Review of the year

Have done this for the last three years, so here I go again…

Best bands seen:
Haven’t seen any, though I was mercilessly mocked for not knowing who Ash and Damien Rice were (or indeed James Blunt, but people were more of the opinion that this was a good thing).

Worst bands:
As above. 🙂

Exotic towns/cities visited:
I haven’t been anywhere special this year, though Oxford was lovely (albeit a bit small and quiet) as always.

Girls I fancied but failed to get anywhere with:
None, which is a bit odd given previous answers to this question.

Girls I fancied and did get with:

Great gigs this year:
Haven’t been to any, should really make an attempt to do so in 2008.

Mad Stuff done in 2007 that if you’d told me I was going to do last year I’d have laughed at you:

  • Gone back to Computer Science to start a PhD.
  • Being elected onto the council of UKUUG.

What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
I’d like to own (or be paying a mortgage on) my flat rather than renting it, as at the moment I’m paying £500/month and not building up any capital to show for it. I doubt this is going to happen though.

What dates/events from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory?

  • Having someone actively avoid me because they thought I was a nightclub bouncer.
  • Getting the offer letter for my PhD whilst I was in the middle of telling people how much job hunting sucks.
  • Being told that I was “the next John Latham” (a lecturer in my department who runs the first year labs).
  • Hearing that some of my colleagues thought I was a goth(!).

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Graduating with a MA in Ancient World Studies, and getting a funded PhD in Computer Science.

What was your biggest failure?
Not doing a little bit better in Latin in order to get a merit overall in my MA.

Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
The senior management of the University of Manchester, who seem to think that making budget cuts of 20-25% in core services (without consultation with students) is a sensible way to get themselves out of the financial hole created by a vast and unaffordable programme of capital expenditure.

Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? happier in some ways (PhD, lots of new prospects, better off, lovely new flat etc.) and sadder in others (lots of friends I have lost contact with/don’t see anymore), probably happier overall though.
ii. thinner or fatter? about the same, my weight rarely changes by more than half a stone either way.
iii. richer or poorer? significantly better off, thanks to the EPSRC, some good financial management and investments which paid off.

What do you wish you’d done more of?
I wish I’d had the time to go to more comedy stuff in Manchester (I’ve completely stopped doing this due to lack of time) and go on holiday.

What do you wish you’d done less of?
There’s nothing I regret having done too much of, but not working quite as hard might have been a good idea.

Did you fall in love in 2007?
I don’t think there’s anyone for me to fall in love with… 🙁

How many one night stands in this last year?

What were your favourite TV programmes?
The only things I really watch are Doctor Who, QI, Have I Got News For You, the Money Programme and Working Lunch (and Top Gear when I remember that it’s on), so I guess those are my favourites by default.

What were the best books you read?
I enjoyed Northern Lights, couldn’t put down Imperium, and Rogue Trader gave me an interesting insight into the collapse of Baring’s Bank.

What were your favourite films of this year?
Stardust made me laugh the most, all of the other films I saw were either extremely disappointing (I’m thinking particularly of The Golden Compass here) or just not particularly good or bad.

What did you do on your birthday?
I don’t think I did anything at all this year, I’m not really one for making much of a fuss.

Who were the best new people you met?
All my colleagues in IMG, particularly at coffee.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007?
Just because someone has been published and/or has lots of letters after their name, it doesn’t automatically mean that they have any idea what they are talking about.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“I don’t know where I’m going
But I sure know where I’ve been”
(first two lines of Here I Go Again by Whitesnake)

General thoughts on 2007:
Totally crazy, most manic year yet.