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A look back at some things from this year for me…

§ Online

Last year I wrote:

If I’m strong enough 2019 would see me never reading Twitter, deleting my little-used Facebook account, and maybe no longer using Instagram…

Since I last wrote about this kind of thing in May not much has changed. I’ve barely opened Facebook or Instagram. I’ve continued to read Twitter and only posted to it when shouting at brands, replying to friends, or self-promoting. I recently experimented with posting to it more generally but it was exhausting. I was misunderstood and insulted, and that was just by friends. (Not a joke.)

Avoiding Facebook and Instagram means missing out on a lot of events in friends’ lives, but I really dislike Facebook-the-company, and don’t want to generate any income for them, so I guess I’ll have to live with this. I’m on the fence about whether to stick with Mastodon or return to Twitter completely, maybe primarily to my private Twitter account. Mastodon hasn’t caught on with many people I know, although posting to it does often scratch the “I just want to say something, somewhere” itch. I don’t know.

Maybe 2020 will bring something new and less awful? You never know. Meanwhile I am enjoying blogging regularly, and reading lots of blogs. I’ll probably get webmentions and/or comments working here next year, to get a bit more interaction happening.

§ Media

The films I’ve liked most this year were probably In Fabric, The Souvenir, Marriage Story, and Make Up (that one at the London Film Festival). I saw lots of others that were very good although I’m finding it hard to decide which really stood out. I have no regrets about now having opted out of Marvel, Star Wars, and all other fairground-ride style movies. They’re just not for me.

I saw more gigs in 2019 than in any other year since records began. Counting Indietracks as three gigs, one per day, it’s still only 11, which doesn’t seem like much. Highlights were probably Holly Herndon at the Barbican and the two farewell gigs of The Spook School’s I saw, at Indietracks and The Garage. Indietracks itself was a highlight of the year – a lovely place with lovely people and music that both excites and comforts me, which is definitely what I’ve needed this year.

My favourite albums of the year… while I really like and admire Holly Herndon’s Proto and Aldous Harding’s Designer they’re not what I often turned to when I wanted to really enjoy some tunes. My other most played and enjoyed albums that were released in 2019 were Martha’s Love Keeps Kicking and Fresh’s Withdraw.

As is traditional, I put screenshots of my most listened-to artists, albums and tracks, as recorded on, on Flickr.

Chart showing Martha at the top with 288 scrobbles, The Spook School second with 281 scrobbles, and Fresh third on 225
My most-listened-to artists in 2019, on Flickr

This remains my favourite music video, possibly my favourite anything, of the year:

Dry Cleaning – Magic of Meghan, on YouTube

I read (or started) 27 books this year which isn’t great. The best were probably Light Years by James Salter, HHhH by Laurent Binet, and Walkaway by Cory Doctorow. I don’t think I read any books that were actually published in 2019.

Favourite telly we watched this year… The sixth and final season of The Americans; Paul Heaton: From Hull to Heatongrad; Fleabag season 2; Fosse/Verdon; and Giri/Haji mainly for that brilliant scene near the end.

§ Work

Internet work… It’s been great to spend half my time on Job Garden with Matt this year, collaborating on developing and improving one thing. Some more of that to do this year. I also made the Good ID website with Unfold Stories which has been a success, so that’s nice.

Acting work (and play)… it’s not been bad. My one TV appearance so far (filmed in 2018) was on in March and I had parts in three short films (two of which have been completed). And then I had a fun (and more lucrative) day being a vampire in an advert. I’ve also made good progress with my training in classes – working on a single scene over several classes, improving at the repetition exercise after that, and then learning a lot in the acting for camera class.

§ There we go. I don’t know why we still bother saying, “that year went by so quickly!” because they always do and everyone says it. I guess it’s like telling people the obvious about the weather. “A bit chilly isn’t it!” “Looks like it might rain!” “This year’s rushing by!” Anyway, where did 2019 go, eh?

Nothing else to say about it. I hope your 2019 was alright, despite everything, and that your 2020 is better in every way. Try to be hopeful.

The Spook School - Try To Be Hopeful - Farewell Video, on YouTube

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