So long, 2018

I always get this feeling of gritty ambition at the start of a new year. Those pre-Christmas months, from the start of autumn through to winter take their toll, and while Christmas is a special time of year, for us it’s usually hectic in one way or another so not exactly conducive to relaxation. Those quiet days between Hogmanay and back to work/school are when I finally feel I have time to relax, reflect and re-energise. It’s this state of mind, free of hurry and stress, that seems to result in a surge in creative ideas for me. I imagine it’s the same for many people, hence all the ‘year in review’ lists and eager self-improvement resolutions. It feels good to set goals… when you’re up for taking them on.

Renovation photo

I haven’t had a year as chaotic as 2018 for a while. We spent nine months of the year out of our ageing house while it underwent a much-needed renovation which was all-consuming, requiring far more effort – mental and physical – than I ever imagined (and it turns out construction projects are identical to software projects). The end product looks great though. Oh, and in the middle of all that we sold the company which was the business rollercoaster to end all others (and there have been a fair few over the years).

It’s therefore no surprise that I couldn’t devote as much time as I’d like to films, books and music in 2018 but here are a few of my highlights. Happy new year!

Art School Girlfriend @ Sneaky Pete’s


Albums and EPs in no particular order:

  1. Robyn – Honey
  2. Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born Soundtrack
  3. Chvrches – Love is Dead
  4. Christine and the Queens – Chris
  5. FM-84 – Atlas
  6. Art School Girlfriend – Moon
  7. Courtney Marie Andrews – May Your Kindness Remain
  8. Kamasi Washington – Heaven and Earth
  9. Kilo – Backwater
  10. DJ Koze – Knock Knock

Film & TV

(I think a few were from later 2017 but, hey, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)

  1. A Star is Born
  2. BlacKkKlansman
  3. Hearts Beat Loud
  4. The Defiant Ones (TV)
  5. The Eyes of Orson Welles
  6. Coco
  7. Wild Wild Country (TV)
  8. Black Panther
  9. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  10. Manhunt: Unabomber (TV)


Of what I read in 2018, not necessarily published in 2018:

  1. How the Internet Happened: From Netscape to the iPhone – Brian McCullough
  2. The Party – Elizabeth Day
  3. If We Were Villains – M. L. Rio
  4. Accelerate: Building and Scaling High-Performing Technology Organizations – Nicole Forsgren
  5. Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think – Hans Rosling
  6. The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
  7. Coal Black Mornings – Brett Anderson
  8. Only Human (Themis Files, #3) – Sylvain Neuvel (and the first two books, Sleeping Giants and Waking Gods)
  9. Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams – Matthew Walker
  10. Measure What Matters – John Doerr


Theatre, gigs, cabaret, etc…

  1. Six the Musical
  2. La Clique Noel
  3. Art School Girlfriend, Sneaky Pete’s
  4. War Horse
  5. Courtney Marie Andrews, Summerhall
  6. Kaput
  7. Natalie Merchant, Queens Hall
  8. Harry Hill: Funnyman (Edinburgh Book Festival)