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The Life of P

Tag: new year

Resolutionary Road

Well, 2016 is finally over and, if you are reading this, it looks as though you survived it. The New Year celebrations brought proclamations that 2017 had to be a better year. I certainly hope that is true but, if so, it means we have a lot of work to do in order to clean up the mess left in 2016’s wake. Disney reportedly has a $50 million insurance payout with which to address Carrie Fisher’s presence is Episode IX of Star Wars, but amongst the various treats bestowed by 2016 we still need to deal with navigating Brexit, the commencement of a Trump Presidency and rebuilding Syria should the current ceasefire hold. We can certainly make 2017 a better year than its predecessor but let us not pretend it will be an easy one. Instead, let us roll up our sleeves and embrace these challenges now that we are prepared for them.

I am not generally one for New Year’s resolutions. If you want to do something, you will do it anyway, so the practice has always seemed more like setting oneself up for failure with most resolutions lying in tatters by the end of January. On the other hand, it does offer an opportunity for interesting endeavours based on the calendar year. In other words, for me resolutions are for frivolous projects.

My film watchlist has gradually grown to well over 300 and, although I knock off many each year, overall the list continues to grow. With time off in the week leading up to the New Year I have managed to watch a film on the list each day, which inspired a resolution of sorts for next year: to watch one film from the list each week. That would guarantee 52 films removed from the list by the end of the year. Undoubtedly new films will be added during the year (and invariably I will be watching a lot of “non-list” films) but hopefully this will result in a net reduction rather than unfettered growth. I am not prioritising any particular films on the list and it will likely be guided by availability on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

My intention is to check in with periodic updates on progress. I hope you will enjoy the journey even if, in the venerable tradition of New Year’s resolutions, I fail spectacularly. If you have made any interesting resolutions, whether serious or frivolous, feel free to share.

Meanwhile, for no particular reason, here is a recipe for the Corpse Reviver #2, my preferred hair-of-the-dog cocktail. It strikes me as a fitting cocktail not just for today but for 2017 in general.

1 part gin
1 part Cointreau
1 part Lillet Blanc
1 part fresh lemon juice
1 dash absinthe
Glass: cocktail
Garnish: orange peel

Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a chilled glass and garnish.

Thirty-One Point Five Million

Turkey I was a little apprehensive about this year’s decision that my cousins and I would be cooking Christmas dinner for the family (not my idea). Fortunately it all went smoothly and, beyond the logistics of juggling limited oven space, it is hard to understand all the fuss if the work is shared a little. And if you have home-made chef’s hats. I remain utterly sceptical about celebrating anything with turkey — there is a reason we do not eat the blandest bird in existence the rest of the year — but the secret to a great Christmas meal seems to be coating absolutely everything in goose fat.

CousinsThe best new tradition that emerged under our watch was using The Final Countdown as the soundtrack to lighting the Christmas pudding, of which no doubt G.O.B. would have heartily approved. My uncle Rajan’s absence was keenly felt even when not addressed directly, but it was good to have the family together and it was strangely comforting to know a similar feeling was shared by my family overseas with their own empty chair.

Whilst I enjoy the real world parties, New Year’s Eve may be my least favourite day on social networks. I think there is a lot to be said for using the arbitrary calendar marker as a time of reflection over the previous year, but most of the myriad potted life summaries that litter facebook that day tend to be irritating works of fiction because: (a) capturing 31.5 million seconds of human experience in a couple of paragraphs is an exercise in futility; and (b) writing for public consumption has an understandably self-serving goal entirely to different to one’s deeper personal reflections. Were I to write my own “2013 in review” it would probably be something like this:

I spent this year on a rock that feels increasingly small, hurtling around a gigantic ball of fire at 30km/s.

Inexplicably, I somehow managed to hold on.

Actually, that sounds rather apt.

Musings for a New Year

New Year fireworksI saw in the new year with a few friends amid the crowds on the South Bank watching fireworks launched over the river. From below the colourfully lit London Eye it was a fairly spectacular experience, even for one spoiled by Cambridge fireworks displays. Sadly with virtually every bridge closed until 1am, getting food became a problematic endeavour, one which we ultimately abandoned. With my expectations for new year shindigs generally deflated by a few underwhelming experiences, this was a surprisingly fun night and great opportunity to catch up with some old friends.

2008 brought two major changes. One was the end of student life and the start of my working career. The other was the end of a three year relationship. Work could not be going better — both the firm and the IP department suit me incredibly well in both quality of work and especially the general atmosphere. It may be early to say, but I certainly hope to remain here as I cannot see another firm better suiting me. And I’m not the only one. The only slight hiccup was the departure of my supervisor, having taking a few months to build up a rapport, meaning I have now moved to a new office. It is not without advantage, giving me a new perspective on the department from a different floor and getting to know new people, as well as giving me access to different types of work (trade mark as opposed to the more “hardcore” patent litigation!). I will be sad to move on to my next seat in a few months.

It was during my trip to the States over summer that, given some distance, both Kirsten and I realised our relationship had run its course. We were fortunate in reaching this realisation at the same time, resulting in a perhaps eerily amicable break up, which sees us remain friends. As ever I will not air personal details here, nor will I discuss what she has been up to since. Suffice to say after three years together it is inevitable that there will be some residual emotional fallout but I can look back fondly on the time we spent together as positive and enhancing rather than wasted.

So the two big shifts of the last year were fundamentally positive leaving me with a stable but fairly empty slate upon which to carve out 2009. I am happy and I am free (in both the general sense and more specifically single, allowing me to take advantage of any opportunities that present themselves without first considering someone else), which are about as good a set of circumstances as a new year could possibly offer. Broadly at least, I can see the direction my life is taking and I like it. I am not generally one for mandated resolutions, but were I to have one it would probably be this: don’t start compromising now. I have not so far, and I see no reason to begin in 2009.

January Recap

Yes, it has been too long since the last post. Essentially there were a few minor exams at the start of term which delayed posting and by then I’d missed a proper post about the New Year and subsequently became rather lazy. So here’s a brief rundown of how January has unfolded.

New Year was spent with Kirsten’s friend Moni and her boyfriend who came over from Germany. A mixup in booking flights meant ze Germans actually only reached the house at around 11pm, too late to go out and do much. So instead we opened a bottle of vodka, watched fireworks on TV and chatted. Many, many shots later the boys woke up with hangovers and trailed after the girls as they shopped in London. Repayment was dinner at the outstanding Hakkasan so one could hardly complain. Incidentally, creator Alan Yau has recently sold on the restaurant, along with the newer Yauatcha, to a foreign investment company for $60 million. Whether this will have any effect on its success is unknown, but you might want to book now just in case…

The new term at BPP kicked off with a couple of accounting exams which swiftly supressed our post-holiday exuberance. They turned out to be not bad at all, although results will not be released for some time. I had to do the first paper sans calculator after they took issue with mine for “looking like their picture” of a programmable one. At least that made it a little more interesting…

After that things died down into a steady tedium with little to report. Most of my free time has been spent videogaming, with much of the Christmas back catalogue still remaining. Games will require their own post at some point soon so I shan’t dwell here.

Stef’s birthday was last weekend and was a fun night out in Covent Garden, despite initial trouble due to Kirsten’s lack of ID (even at 21, really?). Joe and I talked games for a bit as he is currently working for Frontier Developments on “techno thriller” The Outsider. I finally ventured into Dirty Martini which is a great cocktail bar insofar as the drinks and staff go, but the venue is far too small and hideously overcrowded which significantly detracts from the experience. Their signature drink, a dirty martini obviously, was pleasant enough but the more outrageous chocolate martini went down surprisingly well with our crowd. Personally I’d still recommend a more classic martini, best obtained by ordering their Hendricks martini and requesting olives instead of their bizarre default garnish of cucumber.

And finally since I assume our family all now know, it is safe to write that my cousin Jenna is pregnant again. If her second child is even half as cute as Karleigh you can expect plenty of photos. It is due this summer so there’s currently a possibility that I may get out to the States during my last few weeks off before work starts in September.

"Luck is the residue of design."

(CC) BY-NC 2004-2021 Priyan Meewella

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