I am currently writing this on my laptop on a train to see some friends for a Czech Christmas tradition of mulled wine and fried carp. I’m surrounded by frantic Christmas shoppers , and I’m pondering the year that is almost gone as they stuff bags of last minute gifts into overhead luggage shelves.

In a way 2019 can be thought of as the culmination of the decisions made last year. The pivots I made, and the focus I gained. Well, culmination may be a bit of an overstatement, but I’m well on the way. Nothing in life is ever complete, at least not until you’re in the ground.

Career wise, I made the decision that what I was doing was, while keeping a roof over my head and food on the table, didn’t really have either the trajectory or the velocity to get me to where I wanted to be in the time available. So, at the beginning of the year I pivoted hard and got a “proper job”, but the benefit of that job not being my only gig meant I could go back to corporate land with a view of only doing interesting things and not having to put up with the BS that drove me out of that world so many years ago.

A brief overview of 2019
Third Man

So, I accepted an offer to develop services that help scientists around Europe gain access to the equipment they need to do cutting edge research. As well as the day to day, this also required me to get involved in some important European data sharing projects.

The job involves a fair amount of travel, so that certainly aligns with some of my main goals, and I’ve spoken at world leading scientific conferences. I even accidentally set EU data sharing policy.

Crazy amount of work with some very cool people, crazy amount of experiences, and crazy opportunities going forward. Exciting times!

Despite all this, for those interested, I’m also still offering consultancy services! I’m still am active in the open source community, most notably contributing to Known. 2019 was the year that I’m delighted to say saw Known leave development hell and in to a 1.0 release. Community engagement has been fantastic, and we’re already sketching out a roadmap for future exciting features and versions.

Outside of work, I have progressed in my Judo. Training hard and obtaining my blue belt, as well as competing in my first competition. I got my motorcycle licence, and achieved some pretty serious personal bests at the gym.

So, I begin 2020 having achieved many of the goals I’ve set myself, and thinking about what goals to set in the upcoming year. While I enter it with optimism, I’m aware that the event horizon of possibility is drawing nearer, and the window of opportunity for certain life directions is growing smaller, if indeed they’re still possible.

This sense of urgency has now permeated everything I do, and every aspect of my life. No choice but to keep pushing forward and becoming the best version of myself that’s possible.

On to the next decade… the roaring 20’s!

Gosh! Well it seems almost like yesterday that I was writing my last new year post.

It has been a busy year, and I have to admit, it has been in the most part pretty damn awesome.

The year began with me and some good friends drinking champagne and vodka on the side of a mountain in the Czech republic, followed by some random wanderings in eastern Europe.

I travelled more: first to the Czech republic and Budapest, I visited Paris, had a skiing holiday in Austria. I went on an epic road trip to spend summer camping in the Czech paradise and flew to visit with a friend in Berkeley.

Speaking of flying, 2011 was the year that I finally obtained a dream of mine and obtained my pilot’s licence. Weather permitting, by the time you read this I would have already taken up my first passenger!

I continued to climb, and found a new activity – capoeira – which filled a space in my life I didn’t even know I had, and made some great friends in the process.

I got involved in a monthly ad-hoc band practice and started learning several new instruments.

I helped build some awesome software, I went to some awesome parties and I met some awesome people!

In the coming year, it is my hope to make 2012 even more awesome. I hope to travel more, and indeed I hope very much to be living in a different country by the end of it.

I plan to advance my flying career with some RAF aerobatic training, and at the very least fly across the channel to go climbing in Font.

I intend to learn not one but two languages to, if not fluency, at least to the point where I can have a conversation with someone beyond how to find the train station or how many cats I have.

On with the adventure!

I am using the scheduled post feature to publish this for the new year, since with any luck I will be drinking vodka on the side of a mountain somewhere in eastern Europe. However, as I write this the UK is in the grips of Snowpocalypse 3, and who knows if I made it.

Anyway… 2010 began in the grips of Snowpocalypse 2 and was the year we saw the awful Digital economy bill come into law. We had an election of a new government, and the self-destruction of the Liberal Democrats – a party I am sad to say I supported.

It is safe to say that 2010 was a year of change, and for me – although no year is entirely without its stress and upset – overall the year has been exciting and positive, for which I’m thankful.

Professionally, I have been lucky to meet and work along side some of the most incredibly talented and delightful people I’ve ever met – from technological luminaries to emmy award winning journalists to Harvard university faculty to members of the music and media industries.

I’ve had the chance to have creative and strategic input into some awesome projects – some of which are out already, and others I can’t wait to show you.

Personally, I’ve got to travel to some interesting and wonderful parts of the world, sometimes for work and sometimes for play. I’ve got to meet some lovely people and have some awesome experiences I will remember forever, everything from sitting in a park watching the sun set over Berlin to zip-lining off a mountain in Nevada.

I’ve also had the opportunity to satisfy a life long ambition of mine and learn to fly – I will always remember feeling of terror when my instructor sent me on my first solo flight, and the feeling exhilaration and accomplishment once I realised I was flying by myself!

I look forward to finding out what 2011 has in store, I know it is unlikely to end up with me living in the same country as I do currently, but more than that I can’t say…

Bring it on!