What did you do in 2018 that you'd never done before?
Erm... there must have been something. Well, there were probably several things but nothing much jumps out as particularly notable, so I'll go with the Cornwall holiday. Now it's far from the first time I've been to Cornwall, and indeed far from the first time I've travelled there myself (this was the third holiday in the Custodian's House)... but it was the first time I drove there as opposed to getting the train or someone else doing the driving.
Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I think 2018 was a year of fail when it came to resolutions - not really much progress along the long-term ones, and didn't achieve much on the shorter-term ones either. Still, there's always another year to try for.
On the other hand the "go to church" resolution is still going strong three years later.
Did anyone close to you give birth?
Congrats to Paddy & Sarah, and baby Hannah is absolutely adorable.
Did anyone close to you die?
Not close to me, no, but two friends in housegroup sadly lost relatives over Christmas.
Which countries did you visit?
Only England this year, though Cornwall does like to pretend that they are their own country...
What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?
Several things, in particular a house. Yep, that didn't happen, although my sister elemnar and I have A Cunning Plan and did make some progress on it. Turns out sticking two wages together gets a surprisingly good mortgage offer.
What dates from 2018 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
My birthday, because of the cake.
The Cornwall trip. It was full of many adventures but the one that particularly comes to mind was watching the joust from the top of Pendennis Castle... and then being asked to take a photo of a couple, as the man proposed to the woman (she said yes!).
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Brighton meetup! Somehow (and I can hardly believe it), the entire occupants of the Brighton House met up in Burgess Hill for drinks. I don't think such an event has happened (barring mutual invitations to weddings) since the Brighton House was a thing.
We really must get together more often.
What was your biggest failure?
The lack of a house and lack of progress along the Grand Master Plan.
Did you suffer illness or injury?
What was the best thing you bought?
I finally joined the modern smartphone age and bought myself a Sony Xperia XZ1. It proved its worth within the week when someone did something stupid on the A35 and snarled up everything going to Cornwall - I fired up Google Maps, found an alternate route around the road closure, and then ended up following the verbal directions all the way to Falmouth and back (disregarding the paper printouts I'd been using up to that point). Oh, I could have found a route with the Nokia mapping and some effort or even dug out the paper road map, but satnav is just more convenient. Even if Google Maps does delight in sending me down tiny back roads to save a few seconds.
Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Housegroup, again, for being totes awesome.
Speaker John Bercow for standing up for the House of Commons despite the Cabinet attempting to block anything they don't like. No, Number 10, the Speaker permitting a motion to be amended does not mean he's biased against the government. It means he is Doing His Job.
Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Dear UK government, please get your act together kthxbye.
Where did most of your money go?
The Alfa was quite cheap this year (hardly anything needed doing at the service - 2019 however is a cam belt year), so probably to a mix of HM Revenue, landlord, and the many different utilities.
What were you really, really, really excited about?
Cornwall again! And yes, I know, it's the third time I've stayed in the same holiday cottage... but it's a holiday cottage inside a castle. How is that not awesome?
What song will always remind you of 2018?
Lange/Skye's Drifting Away. No particular reason other than I like it.
Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) Happier or sadder?
About the same.
b) Bigger or smaller?
About the same.
c) Richer or poorer?
About the same.
What do you wish you'd done more of?
Exploring. I didn't do all that much geocaching in 2018.
What do you wish you'd done less of?
How did you spend Christmas?
Just with parents and elemnar - Opa was off on holiday abroad, so we ended up having a quiet family Christmas together. We all went to the midnight mass at St John's BBH (I drove, as the parents' Panda was iced up), and on Christmas day itself I made it to the main service to fly the family flag as it were.
What was your favourite month of 2018?
What was your favourite TV programme?
New Doctor Who! Which I will blog about at some point, honest!
How did you see in the New Year?
Pasta night fell on New Year's Eve, so for a change elemnar and I joined them to wave goodbye to the old year and see in the next.
Do you dislike anyone now that you didn't this time last year?
Well, I was already unimpressed with Theresa May but she's taking the whole Brexit craziness to new levels. When you propose a deal and a chunk of your Cabinet resign in protest then perhaps you should reconsider it. When you finally get back from negotiating with the EU and announce a deal that's even worse (causing more resignations), then the correct response is not to give a speech that basically says "I'm right, anyone who disagrees with me is wrong, full steam ahead".
And then to pull the vote on the deal because you expect to lose it?
The punchline in all this is when the PM finally got round to holding the vote (in Jan 2019) she suffered the biggest defeat in UK history. And yet somehow she's still in power, still charging full steam ahead with a plan that a third of her own party disagree with (plan B is, as best as anyone can tell, plan A).
Sigh. At this rate I honestly expect the UK to crash out of the EU.
What was the best book you read?
Didn't read all that much in the way of new books, but I do rather like the newer Elizabeth Moon books in the Vatta's Peace series.
What was your greatest musical discovery?
Oddly, a Lost In Trance collection album in Sainsburys. I bought it on a whim as it looked interesting, and it turned out to be a very good mix with very few tracks I dislike on it. My favourite one is Lange/Skye's Drifting Away.
What did you want and get?
Probably several shiny things. And chocolate. Can't forget chocolate.
What did you want and not get?
Hyrule Encyclopaedia - so I got it myself in the new year. I'm slowly amassing the Zelda background books, and there's a surprising amount of detail in them. The series has come a long way since its early NES days.
It's also surprising where the fandom matches and where the fandom differs. The Zelda timeline is one of the more hotly debated aspects, simply because the games give very little clues as to where they fit in (oh, some bits are spelled out like Majora's Mask being a direct sequel to Ocarina of Time, but where do you place that in relation to Wind Waker?). The resulting official timeline I think surprised most people - everyone expected the adult/child split at Ocarina of Time, but not the [Spoiler (click to open)]three-way split in the official timeline.
That said, ryutsuki did far too much theorizing and came up with an off-the-wall theory that matched the official timeline precisely (right chronology, different reasons).
I love games that hint at a much larger backstory (Wipeout64 being a particular favourite, for how it suggests whole worlds from a few quotes in the manual of a racing game).
What was your favourite film of this year?
Avengers: Infinity War. It's a challenge to do a film, or indeed any story where [Spoiler (click to open)]the bad guy wins and to make it work. With Infinity War I think they managed it. Bit of a mood whiplash though coming after having watched Thor: Ragnarok with its more comedic approach (though as I write this I've realised that [Spoiler (click to open)]the good guys kinda lost in Thor as well - the last few marvel films are definitely taking a darker turn)
What did you do on your birthday?
Housegroup ended up inviting me round for a spontaneous birthday party... wherein Rich appeared with a My Little Pony cake.
Don't worry, I got my revenge. Someone gave Rich a very fluffy unicorn as a secret Santa present...
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Several things - there's always many plates in the air, as the phrase goes - but let's go with progress along The Master Plan.
What kept you sane?
Tea, chocolate, friends, family, housegroup, and a well-stocked MP3 player.
Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy/respect the most?
Speaker John Bercow.
What political issue stirred you the most?
Brexit. I never thought of myself as being particularly political, and yet I've found myself often skimming through Hansard and reading the Order of Business to see where the latest craziness is going.
Who did you miss?
Who was the best new person you met?
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018.
Satnavs are genuinely useful.
Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Let me sail, let me sail
Let the Orinoco Flow
Let me reach, let me beach
On the shores of Tripoli
Clannad's Orinoco Flow. Though to be fair, the sailing was actually a motorboat trip...