1 January 2010 (Friday) - Happy New Year

As we stampede into a new year (as though we have any choice in the matter), it is traditional to stop and reflect on what’s happened before speculating on the future. And, as anyone who knows me will realise that my life is one for traditions, that’s what I’m going to do.

So, what momentous things have happened to me this year?

  • I’ve been officially diagnosed as having arthritis. As a result of this, I’ve seriously dieted and lost nearly two stone. (Admittedly I’ve put a lot back on over Xmas).
  • I’ve had had a wisdom tooth removed, which was horrible.
  • I was offered a job at Chatham hospital. In retrospect I think turning it down was a great mistake.
  • I asked for (and was given) a grade reduction at work, and am much happier for it.
  • I’ve bought a bike and been out on it lots of times. I’ve found that I like cycling.
  • I’ve posted sixty four pub reviews on “Beer in the Evening” - twenty one less than in 2008. Less money spent in the pub is probably a good thing (boo!).
  • I met Sir Patrick Moore.
  • I helped organise and run an astronomy event for the International Year of Astronomy.
  • I’ve stepped down from the committee of the astro club.
  • I’ve grown a beard (and shaved it off)
  • I’ve relocated my blog from Yahoo to Blogger, and have followers around the world. (I wonder who those people in Darwin, Calgary, Portland, Singapore and Tokyo are).
  • I’ve visited a prison nine times, and sent forty nine letters to the chokey.

And I’ve done so much this year. Looking back through my blog, I’ve found outings, trips and events that I’d completely forgotten about. That’s one of the reasons I blog with monotonous regularity – if I didn’t, I’d not remember whole swathes of my life. For example, I went to the London Dungeon for my birthday. I didn’t remember that one until I re-read the entry for last February.

For some time I’ve been threatening to publish my personal list of “Top Ten” events of the year. And in doing so, I think I’ve surprised myself:

  • 1 The Time Warp (31 October)
  • 2 Hastings Bonfire Parade (17 October)
  • 3 Kat’s Art Exhibition (26 June)
  • 4 All the Saturday bike rides (various)
  • 5 Dover Beer Festival (7 February)
  • 6 Easter Pub Crawl around Folkestone (10 April)
  • 7 Jack in the Green (4 May)
  • 8 Old Time Sing-Along with Elspeth at the piano forte. (14 August)
  • 9 Day Trip to the Isle of Sheppey (23 August)
  • 10 Andy’s 40th birthday party (26 September)

Bubbling under the top ten were trips to Port Lympne, Canterbury beer festival, ice creams in Eastbourne, Xmas parties, trips to various castles in the snow, various pub crawls, and days spent hard at work on a farm. This list is something I’ve been working on pretty much all year. Perhaps I’ve cheated by grouping all the cycling trips into one for entry #4.

Interestingly four of the top events didn’t feature excessive amounts of beer. I’m afraid none of the camping weekends made it into the list. Much as I enjoy them, this year’s were all marred in one way or another. Didgeridoos and bike thefts at Teston, and continual heavy rain at Brighton put a damper on the kite festivals. And there’s a lot of work involved setting up and taking down camp too.

Similarly, drunken nephews kept the summer house party from the top ten, and a lack of protagonists kept another favourite (Rye bonfire parade) out.

I must admit that for all that my year does feature many events that occur every year, I’ve amazed myself to find that only three of them have made my top ten for the last year.

Having said that, the various kite and beer festivals have already been provisionally pencilled into the diary for 2010. And so have quite a few other events too. If any of my loyal readers have any suggestions for days out for the next few months, please let me know.

So, it’s now 2010. Here we go again…

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