This time last year, work, including some extra responsibilities, voluntarily taken on, that had spiralled beyond what I had expected, combined with the commute to the Science Park, and having to keep things functioning on the domestic front, had really ground me down. I didn't even manage to summon up the time and energy for several of the needful gardening chores (woodwork maintenance and apple tree pruning) across the holiday break.
So, sooner than I had planned (meaning to do it this coming year, as a down-shift towards retirement), I applied for reduced working hours, which cut in from the start of May.
That did the trick for the moment -- I've been able to attend more to things that are neither work nor the bare minimum of domestic chores. That included enough time in the garden to do pre-emptive weeding, even suppressing the bindweed as it emerged, as well as time to do more in the kitchen than simply heat up ready-meals every day, while still leaving time to just kick back and unwind. I even managed to do a tiny bit of side-project coding (hence the few posts on Rust in recent months), which is up on the zero I managed in 2015.
In the wider world, what a year it's been, too.
A year ago, we didn't know the date when Cameron (who he?) would call the referendum he'd been bounced into, and I expected it would be late 2017 and the status quo would prevail; and I was expecting that Hillary would comfortably beat whichever of Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio (who they?) won the Republican nomination. At the end of the year, what had transpired was beyond anything I could reasonably have hoped for.
What I hadn't expected was the number of people I follow on the internet who I thought were reasonable and level-headed, yet who completely lost it following the election of a New York liberal to the Presidency, like they actually believed all the "literally Hitler" caricatures.
It all means 2017 is going to be interesting, though I devoutly hope, not too much in the Chinese sense.