The End of the Beginning


When I first came here, it was not love at first sight. There was no instant click, no immediate sense of belonging; only a sense of tentativeness.The call that set it all off had come out of the blue one Tuesday afternoon, from a Manager I didn’t work for directly. My first response was to email the guy I actually did work for – he took a day and a half to get back to me – by which time the moving train had gathered speed. After less than three months back at the mother lode, following a six month stint sequestered in a client office,  I was on the move again.

There was the small matter of a mini interview to navigate before all that -which I managed alright at. And then there was the settling in, to a different, less organised way of working, and new people to meet on both sides of the fence.

That little exchange at the start of everything would end up setting the tone for everything other thing that would happen over the course of the next three years (and counting) – the sense of being kept at arms length, doing my own thing as long as the coffers at the mother lode kept swelling due to my endeavours.

There have been good memories – the banter which went a tad too far more often than not, the introduction to G&Ts (the gentleman’s brew), team lunches and the three or four truly great work mates I made. There were near escapes too – Azerbaijan came calling, as did Nigeria (a few times). By and large one survived, and dare I say left an impact – delivering  on the job under pressure at times in a way that drew grudging respect from more than a few people.

For the last time today, the taps were turned off on the little corner of the North Sea I have been the resident rustgeek for. I never forged the sort of bond with M as I did with UX5 from a few years ago, nevertheless there is the sense of loss and beyond that the question of what the next big challenge will be.

It certainly is not the end, more like the end of the beginning as Churchill once famously said, but for me it feels only natural to pause and ponder what the next move will be. There are a number of design sized gaps in my resume which this natural juncture feels like a good time to begin to seek ways to plug.

The ideal next role? London or it’s environs, focused on subsea and pipelines and with loads of ‘core’ corrosion and materials content. The last five years have been spent largely in an Inspection and Asset Integrity role to the detriment of the more technical, M&C skill areas .

What is not in doubt is the certainty of uncertainty. The next move will not be sudden – there is yet some life left in the old dog that is M. And wherever one ends up, there will be new memories.