A species rich grassland close up and full of wildflowers.

Reflections on 2023

This is going to be a different post to the usual diary entry, when I’ll look back at the year as a whole and record some thoughts.

The first point of reference is that I began to write this diary this year, so most of the key events are recorded in detail. But I intend to go back and write a single post for each of the previous 54 years, with my (incomplete) recollection of that year. That will take some time to do, but is the best way I can think of to have a whole life diary when I didn’t keep entries for most of it.

I don’t remember exactly which was my first entry – it was sometime in April. I then back filled the dates back to the beginning of the year. This really brought home why I wanted to keep the diary in the first place – even just a few months after an activity, it was hard to recall the details of what happened, let alone the small details which made each one special.

My main motivation is because I visit so many places, meet so many people and learn so many things that it’s really hard to keep track of. I also want to link and promote the various organisations I’m involved with. I’m not active on social media so having my own digital space to record whatever I want is important.

I also have a broader goal which I haven’t yet pursued: I want my writing to be accessible in 200 years time.

I have some ideas how I might do this, but now that 2023 has passed, I can consider more carefully how to create an archive that will sustain for many centuries. My ideas so far are to generate a book with an ISBN number deposited with the British Library, create a public domain github repository, make a zip file and upload to as many different archive platforms as I can find.

So, if you are reading this in the future, greetings from 2023! Your world is very different to mine, and I’m gutted not to experience it. But I can at least tell you a bit about mine, if you wish to know.

I became a lot more involved with Stroud Valley’s Project this year, doing tree planting in the first three months of the year and the canal work party over the rest of the year.

I also started two brand new community projects. The first is Code Club – an after school club in the library to inspire 8-11yo to learn to program computers. I heard they were looking for volunteers, otherwise the club would have to close. This aligns directly with one of my passions, so I jumped at the chance to have a go. Since March I have run many clubs, and started a new python club alongside scratch. It’s really amazing to watch the children develop every week as they gain more curiosity and creativity.

The second project was a monthly gathering called Dursley Green Drinks at Kingshill House. This came out from a work party I did in February at Stinchcombe Hill and met Jo. It turned out we knew similar people and had similar interests, so she suggested we start a regular meeting for like-minded people. We’ve had 6 or 7 sessions and around 20-25 attend each one, so pretty pleased with the outcome. More importantly, the existence of this platform has enabled many people to make connections across the community that they wouldn’t have otherwise.

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