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2017 in review


Turns out I packed a lot into last year. Seemed worth writing up. Highlights include:

  • Travelled a bunch, Asia, Australia, Europe.
  • Became Dr Amy Guy: finished my PhD thesis, defended it, did corrections, graduated.
  • Went to a bunch of conferences, won an award, got an article published in a magazine.
  • Got a job at OCCRP, moved to Bosnia.
  • Drafted a novel.
  • Published some W3C specs.

Goals for 2018: travel more, write more, work less.

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I posted to my site 4,656 times.

I wrote 275 things on here. 173 were short notes, 102 were longer articles, and they comprise approximately 59,492 words in total. That's a mean of 162.99 words and 0.75 posts per day.

I wrote about 237 different topics, with the most common being travel (105), life (63), food (36), phd (34), thesis (29), hacking (27), Bali, Indonesia (25), week in review (24), vegan (24), linked research (23), nanowrimo (20), and sloph (19).

I also wrote (or contributed to) 3 academic papers:



I checked in 1,819 times. I spent the most time at home, which was 5 months, 13 days, 13 hours, 5 minutes, and 36 seconds, followed by 2 months, 10 days, 8 hours, 46 minutes, and 5 seconds on an adventure. I also spent 1 month, 13 days, 23 hours, 15 minutes, and 45 seconds in transit; 1 month, 17 hours, 31 minutes, and 56 seconds in my office; 17 days, 2 hours, 37 minutes, and 3 seconds out getting food; 14 days, 2 hours, 32 minutes, and 45 seconds at an event; 4 days, 23 hours, 10 minutes, and 5 seconds out helping with something; 4 days, 9 hours, 26 minutes, and 58 seconds out exercising; and was in a meeting for 3 days, 1 hour, and 28 minutes.

I visited 13 different countries and 25 different cities (/islands/regions), and travelled by plane, train, tram, bus, car, ferry, boat, scooter and foot.


I worked remotely for W3C one day per week all year, in-person for OCCRP ~3.5 days per week for six months, and spent two months in a vegan kitchen for a cafe in Malaysia. I did two hours of remote consulting.


This is my Github commit log:

Github counted 1,362 'contributions'. This includes 1,198 commits over 40 repositories, 17 of which I created (in 2017), and I opened 85 issues. I closed some too but there doesn't seem to be an easy way to count those.

My favourite part is the end of April when my thesis was due, and then I immediately went offgrid for a silent meditation retreat. Most other grey patches coincide with bursts of travel. November is full because of Nanowrimo. It sort of almost looks like I maybe sometimes had weekends though.

Here is the list of repos. I'm too lazy to link them. Some of these are private.

  • alephdata/aleph
  • alephdata/exactitude
  • alephdata/fingerprints
  • alephdata/followthemoney
  • alephdata/ingestors
  • alephdata/memorious
  • alephdata/xref
  • csarven/articles
  • csarven/dokieli-rww
  • csarven/ldn-tests
  • csarven/mayktso
  • Devcember/
  • hreeder/botbot
  • linkeddata/dokieli
  • linkedresearch/
  • occrp/
  • rhiaro/alephbox
  • rhiaro/as-ns
  • rhiaro/as2-reports
  • rhiaro/bookmarks-to-as2
  • rhiaro/dkdata
  • rhiaro/
  • rhiaro/indieweb-identity
  • rhiaro/ldp-ns
  • rhiaro/ldprints
  • rhiaro/observing-decentralised-web
  • rhiaro/occrpscripts
  • rhiaro/ofthemoon
  • rhiaro/olmparser
  • rhiaro/probe
  • rhiaro/profiles
  • rhiaro/sloph
  • rhiaro/tachyon-scanner
  • rhiaro/thesis
  • rhiaro/tmp-dokieli
  • w3c-social/social-web-protocols
  • w3c/activitystreams
  • w3c/ldn
  • w3c/Micropub
  • w3c/websub


I acquired things on 855 occasions, and used 10 different currencies (EUR, BAM, GBP, USD, DKK, HRK, JPY, MYR, AUD, IDR). 492 of these occasions were food.

I logged 1,446 meals or snacks, an average of 4 per day. The thing I consumed most was coffee (471), followed by bread (363), vegetables (327), fruit (313), and tea (183). I consumed coffee on average 1.3 times per day.

January: adventures

I accidentally got a job in a vegan cafe, Wholey Wonder. It was delicious. What with CSers, the Wholey Wonder crew and my Malaysian Mum, I quickly accumulated a Penang family.

Chinese New Year is loud and on fire and constant and lasts for two weeks. I needed a break. I took the ferry to Langkawi, beachbummed, couchsurfed and slept on beaches. I finally got to put my hammock up between palm trees. I met GJ who came back to Penang with me. Various vegans came and went and on Mondays when Wholey Wonder was closed we tried to hike and go to further flung beaches.

On one such excursion I got stung by a jellyfish. My leg was on fire, I got a migraine, and threw up in the car. The Wholey Wonder crew rehydrated me and saw me safely home. I slept for 24 hours and was okay again. The itching lasted for weeks, and I still have a scar.

I met Isaac, who tried almost everything on the Wholey Wonder menu, and told me about Vipassana.

I finshed Voyager and started Deep Space Nine.

34 January posts. Weeks in review:

February: food and procrastination

Wholey Wonder and the Penang vegan food quest continued to persistently distract me. bengo showed up and we did the Penang Hill Forest Challenge. I had some cooking and baking successes and failures.

February is full of celebrations in Penang. After Chinese New Year finale was Thaipusam and the balloon festival, and Kek Lok Si Temple light shows.

I met Dani and we found old men in a treehouse hidden in plain sight in the middle of George Town.

I put a call out for a ride to KL, and Krishen took Dani and I as far as Ipoh, and generously hosted us in his Mum's house for one night, and took us to visit some temples. On the way we had a flat tyre on the highway and had to wait for resuce. I took the bus the rest of the way to KL, and flew to Bali.

20 February posts. Weeks in review:

March: instability, productivity

I promised myself I wouldn't make any friends or let myself get distracted in Bali. At the airport, I met Ninni, who was also writing her thesis. Hers was about vegan food, and motivations for diet change. We agreed to be thesis buddies when she got to Canggu.

The hostel I had booked for the whole month had bedbugs. They were very nice, and let me leave after a few agonising days. They fumigated the dorm and cleaned my stuff for me. I moved into a twin room at an eco yoga guesthouse with Ninni for a week. We cafe-hopped and ate fancy vegan food. Ninni's sister came, and I moved back into the hostel.

There were still bedbugs.

I moved into the dorm of the eco yoga guesthouse. I had pool access and a discount at their mostly-raw-vegan restaurant. Score.

I did yoga every single day. I learnt to do yoga sweating, in heat. I was almost making headstands unsupported by the end of the month. I learnt from a variety of different teachers.

I spent the last couple of days in the south of the island. This hostel also had bedbugs, but I noticed before getting into bed. The staff were awful. Four of us from the dorm moved to twin rooms in a hotel down the road. Instant new friends, English, German and Brazilian. Bad review for the hostel, who wouldn't refund us and accused us of lying.

I flew to Perth.

37 March posts. Weeks in review:

April: the pit

I spent a few days getting a handle on Perth, before WWW2018. Good workshops, good chat, good vegan junk food. Constant gnawing in the pit of my stomach about the thesis. Wendy and the SOCIAM crew conspired to bring Sarven and I to Southampton in the summer.

I moved in with distantish relatives in the suburbs. There was not much to do but sunset runs by the beach and write. Also hiding in my room and crying for days. There was no way I was going to finish this on time. I asked Ewan for an extension. He said I could do it. I didn't do it. I did a bit. I cried some more. I watched Star Trek. I wanted to be sick. I tried going to different suburbs to work from libraries and cafes. I tried to hide my stress. I got to know my interesting and unusual second cousin Tim when I needed a break from crying alone.

No yoga, but ran every other evening by the sea.

Got baaaad RSI.

Mastodon became a thing.

I had expected to send my thesis off, then jet back to Malaysia. I managed the latter, but not the former. Ewan helped me concoct excuses for the graduate office.

27 April posts. Weeks in review:

May: a mental shift, and closure on many fronts

Argh! The drama continues. I found myself homeless in Penang, before the Whole Wonders Tammy and Jon put me up in their tiny apartment and supplied me with a constant stream of hearty vegan food for a couple of days while I frantically alternated a few hours sleep with finishing my thesis. I handed it in two days late, and jumped in the pool.

I met Malaysian Mum for breakfast, then embarked on a ten day silent Vipassana meditation retreat on the side of Penang Hill. I didn't want it to end.

It did though, and when I found my voice again I took several fellow meditators back to Wholey Wonder with me afterwards. I made a few dreads, ate everything on the menu, then bussed to Kuala Lumpur. A few hours sleep, a few new bedbug bites, some Indian food and an interesting late night chat with a Syrian guy later, and I flew to Tokyo.

When I got to Dave's house it was late, and Dave and J were both dead to the world. Fortunately all his doors were unlocked. They awoke to find me asleep in the closet. Surprise! Dave and J looked after me in shifts. I made lunch ready for when Dave got home, so we could eat together before he dashed off again. I hung out with Mike, Nao and Zen for a little while. I returned to Dave's to find Juri making up errands to keep me out of the house. Eventually she let me in, and she had prepared a romantic, candlelit vegan dinner. We spent a lovely evening girl-talking, and the next day they both accompanied me back to the main station.

I flew from Tokyo to Venice. Venice was too expensive, so I met KitB and we took the bus to Trieste. We spent a pleasant week eating and wandering in the sun.

27 May posts. Weeks in review:

June: hard work rewarded, and a new start

I took a minibus from Trieste to Piran, for ESWC. Sarven and I ran a workshop and won a best paper award for our LDN article.

I went on the train to Rome for ICWE. I did Rome touristing, and discovered a surprising amount of vegan bakeries. I took the bus from Rome to Ancona, then the ferry from Ancona to Split. I spent a day and a night in Split.

I took the bus from Split to Sarajevo, started at OCCRP, moved into my little cheap flat, and fell in slightly love with the city the more I roamed.

I became pretty quickly overwhelmed with working 5 days a week. I didn't have energy, social or otherwise, to do anything but hide in my flat at weekends. And I wanted to see things.

I explored and ate and started yoga at Prana; I dug into learning some new tech, and about investigative journalism.

32 June posts. Weeks in review:

July: an interlude, and resettling

As arranged in April, I went to Southampton and Oxford to visit SOCIAM. No flights; it took three days to get there, via an afternoon and a night in Brussels to see my PhD bro Michael. I also got four hours to race around the sights in Frankfurt. Everything was late, but I made it in the end.

Sarven and I worked with bblfish and others to reimagine scholarly communication with a Solid-like architecture. I drafted ldprints. On the Friday we went to Oxford, joined forces with Timbl, Wendy, Nigel, Max, Jun and all manner of other cool people to discuss what we'd done over the week.

Net Magazine printed an article Sarven and I wrote about LDN; it came out that week, so I went out of my way to buy it from WHSmiths to show to Timbl. Ended on a high.

I spent the week carefully not tweeting about being in the UK. Then I surprise-visited Mum. We watched movies, and cooked lots of things. My wisdom teeth got infected again and I went to a dentist. I saw Grandma, and Polly, and met Dad for chips on the beach.

I returned to Sarajevo by bus, this time with four hours in Brussels across midnight. Not recommended. I managed to see quite a few London peeps, and eat quite a lot of London food.

I recommenced OCCRP (part time), and met Ishka the cat, who comes in when I leave my windows open.

Finished DS9.

17 July posts. Weeks in review:

August: summer in Sarajevo

At the last minute, I wizzed (get it? Wizz Air) back to the UK for a weekend to surprise Dave and J who were visiting Mum. It was wonderful. I took them for a day in London, then flew back.

I went with Edin and friends to Skakavac waterfall, and for a long drive to Sutjeska Valley and for a swim in an artificial lake. I tried krompirusa for the first time; my world changed.

Boudicca came to Sarajevo, I met Renee, and had the opportunity to put my hammock up between trees on Trebevic.

I applied for my Bosnian residency permit. I went to some of the Film Festival, parts of which were rained off.

I made some great food. I started hanging out with Elizabeth a lot.

Started Star Trek: ToS.

10 August posts. Weeks in review:

September: anxiety and relief

Having spent the entire summer not thinking about my thesis, I thought briefly about preparing for the defense, but instead went to a weekend yoga retreat with Aida and others from Prana Yoga, on Jahorina. It was exactly what I needed.

I flew from Tuzla to Luton, and took a night bus to Edinburgh. I arrived bright and early in time for my viva. It went really well. I passed with minor corrections. I cried in Ewan's office. I ate a lot of Edinburgh, saw the Edinburgh crew, and returned by the same route. I brought my dinosaur onesie back to Sarajevo, tied around my waist for the flight as I had no baggage allowance.

I climbed to the peak of Trebevic with bengo. We had a few almost-failures, but made it after far too long. The view was worth it.

13 September posts. Weeks in review:

October: time with friends new and old

I celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving with Elizabeth and friends and pancakes.

I panicked about my thesis corrections. I pulled an all-nighter. I got a 24 hour bug, vomited my way through the last of them, and got most of them to my examiner before he got on a plane to Australia. They were approved. I filled in forms, finally wrote my acknowledgements, and got the thing printed in time to register for November graduation.

I spread my work days out so I could take a long weekend in Copenhagen. By long weekend, I mean I took a bus from Wednesday evening to Friday evening (via Berlin, including a ferry); stayed with Ninni from Friday night to Monday evening, walking and eating; then returned by the same route from Monday evening to Wednesday morning. Ninni had a party with like 100 people to celebrate her Master's thesis. It felt like a party for my thesis too, even though I didn't know anybody there. The bus to Berlin (and back) didn't have a working toilet, and most of the service stations in between cost 50-70c. This was particularly inconvenient as I was travelling between two non-Euro countries, and wasn't carrying any Euros.

I got my Bosnian residence permit.

My Mum and Julian graced me with their presence in Sarajevo. They tolerated sofabeds and spiderfriends in my small flat, and we raced around the flea market, Trebevic, forts, the old town and the War Tunnel in a few drizzly days.

I bought winter clothes.

I went to a potluck at Prana yoga studio, and met Nick who introduced me to a Sarajevo running group. I managed to join them once.

Started Star Trek Discovery.

18 October posts. Weeks in review:

November: rediscovery and creation

I stayed in Sarajevo for almost the whole month. Nanowrimo is why! I wrote over 30,000 words of a new novel draft, Of the Moon. I'm pretty proud of that.

The Social Web WG took ActivityPub to PR. At last.

My database was broken for two weeks. Nobody noticed but me. I kept logs on paper.

November was also marked by people leaving Sarjavo; Renee and Jason moved on for pastures new, though I more than expect to bump into them again.

I wrapped up the month by heading to Edinburgh (bus to Munich, flight to Edinburgh), meeting my parents, putting my hair up high and a funny robe on, and finally receiving my doctorate.

23 November posts. Weeks in review:

December: ending as I mean to go on

I spent the first few days of December in Edinburgh, eating my way around the new vegan food scene. And seeing friends I hadn't seen for a while, and may not see again for another.

I boxed up the tigobird, and took him on the train to my Mum's house. There I spent another couple of days, saw my Grandma and Naomi and Tizzy.

After a brief jaunt to London, I took a bus to Ghent, where I spent the day, then on to Cologne, then finally back to Sarajevo.

The Social Web WG had its last meeting, and I published Social Web Protocols as a Note.

A cold, snowy, static two weeks later, I took the bus to Leipzig for 34c3.

After that, a bus to Munich and a flight to Malta, to ring in the new year with Liz. By 'ring in the new year' I mean we watched a movie in bed til we fell asleep, then distant fireworks woke me and I woke Liz so we could run to the balcony, see some brief flashes across the bay, then went straight back to sleep. Perfect, really.

14 December posts. Weeks in review:


In 2018, I will live out of a 45L backpack. Anything that doesn't fit, doesn't come.

My goals are to visit the following countries, and spend at least two weeks in each:

  • Albania
  • Bulgaria
  • Czech Republic
  • Estonia
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Lithuania
  • Latvia
  • Macedonia
  • Montenegro
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Turkey

I'll probably pass through or make a shorter visit to:

  • Austria
  • Croatia
  • Finland
  • Slovenia

And I might make it to (or these might wait til 2019):

  • Georgia
  • Moldova
  • Ukraine

I aim to take zero flights, except in emergencies. Hopefully there will be no emergencies.

I will do at least one more Vipassana meditation course.

I will make my travel blog function as a travel blog, and include pretty route mapping, and an interface for certain people to be able to figure out where I might be next, and when I'm free to work.

I'm going to eat more consciously. This means eating things that make me particularly happy, or are good for me (these two often overlap, but not always). I'm not going to stress about spending money on healthy/happy food, but I'm also not going to spend money on non-healthy/happy food. I'll err towards going without rather than eating crap. I'll eat slower, and not overeat. I'll reduce waste associated with food, so I'll eat in rather than takeaway, where possible, and hold takeaway food in my hand rather than have it wrapped in a bag or a napkin if it makes sense. Eating or drinking coffee in rather than taking away also slows the process, heightens the importance of my surroundings, and increases the likelihood of new acquaintences.

I will write the endings to Milo's World and Of the Moon.

I will write one shorty story a month at least. These may or may not make it onto the blog.

I'll finish a draft of Quest for Brothers, my 2010 nanowrimo.

I expect my Fairphone One to give up the ghost this year. I'm going to try really hard not to replace it. That means if you communicate with me on WhatsApp and nothing else, you need to find something else (Signal, email and Twitter will work, in that order). If you have any decent pointandshoot camera recommendations, or a non-phone device that functions well as a map/GPS, let me know..

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