Well, that was 2008 and good riddance to it, I say. Frankly, Mr.Shankley, it stank. One of the worst in blogging memory, or as Her Royal Dummy Highness Queen Elizabeth II might say, an annus horriblis, translated by many an uneducated oik to mean a bum year.
A year that was filled with a multitude of sicknesses both mental and physical, real and imagined, afflicting both myself, various family and friends and even the poor old cats didn’t come off unscathed, either. From athlete’s elbow to elephantiasis via knobrot and arse-rash, they’ve all put in a cheery little appearance.
Add to that a flurry of financial nightmares, Kafka-like situations involving non-compliant offshore banks, disappearing debtors, massively increased taxation, dwindling income and threats of redundancy, and that was mostly all before the Big Crash of October, which of course, was just around the time I decided to finally get some investments sorted out to cover my theoretical dotage. Nice timing, sir!
Now I’m not essentially a gloomy soul, and indeed my recovery rate from setbacks can be amazingly fast. Zen-like focusing on the moment, I wake up each day, putting the bad memories of the past to one side, and consider only the goodness in the world as I skip merrily down the road in my flat cap, radiating working-class cheeky scamp bonhommie to all around me as yet another bucket of rotten fish offal is dumped onto my poor noggin.
And so, in the interests of balance, and to counteract the lake of maudlin collecting around our feet, I will now list all of the nice things that happened in 2008, for it was not all bleak Dickensian squalor and consumption.
- iMac – last December’s change over from PC to Apple was a great move, and I’m still marvelling at that sleek sexy trouble-free machine residing regally upon my desk.
- iPhone – it costs a bloody fortune to run, but hey, it’s been a boon, what with it’s internet abilities and numerous pointless but fun applications to kill commuting time.
- Logic Pro – Apple’s music production software has recently served to totally re-energise my creativity in this field, and the last few days have seen a veritable outpouring of new sonic fare from this wonderful device.
- Single Malt Whiskey - the hard times have been enlivened no end by my recent obsession with collecting and sampling these delightful alcoholic concoctions, and what better thing to do than drink when recession looms?
- Cosmology & Quantum Physics – never thought I’d be reading science books, but these subjects are fascinating and awe inspiring, containing all the weirdness and mystery one needs to replace the quackery and nonsense pedalled by the paranormal believers.
- The Roman Republic – still captivating, I continue to plough through original source accounts as well as university lectures and TV documentaries on this incredible period in history.
- YouTube – my videos of Joy Division basslines have surprisingly garnered a lot of 5-star reviews together with appreciative and supportive comments, which has warmed the very cockles of my heart. Who says the internet is just populated by pimply abrasive adolescents who can’t spell?
- Paris – just there for 4 nights in September, and it cost me a fortune, but it was as magical as ever.
- Domestic Travel - Osaka, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Matsumoto, Nagano, Nagoya – all very enjoyable and reminds me that there is still much to like about Japan.
- British Comedy – my sanity has been maintained by nightly dips into the insanity of The Mighty Boosh, Black Books, Spaced, League of Gentlemen, Monty Python, Snuff Box, The Office and Red Dwarf. Thank the Deity for DVDs and Amazon!
- Starbucks – yes, it’s expensive, and those of you out in the civilised world may not think it anything special, but my frequent jaunts to my favourite branches have provided me with oases of warm tranquility in an otherwise hostile and smelly universe.