I didn’t write a yearnote last year, which is a shame, as it was an eventful year, with being promoted to Director at dxw, my extension being completed and finishing Murmuration and running it at 3 festivals. But this one has been a bit calmer, so I have the time to write one. Sorry you just get to hear about the chill years.
I started my new job as Director of Technology in August 2022. I was keen to move into a proper leadership role, partly as I think there’s a lack of good leaders in the world, and partly my own personal development to see if I could be one. I had spent a lot of my early career lobbing grenades at institutions, and thought it might be my time to be the one catching them.
I’d very roughly describe the first 3 months as getting my feet under the table, the next 3 months planning and making changes, and the 3 months after that settling those changes in. Since then it’s been pretty stable and I’ve been holding fort.
The role has been what I expected and wanted: I have found it challenging, and I’ve learned a lot. I have grown professionally but also personally: taking on this different role has involved all of the self-reflection, examination of values and building of confidence that I wanted it to.
I’m not sure what 2024 will bring, but I suspect the election will create some work to be done.
There were two big trips this year.
This year I made my fourth trip to Burning Man, to take some friends for their bucket list. They were very excited to be going to a festival where there wouldn’t be any mud. That didn’t work out, but it was fine, perhaps my easiest and even a bit of a boring Burning Man, as we quickly went into sensible mode when the rains came, and then it was perfect weather for a very clearheaded strike.
In February Johanna took me to Japan for my birthday, which was a real bucket list thing to do. I was most excited about the food, and I wasn’t disappointed. I loved the trains. I less enjoyed being in an island country with conservative and baroque social etiquettes. Or at least, when I don’t know them.
I spent a decent amount of time in Bristol and Thanet, and in December I think I finally understood Berlin when I visited for LeadDev, so I expect I’ll be there more next year.
I’m not sure if it counts as a hobby, but I’ve been trying out some fitness things, settling on yoga on Apple Fitness+ and basic strength training at my local gym using Fitbod. I might write about this.
Work and social life have pushed my hobbies aside this year. I didn’t manage to create any new fire art projects this year, the garden was only mildly tended, I didn’t write any code, I only wrote one pretty random blog post, and generally didn’t make much. I was drawn to transactional service volunteering: I found a surprising amount of joy in working the bars at my friend’s events Bimble Bandada and Runt of The Litter.
I hope this will change in 2024, I’m copying a friend’s theme for 2024: ‘Pottering’. Spending more weekends at home, pottering and making.
I’ve got a bit more comfortable spaffing my discretionary spending on bougie experiences this year. I’ve been treating myself to gel manicures, going to nice restaurants, and enjoying spa trips. I loved Vabali and Haekels House, but my favourite spa was in the Peppermill Casino in Reno because I am basic.
I’ve been working my way through my google maps wishlist, and growing my favs. My favourite restaurants this year were Koya, Argoe, Barrafina, my local Samali Al Jaziira, and Oyster Shack. Nothing knocked Morito from my top spot though.
As I get older, my music discovery continues to shrink. I actually hope to fix this a bit next year with my pottering, and prioritising music festivals over burns. I did, however, really enjoy Lawrence, Tedeschi Trucks Band, and Anna B Savage.
I took 50 London busses, and made 206 London Underground journeys. I listened to 2,764 unique songs on spotify. I took 1,683 photos or videos. I took over 2.5 million steps, and did 240 hours of exercise. I lifted 65,000 kg of weights.
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