James Bateson Personal Site: Post

Update and reset

It's been far too long since I've written anything here, my last technical post, and journal update were both way-back in January! Considering one of my goals this year was to write here more frequently, I've not done too well.

Recently I've been making some UI tweaks and performance updates to this space, and figured it's a good time to reset a bit and try to improve my post cadence. Not saying it's going to work but worth a try.

So going to start with this update post, quite a bit has happened in my life since those last posts, so this might seem like it's going on a bit, but it's a good chance for me to reflect as well, so bear with me! These updates are a mix of work and life things.

Moving (twice) permalink

At the end of January I decided to move closer to work, and left Lancaster behind after nearly 10 years! As well as wanting to be closer to the office to better get to know the people I work with and enjoy more collaborative in-person working, it was also a chance for a fresh start with some things negatively affecting me mental health living in Lancaster.

I initially moved to a flat near Prestwich, which was lovely. I joined a great running club and the area was beautiful, with plenty of nice green walking/running routes, and I was getting into the office more regularly.

However, the person I lived with was often out, and it felt like I was living on my own, which isn't something I wanted again after doing so for the last 5 years, I'd moved to Manchester to try and get back to being a bit more social and positive.

So I have recently moved again into a flat in Castlefield, which I absolutely love. It's a lot closer to the city center, so I'm currently getting into the office more frequently, which is ace. My flatmate is in a lot more, and even if it's just a quick chat whilst cooking or passing etc, it makes a massive difference when you're quite lonely.

When I first moved, I couldn't imagine embracing the busy city center lifestyle, but Manchester is very much starting to feel like home now.

Running permalink

My running this year has been overall quite good. I completed my first ever ultra marathon in May when I took part in the The Lap (a full lap of Lake Windermere). Although the training and the event were physically and mentally tough, completing it is honestly one of the best experiences of my life. I set myself a goal of completing the 47 miles and ~10,000 ft of elevation in under 12 hours, and finished in 11 hours 30 minutes!

After the event, I think somewhat understandably, but also frustratingly my running has dropped off. It has been getting me a bit down that I an tell my fitness isn't what it was and the motivation and enjoyment just hasn't been there. however, the last few weeks I've started to pick things up again, feeling motivated to get out and enjoying myself again.

As mentioned when moving I joined a running club in Prestwich, which was great for meeting new people and learning some local routes. I've also joined a club local to Castlefield as well. Running can be a very lonely sport, so to have runs where I can go along, meet new people, run new routes, and just have a chat whilst doing it, is great for my mental health.

I've got no more big events planned for this year, but have a distance goal I'm working towards and a few half-marathon races coming up. I need to decide if I want to put myself through another ultra next year or just stick to marathon distance for a bit.

Public speaking permalink

This is something I could not have imagined being able to do before I joined Code. But this year I have spoken at 4 public events, as well as presenting at a few company meetings!

  • HCD Manchester - accessibility lightning talk
  • McrFRED 80
  • McrFRED 81 - testing accessibility
  • QABC - testing accessibility

These have all been accessibility related, and although I've still got a long way to go with my confidence and delivery of these, it's been a really big step for me that I'm pretty proud of.

Public writing permalink

Another goal that I've been working towards this year is to make some open source blog writing experience. I've had two articles accepted and am currently well on with making sure they're ready to be published:

  • How to make an accessible nav with dropdowns (A11y Project)
  • 5 HTML elements. And a partidge in a despair tree (HTMHell)

Mental health permalink

Towards the start of the year and when training for my ultra marathon, this was actually improving a bit. However, the last 6 months our so, it's really taken a hit again.

I'm probably finishing the year with it as low as it's been. I have recently started some counseling and trying some more medication, so hopefully I can try and turn this around and be more positive next year. Just need this year to be over.