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The Year in Photos, 2011

This is a fairly personal post, so i'm sorry if you are a regular reader of the Scala articles here - those will resume from the next post!

The Years Events

As is becoming customary, I like to try and review the year nearly past as we look forward to the delights of the next. This blog is the second in a yearly series to make a conscious effort to note what the year was made up of and recall those awesome memories made.

Alpe d'huez, France

Most years I try to get some skiing in with friends, and this year we'd decided to go to France rather than my beloved Italy. Whilst the snow could have been better, we had a great time. I took this picture at the top of the highest gondola lift…

Bathoniean Sunsets

I'm fortunate to live in a beautiful area of the UK, and spring time is quite idyllic here. As the winter thaw gives way to things growing and spouting, the sun once again starts to bathe the evenings with glorious sunsets. This is one such evening looking out over the garden.

QConn London, Scala Community Dinner

March saw QConn return to London for a whole week and bring with it a heard of geeks from all over the globe. Many of my friends were visiting for the conference and with that decided that it would be a good idea to get the Scala folks together for some food, wine and all-round good times. Having people like James and Debasish was awesome fun. Can't wait to do something similar next year during Scala days. James, we're still waiting for "scala minus minus" ;-)

California Route 1: Pacific Highway

For anyone who's been reading this blog over the past years, you may recall that last year I was stranded in mainland Europe during the volcano eruption whilst attending ScalaDays 2010. After rounding up a bunch of stranded folks for dinner, I ended up meeting Jon-Anders - making a long story short, we became good friends and one day decided that what we should do is drive the length of the pacific highway in a convertible Mustang. After a hastily organised flight to america we were all set. What ensued was an utterly hilarious time away where we had arranged nothing in advance and just took things as they came. From huge trees in Redwood country…

...to the winding roads and stunning coastline of BigSur and southern california:

The trip was a complete riot and finishing it off with spending time at Xerox PARC was a real high for me. It was literally like walking the halls of technology fame.

Early Summer Thistles

Getting back from Cali was somewhat of a come down, but I often go for hikes in and around where I live and was out one day and noticed a small set of thistles just growing on this open exposed hill face. Pretty nice, especially with the city backdrop.

Canada, Up-state New York and Niagara Falls.

In summer I was sent to Canada for a meeting (technically just across the boarder in Upstate New York) but this was a pretty awesome experience. Having booked a "Small European Saloon Car" before traveling, me and my colleague were surprised to be presented with a 4.0 litre land cruiser. Clearly "small" has some definition in Canada that i'm not familiar with. Anyway… it was fun to drive around in a tank truck for a few days and enjoy the delights of Toronto and New York scenery:

Of course, being in the area it only made sense to swing by Niagara falls on the way back to the airport. It was my first time here and damn, it's far, far bigger than you might imagine. It really is a stunning natural spectacle.

End of Summer: Harvest Time

Back in England for the end of the summer is yet another lovely time. The UK was drenched in sunshine for the last few days (weeks?) of August which meant all the farms nearby were busy making the most harvesting their crops and preparing the land for winter. Being out on a walk I picked up this picture just after the field had been harvested:

JavaZone and M.I.T Arctic

Come September it was time once again for the most awesome conference of the yearly calendar: JavaZone! I love this conference; its always well organised, has great talks and really wicked parties. This year was no exception to that rule and proved to again be most excellent. This year we were also joined by some of our american friends, which just added to the delight. Following the conference, some of us head north from Oslo to the M.I.T Arctic lab for a few days of geekery and walking in the tundra. This was a really special highlight of the year and felt like a somewhat magical trip for everyone. Here's a small sample of what we got up too (not all pictures taken by me, credits where credit appropriate):

(photo credit: Andreas Røe)

(photo credit: Andreas Røe)

And don't forget the somewhat successful fishing in the fjords!!

It really was an amazing trip. If you've never visited Norway, you should, its a stunning country.

Lift in Action goes to production

So we're nearly at the end of the year, so I should really mention Lift in Action going to print. This was a huge, huge milestone for me personally and concluded a two year unit of work. I should also mention that during the writing of this blog post I had originally neglected to even mention the book and that a friend had to remind me to mention it… I'm sure the psychologists would have something to say about that, but anyway!...

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