Annual Report 2012

Another year and another set of growing data on the things I’ve been doing. I first started recording stuff in 2008 and each year I add new things. I’ve someway to go before I’m even close to my personal stats hero – Nicholas Felton. One day maybe?

At the start of the year I set myself a number of achievable looking goals. Let’s see how I got on?

Write more – I managed to write a (short) daily blog post for the entire year with no gaps, which I actually quite enjoyed and probably means that I can score this one as a victory. If I was being tough on myself I would have also liked to have written some longer pieces, stories or history items but this never really happened. One to continue next year maybe?

Read more – In year’s gone by I seem to have read between 20-25 books a year so I set myself the goal of reading 30. In the end I started 32 and finished 29. I think I would have easily exceeded 30 if another goal – television – hadn’t come in and interrupted my evening reading. I’m still pleased that I was only just shy of my target, especially as quite a few books were fairly thick.

Quality TV –  After years of barely watching any decent TV at all, this year has been a wonderful success. With the introduction of an iPad and Netflix into my life in May I’ve virtually stopped watching scheduled television at all. In addition to the TV, I’ve also managed to watch quite a few films. All this has been good but has meant that more often than not I spend the evening with earphones on with the iPad on the sofa arm which is all a bit anti-social.

Become a Pie-master – Having done almost no pastry before i’ve had quite a few goes at it this year and been pretty pleased with my results. I think ‘master’ might be pushing it but i’m going to score this as another victory.

Learn some Magic Tricks – This is a task that was rolled over from 2011 and i’ve still not done it so I think I might let this one drop for the time being. Hopefully I’ll pick it up again another time.

Grow Wheat – This was always going to be a bit ambitious and not very surprising that it hasn’t been done. I still make bread every week, however.

Touch Typing – I started this goal with enthusiasm and got so far (all the middle keys and some of the top row) but it petered out. This is an enormous shame as I think this is holding me back in the writing that I’d like to do. I definitely aim to crack this one in 2013.

I saw 22 films at the cinema this year, much less than i expected. Partly this was down to Doing fitness classes in the evening towards the end of the year (I didn’t see a film past mid Nov) and partly because I was happy to go home and watch ‘quality’ TV. My top 3 films on the big screen:

  1. Shame
  2. Berberian Sound Studios
  3. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Movies (at home)
A new category this year, films watched at home on the small screen (often the iPad). I somehow watched 49 films, not including half watching Disney films with the children. The revelation for me this year was finally seeing ‘In the Heat of the Night’ – what a corker!

I set myself a target of reading 30 books this year and I did come fairly close with completing 29. I started 2 others that I didn’t finish (‘We need to talk about Kevin’ and ‘Bad Pharma’) so i’m not going to be beating myself up about it. My standouts would be:

  1. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  2. The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
  3. The Perfect King: The Life of Edward III by Ian Mortimer

TV Shows
Discounting the odd bit of news, children’s shows and snippets of reality shows while I eat my dinner I have watched 32 different TV series. Notably, I finished the last 2 series of ‘The Shield’, re-watched most of ‘Red Dwarf’ and surprised myself by how good the US version of ‘The Office’ is. My top shows, however, were:

  1. The Pacific
  2. Mad Men – series 2
  3. Dexter – series 2

In total, I watched 162.4 hours of Television, mostly in the form of complete series (seasons for US readers). This isn’t that much really.

Cultural Visits
I made 17 visits to Museums, Art Galleries or other cultural places during the year, which is not that great really and a figure that I’d like to improve on. They are all good, but i’ve been especially pleased with the National Maritime Museum with their new wing and exhibition space. I look forward to going to even more places next year.

This is now the second year running that I’ve not been to a single Play, Musical, Ballet or Opera. This is not good and I must make a better effort in 2013!

A good year of recording this, which in the future will be helped by being able to easily update the spreadsheet on my phone through Google Drive. Next year i’ll be adding a fitness column again plus a record of independent gourmet coffee shops.


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