Thought Leadership

OFF-TOPIC: 12 things for 2021

By Colin Walls

I recently wrote about my success – or lack thereof – with my 12 Things for 2020. Last year was a far from normal year, so it is unsurprising that some of my “things” proved to be impossible. Like everyone, I am hoping that 2021 sees some kind of return to normality. So, I have drawn up my list:

12 Things for 2021

  1. try archery
  2. swim in Cotswold lakes
  3. attend a rugby match
  4. do a one-day brewing experience
  5. participate in a gig
  6. make progress on memoirs – >10,000 words
  7. do at least 2 family interviews for genealogy and memoir
  8. participate in Malvern walking festival – at least 2 walks
  9. rent a camper van
  10. write/publish at least one photography article
  11. use my new food mixer at least 12 times in the year
  12. set up a wine tasting group

(1) to (5) are simply carried forward from last year; I am optimistic that, later in the year, at least some of these should be possible.
(6) is aimed at making progress with a long term project. I have been compiling my “memoirs” – essentially capturing information about my life and my family, much of which may only be known to me or other family members. There is no plan to publish it; it would be there for any future generations’ interest.
In support of (6), (7) is an attempt to get information from some older family members.
We enjoy walking and there is an annual festival of guided walks in the beautiful countryside around where we live. This leads to (8).
We have an idea – maybe a fantasy – that we would like to own a camper van [an “RV’ to my American friends]. We have no idea whether it would really suit us. So, I would like to rent one for a few days – maybe a couple of times – to do some trips and see how it works for us. So, (9).
I have always done a lot of writing in my professional life, but would like to branch out more. I have lots of ideas and (10) is encouragement to me to deliver.
I am a keen cook and in 2020 I experimented with making cookies/biscuits – with some success. So, a while before the holiday, I bought a new food mixer. It is a well-known model and works well, but I figured that it must earn its space in the kitchen. So, if (11) is not achieved by November, there will be a mixer for sale.
I have always enjoyed wine and it is best when shared. I belonged to a wine tasting group for some time, but that seemed to lose momentum even before the pandemic. My idea for (12) is to set up a very informal group, who will meet from time to time and sit around a table and taste and discuss wine.

I have already made a start on some of these …

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at