It’s that time again when I like to take a look back to the previous year and review what I have done and what I’ve written. All the links here open up into a new page and will reveal my previous blog posts and open them up for another read.
I started off with a post called The Worst Week of My Life. I’m not sure where that subject came from but I’m guessing that it was a blog prompt idea that I’d seen somewhere. Having led a reasonably pleasant life, I’ve not really had many particularly low points, or particularly high points when it comes down to it. I mention fleetingly the time my car engine was ruined when I forgot to put anti freeze in and the time my Kawasaki Z500 was stolen but I mostly focus on the lives of some people in the news at the time. Boris Johnson who was then the Prime Minister wasn’t having a good week and in fact was later forced to resign.
The Electric Bill, The Banking App and Me was a post about the difficulties one can get into using modern technology. Banking applications can be pretty handy but they all work by removing people from the equation. When things go wrong it’s not always easy to find people; actual people, bank employees or staff from whatever organisation you are trying to get through to. You’ll get directed to various pages of the company website or even to the Frequently Asked Questions page but getting hold of another human being? That can be hard work.
January and February are my least favourite times of the year and when it’s cold and wet I tend to just clam up in front of the fire and wait for the Spring. One thing I like to do though is eat and I don’t just mean restaurants and pubs, I actually cook things and I look to my small collections of cookery books for inspiration, which I talked about in a post called Cooks and Cookbooks.
When I started this blog a few years ago my aim was just to promote my book Floating in Space. After all, writing a book is one thing but getting people to know about it and then actually buy it is another thing altogether. Since then, even though each post finishes with a little plug for my book, I’ve found that I’m actually more interested in the blog posts themselves rather than Floating in Space. That’s why hitting my 500th blog post with The Big 500 was such a special event.
Blogs, Video and a Social Media Marketing Mix was a popular blog post and in it I explored all the things we self published authors have to do in terms of social media to get our message out to the public.
2022 was the year Vladimir Putin decided he was going to attack the Ukraine. He wasn’t happy that the Ukrainians were getting too friendly with the west and reports indicating they were considering joining NATO alarmed him so much that he ordered his army to invade. Things however didn’t go too well for the Russians and instead of a quick takeover, the Ukrainians fought back and may even defeat the invaders. What this will mean for Russia and the world it’s difficult to say. Can Putin carry on as leader if the Ukraine repulses his invasion? I think we’d all sleep a little easier if someone less agressive and more democratic took over. I wrote more about Putin and other Russian leaders in Those Pesky Rouskies.
When I’m stuck for a blog idea I sometimes tend to just write about myself. I’ve done it a few times before and now I’m up to part 3 of The Story of My Life.
As you might have guessed if you are a regular reader I really hate the cold and I was so happy to see the arrival of summer. Liz and I dusted off our motorhome, filled up the tank and took off for an extended trip to France. We had a couple of problems but were helped by members of the motorhoming community and I wrote more about that in Returning to France and the Kindness of Strangers.
I retired this year and retirement was on my mind when I wrote about The Day I Finally Cracked It. Retiring brought back memories of an old bus colleague whose catchphrase was ‘have you cracked it yet?’.
Memory, Memories and Memorabilia was a post about memory and was inspired by a photograph of my late aunt Ada who was killed in a cycling accident before I was born. My mother suffers with dementia but a picture I found of Ada seemed to lift her up and stimulate her memories.
2022’s most viewed blog post was Manipulating the Image. It started off when some spam email sent me looking for an internet glamour girl called Olivia Casta. One internet post claimed Olivia was actually a much older woman made to look younger by an imaging app so I spent the rest of the post looking at ways images can be manipulated.
Blogging Out Loud was a post about sounds; the sound of my voice which I use in podcasts and video voiceovers and even sounds that conjure up old memories.
After a summer spent in our motorhome I decided to write more about A Day in The Life of a Motorhomer and filled readers in about a typical day spent in our small van out in the quiet of the Loire Valley.
I’ve not written much about Formula 1 racing this year, perhaps my interest in the sport is waning a little, despite following the sport since childhood. This year we had a number of world champions competing together; Lewis Hamilton with 7 titles, Sebastian Vettel with 4, Fernando Alonso with 2 and current champion Max Verstappen who added the 2022 crown to his controversial win the previous year. Ferrari started the year on top but their challenge gradually faded and Max took an amazing 15 wins in 2022. None of the champions I have mentioned made any great contributions to the action in 2022, perhaps because this is the era of the car and without a great, or even a good car, champions like Hamilton, Vettel and others are just wasting their time. Of course Perez, Max’s teammate had, supposedly, the same car as Max and although he won a few times he was hardly close enough to challenge for the championship. Even so the times when a driver like Moss or Stewart could manhandle a bad car into the winners’ circle are long gone. An F1 post I wrote this year was about the F1 of the past, Autographs, Murray Walker and F1.
Being a bit of an amateur film buff, I always tend to produce plenty of film themed posts and 2022 was no exception. Two particular posts I should mention were ones when I decided to review entire film franchises. This was greatly helped when Film 4 in the UK decided to show the entire Mission Impossible series and a few weeks later ITV3 or 4 did a similar thing with the Rocky films. I sat through both film series with my notebook in hand and jotted down my thoughts.
One of the places I visited this year was Compiègne in France where the armistice was signed which ended the First World War. Hitler came here in 1940 when Nazi Germany defeated France and forced the French to sign the surrender in the same railway car where the Germans had surrendered in 1918. I shot a short video at the site and wrote a post titled The Glade of the Armistice.
As we moved into December things started to get cold and as I mentioned earlier, I really do hate the cold, so much so I’m seriously considering moving to somewhere hot. It’s C C Cold was a post about the cold with a few links to cold themed films thrown in for good measure.
That then was my life, at least my blogging life in 2022. I’m looking forward to 2023 and hoping that I don’t run out of blog post ideas. I hope you had a good 2022. Best wishes for 2023!