Each year about this time I sit down and look at the goals and targets I want to set myself for next year.

I start with a final reviewof the previous (current) year and a look back over the last five or so years. The last couple have been heavily disrupted by Covid but I’ve been pretty successful in meeting my targets, which makes me feel I should have been a bit more ambitious.

Next years will be, although perhaps again coloured by some uncertainty around Covid. These cover work and personal goals, although admittedly there is crossover between the two.

Do you do something similar?

Still Posting Daily

I started this post-a-day thing, back on December 11th 2016, with the initial intention of going until the end of the year, but seem to have managed to carry it on to this point at least.

There have been a couple of days when I’ve been posting quite late in the day, and have nearly broken the chain, but I’ve managed it so far. Some posts are written a few days in advance (this is one of them), which helps me with scheduling and other things happening, and others are more spur of the moment.

Making no promises I’m going to keep going for now and just see what happens. I don’t want to feel forced into writing daily (and I don’t at the moment), but I also have the little voice in the back of my head telling me not to break the chain!

Unbroken Chain

I seem to have tripped over the point of a month of continuous blog posts without realising. My original intention was to go until December 31st 2016 and stop, but I kept going. There were a couple of days when I thought I’d stop and didn’t, and the chain might break tomorrow. I have no idea.

If you have been reading, thank you.

Post A Day Review

I’ve been doing this post a day thing for nearly three weeks and I wanted to take stock of some of the things I’ve learned, and review where I go from here. There’ll be a final post tomorrow (my fourth quarter review), and probably one on January 1st, what happens beyond that I’m undecided.

I know a couple of bloggers / writers who post everyday, and mostly what they post I enjoy reading. Although I’ve managed to find something to post myself everyday for the last three weeks, it has felt a little bit forced on some days – like I’ve had to find something to write about because I said I would – so I don’t think it’s been my best writing. Although I like the discipline of making myself write / post something everyday.

Some days I’ve fallen back on posts that would happen anyway e.g. Quick Links, which go out every Monday anyway, and I’ve been quite glad of them, although obviously those are written too.

I’ve often written posts a day or two before they actually go live, so it’s not been as spontaneous as I would have liked, but it was the only way I could actually make a post a day. Although I like knowing that a scheduled post will appear around 7am (GMT) everyday.

I’ve posted things that I might otherwise not have made it onto the blog. Mostly I think this has been good.

I’m erring towards not continuing to post everyday, but perhaps posting more frequently –  e.g. three times a week – than I have been. I’m not sure though whether I can be disciplined enough to do this though, or will forget. For now I’m just going to see what happens, rather than try and force something that might end up being less than perfect.

What do you readers think, let me know via the comments below, and in the meantime I wish you all a very happy New Year.


Penguin Cubes

One of my more novel Christmas presents. Plastic, water filled, penguins. Put them in the freezer, and then add them to your drink once frozen to do the same job as ice cubes, without diluting your drink.

A Bonus Christmas Present

I had several books for Christmas presents this year, many were from my Amazon wish list. One had to be bought secondhand, as there wasn’t an “in-print” copy available. Unbeknown to both the giver and receiver (and also possibly the seller), is that this copy was signed. A bonus Christmas present.

Christmas Traditions


I can think of a few Christmas traditions and sayings. For example, we always used to be told that if we weren’t well behaved Father Christmas would only leave a lump of coal in our Christmas stocking. If we were good there was always a satsuma, and some nuts in  the toe, underneath the presents.

Do you have any similar Christmas traditions? Leave me a comment below.

Garden Birdlist 2016


Regular readers will know that I keep an annual garden bird list. The rule is simple to be on the list I must have seen the bird in, or from the garden for it to qualify.

The total so far this year is 28 species. Not a big number I know, but not bad for an urban back garden. The overall number of species, across all the years I’ve been doing this is 36.

I might get a couple more before New Year, but it feels unlikely. There are plenty of species a stones throw away, but they don’t make the rule.

Anyway here’s this years list:

  1. Black-Headed Gull
  2. Blackbird
  3. Blackcap
  4. Blue tit
  5. Buzzard
  6. Carrion Crow
  7. Chaffinch
  8. Chiff -Chaff
  9. Coal tit
  10. Collared Dove
  11. Dunnock
  12. Goldfinch 
  13. Great tit
  14. Grey Heron
  15. Herring gull
  16. House sparrow
  17. Jackdaw
  18. Jay
  19. Long-tailed tit
  20. Magpie
  21. Red kite
  22. Robin
  23. Song thrush
  24. Sparrowhawk
  25. Starling
  26. Swift
  27. Wood pigeon
  28. Wren