2012 in review

As ever we saw out the year in style before going down the traditional route of having January at the start. I joined a gym (after getting free trials of one or two first of course) and got on a plane for the first time in over a decade. Meanwhile, we tried to teach retired people about social media and launched ZonePlay on PlanetWin365 at work. Mike even made a guest appearance at Wendy House.

In February it turned out Panic! At the Disco were still going while the Foundation launched Societas Pro, an open source community group management system, and launched Gift of Gloves – a warm clothing collection for people sleeping rough. Then there were as the usual celebrations – Valentine’s Day, Darwin Day, Copernicus Day and Galileo Day, not to mention Super Bowl XLVI. Yet, somehow, we managed to fit moving house into there too.

It was a busy month for the Foundation in March, when it launched the new Humanist Chaplaincy Network programme and distributing all the clothing we had collected. Meanwhile, I took Elina to Paris and we warmed our new house. Possibly the best season of Formula One in living memory kicked off, I finally made it down to the Leeds PHP User Group and some mysterious yellow ball started to appear in the sky once again.

It was all about business in April. After three years at Buzz, I left to set up Worfolk Limited, as well as Worfolk Games, taking up much of the month. But we did find time to celebrate Fonze’s birthday, try karting and host Martin Robbins to talk about Bad Science in the Developing World. I also finally found a solution to the immigration issue and achieved the unthinkable – I got a photo of Elettra smiling!

In May I gave my first speech at Toastmasters, while Gijsbert spoke about pacifism at West Yorkshire Humanists and A-Soc held its AGM. I learned everything Hugh knows in an hour and Worfolk Games launched Village Chief, a socially interactive strategy game on Facebook. ODDTV launched, there was a “Super Moon” and podcasting returned. Looking back, we probably saw the funniest image of the year here too. The month was rounded off with Know Leeds re-launching as a restaurant review site.

I narrowly avoided rehab by cutting my Foursquare addiction in June, we said goodbye to legendary writer Ray Bradbury and sat through a disappointing Eurovision. Worfolk Online had a busy month, launching Jenny’s Public Nude Photos and our first ever man on man gay site, Gay Men 365. I continued my Toastmasters career and went to Finland for the first time, only to find out that Moomin World didn’t open until the week after. At least I did get to enjoy some alcohol free Rekorderlig though. The month finished out with me becoming treasurer of West Yorkshire Humanists. There was some kind of football competition as well.

I spent some time baiting scammers in July, grabbed the Worfo.lk domain and launched Wing Commander, a library that adds Mustache support to the Flight microframework. We found out Jesus was feeling the recession while Worfolk Online launched it’s first ever foreign language site, a Swedish site called Nakna Hemmafruar and soon followed it up with a Finnish one called Alastomat Kotirouvat. I won my first best speaker ribbon at Toastmasters for my talk on legalising drugs and saw Blink-182 after a year of waiting. Authority Forums relaunched, everything flooded and the Olympic torch passed through Leeds. A quick bit of researched showed motor racing as the sport Brits are best at and Worfolk Online celebrated a decade of running websites. Danny Boyle stunned us all with his magnificent opening ceremony and my website experienced it’s biggest ever traffic surge after my adjusted medals table went viral.

The month of August started with a thrilling few weeks of sport as Britain dominated the competition in the Olympic medal table (China and the US being too far ahead to count as competition) while we started the month by eating a mixed grill in a burger while I baited some more scammers. Gangnam style ran rampant in my head a month before anyone else jumped on it thanks to a tip off from Michelle and I launched my american football blog, A Brit Talks Football. I attended White Rose Speakers for the first time, we said goodbye to Rich as he left for London and the Foundation staged the 2012 Worfolk Lecture. Leeds celebrated Pride 2012 and we said goodbye to Neil Armstrong. I touched down in Ireland for the first time, when I took Elina to Dublin for the bank holiday weekend.

Elina knitted a Dalek in September and we found a new contender for the best steak house in Leeds. Humanist Community changed its format and my new proximity to Elina meant we could now go for ribs for lunch (although, to be fair, we had been doing this anyway). I won the club level humorous speaking competition and went on to win the area competition too. We also started our photography course and the NFL season kicked off (more importantly, I cared, for the first year ever).

In October we discovered a hidden gem in the form of Miah’s Kitchen Indian restaurant and we tried wagyu steak for the first time. Team Europe staged a record breaking comeback in the Ryder Cup, Full Tilt Poker relaunched and I got my new and super awesome laptop along with Apple TV. I attended the PHPNW12 Conference and once again ticked over another year – a good excuse to finally drink the bottle of champagne I’ve been moving around since Buzz’s first product launch. I finished off the month by travelling to Donington Park to compete in the division level competition of the humorous speaking contest.

I spent a lot of November playing with my new lens, but did find time to attend the 2012 North West Humanists Conference. I went to Manchester to see Evanescence and the Foundation launched the 2012 Holiday Food Drive and as part of International Men’s Day, our Men’s Issues campaign as well. The Humanist Action Group also published a new guide for running food drives, while the United States reelected Obama and we attended GRAM 2012. Living out our dreams, myself, George and Matt went training with the Yorkshire Rams and myself and Elina attended the Finnish Christmas Carols concert in Headingley, while the Formula One season finished in style at Brazil as living legend Michael Schumacher announced his retirement.

We finished off the year, as is traditional, with December. This involved partying for George’s birthday and finishing our photography course. I took on the role of Toastmaster for the first time and A-Soc held it’s traditional Winter Solstice Meal. The Humanist Action Group successfully completed its 2012 Holiday Food Drive, raising £2,849.15 worth of donations for local homeless shelters and we went to watch the Leeds Celtics play. America had it’s traditional holiday season massacre and that whole Christmas thing happened.

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