Since the turn of the year I’ve been going to the Gym most days. It’s a bit of a cliché but it has noticeably made me feel more energetic and affords time for reflection.
Anyway, this weekend my friends invited me to go on a trip up Snowdon. Having never really done anything like this before it was a good opportunity to get outdoors.
Armed with a new(ish) pair of boots and a new coat, off I went.
It was always going to be a gamble climbing a mountain in Wales in early March, and we did succumb to the conditions in the end. There was still snow at the peak, having passed a sign stating that Crampons and an Ice Axe were “essential”, we went as far as we could without the necessary Adventure Gadgetry, which according to the more prepared climbers coming back the other way was around another half an hour battling through the snow to the summit.
Though we didn’t make it to the top it was still a great challenge, and certainly pushed us. I’m hoping to come back and conquer it some time.
When have you pushed yourself, in work or otherwise? What targets have you set yourself?
I spent the past couple of weeks in sunny (excruciatingly hot) Paphos, Cyprus. In a similar vein to last year’s Holiday Reading : Lanzarote, I took a lot of reading material with me…
With the exception of Sharp Ends they are all quite old books that I had never got round to reading.
Sharp Ends – Having read all of Joe Abercrombie’s other books this latest collection of short stories was recently released, thankfully in time for my holiday. It didn’t pull me in quite so far as the other books, but such is the nature of the short story beast. It’s always great fun reading about “The Bloody Nine” and the new characters introduced left me wanting more. Hopefully more is in the pipeline.
The Da Vinci Code – I watched the Da Vinci Code film many years back. Aside from vaguely remembering there was a blonde monk who enjoyed whipping himself, all other details had been lost. I read Angels and Demons recently and decided to continue with The Da Vinci Code. It’s fascinating how Dan Brown mixes history with story.
The Moon of Gomrath – This is another old book from the 60s, I read the Owl Service last year, and subsequently Elidor. Fast paced high fantasy, not a long read and won’t be for everyone. If you like Wizards, Cat Armies, Dwarves, Elves, Possession and Witches you’ll like this one.
Adrian Mole – Sparked by a recent conversation in the pub with a couple of friends I decided to revisit Adrian Mole’s Diary. The stories are hilarious and level of detail make it so easy to relate to.
As a drummer, Chris Adler of Lamb of God has always been an idol of mine (his signature sticks are my go to), and I’ve been a huge Lamb of God Fan for a number of years now. The story of their front man, Randy Blythe getting arrested on Manslaughter charges on landing in Prague Airport, Czech Republic two years after the alleged incident was truly shocking. His book, Dark Days, recounts the ordeal and offers an insight into his incredibly strong outlook on life and how he made it through the other side.
The term Software Craftsmanship seems to be rather divisive in its support, with, as mentioned in the book numerous times (along with retorts) the fact that the movement can come across as elitist. At it’s core it’s another manifesto, a fairly open-ended one at that, but having read the book it extends far beyond this.
In much the same way as Agile, in the pure sense, is more of a mindset than a prescriptive set of rules, the ideas behind Software Craftsmanship conveyed in the book really lean towards achieving excellence, building on and complementing a lot of the practices outlined under XP and Agile.
Something slightly different for this post, I was fortunate enough to spend the past couple of weeks on Holiday in Lanzarote, around doing/seeing some really amazing things (Lava Tunnels, Volcanoes, Fundacion Cesar Manrique pictured above, sitting on the beach, etc.), I managed to catch up on some reading. I chose to read mostly non-technical Fiction books as I seem to find myself reading technical books throughout the rest of the year.
I took some inspiration from Christos Matskas’ Summer Reading List who had done the hard work and crowd sourced some suggestions and picked up The Rosie Project and The Martian, having already read Ready Player One and Soft Skills.