Happy Hogmanay!

Another year gone! This has been another year with lots of great positives; a great holiday to Kendal, a great holiday to Arran, a great Scottish road trip (although "cold" doesn't even begin to describe it!), a fun time learning about beekeeping, a great holiday in Thrieve, a lovely wedding in Glasgow, completing the "Thing A Day" challenge in February (which vastly improved my Photoshop skills!), watching every single Bond film (in order), designing a couple of websites, a cool trip to London, seeing Neil Gaiman perform with the original radio cast of Hitchikers Guide and many many many trips to the zoo... all in all a good year.

Music - My Favourite Tracks From 2012

  • Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - Immigrant Song & What If We Could?: The book was brutal but brilliant, the film was even more brutal and had some unbelievable filming, and the soundtrack? My favourite thing to listen to whilst working for the whole year... it's poinient, harsh, loud, dark and expansive in a way that you'll only understand if you've seen all of the snowscapes in the film.
  • Frightened Rabbit – State Hospital: An awesome tune from an awesome EP that I first heard at an awesome gig... I can't wait for the next album to land.
  • Chvrches – The Mother We Share: It's hard to pick a favourite track from this band... something of a feat considering they've only got four tracks! I can't wait to hear more material from these guys - even though this isn't my normal style of music I just can't get enough of it!
  • Muse – Madness: Best tune by Muse. Fact. Slow, blissed out grooves and stunning guitar solo. I still can't believe their Jools Holland performance wasn't mimed it was so close to the album version.
  • Pomplamoose – Don't Stop Lovin Me: Amusing and silly and a bit catchy. :)
  • Katy bar the door – The Tide: When will the album get here?! Good luck to these guys - it sounds like it's been a tough year for them management wise.
  • We Are Augustines – Book Of James: Support act for Frightened Rabbit who almost stole the show - these guys know how to rock!
  • Wheeland Brothers – Sand In My Sheets: I discovered this band by searching for "Ukulele" on Bandcamp but I found something way more that - this band do surfer, skater, ska, chillout music better than anyone else I've heard - such a party band!
  • The Lumineers – Ho Hey: Love it. Have I been listening to too much folk? Can you ever listen to too much folk?
  • fun. – We Are Young (feat. Janelle Monáe): Although maybe technically a 2011 track I first heard them this year and I guess they are yet another band that shows a great pop/rock combo can be, pun intended, fun!
  • Of Monsters and Men – Little Talks: Happy, rocky, upbeat, folky fun.
  • The Black Keys – Gold on the Ceiling: Such dirty guitars!
  • Amanda Palmer - Want It Back (NSFW video warning!): So much to love about this album - great work!
  • The Speks: Many car journeys have been spent listening to this album (including one when Martha wasn't even in the car!)

Films - My Favourite Films Of 2012

  • Super 8
  • Attack The Block
  • Prometheus
  • Haywire
  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • Columbiana
  • Big Easy Express
  • Drive
  • Whip it
  • Zombieland
  • Avengers Assemble
  • Skyfall
  • Safe House
  • The Bourne Legacy

Films - My Worst Film Of 2012

  • Gentlemen Broncos

Books - My Favourite Reads Of 2012

  • Stieg Larsson - The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
  • Stieg Larsson - The Girl Who Played With Fire
  • Stieg Larsson - The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest
  • Sam Kean - The Disappearing Spoon
  • John Lloyd & John Mitchinson - The QI Book Of The Dead
  • Terry Pratchett - Snuff
  • Stephen Fry - The Fry Chronicles
  • Bear Grylls - Mud, Sweat & Tears
  • Malcolm Gladwell - Outliers
  • Nathan Poell - Post-Apocalypse Dead Letter Office
  • Scarlett Thomas - PopCo


I posted in January about my resolutions for the year... here's how I did:

2011 Resolutions:

  1. Ditch the bus – success
  2. Use salt rockcrystal deoderent - success
  3. Stop using shampoo – success
  4. Cut out unnecessary commitments - success
2012 Resolutions:
  1. Take a photo every day - success - check out my album on Facebook
  2. Give 200 things to charity - success
  3. Make more of an effort to catch up with friends - success - many enjoyable hours have been spent with friends this year
  4. See more gigs – specifically I said "not just Frightened Rabbit (although maybe just once!)" - I failed to see more than just one gig, but Frightened Rabbit were fab so what can I say - success!
  5. Have an adventurous holiday - success!

30 Challenges

I won't have any resolutions for 2013 - instead I'm working through a rather long list of challenges to achieve before I'm 30... here's the progress so far!:

  1. Learn how to juggle
  2. Run in a 10k road race
  3. Run the 5km Deerstalker
  4. Climb Edinburgh’s 7 hills
  5. Watch extended versions of the Lord of the Rings films
  6. Read The Iliad by Homer
  7. Perform at the Fringe
  8. Go 1 month without chocolate, sweets or cake
  9. Learn greetings in 30 languages
  10. Raise £500 for charity
  11. Write a novel
  12. Solve a Rubix cube
  13. Write 5 short stories
  14. Submit something I've written to a writing competition
  15. Sing at a karaoke bar
  16. Visit Edinburgh Castle
  17. Give blood 3 times
  18. Improve my conversational French
  19. Create a video blog
  20. Set up my "One Item Museum" website
  21. Carve something wooden
  22. Make some cheese
  23. Design my Christmas board game idea
  24. Design own Christmas cards
  25. Record 10 ukulele covers
  26. Host a dinner party on top of Arthur’s Seat
  27. Create own flavoured vodka
  28. Spend a random weeknight under canvas
  29. Walk at least 2 days (and hopefully all of) the West Highland Way
  30. Try foods from 30 countries

Lots still to do! :) With these things to look forward to 2013 is going to be a busy and fun year!