Sunday 29 December 2019

Goodbye 2019 - Looking Back

2019 has been a bit of a rollercoaster year with quite a few ups and downs and, if I’m honest, I’ll be quite pleased to see is fade into history. I’ve totally neglected the old blog this year too having debated long and hard about whether to carry on with it. After a lot of thought, I took a break and have gradually eased my way back into writing my usual nonsense again and I have rediscovered the spark that I thought I had lost.

To ease my way back I’ve spent the last couple of months simply answering questions once a week on Sunday Stealing and have had a lot of fun doing so. I plan to continue in 2020 and also return to my usual absurd gibberish as I talk about life, the universe and anything else that pops into my weird mind.

I usually sum up the year with a standard set of questions but this year I will answer a slightly different set, again from Sunday Stealing that will summarise the past twelve months.

It’s quite cathartic doing so because it reminds me of what happened, where I was etc. and I encourage others to have a go. I have done it every year since 2009, only missing out 2008 – the year I started this blog).

It’s quite long, so get your scuba diving gear on and jump in.

1. First things first, did you have a good year?

As I said above, it was a true rollercoaster. I don’t want to get into specifics but I really hope that 2020 is much better.

2. If you travelled, where did you go?

We travelled to Vietnam and Hong Kong. Also, we had a week in Kefalonia, Greece in September to say goodbye to summer with a little sun.

Finally, my annual university reunion left England’s shores for the first time this year as we all had a weekend break in Barcelona in Spain. My grumpy old university pals and I have officially gone international.

3. Which fashion trends did you love?

I am not a dedicated follower of fashion and the trends of the last few years generally have puzzled me. I am too old for fashion and the nonsense that it entails. I rely on Mrs PM to make sure that I don’t look like a bag of mad badgers.

4. Which fashion trends did you hate?

The weird rubbish I see on “celebrities” makes me wince. If they want to look like arses then that’s up to them.

5. What was your favourite article of clothing this year?

The normal stuff I wear.

6. What song sums up this year for you?

Spirits Will Collide by the multitalented Devin Townsend

7. What was your favourite movie of the year?

That is easy. Avengers: Endgame – an incredible movie. I also loved Joker.

8. Did an actor/actress catch your attention for the first time this year?

I’ve been watching Lucifer this year and there are two actors who I quite like. Mrs PM rolls her eyes and punches me playfully when I mention them during the show (at least I HOPE it is playfully). Step forward Lesley-Ann Brandt and Tricia Helfer.

9. Favourite new TV show?

I really enjoyed The Boys.

10. Did you make any big permanent changes this year?

First, I set myself the task of trying to learn a set of Spanish words every single day using two phone apps and I managed to do so. The bad news is that I have forgotten quite a lot of them, but quite a few have stuck.

Second, I decided to post a photograph on Instagram every single day and I also managed to achieve that.

Third, I forced myself to write every single day in an exercise called Freewriting where, basically, you just write anything that pops into your head with a view to making it a habit. I now have a word document with 150,000 words of pure nonsense, some in diary form, some exposing thoughts from my head and others expanding writing prompts, both fiction and non-fiction. The aim is to just write, even if it is gibberish (and believe me, most of it is). But in amongst that gibberish are several little nuggets, ideas and thoughts that might become blog posts or even more in the future.

Finally, I tasked myself to come up with an idea a day for every day in 2019. Some of the ideas are self-improvement, plans for improvement, new hobbies, etc. Again, some of them are silly but others might just work.

As for 2020, I have a rough plan – but we will see where it leads me.

11. What was one nice thing you did for yourself?

I bought myself a new laptop to replace my tired old desktop.

12. Did you develop a new obsession?

I guess that most of the things I mentioned in question 10 became an obsession.

13. Did you vote?

Of course I did. Sadly, results didn’t turn out the way I wanted and now I see my country turning to the dark side of stupidity.

14. Did you move?

No. I am still in the same house.

15. Did you get a job?

No. I'm just winding down for retirement.

16. Did you get a pet?

No. Sadly we lost a pet – my big fat 17 year old cat Jasper. We are now down to one cat, Jasper’s sister Poppy.

17. Do you regret not doing anything?

Not really. I wish I had more money and more annual leave from work so that I could travel more – but you can’t have everything.

18. Do you regret doing something?

Again, not really.

19. Have you done anything that scared you?

Yes. While visiting the Cu Chi tunnels near Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, we had the chance to fire an AK-47 on a shooting range. I had never held a gun before and it was a brave decision to have a go at trying to hit a target in the distance. Sadly, I cannot shoot and I missed the target with each of my three shots. It was fun but I have no desire to ever touch a firearm again.

20. Did anyone/thing make you so mad it stayed with you for days?

Days? It is still with me after MONTHS! The nasty, lying idiot we have as our Prime Minister has been lying to us ever since his fat face appeared on my television screen. Boris Johnson and his government make me angry every time they open their lying mouths. I still can’t believe that he has hoodwinked so many people into voting for him, his party and Brexit.

I plan to step back from politics in 2020 for the sake of my sanity more than anything.

21. Did you lose anyone close to you? 

Sadly yes. My aunt Margaret sadly passed this year. She was a lovely fiery lady in her 70’s who spoke her mind and was so funny she always made me laugh. She will be sorely missed by my entire family.

22. Who was important to you this year but wasn’t important last year?

Nobody leaps to mind.

23. Who wasn’t as important to you this year as they were last year?

Again, nobody leaps to mind.

24. If you could have a do over on one thing you did, would you take it?

I would repeat the holiday we had to Vietnam.

25. What was the best moment of the year for you?

Going back to Hong Kong. I absolutely love the city and the events of the last year sadden me immensely.

26. What was the worst?

Mrs PM was quite ill this year and she had to spend a week in hospital. She is back to full health now, thank goodness.

27. What are you most proud of accomplishing?

I am quite pleased with defeating procrastination and forcing myself to fulfil every one of my New Year’s Resolutions from 2018.

28. What have you learned about yourself this year that you didn’t know in the years prior?

I am a lot stronger than I thought I was. I managed to cope with all of the dips in the year, particularly Mrs PM being ill.

29. What do you wish for others for the coming year?

I hope that common sense prevails in 2020 but I cannot see that happening. For all of the ordinary people like me, I hope you all have a fantastic and joyful 2020.

30. What do you wish for yourself? 

I have made a list of things I want to achieve or chip away at in 2020 that is similar but probably more far reaching than 2019.

And I am promising myself that I will be more positive rather than getting angry over politics.


Lori said...

I am so sorry about Jasper! We lost a dog and it was heartbreaking!
I am so glad Mrs. PM is doing better. I pray this year is better for both of you! Loved your answers! Have a Happy New Year 2020!

Elephant's Child said...

You achieved every one of your New Year resolutions? Wow. I am pretty sure you are in the minority there.
Glad Mrs PM is better.
We too are down to one cat, and for a while a few months ago I thought I would lose him too.
I hope for a kinder, gentler New Year - for us all.

Bev Sykes said...

I swear DNA testing would show your idiot to be related to our idiot -- they even look alike.

I tried that writing things once but couldn't stick with it, primarily because about 99% of everything I do is typed and I just couldn't WRITE for that long

Stacy said...

Reading your answers shows what a difference there is in the way we look at work and time off on our different sides of the pond. I was thinking you went on quite a few nice trips and you are wishing you had more vacation time. We aren't given that much time to begin with here and studies show that a lot of us don't use the time we are given. What is wrong with us over here???

Anyway, I enjoyed your answers and wish you a happy new year and the 2020 you are hoping for!

River said...

So. Many. Questions.
I get tired just reading them, there's no way I could add answers as well.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Lori,

Yes it is heartbreaking because they are a member of your family.

I'm sure 2020 will be better.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

I am quite pleased with myself. I've set myself a few new ones - some of which are harder. But we'll see.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Bev,

When I say "freewriting" I really mean "freetyping" - cgeating a little I guess.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Stacey,

Yes - we get a lot more vacation time thatn you guys. I can't believe there are some people who simply don't take it. Lunacy.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

The usual ones I set for myself number 38 - so this is cut down believe it or not.




Pandora Behr said...

Lucifer is wonderful - but I think we watch for slightly different reasons (Tom Ellis - phwoar). Sorry about Jasper. Glad Mrs PM is doing better.

Here's to a great year.


Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

We've just finished Lucifer season 3 and are looking forward to season 4. Mrs PM likes Tom Ellis too.

Hope you have a great year too.