Ooh, there was loads going on in 2010, most of which I have inexplicably failed to cover in the slightest here. Bad blogger! No biscuit! Still, here's what passes for a review of the year, should anyone remotely give a hoot. You can read Wifey's much more comprehensive, much more straightforward post on the same here yonder.
Let's see - well, I started a new job which marked a significant jump from what I'd been doing previously, along with reducing my working week to four days a week, a move I can highly recommend despite the reduction in salary (our numbers are growing!). On the flip side, I got the fear that my work could leave my blog open to tabloid tut-tutting in the manner of Baskers and decided to shut the blog down. And then, er, opened it up again, because I just can't quit you. That, and I don't ever write about work. I also ended up starting a Tumblr blog, Not A Good Look, to act as a general ooh-look-at-that link/photo/video dump and it seems to be working nicely thus far, leaving Falling Sky for my big wordy gibberings.
Lots of arty stuff has been going on, as has lots of chutney- and jam-making, about which I should hopefully actually write a post about in 2011. Not much in the way of new cooking - we've been feeling rather fed up by our kitchen, being an internal one and therefore lacking any natural light or decent ventilation - but hopefully there'll be much more of that sort of thing next year once we move to a nicer kitchen, preferably one that also comes with a house.
Some splendid traveling about the place, trundling about the Highlands, over to Brussels for Moominness, trudging across wildcat country, to Inverness to look at homes we can't afford, and down to Bletchley Park to worship at the birthplace of modern computing. I also got into cycling this year, commuting to work on an old MTB, then buying not one but two bikes towards the end of the year, a folder and a hybrid - just in time for the snow to fall, the paths to freeze, the roads to fill with tyre-puncturing grit. And then some sod tried to nick the hybrid! Anyway, assuming they survive the stem-stealing criminals of Edinburgh, I'll introduce these lovely steeds to you in the new year.
It's been a good year, albeit an increasingly exhausting one, and I think I'll need to put a bit more thought into how I plan and use my time in the future so it doesn't get wasted so easily - hopefully this can be done without reading earnestly patronising self-help books, What Colour Is Your Cheese Frog, that sort of thing. No doubt there'll be plenty of changes to come next year, some predictable, some not, and hopefully I'll make a better effort to record the more interesting ones here rather than on Facebook where they get swallowed up in the churn. In the meantime, here's the usual best-ofs from my own deluded point-of-view.
FILM OF THE YEAR: Ponyo, by a mile. It was great the first time I saw it, and gets better every single time we play it again. I think initial reviews of it seriously underestimated how good it is, and time will judge it as classic a film as Totoro or Kikis. Notable mentions to Inception for the best cinema experience of the year (3D, schmee-D), The Princess & The Frog for being far better than expected and a brilliant demonstration of the strengths of hand-drawn animation, Toy Story 3 for being better than any franchise film ought to be, and Micmacs for showing that Jeunet wasn't entirely beyond redemption after A Very Long Engagement. Favourite retrospective of the year was the Filmhouse showing Ron Fricke's remarkable Baraka in full 70mm gorgeousness. On DVD it's stunning, but up on the cinema screen it borders on the overwhelming, not least when Dead Can Dance kicks in.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: The Suburbs by Arcade Fire. Yes, I know it's predictable, but it is the best album I heard all year, no doubt about it. I had pretty much given up on the band after their previous album, but they came back with an album that knocked my socks off, free of Neon Bible hysteria and ablaze with the same passion and energy as Funeral. Superb, and gorgeous on vinyl. Notable mentions to: Hidden by The New Puritans, whose We Want War stirs and scares in equal measure; a suitably dreamy Teen Dream by Beach House; The Besnard Lakes for the dazzling Albatross; The Strange Death of Liberal England, for making as joyful and rollicking a debut as I've heard in yonks; The Fool by Warpaint, both dreamy and unsettling; Orbital returning with a truly barmy b-side; and Kvelertak's debut, the best metal album to give my ears a walloping this year.
BOOK OF THE YEAR: Whoops! Why everyone owes everyone and no-one can pay, by John Lanchester. As clear-headed an account of the financial clusterfuck that the UK has ended up in as you could ever hope for. It's pitched at just the right level, accessible to all without dumbing down, the result inevitably being an increasing sense of shock and fury within the reader at just how bad things are, how it need never have happened in the first place, and just how serious the payback will impact on our lives. It's also a bloody good read. I'd recommend this book to all, if only so I'd have some company when I go all Buzz Killington in conversations about the prospects for Britain in the next decade. I'm such a hoot.
GIG OF THE YEAR: Would've been Godspeed You Black Emperor at Glasgow Barrowlands, if I hadn't been unable to go because of December's snowmageddon. GUTTED.
MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR:
Agree? Disagree? Utterly uninterested? Sound off in the comments if you wish. Otherwise, happy new year chums, have a jolly good one, see you on the other side of the chimes...