The Dixie Queen. 3am sing-a-longs. Munich two times and half a decade in the Paintworks

If I had to sum up the last five and a half years in one word  then I think it would be simply “thank you”. Although that’s two words, but hey I think you can for­give me this much.

So today is my last day at Existem, the place that has become a second home and fam­ily for me for the past half dec­ade. I came here straight from gradu­at­ing in 2006, in fact my first day of hol­i­day for the com­pany was spent in a tent (read glam­or­ous mar­quee) accept­ing a piece of paper from a “Z list celebrity” to inform me my stu­dent loan hadn’t been entirely spent on beer — although in truth it had, but the paper­work never lies.

I remem­ber back in ’06 when my Existem jour­ney begain. Chris and Matt had just been over to watch the world cup and were full of stor­ies about their time singing in the ter­races; The assembly of fur­niture for an ever expand­ing office as the growth of an Empire began to take shape; The Dixie Queen and the start of Existem events; The beers. I could keep up in those days.

In later times the move to the lar­ger office. The start of the a4uexpo and the awards shows. Michael McIntyre and the Red­Car joke. Jack­son and the snow. Singing Oasis at 3am on New Years eve 2009 with Chris.

And of course the friends I made here. Matt, Chris, Sarah, Sarah, Stu, Dave, Carrie-Anne, Mark, Han­nah, Simon, Simon, Shawn, Darian, Nick, Langer, Adam, Tom, Ryan, Claire, Ingrid, Mark, Bruce. Not to men­tion the a4u reg­u­lars like Matt, Nadeem, Jason, John, Dom, Julie and Bex. You guys all rock.

So today, I hand over the reigns to Jon, Existem’s new designer. I’m sure I’m leav­ing everything in very cap­able hands. If you meet him at an a4u event of the future please make him as wel­come as you made me.

So what now?

Well, if you’re inter­ested, I’ve star­ted a com­pany along with two people I’ve had the pleas­ure of know­ing for a few years — Ben Cole­man and Adam Robertson. Together we are fffunc­tion. (read that in a Bill and Ted, wild stal­lions voice). We’re a user-centric design com­pany based in Bris­tol and Corn­wall, build­ing great products for great people. We believe Form Fol­lows Func­tion. If you want to know more, then give us a fffol­low (see what I did there) on twitter.

So, a big thank you to every­one at Existem past and present, any­one I’ve met at our events or in the bar after­wards. It’s been a blast and I wouldn’t change a minute of it.

Pete Out