At the risk of tempting fate, I've had an extremely good year!
- I've survived a year in a new job - working at GDS to implement Open Standards.
- As part of that, I got to fulfil a long-held ambition to visit Beijing.
- I also visited the Isle of Man (a first for me) and Rome (a welcome return).
- A few media appearances - mostly talking about solar panels.
- The launch of a new project with Liz - OpenBenches - which has gone remarkably well!
- We've made some new friends in the neighbourhood, which is always pleasant.
- I was asked to join a charitable Advisory Group - which feels terribly grown-up!
- A bunch of companies have sent me a variety of interesting gadgets to review. Some have been great, others have been... weird!
- Presentations always feature heavily in my life! This year was no exception - including a bizarre invitation to speak at the Shambala music festival.
But, lest you think me smug, it hasn't all been roses.
- I now commute for about 4 hours a day. It's tiresome and - although I can work on the coach and only commute 3 days a week - it is draining. I've cancelled some weekend plans because I just can't face travelling. Will this mean we move soon? I don't know.
- I closed my consulting business. I just wasn't able to attract enough independent work to make it worthwhile. It was also hard to combine it with my Civil Service job. Bit of an "end-of-an-era" feeling.
- Either I'm getting grumpier - or people are getting more incompetent. It seems that every week I have to contact a company who are incompetent. Incorrectly issued traffic fines, incorrect bills, incorrect payments, broken promises. Is the world getting dumberer?
- I found attending a music festival by myself a rather depressing experience. I'm not much for random socialising - and seeing the bright young things brazenly enjoying their youth made me feel rather old and uncool.
Overall though, I think it's fair to say it has been a good year. My hair is getting grayer and my belt is getting tighter, but I suppose that's the natural way of things.
But enough about me. How have you been?