Buddy the cat

Given the turmoil in social media in the last year or so, it’s been lovely to see friends like Neil and Jeremy revive their blogging. I’ve been somewhat in awe of Dave and Jukesie’s ability to maintain theirs over the years and different jobs, while staying true to the idea of a personal blog alongside work being a place to be as honest and open as you can reasonably manage.

On the last day of 2023, I’ve realised that if I don’t get a post out today, it will be the first year in fifteen years that I’ve not written anything, here at least.

So, having tidied up my online estate recently for the digital consultancy side of things I do now, I’ve moved the old Helpful Technology/Postbureaucrat blog over here.

I don’t think I’m about to become a weeknoter. That’s altogether too much commitment and I’ve been keeping my own weekly ‘good stuff/bad stuff’ reflections in a Notion table for a couple of years, which works fine for me.

My blogging has always been a thread alongside work but not solely about work. I mean, our family adventures on random trains have featured, alongside my fancy bike and the lessons we can all learn from Captain Barnacles.

I still believe in blogging as your brain on the internet over time, so here’s hoping I can use this refreshed blog a bit more next year to help me straighten out some of things I’ve got going on in mine these days:

  • I’m starting a short coaching course with Barefoot Coaching next week. I’ve done little bits of coaching which I find tough but rewarding, and I could do with a bit more confidence feeling like it’s something I can offer. I’ve enjoyed talking to people wrestling with the challenges of running an agency in tough times, or deciding on career choices in different organisational cultures, and I hope I can do a bit more of that next year.
  • I’ve got a very interesting website project kicking off shortly, which should run for a while and involve co-ordinating a team of freelance folks I really rate. In 2023, I’ve really enjoyed being back on the tools website-wise, working on the Coronation, Community Living and National Maternity Voices’ map amongst others.
  • Helping to shape Climate Habits – and embrace climate-friendly living more at home – has been a major theme of 2023 for me. It’s taken us a while but we have some funded work kicking off soon and I’m still impressed and enjoying working with Jude on bringing it to life as a business and a digital product.
  • I’ve done lots of projects in the workshop this year (most of the evidence is over on my Instagram), and feel like I’m becoming a more confident woodworker. I’ve got more furniture restorations lined up, and would like to get the lathe out a bit more and work on my woodturning.
  • My son was diagnosed with autism towards the end of the year after spending a lot of 2022-23 out of school. He’s settled really well into a new school now, but I’d like to read up more on autism and neurodiversity, as well as navigating the EHCP process, and maybe use some of my hours on the school run to get into podcasts (recommendations for podcasts, autism-related or not, are welcome).
  • I’ve been an enthusiastic electric vehicle driver since the summer. There’s a surprising amount to learn and plan for, and I’ve got a blog post or two brewing about my experiences and tips.
  • Likewise, we’ve recently helped our Ukrainian house guest move into her own place, after just over a year living with us under the Homes for Ukraine scheme. Sadly, there are still plenty of Ukrainians here who could use a place to live and I’ve been planning to write about our really positive experience.

If I have one general ambition for 2024, it’s to maintain the nice balance I’ve been able to strike since finishing up at Helpful a couple of years ago now of interesting work, volunteering, family time and making stuff.

Expect more of that sort of stuff here in 2024!

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