A bay in cornwall full of fishing boats on the sand

Reflections on 2019

This year marked a significant lifestyle shift from the previous 30. On 7 May, I walked into Pure Planet and handed in my notice. I quite simply had enough of working and commuting, and I didn’t know if I wanted two months or two years off. I’ve never had trouble getting work, so I never worried about being able to get another job sometime.

After a bit of too-ing and fro-ing, I agreed with Pure Planet not to resign, but commence a seven month sabbatical on 1 September. The idea being that if I didn’t want to go back, I could resign immediately with no need for notice.

I walked out the office for the final time on 30 August in a rather unspectacular manner. As I walked up the hill to my car on the outskirts of Bath, I had a sense that this was a turning point, but I really had no idea how, or why.

For the months that followed, I mainly worked on a personal open source project (which was no consequence to me, or anyone else, after it was completed). I also went on long walks most days in the surrounding countryside.

I also started two activities which would have a profound influence on shaping my future lifestyle, although at the time it was just something to do.

The first was that I signed up as a volunteer with the Glorious Grasslands project. I had no previous interest or knowledge about conservation, but the idea of creating new wildflower meadow appealed. It was also outdoors and would give me something interesting to do in different parts of the cotswolds (which I had no real knowledge of).

The second thing was I started tutoring Izzy, a thirteen year old, in python. Her mum put out a post on LinkedIn which I responded to. I then gave her weekly half hour sessions over zoom. This was a way to start to inspire and motivate the next generation for coding in the same way that I had been back in 1981.

I had a holiday in Cornwall, which mainly consisted of walking. But I also stumbled upon Marconi’s hut en-route which was a fascinating browse. I also took my mum on a tour of churches in the Cotswolds when she came to visit for three days.

These reflections are as remembered in December 2023.

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