I was going to skip the essay thing and just write a quick "Happy New Year" post, but then I read last year's entry and couldn't help remembering how far I've come in what is really a short space of time. Two years ago I had no job and was about to move to Leeds, and this time last year we were in despair over the house buying problems.
This year I changed jobs in the spring, to go and work for a small web agency (they think they're a digital marketing agency but I'm not convinced) as a web developer. More interesting than the job side of things is that this year, I met the PHP community.
I haven't met the whole community, and hardly any of them in person, but meet them I did. Through phpwomen.org I have a mentor, the lovely Ligaya and she initially suggested I spend more time in IRC since that's where things happen. Usually I can be found on freenode in the #phpc and #phpwomen channels. In February I met Cal Evans, at the PHPLondon conference. This was a fabulous conference and I also met a few other people, including monxton from phpwomen and also Rasmus Lerdorf (father of PHP) although I was too overwhelmed to say anything to him! Since then I've made loads of friends and learned a lot from this community. In November I attended the International PHP Conference in Frankfurt, Germany, and wrote about it for phpwomen. While there I attended some good sessions (of both conference and drinking varieties) and also got to meet lots of people - some friends that I knew already but hadn't met in real life, and some other new friends. I know the people I met this year will be a big influence on 2008 for me.
This time last year we'd had all our belongings in storage for almost a year and had two house sales fall through in four months. Well, it took another failed sale and a full 5 months but we finally did it and bought our first house in May 2007. For the full saga (and a saga it was) read the house category posts, I warn you it does take some reading! Anyway we are now in possession of a 4-bedroomed house, set over four floors, with two bathrooms, gardens and a garage. Notably it has the kitchen in the basement, which floodes, and we bought the contents of the house, which we hadn't really planned for. Since buying the house we have had people in to patch up the roof and guttering, fit central heating, and totally rewire the house. We're now at a point where the brick dust and missing floors are gone and we can start getting the place straight. Plastering, carpentry and decorating skills are now in demand and at some point we need to figure out how to choose, purchase and lay floors. At the moment the house looks like a disaster area but the place is really growing on me and we really are making progress, even if that's not obvious to outsiders at the moment!
Last year I did a whole round-up of the site and how I was getting on with it. I can't see me getting around to it this year, mostly because its not that interesting but rest assured that the bulk of my traffic is visiting the recipe pages! Here's a quick snap of the dashboard of the google analytics tool for this site, things seem to be a bit quiet over the summer, but maybe that's because I posted less at that time.
2007 was a very good year, here's to 2008 :)