Dec 07

At the end of the year the internet, papers and TV schedules are always jam-packed with retrospective stuff. Who died this year, what happened this year, I loved 2009, all that sort of stuff. Some of it is good and some of it is bad, but it fills column inches/airtime and I suppose it allows Paul Ross to earn enough to eat for the next 12 months. With that in mind, I decided to get in on the action early and write about the things I had planned to do this year and didn’t. I may or may not offer excuses as I go along.

1) Learn to play piano

For my 30th my friends all clubbed together and bought me a USB keyboard I could use with my Mac. I’ve always fancied learning how to play the piano and so bought myself a book and DVD to start me on my way. The DVD featured a stern Australian woman who promised to have me playing the piano in no time (and believe me, she was stern, I was not about to argue with her). Of course, life being life things got in the way, things got busy, the keyboard was put to one side and hasn’t been picked up since. Trapped on the shiny DVD disk, I think the stern Australian woman is probably screaming like an angry Genie by now.

2) Lose weight

This was all part of a big plan for 2009. I want (and need) to lose weight. Couple that with my being a big SF fan and generally geeky person, you can understand why I planned that if I lost enough weight, I would dress up as the 10th Doctor for Halloween. Motivation for saddoes is a difficult thing to understand, but believe me this was the plan I set. Because, you see, when you’re my size and you wear a battered old pinstripe suit then the overall look is less this…

It's less this

And more this…

And more this

So given that I achieved just about 0% weight loss, you can see where that plan went. If I had pushed ahead regardless, I remain convinced that the overall effect would have been less “Last of the Time Lords” and more “Ullo John, got a new TARDIS?”

3) Start running

This is related to point 2. I had grand plans to get up early every morning and start the day with a run. Well, I say a run – at first it would be a moderately fast lumber, then I hoped to graduate up to a run as time went by. Plan derailed because a) I am lazy and b) Scotland is COLD in the mornings.

4) Read “The Republic”

I bought “The Republic” a while back and it’s a book I keep picking up now and again to have a go at it. I like to read – in fact, it’s one of my favourite things to do and probably contributed towards my failure in point 2 – but this one is a tough read…and to think I used to laugh at one of the guys at work, who has tried and failed several times to make it through Joyce’s “Ulysses”. I’ll keep at it, but at the start of this year it was on my list of books to have read by the end of the year.

5) Get better at DIY

I included this in my plans at the start of the year because I am terrible at anything remotely practical *. My wife is the go-to person in our house for DIY, changing plugs and all that sort of thing. At the time of writing I am still likely to electrocute/stab/impale/burn myself when doing anything that involves tools. I did manage (with my wife’s help) to put up curtain rails when we first moved in, but that wasn’t without some tension on my part beforehand and a hot cup of tea afterwards.

6) Write more

2009 was going to be the year for me to write more, to be creative and enjoy having a blog. Granted, very few people would read it (I’m pretty sure the wife only does so occasionally because of that hypnosis tape I play when she sleeps her love for me) but that wasn’t the point, the point was to get in touch with my creativity more and see what I could produce when I put my mind to it. I’m afraid to count the number of posts I actually made this year, but I think it’s pretty small.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all bad by any means – there is plenty I have managed to do this year and I am lucky in that I have time to have another crack at the ones in the list above. There is just something about this time of year that makes me think about what I had planned to do and didn’t make the time for. Someone should make a television show about that…hold on, I have to go, Paul Ross just turned up at my door and is worrying the neighbours.

* Oddly enough, I am very good with flat-packed furniture. Seriously, you want a bookcase from IKEA building, I am your man.

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