2015: My Highlights
One of my favourite things about going home for Christmas is reading the family newsletters that Mum gets sent. It’s always a joy to hear what more successful people have been doing with their year.
And this year I wanted to get a piece of the action myself.
Sadly though, because I don’t have a child in medical school, I am not eligible to write such a newsletter. So, because it’s the internet, I decided to write a list instead. A list of my top 15 highlights of 2015 (I chose the number 15 because it’s the 5th Bell number and the smallest natural number with seven letters in its spelled name).
With each highlight, I will also include a related point for development – a goal for 2016. This will prevent me from becoming complacent, because life is all about relentless self-improvement at any cost.
It is worth noting that these are presented in roughly chronological order, rather than some sort of occultist preferential, or alphabetical order.
I became a musician. Like, officially. People paid me to do music things. The reason I live in a house and own a car is because people pay me to music stuff up. They give me money and in return I just make music happen. And so far, no one seems to have noticed. I think I got away with it.
In 2016: I will continue to do this, but I will not be surprised each time I get paid.
I sang a top A at the annual Pioneer Leaders Conference. And not just one. Like 4 of them in the space of 30 seconds. Whilst playing alongside one of the most talented groups of musicians I have ever worked with. It was also an incredibly special moment of worship and encounter, with 400 people declaring their identity as a child of God at the top of their lungs. But I was particularly pleased with that top A.
In 2016: I will sing the top C in Livin’ on a Prayer at HTB’s annual Leadership Conference at the Royal Albert Hall.
I uncovered the secrets of Little Miss Muffet. After centuries of silence on the matter, I finally told the world the real meaning behind the arachnidian tale of woe, in my first ventures into the field of nursery rhyme etymology. See here.
In 2016: I will reveal the shocking truth behind Humpty Dumpty.
I turned 25. A quarter of a century. Halfway to fifty. The smallest square that is also a sum of two (non-zero) squares. Other mathematical truths. This is a real age. People expect things of you. There are blogs about 25 things you should stop doing. And a different 25 things you should start doing. Orson Welles co-scripted, directed, and starred in Citizen Kane when he was 25. By this age, Charles Chaplin had appeared in 35 films.
In 2016: I’m going to turn 26.
I wore odd shoes live on BBC One. They vetted my shirt, but didn’t ask anything about my shoes. I also led worship and looked agitatedly at the drummer briefly.
In 2016: My plan is to become a respected and much-loved TV personality. I will start with the occasional appearance on the One Show, before moving on to appear in a BBC adaptation of a Charles Dickens novel. Later I will be invited to be a guest host on Have I Got News For You, and I’ll end the year being interviewed on the Graham Norton Show.
I went to Iceland. I rode the plane all by myself. This was actually more of an achievement than it seems, given that my flight left Luton at 7:30am and at 11:00pm the night before I had just broken down outside Welwyn Garden City and my passport was still in Southampton. Iceland is beautiful. They have boiling water coming out of the ground and mountains everywhere. It never got dark. David Blurton and Rachel Salmon are wonderful hosts.
In 2016: I will go to Portugal. I will actually do this one.
I acquired a girlfriend in a game of chance. The fastest ever built. She is beautiful and Scottish (kind of) and prone to bursting into song at any point.
In 2016: Nope. Not touching this one with a bargepole. Nada. Nothing. Nope.
I washed a towel. For the first time in my life. Genuinely. I thought towels getting washed was something that happened once a year when you go home for Christmas. Surely they don’t get dirty? You only use them just after you’ve cleaned. This may have been related to the previous highlight.
In 2016: I will wash it for a second time.
I bought a car. We said a long and emotional farewell to the Mikeyra – a car of personality, charm and vivacity. I replaced it with a faceless drone of a silver Ford Fiesta. It has power steering, electric windows and a cup holder. I love it. I’ve already lost it in a car park at least twice.
In 2016: I will clean it more than once and maybe even take it in for a service.
I performed a very questionable, hour-long Elvis impression. I don’t think anymore detail needs to be added to this.
In 2016: I will spend the entire year doing an impression of Alan Rickman eating a peach.
I voluntarily bought and ate spinach. I put it in a smoothie.
In 2016: I will voluntarily buy and eat two avocados. Including the stone. And the skin.
I put the riff from Uptown Funk into two separate worship songs. It was Israel Houghton’s You are Good and Matt Redman’s Sing like the Saved. New levels of glory were reached by all present. One lady was healed of a chronic addiction to One Direction right there on the spot.
In 2016: I will play the theme from Neighbours in every single worship session that I lead.
I played guitar at the Bournemouth International Centre in front of 2,000 teenagers. They seemed to like it. I also played a brief but extravagant solo on a rogue cowbell that I found on the stage.
In 2016: I will play a nationwide tour of all the big venues. Mostly cowbell-based music. It will just be Lady Marmalade over and over again.
I freaking nailed a best man speech. It was hilarious and heartfelt. Perfectly formed. The Queen actually phoned me afterwards to congratulate me.
In 2016: I am going to begin an astonishingly successful career in after-dinner speaking. But, to ease the burden, I will just deliver the same best man speech every single time.
I grew a magnificent beard. It is glorious and ever so slightly ginger. It gives me a sense of grandeur that was hitherto missing from my life. I became approximately 40% more wise. People started to thank me as I walked by on the street. Apparently it became ok to touch my face without warning – now I know what pregnant women feel like. Apart from the morning sickness, swelling, hormones, back pain, horrible discomfort and the fact that they have to push a human out of their body.
In 2016: I will continue to grow said facial hair, until I can reasonably apply to be the headmaster of Hogwarts.
I watched Star Wars at the cinema. Twice.
In 2016: I will probably watch it again.