2010 miscellany

December 30, 2010 § 1 Comment

I don’t feel up to writing a handful more song reviews now, but I still want to make a post as part of my year-in-review before I vanish off to Gloucestershire, as 2010 is almost over and I want to cram in as much fun as I can. So this is a miscellany – the things I liked this year that I can’t construct a list out of. In the next couple of weeks I hope to finish my year in review postings – I want to write a few more track reviews and make you all a mix on 8tracks, and I also want to write about my favourite books of the year (which is why I haven’t included those here). I hoped to finish it all before the year was out, but it doesn’t seem like that’s possible. Ah well. 2011’s going to be terrifying for me (my final exams, hopefully I’ll get a degree, hopefully I’ll move somewhere else and get a job and other things)… I may as well start it by looking backwards.

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main regret

(photo by bobaliciouslondon)

Not going on any of the student protests.

I supported them, but didn’t go on any because I got too nervous at the idea – I figured I would have been no fun, one extra person wouldn’t have made much difference since it was clear that lots of people were already going, I hate being in a big crowd of people that I can’t escape from… the actual conditions of the protests themselves sound like the kind of thing that would have just made me cry from some kind of overpowering fear of nothing in particular (although obviously the violence from the police means that protesters did have something to fear, and they went anyway, because they had to).

Basically, protests are not for me, but. You know. They were important. They are important. And I feel that I should have gone.

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radio shows I love:

Lauren Laverne’s show (on 6music),

Jarvis Cocker’s Sunday Service (on 6music),

All Songs Considered (on NPR),

Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me (on NPR),

Just A Minute (on Radio 4),

Shaun Keaveny’s breakfast show (on 6music),

Huw Stephens (on Radio 1),

Tom Robinson’s shows (on 6music).

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favourite new magazine

issue 1!

Oh Comely. I got given a copy of this at a garden party run by the women’s campaign at my university this summer (the event itself was wonderful, with nice food and a school sports day-style “olympics”), and have bought each issue since (although I’m still searching the most recent one out). It’s beautifully designed, and the articles in it are interesting, well-written, and not just about fashion or celebrities or anything else. They review toasters, they did a long piece in the second issue about which unlikely things will make it through the post and which will not (basically, unwrapped porn), they interviewed Emmy the Great, had a piece about homebrewing from a kit, a feature over a few pages about a handful of writers’ ex-best friends, and they profile illustrators and artists… It’s not a massively taxing read, and sometimes I wish the articles were a bit longer, but that’s all. I just want more of it.

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tv shows I watched and loved, to varying degrees


How I Met Your Mother (okay, season five was shit, but I’m enjoying the new one so far),

True Blood,

Man vs. Food,

The QI Christmas Special (although QI is VERY variable),

The Trip,

You Have Been Watching (pretty much just most things with Charlie Brooker, really),

Horrible Histories (the video above is a song from it. I think it’s the BBC’s best sketch show).

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favourite clothes wot I bought

I know, right. Clothes. But just look at these trousers! I got them in Zara, and they cost slightly more than I’d usually spend on trousers – but it was worth it. I wear them almost all the time (and when I’m not wearing them, I’m wearing some blue cords that are cut in a similar way). They’re comfortable and they’re more interesting than skinny jeans, while being almost as versatile and less likely to make my legs feel horrible and squeezed. Also, when I wear them with a comfy jumper I feel like I’m dressed as an old man. Yay.

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favourite photo that I took

I liked a lot of the photos I took in Rotterdam, too (more on that below), but I like this photograph of a streetlamp on New College Lane. Largely for the lighting, but the lamp itself is nice too. Especially when you walk past it on wintery evenings, and it beams through strange heavy fog. Click here to see it bigger.

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favourite foods I had never eaten before

Hot and sour soup
Ohhh, it’s so good. Especially when you have something less hot after having the soup as a starter, and your mouth slowly cools down through the meal. It just tastes so good.

Lamb
Well, I’d always hated it before. Then I had some slightly minted skewers done on a barbecue down by the river, and they were wonderful. When it’s done right – minted, well cooked – it’s just so good. Maybe I’ll try some seafood soon and realise that I love it. Who knows.

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favourite stately home visit

I’m so sorry. I’m now of the age where I like visiting big old houses (YES, I even belong to the National Trust now), and Snowshill Manor is a particularly strange one. It’s kind of like the Pitt Rivers Museum, if it was all just crammed into one dark house that was really meant to be lived in. It had cabinets that I could barely see into, machines that I didn’t understand, toys, whole suits of samurai armour, bicycles, musical instruments… It was brilliant.

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favourite holiday

hello tom

My boyfriend and I went to Rotterdam by ferry – I suggested the trip, booked it, got out guidebooks and mostly decided where we went. I’d been to Holland a few times before, but always when I was much younger, or on a school trip. I could probably have been more adventurous with our itinerary – on the last day we meant to go to the tax museum (!) but ended up just playing chess in the communal area of the hostel we’d stayed in, but by that point we were tired and kind of aware of the march of time. But while we were there we got to go to the Boijmans museum in Rotterdam (it’s my favourite art museum, it’s so great), we visited the sex museum in Amsterdam (definitely less fun, it was hideous), we ate in the same Moroccan restaurant two days running because it was so delicious, and we found a Waterstone’s in the middle of a foreign city, just selling English language books.

We got to just wander by canals. We got stupidly lost in a strange bit of Amsterdam while it was raining. We didn’t get to visit the cat museum, so I have a reason to go back one day. It was just fairly exciting having to sort everything out – although at times (like when trying to buy a train ticket from Rotterdam to Amsterdam, jesus christ they’re expensive) I did kind of wish somebody else would just tell us what to do. But you know, it was our first holiday by ourselves. We had fun. At some points Tom just stopped still and said “We’re in Rotterdam!”

I even enjoyed the ferry.

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