Ah, here we are again, a full 365 days since we last met
Absolutely nothing of note has happened this year (sorry). Bye!
Oh, ok then, some things have. The year started off normally enough, without a hangover. I had a lovely hiking weekend on Exmoor in January, and a long weekend in Lisbon in February. I had an excellent hiking holiday in Northumbria and the borders in September, a part of the world I'd only previously seen from the window of an LNER express.
I'm pleased with our now weekly online meet-ups on Tuesdays. For something that was only intended as a one-off to scratch a bored lockdown in ["March"- Ed.
], it's great that we've kept them going and it's something I look forward to every week.
Not really much more to say as most days were an endless cycle of sleep, eat, work, walk, read, eat, repeat. Far better than the alternative, however.
Now the listy bits. Favourite Film: 1917
was a technical triumph and an utter wonder to watch on the big screen. Sadly the story was underwhelming and if on first viewing I'm having more fun enjoying the cinematography and trying to work out how a bit was done rather than care about the characters or threat, something's gone seriously wrong. Jojo Rabbit
was a brilliant conceit, brilliantly executed with humour so dark even I felt guilty at times for being the only one in the cinema laughing. But the crowning triumph of the year was Bill and Ted 3
. It not only managed to capture the joy and charm of the originals but also avoided the usual by-the-numbers reunion film tropes by introducing great new characters and showing how the original ones have grown. Tapped right into the whole mid-life-crisis thing too in a way I've not felt since the American Pie
reunion. Favourite Book:
Thanks to Malc's thread
I have a list of everything I've read this year, and it's been quite fun writing a brief note about each one. Entangled Life
was a gripping look at a world I'd never really thought much about before despite being literally below my feet and all over my body. Ian Dunt's How to be a liberal
was a non-sweary look at political philosophy that would have been extremely helpful as a naive first year undergraduate 20 years ago. But the standout book of the year was One...Two...Three...Four
, Craig Brown's alternative history of the Beatles. Funny, deeply fascinating, and utterly unreliable, it not only made me start listening to more of their work, but showed how it can be just as historically useful to look at the people who were affected in some way by your biographical subject as it is to focus on the stars. I also learnt that John Lennon was a total dick. Favourite TV:
Without question, series two of His Dark Materials
. All my concerns about the editing in series 1 were swept away, and this series really brought the books alive. Ruth Wilson completely stole the show as Mrs Coulter. Favourite Radio/podcasts:
The single greatest cultural achievement of the year was the production of a two hour lockdown special
on the movie career of Zeppo Marx. 'Nuff said.Favourite App:
The OS app. Part of choosing a hiking holiday was to refresh and improve my mapreading skills after letting them fall into abeyance in recent years (ie, let someone else navigate). I achieved that on my trip, but I had to repeatedly force myself to look at the paper map to work out where I was, where I should be, and how to get there rather than flip open the OS app and see it all laid out for me. It's just too dam good.
That's all for now folks. I hope you all have a happy and safe 2021. Thank you for continuing to be the most excellent people on the Internet.