It's fast approaching the end of another year so - in the same manner that I did last year - I thought I'd take a few moments to look back and reflect on the past twelve months.
1) Was 2006 a good year for you?
It was okay. 2006 certainly got off to a good start with an extended holiday in South East Asia, and this year I made a lot of firm friends which has been rewarding. On the downside work continued to stagnate a bit and towards the end of the year I was feeling rundown - just committing to too many things and not giving myself any time to rest.
2) What was your favourite moment of the year?
Probably my day trip to Hong Kong island with Dave when we caught a bus down to one of the remote beaches - it was so peaceful there and such a contrast to the rest of Hong Kong. And it felt wonderful basking on a beach in the sunshine in the middle of February!
3) What was your least favourite moment of the year?
Getting glandular fever in April, that wasn't much fun.
4) Where will you be when 2006 ends?
More than likely I will be at home in my flat in Brighton. I have to work on New Year's Day so I'm not planning on doing anything much to celebrate, I'll probably just have a bottle of wine and dance around the living room like I did last year.
5) Who will you be with when 2006 ends?
I will probably be on my own but I guess it depends what other friends are doing. As I keep saying every year, New Year's Eve is no big deal to me, I'm quite happy staying in. I hate all this pressure to go out somewhere, spend a lot of money and have a good time.
6) Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions from 2006?
My New Year's resolutions from last year consisted of a rather vague call to drink more water and eat more fruit and vegetables. I wouldn't say it was a great success, but nor was it a total disaster.
7) Do you have any New Year's resolutions for 2007?
I really want to contribute more reviews to Eat My Brains as I provided so little material for them this year. I would also like to stop mixing beer and wine on a night out as it inevitably ends badly for me!
8) Did you fall in love in 2006?
No, there have been a few crushes during the year but nothing major.
9) Do you regret it?
No, of course not. I always love the thrill of the chase even if it gets me nowhere in the end. Maybe next year will have a happy ending?
10) Did you break up with anyone in 2006?
No, not unless you include my 'blind date' with V in Oxford when she dumped me after two hours. Actually, perhaps that ought to be my least favourite moment of the year!
11) Did you make any new friends in 2006?
Yes, the FrightFest scene has been getting more and more social over the past eighteen months or so, but this year it really became an integral part of the event and I made a number of good friends as a result, friends that I've met up with outside of the FrightFest calendar. In particular I'd like to single out Alex, Lauren, Dolores and Thurein but there are many others. In February I made friends with Clare at the BKKIFF, my one allay in a strange land, and I'm hoping we'll hook up again soon when she moves down to London in the New Year. Closer to home there's Hannah who's been out to a few gigs with me in Brighton recently and I hope that our friendship will continue to flourish into 2007.
12) What was your favourite month of 2006?
February - I spent most of the month abroad, visiting Hong Kong for the first time and then enjoying three weeks in Thailand culminating in me covering the BKKIFF in Bangkok. I had so many good experiences at the festival and I was in my element seeing loads of new films and rubbing shoulders with the likes of Tadanobu Asano, Rufus Sewell, Terry Gilliam and Willem Dafoe.
13) Did you travel outside of the UK in 2006?
Yes, to Hong Kong and Thailand, as detailed above!
14) Did you lose anybody close to you in 2006?
15) Did you miss anybody in the past year?
A few people I guess. My cousin Paul who I'd met up with in 2005 for an Everton game - we ought to have made that a regular date but it just didn't happen. My good friend Stephen who got married in 2005 and became a father this year - I can't believe that I haven't seen him since January of this year, that's just terrible. And finally Gary the Fruit who really became a close friend as the year went on - and then he buggered off to Thailand to become a teacher at the end of September. We still keep in contact via email but I miss having him around Brighton.
16) What was your favourite movie that you saw in 2006?
It's a close call but Children Of Men shades it. I'll post my full list of favourite movies later in the week.
17) What was your favourite song from 2006?
I haven't finished ironing out my top ten tunes as yet but I think Monster by The Automatic probably just takes the title ahead of All Night Disco Party by Brakes. And thanks to Lauren I can't hear the winning song without thinking, "What's that coming over the hill, is it a lobster, is it a lobster?" now!
18) What was your favourite record from 2006?
For me the most rewarding and consistent album this year was The Trials Of Van Occupanther by Midlake.
19) How many concerts did you see in 2006?
Forty-three, plus a scattering of comedy and literary events.
20) Did you have a favourite concert in 2006?
Yes, despite it being the 8th time I'd seen them in concert, The Dandy Warhols played an absolute blinder at London's Islington Academy at the end of their European tour. It was also good seeing Imogen Heap and Scritti Politti for the first time this year.
21) Did you drink a lot of alcohol in 2006?
Yes, a fair amount, but probably no more or no less than last year. Magners cider was a bit hit over the Summer and I seem to have developed a fondness for JD & Coke in these last few months.
22) Did you do a lot of drugs in 2006?
None. Don't think I even smoked a cigarette this year.
23) How many people did you sleep with in 2006?
24) Did you do anything you are ashamed of this year?
Exchanging emails with a female friend of a male friend without first telling my male friend. Needless to say he wasn't too happy when he found out and thought we'd been plotting against him, which we hadn't. But it would have been so much simpler if I'd just been upfront to begin with.
25) What was the worst lie someone told you in 2006?
Hmmmm, that's a tricky question! I got very frustrated when two of my best friends started their own little war earlier in the year after a massive argument - both of them had totally differing accounts of what happened that fateful night so I know that one of them was blatantly lying, but to this day I don't know which one. Thankfully they've made up again now.
26) What was the best practical joke that you played in 2006?
I guess it would have to be one of the many office pranks we played this year. Eating Cotton's 'special' jam and photographing the evidence got 2006 off to a good start, and then there was convincing Bev that one of the bands performing on the NME Tour was really called The Angry Wasps, to the point that she was telling customers this. More recently repeatedly hiding all the envelopes in the office so that Polly had to keep going down into the basement to get new stock was funny, and finally turning Darren into a dancing elf also amused me no end!
27) What was your proudest moment of 2006?
You know, I think I'd have to say when James got his moment in the spotlight at the Severance premiere in August. I was just so thrilled to see him up on stage, answering questions and taking the applause from the crowd - very richly deserved too!
28) What was your most embarrassing moment of 2006?
Mixing wine with beer and getting absolutely trolleyed at the Severance aftershow party. I don't remember much about the Arts Club that night but I don't think anyone else who was there will forget my antics in a hurry. Sadly I do remember setting off a car alarm with my umbrella afterwards, then throwing up and trying to sleep on the pavement on Oxford Street. Not my finest moment.
29) If you could go back in time to one moment in time in 2006 and change something what would it be?
I would ask Mamee about her role in the excellent Art Of The Devil 2 rather than question her about Dangerous Flowers, a film which she wasn't in. Whoops.
30) What are your plans for 2007?
I really want to focus more on my passion for film and get back into writing more original reviews and features for Eat My Brains. I'd also like to attend another international film festival as a member of the Press if I can blag it, perhaps Toronto in September, or maybe the BKKIFF again next July.