For the last few years I’ve been writing a retrospective for the year, and maybe setting out something that could be called resolutions for the next year. I’ve been a bit softer on the resolution front the last few years, I’m calling it wisdom, but also a bit of realism. It’s good to have aspirations, but we need to make them things that are in our own gift.Last year, I set four goals for 2022.

  • Find a new house for the family to live in, and get us settled over the summer
  • Make some new friends, and keep in contact with our current ones
  • Keep on having things to look forward to
  • Climb some munros, and take my family on the hills with me

New House

We spent the first half of 2022 looking for a new house and then packing up to move to it. See my post about Moving Home and the other one about the actual move, called Moving North.

Since then we’ve managed to unpack every box we brought, get the kids into new schools, Tracy has a new job, and we both volunteer with scouting and guiding. We’ve also have had people visit us from Merstham, and been back to see friends too. So I think we’ve made the first three of four a reality.

Doing Munros is also achieved, see my earlier posts this year. Photo evidence of the awesome views, and also the low cloud!

Writing and Reading

I didn’t write about it in my post this time last year. I’ve read something every day this year, and by something I mean either on paper or on my kindle. I’m talking only about books or magazines, the back of the cereal packet or my mail doesn’t quite count. I hadn’t intended to do this, I’d sort of noticed the kindle telling me about this late in January. I’d also realised that I wasn’t reading as much. So I decided to deliberately make time to read. Some days it was literally a single page in the book, other days it was a chapter. I even had a few days on holiday where I read a 500 pager in about three days.

Half of what I read this year was Joe Abercrombie. I read a set of short stories (Sharp Ends) that would have made more sense if I’d first read the whole nine books in his First Law world. I heartily recommend those, cracking stories and the world develops as much as the characters. Most of the characters are different between the books, although there are threads that tie them together.


Another hobby that hasn’t done so well since 2020 has been writing. My process was geared around my commute to work. That’s changed radically, and I no longer get mental space when walking to and from the station and my home/office to think about stories.

That said I still have opportunities to think, they’re just more spread out and irregular. Train travel is still definitely a happy place where I can crank out words, and tell stories. Over the space of November I wrote something every day, and made over 15k words of fiction. Most of this wasn’t direct story, but a sort of world building sourcebook for my fantasy world. I also drew several iterations of a world map, and tracked several generations of noble families. I suspect that rather than becoming another fantasy novel this may well become a set of megagame briefings.


So what about 2023? From where I sit it looks like being another eventful year. Alex is sitting Highers in the spring, and he’s got conditional offers for a couple of universities already. We’ve got some holidays to plan, I’m in the process of being re-accredited as an Explorer Scout Leader and I want to do the mountain leader training and perhaps the DofE assesor training. I’m likely to need to find a new SCS role at work, the portfolio I’m leading now has a limited shelf life. So a busy looking year. So I’m keeping it loose for now.