A [BELATED] HAPPY NEW YEAR

Is 2015 really 12 days old already? The festive season is a distant memory. I have been back at work for a week, Archie and Flossie started at their new school yesterday, and Henry is busy with his mock GCSEs, so life is definitely back up to full pace.

We certainly enjoyed ourselves over Christmas and New Year. We had a wonderful three days at the Ritz Carlton over Christmas itself. It was a new experience for us, having brunch rather than a turkey dinner, but we really enjoyed it. The hotel was catering for 840 people and did it very well, with little queuing at the food counters. The “dessert room” proved a big hit with the children in the party (unlimited candy floss, popcorn, and various other treats), whilst the “cheese room” (with a choice of ports on tap) and the “eggnog stall” were both very popular with the grown ups.

One of the other highlights of our stay was an impromptu football match on Boxing Day in the late afternoon. It started out involving just our family and the friends who were staying at the hotel with us. We were gradually joined by people of various nationalities, most of whom didn’t speak English so communication was mainly by gestures. An Emirati man and his wife who were walking past paused to watch us for a few minutes. It was clear that he wanted to join in but was restraining himself. After lots of encouragement his reserve cracked and on he came. Unfortunately it was only a cameo appearance as he attempted a fancy move and stubbed his toe so had to retire injured. I’ve no idea what the final score was but we all had a great time, and the hotel management were so impressed with the entertainment we put on that they donated a number of prizes for the winning team.

The week between Christmas and New Year was quieter and on New Year’s Day we made up for missing our turkey when we had a family roast turkey dinner, followed by Flossie sang to us (using her new microphone and amplifier) and Archie demonstrated his skills on his new drumming kit. What silly presents!

The end of 2014 also means the end of the first full year for which I have been collecting data about various aspects of my life. I’ve stuck to the task pretty well, collating a number of items of information for the entire year. Having done some quick sums I estimate that I have collected more than 5,000 data points, ranging from my weight through to the books I have read.

Data Collected 2

Thankfully collecting the data hasn’t been too much of a burden. As I said in an earlier post, the easiest data to collect is that which doesn’t require any, or only minimal, human intervention, and there are many apps available for smartphones these days that collect data automatically.

The task now is to analyse the data to see if it actually tells me anything interesting or useful. That is the bit that takes a little more time, which is in short supply at the moment. Anyway I am drowning in spreadsheets and graphs at the moment, which those of you who know me well will know is making me very happy.

I know you are all desperate to see the results of my analysis (well, I’m going to tell you anyway), so over the next few posts I will share with you any insights I draw from the data. Bet you can’t wait!? At least it gives me something to write about.

So please do your best to control your excitement as you wait to hear about such things as:

  • How many “snoring episodes” I have on a typical night.
  • How often I eat chilli (and other dishes) for my tea.
  • Whether I am any closer to reaching my desired weight.
  • How I developed an addiction for shopping malls in 2014.
  • How adventurous (or not) I am when I eat out.
  • The quality of my driving.
  • And the list goes on.

As always thanks for reading. If you have enjoyed this post I would be very grateful if you could “like” or “share” it. It is always nice to get new readers and you can help me do this.

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