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All about me

Okay, so perhaps not all about me, but if you keep reading you’ll no doubt learn more about me than you ever really wanted to know. This is infact my second attempt at blogging. My first attempt on v1 of rather fortunately fell off the site and got lost in the ether in an unplanned server move. I say “fortunate” as the entire blog consisted of one post. I didn’t have much to say back in those days. In the intervening time though I have become a stroppy cow, with plenty to say about most things. That probably isn’t news to those who know me well though.

Why NeonBlue Dreams? Quite simply because I have a slight obsession with all things neon blue, and just because I liked the sound of it.

Anyways, back onto the subject of me. I was born a fair while ago now, but part of me never grew up, and I fully believe in the Clarks shoes adage of “act your shoe size, not your age”. Life’s too short for being serious all the time.

I work part time in local government; a thankless task, but it gives me a steady income. The rest of the time I do what I really love, and that’s web design and development. The story of how I got into the web design business is a complicated one. I guess it was partly because once I’d tried it, having had an obsession with figuring out how things work from an early age, I needed to know more and more about just how it was done. It was partly also as research for my ongoing novel, and lastly partly as a result of one of my various health problems, when I foolishly volunteered myself to design a site for a voluntary group for deaf people which I was treasurer of at the time. After all, how hard can it be? Version 1 of the site lasted around three weeks on the server before I decided to start again from scratch, and started to learn to do it the proper way – the geeky way.

I was hooked. Whereas before, the computer was something I used for email and browsing the odd site or two, I found myself spending hours at the computer poring over code, which little by little started to make sense to me. Since then I’ve ditched tables layouts and gone all out for CSS, dabbled in JavaScript, ASP, PHP,Coldfusion, and MySQL. Along the way I reacquainted myself with the Open University and got myself certified.

When I’m not at the computer (which is pretty much most of the time), I like reading, writing, and photography (fortunately my cameras focus better than I do).

My novel, “Fallen Angel” is my magnum opus. It started out life way back in my college days, and it’s gone through many a transformation and revision since then. Currently on it’s fifth draft, it’s still waiting for me to get my head together to fill in the gaps. One of these days, when I’ve finished all the research I need to do, and figured out just why those damned characters keep going off and doing just whatever they damned well like without any direction from me, I may actually make some serious progress on it and finish it. In the meantime I write and re-write scenes I’m not entirely happy with, and when the mood takes me I write the odd bit of poetry here and there.

I’ve been blessed with a body that hates me. Health concerns have figured fairly prominently in my life for as long as I can remember. I was born with a mild form of spina bifida which has caused me a variety of problems over the years. In my teens I developed Scheuermann’s disease, which left me with a curvature in my upper spine, and it was around this time I was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia and I now get around with my “wheels”, my wheeled walker, which keeps me upright and has mostly put an end to those rather embarrassing, not to mention dangerous, falls.

Moving on a few years, and after developing tinnitus and some hearing loss, I was eventually diagnosed with Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH), which is similar to hydrocephalus, which has affected my vision – my vision is poor at times and I have lost most of my peripheral vision – my hearing, and my balance to name but a few of it’s effects. I have two shunts (one active and one not) that drain excess cerebrospinal fluid that my body produces too much of/doesn’t drain enough of, and I’m unfortunately a rather frequent visitor to Sheffield’s Hallamshire hospital neurosurgery wards.

After I developed a DVT after my second attempt at brain surgery (they weren’t sure they’d found it the first time) I was diagnosed with a hereditary clotting disorder, Factor V Leiden thrombophillia (the ‘V’ is five, referring to the clotting factor in the blood, Factor 5) which means I have “sticky blood”, which basically means I have a higher chance than “normal” people of developing clots, and I’ve had a number of “scares” when I’ve had DVT-type symptoms. After my DVT I was treated with warfarin for 6 months, but then in August 2007, totally out of the blue, I developed a potentially fatal pulmonary embolism, and I’m now on warfarin for life.

So, in a nutshell, that’s me. All the above explains why I passionately believe in web accessibility, why I have a slightly weird sense of humour, and why I believe that life’s too short for doing the sensible thing all the time. “Living on the edge”, as the tagline says, is what I do – living on the edge of what my body allows me to do, living on the edge of doing the sensible thing, living on the edge of the fictional world in my head and looking in, and living on the edge of sanity.

That’s me, and this is my blog. I hope you enjoy my assorted ramblings.

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