December 31st, 2010


adventures in astonishing corners of culture

I'm in the frantic catch-up stage of this year's cultural experiences. I haven't really had time to pick and chose or anything, so I've just gone with what was to hand.

Scott G Mariani's Uprising, volume 1 of the Vampire Federation series, a young adult vamp fantasy set in Oxfordshire/Transylvania/Canary Wharf. Features some truly impressive scenes set in Wallingford, and a notable moment when the leather-clad, motor-bike riding hero smashed his way through the secret door to the Vampire lair in a big yellow JCB. In case you were wondering if it was aimed at boys or girls. Volume 2 now available for pre-order on Amazon!

VH1 Top 40 of the year. Who knew Katy Perry's oeuvre was so broad and masterful? Usefully reminded me that I still hadn't caught Beyonce and Gaga's Telephone, and also lead to a greater understanding of the mute button. Go me.

Watched Let the Right one In. Nicely shot, but I'm still a little surprised by the critical acclaim given that it's just Twilight for that difficult late primary age-group, when you're toying with psychotically murdering the people who annoy you and suffering the first round of strange, mixed-up feelings for girls.

Listened to (parts of) Annie Lennox's Cornucopia of Christmas (a gift), in which Annie goes carol singing in some terrible village inhabited only by her, a traditional folk band, and a choir of small, terrified, children. I wonder if Cher has done one of these? Maybe I'll find out next year.

2010 in photographs

It's the end of the year review time again, and as usual I find myself not really wanting to answer questionnaires or compile lists. After all, the review of the year is really the totality of the journals -- flickr, twitter, tumblr and here, of course. There are new things and good things that happened this year; lots of births and weddings, excitements and changes, and discoveries. On the whole I'd look on 2010 for me as a year of learning, practising, rehearsing, laying foundations, exploring, discovering. It's a pretty good way to spend a year:

it was cold in there

January: Month of crystals and snowstorms, some real, some made of art. This is at Seizure -- half a ground floor flat tuned into a bright blue crystal garden.

Harlequin vs T-Res

February: Month of domestic/romance. This photo was taken shortly before Harlequin was finally allowed out, which was around Valentine's day.

omg nectarine!

March: Month of the Garden. Bulbs popped up, buds burst, and there was a general and pretty thrilling green explosion out back.

65 Tarns

April: Month of visits. Mum and Clive came to Oxford (which is lovely in April) and I got to see her amazing 65 Tarns book.

Dinosaurs unleashed!

May: Month of Dinosaurs. Also music, the first wedding of the season and a revolutionary may day party to remember (and an election to forget)

class system on the river.

June: Month of the tow path. My morning commute became a happy round of rowers, sun, goslings, cygnets and morning drunks.

Ruth's Hen Day 17 (10-07-24)

July: Month of pure busy. This is me on the zip wire at squigglyruth's hen party, taken by elleblue, I was sorting out a destroyed computer and didn't upload a thing all month.

marvels of mirazozo

August: Month of Milton Keynes. I flew owls, experienced culture, rebuilt computer, went to London for more art, did an end of the world workshop at Caption.

round and round

September: Month of the giddy whirl. Second wedding, second hen night, comics launch night, rebuilding the bedroom and skittering back and forth to London, Bath and IKEA.

suggestive shrubbery

October: Month of the imploding career. Things get weird at work; I attend a local government innovation event; write a grant proposal for something I'm not, but could be.

plotting your downfall

November: Month of the family wedding. I give a speech and we have a sunny walk along Bournemouth beach, see a butterfly.

in bondage to winter

December: Month of the deep freeze. Ice all across the Thames, snow, terrifying fogs and glittering hoar frosts. Uncertainty and deep cuts.