Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,


We had a rather quiet New Year's Eve last night. liberaliser and Mrs liberaliser were with us for dinner, and I had put a big chunk of venison in the oven at 75°C the previous evening; when I took it out it was wonderfully juicy, succulent and pull-apart tender. But they went home before the night had got too cold, and because of the cold and the mist we didn't get as much value from the neighbourhood fireworks as in previous years. Also we are travelling today and were preparing for that logistically and psychologically.

Anyway, a chance to reflect on last year and this. That 39-question meme that is going round is for me a rather unhelpful way of reviewing the year. I've already done a couple of end-of-year reviews, of travel and books. The questions about fashion and music rather pass me by, and I have no intention of having any one-night stands, let alone writing about them here if I do. (I should add that one of the most entertaining LJ entries I read all year was about someone having a one-night stand with a much-admired musician, but it is very sensibly friends-locked so I shall say no more.)

But I do want to commemorate a few important things of 2008: births, deaths and other big dates.
  • Births: the big one for me was my new niece Sheila, born in France in September. But numerous other friends and acquaintances had additions to their families, most recently a Macedonian former colleague and her Belgian husband just a couple of days ago. Congratulations to all.
  • Deaths: xnamkrad would have been 50 today. We knew it was unlikely that he would be there for the start of 2009. More unexpected was the loss of blue_condition later in the year. I noted a few others in the course of the year; the last couple of weeks have been bad for political thinkers, with the passing of Bernard Crick, Conor Cruise O'Brien and Samuel Huntington.
  • Dates:
    • 17 February: Kosovo declared independence, and the Greek Cypriots threw out their hardline president (who died later in the year), thus restarting the peace process there.
    • end of June/ start of July: Medical procedures on both teeth and groin, and poor timing, meant that I was in considerable pain for most of the week in which I moved office.
    • 4 November: The American election; need I say more?
    • 10 December: The day I had two presidents in my office. That was as intense as work got this year, and it was pretty intense.

As for 2009: I do have a few resolutions. (I was hesitating about whether or not to post them, but am prompted by iylliana's thoughtful reflections on New Year resolutions in general.) Those relating to work and family will not be posted here, but they do exist.
  • Reading: The easy one. I fulfilled most of last year's resolutions, and also started a couple more reading projects. I should finish Shakespeare's plays by Easter; I am also going to re-read books on the shelves that I haven't written up on-line, starting with two categories: popular books on LibraryThing (so starting with Harry Potter) and Hugo award winners (so starting with A Case of Conscience).
  • Writing: I've allowed a couple of writing projects - the joint Hugo/Nebula winners and the books of the Bible - to lapse; I would like to revive them.
  • Fitness and health: Simply need to establish a routine of using the Wii Fit several times a week, which probably means getting up a bit earlier. We have successfully shifted to having a non-meat dinner once a week; I shall try and add to that a non-alcohol evening once a week too.
  • Spiritual: I've been very impressed with both the Pray-As-You-Go site and my own ability to keep up with it. Add also the second of the two writing projects above, and a vague idea of increasing my current rate of church attendance (once every couple of months).
  • Other: I have nearly finished the Penguin Russian course. When I do finish it, I want to have a go at Irish.

What about you?
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