Leaving Automattic

I just posted this (which I have slightly edited) to an internal p2.

I am leaving Automattic

This has nothing at all do with Automattic, WordPress or any event / person here or anywhere else.

The seed for this was planted in 1985 when my – and Jacqui’s – nursing career started. Back then retirement was an option in the National Health Service when you got to 55 years old. In 2017 my wife Jacqui and I started talking about my leaving and it was planned to be June 2019 when I hit that age. She did all the planning.

In December 2018 the multiple sclerosis took Jacqui away from me. Her death I’ll never get over. Losing the closest person to you for over 32 years is something you just cannot explain. My world has changed completely. I spent a lot of time last year trying to decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I have no idea. As that road led me nowhere I flipped it around – what do I not want to do? The answer to that came quickly.
I do not want to spend as much time sitting in front of a computer.

I am in my 17th year of doing WordPress Support and tomorrow will start my 15th year here. I still love doing Support – how can you not love being a hero to someone every day? – but I am in a huge rut. For so many years I did only three things – I was either working, caring for Jacqui or sleeping. These days I’m either working, sleeping or not knowing what to do. That void needs filling and this rut needs flattening out.
So I am going to do the one thing that I know Jacqui would have wanted me to do and follow her plan.

What will I be doing? Covid has changed plans so … I have a huge gaming backlog (Fallout New Vegas beckons), a very long list of books I want to read, many vegetarian/vegan recipes I want to try. Summer approaches, longer dog walks and getting back into cycling. Post-covid I will spend more time at the local library where I am a trustee on the board of the charity that runs it. I also want to find other local charities and volunteer positions to help with.

It’s been really really cool to have met great people from the WordPress.org forums who were there in my time including @mdawaffe (he had long hair then! I have pics!), @macmanx, @cena.

[Lots of Thank You section]

It’s been good to have been with WordPress since 2004, to see it grow into the platform it is today. I am proud to have been a tiny part of that.

My last shift will be the morning of Tuesday 14 April. I’ll pop into our team Zoom chat at noon to say goodbye and raise a glass to my team mates. I know I will cry. I am just typing this.

Take care, stay safe and thank you.

That’s it.

Stick a fork in me, I’m done.


Stopping my 6am alarm (I will have to talk to Zelda about this)

Is it the right thing to have done? Yes, it is.

Regrets? Nope, I don’t do regrets. Act, move on, do not look back. Life has no Undo.

The future? I have as much of an idea about mine as you do yours.
Shit happens.

Plans for post-Covid?
Trips to Sheffield and Axbridge

17 Jan 2004 I installed WordPress – and now I’m here


Rambly ramble

Given the death tolls/rates in Italy/Spain it shows just how much China has lied

I’m in day two of a daith-modified migraine, so none of the pain but all of the sickness / dizziness

Shaved my head. Bad idea as it’s really damn cold

Love Pizza but need to eat less so I bought a Pizza Oven (G3 Ferrari) so I can make my own but less calorie heavy

Tomorrow I post what a couple of you already know about

Homemade Tomato & Chilli soup (Katy Beskow recipe) is the best ever

Why has a speeding bullet not met D. Trump yet?

In the last post I said Covid had not affected me. Wrong. I’m still getting used to living alone. The pub and the local shop were my only socialisation chances. Like so very many people I am realising just how important they were and they will be in the future.

Current earworm

This is good

This also is good

Tattoos completed

The usual Wednesday coffee was off, Neil had the day free so yesterday I spent a couple of hours under the needle. The calf sleeve is complete. Pics when I get round to pulling them off the phone.
And while there I saw my next tattoo. It’s a perfect mix of what my youngest is designing and my need for ink to be body related. It’s dot work. Once I have the location, it’ll happen. I’m pondering neck as I want this one to be visible but no decision yet. And it’ll be only the second tattoo that Neil has not done – same studio though.

The Library is closed now so my plans are shot but that’s okay.

Otherwise life trundles on. Covid-19 is not really affecting me

Pic unrelated


The orange fuckwit the USA elected gets worse.

“It is my great honor to declare Sunday, March 15th as a National Day of Prayer,” Trump tweeted Friday. “We are a Country that, throughout our history, has looked to God for protection and strength in times like these.”

“No matter where you may be, I encourage you to turn towards prayer in an act of faith. Together, we will easily PREVAIL!” Trump wrote in a follow-up tweet.

There are two things that need to happen to help the USA
1. Shoot Donald Trump
2. Shoot Mike Pence
Removing them would (1) teach their successor a valuable lesson (2) get rational people back in charge.

Meh day

Having a total meh day today. Can’t get going to do anything be that gaming, laundry, (the usual) cleaning, TV. No clue why but it’ll pass.


My left arm sleeve was completed last week and my left calf sleeve will complete this Thursday. Very happy with both. Pics when done. It’ll be strange not going to see Neil every Thursday. No more tattoo plans yet.

Saw Aruna (from the Widow/er/s group) as usual on Wednesday and we had a good natter. The Wetherspoon I go in after that was probably half empty. The local pub last night felt like a Tuesday, not many in.

The news I’ll reveal in 17 days took a large concrete step forward yesterday too. Makes things real. Which is good. No regrets.

Got thanked from the Tesco Home Delivery driver yesterday for not ordering toilet paper and pasta 🙂

Before their time?

The PM said “many more families will lose loved ones before their time”

If Boris – or you – believes in God, then people will be dying when God says so at a time that God decides. No-one will go “before their time” because if you believe in a God then it will part of the grand plan he has.

I await people saying “Thank God it’s over” but why aren’t they asking why God sent it in the first place?


Did everything right Wednesday evening – ate properly, 2 pints only, early to sleep. Thursday I made sure I was hydrated, ate breakfast, smoothie and yet the 3hr session on my calf was really ouchy. The body is odd.
Left feeling okay, got out of the taxi back home feeling ill. Wandered dogs, bit of housework, sat down and 15 mins later my heart took off. Ranged between 160-183.
And then for reasons unknown it reverted back to normal. Still is. The body is odd.

Getting there

Got closer to being sorted yesterday helped by a power cut which gave me nothing to do but tidy. I have a few boxes to take to the garage – electrics mainly that J used to use but I never would now.
The spare room is next – more stuff to the garage.
After that is done, it’s the roof space. That’s a big job but I have some time off in a couple of weeks so I’m aiming for then with that task.

The more I get these tasks done though, the more I get the house looking how I want it to be the lonelier I feel. But I need to get the work done to move forward, to reduce clutter and dust gatherers. I suppose it comes with the territory after losing someone. It’s not like I can keep a bedroom looking exactly the same.

Two events I had planned to go to later this year I have cancelled. Not ready. Would not enjoy. The opposite very probably.

Started reading Mr Nice by Howard Marks. Neil – at Inkling – recommended Senor Nice by the same guy so it makes sense to read the first book first.

Tattoo work from Thursday has settled very nicely.

Significant live event yesterday which I so wish I could tell Jacqui.

The pic? I just like it. Still experimenting with macro and lighting.