Thursday, January 07, 2021

Review of the Year

For the last six months I've been posting a weekly Facebook link to my highlights of the week in popular culture. Or maybe unpopular culture would be better? You know me.

On balance it is worth doing this as well though. I like trying to work out what was the best of the year, especially last year which didn't have many bests in it.


My favourite individual tunes of 2020 are on this link to Spotify. It seems to have been a year when my spirits were raised by three chords and jangly guitars. Nowt wrong with that.

For album of the year I often struggle. New music is simply music you haven't heard before. As I do not listen to much radio I quite often 'discover' music that's been around a bit. Which meant it was great to find the Billy Franks' back catalogue and Man Alive by The 4 of Us (which I had on cassette in the car in the 1990s) make their way onto Spotify. But that said I enjoyed:

EOB - Earth

Foals - Collected Remixes

HAIM - Women in Music Pt. III 

Khruangbin - Mordecai

Surprise Chef - All News is Good News

Westerman - Your Hero is Not Dead

Zapatilla - Zapatilla


I read more books in 2020 than any year since records began (1988). But how many were written in 2020? Not many. Plaudits to:


Andrew Hunter Murray - The Last Day

Daisy Johnson - Sisters

Catherine Lacey - Pew


Adam Rutherford - How to Argue with a Racist


In TV/Film I caught up with many box-sets during lock-down using a Prime subscription and latterly Netflix. Like many others our favourite film of the year was Armando Iannucci's spirit-lifting The Personal History of David Copperfield.

But I found the year much-improved by Better Call Saul, Peaky Blinders, Bones (plots become increasingly improbable by Season 5), The Good Fight and Brokenwood.


Wapping Wharf
I only had three or four meals out all year but all were nice. My usual haunt of WB at Wapping Wharf is always good but Gambas Tapas just along from there is also excellent.

I missed my couple of times a year at the Pony and Trap at Chew but found the yurt version at Breaking Bread on the Downs very acceptable for a wedding anniversary. In April the Pony and Trap at Chew is changing its focus to a foraging and training centre with meals for volunteers on the estate. But they are opening a restaurant in Bedminster. Hooray.

Clifton Downs Yurts
On a north Wales holiday I discovered that Cadwaladers ice-cream in Criccieth was as good as ever. Also that Grasmere Gingerbread can be mail-ordered.

Here's to better things to review away from home in 2021.

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