Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

2013 in review

This time every year I do a blog post looking back at the year that has just about finished, and all of the things I did. So this year it is the turn of 2013 to be analysed. You can read my previous posts from 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009.


We started 2013 with friends near Blackpool, playing the tabletop game Last Night on Earth (the zombies won). We had a trip to Manchester, to visit the Peoples’ History Museum, and again later in the month to set up our wedding list at John Lewis in the Trafford Centre.

On the blog, I compared my work mobile (a Nokia 100) with my personal mobile (an iPhone 5), mourned the untimely death of Aaron Swartz, celebrated 11 years of blogging – soon to be 12, and tried out


In February, preparations for our wedding ramped up; we finally got all of the invitations posted out, I got measured for my suit, and we booked our honeymoon. We also went on a day out in Harrogate and I took the occasional day off work to go walking and Geocaching. I blogged about how I’d switched to using Apple’s own Mail client for my email, and how I finally got hold of my Twitter archive, so that I could view all of the tweets I’ve posted since joining in 2007.


With two months to go until the wedding, we sorted out the flowers and received the remaining RSVPs from guests. We belatedly discovered The IT Crowd, and have since watched every episode (including the new, final episode broadcast this year). We later moved on to Black Books, and I got the complete box set of Father Ted for Christmas, to complete the Graham Linehan set.

With all of the wedding organisation, there wasn’t much activity on the blog apart from an apology for not posting. However, I was devastated by Google’s announcement that Google Reader would be shut down. I’ve since moved to Feedly (and even paid for a lifetime Pro account) and I’m quite happy with it.


At the beginning of April we went to a friends’ wedding in Greater Manchester – literally four weeks before our own. And at two weeks before Christine and I went on our respective hen and stag weekends, which we had been kept in the dark about right up until the day. We both had a good time and weren’t too embarrassed by our friends.

My soon-to-be mother in law gave me her first generation iPad that she was no longer using, which has proved very useful in the time since. However, with it only capable of running iOS 5, and an increasing number of apps no longer working, I may be looking for a newer model in the future.

At the end of the month we came over to York to make the final arrangements for the wedding.


Finally we made it to May, and our wedding on Saturday 4th. We both had a lovely day surrounded by friends and family, and the weather was nice enough for us to get plenty of good photos. That being said, we still haven’t ordered any prints, or our album as yet, so that’s a job for 2014. As is sending out the rest of the thank-you cards which we’re still working on.

Following the wedding, we went on honeymoon – five nights in Paris. I’ve been to Paris a number of times but it was Christine’s first visit. It was a relatively modest holiday – we stayed in a Holiday Inn, travelled in standard class on Eurostar and had to budget for meals – but we had a good time.

Other than nuptial-related things, I entered the final year of my twenties, saw The Hoosiers live in Bradford, and started using Instagram again.


After the excitement of May, June was a more sedate affair. We went to the recording of Bollywood Carmen Live in Bradford, which was great fun. There was the distressing news that the National Media Museum in Bradford may close – thankfully, it has been saved although some of its facilities may be cut back further. And at the end of the month I bought myself a Raspberry Pi, although I haven’t made much use of it since.


In July, my post at the university was re-graded upwards, resulting in a small pay rise. Having still got quite a lot of debt on my credit card from the wedding at this point, this was quite welcome. It was also during July that I discovered that I was lactose-intolerant, and so we started ordering our groceries online from Ocado because of their bigger selection of dairy-free products.

We had a day out at the Great Yorkshire Show – Christine’s first visit but I’ve been several times before – and I spent a day at Ogden Water reservoir. I also got a BT Home Hub 4 to review, and volunteered to be a regular blood donor as part of the INTERVAL study.


August is always a very busy month for me at work and this year was no exception. Consequently we didn’t do a lot, but we did go to visit the Calderdale Industrial Museum on one of their few open days, and to the Manchester Museum at the University of Manchester.


Christine turned 30, so we had a small party in our flat. Towards the end of the had a weekend in London, to visit friends and a couple of museums, and this included a stay in a ‘secret hotel’ which sadly wasn’t a great experience. The rest of the trip was good, though.

Around the beginning of September, the server which hosts this blog took a turn for the worse. It would be November before I finally got the problem under control, and performance back to where it should be. I made some predictions for Apple’s media event, some of which proved correct. Outside of the world of technology, I wrote about the feral geese that live in our town of Sowerby Bridge.


In October we went to yet another industrial museum, this time in Armley, near Leeds, for a Steampunk market. There was also a visit to a beer festival in Huddersfield, and another trip on the Transpennine Real Ale Trail, calling at some different pubs this time. And I went on the third of three stag weekends (the second being my own), this time in Birmingham.

My Mac got the free upgrade to Mavericks, which has been a reasonably worthwhile update on the whole.


I decided not to do Movember again this year, partly because in early November we went to another wedding, this time in Hertfordshire. I unfortunately had to miss the broadcast of the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who due to a birthday (everybody seems to be turning 30 at the moment) but thankfully caught up the following morning on BBC iPlayer. Which meant going into complete social media hibernation in the intervening period to avoid any spoilers.

Following my grandfather moving into a nursing home earlier in the year (he’s in his nineties now), we sold his house and therefore inherited a few things. We now have a much bigger dining table and some nicer chairs, amongst other bits.

On the technology front, I upgraded the little virtual machine on my Mac to Windows 8.1, and I switched my primary email client at home to Airmail.


And finally to this month, which has featured three separate trips to York – one of which was a pub crawl, and another was for Christmas. I donated my fifth pint of blood, and somewhat surprisingly managed to get our Christmas shopping sorted quite early this year, in comparison. We also went to see The Hobbit Part 2 at the cinema, which I enjoyed despite some of the mixed reviews it got.

On Sunday I’ll post about what 2014 is likely to have in store.

One Comment

  1. Congratulations again mate on getting married this year.