Happy New Year 2024

Sitting at my table enjoying the peace and quiet

Over the last few weeks, I have been pondering what I need to focus on in 2024. It came to me the other day: I need to both slow down and move more.

I love working from home, but I now live a mostly sedentary life which has been terrible for my health. I need to move more.

Despite my sedentary lifestyle, I try to pack as much into each day as I can—I am always busy… too busy. I need more space in my life, more rest, more peace and quiet.

I enjoyed a moment this morning just sitting in silence at my table, looking out my window to the blue sky and sunshine. It was nice to just ‘be’.

In the early afternoon, I went for my first bike ride of the year. Just 25 minutes, but enough to get me moving and feel the sun on my face and the biting cold wind tear through my clothing, chilling me to the bone.

A good start to the year.

Merry Christmas

Christmas cards
Christmas cards and electric candles

A belated merry Christmas to one and all. I know that for many Christmas is a difficult time, an isolating time, so I hope you’ve had a great celebration and an opportunity to be with the ones you’ve wanted to spend it with.

It’s been a very quiet Christmas for me this year. I had Reuben, Joshua and Isaac here on Friday and Saturday (Christmas eve), watched them open their presents on Christmas morning (at a respectable time after 7:30am), before they had to travel to Argyll to spend Christmas day with their cousins.

After that I retired to bed with a stomach bug and slept for about two days, which was just what the doctor ordered after this past semester in hall.


This is the first Christmas day that I’ve ever spent entirely on my own.

I was a little apprehensive at first, when I realised that I’d be on my own, but as Christmas approached and I began to plan what I would do I settled into the idea of spending it quietly. (And on the day, being forced to sleep for much of it kind of helped.)

After the busy-ness of 2016, moving to St Andrews in January and then hitting the ground running in terms of wardennial work, not really getting much of a break during the summer, and then being thrown into a new semester with a new (and amazing) wardennial team I have really appreciated the space and solitude.

Besides sleeping, I’ve done very little.

I restrung my acoustic guitar (D’Addario EJ15 Extra light .010 to .047) and have been playing guitar over the last couple of days than I have in months. It has been cathartic and soothing. I miss playing guitar live.

I’ve listened to lots of music. Jane and the boys gave me Queen at the BBC on CD for Christmas, plus quite a bit of Lamb of God and Exodus. Good, soothing Christmas-y thrash. JJ Hrubovcak’s Death Metal Christmas (2013) got an airing on Christmas day, of course.

I’ve caught up with some podcast listening, and discovered the Comedian’s Comedian postcast, which has been fun (and also quite nice to snooze through!)

I finished watching The IT Crowd box set (series one to four), and have begun watching Blackadder Remastered The Ultimate Edition box set, which I actually got last Christmas.

I’ve played a little Call of Duty: Ghosts, which is my favourite edition of the franchise.

And I moved this blog to become my main site now. I’m trying to simplify my web presence.

Actually, that’s quite a lot, isn’t it. It hasn’t felt like that. It’s felt quite relaxed and quiet.

Gearing up again…

Having just got used to the quietness, the boys return tomorrow, and on Friday I’ll likely head down to Selkirk to see my folks. Then it’ll be time to return to work.