Ha, well I certainly couldn’t miss a post today, could I. Not after writing a review for 2009 and 2010, anyway. I’ve noticed that most years, I get one big thing and nothing else matters. Freddy in 2008, the house in 2009, and the car in 2010. Taking into account my daughter was born this year, what do you think I’ll be thinking about the most?

Did you enjoy this year?
Yes, a huge amount. I have a small baby again, Freddy continues to get more and more grown-up, and I’m getting more interesting challenges in work.

What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Had two car accidents… Had a daughter… bought a very flashy phone… went to a strip club… I usually spend a week writing this review, so I can remember the things that happened and add to them. No time, this is being done on the fly!

Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
My resolutions for this year were:

  1. Go swimming once a week
    Failed. I think I went swimming twice.
  2. Paint for forty-five minutes a week
    Kept it up for quite a while, but failed halfway through the year and never caught up lost time.
  3. Save money, overpay at least a month on the mortgage
    Done! And saved enough to pay for a trip to Cuba next year!
  4. More pictures on this blog!
    Well, when I posted, I posted pictures. But I didn’t post much.
  5. Spend no more than £5 a month on games
    Made it through half the year, but one computer game can knock out 7 months of the budget in one go. £5 is a little too low with the price of things nowadays.
  6. More games and games nights.
    Nope. I managed a few games of Warhammer, and dragged myself to Games Workshop and Cut and Thrust to try and get into it, but I just don’t plan ahead enough.
  7. Blog on A Year of Frugal Gaming once a month
    This is the one I’m most disappointed about not keeping. It’s not my blog, and feels like I’ve let other people down.

I will make more for this year, but with a great big holiday sitting in February, I need to consider what my resolutions will be, and work out what I want to do. More details to follow.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
As I mentioned many pregnancies last year, they all popped through this year. Old friends, cousins, and of course we had our baby in June.

Did anyone close to you die?
No, but a lot of my friends lost someone very, very close to them.

What countries did you visit?
None. City-wise, I went to London, Southampton and Portsmouth. I feel like I’ve been travelling less and less as I get older – never more than 110 miles from home.

What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
More of my resolutions complete. I’m also eyeing up some large purchases in the house – we’re going to begin bending it towards what we want, rather than what we bought.

What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I would be very, very bad if I couldn’t remember the 15th June – the day that Izzy was born.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Having a daughter. She loves me.

What was your biggest failure?
Failed to keep any resolutions.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
I managed quite well through the year, only a slight hiccup in June (stress before Izzy was born dragged the immune system down) then a nasty attack of tonsillitis kept me right out of the real world for a whole week in December. Otherwise, generally managed to keep myself good.

Did you have to go to the hospital?
Check ups for the new baby, and to actually get her out (though that wasn’t the plan). Also to get Izzy’s tongue-tie cut, twice. And it might have grown back.

What was the best thing you bought?
My new phone. Although it was free on a contract. And I bought the flights to Cuba this year, but won’t actually go until February.

Whose behaviour merited celebration?
The kids, and many many other people.

Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Stanislaw Burzynski, for reasons that link will make apparent. Google (or Bing) for more, there’s lots out there. If you’re going to take advantage of cancer sufferers for financial gain, you have to accept that people will call you on it – the correct response is not to threaten legal action.

Most of our government, for more selfish reasons.

Where did most of your money go?
Mostly house stuff. A big chunk on our holiday, and it’ll totally be worth it.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Elizabeth! And the fact that she can digest with vomiting!

What song will always remind you of 2011?
Jessie-J, Pricetag. I heard an awesome live version in the car on my way to Portsmouth. Alongside that, I loved Swede Mason’s Masterchef Synaesthesia (Buttery Biscuit Bass). Find it on Youtube.

Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. Happier or sadder?

ii. richer or poorer?
About the same.

What do you wish you’d done more of?
More of my resolutions. More games of Warhammer.

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Watching DVDs. We’ve burned through almost all of DS9 and Voyager this year.

How did you spend Christmas?
In Portsmouth with my parents. Then a week doing almost nothing, and finally a long car drive back to Bristol with the car absolutely filled to the brim with toys.

Where did you ring in 2011?
At home, as is normal now. I went out at midnight to chat with some neighbours, then went back to bed.

What was your favourite TV programme?
I wouldn’t say favourite, but the only new thing we watched this year was the Big Bang Theory.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

What was the best book you read?
I just finished reading Snuff, I thought that was awesome. I liked PG Wodehouse (Code of the Woosters) but I think that may have been last year.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
Swede Mason, Tim Minchin and Jessie-J. I don’t really follow music so that’s about it.

What did you want and get?
A daughter! I know everyone says that they don’t mind, but I’ve got one of each now.

What did you want and not get?
A daughter on my birthday. She was due the day after, but turned up 4 days late.

How did you earn your keep?
Still programming.

What was your favourite film of this year?
Didn’t see any new films. Next year, I will be watching at least The Hobbit. We must start getting to the cinema again!

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 27 – I was probably ill, and waiting on tenterhooks for my wife to give birth.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I can’t think of anything other than actually completing any of my resolutions.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
”OK, those clothes are literally falling apart on you.” I can see 2012 as the year I need to buy a new wardrobe before my fashion concept is “it was good enough for the monkeys…”

What kept you sane?
Dark, quiet rooms when everyone is out. I can really appreciate not doing anything these days.

What political issue stirred you the most?
Mostly the phrase “we’re all in this together”, except that obviously we’re not. For example, Occupy movements and public sector strikes are seen as selfish, and not being all in this together, but the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer. “All in this together” also means not chipping in and helping our European neighbours sort themselves out, when their possible collapse will deeply affect us. I don’t know what the right course of action really is, I just feel like the Prime Minister doesn’t either. All I know is that we’re not all in this together.

Aside from that, my obsession with media-watch blogs has kept me very very interested in the Leveson Inquiry. I really hope we get what we need from it.

Who was the best new person you met?
Does Izzy count?

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:
Keep your mouth shut.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“I’m having trouble trying to sleep…” and the rest of it, by Green Day. I think the song is called Brain Stew.

What is the best thing that you were given?
Aside from the baby?

A new job role – away from websites, and more into infrastructure things. Bigger challenges, more room for personal growth.

What is the best thing you have given someone?
I gave Freddy a sister, and my family a holiday (coming soon!)

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