New Year (2017)

I started doing New Year posts back in 2010, and despite my highly irregular and low volume of blogging I’ve published every January 1st since then.

Until last year.

At the start of 2015 I challenged myself to blog once a month for the year. It’s not the first time I’ve set similar challenges, and having failed all previous attempts it should come as no surprise that I failed once again. This time was a bit different though. I wrote a blog post titled Setting an example, that covered some of my views on example code, and the level of quality that needs to be considered to avoid propagation of accessibility, security, and performance. One of the comments I received for this post was so mean-spirited that I really lost interest. I plan to address this some time in the future. After that I blogged twice more in 2015, about a change in job, but otherwise my Writing Resolution failed at the first hurdle.

Because of this I’ll cover a few things in 2015 as well as 2016, but mostly I want to look forward to 2017.

2015

Highlight of the year was becoming an Uncle for the second time. My sister gave birth to Sophie Joy in June of 2015, and she’s since grown in to

In this year I also left the BBC and started work at The Paciello Group. While I’ll always have fond memories of my time at the BBC, and will be grateful of the opportunities I was given there, I’ve been very happy working with the wonderful people at TPG and I’m look forward to 2017 with the company.

2016

Other than the trauma of political upheaval, the rise of fascism, and the deaths of so many creative and pioneering people, 2016 was a rather simple year for me.

Life has mainly revolved around work, but I’ve also continued playing violin, have played quite a lot of Dungeons & Dragons (yeah, I’m a nerd), and watched new Star Wars films numerous times.

My weight has finally translated in to a minor (and correctable) health issue, and this has so far been the motivation I’ve needed to do something about it in a sustainable way.

2017

Resolutions and me don’t get on very well, so I’ll try forfeits and rewards instead.

As in 2016, I need to continue to lose weight. One of my biggest temptations is to order takeaway instead of cooking, and I always over order. I pledge to match any spending on takeaways that I eat alone in charitable donations. Because I want to donate some money I need a reward – if I manage to go the full year without any takeaways alone I will donate £1000.

I’d like to reduce my spending on unnecessary purchasing of gadgets and gizmos. My small flat is cluttered with things I really don’t need. It’s not that I want to live a life without cool toys, but I want to have a better balance and to reduce my impulse buys. 10% of my spending in this category will be donated to charities. I’ll use my best judgement as to what offers genuine benefit versus nice-to-have buy unnecessary things.

In the same vein, I spend most of my money with large retailers. The convenience of Amazon is hard to resist. I plan to buy a lot more from independent retailers, particularly books. Bookshops need our support, so I intend to give mine.

For a variety of reasons I missed my last violin grading. In 2017 I will take (and pass!) grade 3, and will work towards the grade 4 exam at the end of the year. This one doesn’t need a forfeit or a reward, I play for my own satisfaction.

I’m not going to make a resolution to blog more, but I do have a few things I’d like to write, both here and on the TPG blog. Hopefully this post ends the drought, but don’t expect too much!

Inspired by Heydon and people offering their time over the holiday period, I plan to give some of my time to mentoring in 2017. I’ve not worked out the details, but I’ll post again when I’ve figured it out.

I hope you have a very happy 2017.

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