In the words of our song of the year, Heavyweight Champion of the World by Reverend and the Makers, 'If you're not living on the edge you take up too much room.' Quite. Which along with realise, just, appears and seems are the overused words of the year. We will try to remove them next year and are quite (oops) sure you will help. We will also be trying to get the hang of cadence before taking a long walk onomatopoeia. By the way watch the good Reverend's video and hear the tune by clicking here.
Book of the year? The Testament of Gideon Mack by James Robertson was published in November 2006 but we read it this year. Likewise Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safron Foer which was published in 2005. Both of these were terrific. For a book published this year, which MSS read, heads had to be scratched a lot. Christopher Brookmyre's annual offering, this time The Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks was brilliant and Ian McEwan's, On Chesil Beach emotive. But just pinching it was Adrian Chiles' We Don't Know What We're Doing. It's the story of the people he met in a year spent attending games with West Bromwich Albion fanatics. We're not that normal. The moment he, dressed as the Baggie Bird (West Brom's mascot) greeted Birmingham City's Croatian captain in his native tongue was wonderful. Chiles has a Croatian mum.
Album of the year. Reverend and the Makers are pdg and that was a 2007 album but we think Alan Lomax's Southern Journey Remixed (2004) was our discovery of the year. Our vote goes to The Shins for Wincing the Night Away. Radiohead's download only In Rainbows was too good to count in the normal system. It was simply the best Radiohead album of the year, a category of its own.
Restaurant of the year? We do go on a lot about Bordeaux Quay but it is hard to be unimpressed by their consistent brilliance. I know someone who got too slow a coffee once, about a year or so ago, but otherwise everyone I've taken has said yippee. But our nicest meal was served at a place we only went to once - The Hambrough Hotel and Restaurant on the Isle of Wight.
TV? No thanks. But if we must, how about Heston Blumenthall's series on classic dishes. You can do this at home if you make a mini cement mixer out of a coffee tin and attach it to your powerdrill, heating the contents with a hair drier the while. Oh yes you can. Don't stuff your goose; simply rear it on sage and onion.
Film of the Year? We think Hot Fuzz gets it for the sheer joy of seeing Somerfield in Wells being trashed and the bishop's lawn being used for a sort of seance. The Golden Compass was pretty good though and we enjoyed Breach and Michael Clayton very much.
Man of the year? Can we look any further than the Archbishop of York, a guy who has got the hand of the prophetic gesture. Hoodie wearing? Kipping in his chapel? Open air baptisms? Cutting up clerical collars? Tick, tick, tick, tick. MSS would follow that sort of leadership but sadly finds itself in the wrong Province. (We're in Canterbury, he's in York for non-initiates into this anglo-jumbo.) Woman of the year is Fi Glover. Her Saturday Live show on Radio 4 did something we thought impossible - made us get over John Peel's death at last. Thanks. We might stop pretending there's more than one of us soon but it just feels like the right voice for the moment. Happy New Year.