It’s January – that means it’s time for a look back at 2015 or to use last year’s quote, a time for modest meals and modest reflections. First, the question: what was 2015? How can I best sum it up? 

In terms of world news, 2015 has pretty much stunk: religious fundamentalism (not just in the middle east) on the rise, doom and gloom over antibiotic resistant diseases, the turmoil in Ukraine, stress over the economy, Paris, the developing situation over the Spratley Islands and climate change wreaking havoc. And here in the UK, the political scene which saw the re-emergence of adversarial politics with nearly 4 million people voting UKIP, 1.6 million voting for nationalist parties and then the Labour Party’s continued meltdown. We’ve also got the serious housing issue – a bubble which threatens hundreds of thousands, a rental market which is going to erupt like Vesuvius in 79CE and the fact that there are so many empty properties hogged by developers with a government firmly on the side of the money. And we saw farewell to Leonard Nimoy, LLAP.

But it’s not all bad, I guess. Top of my list is that Kirchner has been kicked out of office in Argentina (well, she couldn’t stand again but good riddance), Cuba/US relations, Polio all but consigned to the ashcan of history, the Climate Change deal, the case against News International which showed just how vulnerable Murdoch’s empire actually is (despite a lack of actual prosecutions) – this is getting hard, I stand by my 2015 stinks comment.

Travel: Not as much as last year, particularly with a lack of Brussels action for six months. Berlin twice, Paris once, Swansea twice and that’s about yer lot. Failed to get to Prague which was a target but short of a nuclear war, it’ll be there in 2016. 

Personal Life: improving on last year, more stuff happening for a majority of the week rather than the minority. I avoided the trap of taking huge blocks of time off so that things could continue unabated. The Griffin quiz prizes of the escape rooms, lunch up the Shard et al have also been very welcome. The quiz has been somewhat grating this year as attendance has been ropier than the bridge at the end of Temple of Doom.

Vices: Well, you’ll recall I whined back in October about weight issues having seen myself in the niff in a changing room and going on a strict diet. That has helped, as has a fairly good November and December. Salad for lunch most weekdays, a reasonable meal in the evening (lots of baked beans for some daft reason). Even curtailed diet Pepsi consumption in favour of squash. Alcohol – thanks to my predilection for German ale, this went up in 2015 but is back under control at the end of the year. I bought a load of Belgian beer the other week and it remains untouched in my cupboard at home.

Love Life: Again, the tomb of the forbidden subject. Had only one proper date this year. And one…improper date (that’s not the right term but it was a spontaneous thing with a friend… I know what I mean). Sufficed to say, if I actually owned a date book, it’d be a poor return on my investment. At least there weren’t a score of multiple cancellations. That said, these last couple of weeks have shown a flurry in recent interest. Dunno what to make of it – yet.

Work: Want to leave. I’ve been here almost five years and enough is enough. Looks like redundancy is not an option any more in this organisation unless I get lucky (or unlucky). But I’m going to have Re-registration finished off and will then make a concerted effort to get that promotion. I’m feeling coerced into trying for a leg-up programme to help people at my grade get to the next level. I don’t want to do it, it’s a load of rubbish but there’s a tribe of monkeys (checks collective noun for group of simians…) – correction, a barrel of monkeys on my back.

Ailments: I don’t recall any sick leave taken this year though had a couple of colds which were enough to cause several days’ worth of misery. Nothing has fallen off, ceased to work, grey hairs are kept in check, hairline recession is still glacial. Ankle is a cause for concern though not majorly so.

Gaming: A very good year for games in general. Bought the Xbone obviously and have racked up a lot of time on that. And the releases in 2015 have been pretty inspiring for the game I have/have played as well as the games I want/want to play. Still haven’t replaced my DS… For board games: an equally good year with 2016, or at least the first half, looking to have some good releases. There are a lot of expansion packs being developed for pre-existing games which helps keep stuff interesting. In a way I’m glad I haven’t cashed in on the recent Imperial Assault fad as it’d be hard to keep up with the current packs. I must have spent…£500 on new board games in 2015…definitely not sustainable!