On Leaving


What’s so important about being 23?

It’s now 23 days away from my 23rd birthday, I’d like to take a moment to look back over the years and see what I’ve been doing, see if I’ve been doing enough and what I can do to make sure I’m heading in the right direction.

So then what’s so important?

The number 23 has been a favourite of mine since I can remember, I find it has such beauty mathematically (Being a prime number, and the first non-twin prime number.) and if you’re looking for some good excuses to like the number here’s a link to it’s wikipedia page.


The point is, it’s important to me.

From the start

I held my 23rd birthday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. With an entirely new set of friends to hang with, there was plans to do some kind of party but in the end it was a calm casual thing. I just went to the bar with my good friend Carol and we had a few beers with our friends.

CarolG - Flickr

My Brazilian VISA was fast running out so I tried making the time count, I was working mainly on an iPhone game called Arcade Hockey, and planning a tour with my band for my return.

Time was short. And then my parent’s came out to visit and I got a look around the country.

Education again

Global economy blah blah recession blah blah, anyway, whilst my parent’s were out in Brazil they asked me what I was thinking of doing when I got back. I hadn’t really thought too much into it, I’ve got enough skills to get by anywhere really, but I’d been doing a lot of studying in art and design frm books I'd imported.

My Mum, ever one step ahead had found a design school that had just opened near us and said I should enroll.

So I did.

Shillington College in Manchester was great, I learnt loads, everyday. I did a lot of band related work alongside the course to ensure the things being taught were put into practice straight away.

Learning Design, like learning the fundamentals of drawing really changes your perspective on everything, I started listing to less angry music, wearing brighter clothes, took better photos and can appreciate other peoples work much more.

Drama y español

While touring Brazil with my parents I started talking to a Spanish girl (in portuguese...) who was temporarily adopted and we toured together.

At the same time, a good friend of mine, Grax was studying the Spanish language to talk to his Argentinian friends.

Whilst I was out on tour with the band we hung out a lot with one of my band-mates brother and his girlfriend.

She too was 23, a good age, still in Uni doing a course on Art and incredibly talented.

When I mentioned to Grax on tour that he should join up on this website for learning languages I offered to learn Spanish with him and extended the offer to everyone else who was with us at the time. Embot took the offer up also.

Though she lived with her boyfriend they weren’t talking much and she was working a lot with Uni. We all got quite far into the Spanish, Grax eventually moved on and got proper lessons and judging from when I last talked to him seems to be doing great at it.

I used Emily for a while to improve my art skills, asking for advice and working with her on a site that we would do a drawing for each week.

Embot - Blog / Flickr

We invited her and her boyfriend to come on tour with us, but in the end he backed out and she came along on her own as chief photographer.

After the tour he refused to speak to her.

She came up North a few weeks later and got to meet all my friends, the name Embot is now ubiquitous in Huddersfield.

Afterwards her now ex-boyfriend informed her that he had been cheating on her for the past 4 years with her best friend. Leaving her with some scars to deal with.

After this she understandably doesn’t trust anyone.

And I don’t think that will change before I'm 24.


Kieronononon - Three Man Party

Towards the end of my stay in Brazil, the other members of my band had started to get really agitated with me being away.

Our plan is to have an album released by the end of the year, but first we needed to get something done the moment I arrived.

The result of this is the three man party, an EP that according to my iTunes ratings starts strong, tapers a bit then comes back to awesome.

The EP was launched with the new brutaltechnopunk.com which still is one of the favourite websites I’ve ever worked on.

Being in a band after 4 years can be tough, its a lot like getting into a serious relationship, you spend very large amounts of time together in very cramped spaces and it takes effort on all parts to keep it working.

Best bit of this year?

Probably goes to the idea of the KHoling, I’m not too sure on whose idea it was to take a t-shirt template K and get people to pose with it, but the idea really took off! We’ve got over 700 people with the K now and that’s probably more people than have ever listened to our music, at least they’ve been primed now though.

The Future

I need to stop doing so much webdev, hah.

I need to keep my C programming skills up to date, its been a while.

I need to get a social life outside a monitor

I need to work on the virtual applications app. It's got the most potential to turn out well

I need to constantly speed up my work-flow.

I need to not drive so much when touring.


Other Bits

After college had finished I didn’t have too much to do, so I started up a small webdesign company nothing major, and I only advertised locally. But it wasn’t working particularly fast, and a friend of my Mum mentioned that his website is being made in the same village as I live and that maybe I should pop down to talk to them.

So I did, and I am still there.

I’m still living with my parents, a bit annoying but its still cool to live with them. Life’s pretty cheap this way so I’ve been saving cash for when I move out and go live somewhere interesting. I’m way over prepared for my room with loads of cool wall stickers and prints.

Perhaps another trip back out to Rio in 2010 that depends on a few things back here though.

I experimented programming quite a bit outside of my comfort zone with the Arduino.

If there was one thing I’ve learnt this year, it is

simplicity over everything.

My relationships agree, all I’ve learnt in design agrees, the time I’ve spent working on websites agree, the time I’ve spent making games agrees.

23 days left?

I’m writing today because I can’t write on the 24th because I’m climbing Everest.

It was originally my Mum’s trip, but she had to back off because of work, and she asked me if I’d like to use her deposit and do it instead. Being the sort of guy who just says yes, I did just that, and I set off a few days before my birthday.

Wish me luck! x

Photo - ilkerender