2022 reflections…

It’s been another busy year and the fact that it is nearly over has taken me slightly by surprise. An important 2023 resolution (spoilers for tomorrow’s post): be less busy.

Business is still ticking along okay. I have some plans for the continued curation of my portfolio career and also some scary decisions to think about. We’ll see how things go this next year.

I released three text adventure games this year. I don’t feel like it was a vintage year – I went really hardcore with the game creation from February until June and then burnt out a bit – but I did do really well in the competitions where I entered my first couple of 2022 games. I won the TALP Jam 2022 with Barry Basic and the Speed Daemon, and placed third in ParserComp with Things that Happened in Houghtonbridge (my first release with a longer narrative). I also had another fun little go at speed IF for EctoComp – it was pretty much all I could manage in the second half of the year!

I graduated from the TechUP Skills Bootcamp in Software Development in March. This has been a huge stepping stone in terms of thinking about adding more tech aspects to my career, and I’ve continued my involvement with TechUP by attending an in-person reunion this last November.

Running has been a tale of two halves this year. I ran four races, all of which were various levels of disastrous (largely due to bad days with my ankylosing spondylitis). However, I have (stubbornly!) completed the third year of my daily run streak today, and I’ve rejoined a wonderful social run group who have really given me my running mojo back and helped me believe I can be a bit faster. I’ve also visited four new-to-me parkruns (Tøyen, Agnew, Crichton and Holyrood) and started to manage a few faster parkrun times again!

I didn’t put much effort into listening to new music (too busy) but I did attend a few gigs, including the last of the COVID postponements: a Paul Young and Go West double header, Pet Shop Boys, Duran Duran (twice!) and Jim Bob of Carter USM. I know what my music ‘comfort food’ is and it’s been a big help this year, which is the important thing.

I’m still very behind with TV shows and films this year – I still haven’t watched the most recent series of Stranger Things, though Geth did finally put Obi-Wan Kenobi on recently and I enjoyed bits of that. I didn’t record much Christmas TV on my digibox this year as it was getting overwhelming, but I have enjoyed some old favourites over the last couple of weeks. It’s been another year of YouTube osmosis via Geth (who is still mostly watching videogaming and running channels), and another great year for Strictly (I loved this autumn’s series).

Videogaming in 2022! I spent the whole year wanting to do it and hardly ever getting round to it! However, I did play and test a lot of IF games relating to the competitions in which I was involved. I’m still working my way through Bravely Default II (since February 2021 now!), finished the first of the two games in The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, got very excited about the first new Monkey Island game in thirteen years (and absolutely loved it… up until the ending, which I found a little disappointing!), played my usual Christmas-themed ’90s platformers while on Christmas break, finally finished every puzzle in Link-A-Pix Colour, and started Block-A-Pix Colour (equally absorbing!). I’m really hoping to be able to play more in 2023!

My successes and failures regarding last year’s New Year Resolutions:

  • Sort out the house. It didn’t happen last year and it may not happen this year, but I would at least like to get some more stuff up on the walls (including that spice rack I bought a year ago) and work out a more manageable cleaning schedule. I’m counting this as a success! We revamped our living room and got all the stuff on the walls. I’ve been semi-successful with the cleaning schedule, and I’m very proud of the fact I’ve managed to declutter a lot this year, fighting a lifelong hoarding habit.
  • Don’t book any midweek trips away and assume I can just ‘squeeze any work in’. I’m far too busy to be away during the week. Trips will be weekend-only with very rare exceptions. For most of the year I managed this, but there were a few unfortunate exceptions. Hoping to whittle this down further in 2023.
  • Get one or two of my years-in-the-making longer game projects published by focusing on those rather than short things for jams and competitions. A failure, unfortunately. All my 2022 games were new ideas. I’ll try again next year.
  • Use the skills from my TechUP course to build at least two fairly complex websites. This hasn’t happened yet, though both websites are in the early planning stages.
  • Create some games using Python! I did experiment with this a little.
  • Take another big chunk off my marathon PB at the Edinburgh Marathon in May. The less said about this, the better.
  • Get back to the fitness level I was when everything screeched to a grinding halt in March 2020. Nope. But really it’s just needing to lose a bit of weight that’s holding me back, as it has such an effect on my ankylosing spondylitis.
  • Get my parkrun ‘different events’ total up to at least 30, continue to volunteer once a month, get my Wilson index to 15 (geeky – don’t worry if you don’t know what that is) and take part in parkrun every possible parkrunday! I made progress with all of these, but didn’t fully succeed in any… 27/28 different events (depending on if you count volunteering at juniors), volunteered every month except November (I was booked to do it but they cancelled!), Wilson still stuck on 7 (haven’t had the energy to find an #8), and the non-skipping of parkrun rule lasted until the second week of January when all my locals were cancelled due to winter weather.
  • Listen to more music and keep a closer eye on what’s going on with synthwave, industrial and heritage artists. Nope. I’ve not had time for this. Would love to listen to some more synthwave though.
  • Actually leave the UK for the first time in four years (Ireland is the plan… not going far but it’ll be something!). Ireland did happen! And also Norway and Spain. It was lovely to explore again.
  • Catch up with what’s been happening with Doctor Who. It’s my favourite TV series but I’ve drifted away from the fandom over the last few years as I’ve been busy with other things and haven’t been hugely fond of the Whittaker/Chibnall era. I’m about two and a half series behind! I didn’t have time for this. It’s now a 2023 resolution seeing as the 60th anniversary is coming up.
  • Finish all the books I’m reading. I’ve got into an awful habit over the last year where I start a book, read it for a week or so (last thing at night in bed is my reading time), neglect reading for the following week or so (because I’m anxious about not getting enough sleep if I read… even though I know I sleep better if I do), then abandon it and start a different book. This year, I’m going to concentrate on one at a time and read them right to the end. 20 books in 2022 seems like a good target! I didn’t manage 20 books (because I’m still doing the start-and-abandon thing) but I feel like I did read more in 2022.
  • Make a LOT more time for videogaming by keeping my evenings and weekends free. My game backlog is probably 1,000+ now and it’s time to start whittling that down. It’s my favourite way to relax and I most definitely have not been doing enough relaxing in 2021, so this has to be a real priority over the next year. This was a total fail and probably my biggest disappointment in 2022. It ties into making more time for myself, which I have just not been doing.

Resolutions and hopes for 2023 tomorrow! Though you can probably already guess they’ll be similar to last year…

parkrunday: Holyrood #22

My first visit to Holyrood parkrun today but not my first time doing that loop round Arthur’s Seat – I’ve done it for two Great Winter Runs and three EMF 10ks in the past. The hill is still tough!

Holyrood parkrun
Nevertheless, the downhill second half results in a good opportunity for a sprint finish.

It’s definitely not the easiest parkrun in Edinburgh but it is the easiest to access by bus, being close to the town centre. I sense return visits in the future.

Another parkrun tomorrow for New Year’s Day 🙂

Merry Christmas!

I’ve had a nice few weeks prepping for Christmas and am now enjoying the celebrations with family. I hope you’re all having a lovely time too!

Christmas cake

I’ve got some New Year’s Resolutions posts coming up next week, some additional festive parkrunning and some blog plans to share. In the meantime, I’ll be doing a lot of videogaming and sleeping. Enjoy the festivities everyone!

parkrunday: Town Moor #563

A great parkrun to start Christmas Eve this morning. I managed a faster time than I have been doing recently, which is not bad considering how much juggling of marathon training I needed to do this week!

Photo by Clare Harvey.

Afterwards we joined the social run group at the café for sherry (Geth) and mince pies (both of us)! It was lovely to be able to say happy Christmas to everyone before we decamped for the break.

Not parkrunning tomorrow as we’re taking the time to enjoy Christmas morning – but there’ll be a couple for Hogmanay and New Year’s Day next week!

parkrunday: Pendle #380

For the second week running, the vast majority of parkruns in north-east England were off. Thankfully we’ve briefly hopped over to the north-west so were able to parkrun at Pendle this morning!

Trying to get warm in the clubhouse afterwards!

I was looking forward to trying Pendle’s winter route, but they’re having a few red tape issues with it at the moment so it was their normal route this morning with additional urging to run on the grass where possible. I actually found the (frozen solid) soil and grass far more treacherous than the paths and went over on my ankle once or twice! I was really happy to be able to parkrun today though, given so many cancellations.

Fingers crossed for a return to Town Moor on Christmas Eve.

A carefully guarded quiet weekend!

No parkrun this morning (all our nearby ones were cancelled due to ice) so I was able to get a head start on the quiet weekend I’ve been planning for weeks. It’s been manic recently with stuff going on every weekend and I really wanted this one to be the calm before the Christmas storm. As such, I’ve worked extra hard this week to get all the Christmas prep finished as I did not want it to be taking up time today and tomorrow! Geth and I will be videogaming instead and occasionally hopping on the treadmill.

Marathon training plan starts on Monday. It doesn’t look like the weather will be warming up any time soon, so I’d probably better get used to the treadmill for a while!