We’re a quarter through 2024 almost, and it has been an eventful year so far.

Most importantly, Bruce’s 2024 GoFundMe campaign is taking up more of my time this year than last. Travelling to dance competitions is expensive at the best of times, so any support we can get to keep Bruce prepared and focused is hugely appreciated. I’ve been providing updates more regularly this time, and we have a few more things to do to raise funds.

Aside from that, here’s what has happened of significance so far in 2024…

“It’s no Use, I’m moving on”

I joined the MakeUseOf team in 2011, and over the years contributed 1600+ articles, 200+ podcast episodes, rose through the ranks to become a section editor, then deputy editor, then segment lead.

I brought this to a close on February 13th, following a good 6 months of general upheaval and what can only be kindly described as mismanagement. (For context, most websites are run by an editor or team who then takes instruction from corporate overlords, accountants, shareholders, often with little idea about what people actually want to read.)

The full details of this are boring, so I won’t go into them here.

From a personal perspective, the writing had been on the wall for some months, but since January I had found myself constantly thinking about MUO, the problems, checking conversations and tasks on my phone, and generally not switching off. When a colleague was sacked and I was given some of his sections to oversee, it became clear that no one was safe.

That’s not good for your state of mind.

I have other work lined up, and projects I’m currently working on for other publishers, so while inconvenient, I feel I made the right choice.

Mick Karma

Despite a slow start to the year with a single open mic in Middlesbrough, I got a slot at The Stand in Newcastle (below) and another at Creatures in Manchester as Mick Karma. Both went well; the second was the first 10 minute set I’ve done.

Mick Karma is set to perform at least a couple more times this Spring.

Mum and Dad’s garage

When weather permits, I am engaged with emptying my parent’s garage. At the beginning of the project it was largely a storeroom, but most of the items to “keep” have been removed (currently held in storage).

At the time of writing, a lot of waste material needs removing, prior to a paint job (or perhaps some plasterboard) and new glazing, possible roof repair (looking less likely) and proper shelving installed. Some of the scrap wood in there is older than my wife, so it is pretty important to get it cleared out!