OK, let’s do this again. As usual, I post for the first few months of the year, tail off until December and then stick up this post to justify having a blog at all.
Did you enjoy this year?
Aside from massive tiredness caused by the most difficult teething ever – yes, I have. I’ve done a lot of crazy stuff and had a lot of fun. It’s about time.
What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
A lot of travel – visited the Caribbean, visited Eastern Europe, plaited my own beard, quit two jobs before my birthday. Programmed in Java. Went to Cardiff, shouted at a ticket inspector,
Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I was planning to make resolutions, but things got a bit crazy this year and I lost it. Hey-ho, never mind. I’m not even going to try this year.
Did anyone close to you give birth?
I’m an uncle! My sister-in-law had a lovely little girl. So my kids have a cousin… My friends had their third child too, that’s exciting. A little scary. I’m going to try and visit as soon as they allow me to.
Did anyone close to you die?
Right after doing this last year, the friends who just had a baby girl lost a baby girl. She was only 12 weeks old and I didn’t get a chance to meet her. I’ve felt like a terrible friend all year for not visiting them more.
What countries did you visit?
For the first time in a long time, I’ve travelled far and wide. Quite literally far and wide – we went to Cuba as a family in June (it was supposed to be February but our daughter had an unexpected hospital stay after a routine surgical procedure), I went to a stag do in Romania (what happens in Romania stays in Romania) and I got a job in Wales. For the first time since I was a wee baby, I’ve been to Wales, and the first time ever I visited Cardiff City. My first time there was my first day on the job.
What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
Sleep. I had a pretty good year so I’m not that keen on getting something.
What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Wow, so many… There’s the 30th January, when Izzy came out of hospital 2 weeks after her ‘in-and-out day admittance’, the 15th June where she celebrated her first birthday in Cuba, Freddy had two birthday parties, Christmas as ever was a blast with kids, starting a new job in March, starting another new job in June, the Romanian weekend at the end of September… it feels like a lot has happened this year that I want to remember.
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Cuba! Cuba was amazing. Not much of an achievement, almost anyone can go if they want to. Quitting a terrible job and being head-hunted twice was a pretty big achievement too. I am impressed with my ability to survive in a Java development environment, although I’m not going to be making a habit of it.
What was your biggest failure?
This blog was a pretty massive failure.
Did you suffer illness or injury?
I’ve had tonsilitis a lot this year. Every month for about 6 months. Then it stopped. Very bizarre. If I have a lot of throat infections again next year, my GP may refer me for a tonsilectomy.
Did you have to go to the hospital?
As feared last year, Izzy’s tongue tie grew back and it was a proper day-surgery anaesthetic job to get it sorted. Except her tongue swelled up so that she couldn’t drink, and had to be kept in hospital for two weeks (pushing back our holiday six months). That was scary. Other than that, we took Jen to hospital because she broke her toe but she didn’t complain too much about it.
What was the best thing you bought?
DreadBall! I’ve taken part in a few Kickstarters this year, and so far two of those have vindicated the other two. DreadBall has a massive discount, and the Order of the Stick drive got me loads of cool extras. The other two I put in much less money, as they are higher risk things – they’re computer games, and not yet completed, whereas OotS was reprinting existing books, and DreadBall was a finished product funding it’s launch.
Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Really just the kids.
Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
My previous employers. A lot of politics happened in the office and it must have been clear that our small, productive, non-Scrum development team didn’t want to join the large, unproductive Scrum development company because within a month four people had quit. In less than six months, another two left and one more is looking to leave. Kind of fitting that on joining the company we were forced to choose a team name and the most acceptable suggestion was “Icarus”…
Where did most of your money go?
The house, another big chunk on our holiday to rebook it for June (£120 per person for a family of four – ouch!) Next year, it’s going to be rebuilding the bathroom and then hopefully I can save money towards the mortgage again!
What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Holidays! New jobs! Trains! Children! And most recently, DreadBall!
What song will always remind you of 2012?
I think that I’ve completely lost music this year. It’s all gone.
Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. Happier or sadder?
ii. richer or poorer?
A little poorer. I get paid more, but I have to pay a hell of a lot to commute by train, and Izzy started nursery this year. So it evens out a bit.
What do you wish you’d done more of?
I don’t really know. I think I did everything that I wanted to. As always, I could probably be more organised.
What do you wish you’d done less of?
I think I do need to be more organised. Then I could do more with less sleep.
How did you spend Christmas?
We had a day in the house on our own, then a day at the in-laws with a ton of food – literally, a ton of food. At the weekend, my family visited to finish Christmas off. A very, very busy year and the kids were spoiled without us spending a penny.
Where did you ring in 2012?
I think we were at home again. I write this before the new year, so I’m as far away from New Year last year as I can be! My memory isn’t good enough for that.
What was your favourite TV programme?
I think we finally got into Firefly this year. That was pretty awesome.
Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Not that I can think of!
What was the best book you read?
I haven’t read many books this year, because I’ve been pushing through the Eragon series that I got for Christmas last year. If I’m not engrossed in a book, I find it very difficult to read it quickly. That’s why I finish most Discworld books in a few days, but Eragon took me several months and Eldest even longer. I’ve been pushing really hard to get through Brisingr so I can get onto some of the other books I got last Christmas, let alone the ones I got this year!
What was your greatest musical discovery?
I’ve not heard anything new this year. If I have, I’ve not been told what it is. I tend to only hear music in clubs these days and that’s difficult to really appreciate new discoveries.
What did you want and get?
Cuba! Romania! Travel! Excitement!
What did you want and not get?
How did you earn your keep?
Still programming, but I moved jobs twice. The first time, because my department was absorbed by a larger development company in the business group. Their practices didn’t suit our team, productivity died, and the upcoming projects would be less and less interesting. Too much politics involved, so I left.
Shortly after, my former boss (and his former boss) offered me a job in Cardiff, and my first escape was not as exciting as I’d thought – the big project that they’d told me about was outsourced, the career and salary progression opportunities were… not great. It didn’t feel like they needed me, and I had done more work in the first three weeks in Cardiff than I had in the three months at this mini-escape.
What was your favourite film of this year?
The Hobbit! Or the Avengers! Or Batman! It’s a hard decision… I loved all three. We only just saw the Hobbit, in 3D HFR super fantastic awesomeness, so it’s a little unfair to ask that question since it’s so fresh in my mind.
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I think I did nothing. I was twenty-eight, busy packing for our Cuban getaway.
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I don’t really know. I’ve been really happy this year, overall. I don’t know about more satisfying, but in a position of absolute knowledge I would be infinitely happier if the misfortune suffered by friends over the last year hadn’t happened.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
“Do you think you need to get some new clothes now?” – everything is falling apart, and I may have to spend some money on clothes. That’ll be annoying, I hate shopping.
What kept you sane?
It’s been so longer I don’t remember what sane looks like?
What political issue stirred you the most?
I’ve not had time to look into most politics in detail this year. I don’t think I could even be described as ‘stirred’. I’m just going to keep my head down till the next election and hope we don’t end up with a choice between ineffective wanker, ineffective liar, or destructive xenophobic tosspots. Assign those labels to political parties as your personal opinions desire!
Who was the best new person you met?
I met a whole bunch of awesome people on the stag do in Romania – great guys, all of them, and a cracking weekend.
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012:
I always knew that I liked to keep busy, but I didn’t realise just how true that was until I got to a job where things were too quiet. It drove me nuts!
Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“Always move forward, going straight will get you nowhere” – partly because the rapid pace of the song sums up just how this year has flown by. Every time I look up, another month has flown by. Let’s hope things slow down a little when 2013 comes around.
What is the best thing that you were given?
Time with friends. Old friends, new friends, the whole mess of them. Great to spend time with people, individually, at a party, for a purpose or just to hang out.
I love that John (indirectly) gave me the chance to come to his stag do in Romania, and Sam gave me the chance to go to Cuba.
What is the best thing you have given someone?
I’d like to think that the holiday I gave my family was pretty awesome. I know Freddy remembers it and I hope he does for a long time. Izzy won’t remember, but she can tell her friends when she is older that she celebrated her first birthday there. That’s worth a good story.