The personal site of Tom Coates, co-founder of Product Club


The first contact with my father in 28 years…


Deep breath. Breathe in. Breathe out. Where to start? Um. Probably I should start with the standard preamble. The story so far. Right. It’s pretty much all contained within the Family category of this site, but for those of you who just wandered in off the street, I’ve been trying to find my biological father Read More

In which it all starts to become real…


On May 17th this year, I took a very small step towards trying to find my biological father who I haven’t seen since I was about five, twenty-eight years ago. I rang up Traceline and the Salvation Army and started a process that is still going on today. On May 18th I filled in a Read More

“My name is Tom and I might be your son”


A little over a month ago I got a letter from Traceline saying that they thought they’d found my father. At the time I was in San Francisco attending a one-day workshop presented by Cal about Flickr and running around like a mad thing between conferences, parties and lots of neat companies . I managed Read More

The letter from Traceline…


I’m back in London and after several hours of pottering around, I finally get the nerve to open the letter on my doorstep. I already knew the content of the letter, but nonetheless I’ve been circling it since lunch-time. Most important notes: they’re not sure this guy is my father, and I may have to Read More

Three phone calls that form a loop…


So I’m standing in the bar after Cal’s awesome event yesterday and my phone tells me that I have a voice mail. I find somewhere relatively quiet and try and listen to it – it’s the people from Traceline ringing me up. They’ve left one of those utterly aggravating messages that sounds kind of urgent Read More

A month has passed with no news…


Almost exactly a month ago today I sent off a form to an organisation called Traceline to ask them to help me find my father. Three days later I wrote a little post about my uncertainty about what would happen next. Two and a half weeks later, I briefly alluded to the fact that I’d Read More

In which time passes too quick, too slow…


So it’s been four days since I had the conversations with the people at the various finding-family agencies. It’s been three days since I filled in the Traceline form and sent it off. I think it’s only been two days since the form from the stroppy self-involved Salvation Army people arrived and I tore it Read More

A brief aside about filling in forms…


A weirdly disorienting couple of days all things considered and some of my fuses appear unusually short and fizzy as a result. This morning I filled in the form from Traceline and sent it off, filling the A4 sheet with all the information I have about my father. I had four inches of untouched space Read More

Another step in finding my father?


So my long protracted semi-attempt to work up the courage to find my father has moved on one more tiny little step step with a couple of nerve-wracking and unsettling conversations with (1) the Salvation Army and (2) Traceline. The Salvation Army conversation really freaked me out – they give you some kind of random Read More

On writing to my father?


I’m still trying to get the Apple piece together into some kind of useful form which of course means that my mind keeps wandering and I keep writing other stuff instead. In a way, I’m quite enjoying it. Somehow it feels easier to write right now than at any time for the last several months. Read More

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