Goodbye London my Old Friend
I was born in North London and grew up there apart from a few times when I moved about 10 minutes drive away from my hometown and just past the M25. Other than that I have always considered myself a Londoner born and bred. I had worked various jobs in and around Central London and even participated in the endurance test every morning and evening, five days a week that is known to most as the commute to work. Nothing will infuriate you more than London trains and the quest to squeeze as many people into them.
In 2012 a time that should have been a proud moment for us Londoners with the Olympics, after all, we had paid enough for it through our elevated council tax, but alas, it wasn't. This was the year that the looting and riots kicked off around the United Kingdom, mainly in and around London and especially North London, my home. It was a sad time and whilst I was commuting into and from work eating up fours hours every day I was leaving my family in the chaos that was our hometown of Enfield. Enough was enough. We started making plans to move our family elsewhere as the gang violence along with knife and gun crime was rising and with four boys this wasn't something we were willing to risk.
Rewind a year from now and we were just in the process of moving to Peterborough. Why Peterborough? So many people from this area have said this to me.
" Why on Earth did you move from London to Peterborough?!?! "
Well, the paragraphs above are just scratching the surface of the reasons why we moved out. The reasons for moving in to Peterborough though were mainly due to the rich history and the cost of living (especially house prices) along with the fact that Peterborough is one of the fastest growing cities in the UK. Jobs are also widely available for the boys and the web / digital community seems a great deal more pleasant also. It also has some stunning architecture along with many modern new builds and seems to have a great deal of focus on the environment also, with many new houses being Eco-buildings. I have never seen so many solar panels on houses in my life and in the distance you can usually see Wind Farms.
The Future of Suljam (our Business)
In London, we always struggled to get the Suljam business off the ground. Work was too few and far between and money was always an issue especially with the extortionate cost of rent. Networking seems futile at best and every success was usually greeted with a failure or high cost creeping around the corner. Don't get me wrong, there is a huge amount of success to be found in the big city, I was just growing tired and weary trying to maintain a startup along with providing for a family of six.
So upon setting up in Peterborough I instantly checked Meetup for any like minded folks in groups to start making friends. I came across a group called DPiP which describes itself as:
DPiP is about collaborative knowledge sharing and engagement through digital technology. Informal social gatherings for anyone working or interested in the digital content. Monthly meetings held in central Peterborough on the first Wednesday of every month. Non-profit free social event and open to all.
This sounded perfect, to top it all it was held in a coffee shop also! To hit the ground running, get noticed and make new friends I even volunteered to perform a talk also in April 2016 which was called:
"The Futile Quest for Perfection" – The best route to finding the "nearest to perfection" in your design – Suleiman Leadbitter
From this group of wonderful leaders and it's awesome members I have branched out and managed to meet such inspirational people, myself and my family have also participated in a vast number of outstanding workshops and activities including the Raspberry Pi Jam among others. This group has been the truest definition of 'community' in the digital field that I have ever encountered. For this I am grateful.
Since the Geeks at DPiP have now become used to me and have (sort of) excepted me into their clan I have now become part of the team for the very exciting STEM Festival that they are organising for this Autumn. A huge FREE Festival encompassing:
If you are close by, please sign up and join in at Peterborough STEM Festival 2016 on the date to have fun and show your support whilst also having the greatest time.
We as a family have no idea if we will stay in Peterborough long term but at the moment everything seems to be superb and that is what matters. The positivity that we have encountered has been paramount in us staying and loving our lives here. We are looking forward to the future with the education of our children and the business all growing over the next few years. We have a set number of goals we aim to complete and aim to make this work. We have been given a wonderful opportunity and are incredibly thankful, so God willing we make these next few years some of the greatest so far.