Now that 2016 is into full-swing, I thought it would be a good time to do a review of 2015. I did a lot of travelling in 2015, which included England, France x 2, Ireland, USA x 6, Scotland, Wales, Australia, Hong Kong, Italy x 2, and Russia. I spoke at 11 conferences and attended an additional 3.
This was a pretty quiet month, it was my last month at Dennis so I was mostly focused on that. I saw the Punch Brothers not once, but twice in January. They were absolutely amazing as usual.
I definitely indulged in some all-day Netflix-fests in my pjs for quite a bit of February, it was my first time really being unemployed in a long time. In mid-February, I went to dotSwift in Paris. Beautiful venue and some really good talks. I found some Swift-bonnets at a shop and had some old fashioneds at a speak easy. I also got food poisoning and got to try out a bunch of fun sounding French tablets. Not pictured is the London Mobile Forum, which was a great and inspiring experience.
I started doing a lot of prototyping with MetaWear boards for my Cat Wearables project. I got sweet some new business cards. I spoke at NSConference and Swift Summit. Looking back, I probably shouldn't have done two conferences back to back where I was presenting on such different topics. Both conferences were great though 😊
At the end of March/beginning of April, I went to Ireland for Úll 👍 This is a conference I've wanted to go to, and it was one of the biggest purchases for me when I got my redundancy pay. I'm really glad I went, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it.
Got an Apple Watch for my cat (ok, it was really for me). Worked on my scholarship app for WWDC, which was a SceneKit app, where I created a molecule type thing to represent things I've done. The whiteboard picture is from sketching out various parts of the app.
I flew to San Francisco for Signal. With a lack of slimline tonic water on the plane, I found out Diet Sierra Mist is pretty good with Gin. A few days after getting to San Francisco, I bought a Diet Coke, and when I returned to my hotel room, the person who cleaned my room had the same name as the name on my coke -- very weird. I spoke at Signal, which is a conference hosted by twillio. They Might Be Giants performed at the conference, it was a bit surreal.
Post-WWDC, I hung out in San Jose with some friends. I went to the Computer History Museum. I got my cat a bow tie, which he is totally pulling off in that photo. Chris Lattner tweeted about one of my talks! My cat decided my computer was an optimal thing to nap on. I started a contract a few days after getting back to London. I thought it was going to be a few weeks, it ended up being almost 5 months. 😬
Most of July was contracting unfortunately. It was also pretty hot and I come from a country where air conditioners are everywhere, I still haven't acclimated to not having them. I can't just open the windows because the cat would totally escape and that would be sad. So, engineering at its finest - In order to keep the windows open, the top of two Ikea laundry baskets were duct-tapped in front of the open window. Also, my cat thinks he's Donald Trump.
August was more contracting, some ridiculous stress from selling a flat and the ultimate road trip! Flew out to Denver for 360iDev - this was another conference I've wanted to go to, and definitely lived up to its reputation. Post-360iDev, there was an epic trip across Wyoming, Idaho, Utah and Colorado. Also, lots of Waffle House and Chick-fil-A.
September was more contracting and a couple more conferences. Went to Wales for iOSDevUK, one of my favourite smaller conferences.
I spent about 24 hours on a plane to get to Melbourne for YOW! Connected. It was my first time in Australia, I definitely need to go back and see more of it. I went out to Morington Peninsula for a wine/cheese/chocolate tasting tour complete with kangaroos!!! During the 24 hours on a plane back to London, I had a 12 hour layover in Hong Kong. It was really incredible, I hired a guide to show me around and teach me about the history of Hong Kong. She did a fantastic job, she even managed to keep me awake and get me back to the airport in time to take a shower and get on my flight. Taking showers between long haul flights is high on my list of how to survive long haul flights.
October brought more contracting. I headed out to Florence for Pragma, but to get to Florence, for a bit of adventure, instead of just flying into an airport near Florence, we got a flight to Paris then an overnight train to Milan, then a train to Florence. I found out overnight trains aren't so compatible with me trying to sleep, I got about 2 hours of sleep in total. The safe in the hotel in Florence had all the fonts on it - I would have loved to been a fly on the wall for the meetings that led to those design decisions. Also 🌵👅😺
I finally got to send the final ipa to the clients client, so I got to finish the contract that I very much regretted taking. Went to Moscow for MbltDev, it was cold and snowing which made me very happy. I also now have a 3-year visa for Russia, so, who wants to go to Russia with me?
Went over to the US for Thanksgiving, came back to London for two days, then flew back out to the US. Went to the dedication of the McAlpine-Shepard Preserve (in memory of my Grandmother). At the party afterwards, I served vegan Leek and Potato soup from a dish shaped like a lamb. American Airlines were a bit lazy about their rebranding of US AIrways planes - really loved the giant sticker they used to cover up the US Airways logo.
A quick pre-Christmas trip to Venice. Beautiful as always.
A Christmas break in North Carolina, visiting my brother and his family :) I also ate all the food there, it was so good.
I spent New Years on a plane 🎉✈️🎉 This was the third time I've done this -- travel tip: it's usually a lot cheaper to travel on New Years Eve.
I've left out lots of bits about the Inclusive Toolkit, I'll be doing a separate post on that soon :)
All photos shot on an iPhone