I’ve been very remiss in not updating this blog. I’d make a New Year’s Resolution to update it more, but knowing my history with Resolutions, that would only make it worse.
From a prose perspective, I’ve been equally remiss - other than the odd poem or short for the Coventry Writers’ Group, I’ve written no fiction whatsoever. And, speaking of the Coventry Writers’ Group, they did the lovely deed of making me vice Chairman at the start of the year - and if there’s anything I’m good at, it’s vice. They’re a great bunch, and it’s their support that’ll see me return to some proper writing in the New Year.
However, this year has seen me up my article writing. As well as many, many pieces for the smashing people at Slash Film, I’ve written a fair few pieces for Ginger Nuts of Horror as well. The former pay well, and the latter is good for the soul - and results in much fewer threats or death or violence for daring to write a top ten that doesn’t match a particular readers exactly. The highlight of writing for Ginger Nuts came this year at the annual Frightfest festival - whilst Tara and I were browsing around the Lego shop opposite the cinema, Jim (owner of GNOH and one of Horror’s good guys) got in touch asking if I’d like to interview Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson for an article. The next day saw Tara and myself in Soho doing exactly that
, which was an absolute highlight of the year for me, being a big fan.
From a personal perspective, this was the year in which Tara and I mutually decided to abandon our attempts to be parents. A failed attempt at IVF had knocked us for six, and we didn’t have enough fight left to attempt adoption. It was tough - and the decision still occasionally weighs heavy on me - but saved our respective sanities. We’re (mostly) content with being that quirky aunt and uncle.
We lost two of our three cats (careless, I know) last year, but the remaining cat Aslan has gone from strength to strength. He’s gone from being a shy recluse to a little ginger gobshite who has rediscovered his love for food and cuddles. And doesn’t bat an eyelid when we put a bowtie on him.
2022 was also the year that saw me leave one Radio Station and re-join another. Court on Film now has a regular slot on Noisebox Radio on Sunday at 4pm (followed by Tara’s Weekend Immune System between 5 and 7). The film and TV themed shows are great fun to put together, and once we’ve got over some technical hurdles, we both plan on taking our shows live in the New Year. The Noisebox bunch are universally an absolutely lovely lot, and it’s a joy to work alongside them (and a big thanks to Matt Cunnington - who I finally got to meet at Tara's Live Killening event who has been a huge supporter of my show).
October saw a wedding of our very good friends Dave and Bekhy; a lovely weekend break in Cardiff saw us make many new friends and catch up with old ones, and it was a pleasure to see them finally tie the knot after that damned Pandemic had repeatedly put their plans on hold. We'd helped Bekhy propose initially - which was a delightful saga in itself, captured here on video.
The year hasn’t ended particularly well - Dad was diagnosed with duodenal cancer a few months back, and he’s opted out of chemotherapy. Tara’s oldest brother was also diagnosed with throat cancer - and to top it all off, also had a bad fall a few days back, and it was touch and go whether he’d survive at all. He’s currently in hospital, and we’re presently unsure about how the surgery went - he was under the knife for about seven hours, suffering from bleeding on the brain. So, there’s an element of uncertainly going into Christmas and a sense of imposing dread for 2023. But (hopefully), things can only get better. Here's to a great Christmas for you all, and a prosperous and healthy 2023. Our love goes to you all, and we wish you nothing but the very best.