2014 in review

Another year has flown by. One of the things that shocked me while summing up 2013 was that I used the phrase “celebrated ten years” more than once. This was the year I failed to make it into the 27 Club, so time really is ticking on.

In January I started working with full time with Knight Analysis. When I wasn’t playing Rocksmith that is. Almost all of the time I wasn’t working, I was playing the guitar. The lovely Sherlock returned and we visited Tropical World, which is not big news but something we do not do enough. Meanwhile Google started displaying ratings for the Leeds Restaurant Guide.

There were the usual holidays of Darwin Day and Galileo Day in February. I was still spending all my time playing Rocksmith, but finally finished the 60 day challenge at the end of the month. I was also saved from suicide by the addition of a dishwasher. There was lots of sport too with Super Bowl XLVIII and Leeds Tornadoes practices.

After working my fingers to the bone on guitar practice I got a well-earned reward in March in the form of a Fender Telecaster. I also won the Leeds City Toastmasters speech contest. There were some old school times with a post-Wendy fry-up and my speaking at Leeds Atheist Society. I also hosted a Sunday Assembly Leeds that nobody came to. The Foundation launched its new website.

In April I was elected the Toastmasters Area 15 governor. Duncan Dallas sadly passed away and the Leeds Restaurant Guide published its second edition. Louis Theroux returned to our screen and we celebrated Fonze’s birthday.

Conchita Wurst stormed Eurovision in May. There was some kind of other vote too. I earned my Competent Leader award with Toastmasters, ran 10k and started seriously doing Parkrun too. Toastmasters held their division contest with me as Chief Judge and a large part of Leeds burned down. Craig and Zoe got married and Worfolk 18 celebrated a decade of publishing by holding a porn party. I also put together a photo montage of the past ten years that I was rather proud of.

That brings us to June, a month in which the Leeds Restaurant Guide published its third edition and Britain was ranked as having the best healthcare system in the world (by a probably biased source, but who cares). I correctly predicted the demise of Wendy House which turned out to be the last ever one. The results of the British Social Attitude survey came out and showed that the non-religious now outnumber of all the religious put together.

It was an insanely busy month in July. I ran the Leeds 10k and fixed HSBC’s website. We celebrated Higgs Day and Leeds hosted the Grand Depart. I began my year as Toastmasters area governor and held my first area training. Having achived Competent Communicator and Advanced Leader Bronze that also earned me a trip crown. We visited Darlington to see my sister’s new house. I wrote about the best places to live in Leeds, independence days, and published the first Finn-Global Development Index. We went to the park to play mölkky and my blog turned 10 years old.

After all that is was nice to spend some time relaxing in August. With relatives visiting from Canada we visited Whitby and Temple Newsam for the Finnish picnic. There were also trips to Warwick and Cardiff. We partied for Leeds Pride and I ate a bear. Robin Williams sadly left us and we remembered 100 years of Tove Jansson. More research came out showing that wine tasting is nonsense and I even spoke up in defence of social science. I finished the month by handing over Leeds Skeptics after five years at the helm.

It was all about Norman’s birthday celebration in September. We went up to Ullapool in the Scottish Highlands for a week, where we saw stars and dolphins and managed to convince the Scots to remain part of the Union. I also got engaged to Elina. Back down south there was an area speech contest and we visited Flamingo Land to see the hippos. Gijsbert and Weili became parents when baby Samantha arrived. Isaac was christened, Michael Mosley tried to eat himself to death and Google decided I was a woman. I also decided that if I was going lead a truly evidence-based life, I had to start drinking. We visited Llandrindod Wells in Wales for the Loony Party conference and attended Yarndale 2014.

In October I completed probably the greatest achievement of my life by finishing War & Peace shortly before turning 28. Anxiety Leeds moved venues to the LGI and began fortnightly meetings. James became Dr Murray, we partied for Halloween and I launched a new website for guitar strumming patterns.

We felt like we were in a horror movie in the November fog. Luckily it did not decent until after we had seen Alan Davis. Huffington Post published the results of their survey on religion in which “60% of people described themselves as non-religious” and “over half believe that religion does more harm than good”. I ran the Abbey Dash and finally arrived in the future as fibre was rolled out to Leeds city centre. West Yorkshire Humanists hosted a stall at Summat New.

Most of December was taken up by the Humanist Action Group’s Holiday Food Drive which raised nearly £5,000 worth of donations for local homeless shelters. The holiday season takes up time too, but not too busy to see The Who rock out at Leeds Arena. As usual, we finished the year out with a party.



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This entry was posted on Thursday, January 1st, 2015 at 11:56 am and is filed under Life. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.