Adrià Mercader


January 6, 2021 | Archive

Jump to: Traveling | Reading | Running | Working

The Three Kings brought some presents last night, finally bringing the Christmas holidays to their end in this part of the world. It’s time to look back at the year that just ended and, well, what can I say?

It sucked.

While we are lucky that Covid didn’t take anyone from our close circle of family and friends, it has shaped our lives for most of the year, in the same way it has shaped them for most people around the world. Lockdowns, restrictions, anxiety, kids at home for extended periods of time, PCRs… You probably know the drill so I won’t go into that.

I’d rather focus on the things that brought me joy and allowed me to park my worries for a bit.


For obvious reasons there wasn’t much travelling for me in 2020. Nothing work related and just one short trip in summer for holidays to the beautiful Valle de Tena in the Pyrenees. Impressive mountains and beautiful lakes, with some great hiking to clear your mind (wiggly toddler in the baby carrier allowing).

Valle de Tena

And just another even shorter trip to Terra Alta, a wild and sparsely populated area not far from our hometown, with some great spots for having a swim in freezing cold river pools.

Terra Alta

When things quieted down at the end of the day I really didn’t feel like going back to the computer. This year I really felt screen fatigue, especially at the peak of the lockdown period, and until a couple of weeks ago when I wrote Munibot I almost hadn’t worked on any side projects. Also three blog posts in a year isn’t a huge amount, but hey, I didn’t feel like writing (or finishing the posts, I found three drafts laying around).

What I spent most of my scarce free time on was reading. I read some good novels like Simón but it is comics where I found myself lost time and time again. I read tons of them all across the board, but if I had to choose the one that stood out it would be My Favourite Thing Is Monsters. You should 100% believe the hype around this book, it is truly incredible. The art is mind-boggling, the writing solid and gripping, and when you learn the story of how Emil Ferris produced this book, it makes it even more remarkable. Definitely recommended.

My Favourite Thing Is Monster book


For my birthday I treated myself to the Akira 35th Anniversary Box Set. I was very lucky to snap this year’s new edition on Amazon for a bargain price and boy was it worth it. It is a really high quality collection, with lots of attention put into the packaging and volumes. Good quality paper, right to left reading and original sound effects (if you are into that level of nerdiness). If you want to get a full run of Akira this is an excellent edition, with the major caveat that is now really hard to find at a reasonable price.

Akira 35th Anniversary Box Set

Look at this bad boy

Things definitely picked up on the running front in 2020 in comparison to 2019. I managed to carve out more time for it and get into a more regular schedule (when not in lockdown, clearly marked in the graph below), which helped a lot in making progress. I steadily increased the distance until running over 10k for the first time in a couple of years, which felt great. In total I ran 67 times totalling 435 Km (vs 58 runs and 288 Km in 2019).

I’m feeling good starting the new year, and my aim is to consolidate the 10k distance and slowly work towards bigger ones. Who knows, maybe a half marathon towards the end of 2021? But I don’t put any pressure at all on me, slow steps and we’ll see how it goes.

No massive highlights on the work side. We’ve been incredibly privileged at OKF that the pandemic hasn’t disrupted our workload in a critical way so far, and I’ve been mindful of this for the whole year. I’m still working closely with a small but super talented team, which even benefited from new additions contributing even more awesomeness.

If I had to choose one milestone it would probably be the release of TODO CKAN 2.9, which apart from including some important new features I was lucky to work on, it was the culmination of years of work to make CKAN Python 3 ready and more generally easier to maintain and develop. I’m already involved in a couple of big projects to upgrade to this version and while there are still issues to iron out, it does feel like it opens a lot of exciting opportunities.

Hopefully I’ll find the time and the will to tell you about them here. Happy New Year!