Wednesday, 26 December 2012

2012 List Review

Saythewhatnow? 2012 is almost over? Seriously? Hang on, what happened to the rest of it, did someone take a bite out of it like those Jaffa Cake adverts with the 'Total eclipse' lady?”. OK, OK, it's that time of the year again, time to review my 2012 List. Sweep... keep calm and organised (You're in for a treat if you watch from 2mins 45 seconds on the youtube video linked just there), time to look back at what I have and haven't done and check to see if my point still has a pencil.

2012 List


Stay alive
- There were a few moments crossing roads in Italy that nearly ruined this one but as far as living goes, it's still happening and personally, I like it.

Read 1 whole actual, real, in paper, page turning, proper book (seriously that number isn't a typo, I read a grand total of 0 books in 2011)
- Some silly theories about Mayan prophecies may not have come to fruition but something Earth shattering did happen this year - I read a book!
And not just any book, a hardback book! Wonders never cease!
Just one book mind you, don't be signing me up to a book club or buying me 50 shades of Ink. The book I read was Stephen King's - Needful Things. I enjoyed it immensely, especially the first 4/5ths of the book.
It was flowing and full of details that kept the characters vivid in my mind.
The only criticism I did have was that I thought the ending was a little bit contrived. A little too whimsical and flowery so to speak.
Has anyone else read it? What did you think?

Try to find/get/make a job I would enjoy doing (a long shot but it won't happen unless I try).
- Well I applied for one job but didn't get it and haven't tried to further any ideas on making one. To be honest I just couldn't muster the motivation to create the time I'd need to further this, which is a shame as I would still like to do something I truly enjoy as a job. Then again, wouldn't we all.

Try again at learning to separate the stress of work from home (if possible).
- I think I'm almost getting on top of this one. Helpfully the stress at work has been less this year but what there has been I've not dwelt on... too much.

Follow 1 Olympic 2012 sport ├╝ber religiously. Has to be a sport that I honestly don't care about right now. For no reason whatsoever really except for a bit of fun.
- Yep, did that one, two in fact - Handball and Synchronised Swimming amongst others. I really enjoyed the Olympics this year and can't wait for Rio in 2016, saying that there is also the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014 before then.

Don't allow Clothes Mountain (the pile of washing in our bedroom) to rear its voluminous crumpled head again. This has been a success but Norngirl and moving house have been the main help to this - we now have space to do some housework.
- There have been a few hillocks but nothing mountainous, Norngirl is the clothes washing wonder woman of the house (as I am the lazy chief washing up-erupper) and she's been doing a wonderful job! Go Norngirl! :D

Not get my hopes up with Euro 2012.
- Succeeded with style, I was optimistic that we'd do better than expected but knew we'd be long shots to even go close. I had England reaching the Semi Finals in the prediction game and they were a penalty shoot-out away from that guestimate.

Make at least a small positive difference to something worthwhile.
- The worthwhile part I should really have qualified a little better. Small positive difference I can justify saying yes to but nothing that's going to have much of a last affect or change peoples lives for the positive to any large degree.

Risk it for a chocolate biscuit and do a few more things on the spur of the moment and procrastinate less
- Same as before. It's hard to say really, we've done a lot of random things this year but most have been us reacting to situations rather than the other way around. Still, moving into a house the day after seeing it for the first time and meeting people you know from the internet from another country probably count right? Perhaps still room for improvement on both, especially the procrastination.

Finances allowing:

Visit 5 cities/major towns that I have never been to before.

- Hell yeah! 9/5 (Washington DC, Boston, Rome, Pisa, Naples, Eniskillen, Palma (Mallorca), Mdina (Malta), Messina (Sicily))

Visit 1 new country.
- 1/1, Italy - Pulled out of the bag late on with a miraculous travel bargain that Norngirl tracked down.

Visit my family at least twice.
- 2/2 well at least it will be by the time this appears on the internet if our plane made it there OK as I have it scheduled to post whilst we're away :)

Attend 3 or more comedy gigs.
- 2/3 So close but yet so far. We saw Sarah Millican earlier in the year and then Jack Dee back in September but unfortunately didn't get to a third, they're getting awfully pricey these days though thankfully not as bad as music gigs.

Attend at least 10 ice hockey matches.
- 10/10: 3 NHL games (BOS at WSH, WSH at NYR, NYR at BOS) and 7 Belfast Giants games (BGvsNP x 2, BGvsSS x 2, BGvsDS x 2, BGvsCB). I can't remember a dull game but a couple stand out as been awesome. Supporting New York in Boston as away fans and the Giants 5-1 win over the Steelers to secure the league title at the Odyssey Area back in March.

Watch 20 films I've never seen before
- 32/20
Fools Rush In
Role Models
New in Town
The Graduate
Mystic River
The Muppets
Alien Autopsy
The Inbetweeners
Super 8
The Skin I Live In
The Big Lebowski,
Men In Black 3
To Kill a Mockingbird
Le Orme
Some Like it Hot
All the President's Men
She's Too Young
Titanic (1953)
Employee of the Month
Extreme Measures
Capricorn One
Children of Men
Charlie & Boots
The Way We Were
Merry In-Laws
Christmas Mail

Don't leave the entirety of Christmas shopping until December.
- I started at the end of November so only just. I must try and remember to get things during the year when I see things because by the time November comes the prices go up and the stuff I saw during the year mysteriously disappears.

Possibly move house.
- Done earlier in the year. East Belfast, we are in you!


Spend even less time playing games on the net.
- Dear Bejewelled Blitz, it's all your fault, you and your addictive exploding gems. Other than that though I'm only playing a couple of fantasy football games so really, given how many games I used to play it's been a successful withdrawal.

Do a spring clean of my Google Reader.
- To be honest it's looking a bit sparse now but then I haven't been that active in the good old blogosphere of late. Maybe something to work on in the 2013 list.

Spend more time commenting on the blogs I enjoy reading.
- Like my own blog, I've been neglecting others, I do read all the blogs I follow still but like posting to my own, I've become even worse with my time. Must try harder!

Spend less time pointlessly commenting on political blogs where everyone has their minds made up anyway no matter what you say.
- Same as midyear - The good news with the general lack of posting to any blog including my own is that I've not replied to one political blog since - every cloud! :)

Find at least 3 new blogs to follow properly - like I would those on my blog list to the bottom left of this page (if you're reading this and have any good suggestions please do add them in the comments).
- 0/3 to be totally truthful, I haven't really kept an eye out, especially in the last 6 months. I've kept up with blogs I already read but these days I find myself more and more in the high speed world of the Twitters.
I see it as just being lazy mind you. Twitter is great for finding out the latest or gauging opinion but it's not the same as a quality blog.
I find I tend to get back about 1/3 of what I put in to the interwebs but if I’m not finding time to be sociable it's a tricky relationship, sometimes I do wonder if it's worth the time and effort and then every so often something happens that renews your faith in people.

Be more sociable (if it's not going to make my brain hurt)
- Like someone with a New Years resolution to do more exercise, I started off trying but soon fell back onto the sofa with a bottle of something alcoholic and gave it up as a lost cause.
The big problem I find with being sociable, especially online, is that everyone wants to think they are being sociable but generally those who are most active are mainly trying to bring attention to themselves and don't care for a two way conversation.
And yes I realise the irony in that I have typed that in a blog post about what I've done this year, these lists aren't to show off what I've done, they're to publicly hold myself to account to try and get me doing what I'd really like to do so they actually get done (see the part on procrastination).
When I put being sociable down in my 2013 I think I should probably split it into two categories.
1. Being sociable with people I do know offline and
2. Being sociable with people I don't know offline.
In regards to 1. That I managed - I met new people, chatted to people at work who I'd normally just be polite to, indulged taxi drivers, went out of my way to chat to people at the football when I'm there by myself, I even took the plunge and at a wedding initiated a conversation with people I'd never met who were sat alone.
All of this was fine and though it brought about some awkward moments I learnt something about people and will feel more at ease the next time I bump into them.
Online though is a totally different scenario.
I'm not sure if it's how I come across when I type, how I portray myself, who I'm typing to, where I'm active or maybe how active I am but I still feel like what I can only think to describe as a virtual vagabond.
I'll keep trying but if anyone knows of a non-cultish, happy bunch of people online who like to talk about their ideas, the world around them and have a laugh, sign me up!
In the meantime I'll keep replying to people on Twitter only to have them reply to someone else #sadface

Take even more photos.
- On our mini-adventures, Yes. During a regular week, no - if anything I've been taking less.
I've really got used to the camera I have now and I've found it isn't great for dull light (such as rainy days), which is a bit of a b*tch when you live in Northern Ireland.
Good light and it's great, though the image isn't too sharp. Weirdly, for a compact camera, night-time shots - awesome.
I'm very tempted to try and save up for a DSLR or Hybrid but with so many other expenses on the horizon that, like my dream of a telescope combined with a cloud free, street light free night and the means to get somewhere to use it, might just have to wait a while.

Disclaimer section of the 2012 list:

Try to do all this whilst not injuring Norngirl mentally or physically (she can be judge and jury at the end of the year).
- The verdict from Norngirl is... *drum roll please*

"In any harm caused by these activities I was a wilful conspirator. The Yorkshireman, in spite of his puppydog-like enthusiasm for bounding around Belfast and the wider globe, cannot be held responsible for any of the misfortune I've experienced this year. B+ Keep up the good work".

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Merry Christmas to Belfast and Beyond.

Finn McCool during a festive Chuck a PuckWow it's been a while, hi everyone, sorry for the absence, I almost feel like I should reintroduce myself but to be honest, people I already know probably make up 3/4 of the people who will read this. So instead I'm going to start by wishing everyone a very happy Christmas and a really brilliant new year.

We're still in Belfast at the moment though heading over to Yorkshire for Christmas itself. We were just there a week ago for a wedding so it seems to have become more of a very well planned commute at the moment. Flying around like the pucks during the chuck-a-puck at the Belfast Giants!

Talking of long commutes, it's been an odd few weeks in Belfast largely 'thanks' to the law-breaking, offence-seeking, democracy-bypassing, unable to understand how they're being used as political pawns, 'peaceful' flag protesters. They're a strange bunch, able to happily live within a culture of ignorance and cognitive dissonance relating to what they claim to stand for and the wider reality surrounding them. Don't even get me started on the politics of it all. Suffice to say, far-right groups have got the sniff of the fact that there is a spoon fed target market for them here in N.I. The delicate balance of a slightly dysfunctional but peace brokering political system is really being toyed with by the threat of violence. These games are nothing new to N.I politics but still a disgrace to a democratic society. If there is any glimmer of light to all the inexcusable saber rattling and violence, it's that it has highlighted the latent problems that still exist and plenty of the more unusual dimensions to them. I'll undoubtedly end up posting a bit more about it next year.

It's not all doom and gloom though, don't let those who shout loudest convince you otherwise. There are plenty of great things happening in Belfast and the place is looking pretty good:

Lights on the Lagan

Reflections of Belfast

I'll not drone on too long, I just wanted to get back in the habit of blogging again with a quick update. I have a review of my 2012 List scheduled to be posted on the 26th and I'm working on my 2013 list so I'll be back with those as well as some travel posts and the likes as soon as possible.

Merry Christmas


Related Posts with Thumbnails