Like last year, I’m going to use a few minutes of your time to summarise my year, and what’s in store for 2011.
As I wrote last year, I had two interviews lined up in January. The first one I didn’t get, which I was rather gutted about as I fully expected to get it (and it was well-paid). The second interview was for a temporary job working abroad, which I decided not to follow up in the end.
The weekend after the unsuccessful interview Christine, myself and some other friends had a long weekend in Scotland, near Stirling. It was during some of the snowiest weather that I can remember, but thankfully the Scots are used to snow so it didn’t stop us from doing anything as the roads were clear. We toured the Glengoyne whiskey distillery, ate deep-fried haggis and posed for pictures in front of a highland cow called Morag, amongst other things.
In February I went into hospital for an operation to remove what I’ve affectionately called ‘the arselump’ – a pilonidal sinus on my natal cleft. This was also my first time under general anaesthetic. Whilst I was only in hospital for a few hours, I did have to take the next week and a half off work as I couldn’t sit down for long periods – and as I was being paid on a casual basis at the time, I had to take unpaid sick leave, which was a shame. I would like to say the operation was a success but the site of the operation has become infected twice since then and the sinus may be regrowing, so another operation may be necessary in 2011.
In better news, February was when I bought a new computer – a 2009-era Mac Mini. The near-£600 cost of it would have been more difficult to stomach had it not been for a 0% on purchases deal for 3 months on my credit card, allowing me to stagger the payments. I also moved hosts, to one that allows me greater freedom over the site; of course, with power comes responsibility and it’s been a bit of a learning curve, but the experience has been useful.
March was a good month job-wise. I was moved to a different department at the university where I work, to cover for two part-time posts which had been recently vacated. Later in the month, I was formally interviewed for the post, and this time, I was successful – so I’m now on a salaried contract (with sick pay and annual leave). Though it’s not a permanent role – the contract is until the end of October 2011 – it is the longest employment contract I’ve had. The pay is also a lot better and allowed me to finally clear my overdraft, and spend £56 on a computer mouse.
In April, Christine spent Easter with me and my parents, which probably counts as some kind of relationship milestone. I also ran an April Fool’s Day joke about me running for parliament (the UK had a general election in May this year), which some people actually believed, at least for a short while. I’ll have to think of something to top that for April 2011…
Talking of the election, in April I publicly announced my support for the Liberal Democrats. Alas, I didn’t predict what would happen after the election and how the leaders of the LibDems completely sold themselves out; had I known this, I would have probably voted for the Green Party as in 2005.
Also in April we went to the first of two weddings – we’re now at the age when our friends are getting married – and Christine and I went on a day-trip to the Lake District.
May was my birthday month, and to celebrate, Christine took me to The Box Tree in Ilkley – a Michelin-starred restaurant. The food was absolutely amazing, but to someone not used to it, the experience was rather intimidating – at least until we’d drank most of a bottle of wine. Not something we’d do regularly but worth it for the food.
In June, we went on a day-trip to Morecambe, a seaside town that I’d only fleetingly visited some years ago. We also went to the Bradford Mela, an annual festival of Asian culture; despite having lived in Bradford since 2002 this was the first time I’d been. It was a good day out and we may well go again next year. Finally we spent an evening in Manchester watching the Amateur Transplants in concert – it was partly a combined interest in the comedy duo that brought us together.
July brought the first holiday Christine and I had together, which was a weekend in Liverpool followed by a week on the Isle of Man. We had a really good time, despite the crossing from Liverpool to Douglas being delayed a day. We also went to Whitby, which is one of my favourite places – Christine had never been before.
Work-wise August was very busy for me; as part of my new job in university admissions I had to oversee Clearing for several courses, which included working 12 days on the trot, sometimes until 7pm. When not at work, we had more days out: to Hull, to visit The Deep; and to The Trafford Centre in Manchester.
September was also a busy month, but thankfully not in terms of work. It was Christine’s birthday, and our first ever music festival – Bingley Music Live – which was good fun. Later in the month I finally got myself an iPhone – I’d been waiting until I could find an affordable deal and had the financial stability to see a long contract through. Three months on and it really is one of the best purchases I’ve made – it’s so useful. I’m also impressed at the network coverage I get from 3 – their record in the past was rather poor but it’s rare not to have a signal and most of the time I have 3G internet.
October was our first anniversary, which we celebrated with a meal out. Later in the month we went to stay with friends in London, although I ended up spending quite a bit of time ill in bed. Still, we managed to see half of London Zoo and bits of the British Museum, so it wasn’t a wasted trip.
Christine also found herself a new job in Yorkshire, so October was latterly spent making arrangements for moving in together; primarily by me as I was nearest.
We moved to a flat in Sowerby Bridge in November. Although we haven’t unpacked everything yet, we’re probably about 90% and the remainder is stuff that can remain in storage like ornaments. November saw the second of the year’s weddings, this time in a lovely country house in the Conwy Valley in Wales; and my grandfather reach the grand old age of 90 with the resultant birthday party. For a nonagenarian he’s not doing badly.
And finally to this month. We went back to London, for one night only, for a TV recording at BBC Television Centre. The programme wasn’t broadcast; it was a pilot for 10 O’Clock Live which starts in January on Channel 4, but it was a good opportunity to see Jimmy Carr, Charlie Brooker, David Mitchell and Lauren Laverne all in one go, and it was funny to watch. Plus, there aren’t many opportunities in life when you get to be in a TV audience – I’ve only managed it twice. And one of those times was on French TV.
We spent Christmas at my parents. It’s the first time I’ve spent Christmas with a significant other and thankfully it was a good experience.
All in all, 2010 has been a good year. Apart from moving house there hasn’t been any major upheavals like in 2009, and my job situation is much improved which has provided some stability.
So, 2011. Potentially I’ve got another operation coming up, but we’ll see. My first trip to Blackpool since November is coming in early January, to visit some of Christine’s former colleagues. In March, we’re going to see the musical Spamalot in Bradford, and hopefully in the summer we may be able to go on holiday abroad.
Hope 2010 has been good for you, and that 2011 is a good year for you too!