method to the madness

To say the plot has thickened would be a quaint British understatement; to say it has curdled and become a load bearing structure would still be short of the mark.

For those of you who have followed our travails over the past year, there will be a sense of foreboding that I should like to put to rest at once: in a literary device perfected by Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy I can confirm that your heroes survive the impending nuclear missile attack with no injuries other than a bruised upper arm. I trust you now feel reassured, but not unlike the bowl of petunias whose final thought was “oh no, not again”.

Since I was fortunate enough to be offered a job with NBC Universal in London, Nancy and I have been engineering a strategy for Nancy to pursue her career in London, consolidate our lives here again and rent our house in DC, since the current market makes selling it financial suicide. So I returned to DC over Christmas and New Year to pack up the house and arrange the rental process while Nancy moved her contract to the UK to allow her to continue her work with Antenna from the London office.

Sadly the last round of cuts at Antenna saw her position made redundant and, while she was interested to explore other opportunities within a company that we have both loved and enjoyed working with for the past seven years, losing oversight of the new product development process was a tough blow.

But as we took stock of our belongings and planned the shipping process, an unexpected series of events unfolded:

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has been looking to fill the position of Head of New Media Initiatives since January 2007. Being a federal institution its budget requires an act of Congress to approve, and the 2007 budget was part of the bill including the contentious additional funding for the Iraq war. The Smithsonian was optimistic enough to undertake a hiring process toward the end of 2007 and although keen for Nancy to come on board there was no way to know when or even if this would be possible. As December progressed and we got closer to our move date, Nancy and I realised it was unlikely to come to fruition and we had better make the planned move and make the most of London once again.

On Dec 24th however Congress approved the budget, Bush signed it into law the last week o the year and 3 hours before Nancy boarded a plane for London on January 6th, the Smithsonian confirmed her appointment and start date. The job is an amazing opportunity for her and a perfect fit: the culmination of her academic and business experience and an opportunity rarer than hen’s teeth to pursue her interests in museum interpretation and technology. So it is an opportunity she must take and though a difficult decision for us personally as I am now based in the UK one that I support entirely.

For much of last year it was hard to feel that the move to DC had been the right thing to do, but with Nancy’s move to the Smithsonian, the fragments suddenly snap into place and the picture into focus.

Leave a Reply