I wish more of 2022 had looked like this beautiful day at Big Sands beach, Gairloch

Time for another end of year roundup. You can dive into my past here: 2009 // 2012 // 2013 // 2014 // 2017 // 2018 // 2019 // 2020 // 2021 // 2022

A few of the lighter moments which shone through the steady doom-scroll awfulness:

Favourite Places:

We’ve made it beyond the EH postcode a bit more this year, which was great. 

  • Achnasheen - we spent loads of quality time up north with friends and family and visited a few nice spots along the way - The Highland Life Museum, Urquhart Castle, Doune Castle, Fort George, Big Sands beach, Skye… all great spots. 

  • Canna - what a treat of an island. Fab walks, great views, so much history!

  • Kerrera - getting to be on the sidelines supporting the triathlon was a brilliant experience.

  • London - I walked the length of a marathon in a day, which was quite an experience. Two trips down this year, both special for friends, the canal, Sir John Soam’s, Novelty Automaton, Tate Modern, the Barbican… and Hamilton with the kid!

  • Our car - I’ve spent a lot of time behind the wheel! Norfolk and back once, much of Scotland many times… then all of the taxing to summer camps, after school activities, triathlons. 

  • Vue cinema at Ocean Terminal - cinema nights with K are back! Yey! Missed them!

  • Civerinos - favourite restaurant. Great pizza, no frills.

  • The Blood Donation centre at Lauriston Place - maybe not a favourite place but one that should definitely be visited more often.

  • Walking around Edinburgh, Porty, Cramond, etc - pacing these streets is still a grand old pastime. 

  • Beamish - on steam engine day no less! 

  • Glasgow - there’s always so much more going on in Glasgow - love it.

Favourite Podcasts:

More of the same this year:

  • 99% Invisible

  • This American Life

  • Darknet Diaries

  • Heavyweight

And some new ones:

  • The Allusionist - mind blown by the episode about the name “Fiona”.

  • The Bellingcat Podcast - horrible but necessary journalism about Russian and Ukraine.

  • California Love - a slice of a very different world to where I grew up - fantastic storytelling.

  • The Trojan Horse Affair - such persistent pulling to get all of the threads of this tragic story to untangle.

Films - The Best Of The Bunch:

There were so many great films out there this year. Here’s my pick.

Top five:

  • Nope - best film of the year and one that I’m so very glad to have seen on the big screen.

  • Sputnik - this film has crap ratings but I thought it was splendid - tense, interesting, rich.

  • The Menu - another serious contender for movie of the year - and another film which excelled at small sets and huge tension.

  • The Martian - it’s taken me a while to get round to watching this… turns out it was nothing like what I expected and I totally loved it. Sterling acting and serious science research in this one.

  • Amsterdam - heavy and hilarious all at once.

Honourable mentions (in no order):

  • Joker - dark. Loved it!

  • Turning Red - one of the best kids films I’ve seen this year.

  • Spontaneous - I loved this way more than I expected - very heartfelt, for a silly horror.

  • Rocky Horror Picture Show - rewatch… getting even better with age.

  • Three Thousand Years of Longing - ooft - this has all of the best bits of a play about it.

  • The Gentlemen - a very fine piece of gangster fun.

  • The Banshees of Inisherin - another Covid movie (tiny cast, focus on acting and script) and it was another winner. Bleak at points but surprisingly funny given the subject.

  • See How They Run: not quite as twisty as I’d have liked, and somehow felt rushed and slow at the same time, but great stuff from Saoirse Ronan and Sam Rockwell. 

  • Jumanji: The Next Level - throwaway and perfect for it.

  • Lightyear - a weird one but not bad.

  • Planes, Trains and Automobiles - a classic that I finally got round to watching for the first time - great comedy acting.

  • American Ultra - punching well above its weight with a surprisingly good story.

  • Guns Akimbo - see above comment… so daft yet surprisingly good for it.

  • The French Dispatch - Wes Anderson can do no wrong in my mind. Roll on Asteroid City and The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar.

Films - Don’t Bother Watching These Ones!:

I’d say that I watched fewer crap movies this year than last… but I still squeezed in a few: 

  • Eternals (the mega budget Marvel movie that didn’t make use of the rich backstory) 

  • The King’s Man (the horrible history mash attempting to be many things and failing on all)

  • Day Shift (the crap vampire movie with Snoop Dogg)

  • Around the World in 80 Days (the terrible cartoon film from 2021)


What a year for series - so much love for artists being given the time and space (and budget) to let their creativity out.

Top five:

  • Sandman - Outstanding.

  • Wednesday - A fun reimagining of the Addams Family characters.

  • The Peripheral - not one but two sci-fi worlds that are full of interest and intrigue.

  • Stranger Things - great as always (although frustrating that it didn’t all wrap up!!)

  • Only Murders In The Building (Season 2) - such fun!

Honourable mentions:

  • Ms Marvel - Brilliant to see a huge expansion on the diversity of the Marvel universe of characters.

  • Hit Monkey - so silly but also so watchable.

  • Legend of Vox Machina - very silly, very fun.

  • Moon Knight - quite silly, some great moments.

  • Cowboy Bebop - very silly, great storyline.

  • Around The World In 80 Days - a good retake on the well-known story.

  • Midnight Asia - always great to see the foods and lifestyles of Japan and other Asian countries.

  • The Silent Sea - a slow burn but some amazing ideas in this show.


  • This year’s main DIY event was building a shed… way bigger and more epic than planned but rock solid and I’m excited to add the interior.

  • I’ve been working on George’s diary some more - and it might even get low-key published next year. 

  • I spent a lot of time working on a Micro:Bit project - can’t say anything yet but I’ll share soon!

  • Swimming and walking

  • Baking bread

  • Only one brewing! :(

Music: Albums/Artists/Songs:

I did way better this year at listening to more and more diverse music. I have still had too much time where I can’t listen to music due to Teams calls but that’s just life now I guess. I’ve added loads to my “Ultimate” playlist and have enjoyed some real gems (albeit many not from 2022). Here are my top picks:

  • Alessandro Cortini - Iniziare: a sublime wall of sound piece of music. Tune of the year. 

  • Maya Hawke - Thérèse: so many of the cast of Stranger Things have bands or music projects - Maya’s work sets her as a musician first.

  • The Westerlies - Dover: a short snippet of a song but it’s perfect.

  • Wolf Alice - Blue Weekend: the album is a work of beauty and The Last Man On Earth is a standout in a strong lineup. 

  • Wet Leg - Wet Leg: (Especially the song Chaise-Longue - obvs.) Love the lyrics and some of the glitchy/punky sounds that this band make.  

  • Public Service Broadcasting - Go! - a road trip favourite.

  • The Beths - Expert In A Dying Field: love this gang from NZ!

  • Everything by Jack Antonoff: songwriting and production brilliance. 

  • Captain Credible - Fantasy Mansion: so much love for this madness an EP that centres around a custom PCB synth.

  • Mogwai - Ether: this song was stuck in my head this year. And for good reason - classic! 

  • Hamish Hawk - Money: new at the end of the year and a nice new sound. Hamish has elements of Belle & Sebastian, The Divine Comedy and a Scottish Jarvis Cocker.


I attended two major gig/festival things this year - Dan Deacon supporting Future Island and then the Doune The Rabbit Hole festival. Both were total farces. The Usher Hall team messed up their info on set times so we were there before Dan Deacon (who was the headliner for me that night, but on first… as if they were supporting Future Island or something). Doors were shut and since there should have been over an hour before DD played we hit the pub. We returned less than an hour later and DD was on his last song. (It was awe-inspiring!) Then there was a 45 minute gap and then FI played a damp squib of a set. Super disappointing (and sorry to my gig buddy). Then there was Doune The Rabbit Hole. Bands were great (Belle and Sebastian and Tide Lines especially) but the security, staffing, organisation, cancellations and toilets were rage-inducingly bad. (If Twitter still exists you should check the tweets from the event - people CC’ing acts to ask them to help with the toilet situation!) It was a great weekend with lovely people, but it was definitely not what we bought tickets for and the whole event must have been very close to turning to complete anarchy at a few points. The Saturday morning 4 hour window with nobody checking passes or bags at the main entrance was a real low point in their event organisation. Won’t return and very sad about that. 

I also watched the Taylor Hawkins memorial (which was emotional but some sterling performances) and a couple of school music concerts (which were both worthy of five stars!).

Websites & Apps:

Just check last year’s list - I’m still using all the same sites (other than attempting and failing to move away from the horrorshow of Twitter to Mastodon). 


It’s been an interesting year for YouTubers taking on “slow tv” content (and absolutely knocking it out of the park!):

  • Look Mum No Computer - to add to all the stuff that I already loved (The synths! The museum!) this year added Junk Rock TV and “slow TV” series all about relocating and reimagining Joan’s church organ. Inspiring stuff.

  • Laura Kampf - Laura has been on point for years… and this year she took on the mother of “slow TV” projects; a home restoration that has not been without its trials and tribulations.

  • Colin Furze - so much has come from this year’s “slow TV” “secret” tunnel project. Hours and hours worth of great watching. 

  • Adam Savage - Adam’s One Day Builds generally clock in around an hour and are so inspiring, watching not only his puzzle-solving mind at work, but also his wide array of tools and props.

And I’ve also continued to enjoy:

  • Simone Geirtz - some fantastic projects this year (the bubblewrap instrument was so fun).

  • Beau Miles - eco and adventure and lover of junk - always good.

  • Casey Neistat - back in NYC!

  • Van Neistat - a master of storytelling but a wonderful fixer.

These folks all work SOOOOOOOOOO hard!


I’ve read depressingly few books this year… but some awesome ones all the same!:

  • Russell Davies - Everything I Know about Life I Learned from PowerPoint -  hands-down the best book that I’ve read this year. So much knowledge, research and insight. Loved it.

  • Cabin Porn Inside - Zack Klein - as someone who spent heading for 3 weeks working on building a shed, this book has been my motivation to get to the interior fit-out in 2023!

  • Richard Osman - The Thursday Murder Club - the most fun book of the year. So much fun!

  • Amal El-Mohtar - This is How You Lose the Time War - loved this. Weird and romantic and beyond futuristic.

  • Terry Pratchett - Wyrd Sisters and Reaper Man - both classics (WS is really good).

  • Caroline Criado Perez - Invisible Women - A tough but important read.

  • Cory Doctorow - Attack Surface - decent (but not quite as good as Walkaways or Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom).

  • Neal Stephenson - Fall; or, Dodge in Hell - this book was nowhere near as good as Reamde but still okay.

  • I read the set of 404 Ink books - loved  On His Royal Badness by Casci Ritchie most.