Another year is almost over – they seem to be flying away now – so I thought I would shamelessly steal yet another meme relating to my nefarious activities in the past 12 months. I stole it from a lady in Delaware who happens to be the girlfriend of a friend of mine (read her answers here) and I don’t feel guilty one little bit (because she stole it too).
Again, if you feel like stealing the meme – feel free. I don’t care.
1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
I visited Boston and Cape Cod in the United States of America.
I opened a twitter account and started tweeting.
I saw AC/DC, Megadeth and Judas Priest for the first time and discovered the glorious progressive rock giants Dream Theater
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Sort of. I took up photography and created a new photo blog called The Plastic Mancunian’s Eye. The fact that the blog still exists and I have posted 78 photographs is evidence that I actually kept it up. However, I prefer to think of photography as a hobby rather than a resolution simply because a resolution is something that is meant to improve yourself in some weird way like:
I will wash my clothes more often because people are beginning to complain about the stench.
I will stop posting my toe nail clippings to random people.
I will stop stalking Megan Fox (because I don’t want to go to prison).
For 2010 and the new decade, I will continue waging war against procrastination and try to improve myself in some weird way – as a hobby (not a resolution).
3. How will you be spending New Year's Eve?
I am going to a New Year Ball at the Midland Hotel in Manchester with Mrs PM and four of her friends – all female. Two guys were supposed be coming but for some reason they have bottled out. I have complained in the past that I simply do not understand the female of the species so you can imagine what I will be like on the eve of 2010 sitting in a tuxedo on a table with five women. I will look like a baboon masquerading as a penguin in the presence of five visions of beauty - talk about beauties and the beast.
I will report on what I learned from the experience in January – if I survive.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
We lost our cuckoo cat, Spike. Here is a picture:
He was 18 years old and belonged to somebody else but somehow managed to infiltrate our household and adopt us, despite taking him back to his rightful owner – he simply came back. One night in July, he was sitting on our bed, purring away and the next day he had vanished. We checked with the real owner and she said that he had not come back. I hope that he got fed up of us and sought a new owner but, given his age and condition, we fear the worst.
5. What countries did you visit?
Switzerland, Spain (Majorca) and the United States.
6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
More money (obviously) and a house that was 100% complete. We had our bathroom replaced this year and, although it only took just over a week, it was a total pain in the arse. Sadly, Mrs PM has plans for 2010 – which is why I need more money.
7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
No dates particularly stand out as far as I can recall.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I guess that is probably not giving up photography after two months of trawling through hundreds of below par photographs.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I started a book and it has stalled a little bit. I have written around 6000 words but my war against procrastination had a bit of a setback. But fear not, dear reader. Although I took a bloody nose in that particular battle, I am massing the troops again for another assault. I have a fantastic idea for a novel and have actually written a prologue.
Talking of writing, in 2005 Mrs PM’s mum took us to Australia and as a thank you, I documented the whole 3 week trip in a travelogue written in my own inimitable style. She has shown it to her brother who was so impressed that he now wants me to write up a history of his family, based on his genealogy research – he has offered to pay me to do it.
Of course, I will do it but I won’t accept any payment. I wonder whether I will be able to fit this in with my novel and my life book. Hmm! Could be tricky. Watch out for the answer to this question at the end of 2010.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
My usual illnesses – a little man flu in January and a little man flu in December.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Mrs PM would say “a bathroom”. The bathroom in question cost so much money that I had very little to spend on gadgets and gizmos. Hence I have to say that the best things I bought were CD’s:
“Chutzpah!” by the Wildhearts
“Liebe Ist Für Alle Da” by Rammstein
“Images and Words” by Dream Theater
How sad is that?
12. Where did most of your money go?
The bathroom and the holiday to Boston.
13. What song will always remind you of 2009?
The Jackson Whites by the Wildhearts (from the album Chutzpah!).
14. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Planning and writing my book. As I said, I have stalled a little bit in the past month or three but I am determined to do battle with the evil procrastination again.
15. What do you wish you'd done less of?
16. What was your favourite TV program?
Difficult to choose but any of the following:
Curb Your Enthusiasm
17. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I don’t really hate anybody so the answer is no.
18. What was the best book you read?
“The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid” by Bill Bryson
19. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Dream Theater without a shadow of a doubt. This band has been around since 1989 and sadly I only discovered them in the summer of this year.
20. What was your favorite film of this year?
21. What did you do on your birthday?
Mrs PM took me out for a lovely meal and a couple of beers.
22. What kept you sane?
Beer, music and writing.
23. Who did you miss?
Spike, our departed cat.
24. Who was the best new person you met?
I’ve met a few new people this year but to single anyone out would be unfair (and very difficult). However, an honourable mention has to go to the proprietors of “The Old Manse Inn” in Brewster, Cape Cod who referred to myself and Mrs PM as “the kids”. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that I was a middle-aged grumpy old git. See – I told you that I looked young for my age.
25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:
When your bathroom is out of order, never have a wash in your kitchen sink in full view of the next door neighbour while wearing just your underpants.