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Tuesday, 30 December 2008

GOODBYE 2008, HELLO 2009

Well that's another year over and a new one just about to start - 2009 is starting off in a far more challenging way than 2008 with much of the world in a financial slump - Still the start of a new year is a time for optimism and there's certainly a lot to be hopeful about - perhaps the single most important moment will be when Obama takes over in the White House in January. An historic moment and not just for America but the world.

On a personal level 2008 will always be remembered as the year I achieved a burning ambition and sold my first novel. The year will always be special because of that fact - still 2009 should be even better when the book actually comes out this June.

I spent much of 2008 in the West Country filming Larkrise to Candleford - the shoot went from April - November and stretched through one of the poorest summers in recent years as well as a bitterly cold Autumn. Still the shoot was great fun and the series kicks off proper this Sunday at 8pm on BBC1. The recent Christmas special went down a storm over the festive period with healthy ratings.

Other acting work carried out in 2008 included playing a graveside mourner for the Dr Who Christmas special, a tiny camera wipe in Gavin and Stacey and a walk on as a drunken patient in Casualty. Oh and I was a waiter in the Barbara Cartland biopic. And of course there was the usual Panto in Aberdare for the Christmas period and some stand up in Edinburgh during August - the last panto show is this Sunday and it's been great fun. I think I've found my calling - bouncing around on stage in a vivid lemon dress and huge inflatable boobs.

My essential list of the year

Electric Argument - an awesome album from Paul McCartney as The Fireman
James McGee - my new favourite writer. Author of the Hawkwind adventures
Gran Torino - Dirty Harry is back, sort of
The Dark Knight - really lives up to its hype.
Megan Abbott - for Die a Little which got a UK publication this year and impressed me greatly.
R D Wingfield - who sadly passed away after giving us one more excellent Frost novel
The Louis L'Amour centenary collection - great presentations of this important western authors work
Tell Tale Signs - Bob Dylan is still amazing and this album in the bootleg series is brilliant
How the West was Won - finally on DVD. This is a brilliant classic western
High Noon - Steve Holland edited collection of western comic stories presented in graphic novel format.
Wales winning the Six Nations
Cardiff City for getting to the FA Cup final

And my list of flops

Quantum of Solace - James Bourne lacks style, grace and class.
Little Britain USA - think it's run its course
Reality TV - hate it-no redeeming features whatsoever
Jonathon Ross - overpaid and really not funny
Bonekickers - maybe the worse TV of the year next to the X factor
Gordon Brown - for being on the bland side of boring and trying to turn the UK into a police state. 42 days, my arse. Identity cards, raids on MP's offices, the smoking ban - oh and for saying, 'he'd saved the world.
Political Correctness - censorship under a different guise
Portsmouth for beating Cardiff in the FA Cup final

Ahh well, glass in hand - here's looking forward to the coming year.

OK 2009 - bring it on.

(Photo - The River Severn - taken sometime this summer)


pattinase (abbott) said...

Have a safe and happy New Year.

Chris said...

Happy New Year! We were thinking the exact same thing, I think. I've got a 2009 year in review post scheduled for tomorrow morning. I actually mention you a couple of times in it. Check it out!

Barrie said...

Sounds as though you've had a great 2008! Here's to continued success in 2009!

Joanne Walpole said...

Where did 2008 go? I feel like I've been in a time warp and somehow missed February to November. It's a good job I keep a journal! However, as always, I'm looking forward to new challenges and building on what I already have/do. Hope you have a happy, healthy 2009 and I'm looking forward to more of our 'chats' in the NY.
ps - you got a mention on my last blog as well

Rafe McGregor said...

All the best for the New Year!

Charles Gramlich said...

Personally, 2008 was pretty good. Financially not so much. My retirement took a pretty good hit.

Shauna Roberts said...

Happy new year! I guess I should do a "best and worst" post next week; everyone seems to have done one this week, but I didn't think of it.

As a new reader of your blog, could you tell me what genre your forthcoming book is in?


Hi Shauna,

It's a western - The Tarnished Star. Check out the link in the about me box on my blog.