Sayonara 2014

Opinions are, of course, like arseholes. So if anyone reading was minded to tear me another one, I hope this will come as proof that I already have more than sufficient. And if everyone else is doing it, why can’t do my own 2014 awards list?

The year itself doesn’t, I suspect, deserve any. At the broad, general level, one of those ‘thank the deity of your choice that that’s over and done with’ years. All the horrors present and correct (some old, some new, some blue – or purple and yellow), and another low mark for effort for humanity. Plus ça change, eh?  Armchair sport of the year in the UK seems to have been decrying politicians, although someone also needs to have a firm word with the electorate too, surely? Word of the year should probably have been ‘snark’. Or, if I can indulge the current taste for all things retro, ‘cockwomble’ or ‘git’: both due a revival.

Personally, I leave the year with an MA, two published short stories to my name and a third accepted (to appear in Summer 2015), and having read my work to live audiences – poetry as well as prose – several times: more than I hoped for, and I’m grateful. (Just not willing to type sentences like ‘all you have to do is believe’, ok?)

H hum, better dish out some gongs and make festive. (These are all for things freshly minted this year – although my reading and musical input wasn’t dominated by the new this year …)

Books

Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting – Kevin Powers
England and Other Stories – Graham Swift
These Things Happen – Richard Kramer
Barracuda  – Christos Tsiolkas
How to Shake the Other Man – Palacio, Derek

Music (recorded)

Beholden – Mike Walker and Stuart McCullum
Toumani and Sidiki -Toumani Diabate and Sidiki Diabate
Dream Dictionary – Jim Campilongo
Silk Moon – Renaud Garcia-Fons and Derya Türkan

Music (live)

9Bach
Radiophonic Workshop
Vinicio Capossela
Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita

Films

Lilting
The Imitation Game
Pride

Restaurant

Guze Bistro, Valletta (which also gets the Fireworks and Unexpectedly Lovely Destination awards)

Person of the Year

A tie between Pope Francis (and yes, I was a little surprised to just type that) and Stephen Sutton

Things I Like to Think Have Peaked

Banjos, (small) portions of chips serving in little metal buckets, and all things generally cute and ditsy
References to ‘hard-working, ordinary families’
TV dramas based on the idea that posh people are inherently fascinating (or involving bonnets)

Culinary Ingredient of the Year

Skill and a decent palette

Ironic Moment

Getting a steam train (of all things) to Porlock (of all places) to get a wi-fi signal so I could download a query from a literary editor and respond to it.

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