Out with the old, in with the new

Mo Farah

I usually post a list of New Year’s resolutions on December 31, but this year’s resolutions are so boring that I thought I would enliven them with some things to be glad all over about. So <drumroll> these are my personal highlights of 2012, followed by some very dull resolutions for 2013…

In the arts:

Carter USM at Brixton Academy. A lifetime’s dream attained.

John Renbourn and friends at the Union Chapel.

The Flying Medallions at the Grosvenor in Stockwell, and if you weren’t there you’ll never know how good it was.

The Cindy Sherman exhibition at MOMA.

Limmy’s Show S3 was the best sketch show I have seen this century (though you should also watch Burnistoun, which I loved too), and Limmy on Twitter is just brilliant. I have a separate Limmy column in Tweetdeck, so I don’t miss anything. If you don’t follow him, start immediately (and while you’re there, you should also follow the Burnistoun boys – Robert Florence, the God of Games and nicest man in comedy, and Iain Connell, who doesn’t tweet very often but it’s always worth the wait, and yes, Scottish comedy is better than English at the moment).

In sport:

Crystal Palace’s 14-game unbeaten run and continuing campaign for promotion to the Premiership for the first time in years, and only two years after we almost went out of business altogether.

The Olympics and Paralympics, of course. I loved everything, but my favourite bits were the women’s Wheelchair Basketball final, Bert Le Clos, a family day out at the Paralympic athletics and Mo, who was robbed for Sports Personality of the Year.

…talking of which, my own sporting endeavours included running 5K for charity, twice. That’s two-thirds as far as Mo ran to win his brace of gold medals, in just over twice the time.

At work:

The Mind the Product Conference at the Mermaid Theatre in September. Reminded me why I do what I do, and if you work in digital product development you must go next year.

And in November, the Radio Festival at the Lowry Centre in Manchester, which was so much fun that I think you should go next year anyway, regardless of whether you work in radio.


I visited a lot of new places this year. I liked them all, but my favourites were Glasgow, Naples and Coney Island, with Edinburgh, Nassau, Dingle and Warsaw close behind.

(I took photos of all of those places, but I seem to have forgotten to upload most of them to Flickr. They’ll appear there one day soon, I expect.)

Honourable mentions go to being married, my new job, my old job, baby Betty and catching up with friends I hadn’t seen in years, or in some cases decades (you know who you are).

And here are my resolutions for 2013, which I am putting in the present tense because a man teaching a yoga class I went to recently said that if you want to do something, you should make a resolution to do it now, not in the future. It made sense at the time, though I think I have paraphrased badly.

I watch more films than TV. (This, by itself, will markedly improve the quality of my life, I am convinced.)

I eat fruit for breakfast. I started this earlier this year after reading that your body derives more goodness from fruit if you eat it on an empty stomach. Since my stomach never has time to be empty when I am awake, I decided the solution was to eat fruit first thing. Sometimes I follow it up with porridge or crumpets or eggs on toast, but it still counts.

I floss every day. (Sorry, I know this one is especially boring, but if I don’t write this one down I might conveniently forget it, and it’s probably the most important of all.)

I go to bed by 11pm on weeknights, unless there is a good reason not to.

I cook what’s in the fridge before I buy more food.We’ve been doing this over Christmas, and you get to try nice new things that you wouldn’t have thought of if you didn’t have to use up pak choi, carrots, red pepper and an egg, AND you get to feel virtuous about it, AND when you really don’t have anything in you don’t have to feel bad about ordering pizza.

I leave the camera at home sometimes. I have always taken too many photos, and if I don’t have my camera with me I get antsy, but sometimes it’s fun just to have fun and stop frantically trying to record it all. So sometimes, I will do that.

I think that’s it for now. Last year’s resolutions were all tasks, rather than changes of behaviour, and I did them all, but I don’t think a task really counts as a resolution. You have to do the stuff you have to do, whatever time of year it is. I did make a new set, in February, one of which was “I will go to the cinema more”, a version of which is included every year. But watching more films is easier than going to the cinema more often, isn’t it? Well, I’ll find out.

Happy new year!

New year’s resolutions for 2012

Looking back at last year’s resolutions, as I traditionally do at this time of year, I discover that I kept all of them, more or less. But it’s less impressive than that sounds, because there were only three and they were all kind of lame, apart from the first one which I am technically still working on, although I am definitely nearly finished.

Anyway, this year has needed no thought at all. I know exactly what I want to do, as well as the order I want to do it in. So without further preamble, my plans for 2012 are these:

1. Get the beloved to show me how to use Audacity.

2. Move Ella‘s two paintings out of the bedroom and into the front room, and hang the mirror we got from my sister over the mantelpiece (note: this will require the assistance of A Man. Not a man, but A Man, or quite possibly A Woman).

3. Hang up the paintings which are currently on the bedroom floor awaiting the removal of Ella’s paintings from the walls.

4. Upgrade to pro membership of the voice artists’ site to which I belong.

5. Throw away all the rusty old kitchen stuff that the previous occupants of our flat left behind, and;

6. Use the resultant cupboard space to reorganise our kitchen storage in such a way that we can find the things we need to use without having to empty whole cupboards at a time.

7. Audition for some voiceover jobs.

Seven is quite ambitious, I know, but only number 7 is anything but routine. It is also the most exciting one, so that’s OK. Oh, and number 8 is to finish writing that bloody story. It only needs about three more days’ work; I just can’t seem to get around to it. But I’m going to use a wedding, a house move and two changes of job as an excuse for not getting as far as I should have in 2011, and say that 2012 will absolutely, positively, without a shadow of a doubt, be the year it happens. Hold me to that, please.

(And in case I don’t make it back here tomorrow, happy new year! 2011 was the funnest year of blogging for me so far, so I hope you enjoyed at least some of it too.)

Olympics site

I forgot to mention an inadvertent bit of tourism which I did on the way to Norfolk: at Stratford station we spotted what can only have been the 2012 Olympic village.  It’s in the very early stages of being built, but the scale of it is awesome already. If you can find an excuse for going to Stratford, go there sooner rather than later.