So 2012 is gone and 2013 is now firmly in place. As per usual there were almost no downs in 2012, but looking retrospectively back at it, it was perhaps not one of the greatest years past, perhaps even more lacklustre than 2011, which itself was a pretty uneventful year.

Without a doubt the biggest movement in the Lotter household was the running of Chantelle’s Cookies & Cakes, which pretty much saw me give up almost all my weekends in order to help Chantelle sell her baked goods at the various markets like Willowbridge, Century City and Hathersage. Make no mistake, I thoroughly enjoyed working the stall but I have to admit, it was pretty tiring giving up one’s weekend after working a hard five day week behind the programming keyboard!

Another unfortunate side-effect of Chantelle’s Cookies & Cakes was the amount of time it took away from Chantelle, who for most of the year was running it in conjunction with her day job at Gordon’s Beach Lodge. Of course she has now since left and is pursuing Chantelle’s Cookies & Cakes full-time which should make things a lot better, but this lack of free time impacted heavily on our social activities, so much so that I can probably count on my one hand the number of getaways or adventures we could take together.

Jessica on the other hand proved to be loads of fun, as we successfully navigated her to her second birthday. Her year was filled with many milestones as expected, the most exciting of course being her finally learning to walk!

craig lotter sitting with toddler jessica lotter at oude libertas stellenbosch market

On the work front I did rather well last year, churning out hours and hours of great code on my big Kinetica (formerly SurveyThumb) project, in what was now my fourth year with Touchwork. I replaced Simon Nainkin as Development Manager, and now with the final of the old guard developers on their way out, I can look forward to building a new development team in the way that I want it to run, which of course is great for me in terms of both personal and professional growth.

However the bad news is that all of this time spent on work, raising Jessica and helping Chantelle meant a big blow to my personal exploits, and as a result I was forced to stop karate, failed to get a single one of my business ideas into reality, pulled back a huge portion of my online portfolio and presence, failed to produce much artistically, pretty much stopped watching anime, and even allowed my XBOX to get dusty – never mind the neglected DIY at home!

And to make things even worse, I completely failed (again) to up my physical fitness and lose weight.


So where does that leave us looking ahead into 2013? So while I was horribly wrong in my 2012 predictions, I suspect I have a much stronger idea on how 2013 will play out, which actually is a good thing because it now leaves me with a much more realistic view on what I’ll probably achieve this year.

In terms of our finances, I’m very confident that the Lotter clan will be in a much better position given both my new, more senior, managerial role at work and the fact that Chantelle’s baking business has hit the ground more than just running (thanks in most part to her awesome collaboration with the Sacred Ground artisan bakery situated in Franschhoek). This will of course hopefully translate into more getaways and adventures for Chantelle, Jessie and me, something I really am looking forward to. In the same vein, the new role at work should grow me (and my CV) nicely, so those challenges are definitely being looked forward to.

Realistically I am not going to be trying to churn out any artistic output (other than my writing on this blog of course) or business ventures this year – I’ve learned that being a dad to a toddler is just too much of a full day job than what one first imagines when they start out as those helpless little squishy jelly beans! This also means that for now I can’t see myself resuming my karate journey or any other organised sporting body for that matter, and as for fitness gains/weight loss, I can only hope that now that Jessica is a little more active, she’ll keep me a little more active and on my toes! :)

chantelle lotter sitting with toddler jessica lotter at hillcrest berry farm

So yeah, 2013 doesn’t kick off with anything major in sight for me, looking for now to be very a much workman year like the previous two, though the prospect of having a little more change in my pocket does mean that I should be getting up to more this time around – which of course is something I look VERY forward to!