I had initially planned to write a review article for 2012, looking back on the books and music I’ve enjoyed through the year, but that doesn’t feel as relevant today as it did a few weeks ago.

I’ll remember 2012 for some fantastic highs, but for ending with a series of lows.

2012 was one of the best years I’ve had at work, which makes what came later even more odd. I finally succeeded in recruiting a complete User Experience team, and took over responsibility for the Site Optimisation team based in the US, which gave us the capability for a complete “test and learn” development cycle. I am hugely proud of the team I assembled, and the work we did in 2012.

In August I had the most fabulous family holiday. We hired a stunning villa in Minorca, and spent almost every waking hour in or around the pool, and enjoying the wonderful views out over the Mediterranean.

A week or so after we returned from Minorca we spent the evening at the Olympic Stadium for the Paralympics athletics finals. This is without doubt one of the greatest events I have ever been to, and one of the my most memorable evenings. The atmosphere was incredible – better than any music concert – I’ve never seen my son so excited. A once in a lifetime event.

2012 was shaping up to be really great year, and I was very much looking forward to 2013 both professionally and personally.

Then, half way through November we learnt that my father-in-law had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

And then, at the beginning of December I was made redundant.

It wasn’t the end to the year we were expecting, but it made us appreciate this Christmas all the more.