A reflection on 2012

Posted by under Life, on 1 January 2013 @ 10:48pm.

I realise it’s been over a month since my last post and in that time we’ve had Christmas and New Year but I’ve found it difficult to remember to write something here sometimes. That said, it’s been a good year and a lot of things have happened. Some have been good, some have been bad, but overall it’s not been a particularly bad year at all in the grand scheme of things. I’m not entirely sure where to start or what I should even mention here. To be honest my mind has sort of gone blank as to what happened in 2012 that’s worth mentioning at all.

I suppose the best place to start is the biggest “crapper” of 2012 was this stupid car that I bought. If you’ve been following my blog you’ll know the pain I’ve suffered ever since I got it last March, and it’s still not over even now. Hopefully this will be resolved soon but I’m not keeping my hopes up given how long ago this entire escapade even started. The moral of this story is research more before jumping in and buying, something that won’t be easily forgotten from this ordeal.

That was probably the only bad part of 2012 worth mentioning. Sure I got annoyed a lot at silly things but I won’t bore you with those. Some of the better parts of 2012 involved some personal projects which I’ve also mentioned here and another successful camping trip.

A successful project of my own has involved the charging box I made for camping/emergency use. It involved a fair amount of research and prototyping, but I learned a lot along the way which has boosted my knowledge for future projects. Although this started in 2011, it wasn’t finished until June of 2012 primarily due to laziness on my part. Despite that it was finished in time with some help from friends (both in ‘real life’ and Internet friends) and was successful in doing the job it was designed for.

I have also got into Arduino programming and circuit design which will hopefully yield something actually worth using this year. I have a few things in mind that I want to use it for but not quite enough knowledge yet. My friend John over at www.vwlowen.co.uk has made a half dozen projects in 2012 that all had a good purpose. He mainly does it to pass time but I’d like something that is going to be of use for years to come. Some of them include an internet controlled power strip for rebooting my server remotely and a battery capacity tester which I actually just thought about recently. Again more knowledge is needed but I won’t learn until I do it either!

For camping in 2012 we went to an entirely new camp site, Shell Island, that was over 75 miles from the one we used to go. The entire area for most of us was new and we still didn’t manage to explore it all. We enjoyed the camp site so much we’re going back again in 2013 for another go! Even now almost 6 months away some of the guys are already excited for it. I think this year we need to go exploring more of the local area and the camp site itself. We only ventured up to the sand dunes once and they’re huge. The sand on bare feet is really nice and gives them a good sand scrub. When you come off you feel like you’ve had a sort of massage!

 Another upcoming year…

So what have I got to look forward to in 2013? Hopefully I will get this whole issue with my car sorted once and for all so I can get rid of something I never should have bought and buy something else. Wish me luck with that one.

Another item that has been on my mind for practically the last 2 years on and off is BT Infinity broadband. One of my friends already got it in 2012 and it’s insanely good. Unfortunately it’s been slow to roll out in nearly all areas so it’s been a waiting game ever since it was announced my area would get it. However today I finally found out that I should, and I emphasise ‘should’, have it available to me by the beginning of April 2013! They estimate I should get 65Mbps down and 20Mbps up so fingers crossed! The only part I really want is that insanely nice upload speed (20x what I have now) but the download wouldn’t go amiss!

Camping is of course another on my list to look forward to. As I said above several of the guys are already looking forward to it and I’ve already booked the time off work. Nearer the time my own excitement will grow but until then it’s just a distant event.

Since I bought my digital SLR camera just over a month ago (oh no, another expensive hobby!) I’ve been waiting for a good opportunity to go out with it and get some decent still shots. Unfortunately the lack of tripod until Christmas and the awful weather has made it impossible to do so. So this is definitely one of the items on my agenda for 2013 – to get out and get some brilliant snaps and most of all get practice/experience in doing so. There are some guys I know on Facebook who I’ve been following for a while now who get some stunning shots when they go out, so I want to try my hand at doing the same. Unfortunately if I start getting good I fear this could become an expensive hobby, buying lenses, filters, new cameras, etc, but hopefully what I have now will be enough for the foreseeable future.

What else? Well who knows what the year will have in store? I can assure you of one thing and that is some good parties with friends, LAN parties, bike rides in summer and general mucking about that we all get up to. Whatever happens I’ll be sure to try and write about it here.

I hope you have had a good 2012, and I hope you have an equally if not better 2013!