2018 Yearnotes

Time for the annual tradition of dusting off my blog to reflect on the year gone by. I do it because I want to be one of the cool kids (like Alice, Phil and Paul).

Last year I expressed three goals for 2018: to do another road trip in America, eat more vegan waffles, and learn to drive. I didn’t learn to drive, but two out of three ain’t bad.

San Francisco, Portland, Seattle

For my birthday my partner and I went on another road trip. We started the journey in San Francisco, and drove to Portland and Seattle, taking detours to look at cool things.

Cool things we looked at included:

In front of Boogaloos in San Francisco

In front of Boogaloos in San Francisco, where one can get the most incredible vegan fried breakfast

Vegan waffle at Cafe St Jorge

My favourite vegan waffles at Cafe St Jorge in San Francisco

Pacific Highway 1
Pacific Highway 1 at golden hour
Mount Shasta
Mount Shasta from a different vantage point
Crater Lake

Crater Lake

Mudpot smelling of rotten eggs

Mudpot smelling of rotten eggs



Mount St Helens

Mount St Helens



Other cool things we did were shopping in an Amazon Go store in Seattle on my birthday, eating a cherry pie at the R&R diner from Twin Peaks, and drinking margaritas in three different states.

Year of DIY

After boring months of searching and administrative faff I bought a flat. It was the nicest present I ever got myself, and I was finally able to unleash my inner decorator. The list of improvements I want to make should keep me occupied for a good few years.

Wall painting tools spread on the floor

Hobby time

I don’t have a good sense of how many knitting and sewing projects I finished in 2018. Partly because I was busy doing up the flat, but partly because I’m trying to be less focused on the finished objects and enjoy the process.

Coat in progress

There is a stack of nearly finished books on my coffee table, which tells me that 2018 was a year of good intentions. A plea to non-fiction authors: make your argument in a hundred pages or less. Ideally, much less.

I joined a dance class, which both a source of great joy and great embarrassment. I find it interesting how much I enjoy it despite being absolutely bad at it.

I also decided to work on my speech and my voice and started seeing a voice coach. She is helping me learn to consciously control how I make sounds. It’s not yet having an effect on my day-to-day speech, but maybe it will?


I gained more responsibilities at IF as the year went on. I am grateful that I get to learn from very smart people, and work on some very challenging problems every day, defining a field in the process.


Next year I want to: