Dan Williams had an incredible 2014 and, reading his, I was (1) massively impressed and (2) inspired to do my own. I’ve stolen his format and everything.

2014 was the year I became a front-end developer at the Government Digital Service. I set up this blog. I started Tampon Club, and 2 new Tumblrs. I took a really good holiday. I did a bit of public speaking and I was on telly.


I joined GDS in January. It’s going pretty good. Since joining I’ve:

  • made about 700 contributions to government repositories
  • started line managing juniors
  • co-run weekly frontend meetings for GDS frontend developers
  • MC’d the GDS Christmas all-hands
  • written a blog post for the GDS tech blog about accessibility on GOV.UK
  • Helped interview developers for three different sets of developer interviews
  • started mentoring a colleague

Things I’ve failed at

I have to write this here because that list makes me sound like I’m kind of full of myself. I definitely did fuck some stuff up this year too. I made a list of cockups and looking at them the general theme is giving up too soon on things/people/opportunities when stuff became hard or I got too busy. I should probably say yes to fewer things. The other bad thing I did this year was type a password into a public channel by accident twice. Both times this was swiftly resolved, but gosh, it’s embarrassing when that happens.


This year I started a blog. You’re reading it. I built it myself and it’s… fine? Laughably simple, but you can see all these words so I guess it works. The good thing about blogs is that when you have one you can write stuff without needing to set up a blog first. The bad thing about blogs is that the you end up with a drafts folder full of things you gave up on because they turned out to be hard to explain. Here are the titles of my unpublished folder right now:

  • Accessibility -this is a post about how accessibility is sort of like a cake
  • Select tags writeup -this is a post of a writeup of a talk. Its really long
  • Tampon club for dudes -this is a post about what to do if you’re a dude and you care about Tampon Club

Anyway, two of those will get published one day. One probably won’t.

Tampon Club

Tampon Club stickers

Another thing I did this year was founding Tampon Club. It has a website. People have written things about it:

I was also asked onto BBC Radio 5 Live’s breakfast show to talk about it. The audio for that is here on my Tumblr.


I started two new tumblrs:

  • one for my nail art nails.butt.kitchen
  • one for my sewing sewing.butt.kitchen. I sewed 14 things this year; 2 kindle cases, 6 shirts, 3 t-shirts one shirt-dress, one vest, and one quilt. I also abandoned 1 dress, 1 vest, 1 shirt, 1 playsuit and one shirt-dress because I screwed them up beyond repair :(


I went on a cracking holiday with Lachie. We did an american road trip from Denver to Vegas.

Lachie in Zion National Park 1hr 38 to Unknown Yellow trees in Colorado At hanging lake

It was beautiful!

Public speaking

I gave three talks this year and was on one panel:

  • Five facts about smell- the lightning talk at LRUG -Video
  • Edge 3- the future of the web -Video
  • Dump your tags - Nightly Build in Cologne
  • Dump your tags - Epic FEL. -Video

And finally

I was on the Alan Titchmarsh TV show back in February for a feature about nail art. I took a colleague on with me, Amy, and we had a reeeeally fun time. Live telly is quite good. Here is the video. I’m clearly petrified.

Alan Titchmarsh GIF

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