- The West Wing - last episode of the first series, giving a nice sense of completion as I originally started watching it at the first episode of the second, which picks up straight after. (Well, duh.)
- first two episodes of my Christmas present, "The Invasion" DVD. For the uninitiated this is a grainy b&w Troughton-era Dr Who story and, as cyberman invasion stories go, is approximately five hundred and thirty seven and three quarter billion miles better than anything you may have seen in the last year. Episodes two and four have been lost except for the soundtracks, so the DVD now features animated versions with the original sounds. A neat idea which could be extended to the many other missing episodes.
- And that was meant to be a nice early bed time, but apparently the Boy badly needed to be helped watch Torchwood. Um. Do the producers honestly think that no one has ever seen Fight Club? (Itself a hugely over-rated movie.) However, I grant them a grudging point or two for having an estate agents called Lynch & Frost. Extra points to anyone who can see why that amuses me.
- by now getting quite late, so a couple of minutes of Greatest Ever Screen Chases. One of those endlessly annoying programmes where twits you have never heard or want to hear of natter endlessly about how good something is, interspersed with fragments - but only fragments, never the entirety - of the item in question. Here's a thought. Why not The Most Annoying Ever Talking Heads show, where a miscellany of twits natter on about, for example, how annoying the twit was who was nattering on about how good The Italian Job was?
- then, mostly by dint of snatching the remote control, over to the last half hour of the Father Ted Christmas Special. Yeah, yeah, I've seen it before. So what. Still funny.
- Five minutes of the Big Fat Quiz of the Year. Kill. Me. Now.
- Finally, midnight and a really quite spectacular firework display at the London Eye. Unfortunate flashback to the not one but two consecutive New Year's Eves spent as a student in Trafalgar Square, shivering my nads off in the drizzle and wondering if the fun had started yet. Peer pressure. I was a martyr to it.
1. What did you do in 2006 that you'd never done before?
2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
No and no.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Some people known to me; no one particularly close.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?
More money, restored windows, no mice.
7. What date from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
22 July. See (1) above.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, see (1) above again.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Doesn’t really count as a failure, but the first book of a proposed children’s series I’ve been struggling with for several years finally got hit on the head. To the benefit of all concerned.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing more than the occasional cold.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Lots of people’s; most of all everyone who helped make 22 July so special.
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Those Israeli children painting messages on the rockets about to be fired into Lebanon. I am past being appalled and depressed by Bush & Blair; nowadays I just have expectations confirmed.
14. Where did most of your money go?
15. What events did you get really, really, really excited about?
See (1) above ...
16. What song will always remind you of 2006?
Nothing in particular. Will always be reminded of the wedding by any or all of our songs: "To God be the glory", "In Christ alone", "Lord for the years" and (most of all, due to Geoff’s heroic 8-minute solo rendition) "St Patrick’s Breastplate".
17. Compared to this time last year, you are
More married and slightly lighter.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Reading and writing.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Sitting in traffic queues.
20. How will you spend Christmas?
Spent it at home, then down to parents on Boxing Day.
21. Did you fall in love in 2006?
No, just got ever deeper into it.
22. What was your favourite TV programme?
I imagine that would be Dr Who ...
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Don’t think I’ve ever hated anyone. As such.
24. What was the best book you read?
I forget if I read Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell in early 2006 or late 2005. Even if it was the latter, it’s good enough to last into the next year. And I definitely read Thud last year, which says all you could ever want to know about the evils of fundamentalism.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery or rediscovery?
Geoff has a great pair of lungs!
26. What did you want and get?
See (1) above.
27. What did you want and not get?
A book contract.
28. What were your favourite films of this year?
Didn’t see that many. The Prestige is probably the best, i.e. the one that would most stand up to re-watching.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
41. Got interviewed for a new position at work, which I didn’t get.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
As it already was immeasurably satisfying it’s hard to be immeasurably more satisfying.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006?
Much the same as last year except that I now have a wedding ring and a coat with a hood. I may write about this separately.
32. What kept you sane?
33. What political issue stirred you the most?
Iraq. Of course.
34. Whom did you miss?
A shame various people couldn’t make point (1) above, but no one was terminally missed.
35. Who was the best new person you met?
The only new people I met were new arrivals at work, so therefore they must be the best by default. Fortunately I like them anyway so this faint praise isn’t too damning.
36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006.
Nothing I didn’t already know, really ... one or two philosophical beliefs confirmed by personal experience, though.