Tuesday, January 03, 2012

2011 – year in review

I did this last year and found it fun, so here’s a look backward at 2011.


I was recruited to write an end-of-session report for a Commission that ended up a few weeks later with having lunch in the then Health Minister’s office in Cardiff Bay. I also had a wisdom tooth out and had a bad reaction to the anaesthetic that laid me up crook for most of a week.


I spent most of the month working on the report for the Commission, interspersed with a family wedding in Bournemouth, which included drink in a remarkable Victorian booze-house. I branched out onto a new social media platform and joined Twitter as me. One aspect of my migration to Twitter is my daily use of Facebook dropping to weekly, or even longer, between visits. As someone (can’t remember who) said, “Facebook feels so 2008”.


Went to an odd gig – Boothby Graffoe at Chapter Arts Centre. He was filming a DVD but that meant occasionally he’d be asked to repeat stuff if the cameramen hadn’t quite got the shot they wanted. He had to make his entrance several times. At that point I knew it was going to be a long night. I also went to my 22nd Wales football game at the Millennium Stadium. They lost, to England, 2-0.


Did my second ‘in the News’ studio slot at UCB Radio on April 1 and then went to a football match on my birthday – love it when that happens, especially as Town won 4-1. Had two round trips to Newcastle to see a poorly sister-in-law later in the month and ended up driving home on Royal Wedding Day.


Marked my first-year anniversary at the job I still sometimes think of as my ‘new’ job. A couple of weeks after that I got to travel to the exotic city of Birmingham for a conference. Spent the end of the month driving round Wales filming people – including my first ever visit to Llanidloes. Shrewsbury Town bodged the play-offs and stayed in League 2.


Summer holiday in Mull and then on the Ardnamurchan peninsular. I preferred Mull. Ardnamurchan was the wrong kind of remote for me, although the Lighthouse was cool. I also enjoyed eating lunch next to Loch Morar and wondering if Nessie’s cousin Morag would appear. (She didn’t.) On the 24th I became Uncle Jon to Joy Lindsey Matthias.


Bit of a weird month in work. One of my line managers was overseas the entire month, although I was left with plenty to get on with! Outside of work I restarted building a model railway. Updates have been infrequent of late as I have barely had time to work on the project, let alone blog about it.


Preached for the first time in Glenwood on 1 John 2 – if you don’t love people you’re not really doing it right. I had a very positive response. (Have a listen) When Mum and Dad came down for a couple of days we went to Cardiff Castle for the first time. It only took living here 16 years...

A very busy month with a particularly memorable milestone. After decades of waiting for the ‘right time’, Cathy got baptised. It was a lovely family occasion. I also travelled to the Emirates Stadium and saw Shrewsbury Town take the lead against Arsenal before eventually losing 3-1. Another great occasion, though, despite the result. And then we had a week with my family in rural Herefordshire.


I seemed to spend most of October either on the road filming or editing the masses of footage we accumulated all over Wales. I also had another live morning in the studio at UCB and ended the month with a disappointing trip to see Shrewsbury play AFC Wimbledon, the only upside of which was introducing a new person to the ‘joys’ of watching Shrewsbury Town. Went to a Bowling for Soup gig that I felt was disappointing, but really liked one of the support bands, Suburban Legends. Bought their CD and have played it repeatedly since.


My second Town ‘away’ match of the season, but the shortest trip I’ll make to see them for a while as they played Newport County in the cup. So far I’ve seen at least one match a month this season – the streak continued into December as well. Work-wise, we had two massive events on consecutive days and then later in the month I got to go to The Guardian offices for a conference.


Always a busy month, particularly with all the travelling we tend to do to see family at Christmas and all the friends we only seem to catch up with at Christmas. (We started Christmas Day in Cardiff and ended up with my folks in Shrewsbury having eaten Christmas dinner with Cathy’s folks near Gloucester.) For the first time since 2002 I went into work between Christmas and New Year. It was a bit strange.

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