Review 2003: Introduction.

One two. Two zeros. One three. Reduced to its bare bones, the figure 2003 isn't all that special. In fact, nestled between the palindromic 2002 and the multiple friendly 2004 it's quite dull really. At the turn of the year it seemed to lack significance as well. With the debates over the true millennium and the disappointing tragedy of the time that followed, it's not hard to see why few people even thought anything truly significant would happen this year. On a personal level, with all the excitement of the Commonwealth Games and Paris behind me this would be the morning after the wild night before, in which reality again took the place of fantasy and I would be enduring the ongoing grind of work.

But this first complete year of the weblog has been busy, talking about events happening globally and personally. The world has again, at first hand, watched cause and effect in action, choices and actions piling on top of one another to the extent that our news programmes are a patchwork of anger and mayhem. The writing here has mixed the elation of the lifting cloud of the past with the crushing realization that my future really starts next year and I'm going to be making choices which could effect the rest of my life.

The perfect time then to take stock, pitch camp and consider the future. Unlike previous festive seasons where I've written about the many things I've been drawn to during the year I thought I would let the people I've met online or whose work I've written about and enjoyed over the past twelve months talk about how it was for them. I sent each contributor five questions and I'll be publishing their responses in the days leading up to new leap year. Their answers are often funny, usually startling and incredibly poignant. They prove that no matter how mundane you think your life is sometimes, someone else, somewhere else is doing something incredible, and that you're just waiting your turn. I hope you enjoy this stroll through the recent past and if something sparks your interest or you want to offer your own answers you can email at the usual address, feelinglistless (at) btopenworld (dot) com.

Tomorrow: What was the best thing which happened to you personally in 2003?

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