During the pandemic, I picked up the Diabolo and did a lot of practicing. First in the community garden during the lockdown and then when things opened up again out and about.
I have a ton of videos with my go pro 5 session camera but every once in a while I found a certain shot which looked quite impressive. Especially during dusk with the camera pointing into the last of the sunlight.
Live in another country for a short while I am determined to push myself out of my comfort zone and experience what its like living in a country with a different culture/language and customs. I feel I’m closer now than ever but there is a lot of work I need to do to make it so.
Spend more time getting to know the tech community in Portugal
Following from the previous one, I’m considering where the digital nomad visas are available. Estonia is the gold standard, its a great place with a lot of good things for it and tons of potential. However Estonia is a long way away. Portugal I like, the visa is good and its a lot closer for quick flights back. Germany and Spain‘s nomad visa is less great.
With this all in mind, I’m thinking I should get to know the tech scene in Portugal if I’m serious about living there.
Finish my dating book The book is being worked on but I feel the need to get it done, my sister suggests its in my star signs to get things done & dusted. But I do feel if I can move things forward enough, so I can spend a lot more time and energy on the first resolution. Right now its wait and see what agents and publishers say and if that goes nowhere self publish it.
I’m also checking out platforms such as smashwords, Wattpad, etc too. Suggestions are welcomed if you know one suitable for a non-fiction, memoir with some self-help aspects?
Head even further a field with the scooter Following my holiday around the common travel area, I am much more up for driving on the scooter either up through Scotland, down western Ireland or into the Netherlands and Belgium. Summer makes sense to do it and I feel full of confidence about going a head with it.
Send a email out to friends and family once or twice a year
Now the Volleyball teams are mainly off Facebook and Manchester Futurists is closed down. I’m spending almost zero time in Facebook and jumped on the selfhost train, so something which only invited friends & family would see. My thought dipping in and out last year is to run yet another wordpress site but with limited private access. Although I’m also considering a small microblogging system like Mastodon or a fork like smalltown.
I am keeping an eye open on the hybrid smartwatch space but everyone is so hellbent on LCD & OLED smartwatches and the potential pixel watch, isn’t close to exciting for me.
Listen to a Audiobook every month.
I’m going to try this one again as I was so close and this time, going to start listening to Audiobooks in the Gym/Spa and when walking around Manchester. I’ll also reduce the number of podcasts to allow for more audiobook listening.
Host more film nights and dinner parties
This is a repeat of the last year but even with Covid19, I’m going to put this on the list, as I could do much better. Heck I got enough Chocolate to do a tasting night every month right now and enough spirits to put most bars to shame.
Take the Diabolo skills up a level Although things are massively better with the Diabolo skills, I really need to get my head around a few of the bad habits I have picked up. Such as winding the Diabolo after a whip, Vertex’s to tightly wound and I still can’t do the endless suicide which should be easy now.
Put some attention into dating and love
In 2021, I kinda stopped bothering due to the pandemic, then started again. But by late summer, decided to focus elsewhere as I am sick of sites like OkCupid. Next year, I’m going to pursue different models of dating and love. Its clear as day, my lifestyle and outlook isn’t compatible for 90% of the women I see. So its time to seek those who are much more compatible and take some bold moves again.
Seek out a better regular spa During the summer of 2021, I joined the Bannatyne gym because they had a good deal and have 3 places complete with spa in central Manchester. This has been great but I found the closing time annoying (for example they shut at 5pm on the weekends). Now I’m willing to pay for regular spa time, its time to see what else I can get for a little bit more.
There is the 12 for 2022. Covid19 is going to have a effect on most of there but like always, some may get moved to 2023 and that is fine. I’m staying safe with vaccinations.
The long sequence for this is a hand grind to spinning top to vertex whip to vertex to vertex suicide to vertex around the legs and above. Quite a mouthful?
Although things are opening up in the UK, I’m still in the garden doing the Diabolo when ever I can.
The moves are getting more dangerous based around what I can do with a vertex. There is a lot more that I can do for example I haven’t really got into vertex genocides yet, for the diabolo to leave the string in the middle of a vertex seems insane. But to be fair I remember when I first tried to whip a vertex diabolo. Its easier when doing the spinning top to be honest.
One trick I’m turning my head to is the infinite suicide. I’m just not getting it and its frankly annoying me. Especially as you have to start slowly making sequences or combinations interesting.
I have been filming my diabolo tricks since the very start of the pandemic. Every once in a while I stop on a frame and just think wow that looks so great. Today at dusk while doing a new trick – Spinning top to vertex whip to vertex suicide to vertex around the legs.
Live in another country for a short while
Regardless of the pandemic, I’m still keen to spend a serious amount of time in Europe. I know we just left Europe (don’t get me started) and its now even harder to do what I had planned last year. Regardless I got to try and apply for the Estonian digital nomad visa.
Head further a field with the scooter
A follow on from the last lot of resolutions, even with Covid19 and Brexit, I’m holding out hope that I can find a way to either the Netherlands or Ireland. I almost went to the Netherlands over the summer but the rules changed meaning I would need to self isolate for 14 days after coming back.
Take better care of my skin. This is a follow on from last year, my sleep, alertness, etc are great but I for decades have neglected my skin. Since I was young, I would use petroleum jelly on my face and hands. I only really noticed the issue with this while shaving. But I was convinced by my barber to stop doing this and use proper face moisturisers. My family were amazed my skin turned out as well as it did we 30+ years of petroleum jelly. So its time for something new and less harsh?
Step up my gratitudes
My lovely ex-colleague Nicky told me about a book shes been using, called the 6 minute diary. Last time we talked about my gratitudes. So from new years I’ll give it a go. It will likely the most I have handwritten in a long time. Thanks Nicky again and look forward to seeing what hits the paper.
Host more film nights and dinner parties
This is a repeat of the last year but even with Covid19, I’m going to put this on the list, as I could do much better. Heck I got enough Chocolate to do a tasting night every month right now.
Spend even more time with the Diabolo
The pandemic has given me so much time with the Diabolo. Its amazing to see how fast I have improved in the community garden. A while back I wanted to learn the Vertex and now I’m getting confidently doing it but got a long way to go before I start throwing genocide vertex’s. Although I feel I can watch a video on youtube and pick it up within a week or two now. However I still don’t get the infinite suicide, it should be easy but it never works for me.
Self host and move to more decentralised/fediverse services.
Its something I’ve been doing for a while but its time for the big push. As I’m spending more time at home, I got more time to learn and now my main services are running on the NAS. The RaspberryPi is a great platform for self-hosting. While thinking about the previous one, I posted something on Mastodon.
Someone suggested this Github project and someone suggested Friendica might have what I need.
Find an alternative to the pebble watch
My friends have been really good to me, giving up their old pebble smartwatches to me. But as I’m now on my last pebble, its time to move over to something else. I enjoyed not having to pull out my phone to read a message and to even reply directly from the watch. But I can’t buy another one now. I had pinned my hope on the hybrid smartwatches but they don’t seem to have the ability to send a reply. Anyway, no more pebble after this one dies.
Listen to a Audiobook every month.
Another advantage of being at home is the amount of audiobooks I’m listening to. Right now I’m listening to one every week but 12 is a basic target and should be do able with the sheer amount of podcasts I’ve been listening too. This also fits with Audiable’s monthly subscription.
Take a more political & strategic view on the status quo
There’s been a number of books and podcasts, which have led me to the fact people around me think things are generally ok. Yes with the pandemic, they changed their minds for this year but I hear again and again – “Next year things will go back to how they were and all will be ok.”
No I’m 99% sure it won’t and frankly how it was, was not good enough. We need to fight harder for a better future for all. Its also clear to me the right has found a formula which is working but its easily broken by taking a active role in our democracy. May this year made this ever so clear to me.
Finish my dating book Yes that book is being worked on between myself and Hannah. The latest draft is looking great. Honestly it reads like a real book! I’m now considering writing a epilogue but unfortunately my relationship ended during this year. Meaning a rewrite and rethink how to end it as such.
There are other considerations like photography/artwork, formats, checking for consistency, where to publish, how to publish, etc, etc. Any thoughts do get in touch (like to avoid Amazon if I can and it makes sense)Here is a tiny sneaky paragraph from a draft chapter (Hannah is such a great writer and editor, you should hire her!)
…I studied her face to see what her intention was. Maybe it was a spontaneous comment that didn’t really mean anything. Perhaps she was playing to the cameras that surrounded us?
The longer I looked, the more smug her expression became. She might have been pretty before but that dirty grin said it all. If she was trying to push my buttons she had found them alright. What happened next was not my finest hour.
Maybe the combination of divorce, Mr Tango and the button pushing had something to do with what happened next. It felt like I was thinking it but it came out.
Regardless, I do take responsibility for what happened next…
Bet you are dying to know what happens next right? Hopefully this year you will know.
So that’s the 12 for 2021 (still no real reason why its 12, it just is). Its a tough one because I wanted to include things like visit a new country but I decided its unlikely this coming year. I was also going to add one about getting the Covid19 vaccine/jabs but I just learned one of the ingredients includes pea protein? So it might be a even longer wait for me to get the vaccine.
Day 25: High and low Vertex Suns
Of course something special for the last day of my Diabolo advent calendar.
I am still getting my head around the vertex but one of the tricks I picked up quickly was the high and low suns.
When I’m going and slowly turning along with the vertex, it looks incredible but its very difficult to maintain the momentum.
Here is another better one I did the other day.
Thats it for the advent calendar, hope you enjoyed a little daily dip into the diabolo world?
Happy holiday where ever you are and what ever you do. Remember to stay safe!
Day 24: The Vertex
This is the new dimension in the Diabolo world, the Z dimension.
For the last few years I have added learning the vertex in my new years resolutions.
Its only this year with covid19 and plenty of time in the community garden, I really got to put the time into learning how this quite new trick actually works.
I’m still learning it but imagine all the tricks I have shown over the last 24 days and imagine them operating on the Z dimension! Thats all to come…
Till then I can enjoy finally being able to manage a vertex with a loop or as a open loop stick grind.
Day 23: The cross stick grind
Nice stick grind which can look impressive if held correctly at the end of a performance.
As you can hear the diabolo is still spinning but I think its better when it stops in that grind.
Day 22: High throw to whip to duicide
This is a combo which really gets people excited.
In single steps it should be straight forward but the high throw makes the diabolo whip very difficult and prone to being missed.
On top of this the momentum of the diabolo instantly makes a whip to duicide swing around very quickly, causing the duicide not to go back up.
Theres a closer up view here .
Day 21: Diabolo Genocide
We are getting much closer to the edge of my skill set now.
The suicide can be difficult and the duicide was tricky to learn, but they all pale in compared to the genocide.
While in the suicides and duicides, the diabolo is still realistically on the strong.
In the Genocide, the Diabolo leaves the string and you are left holding one stick. Check out the side view to see it fully.
Its insane and I find it hard to pull off.
Day 17: Orbit to duicide to mini orbit to duicide
Quite a combination of tricks and when its done correctly looks impressive. Its getting at the more difficult end of the scale for me now. Each trick is possible but together its a whole different kettle of fish.
Day 16: Falling from orbit catch
Every once in a while a trick goes wrong but there is a alternative/out which saves your butt/style. The orbit catch is perfect for when a orbit comes loose and goes off into the unaware audience or crashes the ground.