Here comes the obligatory year in review. What happened in 2022? Quite a lot really. Reporting from a hotel in Wolverhampton for my first in-person conference since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Writing on the Regular
Last year, despite several major exams, I committed to releasing a blog post weekly part way into the year. I was determined that the FRCPath Part 2 exam (henceforth known as the exam) wasn’t going to stymie all of my creativity. My minimum output was going to be one piece of writing for the week, and I (largely) kept up with that publishing schedule. It doesn’t always produce the best results, but it’s better to produce something weekly than to pause and struggle to release something over several months. It also means you, constant reader, can look out for a new post every Thursday (or Friday if I’ve posted at 23.59 on a Thursday night).
Breaking Free from Isolation
Although I was still working in the hospital for the vast majority of the pandemic and maintained a level of social contact through that, I was missing foreign travel. The promise of escaping the British Isles was fulfilled following the exam in April with a trip to Sicily. We lazed around Taormina for a week and had a smashing time. It was the antidote to the immense amount of stress and energy put into preparing for the exam. A few months later we went on our long delayed trip to Washington and Oregon in the states (originally planned for 2020) and caught up with family out there. And in November, following an exam that was not the exam, we travelled out to South Korea for a couple of weeks to (mostly) eat meat and visit our soon-to-be extended family. Not to mention a couple of trips back to Northern Ireland, too. All of the pent up travel energy came out in 2022.
Lots of baking and cooking happened. Look at Christmas 2022 for a prime example of the kind of unnecesary stress I put myself under!
I have had an interest in spirits and mixing cocktails for a little while now, but it really blossomed over the last year with my discovery of Neat! The Boozecast. Delving into the history of famous cocktails and drinkers was inspiring, and I’m starting to experiment with mixes that would have been outside my comfort zone in the past. As I grow older, I’m finding my palate is moving away from sweet towards bitter, so the potent Negroni has become one of my favourite drinks. Cheers!
Ridding myself of the exam has led me back to fiction, particularly Stephen King. I finished Mr Mercedes and I’m well into the second book in the series, Finders Keepers. During the Sicilian break I also read Farenheight 451 and Guards! Guards! I lost momentum somewhat half way through the year, but I intend to pick up the pace for 2023, and have set myself some reading goals on goodreads.
Before the exam we were largely avoiding games and spending our evenings looking at digital microscope slides. Rock on! Once we regained some of our free time, the games returned. We played even more Resident Evil, completing RE7 at the end of the year, and got seriously into Breath of the Wild. I also had a fair crack at Hades on the Switch, although there is still some more work to be done there before I unlock all of the story. And Christmas brought even more fun, including Horizon Forbidden West, Resident Evil 8, and Signalis. You’ve probably heard of the others, but Signalis stands out as a particularly interesting survival horror game starring a Replika, an android with a human neural imprint, as the protagonist. The atmosphere and mechanics are heavily reminiscent of early Resident Evil and Dino Crisis games on the Playstation One. I’ve only scratched the surface, but so far the story is pretty compelling and the environments are really creepy.
One of the biggest and most time consuming projects this year was the renovation of our office. I’m much happier with the space I’ve created, but there are a few little niggles to sort out, and the storage space needs better organisation. I also managed to insulate the loft properly, which was another high priority job for Winter.
I’ve got to prepare for my presentation at the conference tomorrow, so I’ll leave it at that. Suffice to say that a lot happened in 2022, and 2023 promises to be another exciting year.
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