2012 – Seven Woo-Hoos and Seven Dohs

Homer-Simpson-psd24858I trust you all had a decent yuletide. Time for some looking back…

2012 – Seven Woo-Hoos

  • The Killing – Series Three

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this in the previous couple of years, but it’s gratifying to know that the third series was as strong as ever (may even have been the best of the three to be honest). It’s some sort of tribute to the writers that even though the novelty of the Scandi-crime Thingie has receded somewhat, The Killing has itself got stronger and stronger, and truly went out on a high. Sara Lund remains gratifyingly terrier-like and as socially inept as ever, but I have to say I never saw THAT coming…

  • Nigel Davies

Nigel Davies is the coach who took over at Gloucester RFC this season, the lastcampaign having crashed and burned in the most dramatic fashion, after coach Bryan Redpath had had his head turned by Sale. Davies appears to be composed, inspiring and seems to have the winning touch. The Cherry & Whites are currently in fourth spot, regaining some of their past fire and dynamism, and playing some decent rugby too. Lordy, we’ve even got a couple of players on the fringes of the England team…

  • Tim Parks & Serie A

It’s about ten years old or so, but this year I picked up a copy of Tim Parks’ superb A Season with Verona, in which he details a season following Serie A team Hellas Verona, home and away. It’s fascinating hearing about some of the characters he meets at the club and in the Curva  – as good a way to read about Italy and Italian footie as any I can think of…

  • George Pelecanos / Cormac McCarthy

And speaking of books, I must’ve read 7 or 8 Pelecanos books over the year, favourites being The Turnaround and Soul Circus. Pacy, hip and full of striking characters, they’re hard to put down once started. I’m reading them all out of order, as they seem to turn up in charity shops everywhere, but that doesn’t really matter. I’ve also just discovered Cormac McCarthy, having read The Road and Blood Meridian, both of which are truly remarkable pieces of writing which I can’t get out of my head. Looking forward to getting into the rest…

  • The Olympics

Impossible to ignore this summer, the whole country seemed to become obsessed with a whole new range of ways to throw things, ride things and score with things. It was also impossible not to be moved by the efforts of Bradley Wiggins, Jessica Ennis and (my personal fave) Mo Farah. I think most people here were more than a little surprised at how well the whole thing went, couldn’t believe we managed to pull it off…

  • Coffee Machine

One of my personal highlights, this was… Tutoring as I do around some of the posher houses in Regency Cheltenham, I’ve been struck by some of the fabulous coffee making gadgets the Other Half appear to use.  So, with some money given to me by a grateful parent, I splashed out on my own modest version. What can I say? My life has been transformed…

  • Gene Clark

Ah, yes, where’s the music?, you say. Well apart from the new records of the year that I’ll be coming to in the next couple of days, 2012 has for me become one with  a bit of a Gene Clark theme. I’d heard people saying that he was the real power behind the Byrds’ throne (not quite sure about that, I’m still a huge McGuinn fan), but I’d never quite realised what a genius the feller was. I’ve been listening to White Light and his records with the Gosdin Brothers and with Doug Dillard, it’s like a whole new set of Byrds’ records to discover. Again, I’m a big Gram fan, but you do wonder how Clark managed to miss out…

HomerSimpson2012 – Seven Dohs

(I’ll try not to rant too much here..)

  • The English Premiership

Greedy owners; racist fans; greedy, racist players – I can’t stand it any more. And before you say it, I’m well aware that Serie A is hardly a temple of purity, but at least they don’t have John Terry.

  • The BBC

I’m not talking about the Jimmy Saville stuff (vile though it is, and the BBC seem to have behaved very badly indeed). I find myself increasingly depressed at how idle, insular and just plain dull it is. And don’t get me started on MOTD…

  • “Reality” TV

And that goes for the rest of you lazy, celebrity-obsessed bunch of ne’er-do-wells! (I may be generalising here…)

  • Festivals

A bit of a heavy heart to say this, really, but I didn’t enjoy my summer festival going nearly as much as previous years. Lots of good music, true, and great company as ever, but this year for the first time, I found the whole camping thing and the shitty British weather really got to me… ATP?

  • Bryan Redpath

See above. Sale have started this season just about as badly as it was possible to do and Redpath quickly suffered a humiliating demotion. I try to be a decent Christian bloke, mostly, but it was hard not to smirk…

Actually that’s about all I can think of – I’m two Dohs short. I could go on about Cameron & Clegg or Boy Bands (“Please don’t…”), but maybe I’ll leave it there. On the whole there’s been more Woo-Hoos than Dohs in 2012, and you can’t ask fairer than that…

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