In 2019, I completed 155 tasks in my todo file. Here are a few of the highlights:
- Spoke at a sort of academic conference, which I helped organise. Also spoke about Poulantzas at a marxist student meeting.
- Wrote a Masters dissertation (although, I do have to re-write it so I’m not sure if this counts).
- Demonstrated on an ‘introduction to geography’ module at the university. Took some students on a field trip.
- Wrote a few other essays, and a lot of blog posts.
- Attended two fairly interesting international political events, three if you count my yearly trip to Ostend.
- Gained some experience using QGIS to make maps. I’m no expert by any means, but I’m far more comfortable with the software than I used to be.
- Took on some small organisational roles in a small political party. I’ve helped keep political activity ticking over in Leicester, and I’m proud of that.
- Finally got my article on pasokification published, and was later invited to speak about it in Leeds.
Here are some things I wanted to accomplish last year, but failed to do so:
- Learn to drive.
- Learn (artistic) printing techniques.
- Complete a coding project, and get experience with a coding language.
Here are some side projects I have planned for 2020:
- Contribute to a book - a co-authored chapter in an edited volume.
- Backup all my tweets from the last 11 years into a readable format for this site.
- Finish off a second website project I’ve been working on.
- Write an ‘easy introduction to rural gentrification’ text, and maybe turn it into a little zine for people.
And here are some things I would aspire to achieve this coming year:
- Sort out my life, settle down into an apartment hopefully.
- Be less tired. Go swimming more.
- Have a loving and mutually-supporting relationship with someone I enjoy spending time with. Who knows, it might happen.
- Visit Bulgaria, for fun.
- Possibly go to Russia, for another political meeting.
- Present something at one of the big academic conferences, like the RGS-IBG.
- Play through the full release of Black Mesa from start to finish, including the Xen chapters. This game has been almost 15 years in the (re)making, so I’m excited to see the final thing.
Looking back at the past year, it seemed like the first half of 2019 was generally stable: I had a solid living situation, was in a long-term relationship, I knew what I was doing and didn’t have to worry too much about the future. I even bought an xbox, which was an unexpectedly significant life goal.
At the end of 2019 I had an unstable living situation, no girlfriend, and my position at the university is tenuous. Hm. While nothing at this point is a major catastrophe, I definitely left the year in a much worse state than when I entered it.
This time last year, the streets of Paris were full of riot police, and the same scenes are playing out again one year later. Once again popular demands push up against the logic of the market. Protests against neo-liberalism rocked governments across the world. Britain began the year with a conservative government, it ended the year with a conservative government, and the economy teeters on the edge of a recession. Crisis continues, and capitalism continues to decay while the capitalist class only grows more powerful.
Happy New Year 2020! 🎉