When did it start? Well, one answer, one of the simple ones, is that it started at the end of September 1965, thirty-seven years ago this Friday.
While this answer is correct, it isn't much help.
When did it start? Well, a slightly more helpful answer points at the time I went to University at the end of September 1984, eighteen years ago. This was the time I first gained decent access to the Internet, the time I really started to learn what made me tick. I did various things for the first time at University -- the sort of things that people do for the first time at about that age, and some others. One day I found Greta and The Great Hall on a newsgroup, and very quickly the Journal Entries became my favourite fiction. I read other stories in the series, learning and trying as I went.
When did it start? Well, I'd met Anne sometime in 1982 or 83, when she was still married. She separated in about 89, divorced in about 91. We started
And then she died. Everything stopped. September 2001 was grim. She felt a bit odd on the 1st, died on the 5th. On September 11th I was meeting with the Minister, planning the funeral, and I came out of his house, got in the car, turned the radio on, and learnt the difference between tragedy retail and tragedy wholesale. The funeral was good, though.
And then this September. When did it start, and why did I use the expression "life-altering" in the title of this post?
It started here, two full days before the month started, a post which included as a throwaway final line "perhaps I should buy some leather".
The last day of August was flick's birthday drinks, when I gave her a little present and her reaction to the gift prompted this post, the first post of this month.
The fifth came, the anniversary of Anne's death. A difficult day which resulted in two posts, here and here. That night, being the first Thursday in the month, there was a pub meeting for SF fans in London: you can read about how I got on here.
Then, following a mini-convention in Cornwall, I went to Scotland for a few days, to take Anne's ashes back home and scatter them near the village in which she grew up. The drive was difficult, and talking was sometimes hard and sometimes easy. In Crail there was a job which needed doing, which I thought would be difficult for me, but which in the end turned out to be just right.
And the weekend after next I'm off to Torture Garden for the night, and I can try the things I was doing when I was twenty all over again. It'll be like coming home.