Review of 2015 and a look at 2016

It has been a very work focussed year for me and I have done some amazing things. Notably the development and production of our idea Hackstage Pass, with Radio 1 and their Big Weekend 2015. I also made a load of great entertainment for kids and made a fool of myself numerous times for their amusement in the pursuit of TV gold. Keep an eye out for some great online content for The Dog Ate My Homework in the New Year.

hackstagepass

What I didn’t do this year was anything on my list from last years reviews and goals.

Three goals for 2015
Make a short film and submit to festivals
Exhibit photography
Collaborate on an art project

To add to that misery last years review also consisted of me apologising for not achieving any of my goals from the year before that. So I have now realised I need to have some organised creativity. You may remember 2013 when I did a project every month? It was a testing but great experience and I think its about time I had a go again.

2013project

2016 will be a year with a project every month. 12 projects of a wide range of formats, topics and people, some solo but hopefully a few collaborations and that’s where you come in.January will be the now traditional photo a day project but the other 11 are empty. Do you fancy getting involved? Have a look at 2013’s projects to have an idea of the wide range of projects and get in touch.

Best things of 2015

Here is a quick run down of the best “things” I have experienced this year, any of them make your list of best things of 2015?

Best Album

Sufjan Stevens – CARRIE & LOWELL

This was an easy choice for myself as this album has been on repeat at home and in the car since its release. Sufjan reinvents himself again from last years self titled Sisyphus, with Son Lux, and the rapper Serengeti. This raw, honest and brutal album has just been amazing listening. If you havent yet give it a lisen and get it in your life.

Buy Sufjan Stevens – CARRIE & LOWELL

See Sufjan Stevens

Best App

Periscope

Without a doubt this app has been a real highlight of what 2015 has been all about. If you are unaware of what Periscope is it enables you to live stream video from your phone with people across the world able to watch, comment and give you hearts. For example the above left image is me with 28 other people watching somebody walk their dog in Georgia. Mind blown. If you haven’t had a go I strongly suggest it.

Free on App Store / Android Store

Best Beer

MochaccinoSmall

Still some beers to drink this year but this cheeky milk stout has been a major leader for most of the year. Having been an admirer of Pilot and their cheeky Twitter feed I drank the Mochaccion Stout at the 2015 Glasgow Real Ale Festival.

Buy Pilot beers here at Ale Sela  or Drink Monger

Best Coffee

Coffee

Tim Wendelboe

I have drank a lot of coffee this year. This little coffee shop in Oslo has served me the best coffee I have had all year. We were in Oslo for five days and went here about seven times, amazing coffee, beautiful wee shop and great staff. Highly reccomended if you find yourself in Oslo.

About £4 for a coffee.

 

Best Film

The Lobster

This was a real surprise favourite for me this year. I managed to catch it at the new third screen at the Glasgow Film Theatre. With Colin Farrell as lead there was a very strange audience around. They were in hysterics at some terrible ads before the film started and I was beginning to get worried. Were they hoping for another Phone Booth? I suspect they were. This was soon proven correct as a number of people got up a left during the film. It isn’t everyones taste and this brooding dark comedy won’t make everyone laugh but I was laughing my head up, usually due to knowing I really shouldn’t be.

I was really impressed by the Colin Farrell, usually a good reason to switch off a film (Excluding: In Bruges) He manages to absolutely nails this role and with some really strong performances around him I suspect awards.

The Lobster also manages to supply one of my favourite castings of all time, Jacqueline Abrahams who plays “Donkey Shooter”. Perfect.

 

24th beer of Christmas

Red Nose Reinbeer Xmas Ale – Somerset Craft Brewery – 5.0%

  
The eagle eyed among you may have noticed I am not drinking these on the right days. Well tough luck, I’ll be doing want I want.

This final beer of the beeradvent is a rather disappointing end to a great range of beers. Except for the cliched branding and name this isn’t very Christmassy or festive which is how I have permitted some poor beers to be justified.

It’s an ok ale. That’s about it 4/10

So that’s it. 24 beers drank, reviewed and rated. Here’s to some great beer in 2016.

23rd Beer of Christmas 

Easy IPA – Flying Dog Brewey – 4.7%

  
This is a hoptastic treat with just the right amount of bitterness. Fruity punch on the nose with some lovely malty after tastes.

The label is a great alternative to the usual drab or hipster IPA labels. And their copy is fun. This is getting a 9/10 

22nd beer of Christmas 

DOA IPA – Day of the Dead – 6.8%

  
First off, twist off lid.

This hop on and die comes with mad rich malty tones and backed up with amazing bitterness, sweet and triply floral aromas. Think it’s all a bit much as it’s also packing 6.8%. It’s nice but it’s not blowing my mind. 7/10.

20th beer of Christmas 

London Pale Ale – Meantime Brewing – 4.3%

  
A complex mix of hops in this bad boy. Cascade and Centennial hops for the aroma, then loads of local Kentish Goldings for a bitter refreshment. It claims a lot but doesn’t really deliver to be honest. Disappointed after all that hop-buildup. 4/10

Top 5 Posts of 2015

Welcome to a review of the top 5 posts from this years blog. A rather unsuccessful year in general with a disappointing lack of goals achieved, I shall review this sooner to the New Year. Below are the posts that had the most views across the year. Mostly all photography from day trips with a treat of a surprise coming in at Number 1.

5. Day tripping at Blair Drummond

Walk

A few photographs from a fun day out at the wonderful Blair Drummond Safari park. Well worth a visit if you are looking for a day out in Sunny Scotland.

4. The top of Fermanagh & the Great Wall of Cuilcagh

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This mountain, Cuilcagh has been a landscape to my childhood. This year they put a walk way all the way up its 666 metres. Here are some photographs from it. This post was helped by the lovely Freckle giving it a share on twitter, they plan on heading west soon to experience it.

3. Curved ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor, Glencoe

a2

More climbing but this time a Scotish adventure up the Curved Ridge and another Munro ticked off.

2. Daily Photo – 13 – Depth

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As part of my Daily Photo series where I posted a random picture from my 40,000 odd pictures I was archiving. This is from St. Peters Seminary which is about to become a wonderful feature of Architecture 2016.

Hinterland from NVA on Vimeo.

1. Nothing but praise for Shia LaBeouf

Shia

Last but not least it’s Shia. What a year he has and what a total hero. This was a blog recapping my favorite things about him. Shall be adding to this in 2016 no doubt! Even Stevens 2? YES PLEASE!