As both the year and the decade draw to an end and we leave the terribly named "Noughties" for the "Teen" years, one is drawn to reflection on things past. One is mainly drawn to said reflection, because one is bloody busy trying to find some bloody dinosaur toy that is sold out all over the country. One is, therefore, going to give you a list of the things one has loved and hated this year.
1. The low-energy light bulb
I'm sure that this is doing wonders for the polar bears but it has lowered the amount of available light in my house by about 30 per cent. Soon people will flock to houses whose owners have stockpiled "illegal" bulbs. They will bask in the glow of brightly lit parties – parties where you can read and make out who everyone is, like in the good old days when there were polar bears that you had to shoot if they approached you.
2. The Thick of It
I never thought there would be something British to rival my devotion to Curb Your Enthusiasm but then along came this seminal third series and all was good in the world. For Olympian swearing and devastating deconstruction of the essential pointlessness of power- there's nothing that comes close.
3. Florence and the Machine
I can try to pretend that all sorts of bands were my favourite this year but my iTunes doesn't lie. I checked my top 25 most played tracks and three of the top five were from Florence and the Machine's wonderful album Lungs. I totally fell in love with Florence, her Kate Bush-style crazy dancing and the unbelievably powerful songs on this album. Truly, 2009 was the year of the kooky girl in music from Lady Gaga to La Roux and Stacey Solomon to the divine Florence.
4. Sarah Palin's resignation speech as Governor of Alaska
If you missed this then you really need to check it out on YouTube. It is Palin at her absolutely most incoherent. She tends to confuse blind stupidity with "folksiness" and you could see that even the people surrounding the podium were looking concerned at what she was going to say next. God help us if she ever becomes president but I secretly hope she runs, as I'm totally addicted to her car-crash media appearances.
5. Modern Warfare 2
Quite simply the best computer game in history.
6. Increased pointless announcements on trains
I don't know if there has been an edict issued somewhere from the Ministry of Pointless Annoyance but there has definitely been more rubbish over the train Tannoys this year. Every time we pull away from a station a disembodied voice announces that we are on a train, going to our destination, that you can buy food and drink (and then tells you everything available) in the buffet car. Then you are warned to look out for bombs and if you find one, not to be a hero and try to defuse it yourself but to let the conductor know. He will halt the train and run away screaming, bringing the entire train network to a halt for the day.
7. Strictly Come Dancing
I hate Strictly Come Dancing.
I don't even like horror/zombie films; they're really not my bag. I found myself at a loose end one afternoon in a rainy Cardiff and ducked into the cinema and saw this. I was hooked from the first ultra slow-motion shots and hung around for the ride. There is also a fabulous "secret" cameo and a wonderful soundtrack. My film of the year.
I went there as research for my forthcoming book, The Dark Tourist (already a favourite of mine in 2010). I totally and utterly fell in love with the place. I don't want you going there, though. You'll hate it; it's really rubbish; stay away.