Picture of Ben Paddock

Ben Paddock

Developer, avid cyclist and currently attempting to tame a guitar.


Amid the turmoil of this challenging year, I’d like to reflect on 2020 and give my thanks to a lot of people who have made it positive and because of them, reminded me I have so much in life. I keep a gratitude journal listing 3 things I am grateful for every day. That’s become a pretty comprehensive list but below are some of the highlights, extended.

Thank you to my fellow Essex compatriot Matt for your support, counsel and especially the cookbooks and pictures of your amazing feasts!

A big shout out goes to Jim for the various virtual pub sessions we’ve had on Fridays after work. You’ve patiently listened to me spout a many a tale of woe for too long now.

The awesome members of the Warwick Lanterne Rouge Cycling Club. Despite social restrictions, key members have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to keep social activities going. In particular, I’d like to thank my Sunday group of Tommy, John, Matt, Martin and Adam for keeping me company in the lanes and providing great chat over coffee and cake in the Cotswolds. You make my weekends.

My awesome neighbours in the block of flats I live in have helped kept me sane living on my own and relieved the cabin fever. Matt and Sarah who live above me, our chats on the 1st floor are a joy and your baking is exceptional, especially without a mixer!

To my support household of Wayne, Amanda and Sophie - what absolute heroes you are. You have so much on your plate with your own challenges and yet you have given me so much of your time and company, expecting nothing in return. You all deserve such a better 2021.

Special mention goes to the Thursday Night Gaming Group of Malc, Nad, Omar, Usman, Simon, Andy, Shaun, Nazeef and even Sleepy. The banter and smack talk always makes for an entertaining evening!

Whilst I’ve missed the good beer of the White Horse pub in Leamington, the Leam Geeks meetup has continued online and it’s been great to see faces of the regulars - Both Richs, Rob, Tim, Matt.

As always, my Colchester crew of Dan, Andy, Tony, Stu, Paul, Zena & Steff who somehow still talk to me after putting up with over a quarter of a century of nonsense from me. It’s good to know you’re always around.

Also thanks to my various Nottingham uni groups of Oli, Jack, Andy, Rich, Dave, Craig, Sam, Jo and Jason who have kept in touch over WhatsApp. There were a few plans we had this year that were scuppered but I’m sure we’ll get opportunities again soon.

My guitar tutor Alfie, who has amazing patience and is a highly gifted teacher. Thanks for helping me find a creative outlet to give my brain a break from the day-to-day problem solving it normally gets caught up in.

My former work colleagues, of which there are many who have been great people to know and work with, but, in particular, Rich G, RIch T, Emma, Dan, Steve, Ash, Matt and Chris. Thanks for your support and patience with me. When I was melting down and causing more problems than I was solving, you were still there for me.

Of course, my family are my rock. Mum, Dad, Matt & Grandma you are special people who love me unconditionally, always.

There are many more to mention, and no doubt if you are reading this and we’ve interacted this year, I’m really appreciative for the connection. May everyone have a much more prosperous 2021.

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