Twenty Twenty One was a year of firsts for the family and I after a few years of covid. Including our first restaurant outing and also our first UK break since before covid started. Apart from that, it was an uneventful year - which is not a bad thing. I hope you had a great year.


Due to covid, I was without work for about a year and during that time I wasn't using my car. After I got my fully remote permanent role - I decided to sell my lovely Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

It had been off-road for over a year. I had to have it MOTd, serviced and taxed and then I got a quote from WeBuyAnyCar.

Selling via WeBuyAnyCar for the first time was an interesting experience. For example, did you know that once you take your car for them to inspect it and review the quoted price - you can no longer drive off and think about it, as it will invalidate their quote.

We had to get the train home!


In July my wife and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary and we celebrated by going to a restaurant for the first time since before covid and also the first time my wife has eaten at a Japanese restaurant - she liked it!


We also went on our first holiday since before covid - we managed to book a place at a glamping site in Yorkshire. We had booked it quite early before everywhere in the UK was sold-out. It's a lovely site, with only 7 other families onsite at once. There was a lake and we hired a canoe for the week, which the kids loved using.

We stayed in a Bell tent. It was great - we had a fire pit and a BBQ where we cooked most of our meals.


I wasn't much of a skateboarder when I was young - I was in my teens when I got into it and so didn't spend much time skateboarding. But one of my kids wanted to learn - so I dusted off my old skateboard and we spent quite a few summer evenings skateboarding in our local tennis courts as we don't have a skate park near us yet.

We even visited a skatepark - a first for both of us. I have to remember to take it easy as my body is not as young as my mind thinks it is!!

Health and fitness

My health and fitness took a huge leap backwards in 2021. At the start of covid in 2020, I self-isolated even before the first lockdown was announced and I pretty much stayed in unless I was going for a run or to take the dog out for a walk.

But then winter came and I didn't have the willpower to go out for a run in the cold, wet and muddy countryside where I live - nor have any enthusiasm to do any other type of exercise either.

So by 2021, I was already a hermit and barely left the house - I stayed up late every night watching TV and eating all sorts of rubbish food and drinking - I went through quite a few bottles of rum.

To add to this I had a daily, very itchy skin rash, all over my body that I got in March 2020 that has never gone away. I've been on prescribed antihistamines ever since. I paid for a private allergy test which tested 800 food and enviromental items and I got back a huge list of things that I was now apparantly allergic to. I stopped eating everything on the list - including wheat and dairy products.

Now I have a very basic and plain diet. It got better in 2021 but I still have a daily rash and I still take antihistamines. Doctors just told me to keep a food diary and stop eating anything that caused the rash - but they don't know the cause. Blood tests only work if they know what they are testing for, so mine didn't show anything.

I was fully vaccinated against covid - managing to get all the vaccines before the end of the year.

NFTs / Crypto

[Warning: This is about Crypto and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). I'm not writing this to convince anyone that they should invest in Crypto/NFTs. If you want to chat about them, add me on Discord and I'll be more than happy to chat NFTs. Discord: CryptoJuan#9664]

In August I read about a 12-year-old kid from the UK who created a generative art collection as an NFT and it piqued my interest as something that I may be able to do myself. An opportunity to learn a new skill and delve into blockchain development.

So I took a deep dive into the world of NFTs and Crypto. It was one eye-opening experience with tons of learning.

I soon became a community mod for a new NFT project - CryptoGhosts - and that was the real eye-opener to the real world of NFTs and Crypto - a very shady, scam riddled industry and until it gets some sort of regulation, people will continue to lose a lot of money. My advice is to only use money you can afford to lose and don't go into expecting to become a millionaire overnight by spending a few hundreds of dollars/pounds.


I have now been at my new permanent job for over six months and I have been slowly getting used to being a permanent member of staff at a company again.

I've done a lot of varied work in my first six months at intelliflo from styling a 3rd party help plugin, bug fixes, new components and even setting up our first design system/style guide.


I designed and built four websites for existing and new clients, One of these was put on hold as the client was too busy to be able to provide the remaining content, but all the others went live.

Worked quite a bit on my website, but most of it was behind the scenes stuff. I added webmentions to my blog posts - which was only possible thanks to the 11ty community for kindly providing plenty of articles on the subject. I could not have done this without those articles.

Another behind the scenes change was that I finally fixed my Service Worker script. I wasn't deleting older versions and so returning visitors may not have seen the latest CSS changes. This again was something that I couldn't have done myself had it not been for the numerous articles and a book on implementing a service worker script.


Trees Planted Podcasts Listened Books Read Freelance Projects Series Watched Blog Posts
388 20 4 4 38 14
Articles Read Movies Watched Completed Tasks Pomodoro Minutes Music Listened
226 8 109 11,037 118hrs / 1446 scrobbles

Posted on , by in personal year-in-review


10 1


    Steve Rydz

    South like things are on the up now? Out of interest what was the service worker book?

    Benjamin Read

    Hey! Nice to hear what you’ve been up to! I took a test with, I found out a few allergy triggers which have improved my quality of life considerably. I’d be interested to know where you went in Yorkshire, I’m hoping to introduce the kids to camping..

    Juan Fernandes (he/him)

    Hi Ben. Thanks. I did a similar test - I just added more info in the blog post - but yeah they tested 800 food and env items and came back with a huge list of things I am allergic too. I stopped eating all the food mentioned - inc wheat & dairy. But has not changed anything.

    Juan Fernandes (he/him)

    I just re-read my blog post and noticed a typo - we went glamping - but it was a lot better than I expected. We stayed @kingfisherglamp - Already booked to go back there this year and we're brining some of our friends too.

    Benjamin Read

    Oh sorry to hear that!

    Benjamin Read

    No worries I knew what you meant. Ah great I’ll look that up!

    Steve Rydz

    Good to hear! Yeah things are good with me. I've fallen way behind with A Book Apart it seems.

    Juan Fernandes (he/him)

    But glad to hear that worked for you. Sorry my reply was just about me.

    Benjamin Read

    Nah man don’t worry, I hope you get to the bottom of it.


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