Personal Development

Annual re-alignment

Whenever it is my birthday I reflect upon the previous year and think ahead to see what I’d like to concentrate on.

Last week it was my birthday. I am now officially, old. But last year was good: I finally ran my first competition race, I became more aware of who I am emotionally and I found employment that suits me and that I enjoy.

Looking to the future I have prioritised 3 things to concentrate on. (until I change my mind again.)


Weirdly, running has become very important to me. I never thought I would ever be a runner. Now I have to go out and run at least 5km 2-3 times a week otherwise I get cranky.

In 2020 I want to run at least one 10km competition. If they’re still having them. And be on my way to running the Bath Half in 2021. If that is a thing as well.

The year started off rough, I caught a cough that left me unable to run for 3 months, but I went for a run this week and I appear to be back to normal again.

I’m not saying it was Coronavirus / COVID-19 because I didn’t have any of the symptoms. Even the cough was the wrong sort of cough.

Analogue Offline Hobby

Since I work in the tech sector, taking time away from this is really important for my perspective. Turns out not everything is about coding, networking and Twitter!

Last autumn I discovered this artist called David Bull who had a YouTube video of the complete process of Japanese Woodcut Printing.

I became fascinated with the mix of art, creativity and technology of the process. I love the association with wood and the slowness of scraping and carving of the block. I love that there is a physical output to the whole process. It reminds me of working at the Bristol Design Forge, but analogue.

So I have been playing around with this a little in what little spare time I have to see what can be done.

The woodcut
The print

It’s early days yet, but there is no rush. This is something that I’d like to explore more and see where it takes me. There’s a sense of peace to it that I appreciate.

Game Development

I’ve always liked board games, table-top role playing games, card games and video games so I am tentatively dipping my foot into that arena.

I’m not doing it right, I’m not doing it well. But I’ve made a start and there are things to see when you go and look at Sparkwood and 21.

I promised my children that I would make them a video game each and so I have been learning how with the wonderful open-source software Godot Engine. Lovely community, great documentation.

I’ve got great ideas for tangible, physical games that are different and unusual. They’re all written down in a list in my notebook and I hack away at them as and when I find the time until they turn in to real things.

If I ever get round to completing them, I’m sure to crow about it here. So watch this space.