Once again it’s January 1st and I have some yearnotes to write. If you’re thinking about writing a year-end blog post please send it to me, I really like reading them!
Of course, 2016 wasn’t exactly a brilliant year for the world. I cried when Trump won and I cried when we voted to leave the EU. For me personally, there were some very good points (spoiler alert: got married, got promotedish) and some real lows (after an exceptionally stressful day at work I felt so anxious I threw up in the dark in a car park onto my shoes).
I’m still at the Financial Times. I’m now leading the Origami Team over there which is a brilliant job. The people in my team are all extremely talented and so easy to work with. The remit of the team - to reduce time spent repeating work and standardise design across the FT - still gets my brain fizzing with ideas for long term projects as well as shorter term stuff to help people out around the company. I still get to write a fair bit of code too which I feel very lucky for.
I did less public speaking this year than in 2015, mostly because in my new role my priorities have shifted a bit and I think there’s less benefit to me doing lots of conference talks.
The best and most fun talk I gave this year was at UXBrighton. It was an explainer on what Git is, and why developers use it. People responded well to the talk and I’d love to give it again as it wasn’t videoed. The slides are here.
I also gave a 7 minute talk at Russell’s Interesting about Tampon Club. This was also really fun to deliver. I love talking about Tampon Club, there are so many funny stories to tell about it. You can see the audio + slides here.
Other life things
Lachie and I got married in February. We did it without telling anyone except our four witnesses. It was extremely fun and deeply unsentimental which made it feel very special. We did it in Lewisham Registry Office which is a grim little building on the main road next to the Hospital. I sewed my own wedding dress obvs. At Lewisham, before the wedding, they give you form to fill out. It’s a bit like a choose your own adventure but for a wedding. Each choice is “how much do you want us to say for this bit” and the options are:
A. Say as much as you can. I want baroque metaphors for love. Turn the solemnity up to 11. This is my one true everlasting union and I need everyone to know it.
B. We’re normal people but please leave in some decorative turns of phrase for my grandmother who has travelled in from Tunbridge Wells.
C. Please keep it as short as possible. We’d have done this online if we could.
Of course we went for option C at every point. The resulting ceremony was so short that we had to sit and chat for a bit at the end because the assistant clerk didn’t have sufficient time to copy our details to the marriage certificate.
After the wedding we phoned all of our relatives who were all somewhere on the spectrum between “pleased” (my parents) to “thrilled” (Lachie’s parents). I didn’t change my name because “Alice Murray” isn’t a significantly more interesting name than my own and I get really great SEO for “Alice Bartlett”.
Went to Canada for the first time. Was best woman at my best friend’s wedding. Got the bathroom re-done. Made another coat, two shirts, a pair of trousers and a wedding dress. Went to Hythe, Rye and Dungeness. Had a short honeymoon in Robinhood’s bay. Played Pandemic Legacy with Kyle and Alan. Formed Warsaw’s baddest girl gang with Brenna and Mariko. Had an away day in my house. Pizza floatie. Hikes in the Canadian Rockies. All those games of poker. All those Shepherdess breakfasts.