Yearnotes 2022

I decided to give the Weeknotes format another go in the middle of 2022 but it was, ultimately, unsuccessful. My hypothesis is that I don’t tend to sit at a computer on a Sunday evening and, therefore, writing something at that point in the week isn’t natural. I may play with the idea later this year but – maybe – generating 15 blogs for 2022 isn’t that bad.

There were two major events this year: I started a new job and bought a flat but those are not the kind of things I can track year-on-year.


Apparently, I went to the gym 38 times which is nowhere near where it should be but also much better than I imagined it would be. I was monitored taking 3,652,508 steps. My cumulative exercise distance is 1,721 miles (burning 253,432 kcal) and exercising for 16 days and 9 minutes in total. But, I still ended up putting on a little bit of weight I lost last year. Not all of it, but some. I’m just glad I didn’t count all the calories that I consumed.

2022 in music

As last year, I have three different services that track some version of my music consumption but I am not really sure how accurate any of them are monitoring my listening.

  • Last FM should aggregate everything I listen to (they claim 6,663 listens) and say Bananarama was my top artist of 2022 (which may be right, I did see them twice), their latest album, Masquerade, was the most played album but they didn’t get the most played track honour, that went to Cody Johnson’s ‘Til You Can’t.
  • Apple Music, the main way I play my own music, says I listened to 3,202 tracks and reckons Miranda Lambert was my top artist this year, if I ignore the Christmas Chill album that they say was my number one, Apple also thinks Masquerade was my top listened to album but claims Circles Around This Town, (Maren Morris) is the most listened to individual track. ‘Til You Can’t was down at 6 on Apple’s count.
  • I don’t really use Spotify for much except some chill-out sounds on a connected speaker. So, to discover that, of the 2672 minutes tracked, the top song was Thomas Newman’s Any Other Name from the American Beauty soundtrack was not a surprise (nor was it that Thomas Newman also tracked as my most played to artist.) Spotify said Maren Morris was my third most listened to artist.

The basic rule here, I shouldn’t rely on a system to synthesise my musical year.

All the socials

Who really knows what’s happening at Twitter? In the last couple months the main reason I’ve logged on to Twitter is to read about Twitter. I have a Mastodon account but I have yet to pontificate there.

In 2022 there were more tweets that last year, mainly generated because of a bit of a rant at noted Apple Commentator, John Gruber, for his mischaracterisation of the European market for NFC payments.

But before Apple Pay, NFC was hardly used, even though Android had supported it since 2011

In the UK, which was definitely part of Europe for most of the period in question, that statement is just plain wrong. Just one example, Contactless payments were introduced by TfL before Apple Pay was launched here and they quickly accounted fro 30% of all travel payments. I don’t agree with some of the EU’s decisions around technology but, equally, the American tendency to assume behaviours in the US reflect the rest of the world is frustrating.

37 grid pictures on Instagram this year. I re-counted last year and I have no idea why last year’s review claimed 16 when it seems there were 45. There were 145 stories in 2022. I really prefer the story format and the 2022 highlights are a great summary of the year but I retain a soft spot for the grid format as a more permeant memory bank. Even though I posted more pictures this year, I relegated most of my social apps to a folder off my phone’s Home Screen and I have found myself endless scrolling a lot less. I am reading more blogs again. At the moment I have around 40 feeds tracked in my NetNewsWire and it’s a much better that all the all the Twitter angst and argument.

Since I started using Instagram all those years ago I have tried to keep it to contemporary pictures and not use it to post old images. There are a couple of exceptions and World Radio Day 2022 was one of them. The post on that day included one of my favourite paragraphs that I wrote this year, which I did repeat on Twitter,

Tomorrow morning, why not ‘turn up the feel good’ with ‘more of the songs you love’ that are probably ‘the biggest hits and the biggest throwbacks’ on the ‘UK’s No.1 Hit Music Station’ or, my current choice, ‘The UK’s Country Station’.

I thought it was a nice way of merging all those big radio marketing slogans I am not sure anybody else did.

I tried to compete a full year of journal entries on Blipfoto but, I failed. Because I tend to write them in another app through the day, I have found cross-posting them a slow and uninspiring process. I thought it would be easier to write in a Journal app which could be used to create a daily Blipfoto diary and weeknotes but it didn’t work out. I’m trying again for 2023.

Books, TV and Cinema

I did manage to complete my Reading Challenge this year, I read 13 books (more than the anticipated 12) which is a great improvement on the pandemic years. For me, reading has always gone hand-in-hand with travel and so, during the COVID years when I neither commuted or travelled, I had no muscle-memory of picking up a book and reading at home.

In 2022 we started to travel a little more and I found that, as I started reading I was able to find a bit of time at home. And so I managed the twelve books. Two of the twelve introduced me to Arthur Bryant and John May, described as “Golden Age Detectives in a modern world” and I found them a lovely read. I look forward to reading more this year.

I read a kind-of love letter to radio, Last Train to Hilversum, which was a fascinating, and two books by radio presenters: No One Listens to Your Dad’s Show, Christian O’Connell’s autobiography and Mark Radcliffe’s Thank You for the Days. I still enjoy reading about radio – such a wonderful medium. But, I didn’t leave TV out this year. I read a couple of histories of ITV (where I was working at the time): Raymond Fitzwalter’s The Dream That Died and ITV Cultures: Independent Television Over Fifty Years which was a bit academic and heavy going.

Perhaps the most influential book was Giles Turnbull‘s The agile comms handbook which has resulted in me keeping up at least one weeknotes habit: my weekly work report.

My favourite anecdote came from Grace Dent’s Hungry where she is telling a story about when she learned enough about wine in eleven short minutes to prepare for a lifetime. What happens if a sommelier wants to talk to you?

Oh, he doesn’t want to talk to you, Hector said. ‘He wants to talk at you. It’s just a game. The sommelier’s job is to know everything about the bottles on the list. Your only job is to drink it. The winning tactic,’ he continued, is to seem genuinely interested when they harp on. It’s simple, really.’

I didn’t get to the cinema in 2022. I actually got to the cinema in both of the pandemic years so this year was very much an exception. But there are some great series on the streaming services. I didn’t get into the new Tiger King but I can thoroughly recommend Apple TV’s Slow Horses, Only Murders in The Building on Netflix and Hacks on Amazon Prime. I did enjoy catching up on 2017’s The Hitman’s Bodyguard and, of course, I sang along about Bruno with the rest of the world while watching Encanto.