2010: The Year I’ll Never Forget

I’ve only managed to write up my thought on the previous years twice (2009, 2007), but this year was one of, if not the, most important year of my life.


The most important part of 2010 was in my personal life, but for the sake of remembering (this blog is primarily here because I forget stuff), here’s what I got up in my professional life during 2010:


I love speaking at conferences and although I had to pull out of a few this year, Flash on the Beach in particular, I had the honour of spreading the good word about HTML5 at a good number of conferences, giving an overview of JavaScript related APIs. As I look around conferences now, I get the distinct feeling that this talk will be redundant or maybe done to death by other speakers, so the plan is that in 2011 is to ditch this talk and try to go in a completely different direction to the other talks we’re seeing. Hopefully this is something I can pull off – that’s assuming I’m invited to speak again (yes, I’m just as insecure as everyone else!).

I also got to run a number of workshops, including running the jQuery for Designers workshop for the mighty Andy Clarke and his For A Beautiful Web and HTML5 for @media and John Allsopp (equally mighty!). All of them so far have been a hit with the delegates, which leaves me chuffed to bits, and has encouraged me to run a special workshop project in 2011 – but more on that later.

Remy talking - short isn't he?


The biggest (new) project was Introducing HTML5 with Bruce Lawson. What an honour to be asked to co-author the book with Bruce. It was a really good experience (although there were definitely some struggles with the editors ::grrr::) and all in all I’m actually rather proud of the book we put together. When I ask around November time, we had sold a “respectable” number of books so far.

Covers of Introducing HTML5

Then there was Full Frontal 2010. The first Full Frontal was such a big success, I was rather worried that this one would be extremely difficult to equal last years. Turns out: we did just fine. The conference was a huge success again, and again, that’s no doubt down to the speakers and Julie’s smooth running of the event. It’s definitely happening again in 2011 – I just have to find seven more awesome speakers!

Remy and Julie closing Full Frontal 2010

Left Logic, my business, has also been doing well. This year I’ve done business with the likes of the BBC and Google – both of which are respectable clients, along with a fistful of other equally respectable clients. Right towards the end of the year I was asked to work on a couple of really exciting small projects. One I’m now sure won’t make the light of day (sadly) the other should go live very early in the new year. No doubt I’ll tweet about it come release day.

Finally, I started working on a(nother) personal project called: Förbind. It’s a real-time sockets service designed to make adding real-time easy as pie to your application. It’s still very early days yet, but what’s exciting to me, aside from the socket side, is the fact the entire application is written in JavaScript on top of Node. Something to keep my skills sharpened.

Screenshot of Forbind


Little Tia Sharp

This year was all about Tia for me. Julie fell pregnant at the end of 2009, and 2010 we watched together as our lives prepared to change. Except in the last moments, Tia was lost.

She was born on 31st August 2010, we’re both still grieving her loss now 4 months later – and I fully expect we will do for a long time to come. Each day comes with its own highs and lows and I’m seeing life through very different eyes than I did only a short while ago.

I’m thankful for small mercies and even more so that Julie and I have remained strong together even in light of everything that’s happened. I question all the time how people can wander around so oblivious of life, and how incredible fragile it all is. Equally I know that we can’t spend our lives focusing on this, and that we need to move forward through life. Like I said, I’m seeing things differently lately.

Slowly in the last month or so, some kind of new normality has begun. We’ve been able to leave our fortress (we spent a long time hiding at home in the early months), I’ve started to resume some work and we even occasionally laugh nowadays.

I have to also say thank you to everyone who has listened and let us talk about our baby girl. The warmth and well wishes from family, friends and strangers alike has been overwhelming and it’s given me a real belief that people are ultimately kind and loving. Something that’s hard to notice in the normal day to day grind. I’m truly thankful and honoured that we have been in your thoughts. If I could hug you, I would be right now.

Without turning this in to a monster post about my views on life and death, I’m still super proud of Julie and my little Tia. I’m still a proud father, even if I don’t have Tia in the house, and I’ve promised myself that I’ll be a better man in her name.

For me, 2010 will always be Tia’s year.

Tia, our sleeping baby

13 Responses to “2010: The Year I’ll Never Forget”

  1. I can’t begin to imagine the year that you’ve had, Remy. You’ve certainly been keeping yourself busy though, as I can’t seem to do anything with HTML5 without bumping into something that you’ve made.

    2010 has been a pretty hectic year myself, and I can really empathise with what you said about the process of writing a book. I’m writing one myself on HTML canvas, and it’s a tough old process; I’m enjoying it, but I cannot wait until it’s over and I can relax again!

    Here’s to a great 2011. You deserve it! :)

  2. Hey Remy,

    I know that downtown Brighton misses your company. Here’s to new beginnings in 2011 and here’s wishing both you and Julie a lovely New Year’s Eve.

  3. What a year! Was really good meeting you at .net awards and listening to what you had to say even if we were a bit drunk and it was late.

    Will see you around in 2011 I’m sure!

  4. Please please please get us some more stuff on jQuery4Designers. The last episodes have been long ago! I want to watch your videos in the train again. I’ve never learned so much about any other programming language in such a short time.

    Go on beeing so great, guys like you invent the future!

  5. Tia is really beautiful Remy, you must be very proud.

    Many thanks for your book (and tweets) in an impossible year for you.

    Best wishes for 2011.

  6. hi remy,

    at first, sorry for my bad english, im german.

    i feel so sorry to read ur story… i was looking for a way to contact u over a different page and i saw a link to ur homepage. now i dont feel to ask u about a litle help with my problem from ur script. if u feel to help one day, just let me know remy.

    wish u all the best in new year 2011!

  7. Thanks for the invite to Full Frontal, you and your wife were fantastic hosts and I really enjoyed it. We discussed it at ff and there’s always a spot for you at Think Vis (as a speaker or attendee).

    I cannot begin to think what you went through but looking forward there are lots of people there for you whether it’s to talk about your thoughts or to plug your new book / app ;)

    Ping me if you never want anything


  8. Just wanted to forward to you a congratulations on the Book, which I did buy, it sits proudly on my desk for reference when things get a little confusing. It is a great book to have and wish you all the success with it. To 2011 and beyond!

  9. Hi Remy,

    I ended up here whilst researching possibilities for a HTML5 based application that supports offline and server sync.

    I clicked through to your personal section and I was really moved by your 2010 story. It seems that even though you have had to cope with the loss of your daughter, you have still achieved so much.

    I can see from the comments that some have met you and you have left a lasting impression on them.

    Good luck with your book and your numerous projects. You have rather inspired me! Your 2010 is something to be proud of.


    Ben Powell

  10. This was a powerful read! Eloquently written and very moving!

    My condolences to you and Julie for the loss of your daughter.
    I’ve been sitting here crying… – reflecting on the frailty of life, and how unfair it can be. Just a minute ago, I got to hold my wife and 5-week-old son. I told them your story and felt tears return to my eyes.

    Lots of warmth, strength, and love to you and your family!


    P.S. Thank you for the helpful HTML5 information that brought me here! Your site is bookmarked for when I delve deeper into HTML5 (and jQuery).

  11. Hi Remy,

    What you and your partner have been through is unthinkable to me. What has happened to you should never happen to anyone. As a new father I found it really difficult to read this post, and I am sincerely wishing all of the best luck that can possibly be mustered in this universe upon the two of you for all of your future endeavours. Honestly, all possible positivity towards you both. Hang in there. Thanks for sharing.

  12. [...] was delivered by elective caesarean section because losing Tia during labour last year, and in the theatre I was able to hand my camera to a nurse and told her it’ll take 2,000 pictures, [...]

  13. Wow, thank you for sharing your story with us. I cannot begin to even catch a glimpse of the pain and sorrow you and your wife have gone through. Life is so very precious, especially those of the innocent little angels gone on before their time. Precious Tia is in your future and waits to be re-united with you, of that I am certain!!
    Congratulation on the birth of your beautiful little boy last year…..may love, joy, happiness, peace, laughter and special memories be yours and your family.

    Blessings to you

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