|Nickname:||Moosical or Moo|
|Husband||Dave Lee (since 15th December 2001)|
|Children||Amy, Cara & Alex|
|Occupation||Social Value Advisor|
|Hobbies||Podcasting, Art, Writing, Walking, Lifelong learning|
|Favourite Colours||Yellow, Orange, Purple, Pink|
|Favourite Meals||Veggie Stir Fry, Veggie Omelette, Pesto Pasta, Veggie Pasta Bake|
|Favourite Drinks||Tea (Milky), Pepsi Max, Sparkling Water|
|Favourite Quote||“The only way to stay sane is to go a little crazy.” Susanna Kaysen|
A potted history of my life online
I have been online since 1997. I remember the early days of dial-up modems. I spent the early days on Usenet then IRC, mainly #Freeteens, #Shadowlands and #Gayukladz (supporting my friend Shaun and making some long-lasting friends in the process)and #UKPlus to name but a few. I remember ICQ and that welcome ‘eh-oh’ whenever there was a new message. I also spent many years on Livejournal, I was the 3,713th user, back when it was run by Brad Fitzpatrick and I remember becoming a permanent account in order to help Brad with some funds. I don’t use it much now, but I still have a lifetime of memories on there. From the early days with Dave (davelee.uk / thelovebug.org), getting engaged, getting married, pregnancy with Amy, then Cara then Alex and all of their birth stories Then there are the memories shared with others, seeing other friends get married, have children, get jobs, lose jobs, move house, move countries, have health difficulties, celebrate achievements, there are so many events that will stay with me for life. There are now over 50 million journals on there now and thankfully I have retained many of the friendships I forged on there, as many joined Facebook as that grew in popularity too.
I remember with great fondness the IRC meets in Sheffield and London and I am so pleased to still count many of the people from the early days as friends to this day. I have spent half of my life online and it’s odd to think that my children have never known a time when the net has been here. They’ll never understand the struggle of how slow it could be to connect to the internet or how long it took to send a single MP3 file. Nor will they marvel at the excitement of having a zip drive and reader so you could save a whopping 250MB of data as opposed to the 1.44MB on a floppy disk.
I can’t remember a time when I haven’t had some sort of presence online. I’ve owned the domain name lil-miss-moo.org for over 20 years now (It’s well out of date and needs updating though . For 8 years we ran a web design and development company called Moobug. We never did a big advertising push, but helped a number of people and was pretty pleased with what we achieved.
I’m still active on line to this day. I’m active on Facebook and Twitter, I still use IRC occasionally (#thebugcast on freenode). I have a couple of other domains. This one, carolinelee.co.uk and wdcd.uk which I need to get sorted really.
We have a podcast thebugcast.org that we record live every Friday night and have done for well over 12 years. Featuring 8 fabulous tracks, most of which are creative commons licensed. We also do a weekly show, Uncharted with Dave and Caroline, featuring around 6 tracks for 2 artists, for a local radio station DN12Live. This has been fabulous to be able to revisit artists we’ve loved over the years.
I’m very active with my art and take part in regular prompts with groups such as Coronart, Promptmyweek and Global Weekly Art Challenge on Facebook. I post most of it on Instagram (theinstamoo).
I’m on most of the socials too both for myself and for work. Over the years the internet has changed vastly and all of our children are fairly IT literate, though we’ve imposed some safety mechanisms and made them wait to be the right age for various platforms and the girls have their own domain names should they wish to use them in the future. We’re also introducing them to the more geekier side. They’ve been to a few OggCamps and they’ve played with the BBC Microbit and used sites such as Hour of Code.
I think the internet will be a much bigger part of our children’s life and we’ve worked hard to empower them to navigate it safely and will be interesting to see how it changes further.
Now a days, due to the covid-19 pandemic, the internet is more important than every before. Online shopping, Zoom or Microsoft Team calls and remote working are all in vogue and whilst I can see some things changing or easing when life gets back to normal (or the new normal) in the future, it’s always good to keep up with it all.
A potted history of my life
I was born in Lanarkshire in Scotland. I grew up in a small mining town called Conisbrough, in Doncaster, from the age of 13 months by extended family, who have been my parents since that time. During my childhood I actually loved school, I have always been an avid reader. I enjoyed learning music at an early age. Descant recorder, Treble recorder, Cornet, Tenor Horn, Alto Saxophone. I took part in music exchange projects in France and in the UK, took many theory and practical tests and performed at many events. I used to also be a dancer: ballet, tap, disco and stage and won many medals and a trophy. I remember having to have my nose cauterised due to having nosebleeds and I had not long since come out of the hospital and was gutted not to be able to take part in an event. I was allowed to go as long as I sat in the audience, but instead, I spent the whole evening doing the dances at the side. I also swam regularly as part of a club. My swimming coach was Alan Blessed (little brother to Brian Blessed).
My health wasn’t great when I was younger, I had a close call with whooping cough at an early age (due to missing immunisations from my early years). I developed asthma in my early teens, ended up getting bronchitis 2 – 3 times a year, which made me very poorly and I had debilitating migraines for many years. I also ended up with a bad knee, which still bothers me to this day. Ironically my migraines, asthma and knee problems eased off a little after I got pregnant with our first daughter Amy and fortunately I stopped getting bronchitis too!
I did pretty well at school. I didn’t get the best results, but I got good ones. I went to college, I did a GNVQ Advanced in business and was absolutely convinced that business was my best subject and that’s what I was destined to do, until, at the start of the second year a tutor was training to teach IT and needed some test students. I was introduced to Dos, Windows 3.1, word processing and spreadsheets and suddenly I realised I really enjoyed the IT stuff and went to university to do a Bsc Hons in Business Information Systems, which mixed the two.
I met Dave whilst I was at uni and we were in a long-distance relationship during the last couple of years in uni, we were engaged within 7months, but got married a few months after I graduated and moved down to live with Dave in Slough. My first job was in London (Hammersmith, then Chiswick). Then I worked for Yell, through a contract company called Getronics, first on their helpdesk, then a year-long project to upgrade their call logging software and then as problem manager. We always knew we wanted kids, but we had a few difficulties initially. I had a miscarriage (unplanned pregnancy), which knocked us a little and I had difficulties with my periods after stopping contraception so it took us about 10 months of trying before we gave up trying to get pregnant with Amy. Initially a straight forward pregnancy, but later I developed a condition called obstetric cholestasis, where the pregnancy hormones effectively stopped my liver from working and I had to have her a couple of weeks early.
Moving up north I went to work for capital one in Nottingham, when not too long after Amy was born, we got the opportunity to move back up north. We had our second daughter, Cara just over 9 months after moving into our home up here. I worked for a few years at a wonderful community art centre called darts. We had Alex about 5 years after Cara and not long after that I got a new role with a DPULO (Disabled People User Led Organisation) called Sycil (now Live Inclusive) for a project called Silver Lining Connect, using digital technology like social media to combat social isolation. I then returned back to working full time by joining Efficiency North, initially as a social value co-ordinator, but then Social value advisor, helping construction companies across Yorkshire and Humber to fulfil their social value obligations by taking on apprentices and ensuring it’s reported to our member landlords. For a while, I helped with the charity, but my focus is now more on the apprentice side and encouraging the use of our award-winning shared Apprenticeship Service EN:Able Futures. I’ve done school engagement for a number of years and I have also achieved a Level 4 qualification in Information Advice and Guidance.
For the past few years, I’ve also been a school governor, I am the chair of governors at Conisbrough Ivanhoe Primary Academy and a governor at Thrybergh Academy. A rewarding, yet challenging role and great for upskilling. I also volunteer for Grimm & Co, doing some illustrations as and when required.
Caroline & Dave