That Was the Year That Was
Bye 2018!
A challenging year in some ways, it’s ended as possibly my best year in a long while. I’ve finally got a job I’m proud of and enjoy. Even though it’s been very busy, I’ve not felt stressed at all, just physically tired most days.

I’ve made new friends, strengthened existing ones and reconnected with people I’d lost touch with. I need to build on this for 2019.

Sal and I moved to our house in Jan, and while it still needs work, it feels like our home and we’re both very happy there. I think while we’re in Nottingham we won’t need to move again.

I’ve also lost 2st which is nice.

Things I want to work on in 2019:

- Play more guitar, write songs and gig again (I’ve made the first steps towards this by buying a new amp).
- Keep the house in more of a respectable state so we can entertain guests more often
- Become a really good postman
- Get to Diamond rank on Rocket League ;)
- Keep an eye on my alcohol consumption. I had been doing really well, but slipped up a bit when Bamba came to stay (not his fault)
- Actually book our wedding maybe
- Eat less sugar

How’s 2018 been for you and what do you want for 2019?
Sounds like a good year, Mop. :)

Mine was a mixed bag, as usual with me, but I think a little more positive than negative. Still got the downsides of gambling, depression and increased anxiety, but some positives too, like -
- putting my money into bits of furniture for the house so it's a little more organised and homely
- making good progress with ConsoleMAD, although with most of my customers in the EU, Brexit could torpedo that spectacularly
- doing ok in the job, although perhaps long term, I need to get out of the first line support side of things as it's just dull
- realising that if I keep going as I am, I'll be debt-free in three years
- losing a stone in weight

Simple aim for 2019 is to build on all the above really. :)
One big positive that I hadn't included was my Dad's improving health. I'm still hesitant to say he's out of the woods, but I honestly didn't think he'd see Christmas, and yet yesterday, he drove us to see my brother in Sale and was walking without a stick quite comfortably. He will gladly grumble about all the hospital appointments and the tests, but without the NHS eventually getting to a course of treatment that worked for him, he wouldn't be around. I :luv: the NHS.
Best year for me by a country mile, once I got through the OD in Feb. 2017 was horrible. My uncle died of cancer and I went through a divorce. It continued until Feb when an elderly aunt died (and lots of lovely memories with her) and I took an OD. From there? "Get busy living". I made some new friends, they took me out loads and I lost weight (even though I've mostly put that back on since the weather turned poo) and yeah just had a really fantastic year. Went on holiday on my own for the first time ever, and found what a wonderful experience it is to not have to worry about some one else's feelings above your own. I even managed to get through a DWP assessment with no major suicidal wobbles, even though it took 7 months all told.

I'm not quite sure whether this year was so ace because last year was so terrible, or, whether I just pushed myself beyond my limits and now I get to look back with happiness rather than regret. Either way it was awesome, and like you DM I aim to build on that next year.

One thing I do know is that it is much easier to "do life" with people around you, even though I like to hide away.
Every high level I've had this year has been overshadowed by massive lows so I shall be glad to see the back of 2018.

Hopefully I can put away my 'brave face' and get back to normal for 2019.
Glad you’ve had good years DM and JC! Sorry it’s not been so great TV. Rooting for you next year.
Well it is the last day of the year. How has your year been?

Mine has has been a great year, a lot of good stuff and a few bad. I think I am finishing on a high.

I am not one for resolutions, but next year..

I think i want to get fitter, and finish the race i failed on.
Stop being a hermit and visit friends more. Jem reminded me I live a street away and have not visited. I think i need to be social more.
Travel more..

What have you folks planned?
I am taking 2019 as it comes, but will probably end up travelling less (given this time last year I was in Australia, and only got back to the UK a week ago). I might go back to work later in the year. Till then, workaway, house-sitting, attempting to catch up with people I haven't seen for over a year.
Hearthly wrote:

Cheers I did not see it
This one's better
I have had a good year. Quite a few downs failed dramatically at a race and a relationship ended.

I have met someone else and has been a brilliant 6 months.

I want to get fitter.
Want to reconnect and be more social with my friends, I kinda stopped this year.
Get my finances in order.
Finish decorating my house.
Have more me time, to play on PS4 and watch TV

I think that covers it
It's been an odd year for me, mainly because of being TUPEd into a complete cowboy outfit in September. On paper it looked good. Generally better T&Cs but the new company can't find its own arse with both hands and management are completely incompetent. The head of engineering was fired in November and the new geezer is not impressing us, not that we've heard much from him. They've tried to screw us out of some of our leave entitlement but we've successfully sorted that out. The new lease vans were recalled before they were even dispatched over a safety issue so we've been stuck with unsuitability large hire vans to be going on with. We're sent on calls with no parts, or the wrong parts and in some cases, without having had any training on the kit we've been sent to fix. I could go on ... And on. It's been an endless stream of chaotic events and shows little sign of getting any better.

Theoretically, I can retire in July. Financially, I doubt that I'll be able to afford to.
can we merge this one with Myps :)
Who is Myp? I know only LonewolvesMop
Get mergin', Mop.
Goodbye 2018. Seems like it was only a year since I last posted a year-end message ('that's kind of the point' - Ed.).

On the whole, I've had a very busy and active year. Mentally I'm a feeling a lot better than I have been for a long time, and despite a grim situation in the country I've found rationing my exposure to the news has helped me from despairing at things too much.

Cottage IX was an absolute belter of a weekend. Thanks to Curio for organising it and for everyone who came. Of so many great moments, hearing Gaz call out a location, only for me to check the map and reply 'Miss' to a stunned and silent team was one of the most memorable.

BeexMeat was also fun, and I'm glad I took my own tent rather than use the Travelodge this year. It helped with the Sunday morning too...

After an absence of almost two years I finally attended a couple of re-enactments again (albeit with a different group) and it felt good to be out in the field again. Definitely going to do so more in the new year. A friend introduced me to her old boss who does musketry with an English Civil War ('surely Wars of the Three Kingdoms?-Ed.) group and we were talking so much about the hobby and our various experiences that we quite forget our friend was also there. I might be tempted to go along to an event and try it out but that depends how timings and interest work out. Can't decide if I want to be Wrong but Wromatic or Right but Repulsive however, and there's no way I want to hold a pike.

The highlight of the year for me was a trip to Morocco. I spent the first week touring myself, taking in Fes, Meknes, and Marrakech, before joining up with an organised tour for a five day trek to summit Mount Toubkal. I'd never done a commerically organised holiday before, and so was a little apprehensive, but I got on really well with the others in the group and the trek was very well organised. Hiking is a lot easier if all your gear is being carried by a mule team, and your tent's ready for you when you reach the camp. Definitely a form of holiday I'm intersted in trying again.

I also spent a week hiking in the Cairngorms in May. The weather was absolutely perfect for such a trip and it was almost entirely midge-free. I love getting up to Scotland. I also had a long weekend for my birthday in Glasgow, and took in a rugby game and an ice hockey match as well as more cultural stuff. I somehow managed to book a seat in the one completely exposed row at the rugby ground on a very wet, cold, and snowy night. It's the first time I've gone for two cups of coffee at half-time rather than a beer!

Gigwise I went to see British Sea Power in Reading back in February and Frank Turner in Dublin in April. I also went to two proms. Showwise I went to see 'Hamilton' in London and absolutely loved it! Amazing show, and worth going even if you don't know anything about American history or hiphop. I also bagged a couple of tickets for an ISIHAC recording and dragged a long a friend who'd never heard the show before as an experiment. He enjoyed it, and Samantha was as wonderful as ever.

Now the obligatory lists:

Best TV: Toss-up between 'A Very British Scandal' and 'Civilisations' . Hugh Grant was suitably scary as Thorpe, and National Insurance cards are finally funny. 'Civilisations' had a shaky first episode but soon found its feet and several of the episodes were really thought provoking. Would have liked more Mary Beard and David Olusoga as their episodes were definitely the stand out ones. Heck, if you don't want to see anything else, you should still go and watch David Olusoga's two episodes on the effects of imperialism, colonialism, and racism on art and history.

Best Podcast: 'Remainiacs' has been a island of sanity and foul language in another traumatic political year.

Best Radio: John Finnemore's sketch about the gnu turned my entire understanding of language and the animal kingdom upside down.

Best Album: Frank Turner's 'Be More Kind'. Initially I felt it was weaker than his earlier work, with what I thought to be sub-Chris de Burgh melodies and cloying lyrics, but I found myself playing it over and over. There's still something creepy about being part of a 1000-strong crowd yelling 'Make America Great Again', despite the cheesy sarcasm of that song. 'The Lifeboat' might be my new favourite modern ballad.

Best Book: Of the books published this year, Cheesman and Klaas's 'How to rig an election' was a comprehensive but easily readable overview of how leaders across the world try to maniuplate votes. It's been a while since I've read a proper piece of comparative politics and the examples used covered a vast array of countries whilst openly admitting that older democracies have also used the techniques discussed.

So, with just over 12 hours of the year remaining and probably a shitstorm of a year ahead, here's some words by Mr Turner to close:

In a world that's decided that it's going to lose its mind,
Be more kind, my friends,
Try to be more kind

Have a great 2019 and carry on being the most excellent people on the Internet!

Threads mopped
Grim... wrote:
Get mergin', Mop.

I will when I put myself forward at the next elections
Got kitchen done.
Sold house.
New job.
Kendal Calling.
Bought house.
Sold Exciting Rover.
Forester still needs welding.

I've been MaliA, you've been Beex. Thank you and good night!
Same procedure as every year.
KovacsC wrote:
Jem reminded me I live a street away and have not visited.

While this might be true, it also works the other way around as well so don't think too much of it!
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