Never ever think the year you just had was the worst it has ever been or that next year will be better. The reason is quite simple, if there is a god and god listens to you god'll ensure that you come to realise whatever you think is rock bottom is a poor imitation. You thought 2014 was shit? Here have 2015. Now, do you fancy making any more forecasts?
DBS and references pending I should start 2016 off with a job. It could be for a day, a week or a year; it's with an agency; but it is to be considered - tentatively - as a positive end/start to the year and all things considered I'd usually suggest this was only fair; except, you know, I feel as though I haven't just tempted fate in the past, I've provocatively waggled my arse at it while suggesting it was a useless wanker.
I've seen various friends' end-of-year blogs and have, to be honest, avoided them like the plague and for two reasons - I don't want to hear how crap it's been for them, as well, and I definitely don't want to hear about how good it has been for them (although uber-positive blogs nowadays tend to be written by the intellectually ignorant, blind or retarded). My ambivalence towards everything has plumbed new depths in recent months, but it gets hidden well by my slightly ADHD nature.
I was considering just repeating my blog from this time last year, but I refer the readers to the above statement. I did consider doing nothing at all, just letting it slip by and hope no one noticed - like a queef on a first shag. And then I thought, in my current I-can't-be-arsedness I'll do a positive things from 2015 blog; that way as it is now currently 13:41, I should finish this by 13:45 and have enough time to get the bus home, buy a bag of chips and climb a few trees...
Positives are few and far between and I've already mentioned arguably the best one. Other positives included seeing North Atlantic Oscillation and er... Doug is fantastic, but he would have been costing someone else the earth had it not been for our biggest tragedy of 2015 (and one that I suspect will stick with us for a lot longer than other tragedies) and I can see the silver lining, I just wish the black clouds had fucked off long before they got to me.
Without putting too fine a point on it - TV was pretty much better than film this year and while 2015 hasn't been bad, it also hasn't been as prolific as previous years for brilliant TV. Films have been utterly underwhelming to the point where I simply couldn't tell you what I thought was the best film of 2015.
Music. This year I discovered: Cheatahs; Daughter; Nordic Giants; Plank; Stellardrone; Telescopes, The Holydrug Couple and Tripswitch. I enjoyed new albums from Lights & Motion; Of Monsters & Men; Florence; JMJ and Steven Wilson's album might just be the best one of the year. There might be more, but they couldn't have been all that if I can't remember them.
I resigned from Borderline Press and will extricate myself from comics once and for all during 2016.
I wrote another book. Then I wrote it again and now I'm in the process of rewriting it a third time. I am so immersed in it that with just 10 more pages to edit I'm losing the will to live and need to get it finished and read by someone else or I may just give it up.
Let me tell you a story about 1978. I watched a short documentary on Genesis's Knebworth concert the other day because my brother and I appear fleetingly in it a couple of times and there's nothing quite like seeing your younger self on film. What I don't think about is the fact that we actually met Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins - they came down to the half a dozen of us who watched the sound check and the filming of Many, Too Many and had a chat with us.
I remember asking them if they were going to play some obscure B side that I liked and I was rather put out by Collins' dismissal of the song as having not been played since the studio. It took me a long time to realise what and why... I really like my book, but I'm fed up to the back teeth with it; I've read it, re-read it, edited it and re-edited it and it's not finished and I'm going to have to go back into it again and do more of the same. If it's ever good enough to be published then I can guarantee I won't be reading it for a while.
But it should be (again) finished by Friday and it will be a real achievement considering what a year it has been.
Other things that I consider worth a mention include my return trip to Shenley, albeit for a funeral of a man who I hadn't seen for over 30 years. It was a strange and interesting day and I reconnected with some people I probably should never have disconnected with.
I rediscovered my journalistic instincts and made the destruction of Bradlaugh Fields a priority for me and I hope to be able to be a contributing factor in the fight to have it restored to its ancient glory.
I'm still married.
The quiz team is pretty supreme - albeit thanks largely to Brainiac (aka the wife) - and it has allowed me to experience restaurant food at times this year when personal finances wouldn't stretch that far.
I discovered some people on social media - most notably that thing 'created' by Zuckerberg - would rather remain friends with dummy accounts than with real people. And since the election, the propensity for vocal nasty right wing supporting wankers has increased enormously. Despite the constant attacks on the disenfranchised, it would appear that some people will always be all right, Jack.
Good point to remember when you support the slow death of the poor and disabled is that every penny of their benefits goes back into the economy. They are not hoarding their money or funnelling it overseas to avoid paying tax - all the bottom 50% of earners in this country spend almost every penny they get - taking it away from them doesn't exactly make them spend more does it?
But everyone should carry on not giving a shit until something happens to them. That will be the day when at least one person isn't I'm all right Jack any more.
It was a good year for the fungus. And the roses.
2016 will see death, life, laughter and tears - I hope you get a fair and acceptable balance.