The 10 BEST things I discovered in 2013
Including some of this junk…
Another year has gone and for me it’s been a whopper – got married, ate three meals most days, drank fairly regularly from Thursday nights until Sunday mornings, wore cool slacks, went for strolls, did some cycling, got dolled up, chewed bubble gum… and all the while my brain ingested new information on a conscious and unconscious level like a sponge mopping up signals and bleepy noises from the world around it. With that in mind here are ten great discoveries from the last twelve months…
I’m a huge Seinfeld fan so this speaks to me on many levels, but most notably the levels of my complicated personality that register things like “fun” and “entertainment” and “bright colours and gentle jazz music” and “funny famous people being a bit self-indulgent”. Whatever way it’s definitely the best chat show anywhere at the moment, and my favourite episode features Alec Baldwin.
This song by Richie Havens
The great man died this year, but he’ll be immortalised regularly on my record player by this beautiful love song that makes me well up every damn time.
These Clarks Originals
I really enjoy footwear in general and have always had a soft spot for a decent pair of Clarks Desert Boots or Wallabies, but this year came the turn of the grey corduroy Jink with red laces. I find that the corduroy appeals to my smouldering inner-beatnik while the stark red laces tell the world that I’ve arrived and I’m here to kick convention in the willy.
Some of you might have noticed that I’m as pretentious as a Frenchwoman smoking a pipe or an instagram of a bicycle, so the hipster sitcom Girls really speaks to me. The first series was funny and occasionally grating, the second was pretty dark and much less funny but in a good way. The main protagonist played by Lena Dunham is notorious for taking her bosoms out despite them not conforming to the general rule about tits on TV needing to be upward-pointing golden orbs made from plasticine.
I’ve spent years searching for the perfect soundtrack to a long afternoon at work and my pal Olly pointed me in the direction of the Desert Island Discs archive which is truly truly wonderful. It’s now my mission to come up with the eight greatest episodes, which may or may not include Kathy Burke, Paul Abbott, Johnny Vegas, Kingsley Amis and any number of others which are my favourites so far. If you have a fave please feel free to tell me about it in the comments bit.
I don’t tend to get on with people who eat hummus, not just because they wear too much knitwear but also because I’m not confident they wash themselves properly, but this year I became one of them when I discovered this savoury treat which is smooth, tasty, and hilarious like silly monkey. Minus the last bit.
Books that aren’t fiction
I had a kind of Eureka moment earlier in the year when I was in the shower and I suddenly realised that lots of books were just made up stories by other people, and obviously when I say I had a EUREKA MOMENT I mean I suddenly realised something I already knew and this revelation wasn’t really a revelation at all it was just an extremely disappointing mental note that somehow obliterated my reading patterns. Now I can’t read fiction without my brain shouting “oh they’re just making it up!” every couple of pages, so I just stick to books about things that really happened. My favourite of the year being Up In The Old Hotel by Joseph Mitchell which is a cracking collection of stories about real people living in New York absolutely ages ago.
This song by Hank Ballard & The Midnighters
Safe to say most Saturdays have at some point found me lurching around clumsily with a lager in one hand attempting to rhythmically interpret this musical gem, which might be my favourite dance floor record of the year.
How to do a podcast, technology-speaking
I now have all the equipment to bash out fun and exciting podcasts which have so far featured amazing music interspersed with less-amazing talking bits that veer wildly between me stammering, me telling insanely boring off-the-cuff stories and me being completely pretentious. My aim in 2014 is to hone the speaking sections so I don’t sound totally shit and like a dick.
Being a man with a beard and a media-type job and plastic rimmed glasses it’d never really crossed my mind to regularly douse myself in a beautiful scent, but 2013 changed that for reasons of getting married and wanting to smell sexy in front of my new wife as I slowly took my clothes off to reveal the whole disgusting package. Now I splash on sensual smells most days and my current favourite odeur du jour is a cheeky little fella called Acqua Di Parma Colonia Intensa Oud, which is like really amazing Lynx Africa.