My Review of the Year

To put it bluntly, my 2004 was shit. 12 months ago I was very glad to see the back of it. Was 2005 any better? This feels terribly indulgent, but I like going back over the last twelve months as there are always things I’d forgotten about. So, in no particular order…

Highlights

Live 8 – spectacular in every respect. I have many fond memories of that day, and it was one hell of an experience. Overall, the Make Poverty History campaign achieved a great deal. It may not have managed every goal to the levels they’d hoped for, but the sheer force of will changed the political landscape of the year. The 14 poorest countries’ debt was cancelled, and millions are better off as a result.

Discovering blogging – despite having written a blog for more than a year, I didn’t really discover blogging as a phenomenon until the first months of 2005. I can’t believe I was so far behind the times on this one! I’ve made some great blogging chums, found out how to use feeds properly, discovered podcasts and generally learnt a lot.

Discovering Flickr – I’m definitely addicted to flickr! I love posting my photos and reading what people think of them. It’s also one of the few online communities where the trolls are almost unnoticeable.

Completing NaNoWriMo – it may not be very good, but it’s a 50,000 word novel written entirely by me. The biggest discovery was that it wasn’t too hard. Ignoring the calibre of the content, physically writing the thing was easier than I’d expected.

Megan – my sister’s puppy is insane, but eminently lovable.

Gliding / flying a plane – I took part in both of these as part of the Spice activity group, and they were great! When I’m rich, I’ll definitely be learning to fly πŸ™‚

Dancing – Lynsey and I started learning ballroom and latin dancing on the 4th of Jan, and have been going every week since. The feeling of satisfaction you get when you manage something tricky is great! Many thanks to Lynsey for putting up with me treading on her for all these months…

Katie Melua in concert – It was entirely down to Ed that I attended this, and I had a great evening.

Wandering around London in the sunshine – Nod and I headed down to London for a comics convention, then met up with Ed and Simon and walked around London embankment before coming across an anti-war march in Trafalgar Square. I just remember it as being very pleasant. The day was definitely memorable, for a number of reasons.

Paris – I went to Paris for a weekend for Dad’s 50th birthday. I’d never been before, and it was fascinating to walk around. Unfortunately I lost half of my photos due to a faulty memory card.

Learning the guitar – I picked up a guitar ‘starter pack’ on a whim in January, and have enjoyed it a lot. I started having proper lessons in June-ish. I think moving to an electric guitar will help with the problems I’ve had with some chords.

Getting help for my various social problems – the life coaching has helped a fair bit, and hopefully I’ll continue to improve. I’m definitely far more confident and less prone to worrying than I was a year ago.

Moving house – Moving to my lovely flat in Stratford is undoubtedly the largest change of the year! I’m scared about keeping myself above water financially, as well as being lonely, but it’s still very exciting!

Lowlights

Join Me – Although I still love the idea of Join Me, the voice of the online community was increasingly one devoted to getting drunk and being snide. I slowly became disillusioned and drifted away. I started forgetting the Friday ROAKs, too. I know that the forums were eventually moved to a new location and the more vocal members banned, but it was too late for me by then. I’m sad that I don’t feel as enthusiastic as I once did, as it was a great thing.

Spice – The activity group I signed up for in the summer. Unfortunately I convinced myself that everybody else at the gliding and flying meetings had hated me, never plucked up the courage to take part in anything else and let my membership lapse. I think I need to go with somebody else so I don’t feel quite so out-of-place.

Exam results – My A-levels didn’t go quite as planned. In hindsight, trying to complete the Maths a-level in a year was too optimistic. Also, I ran out of motiviation in late spring, and struggled to keep working. Still, the C in physics was good.

Funerals – A friend of my age from school died from cancer in February, and a month or so later a teacher from my old magic club died in a fall while mountain walking. Both funerals were very sad.

Friends moving away – many friends finished university and scattered across the country.

Conclusion

Holy crap, this was a busy year! Overall, it was definitely not shit πŸ™‚ 2006 should be mighty different, hope it’s a good one!