Season’s greetings

It is that time of year again. As I am not really a religious person, I am not a great enthusiast for Christmas and tend to be appalled by the commercialism, that results in people spending money they do not have to buy unwanted things for other people. However, when I get over my “Bah! Humbug!” moment, I will admit that I do like to have a holiday in the middle of Winter. It is a good time to connect with friends and family.

I have often thought that it might be nice to spend the holiday in a place where Christmas is not celebrated. I know some people who are doing just that in a soft-core Islamic country. They phoned a restaurant to book a table for Christmas Day and were asked: “And what date would that be?”.

I am much more interested in New Year …

I think that a year is a sensible sized chunk of time into which life may be divided – despite the fact that years pass more quickly as I get older [there are good reasons for this]. So, the transition from one year to the next is an ideal opportunity to look back and take stock of the year past and look forward and think about plans and expectations for the year ahead.

2011 has been a very full year in terms of news events. I am not going to attempt to review the year here, as all the news services around the world will be obsessing over that in the next 10 days. Each of us can spend time thinking back over our own version of 2011. There are successes and failures, new friends made, new places visited, valued colleagues that have moved on and, of course, inevitably there will be people who have died, but who live on in our thoughts and memories.

But I prefer to look forward rather than back. There is much to look forward to in 2012. The big event in the UK is the Olympics, but I will be doing my best to avoid and ignore it, as I have almost no interest in sport. Looking at my diary, I have lots of things planned. In my personal life, I have social events, parties and performances of all kinds to look forward to. Professionally, several conferences are already slated, so I think that I will be spending some more time on aircraft. Something that I have been working on lately is the second edition of my book, Embedded Software: The Works, which is scheduled for publication around April. [Do not worry, I will not be shy about promoting it at that time!]

It is good to have goals – things to aim for. I suppose that New Year’s resolutions are a good format to commit to some goals, so perhaps I should define a few:

  • I have always wanted to be able to draw and have often been assured that anyone can learn to do so. 2012 is the year in which I will find out whether this is true. I already have a class booked, so there is no getting out of this one.
  • I have dabbled in family history. This is partly my own curiosity, but also I wanted to give my daughters some insight into where they came from. I have taken some classes in using the Internet for genealogical research. All I need to do now is allocate some time to do that research, visit some [aging] relatives and pick their brains and record the results. This will happen in 2012.
  • Lastly, I gave a talk on photography recently, which made me think that it would be nice to publish a book on a topic that is separate from my work. As I wrote copious notes for my talk, the basis for my book is there – I just need to do the work. That could take care of presents for Christmas 2012.

I will also be continuing with this blog for as long as my employers allow, sharing my thoughts and ideas about embedded software and whatever else is on my mind. Thank you for your support this year and I hope to hear from you next year.

I am taking a break until the New Year, so I offer everyone my compliments of the season, hoping for peace and prosperity in 2012.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at https://blogs.sw.siemens.com/embedded-software/2011/12/22/seasons-greetings/