Back at the start of May I left Trinity Mirror, where I’d been working for two and a half years as a web developer, and joined Framestore, a film company specialising in computer generated movies. It’s been a great experience that’s given me some helpful insight on my character and a fresh perspective on my time at the Mirror. The down side is I’m working a five day week and longer hours, hence why I’ve not succeeded in blogging much lately.
In the absence of something more profound to post, I thought it would be a fun little exercise to post a bit about the books, websites and places I’ve been enjoying over the last few weeks. For the uninitiated, my life is essentially one big routine, so this is a bit of a reflection of how I spend my days!
I live in the East End of London and work near Tottenham Court Road in the West, so I basically have two choices for how to get there each morning:
- Central Line from Mile End to Tottenham Court Road – this is definitely the quickest route to work, taking about half an hour for me door to door. The downside is that the Central Line is absolutely rammed at half eight in the morning, such that you’ll probably have to wait for several trains to pass, and then once you do squeeze on you may not always have much room to get a book out and read it
- District Line to Embankment and then Northern Line to Tottenham Court Road – ah, much nicer! You can probably get a seat for much of the journey, making reading much easier. Shame it takes more like 45 minutes, though.
As for what I read: the morning is my time for reading a good Christian book to help my hard heart to meditate on God’s character. At the moment I’m reading the excellent Knowing God by Jim Packer – it’s one of those books I’d recommend every Christian to make a habit of reading regularly. I last read it about five or six years ago, and am finding it every bit as edifying the second time around.
My general criteria for my morning book is that the author should write in points short enough to read in their entirety before reaching your destination, but ideally with a bit of time left over to chew on what you’ve read and take it in properly.
Before Starting Work
I use a del.icio.us tag to neatly organise all of the websites I like to check before I get down to work. Currently on my list are:
- Twitter – it doesn’t take a minute to update your status once a day, and keep your Facebook friends up to date on the latest goings on in your life
- Various comics – at the moment I love reading Pearls Before Swine and F Minus
- Remember the Milk – I’ve only just discovered this fantastic website, but it’s great for helping overcome that sometimes overwhelming feeling that you’ve got so much personal admin to do and no chance of remembering all of it
- Google Mail – I resisted for ages, but having gotten the Google Mail bug I now use this exclusively for all my mail, forsaking my previous approach of downloading all of my mail onto my main computer on a regular basis and only having unread messages available through webmail.
I have a number of options for lunch, depending on the weather and my mood.
- Russell Square Gardens – a bit of a walk from my office, but a beautiful little spot to sit and eat your lunch, read a book or have a quick pray
- The Covent Garden Talks – every Thursday lunchtime a bunch of Christians meet together on Endell Street to hear the Bible explained in way that’s really accessible to non-Christians. It’s a great resource to invite colleagues to, and to equip us to server God in the workplace.
- Google Reader – my ‘sit-at-my-desk’ lunch option is to go on Google Reader. I follow quite a lot of blogs, mostly programming ones. My current favourite is Jeff Atwood’s Coding Horror.
My whole family has a weird tendency to get the jitters just before dinner if we don’t get some sugar in us, so I make a point of eating one of the bananas my company freely provide us with at around 4.45pm. It makes a nice opportunity for a little break, where I often visit Hacker News for some thought provoking discussions.
The Central Line is much quieter at the time I go home, so I virtually always use it. In the evenings I tend to go for a secular book, and have just finished an excellent book called Dreaming in Code by Scott Rosenberg. It’s a very well written discussion of what makes software so incredibly hard to write, following the story of OSAF, the creators of the Chandler Project. I shall probably post some more at some point about some of the idea it’s given me for how to move forward with my Bible-teaching computer games project.
Recently I’ve found my evenings to be pretty busy. I’m involved in a church called St. Helen’s, Bishopsgate, where I help to lead a student Bible study group. This year we’ve been doing a Bible Overview, which has been absolutely fantastic. I’m a bit sad to part with my lovely group now that they’ll all off for the summer :(
If you’re ever in the City area on a Sunday night, do come along to our 6pm service!
Well there you have it – my life in a nutshell!