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So that was 2009

January 2nd, 2010 · Posted by Skuds in Life · No Comments · Life

Another year gone, another decade even.  I can hardly get my head round how much has happened in the noughties, and since I didn’t start this blog until halfway through 2004 I would be hard-pressed to remember a lot of it anyway, though I do seem to recall getting married at some point.  It is easier to cast my mind back over twelve months and just concentrate on the year just passed.Music

Musically it has been a bit of a strange year, where I finally admitted that the current charts have no relevence to me at all.  I doubt I could name any of the year’s No. 1 singles, with the obvious exception of RATM.   As the year turned I found myself mostly listening to Planet Rock on DAB and then during the year Spotify came along and so a huge proportion of my listening has been catching up with the past.

As a result I discovered artists that somehow passed me by twenty or even thirty years ago – like PFM, Eloy, Tanzwut, Robyn Hitchcock, Telex, Suicide, Assemblage 23, or Kyuss.

Not that I avoided 2009’s new releases entirely, and there was some good stuff.  I enjoyed the new albums by Jay-Z, Depeche Mode, Rachid Taha, Morrissey, Khaled, Amadou & Mariam and Green Day.  My highlight was probably Madness’s magnificent Liberty of Norton Folgate.  I still can’t believe that a band who seemed to exist just to go through the motions playing the old hits live suddenly came out with a masterpiece.

Honorouble mentions to new acts in 2009 like the Dead Weather, Duckworth Lewis Method and Them Crooked Vultures.  I hope they all stay around for second albums.

Hardly saw any live music, but seeing Metallica at the O2 was the best, closely followed by Manu Chao at whatever the Town & Country is called now.


What was on this year?   The thing that stands out was Torchwood – Children of Earth.  Truly scary, disturbing and thought-provoking.  The most engaging programme all year as far as I am concerned.

Jayne and I both enjoyed Being Human and also Life on Mars USA despite Harvey Keitel plainly being far too old for the role of Gene Hunt.   It lacked the smoke-filled atmosphere of the original, the main characters were not as well cast as the original, and it introduced some religious elements I wasn’t too keen on, but I still liked it.  Every episode left me amazed at the streetscene sets.  I am a little bit fascinated by New York of the 70s anyway, which might explain why I stuck with this.

I can hardly not mention the main event of 2009’s television – Dick-I-beg-your-pardon-Nick Griffin on Question Time.  Unintentionally hilarious throughout and one of the few genuine ‘water-cooler moments’ of the year.


Who knows?  I am pretty sure I didn’t set foot in a cinema all year.  I have been going less and less often and enjoying it less each time since about the time mobile phones gto popular and I’m sure that is no coincidence.  District 9, Star Trek, Avatar and Sherlock Holmes looked like being quite fun and I will probably catch up with them on DVD – except for Avatar which looks like one to see on the big screen in 3D.


The main event for me was surely the Labour conference in Brighton.  I had never been to a party conference before and was surprised by how interesting it all was, particularly the fringe events.  Other political events I enjoyed were the fundraiser in Crawley where I met John Prescott, meeting Peter Mandelson when he visited our new factory/offices to officially open them, and going to the Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival.

Other notable events were Chrystal passing her driving test and getting a car, Charlie moving out, finally seeing Metallica live and going to London with Jayne to see Manu Chao.  She doesn’t normally go to concerts with me – not since I took her to see the Tubes – so it was great to go to something we both enjoyed.  I was amazed when she made a bee-line for the mosh pit as soon as we got in there.

I have to mention the various times I saw events on Trafalgar Square’s 4th plinth.  Every time I was in town I made sure I had a look to see what was going on and made a special trip up there to see Krypto doing his atheist Thriller dance up there.  The whole thing was a brilliant idea.  Some of the individuals were not to my taste, but taken as a whole it was fascinating.

Otherwise the biggest events were our two holidays.  Having not been abroad on holiday for years it was strange to go away twice in a year and they were both brilliant for different reasons.  The first holiday was our last one with the kids and the second one was our first in ten years without them.


This was the year I rediscovered the pleasures of live comedy.  I took Jayne to see Stewart Lee in Horsham and took Frankie to see Collings and Herrin in Brighton, Al Murray, Richard Herring and Alistair McGowan in London and Jerry Sadowitz in Brighton.

I never went to see it live, but Richard Herring’s As it Occurs to me (AIOTM) was a brave experiment which I downloaded every week as soon as it was available and thoroughly enjoyed.  Many is the time Jayne gave me strange looks as I was sitting at the PC with headphones on and suddenly bursting into laughter.


2009 was the year I finally ‘got’ podcasts and undertook the Herculean task of catching up with all the old Word magazine and Collings & Herrin podcasts.  I even installed the dreaded iTunes just so I could subscribe to half a dozen.  It was also the year I took the plunge with Twitter and found it better than I expected.

The new product that had the biggest effect on me had to be Spotify.  I also played with Ning which has possibilities.  The non-event for me has to be Google Wave.  So far I just can’t work out what to do with it.

What next?

The next year could see some major life changes.  There is a fair chance we will move house, and a major reorganisation at work is likely to see me in a different job before too long.   There will be a general election, probably in May, and I expect that to be a real experience.

I am making no firm predictions nor resolutions.

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