Year In Review - 2023

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6 min read

Where Have I Been?

Out of all the years I have been blogging, 2023 seems to be the year that has just flown by like a speeding train leaving us at the platform of memories before we have had a chance to truly comprehend what we have left behind.

During the year, I am normally able to stop and take note of what I have accomplished (some end up as blog posts) but then also look towards the horizon for what is next. This year has been different - I was unable to transform my learnings and experiences into words. A combination of limited time and (if I am being honest) the lack of passion to write... I got tired.

As a result, my blogging output has dwindled - totalling a mere seven posts for the year. This blog is important to me and is not something I will ever plan on abandoning as it is very important to own your words. I just have to be realistic in the sense that I won't be blogging as regularly as I have done so in the past.

The lack of blog posts is not a reflection of having a lack of things to do.

2023 In Words/Phrases

Stocks and Shares, Investments, Upskilling, Hardwired Dashcam, Cornwall, Spirituality, Home Networking, Synology 1821+, Writer's block, Serverless functions, Azure CI, Shopify, Google Analytics 4, First Indian Wedding Anniversary, YouTube Content Curation, Green fingers, Lawn Enthusiast, Garmin Venu 2 Plus, The Flash IMAX, Patio/Garage Door renovation, Sky Garden London

Stocks and Investments

Since I began investing in the stock market at the beginning of 2022, it has quickly become a source of enormous interest for me, eventually becoming a passion of mine and a skill I wanted to invest (no pun intended) more time. - This could be the main reason for the lack of blogging output.

I decided to take things a step further by going back to basics by taking a six week course provided by a very clever and patient coach, Vittorio, at StoicMoney. The course consisted of online learning material as well as weekly one-to-one private sessions.

The course filled in the gaps where I was lacking in understanding crucial areas of the stock market as well as pointing me in the right direction to where my existing investment portfolio could be improved.

Synology NAS Upgrade

I am finally the owner of a 8-bay NAS powerhouse that is the Synology DS1821+, which is by far the next best network-related purchase I have made since the UniFi Dream Machine router.

Investing in my home network is part of a transition I am currently undertaking to be less reliant on third-party services. By having a NAS, I have been able to reduce my cloud-based subscriptions to just Google Photos.

My NAS is not just being used by myself, it is also regularly being used by family members - all the more reason to invest in making my home network more reliable and efficient. A NAS will only run as efficiently as the network is on.

If the Synology DS1821+ is anything like the DS415Play (still fully functional), I expect it to last a very long time especially since it encompasses more than enough upgradeable options, such as:

  • Capability for up to 8 Hard Disk Drives
  • Upgradeable RAM
  • SSD Cache
  • Upgradeable Ethernet Card

A Lawn Enthusiast Is Born

Who could have ever seen coming that 2023 would be the year I would have taken an interest in something gardening-related, such as lawn care?

I can't exactly explain where this obsession for obtaining thick, green, luscious blades of grass came from. Throughout the summer months, I was on my hands and knees creating the perfect foundation for grass to grow by creating a mixture of topsoil and grass seed to sprinkle on bare patches and areas that required thickening.

I can confirm this will not be a one-off obsession based on how disheartened I felt when I was unable to tend to the lawn as I would have liked during the colder months.

Where my lawn is now compared to how it was previously is night and day. I was both proud and somewhat surprised such a change could be made in what was a barron wasteland of dirt to something pleasing to the eye.

I look forward to springtime next year to make my lawn even better!

YouTube Video Curation

My wife is quite the cook. She has the natural art of turning any group of ingredients into something damn tasty! So much so, her vegetarian cooking converted me from a regular meat eater to someone who enjoys eating meat-free alternatives.

Meat-eater to vegetarian is quite the accomplishment!

We had been toying with the idea of creating a YouTube channel to showcase her culinary skills for a while and back in June decided to train myself in video recording and editing.

Together we made a very short test video on a simple subject matter (making Indian Chai) just to test the waters as to whether it's something we could do. The video had to accomplish the following to determine the feasibility:

  1. Recording content in good lighting conditions.
  2. Edit the video to a certain length (3 minutes).
  3. Apply narration throughout the video for cooking instructions.
  4. Add background music.
  5. Export the video as a YouTube Short and in its long-form variant.
  6. Overlay a logo.

I am in no way a savvy video editor as this isn't something I've ever done before. Luckily, I managed to tick off all requirements and output a relatively slick (totally biased here!) video.


I was hesitating as to whether it would be worth mentioning this section for a number of reasons:

  1. I know for a fact my visitors would have dipped due to lack of content output.
  2. The lack of ability to sufficiently compare 2022 and 2023 due to upgrading to Google Analytics 4 in May.
  3. I haven't been keeping track of any analytics for the majority of the year and will not have a clue how I will fair.

However, the resulting stats didn't look too bad...

2022/2023 Comparison:

  • Users: -7.3%
  • Page Views: -2.7%
  • Search Console Total Clicks: +87.1%
  • Search Console Impressions: +84%
  • Search Console Page Position: +3.3%

There is an evident drop in users and page views - this is to be expected as I haven't been cranking out relatable content for some time. I wasn't expecting the positive outcome reported by Search Console.

As stated earlier, the transition to Google Analytics 4 could have skewed the results to some extent as further filter refinement is required. The true comparison will come in next years year's end review.

Goals for 2024

I made a choice in 2022 to make next year's goals somewhat more achievable and less career/programming orientated. This has worked for me and those goals are still relevant to me - even a year on.

I managed to get back into reading, made more of an effort to pick up the phone to loved ones and to be more present. One area I definitely need to improve on is fitness and exercise!

I would also like to create a YouTube Channel for my wife's cooking and will set a goal to publish at least one video. I already have a name for the channel and my wife has a few dishes she would like to showcase. This is out the norm for me and quite looking forward to curating some video content.

Final Thoughts

My final thought is simply: Be happy. Be healthy. Be productive. Be kind.

Before you go...

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