Time to look back and reflect on how the year which is about to end developed. Brief recap of my 2022. (*)
The personal memory from this 2022 was having my father back at home after nearly two months in hospitals, including a couple of days at the emergency room. He suffered a heat stroke at the end of June and only came back from it mid August. Those were testing times for him but also for the family, especially for my mother and brother who lifted the lion’s share of the caring for him during those months.
Family. Andrea is now 9 years old and David, 6. Andrea has been learning piano for most of the year, she enjoyed very much climbing, reading, singing in the school choir, drawing anddoing handcraft. She also started taking Spanish lessons once a week since the fall, on top of the Dutch lessons they both take every second week.
David is now nearly fluent in English and they both talk to each other in that language. He is improving with his reading and writing and very eager with maths. He started to play video games, is very fond of football and wants to help with anything, especially if it involves the use of tools (that probably comes from his maternal grand father).
Back to marathoning! After not having taken part in any marathon in 2020 and 2021 (breaking a 9-year streak), in 2022 I completed 2 marathons: Sevilla and Bucharest. Those were great and emotional experiences. With them I have now completed 23 marathons.
This year, together with some work colleagues we participated in a month-long sports (running and biking) challenge fighting against hunger in the spring and in the fall we ran the 15km-long Airbus charity run.
I ran 1,200km in 2022, around 100km less than in 2021. You can see below that I alternated periods of heavy training with some weeks of not running, due to illness, injuries, travelling or resting after the races.
Following a mantra I try keep to letter, “the running shoes, always in the suitcase”, the year 2022 caught me running in: Galapagar, Singapore, Seville, La Châtre-Langlin, Fontainebleau, Wijchen, Pontoise-lès-Noyon, Isla, Derby, Hamburg, London, Torrelodones, Almuñécar, Hyères and Bucharest, plus the tens of times I trained in my village, Blagnac and Toulouse.
With those 1,200 kilometres run in 2022, this is the sixth year in a row that I struggle to add more mileage, as I used to do between 2011-2016… One would say whether it is due to the arrival of the second child (spring 2016), the moving of houses (summer 2017) or just getting older (!), but something has made it more difficult. Hopefully in 2023 I can break that trend.
- Skiing. After the cancellation of our plan in 2021, in 2022 we could go back with the family for a week to our favourite resort at Vars, in the Southern Alps. If in 2020 it was the first time I descended some tracks with Andrea, in this 2022 it was the first time that the four of us descended some tracks altogether. That was a great experience. This year Andrea got her Flocon medal and David his Ourson one (levels from the French ESF).
- Swimming. On top of enjoying the pool at home, this year we went to the beach at three different locations: Isla (North of Spain), Almuñécar (South of Spain) and the Presque-ile des Giens (France). The kids loved it. During the holidays, they also took some swimming lessons to improve their style.
- Golf. The whole family started taking golf lessons last year and for half of the year 2022 we continued doing so, though after the summer the kids wanted to quit.
- Climbing. Both Andrea and David are very fond of climbing, so now, at almost every school holidays break they follow some climbing stage.
- Real Madrid. Even if David and I did not have to play for it, we did enjoy watching a few football matches together supporting our favourite team all the way to winning the 14th Champions’ League, another memorable hapenning of this 2022.
Flying. Unfortunately, this year I haven’t flown much, just 7 flights and 13 landings (the least in 12 years of flying). This takes the total to just above 192 flying hours and 300 landings since I started taking lessons back in 2011.
Together with our Aviation Society we were planning some excursions for the summer time but for different reasons a couple of them were cancelled and I could not join another. Therefore all the flying this year has been around our South West region.
On the positive side:
- I renewed the FCL055 qualification that allows me to speak in English to the ATC when flying abroad, this will permit me to attempt long excursions next year again.
- This year I flew for the first time with a few colleagues: Iain, Scott, Emilio and Marcellin. I am sure that in 2023 I will have the chance to fly with more colleagues.
Travelling. After many restrictions during the pandemic, especially in 2020, in 2021 we started to travel more and in 2022 we had the chance to visit some new and old places: Singapore (first time for me), Spain (Seville, Santoña, Isla, Madrid (a few times), El Escorial, Bailén, Almuñécar, Las Navas de Tolosa, Tordesillas, San Sebastian), France (Gap, Vars, Avignon, Sully-sur-Loire, Fontainebleau, Péronne, Château de Blérancourt, Meung-sur-Loire, Nimes, Presque-ile des Giens (there we had great week at the beach in the French Riviera)), Germany (Xanten, Hamburg (first time for me, and where we were very warmly hosted by Burkhard!), Munich), the Netherlands (Wijchen), England (Derby, London (it was quite some time since the last time I was in London), Farnborough), Romania (Bucharest) and Pakistan.
In some of those trips we had the opportunity to meet some friends from the university and the high school that we had not seen in a few years. That opportunity to continue reconnecting felt good.
Work. The year 2022 marketing our Airbus widebody aircraft has meant lots of fun and a great learning experience. The everyday work is already quite interesting and exchanging with the team I learnt new things everyday.
This year, with the picking up of the aviation activity and the opening up of many countries, I had the opportunity to meet many of our colleagues working abroad, to give several presentations to customers about our products (remote or onsite), to welcome a few of them and show our A350 final assembly line, host in Toulouse and visit our colleagues from Rolls-Royce in Derby, fly with the press on one of our A350 flight test aircraft during the Airbus Summit, and especially take part in the air shows of Singapore and Farnborough, where I could showcase different A350s, from Singapore Airlines and ITA Airways, respectively. Those air shows have been real highlights of the year, at times showing the aircraft non-stop for hours to many different and varied groups of customers or institutional representatives.
These activities gave me the opportunity to fly for the first time on an A350 (!).
At the beginning of the year, one of our colleagues, Alex, switched departments and we reshuffled the activities within the team and that made it much more interesting, including the working hand in hand in particular with Raphael and Cedric.
At the end of the year, another of our colleagues, Florian, announced his departure and this offered another opportunity to grow. Following a recruitment process, in which a few colleagues participated, I was selected and from January 2023 I will change again the scope of the activity focusing now on the A330neo (back to it after having spent 4 years (2015-2019) working in its development!), working hand in hand with Anna and Raphael.
Reading. I started 2022 reading at a good pace until summer, then I got stuck with the second volume of Le Vicomte de Bragelonne and a series of trips interrupted my pace, and it took me months to recover it. In the end I completed just 13 books, the least since 2015 and read just above 4,800 pages, also the least in the last 6 years. For the detailed list of books, see the post I wrote about my 2022 reading list with a brief description of each book.
Other cultural activities:
- Bullfighting. This year again together with Luismi, his family and my family we went to Nimes for a weekend to enjoy its Feria, and in particular to attend the corrida de toros with Roca Rey, currently the most successful bullfighter. The experience and his performance were simply splendid. Roca Rey performed together with José María Manzanares and Alejandro Marcos, and with bulls provided by García Jiménez. He was awarded three ears, hence, he was borne triumphantly aloft through the main gate, “Puerta de los Cónsules” at Nimes Roman amphitheater. The atmosphere in the city those days was ecstatic.
- Museums. This year again we took benefit of every road trip to visit as many museums and castles as we could, among them: the Naval and Aviation museums in Madrid, the museum of the battle at Las Navas de Tolosa, the Great War musem at Péronne (finally! I had tried to visit it before but is always closed during Christmas), Château de Meung-sur-Loire, Château de Blérancourt (which includes the Franco-American museum), Château de Sully-sur-Loire, the visit of the roofs at Seville Cathedral and the Roman settlement at Colonia Ulpia Traiana (Germany).
- Shows. In the past two years with the pandemic we had not gone to any show; in this 2022 I loved going to the cinema again, with some work colleagues to watch Top Gun Maverick (superb!) and the musical Malinche, about the conquest of Tenochtitlan, produced by the artist Nacho Cano, which was another great experience.
Blogging: This is the 13th year since I started the blog, but I didn’t manage to write much, only 5 blog posts in 2022. The blog received just above 21,200 visits in 2022 (the least since 2012) and over 473,000 since I started it in 2010.
Not everything was positive in 2022: a former work colleague passed away, so did the parents of other friends and colleagues, plus the Russian invasion of Ukraine which created havoc in many families, including the many refugees host in the region. Hopefully in 2023 that war comes to an end.
On the positive side, some colleagues and friends had new babies and got married in this 2022!
Now it’s time to rest, celebrate with the family and hope for the best in 2023. This year we will participate again in the San Silvestre Vallecana in Madrid running along tens of thousands of other runners in the evening of this December 31st as a farewell to the year. For the moment we have just a couple of planned trips for 2023, to the Netherlands and another skiing week in Vars, but hopefully many more activities will make it memorable as well.
I wish you the best for 2023, enjoy it!