible along two miles of beach . earlier in the day i’d been walking with my family at land’s end and the sky was overcast . here it was quite different , a soaring blue mingling with violets and ochres as the sun closed to the horizon .
i felt fully awake for the first time in days , running along the tide line as my shadow grew longer on the firm white sand . the light was gorgeous , my camera gorged itself .
oh it is so hard to leave this place for london .
but of course i must . my main focus at the moment is the recruitment of a software engineer to work for six months on learning web , the partnership established between circus foundation and the school for social entrepreneurs . we need someone experienced in messaging systems , able to manage themselves and highly inventive .
i’m sending out a card with this despatch (you’ll need adobe acrobat reader to open it) . if you know any software engineers who might be interested i’d be very grateful if you could send it in their direction . we need to engage someone in the next couple of weeks .
learning web will be the first practical implementation based on the “trampoline” concepts which i first outlined eighteen months ago in the isles of scilly . i feel frustrated with myself that it has taken so damn long to reach this point . i could scarcely have wished for stronger support from those around me . james smith has patiently championed the project within sse and helped win resources to get it moving . it was he who pressed me to return to london for six months , itself a crucial step . craig mcmillan has provided the discipline of a technical perspective and a genius for drawing coherence from my incoherence . warren langley has helped me steer my thinking from a vision towards a venture .
each day i awaken wondering if i am about to discover that someone else has brought a technology to market which embodies everything i envisaged . it’s horrible . i would rather be completely wrong then be completely right yet too slow . but until one or other of these conclusions becomes manifest i shall plod on as best i can .
my first contact with the school for social entrepreneurs came about in consequence of an interview i read with michael young (lord young of dartington) on a flight to meet kirmo kivela in helsinki back in 1997 . i knew nothing of him prior to this . since getting involved with the school i’ve been able to spend a bit time with him .
while i was in ghana i realised how much i wanted to continue learning from michael (who is now 85) . a couple of weeks ago i finally plucked up the courage to ask if he would agree to be a mentor to me . he agreed on condition that i teach him to use a computer and the internet , which i suspect is going to be a nightmare . but , as warren commented , i still got a good deal !
during my time as a student michael gave me a copy of his first major piece of social research : “family and kinship in east london” , which he wrote in bethnal green during the early fifties . it’s a wonderful book , farsighted in its analysis and overflowing with humanity . michael is currently completing a sequel , looking at the same neighbourhood fifty years later . he’s asked me to contribute a section describing the influx of young information-sector professionals into the area and its impact . it will not be easy to write with clarity about a phenomenon of which i am so conspicuously a part .
as soon as i decided to come and live in london for these six months i decided i would give up smoking pot for the period . i’ve smoked it intermittently since i left cambridge and , dare i say , enjoyed it a lot . the first week of abstinence was not very successful as i kept finding excuses to make exceptions . but after that i’m happy to say it’s been no effort at all . i’ve a sneaking suspicion my libido has expanded to fill the gap , but it’s probably best not to dwell on that …
i’m sitting here in anna and adam’s sitting room typing away by the light of the lamp i had made for their wedding . mum and dad are staying here as well .
happy easter everyone