2014 In Review

This year has been good – the best of my life so far. To round up the year, I want to list the ups (and downs), so I can look back at this in years to come and compare.

I spent a large majority January anxiously waiting for an interview with Ghost and kept on with freelance work. The ECU in my car also died, which was a much-unwanted ~£700 bill. A fairly quiet month.

In February, Hayley & I celebrated Valentines day by going to Brighton, which is where I got an email inviting me for an interview with Ghost! I also went to my first (and probably last?) hack day in Manchester, but I had to leave early, so barely did anything. A fairly quiet month otherwise.

March saw me finish up any freelance work I had and start a trial with Ghost. I later got the job! Hayley & I took a trip to Dover to walk along the cliffs. It’s funny how people who live near tourist attractions never go to them. This was another fairly quiet month, other than getting a life-changing job (for me).

In April, I just plodded along. Barely went anywhere.

May was ridiculously exciting! 4/5 of the Ghost team were all in Egypt at the same time for a week of drinking, planning and drinking. I spent the whole week in aww. A year prior I was feeling pretty down that I’d never have one of those jobs where the company values more than money. I remember saying to Hannah in the airport before flying home that I was still amazed by it all. I’d been an employee for less than 6 weeks and was on another continent with the team.

In June, I went down to Brighton for the Responsive Day Out mini-conference, thanks to Javier Usobiaga who could no longer make it and offered his ticket to me.

Hayley & I went down to Cornwall in July for a week. We visited all the things and got woken up every morning by the train line behind the cottage that wasn’t mentioned anywhere on the website we booked it on.

In August, I spoke at the first re:develop which was the first conference I’ve spoken at that I was properly prepared for. My talk seemed well received and had some useful feedback. It also resonated with many people, which was very nice to hear.

September flew by, with nothing of any significance happening. We did plan a trip to the Lake District though, just to get away.

In October we drove up to lake Windermere for a few days. Got cold, got bored, came home early. We terrible at holidays. Saw some beautiful sights though, and some amazing roads. I also gave a lighting talk at the first London Sass Meetup on how Ghost moved from Ruby Sass to Libsass.

November is when I started planning Christmas presents and plodded on with work. I also turned the ripe old age of 24. I also published my big post on How we do CSS at Ghost which has had quite a lot of traffic and started some interesting discussions.

In December, Hayley & I planned a trip to Disneyland Paris for March 2015. That’s going to be fun! I felt I also stepped over a learning curve with Ember.js – this framework has somewhat dominated my year, at least tech-wise.

There were things that happened this year that have taken months to do.

  • I finally gave up cigarettes and now exclusively use a vaporiser. It’s been over 5 months since my last cigarette. I still miss it, but using a vaporiser has its own perks.
  • I got my finances in order. Using the magic of spreadsheets, I have projections going to the end of 2016. I know exactly what comes in, and what goes out – down to the penny. If all goes well, Hayley & I will be suitably flush when we buy our own house.
  • Figured out a work-life balance. I work when Hayley does, which still gives me 5-6 days a week, including a slow day mid-week when Hayley isn’t working.
  • I’ve learnt so much about Ember, which is somewhat important considering Ghost’s front-end is built on it. Im still learning though.

Of course there’s goals for 2015.

  • Save money, and further reduce monthly outgoings
  • Get to a point with Ember where I can confidently merge Ember.js-related pull requests to Ghost
  • Start a simple side project which stretches my design & dev skills. It creating a passive income would be a bonus.
  • Write more.

Lessons Learnt From Keeping A Food Diary

A month ago, I started writing a food diary. I wanted to see what I was eating.
I’ve always known that I eat a lot of unhealthy stuff – these diaries confirmed that. I learnt I eat lots of chocolate, sweets, cake and cornish party slices. I also drink lots of coffee, but I’m not complaining about that.

I feel a month is a long enough period to get a decent overview of my eating habits. I didn’t take down enough detail to make some sort of chart. I think it would’ve taken too long and I’ve have given up sooner. I could’ve taken down nutrition information, times, and all the water I drink, but I didn’t.

Instead of writing something huge, I’m going to write a bullet list of what I know, and what I want to do to fix me. I like lists.

The Bad

  • I have no set meal times or eating patterns
  • I never eat breakfast
  • The amount I eat every day fluctuates greatly
  • The lack of healthy food in my diet is startling
  • Water is something I should drink a lot more of
  • This poor diet makes me feel sluggish, give supreme sugar highs and insomnia

The Idea

  • Eat a decently sized, healthy breakfast before 10am every day
  • Eat lunch between 1pm and 2pm
  • Eat a proper dinner
  • Eat a healthy bed time snack every day (My body shape – ectomorph – dictates I “eat before bed to prevent muscle catabolism during the night”)
  • Drink much more water each day, around 2 litres
  • Start exercising in some form
  • Give up caffeine after 6pm (I tend to sleep at 1am)

The Goal

It’s certainly not going to be easy, but I know it’s something I need to do. Not for anyone else, but for my own wellbeing and general health. Diabetes or a heart attack are inevitable of I keep going like this.

I’m not trying to be a health nut – far from it – I just want to feel better all of the time.

Wish me luck!

Food Diary Week 4

My last food diary.

Monday – 24/22/2014

  • 1 coffee
  • 2 chicken fajitas
  • 1 pint of Guinness
  • 3 slices of buttered toast
  • 1 fizzy drink
  • 1 large slice of coconut cake

Tuesday – 25/11/2014

  • 3 slices of buttered toast
  • 2 coffees
  • 1 pizza
  • 2 packs of crisps

Wednesday – 26/11/2014

  • 2 coffees
  • 1 pizza with garlic dough balls
  • 1 pint of beer

Thursday – 27/11/2014

  • 2 coffees
  • 1 bowl of chicken & mushroom risotto
  • 1 cheese & ham slice, beg & rice
  • 3 small waffles with Nutella

Friday – 28/11/2014 My birthday!

  • 3 coffees
  • 3 slices of buttered toast
  • 1 mushroom risoto
  • 5 mini cinnamon donuts with chocolate sauce
  • 2 pints of IPA

Saturday – 29/11/2014

  • 2 coffees
  • 2 slices of buttered toast
  • 4 chipotle sausages
  • 1 pizza
  • 1 beer

Sunday – 30/11/2014

  • 2 Nutella crumpets
  • 1 coffee
  • 1 banana & Nutella crêpe
  • 1 mulled wine
  • 1 chicken roast dinner
  • 1 slice of chocolate cake
  • 2 fruit pies
  • 1 massive hot chocolate