Hello, everybody! Welcome to 2012. Jess is asleep on the couch in front of me after a hard night of partying with our bros, and I’m running on six pitiful hours of sleep. What better time to cast a groggy mind back across the year that was? Let’s fire up the Retroscope and sort through the best of two thousand and eleven.
Wedding of the Year
The night before the wedding, my brother Simon threw me a buck’s night at his house. As I don’t drink and am not into strippers, he decided to put me through a punishing series of Manliness Tests instead. These ranged from mowing his lawn, to cooking a ham and cheese sandwich on the barbeque (surprisingly difficult), to explaining exactly how a car worked (sorcery?) to smashing pieces of concrete. With my very own personalised, engraved sledgehammer.
My final score was a very acceptable 435 out of a possible 550, and Simon presented me with my very own “Approved for Marriage” certificate. Which I promptly accidentally left somewhere at the church and lost forever. Thanks Simon!
Honeymoon of the Year
All told it was a bit more rushed than we’d have liked, and we ended up with some staggering roaming bills from Telstra due to the apparently mistaken belief that Google Maps wasn’t that data heavy. But overall it was an amazing experience – the first time Jess had ever been overseas, in fact! – and gave us a great tasting plate of the UK to return to later. We also got to meet some lovely people and eat some lovely food. Also, some awful food. I’m looking at you, any-and-all Indian restaurants in the UK.
We fell absolutely in love with Scotland, and now plan to return there at some point and buy a cottage to live in. This plan is tentatively known as “Operation: Scottage”.
Minimoon of the Year
The picture above is us eating at The Goose Cafe on a Saturday morning. We’d planned to take a walk down the Busselton Jetty but the wind was kicking up a storm and so instead we whiled away the morning inside the beachside cafe, by a crackling fire, eating pancakes and bacon. It was amazing.
Busselton, Margaret River and indeed the whole region are absolutely gorgeous and delightful to visit, but the sheer and utter lack of anything to do after 8PM on any given night was quite pronounced. Nearly everyone we saw had cracked open some sort of booze, and in fact a charming young pair of men walked into the restaurant while we were eating actually drinking already (and carrying a six pack in the other hand) – before casually checking with the waitress if it was okay. And, you know, that’s fine! If that’s what you’re into. But yeah, it was a bit strange to see.
Rescued Cat of the Year
The next day, we took him to the Cat Haven animal shelter nearby, where they told us flatly that if they couldn’t find his owner within 24 hours (he wasn’t microchipped), they would just put him down as it cost too much to keep him and he was too old for adoption. We were pretty disgusted by this attitude and left, taking it upon ourselves to walk the streets of Mt. Lawley, doorknocking and putting up “Found Cat” posters and so on. After six weeks or so of this with no result, my lovely ex-colleague from games.on.net, Brenna Hillier and her partner Nicole offered to take him in, and we shipped him across to Sydney to stay with them where he is now very fat and happy and gets lots of love and affection. All’s well that ends well.
Most Adorable Dog of the Year
Here’s our dog Rosie, carefully and lovingly patting the neighbour’s dog Gugle, who came over to be babysitted while they were out for work. Pretty fucking adorable.
Gaming Website Editor of the Year
One of the perks of the job is that sometimes people in PR at video game companies send you nice things. Alan Moore at THQ for example sent me the one-and-a-half metre long replica chainsword from Space Marine, that you see in the above photo. He did so after ringing me up to sadly inform me that I couldn’t have one as they were exceptionally limited, so needless to say I flipped out like an excited schoolgirl when it showed up at the door. What a delightful troll he is.
Best Invented Food of the Year
Best Music of the Year
As far as iTunes is concerned, my number one most-played non-Gotye song of the year is “Focus” from the Frozen Synapse soundtrack. So I’ve embedded that above for you. As far as the internet is concerned however, the number one hit of the year is of course “Snakes”, recorded by MC Chilly J and remixed by Jess. It’s probably the best song ever made. Listen to it here (or download it here as an iPhone ringtone).
Best Tweet of the Year
Jess: What should I call my horse in this game?
Me: How about “Sparkle Princess Pony Blossom”?
Jess: Too late, I’ve called it “Horselegs”