Paul.E.Bailey’s World – Five Memorable Things That Happened In 2016

I love New Year. I love it in an ironic way. I love the cringeworthy end of year reviews people do as posts on Facebook and the like. I purposely avoided reading most such things here on WordPress as I often don’t buy into the whole ‘new year, new me’ time for self-reflection thing. I think it’s something most people do just because they think they should. The way I see it is if somebody wants to change then they should do it as soon as they can and then review their life as a by-product in conjunction, not leave it until 1st January. As ever, that is just my opinion and I’m certainly not saying my philosophy is right so please take what I say with a pinch of salt if you disagree.

2016 was quite crazy if just from the celebrity death toll standpoint. The list of famous folk who died is twice the length of both my arms! There were some serious icons included in the list and everybody feels a certain something when an icon dies, even if they aren’t particularly sad about it nor a fan. None of the celebrities that passed have left massive holes in my life, but I appreciate the legacy they leave behind; especially in the case of David Bowie. Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes aren’t just phenomenal TV shows; they’re phenomenal songs.

On a personal level, last year was really quite uneventful in the main. I’ve certainly encountered more hardship and drama in previous years. That said, I will run down the top five events that left some kind of an impression on me for better or worse.

I finally finished my novel – In October 2015, I finally decided (after about five years of procrastination and being lazy) that I was going to start working hard on my novel The Escapades of William Hart – Revenge on the Spanish Main. I made a pact with myself to write at least a page every day until it was completed. I completed the first draft on 17th May this year and only failed to add to the story on three days (6th Dec ‘15, 25th Dec ’15 and 16th Jan ’16). I added 1,214 pages to the 350+ that were already there. To say I worked my arse off is an understatement. Since completing the first draft, I’ve completed a second and third draft whereby I’ve edited and reedited any mistakes and changed a few details.

This story is the one I intend to send to agents in the hope of getting published. I don’t necessarily expect to be published this year. In fact I expect a fair few knockbacks before the story is picked up by anybody, but I have great faith that this story is good enough to be published. I have faith that the subsequent novels I plan to write in the series are going to be good enough also and work is already underway on the second instalment.

I’m excited by this story. I feel it’s strong and that’s even with the heavy criticism with which I regard my work. Even with its shortcomings (and there are a few), I still feel it competes with the best adventure stories I’ve ever read. Hopefully an agent and, more importantly, a publisher will agree.

escapades-screen-grab
Spoiler! It’s the title page of my novel 😉

Jim Gannon returns to Stockport County for third spell as manager – I’ve lost my affinity towards football. I think it’s a great sport that has had its soul completely tarnished by money, greed and corruption. It’s not about the fans anymore. All they’re good for is adding that little bit more to the club coffers and indeed the coffers of the advertisers and Football Association

Nonetheless, my heart belongs to Stockport County Football Club and it shall never be torn in twain by another. I may not have gone watching them in over two years (partly because of money and a lack thereof, partly because watching them was depressing me), but they are the only team in the world I truly care about seeing do well.

It has been a tough decade for us Hatters. We’ve plummeted four divisions and have even struggled to hold our own in the regional division we now occupy (Vanarama Conference North). There was a temporary high point when Jim Gannon managed us to promotion from League Two (fourth tier) to League One (third tier) in 2008, but between 2010 and 2013 we slipped down to the level we are now at. Jim Gannon even returned as manager between that period (unsurprisingly the one season we DIDN’T get relegated), but was unceremoniously forced out for a second time.

After yet more managers came and went, we lured Jim Gannon to us for a third time in January 2016. It took a while to get going, but things turned around and a strong finish to last season had us feeling confident heading into season 2016/17. We now sit just a couple of points off the playoffs and on a seven match unbeaten run heading into a tough run of fixtures. Once again, Jim Gannon is working his magic and helping to rescue my beloved County from the doldrums. Why is it so important to me? Jim Gannon is one of my footballing heroes and a true County legend. He loves the club and manages us with passion and pride. If anybody is going to get my club back where they belong, it’s Jimmy Gannon! He’s tempting me out of my exile and I will end it as soon as finances allow me to.

My mum was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer – If you don’t know about this already then you haven’t been keeping up with my blog. November 5th; Guy Fawkes Night over here in Britain; is a date that will be etched in my mind for the rest of my days. The day cancer crept into my life. Am I stupid for thinking something so common wouldn’t eventually come so close to home?

I won’t go too in-depth with the story and instead link you to Living the Dream Part 7 (Blogging) where I explained what went down if you’re interested to read it.

What I will say is that my mum is now at home recovering after surgery when she was initially told that the tumour was inoperable. That’s why Professor Ajith Siriwardena (pictured) is a damned legend! We may have missed this Christmas with my mum while she was in hospital recovering, but we gained many, many more from henceforth. Cancer really did not know with whom it was fucking on this occasion!

I started blogging – What can I say? Blogging has been the highlight I honestly never expected it would be. I went into it with reservations. Unsure of how people would take to it, of what to even blog about, whether I could adapt to different styles after spending so long writing third person fiction…all the doubts were there.

What I did was I took the doubts and shoved them. I started writing about what I wanted to write about without any strict theme. That’s where I came up with my blog motto “The world is a subject with many subcategories. Why not talk about them all?”

My blog existed for a month before I actually posted for the first time as I prepared a few pieces to give me a head of steam. I rarely blog off the cuff as I’m a bit meticulous in that regard, but I am becoming more fancy free as the months roll by.

I enjoy blogging. I enjoy the tests it throws at me in terms of my writing abilities. I’ve met some awesome people since I started and I’m very happy with the success garnered in a reasonably short length of time (94 followers and 4,169 views in just over four months…and counting). It’s been a joy to enter this world and benefit from it as much as I have. I have my bad days where I’m not happy with how few views and/or likes my posts get, mainly because of how badly my Mixcloud venture fell on its arse, but I’m happy in the main, especially as I’m getting to do what I love doing a lot of the time now and in varying ways rather than just endlessly working on the one project.

the-world-3
My self-made blog motto along with the image at the top of my page

The Olympics – I took a greater interest in the Rio Olympics than any other Olympics before and I enjoyed it immensely. It gave me a sense of national pride; something I really don’t feel very often. There were some heroic performances and heart-warming moments that you simply never see in football anymore. I pity those who don’t bother watching the Olympics.

The fun I had watching wasn’t limited solely to the performances of Team GB. There were some incredible moments from athletes of other countries also. Who didn’t want to see Usain Bolt achieve his nine gold medal tally? Michael Phelps was as phenomenal as ever; a guy I absolutely idolise as a former swimmer myself. I really felt the pain of Oleg Verniaiev when he just missed out on gold in the individual all-round men’s final in gymnastics. It was a definite sporting treat and not just a patriotic glory hunting show.

I can’t wait for the next Olympics and will no doubt be tuning in for as much of that as I can too. I really can’t see how Great Britain can top their performance in Rio, but then I think we all said that after London 2012. It would be nice to see us close the gap on USA that little bit more as their dominance admittedly kind of grates on me, but then it’s easy to hate the best. Not that I hate USA. Well…maybe a smidge. Haha. Jokes of course. I don’t want to start bleeding American followers!

rio-2016
Rio really was an amazing setting for what were a superb and entertaining Olympic Games (image from YouTube)

So there is my list of five memorable things that happened in 2016. I could have added other things like how amazing Series XI of Red Dwarf was and a whole host of things Caellum did that made my heart melt. There’s also how heroically Matthew (my girlfriend’s son) came through his bone graft operation and took it with more dignity than you see in most adults. Definitely proud of that. Oh yeah, Brexit. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

On reflection, 2016 wasn’t terrible. It wasn’t brilliant either. It was just another year with things that happened, both good and bad. Significant in some events, forgettable in others.

How was your 2016? Were there any defining moments in your year? What do you make of the events that took place in mine? Leave your comments in the usual place and I will endeavour to reply as soon as I possibly can as always. Thank you for reading!

red-dwarf-series-xi
The Boys from the Dwarf returned in 2016 and will be back again in 2017 for Series XII (image from digitalspy.com)

Image Credits

Jim Gannon images from bbc.co.uk, manchestereveningnews.co.uk and YouTube

Manchester Royal Hospital image from manchesterhistory.net

Professor Ajith Siriwardena image from euspsgbi.co.uk

59 thoughts on “Paul.E.Bailey’s World – Five Memorable Things That Happened In 2016

    1. As am I, Steve! I definitely plan to have approached publishers before this year is through. That’s not a resolution; it’s just common sense.
      2016 was definitely a topsy-turvy one, but where there troughs there are always peaks too. You can’t have one without the other

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  1. This was a refreshing year in review, Paul! Like you, I tend either to avoid the flood of ‘new year, new me’ posts in the Blogosphere as well as on social media in general, or if I do read them, I click with the sort of eye-rolling anticipation that comes with boring predictability. It’s not that I have anything against resolutions. In fact, I am generally in the pro-resolution camp when it comes to New Years. But what tends to annoy me about the whole thing is that many people’s resolutions are either so broad as to be unmeasurable (“be happier” — how does one go about achieving or measuring this??), or they seem so grand as to be a set-up for disappointment (“lose 1,000 pounds, write ten novels, and solve world peace”).

    So, come January 1st, when the flood of New Years posts start trickling in, I get wary with each one I see, because I generally expect them to be filled with vague platitudes about being more enlightened and self-aware and at peace. I want some meat in the posts I read, whether that means a realistic, actionable, and measurable resolution, or a deeper look at the year past, as your post here has done.

    As for the things you mentioned in your 2016 review, I have a few comments to make. One, I am again deeply sorry for your mother’s cancer diagnosis. I am so grateful that the surgeon was able to do such a good job, and I am keeping your family in my thoughts as she continues to recover.

    Two, this post made me realize how utterly ignorant I am when it comes to (real ;-)) football. I will admit, I had to re-read the football recap a couple of times. (Don’t tell anyone, though – I fear my masters degree will be revoked if Oxford discovers I learned absolutely nothing about football in my two years spent there.)

    As for the celebrity deaths, I think I have an unpopular opinion on the whole matter. (Unpopular compared to most everyone else on my Twitter and Facebook feeds). There were of course a handful of those deaths that saddened me momentarily, but something about the first world’s collective obsession with these spate of deaths really began to grate on my nerves. A few weeks into the year, around the time when Bowie died, I got a forlorn chuckle when I would see a post about “Only three weeks into the year, and 2016 has taken x number of celebrities. What will the rest of the year hold!” But as the months wore on and the celebrity death tole rose, I began to get annoyed at people anthropomorphizing a calendar year and blaming 2016 on so much death and awfulness. I get that people were joking (at least, I think they were joking), but the incessant obsession with celebrity life really started to bother me in the wake of the Aleppo crisis. If people want to use their social media feeds to ignore the politics of Brexit and Trump, I can understand that. But to lament on end the loss of celebrity life and completely ignore the loss of millions of Syrian lives really got to me by the time 2016 drew to a close. So I guess my unpopular opinion on the matter of 2016 celebrity deaths is that, yes, they were sad, but that they shouldn’t have occupied so much real estate in our collective cultural conscience.

    Now that I’ve written a short novel of a comment, I’ll hit post before it turns into a mega-novel. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was most certainly a very in depth response. I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to respond, but finding a spare hour has been difficult. Haha. Anyway, I naturally concur with what you said about people and their stupid and immeasurable goals. Who the hell doesn’t wish to be eternally happy? That’s the kind of stuff where you think of the adage “if you have nothing worth saying then say nothing”. People do enjoy talking/typing for the sake of doing so far more than I have the patience for.
      Thank you for wishing my mum well again. I’ll never get antagonised by people giving her their best regardless of how often. It’s a beautiful thing that something so horrible can actually unite people. I think they call that taking the good out of a bad situation.
      I wouldn’t worry too much about your football ignorance. The sport has almost no soul left in it anymore. It’s just a hotbed for advertising, sponsorship and sums of money that simply shouldn’t have been allowed to reach the levels they have. It’s worse for somebody like me because Manchester City are my most local “big” team and they’ve effectively bought their way to being one of the best teams around. It really grates on me and I can’t stand the club anymore as a result.
      I absolutely love your assessment on the celebrity death thing. I’d never thought of it in such a way. Obviously, I’m more thoughtful than the layman and have always refused to adorn my Facebook profile picture with the flag of whichever first world country suffered a ‘disaster’ while countries like Syria, Palestine and the countless others get totally ignored by everybody. Selective sympathy REALLY pisses me off! Children are dying in the streets of where they live and people are pissed off at 2016 because a near 70 year old singer dies. That causes me to use one of my favourite hashtags… #ThatCanFuckOff

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I am also not a resolutionist. I hate planing stuff and also don’t like to put expectations on myself, so there ya go. It’s good to see a positive post on 2016, they seem to all be on how awful of a year it was. I thought it was just meh.. but that is my view on it.
    Hope your 2017 is majorly eventful for the happiest of reasons.
    I know you’ll be breaking into 100 followers soon at least!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Plans do suck in the main. I know they’re necessary sometimes, but it’s when people plan everything meticulously. Seriously, where’s the fun and mystery in that?
      I did my level best to keep it optimistic rather than whining about how shit a year it had been and how I hope 2017 is better. I’m thirty-two, so it ain’t getting better! Haha.
      It’d be nice to break 100 followers before January is up. My follows seem to come in little flurries where I’ll get several in the space of a few days then nothing for over a week

      Liked by 2 people

      1. 😂 Fuckin’ stonewall fact mate (I said that in as Mancunian an accent as I could in my head). I could do with partaking in more exercise this coming year though. My levels of fitness are laughable

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Shit! This has just reminded me that I never got around to being all accepting of an award somebody else nominated me for a while back. Oops! Thank you very much. As I’m your number one fan boy, it means a great deal that you deem me award worthy 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Exactly!!! He writes resumes on that… drives me nuts! Who IS this person I married?! Word/Office has been on all of my computers since the 90s, even when I wasn’t committed to writing creatively… it blows my mind that others don’t use it or something remotely like it ever

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It’s because Word is no longer a free feature on Microsoft computers. You have to pay for Office nowadays. I only get to use Word on mine because previous documents from SD cards were uploaded so I can start a new document from them. I think it’s disgusting that they don’t include Office as standard anymore

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      5. Definitely. Screw the rest of Office. Only wankers use Excel or anything else. Word should be a standalone product and available as standard. They still give you Paint as standard, even though it’s fucking useless!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I will respond, but I’ll be sure not to nominate you back A) because it’ll just create either a clusterfuck or some kind of paradox and we’ll all die B) imagine the rigmarole of doing it all again…I can’t be that cruel

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes things happened in 2016, cantneven mention all. However I can’t wait times your book published Paul. Younare an awesome writer. I can’t really say the past was bad or good. I will just generally say it was funny…Lots of surprises for me and it was quite exciting. I love surprises..Have an awesome day Paul💝

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well there was small matter of your book being published. I think that’s worth a mention 🙂 I’ll definitely buy it as soon as I’ve got the money to spend on creature comforts again. Unemployment sucks!
      There’s plenty more to come this year from little old me. I’m trying to think up new ideas all the time 🙂 Glad to have your support x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well first of all, 2016 was awesome because I stumbled across your blog! (Suck up brownie points please?? 😉)
    I agree with your assessment of changes shouldn’t be held to the specific date… I’ve never held to celebrating New Years… every now and then I try to do a resolution, but it’s been a long time and it rarely works… though this year I do have new goals based on my new settling in of a new place… which just do happens to collide with New Years this year since I literally arrived here on New Year’s Day. I think all that / a year in review type answer will need to be a separate blog post of my own ☺️ It’ll be too long a comment otherwise..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t possibly do the year in review thing because I think it’s quite an arrogant thing to expect people to really care all that much. I know I scrolled on by on Facebook (and admittedly WordPress too) because I think it just smacks of like/clickbait. I suppose this post could be construed as that too, but it ties in with my top five themed posts. I’ve made no resolutions. The thing about getting a step closer to my novel being published isn’t a resolution as it’s always been the aim and I know it’s likely not to happen within the coming year.
      I might have known you couldn’t sum up your year in a comment, you chatterbox 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I knooow! I am very much a chatterbox like Peppa Pig hahaha I’m writing something in response now, so I’ll link you when I’m done… I feel ya, I don’t care much for full years in review etc… I also am making mention about the stupidity of the 2016 is the worst memes etc

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Somebody posted something on Facebook the other day about all the stupid faddy things 2016 threw at us and then cruelly warned us all that it’s only going to get worse. Curse you, Baz Osborne, and your accuracy! Haha. My gripe with people and reviewing their year is those who made no attempt to achieve anything they truly want, but bang on like they got so much done or talk about their children’s achievements as though it’s their own achievement. How about achieving something themselves to make their kids proud of them? Just a thought…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Very true. I feel like if one is gonna talk on about their kid’s achievements should just be writing end of year new letters for their friends and family… no need to post it on facebook. I agree as well, I’d be proud of my kids and all that but never wish to claim their achievements as my own!

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  5. The cancer diagnosis thing is where you get my heart Paul. I’m glad you wrote about it here and in your other post. Unlike you I actually do view new year as very exciting 😊 I have set goals and I’m bloody sticking to em. Because I hate Christmas so much, new year is brilliant as it’s the longest time away from next Christmas lol 😂 Your novel sounds totes amaze. I’m so glad we met on here. Youre fab 😊👍💝

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do get why people place emphasis on new year, I just prefer to go with the idea of doing things as and when needed regardless of the earth’s position in relation to that medium-sized yellow main sequence star we orbit around. In fairness, your new years resolution has a point and you’re actually sticking with it so there’s no judgement from me; at least not negative judgement 🙂
      Little point in keeping the issue of my mum’s cancer away from everybody. It’s happened and it has to be dealt with. What better than to blog about it, or at least include it in my posts? Especially in terms of showing Professor Siriwardena my gratitude.
      I hope you’ll enjoy the finished product once it’s out there. I’m pretty excited about sending it to agents. It’s like a nervous energy as I take another small step for Paul and a giant leap for Paulkind 😂
      I’m delighted we happened across one another. You’ve definitely given me many pauses for thought since you came along. I like people who have that effect on me 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah I do understand what you’re saying…it must be really bonkers preparing to send it off. I feel a bit like that about my telly proposal. (Not heard anything though expecting it to take ages) . I’m glad I make you think and feel things. That’s what I want to do for people ☺ I want to be an influencer and catalyst for positive action. BOOM! Lol!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Same here. I want my musings, rantings and tales to inspire others and ignite their imagination in the same way the blogs of others have done with me. It’d be a dream come true to know I inspired at least one person to start writing themselves. I’ve already inspired one person to blog in my friend Steve and that feels good.
        I’ve got a drafted letter to send to agents in preparation. I’m just waiting for a few little details within the story to be looked over as my terminology isn’t totally accurate. Not too bothered about grammatical perfection as that’s what editors are for. I hope you hear back from the appropriate people soon. Your story deserves to be told! xxx

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