2018 was...

Start of my public speaking career on behalf of BBC Blue Room at the annual Deloitte TMT Predictions event at The Stoller Hall, Robyn's first aquarium trip, discovering Uppermill, the best production of Hamlet I've seen to date (well, it was the RSC darling), the first in a regular series of Daddy-Daughter trips to The Farm, being a keynote speaker at the Prolific North business event at Event City...


...a York Stag (complete with sensible soccer, blizzard and a Manchester-themed nightclub), over 100 pages and 47,000 words of my New Zealand Retrospective (my look back at the trip of a lifetime, 10 years to each day as it happened - the biggest writing project I've ever had to date, and one of the most rewarding), GRUB, Easter Egg Hunt, Thai, Daddy-Daughter Toys R Us trip (before it closed forever), a Lake Stag (complete with shotguns, rifles, and archery stood on one leg, which it turns out I'm incredibly good at...), the realisation that I can't walk up big hills anymore and that I really need to get fit, ongoing back-ache, Robyn's second Chester Zoo Birthday, Infinity War, Vino Party, A School Visit, attended a 'Meet The Leader's' event even though I don't officially lead anything (lovely steak), Beat Sabre, A Warhurst-Do, Huskies in the park, a Caravan in The North (with lots of Ice Cream and Cumberland Sausage - not necessarily together), beach photography, scenic routes, Keswick (complete with tantrums, chippy's and more Cumberland), The Sparke-Earle Wedding...



...A Park Festival, Daddy-Daughter MOSI & Art Gallery, Uncle Dan at Formby (complete with Rats, a TARDIS, a Forest, Mole Hills & hidden-squirrels), Cinema Mark 1.1 complete, miniature railways, The Warhurst Wedding Movie is finally completed (!), swapped a wall over at The Blue Room, a new bed, Ice Cream parlour...


...four amazing days in Dublin with Hazel to celebrate our third wedding anniversary (with about 20 Guinness each... more or less...), Robyn's first trip to Media City, invading The Lowry, a new slide, invading Google, the pox, meeting Grandmaster Glitch, a walk to Warhurst Fold, the best away day ever (with cultural food, a Coffin Museum, a theatre, a Rage Room, food market and hand-crafting of Ukuleles)...

...the first of what would end up being three separate Blue Room trips to Edinburgh, the second of which saw me as a guest speaker for the Edinburgh TV Festival (upstaged by Jeremy Corbyn no less), Power-Up, a 60's Disco BBQ, the second BBC Blue Room AI Conference (AI, Society & The Media)...


...The O-Dash Wedding (Meet The Masons), return to The Lakes (complete with more Cumberland, a Cottage, Swans, a secret, Robyn's first boat trip, Park Photography, Family, a Hike and a big hill that I did manage to finish, slate, Mrs Tiggywinkle and a naughty rabbit), Robyn's first playgroup...

 
...Photokina 2018 (on behalf of The Blue Room, spanning four days, four hundred-ish pictures and probably four thousand words for the industry report generated as an output, some amazing Pilsners, pork, and photography of course), the beginning of a 360 robot adventure, a birthday treat in Chester (with all the BBQ, Boats and Birds of Prey), another podcast appearance on the BBC D+E official podcast '2LO Rebooted', a Stoller Concert...

...we announced that we are HAVING ANOTHER BABY IN MAY 2019!!!!...



...The End of The Universe (though It Never Ends), Santa's Rail Adventure, Lantern Walks at Chester Zoo, A Paw Patrol Christmas, Chess and preparation for a BIG trip in just a few days...


All in all, a year where Family came First and where the day job is ascendant. It is no surprise that my spare-time / second career / prosumer interests in all things film and photography have dialled down a bit whilst our family is in build-mode. All of this spare effort and enthusiasm is instead thrown into the work at the BBC Blue Room, which for now, rewards all that effort two-fold. I've had a brilliant year, lots of opportunities (a fair amount of stress too I must add), and more work in the public realm. If they keep giving me a soap-box, I'll keep standing on one!

Work and Family. Familiar themes... It's a busy and dense year, with what felt like little to no moments in which to catch my breath. However, looking back at just some of the easier to recall highlights above, it does look like Team Ziggatron was getting something right. We've achieved so much, made so many happy memories and of course, we are now HERALDING CHILD NUMBER TWO. I could not be happier - it may not have felt like it during the busy times, but it seems that we are #WINNING.

Two Thousand and Nineteen is off to a start with a bang (spoilers) for the BBC Blue Room, and with our second child in May. Anything else I get done will be a bonus. I'm sort of giving myself permission to 'take 2019 off' in terms of doing stuff on my own time. I do this knowing that actually I'm challenging myself. So, roll on 2019, let's see what you've got.

See you on the flip-side folks. Be awesome to one another. Captain Col xxx