It is New Year’s Eve so I am casting my mind back over the past twelve months.Â If you have a blog it is compulsory.Â I think its a tradition or an old charter or something.Â So looking back, the international year of the frog, or 2008 as it is better known, has been an interesting one.
All the critics have been going on about Elbow, MGMT, Glasvegas, Fleet Foxes and other bands who I’m sure are good but who have passed me by.Â For me this has been a bit of a heavy metal year, with new albums from Motorhead, AC/DC, Metallica and Guns & Roses: all good stuff to turn to when the singles charts seem to be full of reality TV talent show stuff.
I only got to a few live shows in the year, all good and all very different from each other: Paul Weller, the Chemical Brothers and Manu Chao – plus the cream of local young bands of course.Â Event of the year was surely Jay-Z at Glastonbury which was well worth staying up to watch.
There was the last series of Doctor Who under Russell Davies’ control, and the last full series with Tennant in the title role.Â All very good, especially Blink, and much as I have enjoyed Tennant I am quite looking forward to a change.Â I reckon Philip Glennister should have the part and bring a little bit of Gene Hunt to the character…
The car-crash series of the year has to be Bonekickers: so bad that it was un-missable.
The X-factor,Â Big Brother,Â Strictly Come Dancing, and a host of theatre audition shows continued to pollute the airwaves, which may explain my increasing reliance on DVD box sets.
The big TV event from my own personal perspective was Sky and Virgin Media reaching an agreement so that I can now see Stelling on Sky’s Soccer Saturday and not have to endure the unremitting yellowness of Setanta’s poor equivalent.
The year has been dominated by the American elections and the economy.Â Good result on the election: not so good on the economy.Â Amongst all that there was a weekly story about government information going astray in the post or left on trains.Â For some reason the stories dried up a bit after the Daily Mail lost a laptop with all their employees’ information on it.
The year ends with ordinary families worried about the security of their jobs but the Tory front benchers have managed to cling on to their own second, third and fourth jobs.
Loads as usual: Harold Pinter, Heath Ledger, Roy Schneider, Paul Schofield, Charlton Heston, Paul Newman and Anthony Minghella from film and theatre.Â Bo Diddley, Rick Wright and Isaac Hayes from music.Â Not all was bad news though: Jorg Haider also passed on.
A fantastic year for sport, dominated by the Olympic and Paralympic games where Usain Bolt took the 100m and 200m gold medals (and world records), Great Britain exceeded all expectations and the verb “to medal” annoyed everybody.Â On top of that we had a Formula 1 season that ended with a genuinely exciting race and another British triumph.
In domestic matters we had the Premier League turn into a soap opera with Manchester City becoming the richest club in the world,Â Curbishley leaving West Ham after their best start to a season for ages, Keegan leaving Newcastle and Spurs…Â well, Spurs found themselves well adrift at the foot of the table, sacked Ramos, brought in Harry Redknapp over the weekend and suddenly went on a winning spree – although their comedy goalkeeper has helped get them back down again.Â As the year ends its a really tight league and just about anything could happen in the second half of the season.
I don’t know why, but I started the year in a bit of a daze, more or less drifting along in auto-pilot, only really getting it together after the summer.Â Â The arrival of Rojo during the year helped though.Â He has been an endless source of amusement and entertainment.
Chrystal finished school and moved onto sixth form, while Chas passed his CBT and got himself a moped.
Work was good.Â I ended the year with the same boss I had at the start, which is unusual these days, and we moved into new premises.Â There were a few perks too: a couple of trips to Paris on union business and a day out driving big Mercs as a team-building exercise.Â Glad we got that organised before the economy went tits-up!
We managed a small holiday, getting washed out in Yorkshire, but the weather contrived to keep our tent up in the loft for the summer.Â Very disappointing.
Somewhere along the way I got myself locked into a self-imposed discipline of using song titles for all my blog posts.Â An annoying habit which I am going to ditch for the New Year – at last a resolution I can keep!