Another year older, and I felt that this time it might be worth the recap on what I've achieved and what's happened for posterity's sake. This post is going to be a little rough, as it's mainly a brain dump of memories. This last year was — and I use the cliché purposefully — a roller-coaster ride of emotions.
In January I attended my first funeral. My grandfather passed away in the December, just before New Years. It was one of the most difficult things I have had to go through, and left me out of touch with reality for a little while.
He was my only male influence in life growing up, and as I moved away from home for university and work I had not spent as much time with him as I once had. That regret is still with me now.
In March, my cat — Felix — died. Fifteen years old; one month after his birthday. We still have his mother, but she was noticeably lost and confused for some time after losing him. While being allergic to them, I couldn't imagine being without them.
To something more positive. That Summer, in June, my girlfriend Becca and I bought our first house!
Back home, in South Wales, not too far from our families. Having been away to be closer to work this made for a rather relaxing change. Whether its a Welsh thing or not (as my old boss [we'll get to that] seems to think it is) — it's nice to be back around my family and old friends.
After Summer, I attended my second funeral. I was asked by my cousin to be a pallbearer at her mother's funeral. I have always been very close with my family; my cousin — or Auntie as I have always called her — used to babysit me, take me to school, and hasn't lived more than half a mile away my entire life. Her mum always had time for me.
The funeral was hard. Mainly just the look on peoples faces. The sadness that possessed them as they turned to look at what… who… you're carrying.
Two weeks after that, I attended my third funeral. Much like busses, at this point (if you don't laugh, you'll only cry). Becca's uncle passed away, and while I didn't know him, I went to support. It was held at the same crematorium my grandfather's had been in January — which brought back a lot of the same emotion and made it so much harder than I thought it would be.
September saw me end a three-year contract with Scholastic UK. I worked with a lot of talented people there, and am quite proud of a lot of the work we produced. Getting the chance to build a website for one of my favourite set of books growing up still feels pretty cool.
To think it all started with a Tweet to one of my idols — of Rissington Podcast fame — that I was pushed into sending. The Scholastic web team were a group of highly talented people, and I urge you to check them and their work out:
Moving on… in October I bought Becca a puppy. To get the horrible bit out of the way — due to my allergic reactions to him, he lives with Becca's parents which is literally around the corner and so we still see him every day.
His name is Milo. He is a labradoodle, which, as it turns out, isn't hypoallergenic. He's absolutely awesome. Becca and I take him for walks every day, and try I try to get as much time with him as possible before the allergies kick off.
I still haven't quite gotten used to the "eating your own poo" thing, but Elliot Jay Stocks' post seems to sum it up perfectly:
if you could make your favourite food come out of your bottom — and hot — wouldn’t you eat it?
Since leaving Scholastic, I've had the opportunity to work on quite a few awesome projects, such as a feature theme for Karelia's Mac application, Sandvox. While I can't talk about some of the other projects I've been involved with yet, I look forward to sharing them in the future.
Here's to 2012!