My annus horribilis

I have had worse years than this one (1988, 1997 and 2000 weren’t great) but I still can’t shake the feeling that I’ll be glad when 2007 is over. I mean, nobody’s died (well, people have died but nobody I am particularly close to) and no great disasters have happened that couldn’t be easily overcome. But it hasn’t been a good year all the same and I’m looking forward to waving goodbye to it with a (preferably large) glass of champagne in my hand on New Year’s Eve. Or a generous G&T would probably do. When I left sixth form, my English Lit teacher gave me some parting advice. She said that I should always be able to look myself in the mirror, meaning that I should try and avoid doing things that I know I will be ashamed of doing. Sound advice really but there have been a few times this year when I’ve looked in the mirror and not liked what I’ve seen. And it’s nothing life changing or scandalous but I’m still looking forward to starting afresh and putting all that behind me.

I’ll skim over the bad things – being forced to move house within three weeks, taking on a poisoned chalice of a promotion, being unable to support some unhappy friends as much as I’d like, losing interest in my degree (I’m hoping this is temporary), hurting someone I care about a lot, the flooding, not having time or money for a holiday (a miserable week in Ashford and Lille with Geoff Walker and 80 planning students doesn’t count) and, well, some other things that I’m not prepared to share so readily here – and focus on the good things that have happened this year. These good things include:
Getting engaged – goes without saying really, doesn’t it? The best thing to have happened to me all year.
Getting a promotion – whether it was a poisoned chalice or not, I got a damn good payrise out of it. And the only way from here is up.
Making some fabulous new friends – Kat and Nic (aka the gin lovelies) and Rob – and re-establishing relationships with some old ones – Carl, Adam, Izzi.
Meeting Douglas Coupland, my literary hero.
Overcoming my fear of dentists and (almost) of needles.
The Reading Festival – Omar and me drinking, smoking and sweating in a field for five days. We saw lots of bands and went on lots of boats and it was awesome
Achieving my new year’s resolution of seeing more live music. Admittedly, I didn’t specify “more than…what?” but I saw quite a lot. And most of it was good.
Doing really well in my first year at uni (if you ignore my urban design coursework, which I do)
Finally getting used to the fact that Chris works away a lot and learning to enjoy the time I get to spend by myself and with my family and friends. And the time I spend with him when he is in the country even more.
Buying a very beautiful Ted Baker dress for £35 reduced from £130 (Ok, so I’m really scraping the barrel for good things now…)

Also, I’m currently reading this excellent book, which I cannot recommend highly enough and which appears to be written about me – the main character is “a martyr to his headaches” and “has read too many books for his own good”. So that’s good too.

2 thoughts on “My annus horribilis

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever considered years as so discrete. I have an awful time remembering when I did things that happened a year or more ago. I’d put it down to having bad times and good times generally. Second is I have two of your copies from both authors mentioned (and one’s signed i checked).

    A pint of champagne? 😉

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