It is 4:30 in the morning on September 30th 2005 and I'm sitting on platform 13 of Manchester Picadilly railway station waiting for the first train back home to Liverpool. It is cold and whatever skeleton staff are manning the station are pumping music through the annoucement speakers to keep everyone awake. I'm reminded of the scene from Ang Lee's film The Ice Storm were Tobey Maguire is sitting on the iced up morning train reading a Fantastic Four comic. I have a book, but I'm so tired I can't see the words, let alone understand their meaning.
One day I'll write about the events which led up to me being in that situation. The reason I mention it here is because I wanted to give an example of something that I've always wanted to do -- to be catching that first morning train home. It's an odd thing to wish for and certainly there are higher examples on the list which include great monuments and the set of some television show but I think that it's true that most people, apart from those dream experiences, have all kinds of things they always wished they could do.
For this year's Review 2005, over the next thirty-one days, right through to New Year's Eve all kinds of people will be writing all about those experiences. About those moments when they finally did that thing they've always wanted to do, and about how it made them feel. Some will be films they've seen, or concerts they've been to or foods they've tried. Others will tell us about the fundamentals, the changes which have happened or decisions they've made that have changed their life forever...
Annette C Arrigucci
Stuart Ian Burns
Nice Guy Eddie
Laura Póvoa Tintori
Well, I really hadn't expected that.
I've been trying to write this conclusion or epilogue or whatever it is for days. I wanted to offer something to sum up what's been written by everyone else here but really I can't. Not without sounding fake, fatuous or false.
When in mid-October I began to think about the substance of this year's Review 2005, how I'd be getting the world involved I simply hadn't assumed that there would be thirty-two people willing enough to put themselves out in that way -- take the time to write something for this weblog, and such great writing, about big issues and big emotions. I mean really, as each email came in and I sat reading about how their lives had changed this year, about those fundamentals, I was humbled.
Two thousand and five was a difficult twelve months. In the closing of the year, look at a newspaper, watch the television and there will be someone describing the bodyshocks the planet and its people have experienced, trying to comprend how we'll cope if similar things occur in two thousand and six. What the people who've written here over the past thirty-one days have proved is that life goes on. We will cope. People do. We just carry on.
Thank you everybody.