Finished leg sleeve tattoo
I had my leg sleeve started in November 2017, and had the last session on the 2nd of January.
Started Brazilian jiu jitsu
On the 31st of January I did my BJJ trial class and because I loved it most of my 2018 went in a completely new direction. Over the last two years there hadn’t been a single month without a flight for me. 2018 was a different beast—training BJJ quickly became my most important non-work and non-family commitment.
Bought a car
Where I live you can totally get around without one, but why not? After almost 6 years I’m a car owner again. Nothing particularly exciting, a second hand Hyundai that brings me wherever I need to be—the jiu jitsu academy mostly, but also big shopping rounds or the occasional road trip.
Watched Black Panther
We had already seen T’Challa / Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War, and in that occasion it was already clear he was 1. a legit badass; 2. solo movie material. With Black Panther, Marvel delivered splendidly, releasing a movie of great cultural importance—it brings a group of people often marginally represented by Hollywood at the centre of the action—which definitely is in my top 3 of all the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Watched The Shape of Water
A magical fairy tale where a mute cleaner develops a relationship with a mysterious aquatic creature held captive in a government lab. 123 minutes of pure love, emotions, and visual awesomeness.
Went to WordCamp London
I’ve been part of the WordCamp London 2018 organising team as communication lead. A fantastic experience, surrounded by people I admire greatly.
Stef made her vlogger debut at WordCamp London, check it out!
Watched Avengers: Infinity War
If Black Panther is in my personal Marvel top 3, the last Avengers full length not only sits on the podium, but hands down gets the gold medal. Just… wow.
I’ve been to many WordCamps so far, so I couldn’t miss WordCamp Bari—the local WordPress conference in the city I grew up in.
Road trip in Puglia
Puglia is the Italian region I’m originally from, where I lived until I was 19. Because Stef had never truly seen it (except Bari), we decided to rent a car and drive around, until the Southernmost and Easternmost spots. Weather-wise it was full summer, but as the tourist season hadn’t started yet, we found literally no one around. It was an amazing trip.
Stef made some good videos from our trip, here’s her YouTube playlist:
Watched Solo: A Star Wars Story
I’m a big Star Wars fan, and I was a bit concerned about this movie. Not a masterpiece, but it delivered. Love these Star Wars anthology movies.
England’s FIFA World Cup campaign
As a person who grew up in Italy and now lives in England, so many memories from 2006 re-surfaced during the last FIFA World Cup in Russia. And whilst us Italians knew what was like to make it to the last matches of a tournament, for all the English people around us it was all new.
Watched Serena Williams reaching Women’s Singles Wimbledon final
While so many people were ready to see her retire after having a baby, she decided she wasn’t done yet, and by the end of 2018 she reached two majors’ finals. Wimbledon was her first one, with Angelique Kerber defeating her 6-3, 6-3. What an example for women and mothers around the world.
Finished watching The Handmaid’s Tale S02
My favourite TV show probably since Dexter. Dishearteningly relevant, that’s what you can read on Rotten Tomatoes.
Attended a seminar with Roger Gracie
Six months after getting started with BJJ I had the pleasure of attending a class led by Roger Gracie, the best jiu jitsu practitioner of all time.
Got a new, jiu jitsu-related tattoo
When the doctors told me I had to stay away from jiu jitsu for six weeks because of a shoulder dislocation, all I thought was “let’s get inked up again.” I went for a simple kanji jiu jitsu tattoo on my chest.
Started S&C at GoPerform
Because I signed up to a jiu jitsu competition for December, I started a strength and conditioning program with the wonderful peeps at GoPerform. At the end of those eight weeks I simply was in the best shape of my life.
Watched Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Conor McGregor
There are three reasons why people love MMA: violence, drama, strategy & technique under insane pressure with the most severe physical consequences. Khabib vs McGregor satisfied pretty much everyone who like the sport. Whether you’re happy with the result or not, whatever your take on all the darkness that preceded and followed the event, the fight itself didn’t disappoint.
Attended Human Made growth meetup at Ridge Farm
I spent the first days of November with my team at Ridge Farm, a 16th-century farmhouse and former recording studio where the likes of Queen, Pearl Jam, Oasis and Ozzy Osbourne have recorded.
Bought an Apple Watch
…and loved it since day 1. I wrote on my first-day impressions here.
Fought at Surrey Open Winter 2018
My first jiu jitsu tournament. The result wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but the experience was invaluable.
Travelled to Marche
Slightly more than a year since the Human Made retreat in Petritoli, life brought me back to the Marche region for the last days of 2018—I’m writing this article here in Colmurano, where Stef’s sister’s boyfriend lives. This is truly one of my favourite parts of Italy, full of medieval villages and with unbelievably good food and drinks.
All things considered another great year, here’s to an even better 2019!