As for the last few years here’s a summary of my achievements and engagement (or, if fact the total lack of same) in 2016.
It’s been a funny year. On one side, my depression has been worse than usual, although I’ve been functioning most of the time; on the other I’ve had some good pieces of health news. I seem to have been doing even yet more voluntary work than ever, despite scaling back on some of th4e things I do, and having some work taken off me. And I don’t feel I’ve achieved anything although one or two things have been knocked off the bucket list. So here goes …
At the beginning of the year I posted 10 Things I’m Going to Try to Do in 2016
. The results are in and I think it fair to say I lost badly — again!
1. Keep breathing — WIN
2. Go somewhere/do something I’ve not done before — WIN x3; three things achieved: visited Castle Howard; bid & won online at live auction (no, not eBay!); and then …
3. Be drawn/painted/photographed nude by someone other than family — WIN; although the proof is still under wraps
4. Visit Horniman Museum — LOSE
5. Visit four exhibitions [Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution (National Maritime Museum); Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture (Tate Modern); Scholar, Courtier, Magician: The Lost Library of John Dee (RCP); Bagpuss, Noggin the Nog & Clangers (V&A MoC)] — LOSE x4
6. Attend the Anthony Powell York Conference — WIN
7. Visit at least one steam railway — LOSE
8. Keep drinking more champagne — WIN
9. Get paid my state pension — WIN
10. Take more photographs than last year — LOSE
7/15 is not that brilliant — although better than 2015’s pathetic 3/10. Can I do better in 2017?
Looking at the year through the usual 25 questions doesn’t look any better.
1. What did you do that you’d never done before?
a. Bid and win at real auction online.
b. Been photographed nude by someone other than family.
c. Had a knee replacement.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I can’t keep resolutions I didn’t make.
No, I won’t make any again this year as they are only ever self-fulfilling failures.
3. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
A new head and a new body.
4. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory?
a. 11 January — I’m 65 and we lose Harry the Cat.
b. 23-24 June — that stupid Brexit vote.
c. 28 December — knee replacement op.
5. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing major, other than the ongoing depression and diabetes. Oh and the knee op.
6. What was the best thing you bought?
Two paintings, one by Adrian Daintrey the other by Graham Clarke.
7. Where did most of your money go?
Fuck alone knows.
8. What did you get really, really excited about?
a. Nothing; I don’t do excitement, just like I don’t do panic and crisis.
b. But buying those paintings and being photographed were fun.
9. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a. happier or sadder? — probably about the same; some things are better, some are worse.
b. thinner or fatter? — thinner, by about 12 kilos; but still much too heavy overall.
c. richer or poorer? — about the same.
10. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Nothing — it would be nice not to be continually busy, busy.
11. What do you wish you’d done less of?
12. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Anthony Powell Conference in York.
13. What was your biggest failure?
The failed establishment of the local area network of GP practice patient groups I was chairing.
14. How many one-night stands?
Zippo — which is probably as well, all considered.
15. What was your favourite TV program?
I don’t think I’ve watched a single TV programme from end to end all year, mainly because it is such garbage.
16. What was the best book you read?
It would have to be the London Bomb Damage Maps which are really interesting.
[Not much gets read end-to-end these days but a lot gets dipped into.]
17. What did you want and get?
18. What did you want and not get?
b. Multi-million lottery win.
c. The opposite of just about everything that’s happened in the world.
19. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Given everything that’s happened and happening, being a hermit might have been good.
20. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
I wear clothes to cover other people’s embarrassment.
21. What kept you sane?
I am sane? Are you sure?
22. Who did you miss?
My mother, ‘cos it just feels odd not to be able to ring her up or be visiting Norwich.
23. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016:
Mundum alter et idem — The world is the same and different.
24. A quote or song lyric that sums up your year:
a. As I’ve grown older I’ve learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.
b. One does try not to be an Old Git, but they don’t make it easy. [Alan Bennett]
25. Your hopes for 2017
No Brexit and no Trump but they’re both a bit of a forlorn hope.
Last year I wrote “something better”; we failed at that so we’d better have another go this year.
Overall Result: REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT
Probably time to sack the manager.
How was your 2016? And what are your hopes for 2017?.