This New Year’s Eve I am celebrating the end of my third year as a freelancer.
I started in South America where I would write three features a month, doing interviews at all sorts of hours of the day. I once called London at 3am from Uyuni, Bolivia because it was the only time I could guarantee the internet would work, as during the day the WIFI was usually congested by other travellers. (I did have to request at the reception that they didn’t turn it off overnight, which they reluctantly agreed to.) Such was my paranoia about internet access in South America, my husband always joked that instead of asking about the local sights, the first thing I’d question hotel staff and other travellers about was how well the WIFI worked.
When I landed back in London in 2016, I was full of trepidation. I was technically unemployed and I didn’t know whether to try and get a job or continue to build up my freelancing work. In the end, the decision was made for me. As soon as past contacts found out I was looking for work they offered me some. I spent those first few months working from a makeshift desk fashioned from two filing cabinets and taped-together spare wood flooring in the only spot in my mother-in-law’s bedroom that had internet access. The work continued to grow and grow and I eventually started working from my late grandad’s antique desk in my own office.
Three years on, I’m still enjoying it and I’m now back working like a nomad, exiled to the living room dining table and local coffee shops, as I give up my office for a nursery.
When I had a baby I was worried I’d lose work and my independence, but once again, as I have experienced, with the right support, determination and passion you can usually make things work.
So, thank you to all those editors who took a chance on me in the early days and to those who still work with me now and to my family who has always supported me in everything I do. Special kudos to my husband who gets the best and the worst of me, every-single-day!
Here’s to the next year doing what and being with who we love.
Below are some work highlights from 2019.
These last few years, I’ve been writing lots about the huge changes occurring in the energy system due to decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitisation. This article for Raconteur covers the emerging ‘energy-as-a-service’ business model that will likely feature heavily in the future energy ecosystem.
In this article for MINE Magazine, I examine corporate liability and responsible mining, a subject that continues to be ever more relevant and of huge interest to me.
At the beginning of the year for E&T magazine’s special quantum focused edition, I wrote four features exploring the fascinating world of quantum. Here I interview the experimental particle physicist Maria Spiropulu on the quantum internet she is trying to build along with her colleagues.
Plastic came under increased scrutiny this year, but in this feature, also for E&T magazine, I look at why all plastic isn’t all bad.
Finally, after benefitting from new laws introduced in 2015 that allows men to take paid leave when they have a baby, I wrote this article for Open Democracy about why the laws need to be improved so more men can make use of them.