Sunday, August 29, 2004

The Last Post (for a while at least).

Bye Bye Byker

Okay this is it.

This is likely to be the last post on Space Hardware for some time. I had originally planned to run this alongside my new blog Our Man in Hanoi, but it has dawned on me that it will be hard enough to find the time to update one blog never mind two.

I've really enjoyed blogging. I started after being inspired by reading Salam Pax's book. I was also greatly moved by Riverbend, another Iraqi blogger.

Since then blogging has become a real passion. For someone like me who spends their life writing information for other people, the chance to write for yourself was very welcome. Each mention by other bloggers was a real compliment. Being mentioned by The Guardian was an incredible thrill.

Fellow bloggers have become almost an extended family. Bob Piper's blog, for example, manages to both entertain and inform. In addition, Bob comes across as a totally decent, principled bloke. In a time when so many of us are attacking the Labour Party, Bob is a real reminder that the Party itself still stands for so much that is good. The fight against war and capitalism is about removing Blair and some of his more Thatcherite cronies - it's not about removing the Labour party.

Peter Gasston also continues to impress me with his blog The Inside of my Head. He's another whose argument and depth of understanding of the issues shames my own shaky grasp on world events.

The there's the Geordie lads at New Links. A bunch of them run the site and they have much to be proud of. They produce a site that is always amusing and always professinally produced. I'm constantly amazed that a group effort can remain so consistent in its quality and output.

Other sites worthy of mention are Bacon Cheese and Oatcakes whose author Lynn championed this site when I was just starting and has herself written some of the most moving words I have ever read on the net. She was also always quick to offer advice when I was still a blog novice.

I've also argued and agreed in equal measures with Gia who writes a superb blog. We all have our favourite blogs and, quite naturally, mine tend to be the ones that I agree with. The fact that Gia winds me up from time to time and I keep coming back, suggests that she is doing something right.

I should also mention Bloggerheads. Bloggerheads is the giant of the UK political blogging scene. It is brilliantly written, hugely ambitious in its intentions and to match this has made a real impact on both other bloggers and the understanding of the power of blogs.

Finally, I wanted to mention a couple of fresh sites because there is always a new kid on the blog (pun courtesy of The Guardian).

I've really enjoyed reading Left a Good job in the City. It's a cracking mix of personal diary, observations, political comment and travel diary. Secondly, while I am away, I will be reading Black and White and Read all Over with interest as it disects the day to day soap opera that is Newcastle United.

From here on in, for the next two years, you'll be able to keep up-to-date with my Vietnam adventures on my new site. I fly out on Thursday and hopefully by this time next week you should be getting my thoughts from Hanoi.

So, as far as Space Hardware is concerned it's a break rather than the end.

As always Billy Bragg says it best:


Never saw a meaningful TV advert
I don’t think shopping is a metaphor for life
Don’t waste my time at the gym in the morning
Try to keep trim by living my life

Wanna feel the wind blowing in my hair
Wanna hear the waves crashing on the beach
I’m not seeking easy answers or inner peace
I’m just looking for some release

I want to help to make the world better
But I can’t do it all on my own
Try to keep the lid on my disappointment
‘Cos cynicism’s such a cop out I know

Watch the shadows of clouds moving on the hill
Open my eyes and drink my fill
On those days that I feel dejected
I come up here for a bit of perspective

Gonna follow the path that climbs up through the trees
Walk along the cliff top and gaze out to sea
I feel free when I come up here
And if it's clear some days I see the point

Hello Hanoi

Love, light and peace,


I saw two shooting stars last night I wished on them but they were only satellites. It's wrong to wish on space hardware. I wish, I wish, I wish you'd care.