Start Again

So it's been a long time between entries, and rather a lot has happened.

I got made part of the senior management team at work, my boss quit so I became "Director of Technology", I got married, I got offered (and took) a job at Amazon Web Services, I recruited my old boss to be my new boss, I went on honeymoon in Thailand and Malaysian Borneo, travelled to Seattle and Dublin for my new job and generally became very busy.

Of course, one of the things that got sacrificed on the altar of work were last year's good habits and routines around exercise. First was the weekly boot camp, and with a lot of weekends overseas, the weekend running had all but disappeared.

So this marks an attempt to kick-start things again. Parkrun is back on the weekly planner, and I'm working harder to make it the "default"Saturday morning activity, rather than an exception. My wife and I ran (well, ish) the City2Surf this year and, while slow, it felt great. Sometime soon I would like to get mid-week running or something back in to fill the void left by bootcamp, but I'd rather make small, sustainable changes to routine than try to make everything stick at once.

I've also been back to rock climbing a couple of times this month, something I haven't done since high school! It's pretty great, and while I'm nowhere near as good as I was back then, at least I don't feel totally hopeless. It's nice to finish the weekend feeling like I've actually given my legs and my upper body a bit of a workout.

The other routine that has come and gone (mostly gone) over the past 8 months has been mindfulness, so that's been another thing I've tried (with success!) to bring back in to every day. It's still a bit weird standing on the train with my eyes shut, focussing on my breathing, but I'm kinda used to it now.

So here's to starting again, and picking up the old habits that have fallen by the way side. Think of it like a New Year's Resolution, but when it's actually needed, not at some arbitrary point on the calendar. And with actions, not just good intentions. So, y'know, not like New Year's Resolutions at all.


Sometime last year I installed Headspace on my phone. This is an app (and website) focussed on the concept of mindfulness, and training the mind to be more present and aware of the immediate world, and less distracted. The history of "mindfulness" isn't a nice, neat, and orderly timeline that shows how it's developed, but it's safe to say that it sits somewhere between "borrows heavily from" and "taken directly from" Buddhist anapanasati (breath meditation).

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Switching to Python

For a long time this blog has been a static site, generated using Octopress and a lot of custom tweaks to various plugins, libraries and themes that I've gathered along the way. I started using Octopress in May 2013, and looking at the git repo for the site, it looks like on 2013-06-10 I saw the light and started tracking revisions. Now I've embraced the change I foreshadowed at the start of my holiday, and moved to a python-based static site generator.

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The Voyage Home

Sydney NSW, 2015-01-04

We woke up neither too late nor too dusty, since neither of us had had much to drink (relative to our respective tolerances). Andy had sensibly done the bulk of her packing before we went out to Brooklyn, while I lay in bed watching HGTV, so my morning was a little more active.

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