It looks like a purple people eater to me…

I’ve been in London for exactly one year and one week now, and it’s been an interesting ride.

It all started 388 days ago when I had an interview with Mintel, a market intelligence company based in the Barbican. They liked me, and decided to hire me - asking if I could start in a couple of weeks. I said yes, thinking that this would be plenty of time to get a place in a flat sorted out in a brand new city that I’d never really been to before. I was fresh out of university, brimming with boyish glee and enthusiasm and the world was my oyster. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to find anywhere to live before I started my new job. Thankfully, however, I had a friend living down in London who was happy to put me up in his flat, so for my first three weeks in London I slept on a pull-out sofa and I trudged out every evening to look at flats that Becca and I could afford. In the end we managed to find a nice little place overlooking Goldsmith’s University in the South East of London that just about fitted our budget.

For the first couple of months down here things were quite tight financially; Becca was doing temporary work where she could find it, and there were lots of things we had to buy for our new flat. It was the first place that we’d ever lived that was just the two of us, and there was a lot to do. Come february, and Becca got herself a full-time job at Borders and everything started looking rosy. Well, apart from the fact that her hours and mine no longer coincided and we ended up seeing a lot less of each other. Still, you have to go through these things, don’t you?

I was enjoying my time at Mintel. I got to look after a couple of internal projects from start to finish, and they sent me off to @media where I got to chat to lots of groovy people who I’d previously only spoken to online. It was a good place to work, and I was enjoying myself there, although it sometimes felt like I was paddling my canoe through quicksand when I tried to get things done “the right way”.

Then, out of the blue, I was contacted by Stuart Colville, who asked if I’d be interested in passing my CV on to the chaps at Yahoo!. I said yes, and I few days later I ended up speaking to Norm on the phone, getting a gentle grilling about various facets of web development. A week or so, and what seemed like a few hundred different interviews later, I received another phonecall - this time offering me a job!

So, here I am, a month into my new job at Yahoo!, and it’s good. Becca works just round the corner from me (now in Borders’ head office), so I get to see her lots for lunch, and I work with a great bunch of people. Life is good.

(Incidentally, the title of this blog post is taken from the Sheb Wooley song “Purple People Eater”, which was #1 in the charts for six weeks in 1958. So now you know.)

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comments (3) | write a comment | permalink | View blog reactions


  1. by George isa Saalabi on November 12, 2006 08:42 PM

    Hey Man, George isa Saalabi here in L.A. Kudos to you for sticking it out in London (will be moving there myself next year) and for working your way into Yahoo - though it sounds like you were in pretty hot demand.

    My first year in L.A. was about the same - tough and expensive. But that passes and once we’re in the groove everything works itself out. My brother, Jorel isa Saalabi travels to Stroud for work a few times a year and my sister-in-law Lorraine isa Saalabi is in London about four times annually for work as well.

    Anyway, best of luck to you and congrats on the Yahoo gig!

    George “Pacman” isa Saalabi, L.A. (IT freak)

  2. by John Beisley on November 15, 2006 10:15 PM

    Nice to hear how well things are going now. I don’t think you’ve said that you’ve moved yet, but either way I wish you both all the best with that when it comes :)

  3. by Kasey on January 23, 2007 12:49 AM

    I’d like to echo the comments of George isa Saalabi and John Beisley. I love London, one of the best cities in the world, such character and vibrancy.

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about wwm is a resource for web developers created by Neil Crosby, a web developer who lives and works in London, England. More about the site.

Neil Crosby now blogs at The Code Train and also runs, The Ten Word Review and Everything is Rubbish.