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Hurrah! It’s January 2009! The beginning of a whole new year. I think it’s going to be an exciting new year for a number of reasons;

1) I am almost over the stinking cough and cold I picked up in London before Christmas which put a huge dampener on my holiday.

2) I am starting a new job. Yes. Breaking news! I’ve been dying to mention it in public but my clients haven’t been told yet, so keep it under your hat, won’t you? More details of the new company may or may not follow at a later date, depending on their policy on personal blogs, but I can say that the tech PR world is about to become my oyster (Watch out. Tech companies. I’m after you) and the centre of that world will be based in Manchester. Exciting!

3) I don’t have a free weekend until the middle of February. I’m already a social whirlwind.

3) I’m hitting the big 30 this year. I know most people don’t get excited about that birthday, but I’m looking forward to it. Kind of. Plus, in my head, I’m still about 23 so it makes no difference really, except that it’s a good excuse to dress up, go out and be spoiled (Mr Jolucy; take note. I expect to be treated like the Queen for the day). 

Clearly the numbering system I was using has let me down, so I’ll risk it. I’m going to do away with numbering the points and go “freestyle”. Stay with me now. Deep breath. ready?….

I’m also going to make this my year of sport (or Year of Sport). I’ve already entered myself for a 9 mile hill run (stupidly) in March (too soon) which means that I will need to run more than 40 minutes a week between now and then, I suspect. I’m hoping I will be able to complete a half marathon by the end of the year. I’m also planning to finally go and see my ‘local’ team, Sale Sharks play, go and watch a football match, get up to Old Trafford for some cricket and I’ve got a dance weekend coming up in February which I’m looking forward to. I’d quite like to see Andy Murray play as well if we can get tickets. After his performance against Nadal and Federer this week, I’m hoping this could be an exciting year for Andy. It would be great if we can finally have a tennis player to be proud of in the UK.

Also on the ‘to do’ list for this year is to get to the top of some more mountains. Probably including Scafell. I expect that it will involve me swearing and muttering under my ragged, oxygen-starved breath every step of the way, but I will look forward to boring everyone with the photos when I get back down and to the feeling of smugness that comes with climbing things that most people are sensible enough not to bother with.

And, how could I forget? we’re off to Glastonbudget in May. I’m hoping they’ll soon get their website up and running again. They have got a My Space page, but there’s not much info on there and they’ve used the same colour for both the font and the page background, so it’s a bit tricky to read. However, I did see something to indicate that the antarctic monkeys might be playing. hehehe. brilliant. (I’m already offering up prayers to anyone who’ll listen that the weather will be good)

Then we get to go on our honeymoon – 10 days on the Amalfi coast. bliss. I’m planning on doing a large amount of sitting in the sun, with an equally large amount of walking up and down steps/hills whilst I’m there. I also plan to visit Capri – which I think will be horrendous, but too close not to go and see – and we’re going to go and visit Pompeii, which I expect will be creepy in a fascinating way. 

Phew, any that only just gets me half way through the year. I think I’ll take July – December off, have my self a well earned break and let Mr Jolucy worry about paying the mortgage. I’ll just stay home, put up my feet and drink some tea. I’m sure he won’t mind…

Oh, and another reason it’s going to be a good year? I started out dressed as a red indian, and got a refund on our New Year’s Eve event because they ran out of drinks at the bar. How.

I kind of fell on this story today – it wasn’t featured in any news programmes i watched, it wasn’t in any newspapers that I read, It was an RSS feed from the BBC’s tech pages that drew my attention to the fact that a European online library had managed to open and close within the blink of an eye and nearly pass me by completely.

monalisaApparently, the website will include images of paintings, photos, films, books and maps from 1000 museums across Europe. Unfortunately, so many people visited the picture of the Mona Lisa on the site last week that its servers crashed and took it off-line within hours of going live.

Clearly, it’s a pity that the system was not set up to deal with more than 10 million visitors at once. It’s not like we didn’t know that there are more than 10 million people in Europe with internet access, right? plus this site, being one the WORLD wide web, is actually open to anyone in the world who wanted to visit, and that’s DEFINATELY more than 10 million potential visitors…. however. There are two things that really astound me about this story:

1) Enough people knew about this site to crash it.

2) Even Americans knew about this site before me.

Am I just really culturally backwards, or was there no information or promotional activity in the UK to announce the imminent launch of this site? I’m a library member, there hasn’t even been any info in our local library about the site, as far as I could see. I mean, it’s just as well – imagine the chaos that would have occurred if more people had known about the site!

Anyway. I’d like to ask the developers of the Europeana website to get hold of some lottery money and appoint a UK PR company before they go live again in December, because I’m sure I’m not the only person who’d be interested in visiting. I imagine that there might be a student or two out there that would find it helpful for a start….

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