...being the blog of steve kirkendall egomaniac-about-town


Farewell 2013

I’ve never reviewed a year before on this blog, but it’s been a happier 12 months compared to Team K’s annus horribilis of 2012 that I thought it was worth seeing it all flash before my eyes one more time.

Having been a huge fan of Ace Jet 170 for the longest time, imagine my surprise when a throwaway remark on Path in January led to an invitation to write a guest post about Ken Garland: Structure and Substance published by Unit Editions. I was humbled (as well as very nervous) to do this and it made me think about doing more of this kind of writing.

One last sorry subplot of 2012 played itself out in March, when my Uncle Brian finally succumbed to his leukaemia, nine months after being diagnosed. Raising money for Cancer Research as well as Asthma UK is the reason I ran the Virgin London Marathon in April. The months preceding the marathon were dominated by training runs. How I laughed in the face of the worst British winter for 50 years as I spent long hours skidding across the snowy, icy roads of Norwich (when I wasn’t getting drenched by the rain) pausing only with shock at the rare sighting of the sun. The mud, sweat and tears were worth it as on marathon day I crossed the finish line with a sprint, three minutes inside of five hours. It was one of the few times I was genuinely proud of myself and the £4,297.52 (with gift aid) that I split between my two charities.

Riding high on my marathon fever, I completed three other races this year – the Dereham 10, the Humpty Dumpty 10k and the Norwich Half Marathon (again) and tomorrow sees me running the Wymondham New Years Day 10k. In May, I proudly watched my daughter Eve run the Race for Life for Cancer Research in memory of her Grandma, Pat, who died suddenly in 2012.

After a stressful build up and the longest completion EVER, we finally moved to Hethersett in the summer to a tidy little bungalow we’d fallen in love with in February. The summer whizzed by in a flurry of decorating and curtain pole erecting. Also during the summer, I became an official Mozilla Mentor after successfully completing a nine week MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). So now I can #teachtheweb to encourage young peeps to get creating instead of passively consuming it. My first gig in this new world came in August when I was invited by fellow Mozilla Mentor Dorine Flies to help #teachtheweb at the Kent Scouts International Jamboree 2013. It was a really rewarding, fun day watching the Scouts get to grips with Mozilla’s online web making tools, making projects out of the videos and photos they’d taken during the Jamboree.

Of course, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy so Team K took two breaks in 2013 – our usual beach break in Greece, then a few days in New York City in late October.

On our return, I joined the Virgin Money Studio peeps in raising money by participating in Movember. Our nine dodgy moustaches raised over £1,085, a sum which created history because Studio member Big Paul promised to shave off his 40-year-old moustache if we raised over £1000. His old moustache is now on display at Norwich Castle Museum if anyone’s interested.

Reading through my posts this year I couldn’t help notice that the first post forecast great design changes for this blog which, er, didn’t happen. So one of my New Year’s resolution is to rectify that – look out for a better, bolder, beautiful and responsive version of this tatty thing you’re reading now.

Happy New Year folks!

Tags: happynewyear


And we’re back

An hour after I finish writing this, I will be back at my desk at Virgin Money, ready to begin yet another challenging year. As ever, I’m hoping for a year of growth, both professionally and personally (except around the stomach). By developing my work skills old and new and striving to be an even better Dad/Husband, I want to look back at 2012 and feel that I’ve scaled another peak, however small. In the last couple of years, I have finally realised that I can’t do everything, that focus is important and that quality time with my family should never be sacrificed for work or study (which is why there was a dramatic decrease in my blogging last year).

I’ve also decided to do more things away from my computer and devices. So, here’s where I start to cook, read more ‘proper’ books (ie not just comics and web development titles) and keep my gym visits regular. I also want to master GarageBand and play more guitar with my son.

How much of the above real life actually lets me achieve, remains to be seen – I’ll let you know in 12 months. And whatever you have planned for 2012, I wish you every success and happiness. And here we go…

Tags: happynewyear