Before I look back on this past year from a personal perspective, I should probably comment on the clusterfuck that has been the 2017 Global Stage. I should, but I won't. There's just been so much awful bullshit this year.

I've been taking Paroxetine (Seroxat) for Generalised Anxiety Disorder for over a year now. My doctor is keen that I don't remain on medication long term, and that I instead try to use meditation to manage my anxiety. Don't knock it until you've tried it I guess, though I'm skeptical. I understand the efficacy of SSRIs such as Paroxetine reduces over time. I'm noticing that now. Though I do feel it continues to help with a lot of the symptoms. I'm less prone to shortness of temper and irritability these days. I've also been able to correlate particularly bad periods of anxiety, with severe headaches. Hopefully there's a middle ground between meditating my anxiety away, and staying on Paroxetine, that'll keep both me and my doctor happy.

I got another tattoo in January, and should be getting another one in a few weeks. I've not made my mind up yet on my 2018 tattoo.

In February, I was promoted to Principal Engineer in the DevOps team at FanDuel. I'm very proud of this achievement, and it's given me more self-confidence, which is something my anxiety has always caused trouble with.

2017 has been a massive travelling year for me. In May, I spent some time in London with my boss Steve, to speak with engineers from AWS, which was really fun and interesting.

Jo and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary in May. We went to Cyprus for a lazy holiday reading, sun bathing, swimming, and drinking lots of cocktails. It was amazing!

Earlier in the year, it looked like FanDuel and Draft Kings were going to merge. Things didn't quite work out that way, but it did mean I got to spend some time in Boston in June. Great city, great people, and some really good beer and sea food!

July saw me in New York, working with some of our engineers, to get a new mobile app live. I love New York. I don't think I could ever get bored of that city! I went back to New York in October, to follow up on my July visit. Like I said, I've been very fortunate with travel this year. I've loved every minute of it, and definitely haven't taken such great opportunities for granted.

Jo and I spent her birthday in November in… you guessed it… New York! We planned to go to New York together before I realised I'd be there in October. This didn't bother me one bit. We both had an amazing time. I got to see the city as a tourist, during the day, rather than being in the office. I got to show Jo some of the things I'd seen and done previously, and we both got to see all the sights, and take in the amazing atmosphere that New York has to offer. Holiday of a life time for sure, and hopefully we'll get to go back together some day!

We decided to treat ourselves later in the year, and are now the proud owners of the most amazingly comfy recliner sofas. That cats haven't been too interested in them thankfully, only some small, superficial curiosity scratches so far. They rather like being able to stretch out on them.

We've upgraded our TV and can now watch 4K Netflix on 49 inches of LG TV beauty!

Unfortunately, our trusty Vauxhall Corsa kicked the bucket in December, with a fairly epic blow out on the way down to Jedburgh. The rear driver side tyre completely perished, and took out a good chunk of the rear bumper with it. It was due an MOT in February, and wouldn't have passed. So it's goodbye old Corsa…

… and hello new Corsa! After a few weeks without a car, we brought forward our plans and have a nice new shiny 1.4 Vauxhall Corsa. It's lovely, and Jo assures me it's much nicer to drive than the old one.

Flying visit through 2017, ready to say hello to 2018. I think I'm going to give the news and the media a wider berth this year. If 2018 is going to be a political, economical and social shitstorm, I'd rather not actively seek a front row seat. I'd like to read more this year, finally replace cigarettes with my vape mod, get in shape, and try to focus on my mental health more than I have this past year. Anything else along the way will be a nice bonus.

Happy New Year - I hope 2018 is good to you!