F a m i l y

Andrea and I first met each other in 1995 and I certainly didn't realise quite what a large impact she would have on my life then. Many years later we now have two children and are settling down to life in Canada. Back in 1995 I was a student in Leicester and doing the usual sort of geeky things Software Engineering students seemed to do with their evenings; waste time on the Internet. One evening Andrea appeared in the dive my friends and I chatted. Things sort of went off like a firework from there. Love didn't happen at first sight, that would have to wait a while, but an attraction between our minds certainly caused something to spark.

Passion and love seem to be such jaded terms, certainly in the UK it is something we all keep private for goodness knows what reasons. My love and passion for Andrea is something I still feel I want to shout from the roof tops, even if it was to a chorus of disapproving tuttings and mutterings it would inevitably lead to.

Opening my heart to children is probably one of hardest things I have done. I don't want to seem selfish, I never thought I would have children. Andrea inspired me to think about what next? A troubling death of my last grandparent made me think particulary of what legacy remains. Of course all this is moot in hindsight, having children is the most remarkable and rewarding experience you can think of.

One of my favourite tales is of teaching my daughter to clap her hands. I would take her hands and clap them together and say "clap". Then I would say "clap" without holding her hands. Her desire then was to take my hands and clap them together. It is a good lesson about other people - they aren't always learning what you are teaching.

F r i e n d s

I used to maintain a list of friend's webpages here. These days of "Social Media" seems to have mostly killed off the idea of personal webspace. It must be difficult to find hosting if you have no knowledge of how the Internet/Word Wide Web works. Certainly the amount of cost-free space has pretty much gone. Also times move on, maintaining a webpage is work (and something I'm terrible at).

I imagine that I don't have many friends, I am certainly not someone who needs a lot of friends around themselves to feel comfortable. My family's recent move to Canada has caused me to perhaps appreciate my friends in a new way. Despite the excitement of our relocation, it has been one of the more sad things I have done is say goodbye to people. People who I have seen frequently for years and know deep down that our relationship will change.

A void is opening in my life, all the years I spent living apart from Andrea were easy, we knew our time apart was finite. Some of my friends I may well never see again. I can still chat with them via the Internet, fortunately most of them are retro enough to "get" that way of talking. Mostly though, it is the formalisation of it. Never again am I going to bump into them on the street for a chat.

For me personally I knew this day would arrive, I am not sure my friends really believed the years of talking about moving to Canada were ever going to amount to anything.

L o v e s

Ever since my childhood I have had a facination with mechnical objects, perhaps mostly spurred on by my father's enthusiasm for Meccano, which I have inherited. Sadly I do not have the time to spend on the hobby as I would like.

This grounding lead me to computers. I enjoy writing code, I wouldn't really say I am "in to" computers, although I do try and follow the Industry, mostly I am interested in writing software to get computers to work how I want.

My biggest hobby now is photography. The world is an infintely fascinating place. There is nothing like capturing a momenti, freezing time with the click of a shutter. I use a variety of equipment, SLRs, Compacts and camera phones. My subjects are often mundane city views, landscapes. My father inlaw often accuses me (and my wife) of taking "Architectural" photographs. I like to think this is a compliment.

I am an avid reader, having spent the past ten years or more travelling to work via train gives a good excuse to read. I also read before bed at night, I find it the best way to quieten my mind at the end of the day.

As part of my daily commute (at least whilst I lived in Southampton) was cycling to and from the station. Through this I inevitably met other cyclings and they re-kindled my liking for the sport from my childhood. I ride a couple of bikes,one a Dahon Speed Pro TT, a fast lightweight folder. My other bike is a Raleigh Discovery (circa 1989) which has been improved over the years. I have a couple o front facing child seats that means I can enjoy riding with either of my children.

© 2004 Dominic Esplen