2006: The Best of the Year

This last list of best-ofs is a hybrid of the best of this site and the best of my year, which have so often overlapped that it didn’t seem worth keeping them separate. In other words, this the Blatant Self-Promotion list, a.k.a. “2006: The Best of Me” or “2006: I Am the Best”. The fact is, this has been a good year for me—a really good year—which isn’t something I’d have said of the last couple (even though they weren’t all bad). And looking back over my posts here at Speedysnail, it’s been reflected in what I’ve written and photographed. The hard part was choosing ten specific posts... so I’ve made it ten general categories instead, with links to the best posts in bold.

10. Going Out

The Edinburgh Fringe is always a highlight, one that keeps any year from being totally crap, and Jane and I made the most of this one, knowing as we did that we won’t have the same chance next year. The comedy archives capture the essence of it. This year we also went to some great gigs by The Bluetones, The Dandy Warhols, Snow Patrol (where I took the best photos), and the best rock concert I’ve ever seen, Muse.

9. America

It feels like last year, because half of it was, but our Christmas/New Year trip to New York and Boston overlapped this one, and of course I posted the photos here this year. The best words I’ve written about America in 2006, though, came the day after September 11th. Goodbye to all that.

8. Australia

A dear friend got married this year, and for once we were able to make it out to Australia for the wedding, which was great. I posted some photos from that visit as well as last November’s hop around the Eastern seaboard, the best of which were from my home state of Tasmania. If those inspire you, there was also my handy travel guide for a five-day trip around the state.

7. The Home Front

It’s hardly been a stay-at-home year with all that travelling, but some of my favourite moments of the year have involved just that. Some of that domesticity is captured in stories of jam-making and exploding pies, along with galleries of photos from around town—the best of them showing the last snow of winter.

6. Around Britain

Jane has been down to London again and again this year for work, and I went with her a few times, once to see two of our brothers who were in town at the same time. We also visited Chester and Blackpool with Jane’s brother, sat-navved it to Nottingham, and trained it to Alnwick. The best photographs, though, came from our recent trip to Islay with Jane’s dad—a welcome four days away after a long semester.

5. Poems

The limerick-writing continues, and the results occasionally spilled over here, with limerick cycles on IP, Iraq, the Number of the Beast, and the Beatles. There were also two non-limerick poems that seemed to baffle readers but meant a lot to me, as serious poetry should. The main poetic project, though, hasn’t yet borne full fruit, although there was a taste of it in my MySpace and YouTube experiments of the summer (before work got in the way). If you liked the vulture and the sloths, stay tuned—there will be more. And if you like your goofing around in non-poetic form, try the whatever archives.

4. Citizen Jane (and Rory)

This year saw the culmination of a long bureaucratic process with Jane and me taking the Life in the UK test as part of our application for (dual) citizenship. This is probably as good a place as any to mention that we heard back from the Home Office the other day (just under three months after sending away our passports) that we’re in; after the ceremony in February it’s cucumber sandwiches all round. What a relief. Other rants about bureaucratic and general nonsense were aimed at local buses, overzealous police, and bird flu scare campaigns.

3. Japan

Visiting Japan for the first time in years (or ever, in Jane’s case) would be a highlight of any year. Of the vast output of words and pictures that resulted, the popular favourite seemed to be the instalment on vending machines.

2. My Course

Apart from the ad running at the bottom of every page of the blog and the occasional apology for being too busy to post, there hasn’t been much tangible evidence of my course here, but trust me, it was good. I enjoyed running a course of my own (rather than helping out on other people’s) as much as I hoped I would, and my students seemed to enjoy it too. If you’re one of the six billion people who missed out, note that enrolments for next year close on July 31st.

1. Isn’t It Obvious?

Forthcoming Attraction

31 December 2006 · Site News

aww :) a brilliant year indeed, and all the best to you for the next!

Added by shauna on 31 December 2006.

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