6 minute read

Long time, no write.

A lot has changed in my life, not least of which is that I am no longer a stay at home dad or living in Germany. For now I am back home in the country of birth and living with my mum. I'll cover the that in more detail another time.

For now I am talking about my current goals which are basically:

  • read
  • write
  • walk
  • learn web development
  • refresh my iOS/macOS dev knowledge
  • work on 2 apps I've been puttering with
  • learn Spanish/Portuguese


For a long time now I've been pretty poor about reading. Pretty much the only daily reading I do is Twitter or some tech articles. Occasionally I am reading comics but unfortunately I virtually never pick up a fiction book to read. So my goal is to read a fiction book for at least 30 minutes a day.


Apart from long messages on instant messaging I don't really do any long form writing anymore ... and even now I've kinda switched to audio or video rather than typing as I feel more comfortable doing it and I don't feel like I'm spending my time in front on an electronic device when I do it (which of course its silly).

So I plan to try and do about 30 minutes of writing a day, whether its a personal journal, this blog, short stories and essay like things (the latter because I am considering starting a childcare course in the fall which will require essay writing).

I aim to try and do a course to help with my writing.


Last year I walked the Camino de Santiago. Specifically the Camino Frances and the Portuguese (Porto to Santiago de Compostella). I want to go back and do it again, but I also want to walk to improve my fitness and lose weight. The goal for now is to aim for 10-15km a day, roughly 2-2.5 hours of walking.

Long term is to get to walking 4-5 hours a day, roughly 20km, and then code for 4 hours at the home or on the Camino.

Learn Web Development

To try and broaden my coding knowledge and add possibilities for work I am making an effort to learn Web Development, specifically HTML (which I kinda new about 20 years ago), CSS & JavaScript (both of which I know very little about). From there the plan is to move on to specific packages like Node.js and such.

I'm using a combination of free resources, including FreeCodeCamp, and various YouTube videos. I'll make a longer post of resources another time, or at the least link to a couple of useful sites of resources.

Refresh iOS/macOS dev knowledge

This is such a weird one for me, I have a strange relationship with iOS and macOS development. I started digging into Mac Development and learning Objective-C back in 2007 after I got my first MacBook, and into iOS when the SDK was first released in March of 2008. I had written some personal stuff but I never published anything, I never felt comfortable doing it and (an excuse to be sure) but I was a stay at home parent, I was dealing with a 3 year old and 2 year old at the time, washing, cooking and occasionally cleaning.

I kept up to date with the changes, and I got quite lucky and was able to work as a technical editor on a number of Mac and iOS development books over the years, as well as a paid reviewer. It was something that was easy to do after the kids had gone to bed and I could sit on the sofa with my wife while she watched stuff after she came home from work.

But its been a few years now since I've really done anything and my brain has shunted most of that knowledge out of my head. So I'm in this weird place/state where I feel I need to go back over things, I'm no beginner but I'm no expert either, and I have a lot of gaps / no experience of newer frameworks like CoreML, ArkKit, PencilKit and other recent things.

So I'm working through a combination of books by Paul Hudson from Hacking With Swift, Angela Yu's iOS 13 Development Course on Udemy, and some sample projects.

My goal is to get a part time work, or contract work, fixing bugs rather than building new software; at least in the short term. I enjoy bug fixing more than designing and building software.

Work on Apps I've written

I have two apps in various states of creation. One is a simple number search game (a change from doing word search) and the other is an app idea that I've wanted to make for over 9 years.

The game is basically running, but needs some tweaks to make it prettier and I'd like to add checking of the game board to prevent the same numbers appearing in the game board. Its less of an issue if you are using long numbers (5+ digits), but if using 3 digits its to easy to get duplicates on the board and you have to keep trying each one to find out if its the correct one. Not exactly fun :) I'd say its in Beta state.

The other app ... its in Alpha state, it works, you can use it for its intended purpose but it has a bunch of rough edges, it needs to properly update based on remote changes, it needs prettying up, and a bunch of other changes. Its hindered a bit by me writing the UI using SwiftUI, I keep hitting various bugs that make life difficult. In theory had I started with UIKit I MIGHT have been further ahead, but I felt my knowledge was too rusty and using SwiftUI gave me an excuse to learn it as its much smaller.

Learn Spanish / Portuguese

Right so, lets be clear, I SUCK at languages. I lived in Germany for 14 years and my German is shit ... but I want to spend more time on the Camino, so I need to make an effort to understand at least a reasonable amount of basic Spanish and also ideally Portuguese.

I made a start at the beginning of the year using a combination of Duolingo and Memrise, but after a few weeks it feel by the wayside because of me. I really shouldn't be hard for me to find the time to at least do 15-30 minutes of learning / listening / reading a day. So thats my goal. It won't be enough for me to be conversational (my experience of doing the German integration course, and the followup course I did confirms that. I NEED an intensive class for me to really learn) but at the least I hope it means I won't feel lost when I arrive at an albergue where they don't speak english (which does happen).

Last but not least ...

As a minor aside, the site has had a minor bit of sprucing. Same theme, different colors. I've also put the categories back but I don't really like them. I don't really see them as any different that tags, particularly as I prefer the url to just be domain/date/title rather than domain/category/date/title, so there will likely be further tweaks to be made. Also I want to look at what collections are and how to post photos on here (from the Camino).

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