It’s another year I am struggling to recall in all detail, not due to blurred memories but simply the volume of them. The year started in Qatar enjoying my last few months, taking a trip down memory lane to Japan and Korea, leaving Qatar to Russia, Serbia and the Balkans, back to England with a 10 day trip to Holland and Germany to finally see some cities like Dresden I’ve always wanted to see. I spent 10 weeks at Oxford over the summer and the autumn in Romania with side trips to Copenhagen and Oslo Florence and Pisa. Not bad.

I had my place at Leiden University but had to turn it down for Singapore. I feel I’ve achieved much this year. Relationships have solidified. I met some faces I haven’t seen for a decade or more. I ran courses at Oxford and I even started driving again. It’s been a contenting year.

Next year will begin in Singapore for work with wedding trips planned to Chiang Mai, Jakarta and Bangkok. And if you don’t know, we’re doing it together. Let’s see how much we can do 🙂

Newcomer of the Year – Katya, Dave Kennedy, Jerome

My Christ Its Been a Long Time – Marsha in Haarlem (since 2008). Jen in Florence (since 2005), Liz (2003), Scott, Yumi and Ponchan (2002) in Japan, Dan (2008) and Nev (2005) in Korea, Trish (2007)

Meal of the Year – Russian Borsch in St Petersburg

What the hell happened last night – Oli coming to visit Oxford, drinking in Seoul with Nev and Dan again

Sights of the Year – St Peterburg, Nuremburg, being back in Kyoto

Random Moment Award – watching Germany vs Ghana in Dresden with three Canadians who didn’t understand anything, a drunk German football team and a Japanese guy.

Cultural Event of the Year – Jan and Jelena’s wedding, Edward Scissorhands ballet

Sports event of the Year – Netherlands 5 Spain 1 at Jeroen’s BBQ in Holland. Germany beating Brazil

Film of the Year – Nightcrawler, Her

Musical moment of the Year – Jazz singers in Kyoto

Album of the Year – Spoon, Ex Hex, Todd Terje

Book of the Year – Train Dreams by Denis Johnson

Bar of the Year –  That bar I met Jan in in Belgrade

Scariest moment of the Year – driving a speedboat at ridiculous speeds in Qatar

Big Balls Moment – immigration in Japan. I had no idea if they would let me in.

Person of the Year

Honourable Mentions- Alex in Olso, Liz and Mayu in Japan, Dan in Seoul, my sister for Christmas

Would I do it all again? – of course


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