2013 in review

At the start of 2013, which as usual begin with a January I was busy eating as I put together my book while taking some doctor-ordered time off killing things. We found time for a New Year’s Eve part of course. I attended my first Bettakultcha and we held the first Worfolk Limited Christmas party. Gijsbert moved to Glasgow and I became Vice President of Education at White Rose Speakers.

In February a failure of referees to call what was clearly pass interference cost the 49ers the Super Bowl while Bill Gates delivered an excellent Dimbleby Lecture. We celebrated Darwin Day, Galileo Day and Copernicus Day. I got my area trophy for humorous speaking and Hiltler’s other pope resigned.

I took Elina to the Dales for her birthday in March. There were ponies. Also steak. Michelle paid a visit and I competed in the International Speech Contest for the first time. Trinity opened and found out that really needed a proper roof. I read The Grapes of Wrath – not that I don’t often read, but it is such an amazing book. Sarann and Moz becamse the first A-Soc couple to get married and the Foundation published its report on on how much you can earn begging. The answer is, not much.

There was much sorrow and joy depending on your position in April when Margaret Thatcher passed away. Meanwhile I was busy campaigning for the return of Thai curry steak Yorkshires. The NFL held its 2013 draft and I started reading Discworld. I won the area contest in the International speech contest with “The Easy; and the Worthwhile” that I videoed at White Rose Speakers. I placed third at the division level.

In May Leeds Skeptics set a new record attendance with Dr Brooke Magnanti who also spoke at QED while she was down here. James ran the Leeds Half Marathon and we went to Chester Zoo. I attended the Riviera Renaissance conference in Torquay, at which there was another zoo. I donated my thousandth dollar on Kiva, we partied for Eurovision and I spoke out against the tyranny of clothing.

I was elected president of Leeds City Toastmasters in June while Bob stepped down after 34 years serving as secretary for the Humanist Society of West Yorkshire. The BHA brought its annual conference to Leeds and we had a magic show at Leeds Skeptics.

It was a busy summer in July with trips to Flamborough (from which I posted lots of photos), Finland (again, lots of photos) and relatives visiting from Canada. John Sweeney spoke at Leeds Skeptics, we celebrated Higgs Day and CWF announced Anxiety Leeds. Perhaps a bigger achivement than all of that was that I finished Ulysses.

Yorkshire Day kicked off August and in honour I made some Yorkshire puddings. We visited Yorkshire Wildlife Park and Alan Partridge returned, this time to the big screen. We also held Toastmasters in the Park and visited Hull. The biggest achievement of the month however was without a doubt the founding of Worfolk Media and launch of the Leeds Restaurant Guide.

In September I was a little saddened to see John Oliver’s spot guest-hosting the Daily Show come to an end. We visited Michelle in Jersey and Anxiety Leeds held their first meeting after some great build-up publicity including interviews on Radio Aire and BBC Radio Leeds.

It was a month of travelling in October with PNPNW13, the North West Humanist Conference and going down to London to see the NFL at Wemberly. Toastmasters held an event for Leeds Business Week and I won the area speech contest and for the first time ever, the division level one as well. Leeds Skeptics set another new attendance record when Simon Singh came up to give a talk and we launched Sunday Assembly Leeds.

Pretty much nothing happened in November. Or maybe so much happened that I didn’t have time to blog about it. Probably the latter given we moved house. I travelled down to Colchester to compete in the UK & Ireland speech contest finals and visited Temple Works which a isn’t particularly significant event but it is an amazing building. I paid my first visit to Leeds Arena to see Nickelback and we attended our second year of Finnish Christmas carols. Meanwhile Sunday Assembly Leeds held an event that was actually on a Sunday.

Finally in December the comedian Kate Smurfwaite delivered her show at Leeds Skeptics, I walked out of my first ever gig at an incredibly disappointing Tenacious D concert. Nelson Mandela passed away and we all spent a few days scoring points off each other – it is what he would have wanted. There was some kind of holiday season and the Humanist Action Group’s annual Holiday Food Drive for local homeless shelters raised over three thousand pounds worth of donations.



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