2017 & The Missing Blogs

Quite likely the busiest year of all time and certainly one the most significant, there have been many missed opportunities for blogging in 2017. I’m going to commit to the cause while I have some time off and re-cap all the notable events of this year. After all, this blog’s purpose is both to share interesting occasions and to keep some history of them - that doesn’t work if I don’t actually blog. Expect to see some monthly round-up posts hitting the blog shortly, I will link them to this post as I add them.

Super Trees, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Super Trees, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

In January I set some Annual Objectives, a bit like a monster list of New Year's resolutions. I haven’t done great, but certainly could have done worse… Worth noting that none of these would've been possible without support from others, not only the decking or car but the rest too. In order of completion:

I was, however, not able to achieve these objectives:

  • Log 100 dives
  • Complete 2 x ITIL Exams
  • Obtain Amazon Web Services Technical Certifications
  • Start Learning Spanish
Hong Kong Island

Hong Kong Island

Additionally, I was aiming to blog at least once a month; for those that may remark this post and those that follow this isn’t an attempt to swing in at the last minute and claim that I did manage that, I failed, marginally, but I failed. I’m sure I will do better next year, I certainly did better than 2016.

Dexter as a puppy

Dexter as a puppy

This year was a good year for progress with The Bucket List, without even thinking about them Number 5 - Own a Dog and Number 11 - Speak Publically in Front of a Crowd were both checked off. For those curious, I did not get the dog in order to check the item off(!) - In fact, I didn’t even realise it was on the list until Victoria noticed! The dog has since become more of a family member than we could ever have imagined!

I think in 2018 I may re-vamp The Bucket List into something less of a morbid box-ticking exercise and something that’s more goal-oriented, perhaps with some description around each of the entries. Certainly, there are a number of things that as time has passed I feel should be or have been on the list (Getting engaged and married!) and things that in hindsight should not be there (Number 28 - Break a Bone).

My Updated Rail Travel Map

End of the line at Holyhead, onwards to the ferry!

End of the line at Holyhead, onwards to the ferry!

I'm sure regular followers of my blog are aware of my Rail Map (well, it's National Rail's map really), it shows all of the railway lines in the UK which I have travelled on at some point. Both a record for where I have been in the UK and a challenge to travel the entire network! 

The last update I made to the map was in 2013, which is a shockingly long time ago. I have just invested some time adding journeys made since then. Won't list them all off but some of the highlights are:

  • London to Sheringham (a beautiful seaside town) via Norwich 
  • London to Bristol Temple Meads, past the impressive architecture of Bath Spa
  • St Erth to St Ives, one of the most famous and stunning branch lines in the country
  • Plymouth to Gunnislake, another great scenic branch line 
  • London to Weymouth

I'll do my best to keep up with the updates, the process is much more well rehearsed now. Myself and @geekyjames are also planning a tour of Scotland by rail in the next few weeks, so there will be so blog posts following that journey no doubt! 

Check out the map here: http://www.andrews.io/rail-map/