Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Merry kwanza everyone. I hope all your Decemberval wishes came true and you're now the owner of some tasteful knitwear.
As is the style of the time, I normally have a bit of a look back on the year. The sporting year was summed up by glorious failure. Lewis Hamilton, the toffs rugby side, Ricky Hatton. And their achievements will always be defined thus and yet the successes will go unrecognised - Joe Calzaghe finally settling all doubts to his class, Victoria Pendleton winning everything possible on a bike (the British cycling team is really good y'know). The year kicked off with an utterly brilliant world darts final with Ray Barneveld beating Phil Taylor to become only the fourth man to win both versions of the world title (prize for getting the other three. Answer below). Sadder news was Dennis Priestley's cancer diagnosis and I, for one, wish him all the very best in his future battle. Erik Clarys, meanwhile, continues to struggle after shattering his right elbow in a domestic accident. That's a bit of an issue for a right handed darts player, but he's trying to make his way with his left hand. Bon chance.
Cricket schmicket. The World Cup was this year, even though it felt like it lasted for all of 2006. England lurched from disaster to disaster: 'Fredalo', injuries, poor form etc etc etc. But the whole year was overshadowed by Bob Woolmer's tragic death. That it's taken the best part of the rest of the year to decide it was natural causes only worsens the tragedy.
City failed to get back to the football league, but that's nothing compared to England fucking up. Croatia are above England in the FIFA rankings and yet the common consensus before that game among the idiots that are fans of the national side was that it was a done deal before a ball was kicked. Unlike Scotland, whose failure was truly glorious, England got everything they deserved. Those wins over France were something spectacular, but results against the lesser sides in the group did for them.
Blair left office. Hurrah! Well, that was the mood at the time, but now that the new guys have managed to bungle just about everything, we're almost wishing the war-mongering, lying, US arse-kisser was still in charge. Almost.
Menzies Campbell was well and truly shafted. The leader of the LibDems for 2008 is Nick Clegg and the regular runners and riders are preparing their campaigns for the next contest.
Capitalism didn't get the kicking it deserved following the sub-prime loan market collapse and the Northern Rock fiasco. Am I the idiot here for thinking this is a huge global scam or is everyone else blind? I suppose only time will tell, but that doesn't help those who are now homeless having had their houses repossessed.
But no story over the whole year has compared to the tale of John Darwin. He went out in a kayak five years ago and didn't come back. Or did he? There's a lesson to be learned from Darwin's tale and it is this: if you've faked your own death, you'll get away with it until such time as you hand yourself in at a London police station.
TV event of the year. Without shadow of any element of doubt. Blink. Perhaps the best episode of Doctor Who ever, which I realise is a big claim, but bloody hell it's stunning.
And for me? Someone tried to nick my car, but that's alright. I got a newer, better one for less money than the insurance paid out. Grandma died, which was and still is terribly sad, but Grandad's still doing admirably well. I'm sure he has his weepy moments - I know I do - but none of us wanted her to suffer and death is kind of an inevitability. It did make me re-evaluate things. And so I quit IT after years of pissing and moaning about it. It is, quite frankly, the best thing I have ever done. I love my new job. It doesn't feel like work, so I don't mind doing it. I worked yesterday and it wasn't even an issue for me. I'll be back working on Thursday too. I'm not in the pub every day in an effort to make it through the days and I'm not on the trains any more, which is the biggest relief of all really. And then there's York City. OK so I'm not being paid, but this job could go somewhere. Might not, but bugger it; it's fun, although I'm concerned I may be spreading myself a bit thin. This will become clear when the rugby season gets into full swing. It was a good year for rugby as well. Wembley was great, particularly Younes Khattabi's try - the first by a Muslim in a cup final, but not as great as the semi-final against Wigan. What a game. What a day. We saw the end of Stacey Jones' career and I met the great man and got to interview him, among others. Replacing Jones was always going to be difficult, but not the extreme it's reached now. Thomas Bosc will be handed both an enormous responsibility and a huge opportunity. I have faith in him. He'll do just fine.
We've scotched New Zealand talk for now. Going there as a skilled migrant would mean I'd have to do IT for three years and I'm not about to jack in something I love doing to take a step back simply for a change of country.
I feel great. I feel younger and less grey. I have never had job satisfaction before. I do now. It's brilliant.

Always finish on a song eh? David Ford. I'm Alright Now. Bonus point for spotting Huddersfield on the video. And do you know what? I am alright now.

That darts answer: Phil Taylor (1 BDO, 12 PDC titles), John Part (one of each), Dennis Priestley (one of each). Barneveld has 4 BDO titles and one PDC.


Gary said...

V. pleased to hear your NZ news, thats their loss and our gain and good to hear you're now happy in a proper job and not doing 9-5 in a job that some young kid will nick off you in a years time.

And oh yes, sorry I didn't finish that pint off in the Angel that you'd bought - I'd reached the limit of my alcohol tolorance you see, any more and we'd all have been staring at my curry for the second time that evening.

Have a great 2008.

John_D said...

Know your limits - that's something I learned last year.
In all truthfulness, I hit 'the wall' after one more pint, which made Pete's plans for a big session rather redundant.