2014 Review

Here is a bunch of stuff I did, thought, said and looked at in 2014.

Music

In direct contrast with 2013, I went to zero actual gigs this year. I inadvertently saw some live music, but no proper gigs. No one was touring. This is very sad, but luckily I already have three booked for 2015!

Television/Radio

I went to a few recordings this year

  • Infinite Monkey Cage—Made it to two recordings this year, one asking “Are Humans Uniquely Unique?” with Keith Jensen, Katie Slocombe, and Ross Noble. The second hasn’t aired yet, and I’ve forgotten the guests, but it was about plants and very funny. I learnt that mushrooms are more closely related to us than they are to plants…
  • Never Mind the Buzzcocks—Stacey Solomon, Ella Eyre, Harry Koisser (Peace) and Seann Walsh. Really good night. Some people in the audience did a fight, very weird place to do a fight.

Stand out TV for me was Peaky Blinders, which is still just as gritty and beautiful as last year. I hardly watch any TV any more, even less than before. This year’s South Park was top notch. I did watch some old school Malcolm in the Middle, pure brilliance.

Art/Exhibits

I had Tate membership this year, so went quite a lot. So much I haven’t been able to remember all the exhibitions. Below are the ones I enjoyed the most, but there are more to be added.

Theatre/Cinema/Other

  • An Evening with Noel Fielding—not only did I go, but he came and talked to me in the audience. Terrifying and awesome at the same time.
  • Ballet Boyz
  • Ballyturk—went to a Q&A with Enda Walsh beforehand. He has a brilliant mind.
  • Robin & Brian’s Christmas Compendium of Reason—This is where I inadvertently attended a gig, because they had The Cure performing! Also had Eric Idle doing some interesting things, Dara being very funny, and a very thought provoking piece by Carolyn Porco about taking photographs of Earth from very far away.
  • Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Films

I watched 155 films. I borrowed films, I still have my 2 disc Lovefilm sub, a Netflix trial and utilised iPlayer. I was trying to complete watching all my films but I am still 27 short.

Of the new films I watched a few really stood out.

I think it’s worth mentioning here that never before have I felt so devastated at the loss of a celebrity, but it was the case for Robin Williams. I still can’t quite get my head around it, but there we are. Oh captain, my captain.

Holidays/Trips

  • Brighton—multiple visits for work and leisure.
  • Portsmouth—had some lovely breakfast in the Southsea Cafe, cake in the Tenth Hole, plus there’s great vegan food in Smile cafe.
  • New York—third visit. The helicopter ride was my favourite thing, ever.
  • Paris—doing an art tour and touristy things.
  • South of France—just to relax. Mostly spent it floating in the sea and eating bread.
  • London—the usual, plus Abbey Road and Harrods.
  • Warner Bros Studio Tour—yes, we went back to Harry Potter for “Hogwarts in the Snow”.
  • Stratford Upon Avon—this is where I will be seeing in the New Year, with a lovely group of friends, lots of good food and relaxing.

Conferences

  • Web Expo Guildford
  • Reasons To Be Creative
  • dConstruct—was very lucky to win my ticket to such a thought provoking day. Thank you again Site Ground!
  • Breaking Borders
  • Pubhack

Group Shot ;)

Other

  • The charity walk for CLASP
  • The Cookie Wedding
  • Art class—I took a 12 week watercolour painting class. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I really enjoyed it. I need to sort out some of my work to share
  • Celebrated 5 years of meeting my father/family at Newlands Corner with a milkshake
  • Taught people how to do space nails
  • Made a palette garden
  • Made a Sharknado cake and won a book

Reading

63 books of a 30 book goal. Yes, there are quite a few novellas/short/children’s books in there, but there are also some books with heft (Anna Karenina for one). I absolutely loved my reading this year, I felt like I got a good mix and hope to continue the trend into 2015. The only problem I’ve had is feeling overwhelmed by choice. I’m still going to allow myself some impulse library shopping, but I have also researched and chosen 30 books to read for the year.

Stand out books from 2014 included:

  • Anna Karenina—the characters are beautifully written. There’s a whole chapter about harvesting, which sounds like it wouldn’t be very interesting, but it just feels like you’re there. Brilliant book, would recommend it.
  • An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield—I really enjoyed learning how he got into space, his outlook on things and the traits which make him so interesting.
  • The Long Walk by Stephen King—I don’t really know how to explain how good this is without giving away too much of the story. It made my feet hurt, lets put it that way. And it made me think.
  • Yes Man by Danny Wallace—a fun one, but one I couldn’t put down. I just loved hearing about the hijinks he got up to by saying “yes” to everything. It does make you look at your own life in a different way.

Work

I am still freelancing, much to my surprise. I had intended to get a job, but it just hasn’t worked out like that! I’m very excited for the projects I have in the pipeline for the new year, watch this space.

Resolution

I painted my nails every week for the entire year. I ended up with 53 different ones as I doubled up in one week. You can view them all here and a few of my favourites are below.

Happy New Year

And all the best for 2015!