So That Was 2007

2007’s drawing to a close, so I thought I’d better say a few words to mark it’s passing, and what’s it’s meant to me. In convenient bullet-point form, here’s what I’ve been up to this year:

January

  • I was a headline act at Gorilla Monsoon, Aber’s now-dead alternative comedy "scene" event. I got a bit scared about it, but it went reasonably well in the end, although I disappointed myself a little.

  • I got my hair cut for the first time in almost a decade, and – for the first time almost-ever – this suddenly meant I that had shorter hair than the person I was going out with. Just because I’ve got a sense of humour, I got up early, had it cut, then returned to bed to frighten the crap out of Claire when she put her arms around me and thought I’d left somebody else in our bed.

  • We tried a few times to get our online games of Diplomacy re-started, but it all fell apart technically. Despite it being a very back-stabby board game, we all managed to stay friends pretty well this second time around.

  • My sister Becky came to visit me in Aber, which was nice.

February

  • I read The Ethical Slut, which turned out to be very useful later in the year by giving me lots of tips for the renegotiation of the terms of open relationships.

  • I developed and deployed the new version of Abnib, which to this date is still the coolest (even if not the most practical) way to keep up with your favourite Aberystwyth-based weblogs.

  • I helped Claire sue her bank (having done the same to mine in 2006) to reclaim penalty charges unlawfully levied against her.

  • We got Geek Night – our weekly alternative board games night – kicked off again, with a little help from sister event Poker Night (which since died a death after Claire took everybody’s money).

  • I celebrated my birthday a month late, because my family had posted cards and presents (and advised others to do the same) to an address that wasn’t actually where I lived, and it took me this long to gain access to them.

  • We went skiing in Scotland, but bad wind conditions we didn’t get so much done as we’d have liked. Claire took lessons which helped her confidence and her technique no end, and she got "bitten by the skiing bug" in a way that I’d worried she’d never get. So we’re going again in 2008, although not in Scotland.

March

  • Biggest bit of news for March, of course, was that Claire and I changed our surnames by deed pollto Q (and I shortened my first name to Dan). I’m now Dan Q, and she’s Claire Elizabeth Q. This attracted many comments (most of them positive, some of them negative) from our friends, and contributed to quite a lot of stress as we had to write to every company we deal with in order to update their records. But it was worth it. Even when… no – especially when – I got a snotty note from the Passport Office about it.

  • I had a go at explaining why I’m an atheist on my blog, and kicked off a series of meme-like responses on my friends’ blogs.

  • With the help (kindly volunteered) of my friend Paul, I helped out backstage at the Aberystwyth Student Skills Competition for the fifth and final time. With the loss of Lynda Rollason from the Aberystwyth Careers Department, the competition has been cancelled. It’ll always have a special place in my heart.

  • Oh, and loads of people come over the border to visit us in Aber. Thanks!

April

May

  • I got myself a new phone, and it (a Nokia N95) remains one of the sexiest bits of technology I’ve ever had the pleasure to use.

  • I launched an extra part of Abnib – Abnib Events – to help us Aberites schedule our various social calendars.

  • I went to see Meatloaf without Claire after she had exams scheduled on both sides of the concert date. Worse yet, when she went to see him later in the year he cancelled the show and he’ll probably never perform live again, meaning that Claire may have missed her last chance to see his show. Which isn’t good.

  • I won a competition run by Fanta where you text in a code from the back of the bottle. I wouldn’t normally enter such a competition, but I was bored on a train (back from Meatloaf) and my new mobile phone contract gave me millions of free text messages, so I gave it a go. I won a Nintendo Wii (which, as I already have one, I gave to my mum), a wide-screen TV (which is running as a much-needed replacement for our old one, which was falling to bits) and a fridge full of Fanta (the latter of which I drunk, and the former of which I donated to a charity raffle). I am hereby declared A Lucky Bugger.

  • I released Google Reader For LiveJournal Users, a tool to help people who use LiveJournal friends-only feeds to get those "secret" posts into their Google Reader accounts, because I needed a tool that did that. It now has over 200 regular users, and, because I released the source code, it’s also being run elsewhere on private servers by other users.

  • Claire and I found and agreed on a venue for QParty!

June

July

August

  • Claire and I went to the UK National Bisexual Conference, and had a magical time.

  • Then we went to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with our friends Ruth and JTA. For various reasons, we didn’t see as much comedy as we’d planned to.

  • However, the four of us did reconfigure our relationships somewhat. Claire and JTA started seeing one another, while I started going out with Ruth. All without significant change to our established relationships. It started out secretive, but now it’s much more overt, and after five months, it still makes me very happy to have two fabulous girlfriends who I adore, and for them to both share their love with another man. It’s pretty brilliant.

  • I made and deleted a blog post which managed to offend pretty much the entirety of the surviving part of my mum’s side of the family. Oops.

September

  • QParty – Claire and I’s celebration of love and commitment – happened, and we had a fantastic time. This party – and our name change – is something we’d talked about for years, and it was great to finally see it happen… and to get together with all of our closest friends and relatives and commemorate the last five and a half years of Claire and I’s relationship. There are loads of photos online. There was a minor crisis when we discovered that the venue was being rennovated when it should have been ready for us to use, but a handful of the guests pulled together into a makeshift team and helped us clean up and prepare the hall so that it was once again suitable for use (thanks guys!). All in all, the event was wonderful, and I was delighted to read that lots of our friends blogged about it. Eventually, I got round to writing about preparing for the party and about the party itself, too.

  • We also went on QMoon, a "honeymoon" following QParty: my dad sent the pair of us on a mystery holiday to Italy (mystery in that we didn’t know even to which country we were going before we got to the airport; we didn’t know whereabouts we’d be going in the country until each day when we’d open up a surprise parcel with a guidebook of where we’d be the following day, and so on). I wrote four blog posts from the holiday itself, just to show how sad and internet-addicted I am.

  • As if September wasn’t a big enough month for Claire and I, we also used it as an opportunity to explain to many people about our unusual relationship with Ruth and JTA, because we thought it might be important to explain to people what it meant to, for example, QParty (the short answer: nothing – QParty was still about what it was always about: Claire and I celebrating our relationship, our love for one another, and our commitment to one another). I suppose in hindsight that the timing of our new relationships (so close to QParty) may have been confusing for some people, but it’s just a coincidence.

October

  • Ruth returned to Aberystwyth, and we celebrated by paddling in the sea in the middle of the night. Unsurprisingly, we got rather damp and my phone got damaged and required repair. Surprisingly, I didn’t have to claim on the insurance, because Vodafone repaired it under warranty. Presumably "inability to withstand being dropped in the sea" is now considered to be a manufacturing defect. That’s pretty much all that’s worth saying about October.

November

  • The unofficial UK premiere of Poultrygeist: Night Of The Chicken Dead, Troma‘s new film, came to Aberystwyth. Better yet, Paul, Claire, Ruth, JTA and I got to sit in Lord Beechings for beer and nachos with director Lloyd Kaufman. I almost wet myself with excitement. I wrote a lot about it (and everything else that happened in the first weekend of November, too) in a blog post. Claire mentioned that weekend, too.

  • I also enjoyed the opportunity to visit Preston for the book launch party of my friend Faye‘s first published novel, Cover The Mirrors. It’s really quite a good read, and I’ve promised to review it at some point or another, but for now just buy a copy and enjoy it. While I was up in Preston my sisters and I took my dad out for his birthday and had a remarkably good night out.

  • Fellow Aberite Matt got taken into hospital, and so we spent a lot of time visiting him there and wishing him a speedy recovery while simultaneously teasing him (only a little) for his medical misfortunes.

  • Claire and I went to the Computer Science Department away weekend at Gregynog.

  • Ruth, JTA, Claire and I took our usual November holiday on the Llanwrtyd Wells Real Ale Ramble, a weekend-long trek through the damp hills of mid-Wales, drinking all the way. Despite getting so wet that my trousers chafed so badly that I bled quite a lot, we had a fabulous time and I’m looking forward, again, to taking part in the event next year.

December

  • To kick off December rallied folks to comment on and complain about the Aberystwyth Masterplan, which aims to turn Aberystwyth from a tiny town in the middle of nowhere into a slightly bigger town in the middle of nowhere by making the town centre shinier, putting up a multistorey car park, and making all of the public transport inaccessible to anybody without a car.

  • Despite being even-more-than-typically busy at work, I found time in a weekend to visit Katie at her university accomodation in Derby. I originally met Katie at BiCon earlier in the year.

  • Because I’ve never really understood Christmas cards, I made a charitable donation in the name of the people for whom I couldn’t think of a more personal present, rather than sending a card, kicking off some debate on the principles of card-sending and gift-giving, and inspiring some others to do the same.

  • Claire and I spent Christmas in Aberystwyth (as has become the norm) with Paul and, for the first time, Ruth and JTA. We roasted a goose too large to fit in the oven we’d originally planned to cook it in, exchanged gifts, and generally had a wonderful time: it was particularly nice to spend a large part of the holiday period in the company of my friends and lovers.

  • Finally, to end the year, Claire and I have been travelling around Norfolk (to meet up with her dad and his wife, and to attend an A-Level Reunion organised by some of her old friends) and Lancashire (to visit my family), and we’ll eventually be returning to Aberystwyth on the first day of 2008, with Ruth in tow (we’ll be picking her up from her dad’s house tomorrow morning).

So that, in short, is my year. It’s been a pretty hectic one, full of new names and new relationships and new experiences, and it’s been very busy with work and various volunteer and social activities, as well as with a more-than-normal number of holidays and weekends away.

How’s your year been?

10 replies to So That Was 2007

  1. Well I suppose every clood has a silver lining. The fact that I’ve ended up doing f*ck all for New Year means that I can be the first to respond to this.

    Well done; keep up the good work.

    Drunken hugs,

    Gareth

  2. I did this one a couple of weeks ago, so it doesn’t cover the last couple of weeks of December and predictions for the first bit of this year are a bit out – I’m sadly not going ice skating anymore, and I won’t be seeing Sigur Rós’ film either (or not in Brixton, anyway – I should investigate where else it will be showing). I’m still getting a new camera, and hopefully as of this weekend I will have more reliable Internet access at home in Manchester. Oh, and I decided not to quit uni after all.

    In summary, it’s been really bloody hard, and certainly not the happiest year ever, and with what’s made 2007 hard not being over yet, I have little doubt that 2008 will be easy, but it’s life’s challenges that make it so worthwhile.

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