2014: My Life

Just realised I forgot to post my regular chart of the year!  As regular readers will know, I give every day of the year a specific grade, then take each month’s average to chart the ebb and flow of my life across the year.  This is the chart 2014 made:

2014 chart

It’s pretty much as I expected.  My Dad’s death in mid January explains the downward curve at the beginning, with February being the first month in negative figures since 2011, while May as ever proved unenjoyable for students everywhere.  The latter half of the year was fairly steady though noticeably a bit below where previous years have been.

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2013: My Life

Continuing a practice I established at the end of 2012, here is a chart showing the highs and lows of 2013 for my life!  I created it by giving each day a grade throughout the year and then calculating an average for each month.

my life

Compared to last year this was a real rollercoaster.  Crests appear during February and May, both exam months and both for different reasons – February was extremely stressful while May was extremely boring.  Then a spike in June, as I had fun rehearsing for and performing an awesome play, before falling as I had a somewhat uneventful Summer.  It peaked again significantly when I started university, before becoming quite crazy indeed – I might write a future post explaining these last few months sometime.  I have to say, I prefer it when the chart is a straight, relatively high-up line.  Here’s hoping 2014 is less dramatic!

First Anniversary

There are two pretty big anniversaries covered today, both from a year ago.  The first, which is probably of most relevance to readers, is that this blog is now a year old!  365 days, 220 posts, 10,548 views and 107 followers; it’s not famous yet by any means but has gone much further than I ever expected.  The blog is continuing to go through an unfortunate slump in activity as I continue to get to grips with university (my timekeeping seriously lacks something to be desired) yet I still seem to be getting views.  Views don’t equate to quality, of course, but it’s humbling to think people are even looking at the blog on a daily basis.

views

Although posts may be less frequent, I hope to return to posting about topics which interest me and engage further with the world community of bloggers.  Posts I currently have in mind include ‘What is Anthropology?’ based on my less than favourable impression of this bizarre subject, a look at the ages of world leaders, a fresher’s perspective on career prospects, a review of 2013 at New Year and intensive coverage of voting events ranging from by-elections, the European Parliament elections in May and the exciting Scottish independence referendum in September.  It’s a big year – watch this space!

The other anniversary marks a year of vegetarianism.  Despite the stray gelatine and one unfortunate incident where I tucked into half a chicken pie before thinking, “this doesn’t taste much like soya…” it’s been a remarkable success!  I charted my progress here and here, but even then I never expected to last so long.  “I could stop tomorrow,” I wrote back in December, while in January I admitted “I still believe I’ll eat meat again one day.”  The latter remains entirely possible, of course, although I find it difficult to imagine how it would occur.

So here’s to another productive, meat-free year!  I’ll see you next November 18th.

2012: My Books

Below are two lists.  One is a list of books I’ve read this year, and the second is the same list but reorganised in my order of enjoyment.  Some people are impressed when I tell them I’ve read over 30 books this year but I don’t really think it’s that much – just 2 and a half books per month, which isn’t really all that much overall reading time.  I’m hoping to achieve more next year!

  1. Shooting an Elephant and other Essays (1950) – George Orwell
  2. Animal Farm (1945) – George Orwell
  3. Homage to Catalonia (1938) – George Orwell
  4. Macbeth (1606) – William Shakespeare
  5. Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) – George Orwell
  6. Lord of the Flies (1954) – William Golding
  7. Foundation (1951) – Isaac Asimov
  8. Foundation and Empire (1952) – Isaac Asimov
  9. Second Foundation (1953) – Isaac Asimov
  10. A Study in Scarlet (1887) – Arthur Conan Doyle
  11. The Sign of the Four (1890) – Arthur Conan Doyle
  12. Brave New World (1932) – Aldous Huxley
  13. We (1924) – Yevgeny Zamyatin
  14. The Catcher in the Rye (1951) – JD Salinger
  15. The Hunger Games (2008) – Suzanne Collins
  16. Catching Fire (2009) – Suzanne Collins
  17. Mockingjay (2010) – Suzanne Collins
  18. Frankenstein (1818) – Mary Shelley
  19. The Magician’s Nephew (1955) (re-read) – C.S. Lewis
  20. The Yellow Wallpaper (1892) – Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  21. Zamyatin’s We: Essays – Various authors
  22. Huxley’s Brave New World – Various authors
  23. 20th Century Interpretations of Nineteen Eighty Four – Various authors
  24. The War of the Worlds (1898) – H. G. Wells
  25. Life on the Refrigerator Door (2007) – Alice Kuipers
  26. On Nineteen Eighty-Four: Orwell and our Future – Various authors
  27. God’s Own Country (2009) – Ross Raisin
  28. Foreign Parts (1995) – Janice Galloway
  29. Street Duty: Case One, Knock Down (2012) – Chris Ould
  30. The Road (2006) – Cormac McCarthy
  31. The Trick is to Keep Breathing (1989) – Janice Galloway
  32. Antony and Cleopatra (1623) – William Shakespeare
  33. Othello (1603) – William Shakespeare
  34. The Northern Lights (1995) (re-read) – Philip Pullman
  35. The Subtle Knife (1997) (re-read) – Philip Pullman
  36. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890) – Oscar Wilde
  37. The Amber Spyglass (2000) (re-read) – Philip Pullman
  38. The Casual Vacancy (2012) – J. K. Rowling

  1. The Amber Spyglass (2000) (re-read) – Philip Pullman
  2. Mockingjay (2010) – Suzanne Collins
  3. The Hunger Games (2008) – Suzanne Collins
  4. Animal Farm (1945) – George Orwell
  5. The Casual Vacancy (2012) – J. K. Rowling
  6. Catching Fire (2009) – Suzanne Collins
  7. Foundation and Empire (1952) – Isaac Asimov
  8. A Study in Scarlet (1987) – Arthur Conan Doyle
  9. Foundation (1951) – Isaac Asimov
  10. Lord of the Flies (1954) – William Golding
  11. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890) – Oscar Wilde
  12. The Subtle Knife (1997) (re-read) – Philip Pullman
  13. Shooting an Elephant and other Essays (1950) – George Orwell
  14. Homage to Catalonia (1938) – George Orwell
  15. Brave New World (1932) – Aldous Huxley
  16. Antony and Cleopatra (1623) – William Shakespeare
  17. The Northern Lights (1995) (re-read) – Philip Pullman
  18. Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) – George Orwell
  19. God’s Own Country (2009) – Ross Raisin
  20. The Road (2006) – Cormac McCarthy
  21. Othello (1603) – William Shakespeare
  22. The Yellow Wallpaper (1892) – Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  23. Frankenstein (1818) – Mary Shelley
  24. Macbeth (1606) – William Shakespeare
  25. Life on the Refrigerator Door (2007) – Alice Kuipers
  26. Second Foundation (1953) – Isaac Asimov
  27. Street Duty: Case One, Knock Down (2012) – Chris Ould
  28. The War of the Worlds (1898) – H. G. Wells
  29. We (1924) – Yevgeny Zamyatin
  30. The Trick is to Keep Breathing (1989) – Janice Galloway
  31. The Magician’s Nephew (1955) (re-read) – C.S. Lewis
  32. The Sign of the Four (1890) – Arthur Conan Doyle
  33. Zamyatin’s We: Essays – Various authors
  34. The Catcher in the Rye (1951) – JD Salinger
  35. Foreign Parts (1995) – Janice Galloway
  36. On Nineteen Eighty-Four: Orwell and our Future – Various authors
  37. 20th Century Interpretations of Nineteen Eighty Four – Various authors
  38. Huxley’s Brave New World – Various authors

2012: My Life

Image

2012: My Life

Here’s a graph showing the ups and downs of my life in 2012.  I calculated it by giving every day a grade and then taking an average for the month.  It’s interesting to see my best month being May, when the exams were. I know which factors caused this chart to take the shape it is – for example, June onwards really should be much higher if some awful things hadn’t happened – but that might be getting too personal for this happy blog. So I’ll leave you with this cloudy window into my life.

Happy New Year in Burma!

Burma is, for the first time, celebrating New Year today!  For the first time it is legal for the public to gather and count down until midnight.  Previously, under Burma’s intermittent 50 year military dictatorship, any form of public gathering had been seen as a threat.  This is another positive sign that the country is stepping into the 21st century and will be another triumph for Aung San Suu Kyi, Member of Parliament (how wonderful is it to be able to say that?  And to think, one day, it may even be President Suu Kyi…).  Burma’s road won’t be smooth, with developing ethnic violence set to be the country’s greatest problem, and it’s entirely possibly that elements of the military will decide enough’s enough and pull the plug.  Nevertheless, this is one more positive step for the country.