End of year thoughts

Inspired by others, I thought doing a retrospective on 2017 would be an interesting thing to look back on in a year’s time and see what’s changed.

Work things

December 2017 marked a year of me working for Endless. It’s been twelve months of fixing small bugs, maintaining some OS components, poking my nose into lower parts of the OS than I’m used to, and taking on one or two big projects. I spent a significant amount of time on a project to add new distribution features to libostree and flatpak. That’s something which will hopefully be rolling out in early 2018. It was good to be able to get fairly deeply involved with a new component at a lower level in the stack. More of that in 2018!

I also spent some of my time in 2017 picking up a bit more of the GLib maintenance workload. I’m not sure how much of a difference it’s made to the bug backlog, but it’s kept me occupied anyway.

Hobby things

For most of my working life, I’ve had the luxury of being able to work on FOSS software (mostly in the GNOME ecosystem) as my day job, and as a result, quite a few of my hobby projects are actually maintained during the day. The ones which aren’t have suffered during 2017, because time and energy are limited. I’ve been thinking of ways to ensure that code gets maintained, but haven’t come up with any good solutions in 2017. That’s one to carry over into 2018.

Trips

2017 was a bit less of a plane-heavy year than 2016, but some trips still happened:

  • FOSDEM, catching up with old friends and colleagues, and where the start of the current phase of GLib maintenance started.
  • A week of caving in South Wales, including a trip down the fantastic Dan-yr-Ogof cave (the short round), which included floating down an underground canal on an inflatable swimming pool ring.
  • A week of walking in the Glencoe area, where the weather was uncharacteristically cooperative, and the views were, predictably, pretty good.
  • A party in London to celebrate Endless’ 5th birthday. As always, it was good to spend quality time with my Endless colleagues in endless pubs.
  • Two weeks of caving in Austria, finding some new cave, and exploring further into existing cave. This is something I’m hoping to repeat in future.
  • GUADEC in Manchester, right on the back of the Austria trip (including some fun in posting a laptop to myself so I could have it at the conference). I gave a talk, which some people listened to. We also went on a walk in the Peak District, which was good fun (even if the weather was a bit grey).
  • Two weeks of long-distance trekking in the Svaneti region of Georgia. An excellent destination, with excellent cheese bread. We derived continual amusement from the guide’s dry humour, and the ‘helpful’ comments left by others on the trek information we were using. I did not get struck by lightning.
  • A long weekend in Stockholm to explore the city and catch up with friends. Stockholm has good running!

The outdoors

2017 has definitely been a year of taking advantage of living in the north of England.

  • Around 40 caving trips on weeknights and weekends, which have been interesting and (mostly) fun.
  • 12 fell races, a fun run along with a friend for part of their Bob Graham round, and my first ultra.
  • Running really took off for me: around 1300km run in total (and 57km of ascent), and about 150 hours of 2017 spent running.

Reading and listening

Gigs were a bit thin on the ground: despite there being plenty on in my local area, I always had something else to do. Despite that:

  • Insomnium were good, though I had to leave before the end because of trains.
  • Breabach were very good, and a band I hadn’t heard before going to the gig. Now a favourite.
  • Kreator sounded uncannily like their last live album, but were otherwise enjoyable.
  • Opeth were pretty fantastic, playing a good variety of new and old stuff.

I managed to read only 13 books in 2017, though that number is largely padded out by some short stories I read just to reach my yearly target. That’s not quite fair, though; I read 3250 pages in total. Most recommenable: Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang; most disappointing: Hiroshima.

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