It might seem a bit egotistical, but I thought I would note down some of the things I’ve done that I’m proud of. I think every person should do this, there’s nothing wrong with it. Over my career I’ve done quite a lot of interesting and exciting things, and hope to do lots more in the future. Some things haven’t gone so well but that’s part of life. We can’t be successful in everything.
Achievement no. 1 – Turning a ‘hobby’ into part of my career.
I turned my talent in photography into a major part of my freelance career and have done many exciting things with it.
Achievement no. 2 – My aidan.co.uk site, online since 1997
My aidan.co.uk site is an achievement in itself. It’s been online since 1997, that’s when I registered the domain. I relaunched it as a database site in 2003 using a content management system which I designed, commissioned and maintain myself using html, CSS and PHP. In 2015 I relaunched the aidan.co.uk site again with a new WordPress site. The old site and Eyewitness in Manchester run side by side with the new one..
Achievement no. 3 – Producing the first independently run news website from Manchester
I produced Eyewitness in Manchester, the first regularly updated website from Manchester with news, features and lots of photography. It was part of Manchester Online, the original Manchester Evening News site, and is now archived on my aidan.co.uk site.
Achievement no. 4 – Writing the Q&A pages for a new photo magazine.
Between 2002 and 2004, I wrote the first I wrote the question pages in the first 27 issues of Digital Camera Magazine from Future Publishing. It was a very intense and demanding commission and after just over 2 years I decided it was time to give it up to concentrate on other projects.
Achievement no 5 – Creating the biggest ever photocollage of Manchester
In 2008 I created the largest photo collage of Manchester, Manchester mega photo that was displayed in the foyer of the Urbis museum. It measured 27 feet wide by 8 feet high, that’s 8m x 4m, and was on show from July 2008 until April 2009. It was a favourite with visitors young and old and was a great educational value.
Achievement no 6 – Helping many students to achieve in languages
I have tutored many students and helped them to achieve high grades in in their exams and tests, including one who went from D to A*. With my help other students have passed tests that they had previously failed.
Achievement no 7 – Learning German at school and taking it to near native speaker level
I started learning German at school age 15 and have reached a very high standard in it. I can understand 100% and can speak fluently with virtually no accent and with a high degree of accuracy. That’s an achievement that I’m very proud of.
Achievement no 8 – Completing a full length fiction project and publishing it.
One of my most recent achievements is finishing a coming-of-age Anglo-Chinese novel inspired by astronomy and science. It’s called Stargirl of the Edge and is to be published in 2015. They say everyone has a novel in them but most people don’t write theirs. I wrote mine.
Achievement no 9 – BA Honours Degree from Trinity College Dublin – Grade 2.1
I’m proud of my BA Honours degree from Trinity College Dublin in German and French in which I achieved an ‘Upper Second’ or 2.1. That took work and dedication.
Achievement no. 10 – My translations from German used in books and brochures.
I have done a number of translations for German artists and photographers. They have appeared exhibition catalogues and books and have achieved positive appraisal.
Achievement no 11 – Making use of my abilities in music
I’m proud of my achievements in music. I did grade 8 piano as a child and I play guitar and keyboards. I produced the music for my short film and occasionally make music when the need arises. I appreciate and am inspired by all kinds of music.
Achievement no 12 – My column in the Manchester Evening News
In 2014 I was invited to produce a weekly feature with photos and editorial for the Manchester Evening News. It’s the largest circulation of any evening newspaper outside London. I have produced the column every week with photos and editorial and have had good feedback.
Achievement no. 13 – Making a short film drama.
In 2011 I made a 19 minute short film called The Train to Funky Island. It’s set in my local area and it is of great educational value. I have used it for teaching English language, and some of my classes have applauded after watching it. It’s not available online, only in classes and private screenings.
Achievement no. 14 – Producing the ‘now’ photos for five Then and Now books
Between 2010 and 2012 I took the ‘now’ photos for five Then and Now books published by Anova Books as part of their Batsford series. I have done Manchester, Manchester United, Liverpool, Glasgow and Birmingham.
So that’s it for now! There are more achievements in the future which I hope to add to the list, but for now, that’s it.