2 Jan
New Year. Mixed feelings about New Year – I’m not too sad to see the back of 2006, but it seems like time passing takes me further away from someone I loved so much. But what an insane year. I can’t quite get my head around everything that happened in 2006 – mainly because almost everything that could possibly have happened, happened. All at once. All within 12 months. Well, all within 6 months actually. Everything changed for me, even something I thought would always be there. But it’s quite cool to look back, still here, and know for sure that the only constant was Jesus Christ. He never went anywhere for a second. "He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I shall never be shaken."
What better way to morosely look back on the past year than with a cheesy blog quiz. If I later realise this is too depressing I might delete it, but it’s kind of inevitably that way. But in actual fact, the amount of amazing wonderful stuff that’s come out of this year is way above the average and would take a whole other quiz to record, I think. God works good out of bad, always. And the worse things happen, the better stuff comes out. Like what "blessed are those who mourn" really actually means. Amazing. Now shush.
1. What did you do in 2006 that you’d never done before?
Started a pension plan. Wrote a dissertation. Conducted a study into cross-cultural metaphor interpretation. Went prophetic people-watching. Moved house. Did the readings at a wedding. Lost a brother. Cried in public. Got a degree. Stopped running away. Rode a bike in Oxford. Went punting dressed as a pirate…

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Not sure I made any really. The pressure is too much for my willpower. However, this year I am resolved to at least try to learn the guitar.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Hmmmm… not that I can think of.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
You’d have been hard pressed to find anyone closer.

5. What countries did you visit?
For the first time in years – NONE other than England!! Crazy.

6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?
Real integrity.

7. What dates from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 10th when Steve left the planet – the world was changed and I’m struggling to remember what happened before then.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I guess my 2:1? But that was thanks to lots of grace, and friends who helped me revise. Possibly not losing my sanity was the biggest one!

9. What was your biggest failure?
Arsing up my job?

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Flu that made the college nurse run to the other side of the room.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A couple of good books and CDs. The giant Jolly Roger…

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Oh dear this is getting ever more melodramatic, but Sim Thomas and Hannah Eades who spent quite a lot of time sitting with me while I sat there and said nothing. Matt and Alice who made me revise. Lou Workman for general legendariness. Rachel Corbin for kicking ass by getting baptised. David Newell for saving me from Year Team stresses, and for most things really. And my schoolfriends who are AWESOME.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Some of the prison services. Students who rob homeless people.

14. Where did most of your money go?

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Rachel’s baptism, Geoffnise’s wedding, my balcony and panoramic windows, fishfinger sandwiches.
16. What song will always remind you of 2006?
Ummmmmmm… "Say hello wave goodbye" by David Gray because it was a turret, cup-of-tea-on-the-balcony song. "Monster" by the Automatic – Ratboy! :o)
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
Sadder, but more real.
b) thinner or fatter?
Thinner, I think it’s the cycling.

c) richer or poorer?
Poorer – goodbye loan, hello £9,000 debt.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Praying, writing letters, drawing.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Moping/whining/stressing without praying first. Wish I hadn’t succommed to Facebook either…

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my sister and siblings-in-law, partly as the back end of a camel. Surreal but nice.

21. Did you fall in love in 2006?
we’ll see

22. How many one-night stands?
Approx. zero

23. What was your favourite TV program?
Possibly Dr Who this year actually. Nice.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Course not, can’t manage that any more thanks to God.

25. What was the best book you read?
Well, "The Lovely Bones" is pretty great. Was also helped a lot by John Eldredge’s "Waking the Dead".
26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Sigur Ros probably, also Embrace’s previous album.
27. What did you want and get?
A house. A job. A bike bell…

28. What did you want and not get?
Look Around You, because I forgot to ask.

29. What was your favourite film of this year?
Now I’ll struggle to remember what was what year. All I’ll say is that "Happy Feet", which I expected to be the crappest film of the year, was surprisingly entertaining. But I probably wouldn’t see it again…
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
23 whole old years. I had another improbable unseasonal barbecue in our back garden – twas rather fun.
31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Finishing reading all the books I started.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006?
"warmth over fashion". And the flourescent bicycle clips which will be THE fashion choice of 2007.

33. What kept you sane?
JESUS. And road trips and sunsets.
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
At a stretch I’ll say David Tennant having watched too much Dr Who in the holiday.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
The US trying to screw Latin America out of all their natural resources. And all the political correctness become persecution against people speaking their minds about their beliefs.

36. Who did you miss?
Steve for the half of the year he was in Peru, then every day for the half of the year he’s been in glory. And also David, James, Matt and others who’ve left Oxford. It’s not the same without you.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
Mr Newell didn’t do too bad ;o)

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006:
You never know what can happen in a year. And everything can change but God stays the same.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year
"Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air

but I know I can count on you.
Sometimes I feel like saying ‘Lord, I just don’t care’
But you got the love I need to see me through.
When food is gone, you are my daily need.
When friends are gone, I know my Saviour’s love is real."

40. So in as few words as possible, how would you sum up your year?
Like a combine harvester you didn’t see coming.


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