End of year review

The year began by achieving a life-time ambition of visiting Australia and New Zealand. Two months of indulging majestic landscapes, and seascapes, unique flora and fauna just flew by. Five days in New Caledonia, because, after all I am a French speaker, completed the journey.

I told my clients I would be back to work on 1st April and right on cue the first job came in on 31 March, which just goes to show the importance of building a relationship with your clients. I am indebted to my wonderful clients for staying with me and allowing me to take a five month sabbatical.

At the end of this busy year I have spent the last few days preparing for the New Year. Reading the latest issue of the ITI Bulletin I was encouraged to consider the MET conference in Tarragona next year. I wanted to go to the Elia Together conference in Barcelona in February but the anticipated arrival of our first grandchild at the same time time  clearly takes priority.The Met website led me to the CERLIS conference on the language of tourism in Bergamo. 

My Italian is improving and I would like to develop it further. I am considering various courses, perhaps in Italy, but I am aprehensive because of the disparity between my spoken language skills and my passive understanding. The problem is, sitting here in my office, the need for spoken Italian just isn’t there, while the opportunity to read a chunk of Italian text is with arm’s reach.

Another article in the Bulletin introduced me to Slate Desktop. Researching this application further and watching an Alexandria Library video on the subject I was reminded that I had forgotten to upgrade my Studio 2014 to 2015. So, one thing led to another and I have now successfully activated my Studio 2015 licence. I am still investigating Slate Desktop but provided I can find the time to prepare all my old TM files I think it could be useful.

In just a few hours time the new UTalk challenge starts. I started Turkish last year and everything was going well until I left the country. Without reliable and free internet access it was very difficult to continue. Thisyear I am home based and I have also chosen a language closer to home, Danish. I did a course on Old English a few months ago so I am expecting Danish to be interesting. 

This year I decided to try to concentrate on my specialist areas: legal, geography, the environment, history, archaeology, travel and tourism. I think this has been positive and I shall continue in the same vein next year.

On this subject I should mention CPD. It is after all one of the objectives of this blog to record CPD. I have continued to write travel pieces for a friend’s magazine in Spain: Inland Solutions, and this October I attended a weekend course to improve my skills. 

In terms of courses though, the free courses provided by FutureLearn have been invaluable. I have learned about Fracking, Environmental Justice, Renewable Energy, Underwater Archaeology, the Arcaeology of Portus and loads more.

All in all there is plenty of good stuff to continue in the New Year. With just 2 hours of the old year left it is time to make plans and resolutions.

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