Everything happened this year. Revolutions, riots, dictator deaths, economic crises, royal weddings, the release of Captain America, featuring Chris Evans’ giant pecs, Kelly Rowland and a selection of wigs appeared on a painfully mediocre X-Factor, , a fictional Prime Minister boffed a pig, and I cut off all my hair… I could go on, but I think you get the picture. 2011 was The Year of Stuff Happening All The Damn Time™.
In that spirit, here are a few things I, Bim Adewunmi, did in 2011:
- I read 33 books this year. I started by laughing, crying and gasping with recognition at Sathnam Sanghera’s fantastic The Boy With The Topknot, slogged through Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom (and honestly, didn’t mind it as many seemed to), reunited with the Sweet Valley twins (they have sex now), raced through The Hunger Games trilogy, giggled at Tina Fey’s Bossypants and worked through the pleasant dreamy fog of Teju Cole’s Open City. And then there was the magnificentThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. I can’t decide which was my favourite read of 2011, but I can tell you the one I hated with the kind of passion that fuels wars – Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From The Goon Squad. Lawd…
- I watched 51 never-seen-before movies this year: the first, on January 3, was The Kids Are All Right, and the latest was Tropic Thunder – guess which one was miles better? Only 12 films on the list were released this year and I can’t make up my mind which is my favourite. It’s between Drive, Attack The Block, 50/50, Friends With Benefits and The Black Power Mixtape. For sheer fun and verve, I’d probably go with Attack The Block.
- Work-wise, I had a cool year. I got to interview Jane Pratt (OMG!) for The Guardian. I wrote two cover stories (whoop!) for G2 – on women’s football and a very long piece on shadism (check out the cool cover here). I also got invited to speak on NPR(!) and Radio 4’s Broadcasting House about the London riots.
- I had my first public reading this year. The lovely literary people at Letters You Never Sent allowed me to read a letter to Primark out in front of paying punters. In the course of the reading, I invited the audience to look at my bottom and extolled the virtues of fleece-lined tights. I know.
- I blogged a lot less this year (sorry if you wanted more) and while I loved writing all the posts, here are my personal biggest likes of the year: The Electrician Always Buzzes Twice, The Day I Got Kicked In The Street, YorubaGirl at A&E, Kids Characters All Grown Up and my very personal favourite, the essay I did about dating, Are The Players Playing?
- Other cool 2011 stuff – my friend took me to see an old fave An American In Paris on the big screen at the BFI as a birthday treat, I made kitchen curtains (red gingham country kitchen-style), baked a zucchini loaf for the first time, went to see FELA! at the National Theatre, bought about 10 new nail varnishes, started eating fish again after a 20-odd year hiatus, began wearing lipstick, lost a tooth, underwent dental surgery (an essay on that is under construction), bought my first electric toothbrush – BUZZY! – and acquired a filing cabinet. Also, my afro matured incredibly cutely.
What does 2012 hold? Who knows? Well actually, I do a bit. I know I’m getting dental implants in January and I know I’ll be in considerable financial debt following it. I’d like to go on holiday next year. I’d like to fall in love (hook a sister up, yo), write more (journalism and fiction), make more money, move into a bigger flat, get a dog, learn to swim, and actually, genuinely become a bicycle owner/rider.
To utilise a format more commonly found on Tumblr, I want more of this: