Ha! What a great start to the year! I intended to post this last night, so I’ve already missed a deadline. I wasn’t particularly busy, I was just being lazy. No matter, it’s not exactly time sensitive anyway…

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I did this last year, so I’m doing it again this year, it’s my list of favourite things from the past year. I was going to do a ‘Top 11’ last time, I guess because it was 2011, but I only ended up doing 9. I don’t yet know how many things are going to be on my list this year (lack of forward planning) but I doubt I’ll make it all the way to 12! They’re not in any particular order either, so don’t read anything into that.

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He looks quite grumpy in most of the ones I could find. This one's more angular...

He looks quite grumpy in most of the ones I could find. This one’s more angular…

1) The book 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. The Japanese author appeared in last year’s list, but this time he’s in it for his latest book rather than a film adaptation. A typically strange novel in 3 volumes, 1Q84 is a sort of surreal love story featuring murder, religious cults, an unreal world, a ghost and a kinky policewoman, and many other strange characters and events. Maybe I don’t quite like it as much as my favourite of his novels The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, but it comes a close second, and is the best book I’ve read this year.


2) The film Love Exposure. Yes, I’m there again, I am a bit of a Japanophile. This film got a few awards and some critical acclaim (don’t all films get acclaim from somewhere?) although the 4 hour duration makes it a bit unfeasible for a mainstream audience. It’s also utterly insane enough that it will be forever immune from any attempted American remake (phew!) I struggle to describe it, so I’ve just been ultra-lazy and copy & pasted this from wikipedia… Shame on me!

“Love Exposure (愛のむきだし Ai no mukidashi?) is a 2008 Japanese film written and directed by Sion Sono. The film gained a considerable amount of notoriety in film festivals around the world for its four-hour duration and themes including love, family, lust, religion and the art of upskirt photography.”

So there!



3) Sir Bob Russell MP.

Sometimes real life can be as surreal as one of the Japanese films and books that I like, and so it was that on a Saturday afternoon in a leafy park in September, in a town I’d never been to before (Colchester) in the company of two people I’d never met before (I won’t incriminate them by naming them here) a chance encounter with a seemingly pleasant old gentleman lead to angry newspaper headlines and mentions in the house of commons. Without going into detail (this might be deserving of its own blog post one day) what happened over the course of the week after that chance meeting was hilarious and unforgettable… Though Sir Bob didn’t find it funny!

Not just another game...

Not just another game…

4) Catherine, a playstation 3 game. Yep, back to surreal Japanese stuff again, what did you expect? Frequent visitors to this blog will know I’ve sort of  ‘fallen out of love’ with videogames over the past couple of years, but Catherine proved to be a pleasant, if brief exception. A combination of puzzle game and perverted morality play, it featured an alcoholic main character with a frustrated girlfriend, anguished sheep, a giant evil baby and a beguiling nymphomaniac. The story was entertainingly offbeat, the cartoon style was appealing and the gameplay was challenging but fun. Thumbs up for Catherine 😉

She's pretending it's a sword!

She’s pretending it’s a sword!

5) Molly! Toward the end of the summer, Molly the jack russell came to live with me. I’ve lived with cats for years so ‘owning’ a dog was a new experience for me. I hate claiming ownership of animals, I co-habit with some pets, but they’re my responsibility not my ‘property’. Anyway… After a slightly turbulent settling-in period (one of the cats, Scooby, is a notorious dog hater) she now feels very much at home and I enjoy her company very much 🙂

6) Twitter. Another repeat from last year. It has its detractors and it has its bad publicity, and sometimes I just find it boring or I’m not in the mood, but I often find being on twitter lots of fun. Sometimes it leads to me learning things, sometimes it leads me to discovering new music or art, and sometimes it makes me laugh. Sometimes you can become good friends with people on there, and then sometimes it can lead to even stranger things (see number 3 on the list.)

7) This blog. And another repeat from last year! I didn’t know last December if this blog was going to make it through 12 months before I got bored or dispirited. Well, it’s still going. I don’t know if it’ll still be going 12 months from now. I’d guess probably yes, but who knows. As long as I enjoy doing it… I got a nice fancy email from wordpress giving me a review of my year. I have no idea whether my stats are impressive or not, and I don’t care, but there’s one or two amusing moments on there so I’m going to post it shortly after this one.

8) Music. Music’s going to be on the list every year, it’s my favourite thing, and this year has been a very good year for listening to new music. It isn’t easy to pick out one particular track or performance, but earlier in the year I received a house mix that a friend who goes by the name of Hu Kares had made which captivated me for weeks. The easiest thing to do is simply provide you with a link… voila… And recommend that you give it a listen. It’s long, but it’s extremely enjoyable, treat yourself! There is some other special music that I’ve heard this year… But that’s for another time.



9) Sarah the cannabis plant. Not only the best cannabis plant I’ve ever grown, but also one that shared her life on this blog and even received her name on this blog. The whole growing process, and the chronicling of it, was good fun, and I’m very much enjoying the end product too 😉 Worryingly, I’ve not seen that strange little spider for a while. I hope it’s ok, wherever it went to…

Hmmm, 9 will have to do again this year. There were other things, but I can’t go putting everything on here! If I can break into double figures next December, you’ll know I’ve had a good year. We’ll see…

Back soon-ish, regarding a date with a witch!!!

Peace… ses x