What a ride!! That year couldn't have gotten anymore full of incident and
drama if it had tried. On a personal level it's been a big year for me to.
So in this little time we have between the seasonal parties let me take a
couple of minutes to look back on a year of huge change.
I guess I'd have to start by saying that when I went 'online' back in January
I had no idea what that would mean for me on a personal level. I thought
I'd use the net to do a little bit of surfing and a exchange the odd e-mail.
I had no idea that at the end of the year I would have a website, a job in
the internet industry and contracts to do freelance web design! I have to
say that I have enjoyed this year on that level because I have seen my life
change direction radically, from being more or less unemployed and in a state
of confusion about my 'future' to having a real sense of direction and not
just a hope but real promise for the future. The mid nineties hadn't been
altogether good years but 97 was a turning point.
But what of the rest of the world? Well I guess the news story that is probably
the one that everyone will remember will be the death of Diana, Princess
of Wales. An accident on a Paris road... or was it? She'd been getting under
the skin of the Royal's for ages and it seems odd to me that now a few months
after her death the investigation into what happened has more or less disappeared.
I guess we'll never know. The case for it being an accident is a good one,
as is the case of the conspiracy theory.
Whatever, I have never in my life seen anything like the outpouring of grief
that I witnessed after Diana's death. For as long as I live I will never
forget, like millions of others I'm sure, the scenes brought to me by the
media. Kensington Palace gates were inaccessible for days afterwards, buried
in a sea of floral tributes brought over some quite amazing distances from
people who just wanted to show their respect. The tragic and to a tragic
NASA finally landed on Mars and broadcast the pictures of the 'red planet'
to the watching world. In a live webcast I watched as pictures from the 'Pathfinder
probe' as they were broadcast in a time delayed 'live' broadcast from NASA's
mission control. On the other side of the coin of achievement for NASA, the
hubble space telescope came back with some astounding pictures from deep
space. But the troubled space station 'Mere' had a rough time in the later
half of 97. It got battered in space by all manner of problems ranging from
power failures to orbital collisions! The futures of the space station looks
to be 'up in the air' so to speak.
Hong Kong was formally handed over to China by Great Britain. The ceremony
and parties that followed were spectacular, however the Chinese army worryingly
marched in thousands of troupes from the moment the clock turned midnight
before the day of the hand over had really begun. Since the parties though,
there has been no trouble that some people predicted, however, in my opinion
it is still early days yet.
Science made the news on many levels this year. For me the most amazing
piece of scientific news was the successful cloning of an adult sheep. Dolly
the sheep was cloned not as you might think in a US laboratory but here in
the UK, Scotland to be precise. The cloning caused more than a few ripples
and almost immediately laws were passed banning the cloning of human beings.
However being somewhat of a septic I believe that while no public labs will
undertake human cloning, surely someone somewhere will be doing just that.
A case for Scully and Mulder here I feel.
Cloning is all well and good, but what I want scientist to figure out is
how to come up with a real life holadeck like the ones on Star Trek! Just
imagine all the things you could do in a total holographic immersion! The
So what about the coming year then, what's going to happen in 98 then? Well
I haven't a clue really. I intend to further my knowledge of internet design
and programming with a view to perhaps going solo as a freelance web designer
full time? That's not so much as plan as a thought really. Looking forward
is always a daunting exercise because it always looks so unclear.
is uncharted territory, an endless stream of minor gambles and decisions
that could radically alter the course of ones life. The future is perhaps
a little scary at times, but with all the uncertainty that it holds one thing
is for sure, we can't stop it coming, and in truth... I wouldn't want to.
I'm looking forward to 1998, more than that, I am excited about 1998!