Shopping List

  1. Print out.
  2. Delete where applicable.
  3. Rush around shops during three remaining days until Christmas.
  4. Purchase fine DVDs, CDs, hardcovers and paperbacks.
  5. Wrap. Relax.
  6. Leave small offering of port and cashew nuts for Santa Rore, patron saint of obsessive end-of-year list-makers.


  1. Anna Funder, Stasiland
  2. Tim Moore, Spanish Steps
  3. Yann Martel, Life of Pi
  4. Giles Milton, White Gold
  5. Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  6. Felicity Lawrence, Not on the Label
  7. Robert Twigger, Being a Man... in the Lousy Modern World
  8. Andrew Collins, Where Did It All Go Right?
  9. Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell, From Hell
  10. Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything


  1. Before Sunrise/Before Sunset
  2. Kill Bill Vol. 2
  3. Lost in Translation
  4. The Motorcycle Diaries
  5. Shaun of the Dead
  6. Super Size Me
  7. Some Kind of Monster
  8. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  9. The Life and Death of Peter Sellers
  10. Shrek 2


  1. Kings of Convenience, Riot on an Empty Street
  2. Snow Patrol, Final Straw
  3. Nick Drake, Five Leaves Left
  4. The Divine Comedy, A Secret History
  5. Bebel Gilberto, Bebel Gilberto
  6. Air, Talkie Walkie
  7. Manic Street Preachers, Lifeblood
  8. The Finn Brothers, Everyone is Here
  9. The Bluetones, Luxembourg
  10. William Shatner, Has Been


Places I visited this year, in chronological order. Also (not cities) Skye, the Outer Hebrides and the Trossachs.

  1. Málaga, Spain
  2. Cádiz, Spain
  3. Sevilla, Spain
  4. Córdoba, Spain
  5. Jaen, Spain
  6. Granada, Spain
  7. Leuven, Belgium
  8. Brussels, Belgium
  9. Ghent, Belgium
  10. Dundee, Scotland
  11. London, England
  12. Paris, France
  13. Glasgow, Scotland

The Rest

Favourite TV series caught on DVD (in no particular order, old and new): Futurama, Black Books, I’m Alan Partridge, Peep Show, Kath & Kim, Look Around You, Frontline, The Office Christmas Specials, The Micallef Program, and The Goodies.

Favourite foodstuffs: Spanish olives, Malaga wine, Belgian chocolates, Stornoway black pudding. (Not all at once.)

Favourite Edinburgh Fringe show which just happened to have my friends in it: The Elephant Woman.

Previous lists: 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000.

25 November–21 December 2004