Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Year in 2011

With a view to clearing my to-do list as far as is possible before the bells (and also to put off some of the day's less pleasant tasks), I thought I'd do my review of the year a little early.

2011 has been a strangely mixed year. In some ways, it has been the best year ever, while in others it has been pretty horrible. My overall impression of the year, though, has been one of abiding and deep tiredness.

My Year in... Work

2011 has not been the best of years in work. Things for the company have been going well, but for myself... not so much. August and September were particularly hard, and things have only recovered somewhat. I'm not looking forward to going back, while at the same time determined to do better again in 2012.

My Year in... Gaming

2011 was probably the best year for gaming since I left university. The RPG Meetup has moved across to Groupspaces, and continues to go well. We seem to have settled at around 25 people, with about a dozen people in the "core group". There are several games ongoing at any time, so people can usually find a game when they want to play.

This year I ran the first section in a new campaign "The Eberron Code", which will continue in 2012 (some time after the wedding). That went exceptionally well, and has joined my legendary "big three" as one of the campaigns I'm most proud of.

I also ran three one-off games. The first was a "Star Wars Saga Edition" game with a bit of an A-team vibe. This went exceptionally well, with everyone involved having a really good time. However, it was very quickly eclipsed by "Ultraviolet: Code-500", which was the single best game I have run in many years. And then, this week, I ran my second annual Christmas Game, which was once again "Serenity". Despite two late call-offs, the game remained a lot of fun, and was rather more satisfying than last year's effort.

In addition to running some good games, I got some opportunity to play, with the occasional game of "The Laundry", "Deadlands" and "Dark Sun". Good times.

The Saturday Game has largely come to a halt. I finished off the "Company of the Black Hand" campaign, and we've since played a couple of sessions of "Dark Heresy". However, I explained that the wedding marks the end of my availability for this game. I think we will have no more than one or two more sessions between now and then.

In 2012, I am hoping to run a handful of one-off games, and am also hoping that my schedule will allow me to continue "The Eberron Code". Obviously, we'll need to see about both these things.

My Year in... Band

As with so many other things, 2011 was a mixed year for the band. Early in the year, we were promoted to Grade 4A. We went into the season in high spirits, and actually won prizes at the first competition of the year, a Minor contest but traditionally a tough one. Spirits were high... and then quickly crushed.

The rest of the season was largely a sequence of disappointments. We failed to qualify at the Worlds, we didn't win any prizes of note, and we got some really hard criticism for our efforts.

We did set up the Development Band, which competed four times. Again, they won prizes on their first outing, which was remarkable. But, again, they didn't qualify at either the Worlds or at Cowal.

Financially, the band did extremely well, easing my fears for the future somewhat. However, at the end of the year we lost our lead drummer, and the pipe major of the Development Band. These were both painful losses that we haven't really recovered from.

It looks like 2012 is likely to be another year of consolidation. We'll see how we get on in Grade 4A, but the standard is really high and it's not clear we'll make it. I'll be leading the Development Band out, which could be... interesting. We'll see how it goes.

My Year in... Love

Super Secret Goal #3 was completed in June, and was awesome of course.

The preparations for the wedding have been a bit of a shock to the system, as there's so much more to do than I had expected. And, especially difficult, much of it is stuff that gets put in motion but can't be finished off until April... this leaves a huge pile of things unresolved, which is just stressful.

Anyway, things are either well in hand, or we've forgotten something important. I'll let you know in April!

My Year in... Resolutions

Six done, three failed, and one in progress. That's a 'B' grade performance, which is okay but not stellar.

For 2012, there is precisely one goal, and it will be resolved in 2012 (barring a disaster, of course).

My Year in... Travel

The annual trip to Ireland with the band went well enough. This year, we were joined by Lady Chocolat, which was nice. Recently, work took several of us out to Stuttgart for a training day, a trip that also went very well.

And, finally, the big trip of the year was to Rome, which was awesome.

Next year might well have a big trip in the offing...

My Year in... Faith

There's not really a lot to report here. All remains well, for now.

My Year in Painting

Over the course of the year, I gradually painted up that Ork Warband I mentioned last year. It is now done, and glaring menacingly across the living room. I have decided against getting any more figures to paint, at least for the time being.

My Year... Overall

2011 was a very mixed year. The trip to Rome was awesome, and the gaming front has been very good. On the other hand, the band's season was extremely disappointing, and work has been extremely stressful. August, in particular, was an horrible month.

2012 beckons. The high point is pretty obvious, but the rest...

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