Time to look back and reflect how the year which is about to end developed. Brief recap of my 2017. (1)
The main event of the year: On July 17th, we signed the contract for the purchase of our house, as Andrea quickly and aptly named it: la maison bleu!
That was by far our main objective for the year, and was achieved rather quickly thanks to the thorough research of the market by Luca, who quickly spotted the opportunity.
Having said that: the other personal objectives for 2017 have been moderately accomplished to different extents. Now, let’s review the year in more detail.
Reading. We purchased at the turn of the year a good pack books in order to build up our library and reading waiting list. This year I kept up with the reading pace, having read 25 books, over 8100 pages or just above 22 pages per day. This permitted me to tackle some classics which I had wanted to read for some time such as the “Iliad”, the “Odyssey”, “Dracula” or “Les Misérables“. For the complete list of books, see a post I wrote about my 2017 reading list with a brief description of each book plus links to more thorough summaries which I wrote in the blog for some of them.
Avgeek. Reflecting for this post, I realize that this year I have unintentionally reduced the amount of aviation-related activities: we visited again the Cite de l’Espace in Toulouse (for Airbus September event) and I only read one aerospace book (“The Right Stuff”). I clearly need to make up for this in the coming 2018.
Flying. After obtaining the licence at the end of 2015, in this 2017 I had to ensure that I met the minimum requirements to renew it before it expired, which I did in October, thus we have two more years to enjoy the pleasure of flying. I did not reach the objective of flying of 30 hours, but still managed to flew above 20 flight hours (20.7), including 25 take-offs and landings, and we made a few flight excursions: notably a second flight to San Sebastian, in which we hope it’s going to become a tradition, “the July flight to Biscay”(we technically flew down to Biscay, though landed in Fuenterrabia), another excursion over the snow-covered Pyrenees, one to La Escala Rosas, Creus cape, or a couple of them chasing and spotting aeronautical light houses from the old days of l’Aeropostale (see the flight excursions section of the blog here). Ah, I almost forgot to mention it: this year, after an 18-month self-imposed ban to improve navigation skills, we started navigating using GPS. It makes a difference, though I’ll continue to fly old-style.
If I recall it well, this year only Luismi had his baptism regarding flying with me at the controls. I flew as well with Luca, Andrea and David a few times, and with Asier, my brother Jaime and my mother. Believe me, there are very few more enjoyable things than flying with friends. I am sure that in 2018 that will be the case with some more.
Within this flying paragraph I could not fail to mention that the A330neo, the Airbus project in which I have been working since mid 2015 flew for the first time in October 19th. Since them a second flight test aircraft also joined the flight test campaign, and together have flown well over 30 flights (search them in flight radar by their call signs: F-WTTN and F-WTTE).
Blogging. Family life, intensive reading and the buying of the house were the main culprits for having drastically dropped the production for this blog… not the lack of ideas, books or events to write about. I only managed to write 13 blog posts in 2017 Definitely, I will be a bit more productive on this front in 2018.
The blog received just above 40,000 visits in 2017 (less than in 2016) and above 328,000 since I started it in 2010.
Travelling. This year we, the family together, or I alone, visited Sevilla, Argentina (Perito Moreno, route 40, los 7 lagos, Buenos Aires), Bilbao, Saint Bertrand de Comminges, Saint Cirq Lapopie, Rocamadour, Lisboa, the Netherlands, Gargilesse-Dampierre, Orleans, Waterloo, Chenonceau, La Rochelle, San Sebastian. Many of these places have meant repeat visits, but they are lovely and we’ll continue to go there. On the other hand, this year I almost didn’t have to travel due to the job: just a single trip to Madrid.
Sports – Running. For yet another year, practicing sports has meant mainly running. However, in 2017 I have run just above 1,260 kilometres, well below the 2,000 km target that I set to myself at the beginning of the year. Many issues contributed to that, mainly illnesses and trips (skiing stage and Argentina). Nevertheless, I competed in some 12 races (versus 10 in 2016) including: 2 marathons (Sevilla (where I managed a second best time in the distance) and Lisboa), a half marathon, three trails (Ronde des Foies Gras (25 km), Trail du Cassoulet (32 km) and Trail du Pastel (22 km)) and a few 10k races.
Following a mantra I keep to letter, “the running shoes, always in the suitcase”, the year 2017 caught me running in: Sevilla, El Calafate, Getxo, Lisboa and Wijchen, plus the tens of times I trained in Toulouse, Colomiers, Blagnac and now Fonsorbes.
Apart from running, I played football one single day and for the first time went on a all-family skiing week in the Alps (Vars). That was a lovely experience, with courses for Luca and me, and Andrea ! That was cute, seeing Andrea sliding at 3 years old. No need to say, that in this 2018 again, we will repeat the experience.
Other reasons for joy in 2017 have been:
- My family: my sister completed an internship at NATO in Norfolk (USA) and now is back in Denmark. My brother continues to enjoy his time in Seville with A400M deliveries. My father is enjoying is retirement busy with university, conferences, trips and other events. My mother continues with her massages business, stayed with us for weeks in the summer and enjoys travelling, reading, etc.
- Some more friends got married: Juan and Lara.
- And we welcome some newborns from family and friends: Boris, Carlos, Mateo…
Now it’s time to rest, celebrate and soon to plan how we want the 2018 to turn out. It will include the certification and first delivery of the A330neo (which will mean I’ll be closer to change to another job), another all-family skiing week in the Alps, a marathon in Vienna, lots of flying and running, some books to read, museums to see, trips and excursions to enjoy… For now, I will close 2017 celebrating my sister’s birthday (in the distance), running the San Silvestre Vallecana in Madrid with several friends and enjoying a last dinner with the family.
I wish you the best for 2018, enjoy it!