If you were hoping for more walking, you’re going to have to wait a bit longer. It’s coming! I still have 3 days from June to write about, and I’m hoping to get back to the coast in March. But for now I have the usual lists. No fancy reaching of goals this year. I did walk a lot, and I swam a lot. Though I didn’t manage every single month, the ones I missed weren’t even the coldest.
Speaking of cold, this was the year of being ill all the bloody time. I finally got Covid in June after I got back from that big old walk, but that wasn’t even the worst. The worst was the multiple and endless colds (one of which I’m still recovering from), which I will thank 3 years of minimal human contact for. Everything just slowed right down in 2022, and the energy suck that is my immune system trying to fight all the fires is probably the reason.
I did not meet my reading goal for the first time in YEARS. The Once and Future King is technically like 5 books though, so I’m closer than Goodreads decides I am. And I’m glad I finally finished that. Other top picks:
- How We Are Translated – Jessica Gaitán Johannesson
- Hamnet – Maggie O’Farrell
- Scattered All Over the Earth – Yōko Tawada
- The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois – Honorée Fanonne Jeffers
- My Education – Susan Choi
Here’s the rest of what I read.
I think this year’s playlist is one of my favourites I’ve had. I don’t know why. It just is. Not on Spotify are The Wallflowers’ cover of ‘I’m Looking Through You’ from the I Am Sam soundtrack, The Swing Shouters’ version of ‘Lottie’, and Gordon Webster’s ‘Long Gone John’.
I saw a lot of live music this year, making up for years of not doing so. It was all great. A lot of it is here. Beck, rescheduled twice from 2020! Ibibio Sound Machine, Self Esteem, IDLES, and Gorillaz at All Points East in London. Sons of Kemet, Ezra Furman, Gabriels, and Sigur Ros. And perhaps the most exciting for me was the Gordon Webster Band playing a random tiny gig for the Glasgow Jitterbugs. I never thought I’d get to dance to Gordon Webster live, and I certainly didn’t think I’d get to do it right down the road. I danced so much more this year than in the past 3 years, and it has been everything I was missing and more, but that night in Glasgow was the best.
I think the most amusing thing about my Spotify Wrapped was the fact that I was in the top 2% of Beatles listeners, and my other heavily played band was IDLES. I have liked IDLES for a long time, and I went to All Points East primarily to finally see Gorillaz live, but IDLES stole the show and turned me die-hard.
I was also very excited to finally see Gabriels. The first two attempts I made were cancelled, but the third time was the charm. They are even more incredible in person.
I didn’t really listen to many podcasts this year weirdly. I dabbled in a few new ones, but I couldn’t really stay invested in anything. I felt the same about TV and movies. I saw a few great things – Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Woman King, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, and The Banshees of Inisherin stand out, and I’m sure there was at least one good show I can’t think of – but I wasn’t very into watching things.
When I got back from my very long trip to the US, in my jet-lagged haze I watched David Letterman interview Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the Kyiv underground. In the little Zoom update at the end, he says he really just wants to go to the sea when this is all over. When I finally went to sleep after nearly 48 hours mostly awake, I had a very vivid dream that I was on a beach somewhere drinking beer with him.
I started the year at the sea once again, and I even went in despite my lingering cold. I hope we can all get to the sea in 2023. Many times.