Because updates to this blog has been so sporadic, I thought I’d add in a few sentences for each year to remind myself what I did in them! An earlier post was titled ‘First post in 3 years’ which was a rundown from the previous years too (2014 to 2017)


I started 2017 working at a company which ultimately didn’t work out. I was out by the end of March, and left with headaches that lasted for weeks afterwards. Tension headaches caused by work stress is what the doctor said. It was the first (and last) time that ever happened to me! And I was used to working in Tokyo-level stress environments, so even now I don’t see why it happened. Maybe I’ll spend some time thinking about it and see if any lessons can come from it.

Later on I worked with my buddy back in Scotland on a News-style mobile app for games companies in Scotland. Nothing much came of it but the development started me using React Native which was new to me. Its a Cross-Platform development platform using React on JS (TypeScript) for Rapid Application Development. That was my first proper in-depth look into JS and NPM. It’s similar to CocoaPods. It’s strange now that package managers are absolutely everywhere now. Unity, RN, Ionic, Vue, iOS, etc. I guess it’s just the next stage in the evolution of software development, being able to interface with various external libraries in addition to the stuff provided by the platform development teams like Google and Apple.

I remember most of my 2017 being spent coding in the bedroom and walking to Eltham library to study there.

I sold my LPG car in the summertime. It was sad to see it go but after a battery replacement and being fleeced by a garage in London, I decided the car was dead weight. We used it once every two weeks to keep it ticking over, insurance costs were triple what I paid in Scotland, and there were also upcoming MOT and tax that just made it not worthwhile to keep. More importantly, finding parking and the upcoming ULEZ charges in London would mean having a detrimental effect on deciding where to move next.

Towards the end of the year we moved out of the couple’s front room we were staying in and moved into an apartment. We shared with another couple. That was such a difference in quality of life! We had a separate living room, a balcony and great flatmates who were from Taiwan. We got on well and spent most days eating together and playing video games, namely Free Fire, which is a free PUBG clone on mobile.

This apartment was only very slightly closer to the city but it connected to DLR, national rail and a bus service that took us to the city very easily. My life in London was transformed almost over night.

Towards the end of the year I decided to start looking for work again.


The first few months were spent skilling up and interviewing for work in London. From my previous bad experience at the last company I was quite wary of getting back in to work but I still went to interviews and eventually landed up with 3 potential job offers! The one I selected in the end was a native iOS development job in Victoria, a 55 minute cycle ride from my flat. I worked for 7 months there (sadly the company went bust) but I have to say I really enjoyed it. It had high-up views of the Millenium-Eye in one direction and Buckingham Palace in the other. It was also a 2 minute walk from Westminster Cathedral! Every Wednesday I would walk to Picadilly Circus to go to a Japanese Language meetup. The company itself was the complete antithesis from the previous place. 8 people working together instead of 70, much closer-nit. A real shame for it to go.

In November took a 2 week holiday in Japan with my Dad, taking daily youtube videos as a video reel as a keepsake for him to remember. It was only a two week holiday but we did so much stuff! We ended up using the shinkansen pass to go to multiple cities. We stayed in hostels in Tokyo and Osaka (Had our own room, but shared facilities) I’ll have to make a blog post about it!


The plan was going to be to take a little bit of time off before searching for work again, but in March I was attacked on the street! Nothing too serious, but I went to the police and they did absolutely nothing about it, despite the area being covered by CCTV. It was then when I decided I didn’t want to be in London any more. I think that was the tipping point for me, a place that was punishingly expensive, filthy streets and getting asthma, the danger of Grenfell tower-style unsafe buildings (4 years later and still not fixed) so I figured it was time to make my exit strategy. By coincidence, my old classmate got in touch out of the blue, looking for software developers for his company in Japan.

I moved out of the place in London, back up to Scotland, and then over to Kyoto. I spent 3 months there in the end, doing a little bit of work here and there and then also doing the holiday thing in Kansai.


I got back to Scotland in February, just in time for the lockdown to begin in March.

Since then, the furthest I ever got was Edinburgh for a day trip to see my old high school classmate and go to Costco for extremely cheap pizza and hotdogs! 

But I’ve been continuing to work part-time remotely with my buddy in Japan.

I’ve been living more along the lines of FIRE (Financially Independent / Retire Early) Which I will definitely write about soon. The basic premise for FIRE is that your living expenses are taken care of (by either minimising them, or having passive-income that gives you enough income to cover it) and then you are free to use your days how you want.

At the start of the year I was planning to go traveling again in autumn, maybe for 6 or even 9 months whilst doing the travelling Nomad thing. I’d take my laptop and do work remotely from wherever I was in the world. Sadly, with the state of the Coronavirus throughout the world, that won’t be happening anytime soon.


So here is the beginning of the new year. It would be great to have a plan for this year that includes going travelling but it looks like that will be the contingency if things get better! Instead, it might be time to look at this upcoming year as an introspective year and one for which challenges that can be approached closer to home.

Certainly living the FIRE thing was something on my mind for years (I remember as far back as 2008, but the vocabulary was different then) and that is now in place.

It might be time to look more at the bucket list of tasks (mostly unstarted video-games) that I’d like to complete and concentrate more on daily habits to get more out of each day.

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