I think that 2010 has been a crap year. Many of my friends have been calling it the worst they can remember and some of my friends are actually older than me! For me, 2010 has literally been a mixed bag - lots of low points, but a few really high points that counterbalanced it all. No year would be complete without sifting through all of the shit to see what nuggets of sweetcorn haven't been digested; so without further ado...
Obviously my health has been the real lowlight this year. If I thought 2009 was bad, 2010 has shown me that I should never stop expecting the unexpected. I had inklings that 2010 wouldn't be all plain sailing when I had to have a jab in my shoulder last winter to dissipate the calcium that was forming where my operation scars were. But once that was done I really believed that I was going to have a pain free year.
The fact that I stopped smoking should be viewed as a total bonus - a real 5000 pointer. The fact that within 1 week of stopping smoking I would be suffering from a prolapsed disc could be down to the fact that I was anything but a chilled and relaxed individual. The more I think about it, the more I believe that being wired by withdrawal was possibly how I fucked up my back.
As we all go hurtling out of 2010, my main health concern appears to be the nerve damage done as a result of the initial injury. I've talked about this (incessantly) in previous blogs, but essentially, the alien feelings derived from the nerves is something I wouldn't wish upon that many people (I can't say 'anybody' because there are people coming up who I would wish worse on).
There were two sides to work. The great side which saw my Intergenerational Project receive plaudits from central government down to local level; then the unsure and scary side that saw me and lots of my colleagues informed that we may all be out of work by Easter. From hero to zero in less than a year, eh?
I now face the genuine possibility that I will not be fit to resume a career. In a time when the incumbent government is trying to get people off DLA and incapacity benefits, I could be going to other way...
Politics and Government
Naturally, one would have expected my year to be dominated by my decision to stand for the local council in the 2011 local elections. This was based on my belief that everyone was getting fed up with mainstream politics and, especially at local level, people would be prepared to vote for a candidate who cared more for his town than he did for any allegiances to parties.
After the general election, I lost all desire to do that. It wasn't straight after the election, it was about a week or so, when the party I had elected to vote for this time around got into bed with the Tories - a party that I wouldn't vote for even if I had more money than Croesus. For me, this was the worst thing that could possibly happen, because I knew, deep down, like so many other Labour defectors, that the Liberals would generally roll over, forsake their principals and allow themselves to be unceremoniously butt-fucked by the Conservatives. Guess what? That's exactly what they did; they got roped into believing that the deficit needed killing inside 4 years and with a few notable exceptions they just became Tory-Lite.
Nick Clegg became a far more hated figure than David Blackadder Cameron could ever become, and who, a week before the election, would have guessed that? A lot of Liberals must be thinking they need to make the most of the next (up to) 4 years, because they're never going to get a sniff of power ever again.
Film and TV
As far as I'm concerned the only faeces that appears on telly is that which is put out by ITV. For the umpteenth year on the trot we watched nothing on ITV. In fact, the only thing I watched on ITV all year was the Spurs versus Inter Milan match. It was 4-0 to Inter at half time when I sent Roger home. Apparently I missed the mother of all hat tricks in the 2nd half when Gareth Bale took on Inter all by himself as we eventually lost 4-3 and with only 10 men!
I failed to be wooed by shite like X-Factor, Strictly, Big Brother or anything else that the masses enjoys. Common denominator TV is like tomato ketchup to me - something I used many years ago and now just smells quite rancid.
I wish I could rattle off a list of the shit films we've watched this year, but the problem with really shit films is you tend to put them out of your mind as quickly as possible. What we did notice was that whenever the wife's brother came to visit, we'd seem to watch a film that was horrendous or boring or both (Valhalla Rising springs to mind). The worst films off the top of my head were Wolfman, which was really pooh and Jonah Hex which made no sense at all and felt like all the best bits had been cut out of it. There were others, but the mind and body heals itself...
There is this theory that I don't buy/listen to or download anything that's crap; therefore I have nothing that fits into this category. However, Mumford and Sons was a mahoosive disappointment (especially when I discovered that Cameron liked it) and the new Take That album was not a patch on their comeback album from a few years ago.
A bit like film, if it didn't do anything for me it got consigned to the bin or given to Roger for his giant and ambitious 2011 bird-scaring mobile.
Brings us to anything else that was forgettable or dull/pointless/shite this year. I'm sure there must have been some things... Let me think...
Facebook was both useful and infuriating. For every good thing it offered there was some bad thing that balanced the scales. The weather was a constant source of disappointment for me: winter lasted forever and then made an almost instant return. The people who insisted that we had four seasons this year for a change were either clinically insane, talking out of their arses or in another friggin' country! It seems that the UK is heading out of 2010 the way it arrived, shivering, snivelling and sneezing!
My neighbours proved to be a constant mixture of annoying and amusing, with the ones on the left taking the biscuit for fuckwittedness.
The year has been marred by not seeing some people as much as we would have liked. We rarely see Jay and Selina as much as we once did and the only planned visit this year was stopped because of the wife being unwell. Considering they only live 30 miles away you'd think we'd see them a little more often, but my brother lives less than 5 miles from me and I see the one who lives in Southport more often. I managed to see Martin for the first time in 2 years in October; unfortunately we were in the process of doing other things so we had to cram an entire proper visit into an hour; with Martin a proper visit is rarely enough time.
Many of my friends, either in real life or on't'internet have had crap year's. I especially hope that Mark's miserable year improves and that we get the chance to see him in the coming year. The same goes for the inimitable Radster and especially to Will who seems to attract bad luck like I attract back pain. These are three people (and their partners, kids, pets) we are hoping to see in September when we hold our 25th wedding anniversary party - but more of that in the next thrilling instalment of Phil's Unbelievably Exciting Life, which will arrive before you know it!
If there was anything else that was shitty this year, I expect it wasn't shitty enough to remain on the scale (but there might be a Faecal Addendum sometime before the end of the year!).
I'd like to think 2011 will be pooh free, but I'm realistic and I know it won't be. I just hope that the good outweighs the shite!