Time once again for a shoddily thrown together list of my favourite ‘things’ from the past 12 months. Overall, I would say that my 2013 has been for the most part pretty rubbish due to several factors which I won’t go into detail about. In a rather unexpected twist the end of the year has turned out to be extremely good… Again, I’m not going to go into detail about that either 😉 There have been a few highlights though, so I’ve racked my memory banks (never an easy job) and compiled this list of indeterminate length. Enjoy…

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1) Funky Forest: The First Contact.

Another year, another insane Japanese film, no surprise there! It was originally released in 2005, but I only discovered it this year after a tip-off. It’s wonderfully bizarre and surreal, more a sequence of vaguely interlinked comedy sketches than a conventional movie with a cast of increasingly strange characters. I obviously loved it, and believe it’s worth watching just for the Notti & Takefumi segments alone. 10/10!

Meet the forest dwellers.

Meet the forest dwellers.

2) Sigur Ros.

Not only did the awesome Icelandic band treat us to another wonderful new album this year, they also toured quite extensively, and I was lucky enough that a few of us managed to get our acts together and go to see them perform live at Brixton Academy in London. I did a full post on the night which you can read here if you like. If not, I’ll sum it up by saying it was truly fantastic and a night not to be forgotten.

Looked great, sounded even better.

Looked great, sounded even better.

3) The Secret Project.

Several times over the course of this year, I blamed my lack of blog-writing on a ‘secret project’ that was taking up a lot of my free time. I blamed a lot of other things too, I was full of excuses, however the secret project was a genuine distraction. I’m not going to say what it is yet as there will be a separate post on it in the new year, a grand reveal, after several months of hard work, frustration, more frustration and finally an end product, all in the name of creativity and collaboration.

4) Field Trip.

Another highlight of the year that earned its own post (which I can’t link as it has mysteriously disappeared) was my account of an afternoon spent wandering through Epping Forest in London, with friends, through extremely changeable weather, on acid. Sometimes one LSD trip can just work out better than others, and this was one such occasion. I’ll never forget the secret glade of the damselflies…

I wonder if that bag is still alive?

I wonder if that bag is still alive?

What made the field trip stranger yet was when it lead to…

5) The Hungarian UFO Fiasco.

This is yet another topic that I’ve already posted about, only this one hasn’t mysteriously disappeared despite its mysterious nature and obvious links to the one that has mysteriously disappeared, see…

https://opensesameseed.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/magyar-mystery/

Anyhoo, in summary, I was bombarded with site hits (well, 100 a day is bombarded by my standards) when a Hungarian UFO enthusiasts’ website linked my field trip post in relation to a fraudulent photo. Quite easily the most surreal thing to happen to me in many years.

6) Tomorrow’s Harvest by Boards Of Canada.

While lots of music fans were eagerly anticipating a new album release from a distinctive sounding, enigmatic, electronic music creating duo from France, I was eagerly anticipating the exact same thing but from Scotland. Boards Of Canada are responsible for one of my favourite albums of all time, so after an eight year wait since their last major release, the promise of new material had me excited. They didn’t disappoint, they’re consistently great… Although it’s still not quite as good as my favourite 😉

7) The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks.

Another topic I posted about earlier in the year was the sad loss of one of my favourite authors. Though his untimely passing was anything but a highlight, his last science fiction novel was a typically expansive all-action space opera with grand themes and extremely hi-tech. On reflection, it also tied up a lot of loose ends within his series of science fiction books, making it  a poignant final chapter to the series…

HydrogenSonata

8) Romance.

Despite believing I was well out of range and probably immune, I was, much to my surprise, struck by cupid’s arrow in November. That’s the extremely good thing that I mentioned at the top of the post that I said I wouldn’t talk about, but I can hardly not include it in a list of the best things that happened to me this year, can I? I’m not going to go into detail, I like to keep some things private, but it’s fair to say I forgot how good it feels 🙂

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That’s it? Only eight this year, after I’d managed nine in the previous two previous retrospecticons? Yeah, well I did say that it hasn’t been the best of years, for the most part, so eight isn’t bad. And it’s about the quality of the good bits, not the quantity. And it’s about focusing on the positives, that’s always a good idea!

Back next year, with new ‘things’, hinted at and otherwise…

Peace… ses x