After a fairly dramatic 2012, this year was always going to be somewhat quieter, and it was needed.
January saw the formerly yellow masses head to Florida as ever. I had gone with some trepidation and fear that it would be the last hurrah for Lotusphere, but it turned out to be a great year, at least from my point of view. It seems fewer people may be going in a few weeks for the annual pilgrimage, but hopefully even if we're missing some familiar faces the same old magic will still be there. Things are already looking pretty busy for me.
I did three other "LUGs" this year, IamLUG and BLUG continue to be great events and I'm hopeful that I'll be able to make it to both of them again on 2014. UKLUG (or ICONUK this year) was something a bit special as it was Warren and Kitty's swan song after 8 years of organising conferences here and in Ireland. I'm fairly sure that no one will be able to match what they've achieved. The standing ovation they got at the end of the event was the least they deserved.
The London Developer Co-op continues to thrive with several new projects keeping us busy right through the year. Most of my time has been divided between four major pieces of work, two of which are pretty public. Bruce continues to steer the good ship Elguji, IdeaJam just keeps of chugging along, it's hard to believe this will be the seventh year that we've been working on it. Wearing another hat, I've done a lot of work on the Teamstudio Unplugged Controls project. It's the work that I'm proudest of from 2013, especially what we've produced in the second half of the year with a complete overhaul of the controls themselves and also the new Sampler application and Restyler website. I'm very lucky to be involved in such an interesting project.
Having moved house right at the end of last year, the first few months of this year were spent sorting exciting things like the boiler and electrics out, not thrilling but important because as far as we could tell they hadn't been touched for 30 years! The next job is to get an extension built at the back of the house, but that's for next year. Given that I work at home for 80% of the time now I was very happy to get the home office sorted out with all my kit nicely laid out and properly fast cable broadband. I know that shouldn't make a big difference to me, I'm a nerd what can I say.
The most important task of the year was making the new house into a home. The fact that our toddler charges round the place with utter joy most of the time, I think signifies that we've succeeded so far. She's turning into a very happy little girl (excepting some 3am alarm calls) who absolutely loves any animals that she's come into contact with. My favourite description of her encounter with some chickens a couple of months ago was that she was "vibrating with happiness". I'll end the proud Dad thing there!
So challenges for 2014 are to continue to bring in enough work to keep the LDC busy but also balance that with taking a bit more time off. I only managed a 2 week summer holiday this year, other than a few odd days here and there, that was all the down time and it's not enough. But I realise that if this is the extent of my problems then life is good!
So here's wishing you a happy, healthy and successful New Year.