Finally feeling like society around me has settled into it's stride, even many normal things have happened, but as I write my last blog post of the year (as I've done for over a decade), I'm not entirely happy with how I feel like my blog has been neglected.
Since the pandemic hit us back in early 2020, I've been working (mostly) flat out because we really didn't know what would happen to the economy.
My typical work contract would be, at most, a few months, but instead I've been working very long term with clients. This is really good for our security but not something I'm used to and I can see the impact it's had on my creativity around side projects that I'd normally work towards.
More obvious (to me) is my lack of blogging and really the motivation to write has gone utterly kaput.
If you've followed any of my tweets this year, you'll know my side projects have turned to hardware. I guess this also reflects my desire to move away from the computer a little. Maybe.
I felt like 2021 was the year of the Spectrum, and 2022 was the year of the Game Boy(s).
My teens were spent playing my Game Boy and I decided to buy myself a DMG second hand for Christmas last year - and even finished Super Mario Land (which I'm honestly unsure if I ever did as a kid).
After installing a better display in the Christmas Game Boy, I started on a journey of refurbishments which started with 5 Game Boys then exploded into a joblot of 32 Game Boy purchase. I've gone on to buy more broken Game Boys, Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color and even the fabled Micro - all broken in someway and all except about 5 (out of I'd say 50) fully repaired, working and (mostly) re-homed.
Soldering and learning to do surface mount soldering (plus using a microscope) has been a fun challenge and given me a lot more confidence in fixing or modifying electronics (I even managed to fix 5 Nintendo Switches this year, though failed to fix more).
Speaking of Game Boys
Not only have I completed games (which I don't think I ever did as a kid) - specifically Pokémon Fire Red (my first Pokémon adventure), Zelda: Link's Awakening (a big deal when it came out in in '93), but I also built and released a game.
For our ffconf speakers, I decided to gift them all a refurbished Game Boy but to top it off (with the obligatory copy of Tetris), I built a game for the speaker and fully produced a cartridge that they could play (kid Remy would be dead impressed) - plus you can play it on the web. I still intend to make a video tutorial on how I did it and the tools I made - so do come back for that!
I wrote about this separately but in short, it was an extremely intrepid lead up and in some ways I forgot what it really felt like (since our last outing was back in 2019), but in the end it was a huge success. People were warm and generous with their love for the event and it was really wonderful to meet up with old and new people attending the conference.
Cats and kitties
Sadly this year saw my cat, Missy, died back in June. She was a great friend to me and got to the ripe old age of 17. I still think of her often, just her idiosyncrasies.
In November, after a long chat with Julie (my partner) I realised I was still desperately missing a cat (and Missy), and so Julie suggested that maybe I look around for another cat.
The day after ffconf I got a message saying that a new kitten, an 8 week old, mostly siamese (which Missy and her brothers were also part) was ready to collect (a week earlier than we'd expected).
And so Taco came to live with us. He's full of love, purrs loads with me, comes to visit me in the mornings and slips under the cover for a cuddle and sighs with deep relaxation in the crook of my arm. I'm hoping this is the start of a beautiful friendship.
Last year we (Left Logic - Julie and I) donated £5,000 to charities. This year we were able to donate £14,000 - something I hope that I'll be able to continue to do for many years to come.
This year we donated to the following charities, in no particular order:
- Pelican Parcels
- The Choir With No Name
- Off The Fence
- Brighton Youth Centre
- Allsorts Youth Project
- Hummingbird Project
In addition to donating money, I also donated my cold hard … hair…?! I'd been growing my hair (unintentionally) for two years during the lockdown and I'd grown pretty tired of how long and heavy it was.
Julie remembered the Little Princess Trust and suggested I grow it long enough to donate. So January came and so did the scissors. We captured the sequence of snips and we managed to raise £670 along with hair length ranging from 8 to 15 inches and over 500 grams of hair in the post!
The other bits
- I started MS drug treatment this year. It was a little scary, but it has very little impact on my life and for that I'm thankful. It's just every month for the rest of my life…which is quite a stint!
- My reading took a serious nose dive and so did the reviews I was writing (sorry if you're following the RSS feed of empty reviews) - I got seriously stuck reading SevenEves (nearly 3 months) - plus my evenings were being taken up by playing Pokémon to completion!
- Equally on the decline has been my blogging. The 2022 page is painfully light and I've failed to keep up my "two blog posts a month" - something I fully intend to restore in 2023.
That's all folks 👋
So that's it. That's my 2022 review. I'm sure there's other bits, but this is all I could muster/remember!
I'll catch you in 2023, ideally with a lot more blogging, and maybe an in person appearance or two…!