Picture of a nametag that says 'Hello my name is Joe'

For reasons I can’t quite put down in words, I wanted to write an introduction to me. It’s something to do with the new year, something to do with a loss of a sense of identity in lockdown and something to do with the nature of social media (‘you can know every detail of someone’s dark trama but be suprised they turn out to have a dog’)

Hi, my name is Joseph Reddington. You can call me Joe. I have no middle name, and have never wanted for one.

I live in Luton with my partner and two children. There are no pets. I like the house and it’s getting nicer. We currently pour all our disposable income into rebuilding and upgrading it.

I have been vegan since 2010. I am very frugal: we are a household of reusable nappies, second hand toys and books, and well-worn clothes. Our cars, phones, TVs and computers are modest, bordering on miserly. I overspend massively on hot chocolate. I am far too frugal for my own good and end up having a lot of stuff that is low-quality or broken.

I am difficult to talk to: I am precise, literal, direct, and combative. I am almost entirely incapable of small talk, I will also assume you are interested in my broad collection of obscure facts unless I’m told otherwise. People tend NOT to ask my advice unless they are looking for the advice: “Tell them to piss off”. I am working on all of this, but so far I have been unsuccessful.

I tend to be factually very open, but emotionally very closed. My todo list, internet history, and, indeed, most other factual bits of my life are public, but I can generally not articulate ‘why I am angry’ to myself, let alone the general public.

My favourite dinosaur is Ankylosaurus.

I am surprised to find I have hobbies, because I didn’t think I had - I enjoy both photography and cookery, and am having particular fun because I start from almost no knowledge in either.

Things I don’t consider hobbies: BJJ, which I have sorely missed since lockdown; climbing, which I have missed since moving to Luton, and indeed any physical activity at all because days that I don’t struggle to breathe turn out to be bad days.

I have a job. I work as COO for eQuality Time, which I also happened to found in 2014. It’s a charity, but in a ‘persuade big funders to give us money to try strange ideas’ way rather than a ‘sponsored swim’ way. I work part time because I’ve only raised enough money to work part time. I intend to work full time when I can. This makes me sound like a particular type of worker, which I’m not - I write code most days and was avoiding phone calls and face-to-face meetings long before it was cool. Before this I was a computer science researcher. I wasn’t particularly good at it.

At the moment I’m on furlough and spending my time looking after the children and working on various family projects (and a book on memory, which I started at the start of lockdown)

I have issues with negativity, and a talent, nay gift for seeing the worst possible world. I have various tricks to compensate but they are at best a sticking plaster rather than a cure. I think The Lego Movie is the greatest movie of all time and Spider-Verse is a close second.

I have two children. Nova is nearly three and Leo is nine months old. Leo spent the first month of life at Great Ormond Street and that is something I keep incorrectly thinking I’ve processed. I refuse, refuse to be negative about them.

I lost a brother this year to covid. I have another brother, and a sister. My younger brother has complex needs and has a staff team that look after him. That officially makes me a ‘glass sibling’ and I am mildly active in groups that work with or talk to other glass siblings.

The image is from https://newmediarockstars.com/hello-my-name-is-joe/. I have strong opinions about people citing sources.

There are 14 unread books on my bookshelf.