Benjamin Read's code garden.

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This article is about: personal

I very rarely write personal articles on this blog. But with the demise of social media I’ve decided to share a little more of my personal thoughts here.

The main motivation is that I’ve discovered a lovely network of personal blogs, and even a decent directory. The articles I’ve found myself enjoying more than I thought I would have been the personal ones.

I guess this started happening a lot more when Molly passed away. I enjoyed reading other people’s tributes to her, and found how similar they were to my own few experiences with this incredibly inspiring individual.

Career change

I’ve also reached a bit of an inflection point in my career. I have a stable job with a company that’s … ok, actually. It’s never going to set the world alight, but frankly neither is my code. I’ve long thought that it’s not what you do for a job that matters as much as who you do it for. And this company is pretty accommodating and stable.

So along with that, my need to prove myself has diminished. I’m not saying I’m confident, but in terms of my ability or desire to succeed, I think I’m at the apex of this particular career. I’m always planning for the future and have some objectives that will change things up a bit and help me to remain comfortably uncomfortable, as I’m still trying to live by the saying “if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”

Relocating to North Wales

We had an unexpected visit from our landlord about 3 months ago that meant we had to move out. My wife and I were sad about that because we had only just got settled, having been there for only 2 years.

We don’t have the circumstances to buy, and rents were going up crazy amounts in Hertfordshire.

So we decided, very quickly, to move up to Flintshire in North Wales.

This was motivated largely by our kids: They’ve been learning Welsh for around 3 years. This is something they’ve decided to do of their own volition, but we wanted to support it as well, and give them an opportunity for future careers in the language if they wanted to.

We upped and moved in six weeks. It was terrifying, exhausting, and extremely stressful. We also had to get rid of a lot of personal belongings. But the result has made a huge positive difference to the well being of the whole family.

So we’re all learning Welsh now. And enjoying it here immensely.

Writing blogs is hard when you prioritise your family

The other reason I’ve neglected this blog a little is that writing this blog in Markdown, committing it to the repo and publishing it, even without my revision flow, is slow and cumbersome.

When I’m not working I’m 100% focussed on the family, which means I don’t get much time to myself at all. That’s a personal choice, but it has consequences. I want to be part of their lives forever, not just for a few years, so I have to take care to maintain my relationships with each of them now.

I do wish there was a better workflow. I want one of those apps that integrates with my workflow so I can write articles on my phone, much like you can do with the WordPress app.

I just tried writing Markdown with the GitHub app. It’s not the solution I was hoping it might become sadly. At least not yet.

But the infrastructure is dead simple. I’m not going to beat markdown on a static site. So it looks like there’s no good way to beat that friction currently.

Shame. But also, not a big deal really.


There you go. I have a few more things I wanted to say, but I’ll leave it here: it’s late, the children are finally asleep so I have ten minutes of doom scrolling before bed.

How are you doing?

PS I’m building a comment section, so when that’s live I hope it’ll give people an opportunity to reply.

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“Wisest are they who know they do not know.”

— Jostein Gaarder