So, I wanted to end the year with a simple post, that hopefully is less writing and more smiling. I take pictures of crap on my phone. Or crap pictures, you decide. I am a snapper, and not always a happy one at that. And with that, I make some apologies for the quality of the pictures you’ll see here. They won’t win prizes – other than ‘Least Publishable Picture Due To Quality Of Both Composition And Subject Matter’, but they helped me put together some of my year that didn’t make it into the blogs you’ve all been so very kind to read and share.
I went to Seoul in February, and have never been colder in my life. It was so cold that every time we stepped outside, it instantly made you swear a hasty intake of breath. But, at the underground/metro station was this digital advertising hoarding – and, you probably know her better as my twitter avi. Nope, I still don’t know what it is about!
But the city was amazing, and the people respectful and genuinely warm. Want to go again. However, oversize kittens with bog-eyes? YES! Especially if a poor bastard is freezing his balls off in a Garfield outfit…..
Meanwhile, closer to home, I stumbled upon a lift company that made me consider the future of Nazi Generals, and whether Spielberg had a lisp…
And, having been travelling on business, it’s nice to know your colleagues have missed you, and respect you in your role and workplace. Bastards.
I went to see a lot of bands in 2012, but the standouts were Flaming Lips at Parklife, Stone Roses reunion gig in Manchester, and Morrissey returning to his hometown….
I was then travelling again – first stop was Vegas. I didn’t enjoy it too much, truth be told, but I was there on business. At a trade fair, the truth of the Spanish economic downtown was laid bare…..
But the fountain display at the Bellagio was a good show:
I then went to South Africa, which I also wrote about in detail. It was a wonderful place, and definitely on the return list……..
However, at the stadium in Cape Town, these guys made a rather bold shout. Suffice to say, it wasn’t.
Contrary to popular belief, my life isn’t one big holiday, so we went as family on ours. To Mallorca……
However, my eldest son, ever the budding food critic with the most developed palate of a then-7 yr old, wrote this note to the chef of El Nepturno tapas restaurant:
Meanwhile, back in Blighty, the ‘summer’ trundled towards it’s natural end. I took the boys to Gifford Circus, near Cirencester. Its a brilliant, family-friendly traditional Victorian circus, with a madcap sense of humour. All of the acts were brilliant, and afterwards, the kids can join in the finale with the cast. Thoroughly recommended for a family day out.
After returning from the day out, we were confronted by a sight I have struggled to shake all year. Of a woman hoovering her driveway, with Henry (the hoover). In order to get the shot, eldest son was shamelessly used to stand in front of the target, as a distraction. It worked a treat. Twice:
I then got closer, as the sheer horror unravelled. Even the fucking hoover didn’t want to be there……
And, to signal the end of the ‘worst summer on record’, I celebrated my birthday at Festival No6 in Portmeirion, North Wales. And, not only was it a brilliant weekend, New Order were voted winners of Headline Performance Of The Year at the recently created Festival Awards.
From the sublime to the ridiculous, words of extreme pity and swearing spouted forth from one’s gob, when I spotted this attached in the Trafford Centre carpark:
And at my cousins brilliant wedding, grown women felt the need to grind on a beam in a teepee. No, I know. Me neither.
But, for those that know me, or have got to know me through the blog, via twitter or other means, you’ll know that the end of this year was tainted by the tragically sad passing of our wonderful friend Paul Shyvers – a more wonderful man you couldn’t possibly wish to meet. And we said goodbye, with an exit worthy of the man we all knew he was.
Thank you ALL – for the hundreds of people that have read these pages in 2012, have commented, laughed, cried or shrugged at the words I have written. I’ll be back in 2013, and I hope you’ll come on the journey with me. It’s gonna be a blast. Happy New Year, and lots of love, Ben.
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