Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Reflecting and gazing... 2013/14

It's a New Year, it's 2014 now and I thought I should write something about last year and this. Warning, this is a fucking long post. Longer than I anticipated so feel free to skip 99% of it and read the TL;DR version at the bottom.

Reflection:

2013 was a fucking massive year for me, in terms of the amount of beers I drunk. To any regular person this wouldn't be an achievement, but more of an "Oh fuck... I should probably go to AA meetings" but to the beer geek, this is incredible. I started using untappd in August 2012 and since then I've racked up over 1,400 different beers. As much as I'm quite proud of this, I'm also kinda ashamed but we'll get to that.

I've also been fortunate enough to meet a lot of awesome beery people from twitter, people who I am proud to call friends. The sheer kindness of the beer community is awesome - the people I've traded beers with, people I've generally hung out with, those who have given me trade tickets to beer events and the great people who have given me a bed or sofa to crash on for the night. For all of this I am eternally grateful!

I've had some amazing days out this year, mostly in London. I absolutely love London. Highlights of these were my birthday where we collectively came up with the difficult-to-type-while-drunk hashtag "#Dawgocalypse" which was an incredibly mental day, along with back in August when we basically drunk all of the imperial stouts and Monday where we started a pub crawl at Brewdog in Shepherd's Bush and ended eating millions of wings in The Bull, Highgate.

Jay and I also started our Norwich Bottle Share events where on the first Thursday of every month, anyone who wants to get involved can come to our designated pub and bring a bottle to share. It's been an absolute success so far. We have our regular little gang but from time to time other people turn up which is really cool!

Oh, I've also basically quit Carling. It took some doing but I haven't drank Carling at home in months! I did have a few bottles at the football the other week, but it'd be rude not to!

Musically, I've been a bit shit. I haven't reviewed nearly enough albums. I'm not sure why but these days I find it really hard to review albums. I haven't even been to that many gigs either.

My 3 favourite albums of 2013 were:

1) Sleepers Awake - Trancension - a simply awesome progressive metal album. So talented, and they love good beer. Well, apart from Ambrose but that's OK because we love him anyway.
2) Mayer Hawthorne - Where Does This Door Go? - When I first listened to this album, I really didn't like it. I was used to a lot more... well... soul sounds instead of the electronic tones in WDTDG but I forced myself to listen to it and now I can't stop!
3) Nekrogoblikon - Power - Ever since I first heard this, I was in love. It's just a great, hilarious metal album.

As for food, I've eaten a lot of it. 2013 is when I first visited the Byron chain of burger restaurants and also discovered that the best food and beer pairing of all time is Orval with KFC. Don't even try to fucking argue with me!

It hasn't all been good though. In 2013 I've been incredibly unhealthy and I think this is why I've been ridiculously miserable for a lot of it. I have drank way too much, and not got enough exercise (until half way through summer when I got a tennis racquet) which is where the shame bit from earlier comes in. It also hasn't been good for me financially... drinking good beer and eating good food robs you of all of your cash so it's impossible to save anything. It doesn't help that I'm trying to survive on a minimum wage job.

In addition to this, as much as I've been a hilariously drunken sweary blogger, I've also been a dick to and about some people, including myself. I think this all boils down to me being stupidly unhealthy and drunk as well as the fact that I lack confidence and optimism, it makes me miserable and I type things that I shouldn't. If I've pissed you off or ruined something in 2013, I am truly sorry.

So that was 2013. It's been fun, but looking back I know some changes need to be made.

Gazing to the future:

You're probably wondering if I have a beery goal I would like to achieve in 2014 and the answer is yes, and probably the opposite to what you're expecting - I want to drink less. Considerably less. Probably about half. Now, I'm not gonna go mad and do a dry January or anything like that. I'm aware that pubs need us and, actually that's a really shitty excuse, isn't it? Truth is that I honestly don't think I could handle a whole month without beer. To most people that would call for cries of "Man, get to an AA meeting or rehab or something." but I think most beer geeks can completely understand where I'm coming from. Not only is beer my passion, but it's also something that takes the edge off. An imperial stout a day keeps the men in white coats away. And no, I can't be bothered to start homebrewing. I'm not that guy. Also I fear that if I were to homebrew, my alcohol intake would likely double.

Musically, I know I've said this before but I really fucking do need to start reviewing more again. I really need to get my arse in gear and write about music like I used to! I'd also like to do a shitload more beer tastings with bands as it appears to be a great success when I do. I also REALLY need to see Mayer Hawthorne live.

Food? I want to cook more and eat healthier. I know every motherfucker says this in their new years resolutions but I really do. I need to stop eating fried chicken so often (unless I have Orval to hand) and stop buying shitty sandwiches from tesco. I know I can make a fucking awesome sandwich, but I lack the motivation to do so when I just know that it'll fall apart by the time I get to work. I need to do what I claimed I was going to do ages ago and make pasta or chilli to heat up at work.

With all of this in mind, this will start my route to getting healthier. There are other things I need to do though, like quitting smoking (this cockgoblin says with a cigarette in his mouth). When I'm at home, in front of the computer I smoke a ridiculous amount. Which not only is really awful for my health, but also expensive. I think after I achieve this, I'll be able to work on getting rid of this awful pregnancy stomach I seem to have gained. Honestly, it's fucking hideous. I think so anyway, although a girl I was dating earlier in the year described it as "cute". She must be fucking nuts (she was). Anyway, I need to buy a bicycle. Something I have also said before. I'm also going to make sure I start playing tennis at the start of the summer too... if anyone wants to play, just let me know!

I also want to start wearing suits properly again. I've been really slack on that front. Just throwing on my trousers, shirt and hoodie. Not even bothering about wearing a tie or a nice jacket. I know, I've disappointed everyone as I'm the "Sublimely Self-Righteous Arrogant Bastard who wears a suit and drinks beer". I think I generally need to make more of an effort over my appearance like having well groomed facial hair.

Conclusion:

Basically, this is the part you read if you can't be arsed to read the rest.

In 2013 I was unhealthy - I drank too much beer, ate too much unhealthy food and generally didn't give a shit about myself and was pretty miserable mostly, but I did have fun.

In 2014 I will be a healthy, sexy motherfucker - I will get a bicycle, I will drink less beer, I will eat better food, I will get rid of the horrible stomach, I will see Mayer Hawthorne live, I will drink more gin.

Thanks for reading my blog over the past year. If it wasn't for you guys, I would've given up ages ago and most likely be even more fucking miserable. Sorry if this post made you think about me naked... actually I'm not, you know you want this.

Bottom line is that I love you guys!

Happy New Year!

Nate

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