This song came up over the radio this morning while I was taking the minion (my new name for Squishy as she speaks fluent Minion at this stage) to daycare. It was the studio version, of course, but I much prefer the live version which I saw the first time around Christmas. I love it when a musician makes one instrument sound like another instrument.
And they’re South African.
Four weeks ago I was on my way to a foreign country for the third time in one year. But no 28-hour flight to a different continent this time. Instead, just a quick hop across the border to our next-door neighbour, Zimbabwe. Along with a colleague from Cape Town I was representing Automattic and speaking at the first ever WordCamp Harare.
It was amazing. This was only my second-ever WordCamp – the first one being WordCamp Johannesburg a few weeks earlier – and my first time speaking at one, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I found were some of the friendliest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.
There were freelancers, people who work for big internet companies, computer studies students, and folk who just run WordPress websites for their companies, non-profits, or themselves. I was pleasantly surprised to meet several WordPress.com bloggers there as well. Everyone united by a love for WordPress, and it can empower them to make a difference in their own, and others’ lives.
As for my talk? I realised I’m out of practice with public speaking – I kept losing my place in my notes and forgetting to advance my slides, and felt glad when it was over. It didn’t help that due to another speaker not showing up and a couple going over their allotted time I wound up in the last slot of the day.
But I received nothing but positive feedback from the other WordCampers, so maybe it went better than I thought. (Or the WordPressers in Harare are just really nice people. I think it might be the latter 🙂 )
Actually, the thing that finally prompted me to write this post which I’ve been putting off for the past month, was a tweet yesterday that my talk is now up on WordPress.tv, so you can go watch it there if you want. It was mostly aimed at people there who built WordPress products – sites, themes, plugins – and spoke about how a little time educating your customers about their WordPress sites can save a lot of time in helping them fix things if they break later.
I didn’t take a camera with, but here’s a few pics I captured on my phone:
The obligatory view from 20000 feet
My hotel room looked out on Harare Garden’s – Harare’s Central Park
It’s not a real WordCamp without shirts…
…or swag 😀
I’ve lately begun to realise New Year’s is somewhat silly. Just because the Earth passed some arbitrary point relative to the sun everyone feels the need to reflect on the days that have passed since last time we were here, party through the night (which, let’s face it, hasn’t made sense since your early twenties), and then make a bunch of promises we don’t intend to keep on how the next circuit around old Sol is going to be different than the last one.
But hey, who am I to snub my nose at tradition?
Continue reading “Here we go again”
The year wouldn’t be complete without another Doctor Who themed item to add to my collection. And once again the wife didn’t disappoint:
My Christmas present? A home-made TARDIS piggy bank. Still not bigger on the inside, and I didn’t get it stuffed full of cash, but it was filled with a sugary treat a historic Doctor is known to have been very fond of. Can you guess what it is?
We spent Christmas on our own this year. It’s Elizabeth’s first Christmas, our last Christmas in our current home (we’re planning a move next year, but more to come on that later) and we realised we’ve never had a Christmas at home since we were married. It was nice, just celebrating the day quietly in our own way.
I’d actually meant to write something about Christmas this year, but time got awy from me. There are days I really wish I had an actual TARDIS, so I can go back and get to the things I missed the first time around. But then, if I had a real TARDIS I’d probably forget all about my own past with an entire universe to explore, so…
How was your Christmas, those of you who celebrate it? Did you spend it on your own? with friends, family, a time-traveling madman in a blue box? Any significant presents you’d like to share? It doesn’t need to be TARDIS-related 😉
However you spent your day, from us Kokkies I wish you all the good this day represents to us, and may the last few days of 2016 represent the best of this year, or at the very least pass without incident 🙂
And here I am, for the third time this year, waiting to board an international flight. I’ve flown more this year than my entire life to date.
Where am I off to this time?
I mentioned previously that WordPress is a community, and WordPressers love getting together, from informal meet ups to WordPress conferences, called WordCamps.
This weekend, Zimbabwean WordPressers are holding their first ever WordCamp in the capital, Harare, and a colleague and I are going up from South Africa to represent Automattic and give back to the community by presenting talks. Yes, I’ll be speaking at the WordCamp tomorrow.
Having worked as a teacher and a preacher I’m no stranger to public speaking, but I will admit to having quite a few butterflies fluttering about in my stomach. WordCamps are typically attended by developers, designers, experts in WordPress and everything online. And here I am, a blogger of four years, thinking I can teach them something.
It’s easy to think like that. But I’ve received so much encouragement and support from my colleagues while deciding whether to apply and while preparing my talk. And I’ll be speaking about something I love and know well: helping people with WordPress. So I’m sure it will go well.
I think the real reason is that I had to leave Squishy and the missus behind again. I swear it gets harder each time. I’m only gone two days this time instead of ten, and only 600 miles away instead of thousands and thousands, but I’m already missing them and I haven’t even boarded yet. I guess that’s how it will be leaving home from now on.
Anyway, wish me luck with my talk tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it went.