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Published 21st August 2018 by

This post is a self reflection article and my annual review of the past year, what have I achieved since my last birthday?


Shortly after my 36th birthday I boarded a plane to Reykjavik, Iceland, for a magical two week holiday exploring the Southern coastal region. During the two weeks there I explored lava fields, climbed a glacier, sailed among icebergs, went inside a volcano, walked on black sand beaches, walked behind a waterfall and took in some local customs and cuisine. A fantastic experience and I cannot wait to go back!

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Seljalandsfoss waterfall

Seljalandsfoss waterfall

NLP course

In the beginning of the year I took a course on NLP Mind Mastery learning leadership development, personal & professional development and includes an NLP Practitioner certification. It was also an opportunity to travel back to Bristol having been away for 4 years. Nice place to visit, but also a reminder of why I left.

Scotland Highlands

In March 2018 I travelled up to the Scottish Highlands with my girlfriend, returning after a two year break. We took in the Kelpies statues in Falkirk before heading up through Glencoe and up to Fort William and Fort Augustus.

View Gallery on Flickr
The Kelpies in Falkirk, the largest equine sculptures in the world.

The Kelpies in Falkirk, the largest equine sculptures in the world.


Later in May I had another travel opportunity, this time to Germany to visit my girlfriends mother for her birthday. Flying into Koln-Bonn airport we had views over Cologne Cathedral where we would explore in a few days time. We stayed in Mondorf and over the week visited Bonn, Cologne and the surrounding area.

View Gallery on Flickr
Cologne Cathedral

Cologne Cathedral

Also in the past year I purchased the flat I have been renting in. I am very happy living here, the location is perfectly suited to me, I have a top floor flat with stunning views out over the Clyde Valley and Strathclyde, the wonderful Chatelherault Country Park on my doorstep for walking and running, easy access to work on the train, lots of local shops and at the same time it is on the outskirts of own with lots of green spaces, trees and wildlife.

I also visited my first major sporting event - the European Championships 2018 held the triathlon event in Strathclyde country park - just up the road from me, so I went to have a look and cheer on our athletes (view gallery)

I bought my first drone, not expecting it to be so difficult to fly. Luckily there are lots of wide open spaces in Chatelherault country park nearby where I can fly my drone. (watch the video)

Also 2018 was the year I nearly stopped blogging and closed my sites. I was managing 7 websites using a bespoke CMS and hand cranked photo galleries. It took a lot of time to maintain and update all that code, but it did produce a great website with fast page speeds and good SEO. The problem was I spent nearly every waking hour working on it and not getting anything back in return. Over the next 12 months I have migrated all 7 sites into one site (this site) and moved all my photos onto Flickr. With one blogging platform I don't have to worry about updating the core code, I can focus on writing content (6 times less content!) and with my photos on Flickr they get hosted in a professional photographer site, get increased exposure and the management tools are far better than I could replicate in my limited time. So hopefully over the next 12 months I can work on generating content not bug fixes and see my website take off.

Looking Forward To

Next year I will be 38, so between now and then there are a few things I want to have accomplished by then. I'm keen to knock off a few more life list items, not sure which ones yet but I want to do at least three. I'm aiming for a promotion in work, the first time I'll have been promoted without having to resign and apply for a new position. It'll be great to have that recognition of a job well done and that my employer is pleased with the work I go.

Of course the main thing I'm looking forward to in 2019 is Brexit, and the disaster that will be. Hopefully our glorious leader can get the good deal everybody is talking about, doesn't end tree trade and movement of people and EU citizens still have a right to live and work in the UK (my girlfriend is from EU). Fingers crossed!

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