2017 in review – Ask Me Anything!

So I did this thing on Facebook and it was pretty good fun, so I’m writing it up here too.

I’ve been pretty terrible at Christmas wishes this year. December seems to get more crazy every year. This one has felt like the busiest ever, with the addition of a nephew, two children – one of whom has started going to bed later, a nasty cold, and busy workplaces.

I’ve had a few more restful days over Christmas, and I was reading “newsletters” the other day from other people and was aware that we probably don’t share all that much on social media relative to other people. I am acutely aware that some people are owed updates/greetings/even gifts from us! And those will come.

But for the time being, rather than write an long newsletter update of my own, I thought I’d try a little experiment. I asked people on Facebook to use comments to ask me questions about my year, and those that weren’t too personal or difficult to answer got replies.

This was great, because it generated some good discussions, and allow me to throw questions back at people.

So I’ve written that up in a slightly edited way here as a summary and as my “newsletter” to the world.

But also, feel free to ask MORE questions. Be creative. I hope this might be fun.

So…what do you want to know about my year?! Ask in the comments if your question isn’t covered below.

What have I missed?

Well, I don’t really know. Which is why I’m asking you! 

What a good idea I have so many questions; some I’ll share publically, some perhaps in other formats. Here’s a starter: whats your favourite book, movie, TV and music of 2017?

Man, this is a hard question to answer. For one thing running your own business in a fast moving industry AND having two small kids that you love dearly means that I’m not really hooked in to popular culture much. Or, at least, not grown-up popular culture.

But also I need to think back a whole year. Ok. Here goes.

Book: probably from last Christmas when I was given the Ada Lovelace Graphic Novel. A well-researched, funny, mostly-historical, thing that is also a work of art. The pages about George Boole had me giggling for about half an hour!

Ada Lovelace Book

Movie… I honestly don’t remember watching a whole movie. Well…other than Star Wars. So I guess I’d have to say The Force Awakens, which we just re-watched in preparation for going to see The Last Jedi. NO SPOILERS!!

TV… hmm… I’m not much into Drama. And to be honest I probably listen to podcasts now instead. So I’m going to leave my perpetual favourite piece of internet radio here: http://99PercentInvisible.org

Music: partly because it’s very much my style, but also partly because is got me through the year, I’m sticking with Switchfoot. Their latest album took a bit of getting used to, but the depth is there if you give it time. “I Won’t Let You Go” has made me cry. “If The House Burns Down Tonight” has kept me mindful of what’s important. And “live it well” has been the perpetual call to positive action, in the little things and the big.

What’s your Favourite place to Camp at . What’s your year been like? What’s your Favourite chocolate?

We didn’t camp this year, but probably either Greenbelt festival or a local place called Brinchcombe Farm. Though we did have a really lovely time at a campsite in…St Ives was it?…one year.

Year has been good. Maybe I’ll answer more another time.

Chocolate? I don’t think you can beat a Wispa!

What was your highlight at work this year?
What was you best family outing/day out/activity?

I think the highlights at work continue to be being able to help small organisations. I’ve had some lovely feedback from small charities that I’ve done small pieces of work for. Stuff that they’d be lost with if I hadn’t been available. That’s always a joy.

Best day out was probably LegoLand which my sister partly paid for for my birthday. We went just with the boy and it was SO good to have a day with just the boy. But we also had a very lovely week-long holiday in Devon with old, good friends – that whole week was ace!

What things have brought you the most happiness this year (I promise this isn’t meant as a leading question)?

Note: this question was from my sister-in-law who just had a baby!

The boy’s School report. The NHS and ending the year with healthy family. How certain situations brought family close this year. I’m fact, most happiness has been because of close family and friends.

Oh…and…gaining a nephew!

What made you laugh this year?

Hey Duggee!

Actually I’m sure there’s a better answer than that.

What are you and Sally doing for work? I saw a post about you helping her finish it and thought maybe she had changed jobs.

No change. Well…Sally finished a long maternity leave, which was quite a change. [Edited our details of Sally’s work – this is my blog, not hers]. She works hard and cares a lot about her “craft”. I’m proud of her and what she does.

I’m still “Creator, Engineer, Advisor” (I love my self-determined job title!) at my own business, Oikos. Still mostly building websites for charities and small businesses. My portfolio is a bit behind but you can read up at https://oikos.digital (my own website remains neglected and terrible!)

One highlight and something you’ve learnt

There’s a few highlights listed in other questions.

I’ve learnt that that picture of an opened pot with a number like “6m” on it on things like toothpaste and shower gel is an indication of the life of the product after opening! Amazing.

More seriously, I’m not sure it counts as “this year” but I’ve been learning that mind, body and spirit are much more closely linked that people say they are. That we have a real problem with what I’ve come to call “spiritual illiteracy”… regardless of “religion”.

I also learned about “aphantasia” and “exploding head syndrome”. Both of which I think I might have. I’m such a weirdo.