Main menu

Life's a bitch

Submitted by: MikeC (Admin) on 19-Oct-09 04:04:24 PM

When lost one needs answersSpent most of this morning writing emails apologising for my lack of “presence” over the last few weeks. Thought I might do the same here for the benefit of RSS subscribers too.

Life’s been a bit shitty, truth be told.

My partner fell pregnant last month. When she presented herself for her first scan, something wasn’t quite right. The hospital suspected a blighted ovum (where the sac develops but the foetus doesn’t, basically), but only a second scan a week later would confirm.

A week later, on that appointed day, at 5am, our collective suspicions were more or less confirmed after her “waters broke”, if that’s the right phrase (I'll spare you the graphicals).

It was a terrible time, I can’t tell you. The emotional rollercoaster that I, as a man, underwent was beyond compare. The feeling of utter helplessness cripples and cuts deep.

For her: well, as a man, I cannot possibly even feebly begin to imagine. For me it was all “in the head”; for her it’s actually happening to her body, and head.

We resigned ourselves to the inevitable. Our only solace was knowing it was nothing we had done, and that some decisions we might have faced were stolen from us, thankfully; others, not so.

Another week passed. This time the hospital announced there was definitely no sign of life at all; but no miscarriage had taken place either - a ‘missed miscarriage’, we were told.

Two days later and she’s in again to “evacuate products of conception”. A charming description befitting our inhuman consumerist age, I thought.

During this period, to top it all off, a close childhood friend died at work – heart attack.

Cue funeral. Great!

There was also a kick-off in the Home Inspector Forum (HIF) I had to deal with. I must admit, though, it was a “welcome” distraction in a masochistic kind of way; albeit, we lost a member (but hopefully kept more).

The future

All this obviously leaves one thinking: what next?

Even the mere prospect of having a child forces a change to one’s thinking about the future direction of life - blogging (here) and modding (the HIF) would have defo taken a knock for a start!

Now, I’m left wondering if I should continue doing this at all.

On the one hand, I think this blog might have served it’s purpose: the industry is now up and running; the terrible turbulent times of its inception largely behind us.

The blog is nearly three years old now. It has been a (self-funded) labour of love, borne from a desire to provide some kind of help to the many thousands of DEAs who poured into the industry knowing nothing, when there was very little information about.

I know the website has been a source of help, news and info to all levels of industry and Govt (and a certain University too, I believe!) - I am proud of that.

But it has largely been your encouragement and feedback that helped spur me on to keep going. I thank you for that; it really helped pick me up during times when I questioned my efforts.

On the other hand, I hear from people who miss the podcasts, for instance, and feel there’s a real need for a news platform.

I agree. There is currently no “official”, adequately-resourced, journalistic medium providing news, comment and analysis to all levels of both this industry and others allied to it, including Govt. I have tried my best but I am on my own, and sometimes the work needed to do something justice just isn’t viable. Plus I’m no trained journo either!

I’ve spoken to a couple of accred schemes and they agreed there’s a desperate need too - It’s difficult staying on top of gossip and events when news is scattered in so many places, if at all - and some of it is important.

Every industry needs its “thought leaders”, and this one is no exception. They are out there, IMO, but there is nowhere their voice can be heard; apart from the HIF, that is, but it can get quite noisy in there and some feel intimidated by it.

A neutral platform to cross-pollinate ideas without the noise; to provide analysis of trends, new developments, and, informed analysis of emerging legislation and industry practices, from the people who know. This is all missing, yet it forms the glue that binds an industry together.

Before the pregnancy I looked at the feasibility of introducing two 30-second radio-type advert slots into the podcasts to fund a potential relaunch (podcasts are the most expensive part of this website).

I approached two companies: one thought it might “harm” the brand/integrity of the podcasts (which I respect and worry about myself); the other expressed positive interest.

Maybe I should approach more companies (do contact me if you’re interested) but it’s not just about money, it’s also about participation generally…

I would dearly love, for instance, to have the likes of Elmhurst, ECMK and the RICS, et al, involved in the conversation – I know the industry wants to hear more from them, too.

But I have to confess, the channels of communication are difficult to navigate with the above. Maybe that’s how they like it; maybe it’s my approach. But I have to say, if you are reading, if you are not in the conversation you’re losing mind-share, IMO. It’s time you reached out, put something back into the community - you are a fundamental part of it, after all. 

Anyway, I’m rambling on.

I’m still in a state of flux as to what should become of this website. I think I’m ready for a fresh new challenge, to be honest. But whether that is within the industry, ramping things up to launch some kind of news publication (I don’t even know if I’m capable to be honest, but I sure would get involved if someone was looking for help), or completely out of it, I don’t know.

It's not the end, it's just a change.

This has been a brain-dump. Thank you for reading (if you still are).

Get listed on the DEA locater - FREE!

Posts: 7
Good to hear from you
Reply #1 on : Mon October 19, 2009, 19:12:10
Hi Mike,

Thanks again for putting pen to paper and expressing your thoughts about what has quite clearly been a time out of your comfort zone. Over the last couple of years I have also experienced the kind of thoughts you have experienced to what feels like a spectator to the incomprehensible feelings, both physically and mentally, a female partner goes through. There are no words that anyone can say that helps when in that situation.

I have often commented to you and publicly how useful both your website and podcast have been to me as a DEA, real life discussion not just from industry service providers but also from DEAs on the front line. Quite often the podcasts did not portray the life we had expected as assessors but they were comforting if only to ensure that we were all in the same boat. They have also given useful tips for us all to try, I for one needed that as this was my first business and found myself needing ideas to push my business forward.

You are bang on that there isn't a dedicated news outlet for the industry. There are plenty of blogs out there, and many of them offer great content but the reason I follow yours and listened to the podcasts was that they were from an independent eye, you looking in, finding out information and adding discussion about an industry that you don't work in, that adds a lot of weight to your comments.

Why I totally understand your reasons for seeking a fresh challenge I totally believe that there is a need and will always be a need for the content that you offer. Next year, Election Year, will be a very interesting year for energy assessors, trying to understand and build and maintain a business with quite possibly a different governments plans. Also we should see EPBD2 and how will that effect energy assessors and the governments plans for implementation. Lastly not forgetting the information you provide regarding green issues, education education education has to be the way forward for people to really understand what we shall have to deal with now and in the future.

Regarding the podacasts I think it is reasonable to expect the presenter and producer to receive some remuneration for the time and effort they must take, I for one would not be put off listening should there be a commercial break!

Obviously this is a decision that you will take for your own reasons but would just like to say thanks personally for the information you have provided for me and for your time and efforts in this industry.

Cheers Buddy

Dan Walters

Posts: 7
Re: Life's a bitch
Reply #2 on : Mon October 19, 2009, 21:33:04
Mike, sorry for your loss, its always terrible.

You'll know from my email address who I am. You've helped me a lot in the past and I've always read your blog and podcasts. I know you are one of the genuine ones and the industry would be poorer without you, I hope you reconsider. Thanks for everything.

Posts: 7
Re: Life's a bitch
Reply #3 on : Tue October 20, 2009, 10:01:33
I agree with Dan and Harry and hope you find a way to keep this going, this is the only place i dont read vested interests hyping stories to make them or the industry look good, its wart and all.

Will you remove the directory? i hope not because it has been good for me, well better than my website lol

Posts: 7
Life's a bitch (then it gets better)
Reply #4 on : Tue October 20, 2009, 15:25:25
I am sorry to hear of you and your partners loss. I like your other readers look forward to getting independant comment about our troubled industry and hope that you may have the time to carry on with this very informative and intresting blog.
I look forward to reading it.

Posts: 7
Re: Life's a bitch
Reply #5 on : Wed October 21, 2009, 22:26:51
I'm lucky to be busy but I try to pop here once a wekk / fortnight because it gives me a good overview of whats happening in one place.

I appreciate your efforts you have done a marvelous job but I understand how your feeling (we lost a baby last year). You must do whats right for you but I would definatly miss it.
Posts: 2
Re: Life's a bitch
Reply #6 on : Thu October 22, 2009, 15:26:48
Thank you all for your kind words, I'm quite touched - in fact, blown away :) I've had phone calls, emails and "tweets" too.

@Dan: You're right, next year will be an interesting time - I hadn't quite thought that far. Thanks for your thoughts and comments (and coming on the podcast ;) )

@(Prince) Harry: Good to hear from you again. Hope you're well.

@Dave: I've not decided yet. I'm still posting blogs (two today) but even if I do run away, I don't intend removing the website any time soon (God that would be hard for me to do after all the work).

@Alan: Thank you Alan; means a lot :)

Posts: 7
Re: Life's a bitch
Reply #7 on : Fri October 23, 2009, 10:42:57
Sorry for your loss. Keep up the good work

Posts: 7
Re: Life's a bitch
Reply #8 on : Sat October 24, 2009, 13:44:22
My prayers are with you both Mike.

I echo everyones comments here. As far as I'm concerned you are the only person that has tried to pull this industry together with some success. You have been with us from the start and have brought together people from all corners of the industry through your podcasts (bring them back, I wont mind adverts) and blogs which I have learned a lot from.....

I remember you spent months badgering all the accreditation schemes to explain the cpd mess early on and putting their answers on here. It seems so long ago but was a real worry at the time.

We need someone like you to represent our industry, you would certainly have my vote.

Wishing you the best in whatever you do.
Posts: 2
Re: Life's a bitch
Reply #9 on : Sat October 24, 2009, 15:05:42
Blady hell, Steve! And you should go into PR! ;)

Thank you very much [blush].

Blog Posts



Stay informed - no email required.

RSS Feed

What is RSS?

Join in
Twitter feed

Recent Podcasts

Just for fun: Cock-ups & Highlights - Mashup
From the cutting-room floor

31: DEA Roundtable 3: Get rid of "low-life scum"!
John Semens and Malcolm Scott

30: Quest Associates: Software, EPCs, HIPs and chat
Tom Parker, Colin Blears and Liam Parker

29: ProDEA: Passion, pin-ups and pro-activity
What's so different about ProDEA then?

28: Northgate Accreditation Scheme: Russell Osborne
Domestic Energy Assessors welcome

More: DEA podcasts

Recent Articles: