12 Things – half year review

As we approach the half-way point of the year, it is a good time for me to consider how I am progressing with my 12 Things for 2020. The choice of the number 12 was arbitrary; it just seemed like a sensible number of goals, objectives or whatever [I just call them “thing”] to have for the year. It would be easy to assume that this means one thing per month, but that is not how it works. Some Things are a single event, others take place over time, which could even be the whole year …

Here is a summary of my 12 things:

  1. get a new bed
  2. participate in a gig
  3. no socks for summer (Jun/Jul/Aug)
  4. do a one-day brewing experience
  5. set up a photography website
  6. try archery
  7. swim in Cotswold lakes
  8. master making cookies
  9. attend a rugby match
  10. have a dairy-free month
  11. make sausages
  12. sample every Chinese take-away in Malvern

COVID-19 has been disruptive for some of my Things, but here is how I am doing:

  1. DONE – We took delivery of the new bed a couple of weeks ago and we are pleased. Months ago, we were procrastinating, but then the local bed shop [we like to use local shops instead of chains when it makes sense] had a special, one-day sale on 29 February, with a straight 29% discount off of everything. We spent quite a while in the store, lying on beds and measuring them. In the end, we chose a king-size [that is a UK King, not quite the size of a US King] ottoman bed. When it was delivered and assembled, we were struck by how high it is. We never noticed that in the shop and we had measured bed heights. We later realized that we had chosen a “fat” mattress that was on a low bed base and the higher ottoman base.
  2. UNLIKELY – My bass guitar lessons are suspended in the lock-down and nobody knows when music gigs will recommence. This may need to bounce into 2021.
  3. IN PROGRESS – We had a mini-heatwave in the latter part of May, which was nice. So I was mainly wearing sandals and no socks. The weather cooled as soon as June started, but I persisted. So this one should complete. I will only wear socks if I need to be more formal, but that is quite unlikely.
  4. POSSIBLE – I have not progressed with this as all the breweries have been closed [to this kind of activity] during the lock-down. Hopefully they will open soon.
  5. DONE – I already had a website [actually my Instagram feed] – DrawingWithLight.com – where I show my pictures. This gets updated almost every day. I wanted to set up another site – MakeMyPicturesBetter.com – to offer a number of services to fellow photographers. This is done, but will still see further development.
  6. POSSIBLE – I have not progressed with this as such activities are suspended. However, they should open again soon.
  7. POSSIBLE – We are now allowed to travel further afield [and these lakes are about 1 hour away] and the weather is warming up now. So this could be any day soon.
  8. DONE – This project is complete – I wrote about it here. I can now make cookies which are very satisfactory. I will continue working on it though, as I have ideas for variations on the theme.
  9. POSSIBLE – Rugby is a winter sport and the end of the last season was disrupted by COVID-19. Hopefully they will resume in the Fall and I have a friend lined up to guide me.
  10. IN PROGRESS – This is tedious, but I am doing my best. I have had a couple of “deviations”, but they were both genuine errors on my part. At this point, two-thirds of the way through the month, I am not sure that I can feel any health benefit. But it is worth a try and I will see it through.
  11. POSSIBLE – Just not done yet!
  12. IN PROGRESS – This is partially complete. Of the 11 Chinese take-aways that I have located in the town, we have had meals from 3. Lock-down was an interruption, but that is easing off now. I have to be honest and say that, for the most part, we are just enjoying the food we have at home and do not have a great urge to have take-aways [or go to restaurants]. But I will do my best to complete this one.

Overall, I am satisfied with my progress, particularly with the interruptions caused by COVID-19. Last year, I managed 10.5 out of 12. Maybe this year I can get to 11!

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at https://blogs.sw.siemens.com/embedded-software/2020/06/25/12-things-half-year-review/