Well another year is overe, so here is yet another retrospective of 2012. I won’t dwell on the negative and just share some of my personal highlights. I had ended 2011 in a swing dance club surrounded by friends and more prosecco than I could drink. I began 2012 with a dreadful hangover still half dressed in my tuxedo, a sure sign of a good night the night before. Well, that’s not strictly true, I didn’t get home until well gone 5am but you get what I mean. Anyway, I digress, so these were my highlights of 2012.
For the uninitiated, “aerials” is a part of swing dancing usually reserved for the elite or rehearsed performances. They involve high-adrenaline moves where the lead catapults his dance partner into the air in a variety of ways. My girlfriend and I decided to attend a workshop early in the year and enjoyed it so much that we attended another bringing some friends along. We learned to do the pankcake, the whitey flip, the lamp-post (aka the helicopter) and the screamer. These moves and many more can be seen in this amazing clip
The Sunshine Boys
It had been many years since I’d been to any kind of theatre, but this year my girlfriend and I went to see “The Sunshine Boys”; a comedy about two ageing Vaudeville comedians who had vowed never to work together again; at the glorious Savoy Theatre (yes that’s the same place as the hotel). The play was excellent with top-notch performances from the stars Danny DeVito and Richard Griffiths.
The London Lindy Exchange
The London Lindy Exchange was a weekend packed with dancing events where Londoners host lindy hoppers from around the world. The result was three amazing evenings with live big-band performances from the The Shirt Tail Stompers, Gentlemen & Gangsters, Echoes of Ellington and Skin Deep. The bands were all amazing, I danced with over 30 new people from at least 10 different countries. I even picked up a few new moves, variations and styling techniques.
Big Lebowski Party
I’d never tried a white russian before; they’re good, even better when drunk whilst sat in a dressing gown watching The Big Lebowski. In case you were wondering, that is what a Lebowski party involves, it was great.
Row Row Row Your Boat
My girlfriend and I went on a day trip to Broxborne (I like to call it Frogspawn) which is in the Lea Valley region, north of London. It was a nice sunny day, so we had a nice pub lunch outside and hired a row boat for the afternoon. We stopped off at Waltham Abbey on the way back into London. This was the same day that the EDL (English Defence League) tried to march on Walthamstow for a hate speech rally. We were glad to be far away from their vile hatred, although the community spirit of opposition shown by Walthamstow residents made me wish we’d been around. This video demonstrates their victory
My girlfriend and I also went to Croatia for our holiday this year. We landed in Split, Dalmatia and had a wonderful time, our adventures too many to describe in detail here. We explored the ancient town of Split, the quaint town of Trogir, the island of Šolta and the fortress of Klis. My girlfriend had to return home a couple of days before I did, so I stuck around and went on a day trip to the city of Šibenik. From there I went to see the beautiful waterfalls of Krka National Park. I stayed a little too long and missed the last bus back to Šibenik, oops! I had to barter with some locals to get a ride back to the city!
I had been working for a tech start up called Green Man Gaming for several months before 2012. Early in the year my job role changed which saw me working alongside some exceptionally talented people, working with some very exciting technologies. This was a promotion, however, before the end of the year I had been headhunted for the new skills and experience I had gained. I am now working for The Lonely Planet at BBC Worldwide. Besides a 22% pay increase, my new position has opened up many opportunities which I hope to continue into 2013.
My final outing of 2012 was to The Vintage New Years Ball at London’s South Bank Centre. It took us ages to get there due to the crowds and the police hysterically closing bridges, but once we were there it was amazing; everyone was turned out in their best glamorous vintage outfits, and everyone was impressed with our dancing.
There have been many other things I have enjoyed this year; movies, music, parties (including 5 xmas parties), somethings I just don’t have time to detail, others I shouldn’t disclose here. Looking forward, all I have to say is: 2013, you have a hard act to follow!