VIDEO: Review of the Year 2018 – 5 January 2019
The tragedy of an established tradition is when it begins to become a chore.
Each year, around November time, I start racking my brain for a location or theme in which to set my next annual REVIEW film.
This year, though, that was the easy bit. As I say at the start of this year’s effort: “Where else to begin the story of my 2018 than Cliveden?”. Having been both the location of my engagement to Kristen, and where Meghan Markle spent her last night as a commoner, it seemed a suitably romantic backdrop for my latest rose-tinted review.
And rose-tinted it is indeed. It’s a whole minute shorter than last year’s five-minute jobby — largely because I curtailed the usual depressing news section, and axed altogether the ‘dearly-departed’ obits. The knock-on result is that it is almost entirely about me (sorry) and, therefore, really rather upbeat.
Viewers may find that slightly grating; especially those for whom 2018, for all manner of reasons, was sorely painful. I thought a lot about whether to put in my typical self-aware nod, acknowledging that it is good fortune alone that has allowed me to reflect happily on the year now ended. In the end, I left out much semblance of serendipitous balance. But, dear friends, know this: I care, I feel for you, and I’m genuinely sorry to those who’ve lost loved ones or struggled on by in 2018. “There but for the grace of God go I,” as the 16th Century Reformer, John Bradford, supposedly once said.
But I hope that those of you who have become somewhat ‘cult’ followers of my REVIEWs will enjoy this latest sunny edition.
This year’s highlights include my graduation from the University of Sheffield and my new job with ITV in Leeds. Other references include my four European mini-breaks (Madrid, Spain; Cologne, Germany; Saint-Gervais, France; and Vienna, Austria) plus UK holidays (North Wales with St Luke’s; Castleton with St Mark’s; South Devon with Kristen; Dorset with my family; and Staffordshire with Kristen).
It is, once again, a few days late: when there’s 200 miles between your two bedrooms, whatever annual leave you have left after seeing to all the obligatory family festivities is largely consumed by travel. Sadly, that also meant I had no way to include a half-amusing line (“A pilgrimage to Ironbridge where the iron bridge was shut“), which only came to me two days after returning northwards having left my microphone in Maidenhead.
So I finish this year’s production with a bit of a ‘that’ll do’ attitude. Once again, big thanks to the ever-loyal Josh Kaplan, as well as Ben Perkins and Phil Saunders who tweeted messages of support. They were much needed when I realised, all-too-late, a sound issue on the Cliveden links: somehow, the camera ended up recording an awful amount of white noise under my voice (my fault, not Kristen’s, who kindly held the camera for me last Thursday). The scripting isn’t my finest. And Final Cut’s image stabilisation can only do so much for the opening shot.
But it’ll do. After all, there’s only another eleven months until I begin thinking about the next.