Time to look back and reflect on how the year which is about to end developed. Brief recap of my 2019. (1)
The main event of the year: I switched jobs and started working at widebody marketing in Airbus.
Having said that: other personal objectives for 2019 have been moderately accomplished to different extents. Now, let’s review the year in more detail.
Flying. It took me until March to make the first flight of the year, and did not fly much until September, I only then flew enough to renew the license for the next two years. In total I flew 13 flight hours, including 36 take-offs and landings. I also passed an exam to renew the radio communication qualification in French for another six years.
If I recall it well, this year my work colleagues Carlos and Aleks, my mother in law Wijnanda and fellow pilot Marc flew for the first time with me at the controls. I flew as well with my father in law, Meine, with Luca, Andrea and David a couple of times. Believe me, there are very few things more enjoyable than flying with friends. I am sure that in 2020 that will be the case with some more.
This year again I took part in the rallye aerien of our aeroclub ACAT. It was a great experience again, even if this time we had more trouble in finding ourselves. On the other hand I could not take part in any of the fly outs organized by our Aviation Society.
Other things aviation. This year, I visited the Polish Aviation Museum of Krakow which was a great discovery. On top of that, I read some aviation books: “Buying the big jets”, “Straight & Level, Practical Airline Economics”, “Nuts!” and “Skygods, the fall of Pan Am”. And at the very end of the year, and after having lived in or around Toulouse for 9 years, I finally got to see the A380 convoy in its route from the ship offloading in Langon to Toulouse:
Airbus. After nearly 4 years working in the development of the Airbus A330neo, and seeing its entry into service, as mentioned above, I switched jobs within the company. This time I moved to the commercial side of it, in the product marketing team which regards at the positioning of our aircraft, future developments to be made and supports sales campaigns. Quite a fun job. The move started with a four-month-long training which felt very much like going back to aerospace engineering school; studying again aircraft performance, mission requirements, impact of aircraft configuration on the mission, aircraft economics, etc.
Believe it or not, there were other things than aviation in our lives in 2019:
Public speaking. I stayed rather active in our in-company Toastmasters public speaking club until I switched jobs. In this coming 2020 I shall re-start with it.
Blogging. This year I managed to write only 17 blog posts, well below previous years. The blog received nearly 34,000 visits in 2019 (less than in 2018) and above 402,000 since I started it in 2010.
Reading. Since moving to our new house, we have dedicated one of the rooms to be a family library (call it a pet project). We keep on buying books that we consider good enough and place them there, keeping our curiosity and the thirst for good reads always alive. This year I kept up with the reading pace, up until starting the training for the new job. I then faced some months of slow pace reading until the last quarter. In the end I read 17 books and nearly 5,000 pages (less than in 2018). For the complete list of books, see the post I wrote about my 2019 reading list with a brief description of each book.
Running. In 2019 I have run just below 1,200 kilometres, slightly higher than the previous year but a very low yearly mileage since I arrived to Toulouse in late 2010. I completed 6 races, less than in previous years, including 2 marathons (Krakow and Porto), a couple of trails (Ronde des Foies Gras (26 km) and Trail du Cassoulet (24 km)) and the Christmas’ races at the end of the year. I found myself with little training some weeks before each of the marathon and the running this year has been putting up mileage some weeks just ahead of those races to ensure that I could finish them.
Skiing. In 2019 we have repeated the wonderful all-family skiing week in the Alps (Vars) as we did in 2017 and 2018, and as we will do again in a few weeks in 2020. This year, Luca and I were placed in different groups and Andrea continued making progress, jumping two levels to earn her “Garolou” medal. In the afternoons we enjoyed going altogether to practice some luge near the hotel with David.
Bull fighting. This year again, I managed to attend a couple of bull fights: the Feria de Pâques de Arles (France), at the great Roman amphitheater, and the Feria de Pentecôte at Vic Fezensac, a small lively village in the Gers (France) and later on in Arles (France).
Travelling. This year we visited Madrid, Aix-en-Provence, Digne-les-Bains, Vars, Orange, Arles, Vic-Fezensac, Krakow, Saint-Tropez, San Remo, Genoa, Vernazza (Cinque Terre), Tuscany (Pisa, Siena, Florence, San Gimignano, Vinci, Lucca), Alassio, Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat, Millau, Porto, Blois, Amiens, Wijchen, Amsterdam, Fontevraud, San Sebastian… Many of these places have meant repeat visits, but they are lovely and we’ll continue to go there.
Now it’s time to rest, celebrate and soon to plan how we want the 2020 to turn out. For us it will include David starting to speak English and skiing, hopefully lots of flying and running (including at least a marathon in Madrid), some books to read, museums to see, trips and excursions to enjoy… For now, I will close 2019 celebrating my sister’s birthday, running the San Silvestre Vallecana in Madrid with friends and enjoying a last dinner with the family.
I wish you the best for 2020, enjoy it!