It’s the last day of the year. The day before the first day of next year. It’s time for some resolutions to be set. I’ll try and be realistic. I’ll pay off what’s left on my credit card. It’s 0% interest and there’s not a lot on it, and no urgency to settle it, but I’d like to end the year completely debt free. Apart from the mortgage, of course. That’ll take a little bit longer. I’d also like to save up my overtime payments and have a new boiler put in. Or at least have the cash ready when the current one packs up. It’s Continue reading
My new year wishes come late, I know. I blame my inner Mexican. But then again, everything tends to be delivered late, if at all, on this blog these days. I’ve tired of blogging. Or at least of the sort of blogging I used to do. Long, rambling posts. It requires thought, time and effort. None of which I have spare to dedicate to this little part of the web. You’ve all noticed, I know. It’s there in the stats. The visitors graph reads like the value of the peso. It’s been tumbling year on year since 2011, the year I returned home from my six year stay in Mexico.
It turns out that whilst people liked reading about adventures in Mexico City, they are less interested in hearing about life in Bournemouth. I understand. Entirely. I can demonstrate this with a couple of images from the annual report that WordPress automatically generates. Firstly, let’s look at how often I post these days, shall we? Bearing in mind that last year there were 122 posts. In 2013 there were 146. In 2012 I crafted 196 literary masterpieces….
Yes, it’s a sorry story, isn’t it? And it has to be said, if I’m not writing anything new, then visitor numbers are going to fall. But let’s move on to the next graph, which rather shows that the dire state of affairs that the Mexile currently finds itself in is not entirely down to a lack of new content. Let’s have a looky see what visitors do read once they’ve gotten here…
Well, three of those top five were all written when I still lived and played in Mexico City. The other two? Well, they do appear to be about Mexico. I think my medicinal advice on how to clear up a bit of psoriasis of the scalp must be my most read post ever. By some margin. That’s two or three years running that it has topped the charts. I wonder if anyone ever gave it a go? And if so, did it work for them?
Anyway, despite all this doom and gloom, some of you still take the time to look in and see whats going on now and again. So the final graph. It’s the biggie, too. Who wins the prize for leaving the most comments this year?
Why it’s Kim G. For the fourth year running. Well done Kim. William made a good go of it though, pushing up to second place from last year’s fourth spot. He swaps places with Norm, who tumbles to fourth. Steve is consistent. Third again. Colm is a new entry displacing….me. Apparently, I was the fifth most frequent commenter last year. That, I think was an error.
But this is all a bit by the by. You see, as I mentioned, I’m a bit bored of blogging. Especially now that I have a new job with plenty of overtime available. And money to spend on going out when I have a day off. This all makes blogging feel like work instead of a hobby. I’ve no intention of retiring from blogging, mind you. If this were a job, then I’ve moved from being a part-timer to a zero hours contract. Shorter posts. Published less frequently. Mostly photos. Such is life.
As both the big and little hands hit twelve at the end of the year, the tradition in Mexico is to gulp down a dozen grapes. One at a time, keeping in rhythm with the tolling of the bells. This is the sort of thing that’s always won by the fatties. I know, it’s not technically a competition. But they do sure have a smug look on their faces when they’ve greedily disposed of grape number twelve. Without even bothering to chew, I’ll wager.
How did I get on with the obligatory grape munching during my time in Mexico? I didn’t have a choice, you know. They were forcibly placed in my hands, expectation heaved on my shoulders and a dozen pairs of eyes checking my progress. You may have seen photos of me from time to time. I’m not a fatty. Thus, I wasn’t even remotely competitive. Heck, I don’t even particularly like grapes. Bingeing on them isn’t my thing. I don’t believe I ever even ate a half dozen of them at best.
I’ve often wondered, how many people choke to death on grapes on the 31st December in Mexico each year? I know you’re not meant to give young kids grapes, such is the choking potential of this innocuous looking fruit. Kids can be silly, inattentive and rush things. I imagine a heavily inebriated adult deliberately stuffing himself isn’t in much less danger. Someone has to have the statistic for this somewhere. A little collection of over zealous fatties who make it into January by a bout a minute, but fail to reach the ‘smug grin’ stage.
Aside from these less than merry thoughts, I do hope you all had a fabulous 2014 and an even better 2015. Onwards and upwards. Just be careful with the grapes tonight.
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year. A prosperous one too. May 2014 be fun, different, safe and everything you wish it to be. And may we read all about it on your blogs. This is how I celebrated the turning of 2013 into 2014. No, not on the Embankment. Tucked up in bed watching it on television. You get the best view of it this way, although I’m sure the atmosphere riverside is worth standing in the rain for.
I hope you enjoyed the video. The New Years fireworks in London used to be pretty third rate. Then, as 2011 turned into 2012 and the Olympics beckoned, someone with a bit of clout in the government decided we must do better and financed a proper fireworks display. I feared that it would be a one year only deal, but last years show piece was the equal of its immediate predecessor.
As you can see from the video above, the trend has continued. Albeit this year with a freaking awful soundtrack. There was a bit of Pink Floyd, which is always appreciated. But they picked the wrong song. I’d have picked Brain Damage, and I’d have put it as the final track for that incredible, sustained and almost senseless barrage of rockets and bangers.
But anyway. Happy New Year!
Stately homes, various castles, film sets, Prince Charles, the graves of Lawrence of Arabia and Jim Morrison’s, Paris, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Hitler’s writing desk, fields of snowdrops, bluebells and other English flowers, Lord Mayor Shows, a thousand miles on the London Underground, Romans in Bath, King Arthur in Winchester, skating in Hyde Park and Somerset House, ancient stone bridges, 80’s racing cars, abandoned WW2 towns, legendary warships, Admiral Nelson, rugged coastal landscapes, funky Halloween/Day of the Dead fusion, Christmas in London. Have I forgotten anything? Oh yeah, just one more thing. The Olympics. Twenty twelve, it’s been a blast. Adios amigo. May twenty thirteen be just as good. My high point of all those London trips? That’s yet to come. Keep watching. I hope your 2012 was memorable, and I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. Cheers!Vodpod videos no longer available.
You can click here to go see all thirty photos in the video above a little bigger. One thing I noticed when choosing them. The colours and exposure are all off. Not as I remember them when I did them. That’s the price of a burned out laptop monitor. I have a new laptop. Gotta remember to replace it before it gets too old. All the calibration in the world won’t overcome duff equipment.
One thing that was as good this year as last year? London’s fireworks display. London has long put on a few fireworks, but never anything too special. Nothing that could compare to New York, Paris or Sydney. In fact, London was embarrassing by comparison. Last year they put on something special to see in the Olympic year. And last night there was something just as special to see it out again. I hope they keep this up every year. Viva Londres!
It’s the last post of the year, so I’d just like to wish you and yours the very best for 2012. Which, I think, can now be pronounced twenty twelve, rather than two thousand and twelve. To be honest, I’ve been using the ‘twenty’ method since 2012. I seem to have been in the minority though.
However it’s pronounced, 2011 was all a bit meh. Next year promises to be much, much better though. Hopefully we’ll get in a trip or two in Europe. There’s the European Championships in Poland/Ukraine for us footy fans. Which is the warm up to the big event in late summer – the London Olympiad. Before either of those we will have the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Which gets all us Brits an extra day or two bank holiday days off , by the by.
And with a little luck, when all that’s done and finished, we’ll be back in Mexico….until then, Happy new Year!