Review 2005

Pete Nu

When I saw the invitation to describe a moment when I succeeded in doing something that I've always wanted to do, I foolishly pounced upon it. Not because I had already started writing my entry in my head, but for precisely the opposite reason. I figured that perhaps I needed a little coaxing into actually paying attention to my own life, and this might be a good opportunity to actually examine in some way the year that has just finished.

The end of the year is a time when I always find myself looking back - not over the year that just finished, but over all the years that went before it. I see winters past, in the village where I grew up. My parents are currently in the process of splitting up, so I expect that this Christmas will be the last time that I ever set foot in that village. When I left the village three and a half years ago, I told all my friends that I'd stay in touch, but I didn't. I feel bad about that, but I guess they've forgotten about me by now, so it will never be the right time to make amends, and I'll have to bear the memory of that myself.

I've already decided what my New Years Resolution will be, but it's too embarrassing to talk about. Oh, okay then - I've resolved to "Be More Aragorn". It's one of those Zen adjectives which can't be defined, hence the confused look on your face. I began my preparations a few months ago by beginning to grow my hair, but then on Friday (18th November) I decided that long hair didn't suit me, and that being "Aragorn" wasn't really about the hair anyway, otherwise it wouldn't be so undefinable, so I went to the barber and was restored to my smarter self.

Oh golly, I seem to be rambling. To business...

I have travelled a fair bit this year - I've been abroad no less than three times, which I think is a record for me. And in May I finally succeeded in making my way out of Europe for the first time in my life, and to New York.

Now, visiting New York is not something that has exactly consumed me as a big must-do thing, but I guess I've always known that at some point in my life I would end up visiting there, and I've always quietly looked forward to it. My best friend went there a few years back, and when he came back he was a changed man. I don't think I've ever known him to show as much enthusiasm in anything, neither before nor since. And then, last year, circumstances finally started to spiral into place to make it possible for Karen and I to visit. Her new job was going to require her to head over on business, so while she was there, I might as well tag along and see it for myself.

My brain's a slightly different shape these days as a result. I don't know whether New York is a thick liquid that poured into a vacant space, causing it to bulge under the pressure, or whether it is a foam-like substance that nuzzles its way in between two existing brainy bits, but either way it is in there now, like my own little conjoined twin, giving little kicks and yelps a few times a day.

Though "Going to New York" fulfils the requirements of this assignment, it is going to have to share the billing with another item, which is probably much more exciting for me than for you, but this is my review so stick it up your nose - this year I ceased to use Microsoft Windows on my home computer. Isn't that great?

Back story: I'd tried Mandrake Linux a few years back but had to give up as I only had a winmodem, and didn't want to buy new hardware at the time. This year, in February, I installed Ubuntu Linux, and got on much better with it. I'm not going to claim that it is suitable for everyone, and even for me it was looking doubtful at first, but all my answers were on Google and now I can't imagine myself ever switching back. If there were things that I could do on Windows that I can't do with Linux, then I've forgotten what they were.

Pete Nu @ pete.nu

For an introduction and list of contributors to Review 2005, follow this link.

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