Growing up in South Wales, the Five Nations (as it was then) was a great event in our household. Dad would shout instructions/abuse at the television, mum would tell him to calm down (having sung her heart out to the pre-game anthem) and I’d probably get half a bitter shandy to drink. :)
Of course, Wales’ performance in the late seventies is the stuff of legend; players like JPR Williams, Phil Bennett and Gareth Edwards were heroes to me. These days, the professional game makes it much harder for a such tiny nation to produce a decent team, but in 2005 Gareth Thomas led Wales to their first Grand Slam victory for more than twenty five years, and the hearts of an entire nation almost burst with pride.
This year Ireland would appear to be the side to beat so while the tournament kicks off tomorrow with games in Italy and Twickenham, Sunday will see Stephen Jones lead the boys out into the Millennium Stadium to a roar that defies description.
And I for one, will be singing!
I’m not really one for making New Year’s Resolutions but January is as good a time as any for re-evaluating certain aspects of the daily regime. One thing I am keen to improve upon is my productivity at work; it’s all too easy to spend all day trying to figure out what to do next, only to be interrupted by an email or meeting and sent off in an altogether different direction. So, some things that I’m using to keep myself a little more focussed:
Firstly I’ve started reading David Allen’s very famous Getting Things Done book. GTD has spawned a bit of a revolution online and I’m keen to see what all the fuss is about. Still on the introductory, self-promotional waffle at the moment, so no life-changing epiphany to report as yet.
I’ve also discovered a new, online task manager called (rather bizarrely) Gubb. There are plenty of these things about, I’ve mucked about with Tada Lists, Voo2Do and RTM in the past, but Gubb is clean, simple and a pleasure to use. I’m planning on using it to test out the GTD theory; clean slate and all that…
Lastly (and less related to productivity per se) I noticed that the Oblique Strategies are back online. Created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt in the 70’s, I’ve set this lovely implementation as my internet homepage in the vague hope than inspiration might occasionally filter its way down to me.
Of course, none of this will be of any use if it takes longer to manage my tasks than it does to actually do them (the Rimmer paradox?), but it’s a new year and aspirations are a worthwhile diversion; wonder how many priority stars I should assign to ‘decorate the kitchen’…?
Hell’s teeth; where did 2006 go? And more importantly, how come I managed to squander it again?
I’ve met up with a couple of old friends this year and it’s quite disconcerting how little has changed since last time I spoke to them; the word *still* was used way too many times when describing my current situation. I’m still living in the same two-bedroom semi, I’m still working as a programmer for a small Satellite Telematics company and I still haven’t asked Sam to marry me. Methinks some brave decisions will have to be made this year…
On the other hand, some fun and interesting things have happened in the last twelve months. My good friend Jock got married to the lovely Kate, my sister finished as runner-up in the MR2 Challenge ladies’ trophy, and I rediscovered the joys of rock climbing. Now kitted up with a new pair of shoes and a harness that doesn’t tourniquet my thighs, I’m really looking forward to a year of calloused fingertips and aching limbs.
Another thing I want to do is re-establish contact with some people I’ve not seen for a while, and hopefully use this blog as a means by which to let them know what I’m up to. I’ve had my own website for well over a decade, but as working with the interweb has become a larger and larger part of my job description, the less I’ve wanted to dick about with my own personal site in the evenings. Blogging allows me to largely ignore the design details and just put my thoughts online; that of course, is where it all falls down…
I’m hoping to manage a post a week and despite the timestamp, this one was written beginning of week two so I’ve got another seven days or so to think of something half interesting to say. If all else fails I recount the story of how I almost died last Friday. ;)
In the meantime, Happy New Year dear reader; you are currently, almost certainly, in the minority.