“Better late than never” is sometimes true. Here is some of what I did last year because if you’re reading this I assume you might be interested.
I left when my contract ended, and it was back to freelancing for the same reason I first went freelance in 2003: I couldn’t think what else to do.
And that was the work year, a busy one. I’m fortunate that every project involved learning something new. In some ways, long-term freelancing makes me feel like I’m not progressing: most projects are a similar scale and, while many peers have moved on, I’m still writing code. But, then, I get to dabble with a much wider variety of languages and frameworks and tools than I would in most full-time jobs. It’s an odd combination of variety and sameness.
The year disappeared before I got round to having a holiday. I didn’t leave England in 2015 — I barely even ventured outside London and Essex — and there were hardly any weeks that didn’t involve at least some work. Not good.
Last year I hoped to read, on average, one fiction and one non-fiction book each month, alongside the usual Sight & Sounds, and the London and New York Reviews of Books. I managed 14.5 fiction and 11 non-fiction, although most of the latter were fairly slim or light.
I went to the cinema 22 times. I’m aiming for 52 in 2016, in an effort to get out a bit more. Even if it’s “getting out” into dark rooms and sitting down. A film, Selective Listening, I acted in a couple of years earlier came out online and on DVD.
I went to seven gigs. Here’s some of the music I listened to most last year:
Online… @samuelpepys and, to a much lesser extent, Pepys’ Diary continued to use up about a day per month. My Crazy Walls and Our Incredible Journey Tumblrs continued ticking over. I failed to write lots more posts here. For the third, or maybe fourth, time I started work on a Django package to mirror my digital stuff — links, photos, check-ins, Tweets, etc. That’s only the first step in re-writing my website, and completing that seems a long way off, still.
There’s a huge amount I want to write — both code and normal words — but once work has eaten up so much energy there’s a limit to how much time I want to sit at a computer typing.
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