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The Year Of The Cat

December 31st, 2008 · Posted by Skuds in Life/Music · 6 Comments · Life, Music

I can haz soap!

I can haz soap!

It is New Year’s Eve so I am casting my mind back over the past twelve months.  If you have a blog it is compulsory.  I think its a tradition or an old charter or something.  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.  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.  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.  All very good, especially Blink, and much as I have enjoyed Tennant I am quite looking forward to a change.  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,  Big Brother,  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.

Current affairs

The year has been dominated by the American elections and the economy.  Good result on the election: not so good on the economy.  Amongst all that there was a weekly story about government information going astray in the post or left on trains.  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.  Bo Diddley, Rick Wright and Isaac Hayes from music.  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.  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,  Curbishley leaving West Ham after their best start to a season for ages, Keegan leaving Newcastle and Spurs…  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.  As the year ends its a really tight league and just about anything could happen in the second half of the season.

Personal life

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.   The arrival of Rojo during the year helped though.  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.  I ended the year with the same boss I had at the start, which is unusual these days, and we moved into new premises.  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.  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.  Very disappointing.


Somewhere along the way I got myself locked into a self-imposed discipline of using song titles for all my blog posts.  An annoying habit which I am going to ditch for the New Year – at last a resolution I can keep!

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6 Comments so far ↓

  • Andy's_mum

    Happy new year, Skuds, and thanks for an always entertaining blog.

    Your views on Doctor Who are echoed in a sci-fi podcast run by a gang of Crawley people who are, quite frankly, old enough to know better!

  • Skuds

    A Crawley sci-fi podcast… I might listen, but I have a backlog of something like 100 podcasts to get through.

    Are they just saying a change would be good, or are they also going as far as suggesting Gene Hunt in charge of the Tardis?

  • Hiro

    The biggest, saddest and worst part of the year was the death of our beloved 16.5 year old dog. He was like a puppy until the last few weeks when he went lame and could not walk well and was in constant pain. We said we would not get a replacement but our other 10 year old was lonely. So we are now the proud owners of a little lady in our lives (unsual for us) so the New Year looks a bit more happy than the end of the last.

  • skud's sister

    Hiro, our first family pet – a very mongrolly dog called Chum, because he was not a pedigree – went in a similar way. Like a puppy, and able to jump up to my top-bunk bed, until shortly before he fell ill. I still regret that I couldn’t face the final walk to the vets – unlike Skuds and Baby Skuds – so I will have all this for the first time when my nearly 17 year old cat goes. Mind you, apart from the endless drooling, this doesn’t appear to be coming up anytime soon… It’s all part of the deal isn’t it? They love us and give us entertainment and comfort and we pay for it by loving them back.

  • Hiro

    SS. I did not think I could face Floyd going but I was glad we were the last people he saw and he was very content. I actually think he was glad as the last few weeks he was in pain and on the night he was in agony. But when we got him to the vets at 9.30pm and we made the most difficult decision he stopped crying. We even took him to the crematorium rather than him being picked up. Three days later we saw him as we popped him to go to over the rainbow and he looked like he was sleeping. I am so glad we were the last touch him. Teckel (our new girl) is in love with our older dog and the feeling is mutual it seems.

  • Skuds

    You don’t know the meaning of pet loss until you discover a massive tumour on an 8-year-old daughter’s hamster and have to kill it on Christmas Eve!

    Possibly the low point of my life: I have never felt like such a bastard before or since.

    (BTW Jayne, if Mary is Baby Skuds, are you claiming to be Sporty Skuds or Posh Skuds? – I am reserving Scary Skuds for myself.)