Saturday 10 December 2022

Goodbye 2022

Greetings from a very cold South Manchester. Winter has well and truly arrived with temperatures plummeting to -5 degrees Celsius and lower in some places. And this morning I woke up to snow. I hate snow but it looks cute from the windows of my warm house. That said, I have been outside wrapped up completely to trudge the snow-covered streets and parks for my usual daily three to four mile walk. 

Today I will just spend the rest of the day at home watching the World Cup quarter finals, which involve England, who are playing the World Champions France. 

I suspect we won’t beat them – but I hope we do.

This week’s Sunday Stealing covers the year 2022 – which has been a mixed year for me. I usually have an end of year summary so I shall bring that forward this year and dive in. 

Care to join me?

1. Wintertime comfort foods, habits, hobbies 

As you may have gathered from my introduction, I usually maintain my walking regime during the winter months, but I tend to spend more time indoors. I hate winter I have to say; it is cold, wet, dark and miserable. December is bearable because of the Christmas fun that we have but once we settle into January and February there is nothing left to look forward too but spring – and that can’t come soon enough for me. 

We usually eat wholesome stodgy food during this period – soups, casseroles, stews and that kind of thing. I usually maintain my habits (and I have a few) – there is no reason not to. I shall be glad when it is over – bring on March I say.

2. Favourite seasonal/holiday music and songs 

I usually listen to the same music during the winter period but of course it is Christmas and everywhere you go, you hear seasonal songs, carols and ditties. 

Here’s an unusual one from one of my favourite bands. Crank it up!

3. The people I want to spend more time with next year 

I aim to spend more time with my family next year. I lost my sister in 2021 and it has made my remaining sister and I much closer so I will aim to spend more time with her and her other half. They live in Harrogate which is about 80 miles away. I also have family in Walsall (where I was born) so I will aim to see them more too. We actually all met in Sheffield last weekend and it was good fun. 

4. How much I could change my life in one year if I focused 

I think I have changed a bit in the last couple of years. I think if I focussed on one thing for a year I could actually do it. I would have to be interested though. I have some plans for 2023 so we will see if I have improved this time next year.

5. The valuable lessons I learned this year 

It’s been a year of highs and lows. I have realised that I love travelling still, having managed to get abroad, after the pandemic, four times to Spain, Belgium, Greece and a new country, Denmark. I aim to reach five next year, all in Europe before spreading my wings further afield in 2024.

The big decision this year was to go part time and I have never looked back. It is great working four days a week now and I used the extra time sorting out my sister’s affairs and while that is continuing even now, it seems that purely focussing on things I can achieve a lot (see last question). 

My retirement plan is still on schedule and I will spend 2023 looking for new hobbies and activities to try when it eventually happens. 

6. How I’d describe 2022 in 10 words 

A year to forget. There have been a lot lately.

7. My favourite reads of 2022 

I’ve reacquainted myself with a favourite author from a decade or two ago – Dean Koontz. I’ve read three by him this year.

I also read an old classic too – Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I read Atomic Habits by James Clear – a book I would recommend. I have been trying to create positive habits for a while now and while there was a lot of overlap with the book, I learned a few more tricks.

I also read a couple of science fictions epics by another favourite author, Peter F Hamilton, and a couple of quirky sci-fi novels by Matt Haig. 

It’s been a good year for books.

8. Best movies I saw in 2022 

I enjoyed The Batman – even though Robert Pattinson was playing the Caped Crusader. To be honest, I didn’t get to the cinema this year. I will change that next year I think. 

9. Favourite TV shows/episodes of 2022 

I’ve enjoyed a few things this year. Stranger Things was absolutely brilliant, as was Squid Game. I’ve also enjoyed the Marvel series such as The Falcon and Winter Soldier and Hawkeye. I enjoyed Star Trek Discovery, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and Star Trek: Picard

Also, right up there, was The Orville, Seth McFarlane’s homage to Star Trek.

I also enjoyed The Mandalorian even though Star Wars isn’t really my thing. 

Dr Who was also good this year, featuring the last few specials with Jodie Whittaker playing the Time Lord.

And last but not least, I watched the whole of Line of Duty – a BBC series about corrupt police officers. Well worth it if you like that kind of thing.

10. Memorable experiences from 2022 

Travelling for the first time in two or three years was the best, even though I caught Covid-19 from my weekend in Belgium. It was great to go to foreign places and I hope to do more of the same next year.

Catching Covid-19 was quite memorable. To me it was like having a mild form of flu but with a splitting headache. I caught it on the hottest days of the year – a record breaking 40 degrees in the UK – so we were stuck in the house – probably a good thing. I felt better after two days but given that I was still testing positive I had to self-isolate with Mrs PM (who also had it) for about ten days. 

I also returned to watching cricket too, seeing a test match, a couple of 20-20’s and a new thing called The Hundred.

I also turned 60 this year – so I am officially an old git!

There are probably more but I can’t recall them all. 

11. Three people I enjoyed spending time with this year 

All of my family and friends. I won’t name them individually – they know who they are.

12. How I handled challenges this year 

I was more driven this year. Things have to be done, so I just did it. Some things were good, some things were bad – but just grab that bull by the horns and try to wrestle it to the ground. Sometimes you can do it.

13. What I’m leaving behind in 2022 

My 50’s and full time working.

14. How I changed most from beginning to end of the year 

I think I am a stronger person than I was at the beginning of the year, mainly because, as I said, I have had to attack things that are out of my comfort zone. 

And I am also officially an old git. 

15. What I want to tell myself before the New Year

2023 will be a much better and more interesting year. I actually believe that.


Bev Sykes said...

Hey, my #1 child is nearly 60. You're just a young kid.

River said...

Goodbye 2022? But there's still 20 days left!
I'm getting old fast enough without rushing things.

Roger Owen Green said...

Congrats on getting out of the country. I hope to do that next year.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Bev,

Ha Ha - I like you for saying that. I wish I was a young kid.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

I usually pop this post up between Christmas and New Year. The questions came up early though. I have a set of standard ones that I usually pick - so I might do a part 2 closer to New Year.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Roger,

It was great, mate. Looking forward to doing it again next year too. I hope you get a chance too.




CountryDew said...

I turn 60 next year, so am not far behind you in the "old" department, though I am not sure what an old woman is called aside from a crone. And old crone, I guess. I would love to travel but I doubt I ever leave my state again. We'll see. My future may be long or short, so who's to say.

Lisa said...

One of our goals is to travel more while we are able!! You have snow today . . .we have rain! In Alabama, we might have cold weather for a few days and we usually have a slight dusting of snow every year for a day or so. We also usually have an epic snowfall about once every generation. We've had a major ice storm, a thunder snow storm (eerie), and another big snow in my lifetime that I remember.

Lisa said...

I thought I had commented earlier today but evidently not! I told my husband that we should try an episode of Stranger Things. My boss loved it, too. 2023 is going to be a much better year!

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi CD,

60's not as bad as I made out. I quite like being an old git. Not sure what the female equivalent would be - not crone - that's too witch-like.

Old lady?




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi "Unknown"

We will have rain soon enough. It rarely snows in Manchester and it has mostly gone now.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Lisa,

Yeah - do it. You will LOVE Stranger Things.