End of the Year meme 2012
What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?
Got a (provisional) driving license! Okay, I've still not started lessons yet, but it's one more step along my grand master plan.
Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I've already said my 2012 ones were lost to the mists of time, so I'll claim I've kept all of them (whatever they were). I've made a couple for 2013 - let's see how they go...
Did anyone close to you give birth?
Don't think so.
Did anyone close to you die?
Which countries did you visit?
Well... Wales is somewhat independent so they might count. And there's Cornwall, which can't quite make its mind up if it wants to try for independence or not either.
What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
Actually getting up and about in the mornings. It's all too tempting to sleep in until the afternoon.
What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The start of the year, whereupon I once again stayed in the Custodian's House inside the walls of Pendennis Castle (yes, English Heritage has holiday cottages that are actually inside castles) before heading to Launceston to spend a weekend with pleaseremove and friends, staying in a massive converted barn. It was so much fun, we're heading back again this year!
30th October, when my grandmother unfortunately suffered a stroke. She's slowly improving, but it'll be a long road ahead.
Christmas, for being a comedy of fail cumulating in the parents' oven failing half-way through cooking the Christmas meal. As of writing it's *still* not fixed, and is turning into a Flanders & Swann song...
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Still being employed in the what... triple-dip recession? Can we just say the economy is bumping along at 0% and leave it at that?
What was your biggest failure?
Still no PhD or Masters. One day...
Did you suffer illness or injury?
I got hit by some lurgy around early spring or thereabouts, which left me feeling generally blargh for about a week. Other than that, not really.
What was the best thing you bought?
I finally got fed up with the solid plate electric hobs, and bought a small tabletop induction hob. Despite being rated at a mere 1.8kW, it's much more effective at actually heating the pan than any other electric hob I've ever used and it's a toss-up whether or not it's better than gas. Now I'm cooking with physics!
Whose behaviour merited celebration?
All the doctors, nurses and staff at Chaldon Ward in East Surrey Hospital, and at the Stroke Rehabilitation Ward in Crawley Hospital. For all the grumbling about the NHS and their epic waiting lists, they're very good when actual emergencies happen.
Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
The Belfast rioters.
Honourable mention for whoever thought that flying the Union flag on less days would be a good idea in Northern Ireland of all places.
Where did most of your money go?
As usual to a combination of my landlord and HM Treasury.
What were you really, really, really excited about?
What song will always remind you of 2012?
Almost the entire Faithless The Dance album, along with the remixes from The Dance Never Ends. One evening in late autumn I was out walking, listening to my MP3 player as one does, and the album came on. The interesting thing about this album is the entire thing has the same rhythm (except for one song on the remixes, which while keeping the same speed does something evil with the rhythm), and as it turns out that's the same as a slightly brisk walk.
I'd intended to do a circular walk of around an hour, heading along the coast for a bit before returning inland, but without quite realising it I ended up walking all the way to Gosport.
If I had to pick a single song from the album, it'd be Flyin Hi.
Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) Happier or sadder?
I think sadder, because of the stroke.
b) Bigger or smaller?
Probably about the same.
c) Richer or poorer?
Richer, thanks to an unexpected pay rise. Who knows, maybe one day I'll even have enough to put down a deposit for a house!
What do you wish you'd done more of?
Exploring, as always.
What do you wish you'd done less of?
How did you spend Christmas?
Um... Stockings first thing in the morning (because what is 4am for, if not to discover the party tooter?), then church. Then back to the parent's to pick up some bits and pieces, then off to hospital to visit Oma. Then back for Christmas lunch, at which point the cooker tripped the electrics. So we then hurriedly collected everything together and dashed off to the grandparent's, after phoning Opa and instructing him to put the oven on. We had lunch (eventually), then headed off to hospital to see Oma again in the afternoon/evening. Then I think we headed back to the grandparent's for a bit, before heading home for supper.
I'm pretty sure presents happened at some point, but I'm not sure when.
What was your favourite month of 2011?
January was a good month, containing as it did the trip to Cornwall.
What was your favourite TV programme?
Once Upon a Time, Downton Abbey. I'm going off Doctor Who a bit - it seems recently to be getting more and more over the top, and be more blatant than usual in "because the Plot says so".
How did you see in the New Year?
Twice - to begin with we went round to the grandparents' along with my aunt, uncle and cousins from that side of the family, and spent an enjoyable few hours chatting. Eventually because some people were getting tired we toasted the new year at 11pm (claiming that it was New Year somewhere in the world), before heading off. On the way back we popped round at the Poons (where elemnar had been spending New Year's Eve), and toasted the New Year again at midnight.
Then on New Year's Day, we did our by now traditional jaunt down to Pulborough Brooks and pottered round for a bit on what was the only really sunny day for the entire Christmas holiday.
Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
What was the best book you read?
Dunno about best, but a new discovery was Rhiannon Lassiter. Or rather, an old discovery - I first came across her books many years ago in the form of the Hex trilogy, but never knew there were others. On a whim I did a search on the Kindle, and it turned up a couple more: Bad Blood and Ghost of a Chance. They're both sort of horror, which isn't a genre I usually go in for but they were surprisingly good.
What was your greatest musical discovery?
Bellowhead, they're suitably crazy folk musicians (Whiskey is the life of man...). I also picked up a couple of the Matrix soundtracks from the library's sale, and am going to have to look up some of the artists on it. And near the end of the year I picked up a Deadmau5 album as well.
What did you want and get?
A cookery book that looks to be actually practical for a single person who doesn't want to spend ages cooking overly fancy food, some DVDs, chocolate.
What did you want and not get?
More chocolate :)
What was your favourite film of this year?
Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!
What did you do on your birthday?
Presents! Presumably other stuff as well, but I forget what.
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
The aforementioned stroke not happening.
What kept you sane?
As always friends, family, a well-stocked MP3 player, and plenty of chocolate.
Which celebrity/public figure did you
Something of an odd one this, but the BBC. Specifically, part of how the Tory MP scandal was handled. It's a very rare news outfit that'll actually interview their boss, let alone give him the kind of grilling that the Radio 4 Today show unleashed.
What political issue stirred you the most?
Not quite political, but more of a techie one this - the whole Secure Boot mess. More specifically, the amazing way in that everyone latched on to how every desktop would only load signed software and by default come with the Microsoft key in it and completely ignored the fact that the Microsoft Windows certification a) initially said nothing about non-Microsoft keys, and b) was later amended to explicitly require that non-Microsoft keys could be loaded. To be fair, Windows on ARM processors will be much more locked down
Interestingly, it looks like the only reason it's a Microsoft key and not, say, a key from a standards body is because Microsoft were the only one to step forward to do so. That, and the costs involved - a few of the Linux groups looked into it and were rather taken aback by just how much the requirements from the certificate authorities would cost to implement.
Who did you miss?
Who was the best new person you met?
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
Beware the seagulls. Especially the ones at St. Ives. Especially the one behind you that you've not spotted because you're making sure the ones in front of you don't have your pasty.
Seriously, there I was happily munching on a nice hot pasty when this blur of white appeared from nowhere and a rough beak-shaped hole appeared in my lunch. I'm not sure what's worse - that it swiped a chunk out of my pasty, or that the blighter looked so smug about the whole thing.
Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
But all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.
It's not a song lyric, but a quote from Julian of Norwich. allegramnte posted about it last month, and I rather like it especially considering the tail end of the year.