End of the Year meme 2013
What did you do in 2013 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?
One resolution I sort-of made was to try to get out and about every weekend, even if it was only for a short walk nearby. It's all too easy to spend the weekend not doing anything and before I know it it's Monday again, so the main aim of that resolution was to actually do something with my weekends. And I believe I actually achieved that one in 2013, so go me!
As for 2014, well I'm keeping that one and so far doing alright at it. I've made another resolution or two as well but you'll have to wait until next year to find out what they are.
Did anyone close to you give birth?
I think it was 2013 that the daughter of some old family friends who emigrated to Canada many years ago gave birth, so sort-of yes.
Did anyone close to you die?
Again, fortunately not.
Which countries did you visit?
For a whole host of reasons there wasn't a grand family holiday in 2013. I did visit Cornwall (twice!) which should be worth at least half a point (each?).
What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Advancing even further along the grand master plan. Yes, I do have a grand plan and it's existed since at least the end of university. Some of you might even know what it is!
What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Keeping February fun by rolling it into March (as the Facebook event went) - a repeat of 2012's grand meetup in a converted barn in Launceston. This time we ended up doing outdoor laser tag which was great fun. Unfortunately a third event is not happening this spring, which is probably for the best as getting to Cornwall is a bit tricky at the moment (for non-Brits, the relevant railway line has been thoroughly mangled by the winter storms and probably won't be repaired until April!).
Sailing a friend's yacht back in April.
Karting and Thanksgiving with Jonners and co at the end of November.
As a semi-random one, early December when I trundled along to Seaford (mainly because the places I originally considered, like Browsea Island, Pevensey Castle, and Battle Abbey were all closed). I ended up having a very nice walk along the clifftops there, found what was probably the most peaceful bench ever to pause and read at, and got distracted by an exceptionally nice sunset.
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Successfully defeating Ikea flat-pack! Granted, that's not normally much of a challenge but it becomes one when the pieces don't actually fit together and the instructions require violating physics.
What was your biggest failure?
Not advancing further than I did along the grand master plan.
Did you suffer illness or injury?
Not particularly, no.
What was the best thing you bought?
Not the 3DS - that was bought this year, albeit only on the 2nd. Probably that provisional license, though I still need to sort out lessons now that I've got it...
Whose behaviour merited celebration?
The US government, for not dismantling their attempt at actually providing a sensible healthcare system.
Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
The US government, for epically failing at agreeing a budget.
For reference, a similar situation can't really happen in the UK - the Lords cannot block a "Money Bill" proposed by the Commons.
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?
Nothing particularly stands out. So as a totally random one, discovering that the house elemnar has moved into has what looks like an actual air raid shelter hidden in the garden. And not your classic Anderson shelter either, but a more solid construction of brick and concrete.
The town does have it's fair share of wartime relics there's the sawn-off dragon's teeth in the Causeway, and a couple of pillboxes in and around the place. I even have vague memories of there being an air raid siren at the end of the road elemnar and I grew up in. Nothing remains of it now, the siren disappearing first, then the fenced-off area that contained it, and finally the last remains vanished when the junction was rearranged for a cycle lane over a decade ago.
What song will always remind you of 2013?
Clannad's Brave Enough. Absolutely no idea why, but I picked it up at Christmas and the song resonates with me somehow.
Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) Happier or sadder?
b) Bigger or smaller?
Probably about the same.
c) Richer or poorer?
Richer. Scarily, housebuying has moved from "buwhahahaha, not a chance" to "hang on, that's actually possible".
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?
In a somewhat less hectic fashion than last year :)
Stockings first thing in the morning for the obligatory early morning party tooter, then church for a surprisingly short Christmas service. Then back to the parent's to pick up some bits and pieces, then off to the grandparents for lunch (which unlike last year was actually a planned trip). We spent some time there, opening a few presents after lunch, before heading back home for supper and the rest of the presents.
What was your favourite month of 2013?
May, I think - that was when I took and posted a photo a day, and discovered new places to explore. I feel like trying for a month of photos again this year.
What was your favourite TV programme?
More or less the same as last year: Once Upon a Time, Downton Abbey, and Midsomer Murders for a bit of variation.
How did you see in the New Year?
In a nicely relaxed fashion - this time the Poons came round to the parents, and we spent the evening playing a collection of board games including a weird cross between Crazy Eight's and Spit (with a totem that you had to grab), and the suitably random Spots and Arrows (snakes and ladders, with red spot cards - including such gems as "everyone goes on two spaces").
The Pulborough Brooks walk didn't happen for a handful of reasons, not least that the Brooks were somewhat underwater!
Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
What was the best book you read?
A toss-up between A Memory of Light which somehow actually resolved most of the many, many plot threads in the Wheel of Time series, and The Republic of Thieves which let the Gentlemen Bastards loose upon an unsuspecting election.
What was your greatest musical discovery?
Ludovico Einaudi. Modern classical, and very good. Especially when played through a decent hifi with the volume cranked up - it's rare these days to find music with real dynamic range to it.
Strangely, one of the remixes off of the Divenire album (Robert Lippok's remix of Andare) reminds me strongly of the final level in Mirror's Edge.
What did you want and get?
Various random bits and pieces. Plus a few things which weren't really presents (strictly speaking I suppose they count as hand-me-downs, but they were likely to find their way to the tip in an eventual grand clearout if I didn't claim them): a NAD 3020 amplifier, a Netgear ReadyNAS, and a Logitech Squeezebox.
What did you want and not get?
More chocolate :)
What was your favourite film of this year?
Absolutely no idea.
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?
Advancing along the grand master plan :)
What kept you sane?
As always friends, family, a well-stocked MP3 player, and plenty of chocolate.
Which celebrity/public figure did you
Do you know, I've got no idea. I suppose I could continue with one of the themes in this post and award a point to Obama, for not giving in and dismantling the US' attempt at a decent healthcare system.
What political issue stirred you the most?
The US government's total fail at, well, everything. Though more really as something to point and laugh at. For all the faults the UK governmental system has, it actually works.
I like to think a large chunk of why the UK doesn't end up with grand constitutional issues is no-one is daft enough to actually push things too far because it could quite easily backfire over everyone. It all seems to operate on a mix of convention and carefully not stepping on people's toes.
Who did you miss?
Who was the best new person you met?
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
Tell everyone else that you've bought the Easter eggs. Or maybe not - that way there's more chocolate!
Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Erm... I don't know. Last year's quote from Julian of Norwich still fits:
But all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.