2022: A few of my favourite things

I think I’m getting much better at doing a wide variety of things these days (I’m not content to just do theatre night after night after night), so I’m back with a bit of a round-up of things other than theatre again. Having become a County Championship/Royal London Cup member at Surrey – and travelled to grounds across the country for matches – I was tempted to include some cricket chat here, but it’s probably still too great a leap at this stage.

Again I’ve done rankings, though other than the favourite in each category you don’t necessarily need to pay attention to the order too much. All films and albums mentioned are 2022 UK releases, but some of the books were older ones; despite the fact that I had a hefty amount of pre-orders from Waterstones last year, I didn’t get going with many of them as my book collection has rather got away from me now. My top five are 2022 publications, so that says something at least.

Books

10. A Heart That Works – Rob Delaney
9. Don’t Laugh, It’ll Only Encourage Her – Daisy May Cooper
8. She Said – Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey
7. Windswept & Interesting – Billy Connolly
6. Superspy Science – Kathryn Harkup
5. Love and Let Die – John Higgs
4. Rule Nostalgia: A Backwards History of Britain – Hannah Rose Woods
3. Bi – Julia Shaw
2. Verse, Chorus, Monster! – Graham Coxon
1. Good Pop Bad Pop – Jarvis Cocker

Once again I set myself the task of reading more books by women, which started well but once again I failed; the slight majority of the books I read did end up being by men, however it wasn’t by too great a margin – and it is a 50:50 split in my list of favourites. It was hard to choose a favourite, as I wolfed down each of the top three within a very short space of time, but the unexpected chuckles from Good Pop Bad Pop won the day.

Films

10. She Said
9. Nope
8. Living
7. Boiling Point
6. Aftersun
5. Emily
4. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
3. The Banshees of Inisherin
2. Everything Everywhere All At Once
1. The Menu

I know the majority of old films being re-released in cinemas is a continuing effect of the pandemic, but I hope that it lasts for a good while longer – it was amazing to watch The Godfather and Casablanca for the first time on the big screen, rather than on a TV or tablet, and having all the Bonds back to celebrate the 60th anniversary was an excellent idea. I only wish I’d joined Odeon’s Limitless before September so I could have afforded to do the entire series! That decision definitely helped me towards the end of the year though, as 55 of the 87 films I saw in 2022 were at the cinema (and mostly between September & December). Film February was an enjoyable new project, which I can confirm will be returning for 2023 – I’ve already started planning… It was difficult to pick a top ten and then put them into order, aside from choosing my favourite of the year; I went back for second helpings of The Menu and it left me as wide-eyed & taken aback as it did the first time round.

Albums

5. Wet Leg – Wet Leg
4. Keep On Smiling – Two Door Cinema Club
3. Oochya! – Stereophonics
2. Last Night in the Bittersweet – Paolo Nutini
1. Change The Show – Miles Kane

As in 2021, most of the albums I listened to last year were older ones; sadly I don’t think I managed a single #TimsTwitterListeningParty in 2022, but it’s safe to say I’m an Album Person now. I’ve gone for a top five this time, as I was so focused on older releases that not much skimming would have been required to make a top ten… It was an easy choice for the number 1 spot though, as I had Change The Show on repeat from the moment it was released in January (so much so that one of its tracks ended up being my most played song of the year on Spotify Wrapped).

Gigs

5. Maxïmo Park: Sïngular, Roundhouse
4. Miles Kane: Change The Show, Roundhouse
3. Paolo Nutini: Last Night in the Bittersweet, M&S Bank Arena
2. Queen + Adam Lambert: Rhapsody Tour, O2 Arena
1. Coldplay: Music of the Spheres, Wembley Stadium

Finally I managed to reach my aim of 12 gigs in a year! (Ideally it would’ve been one per month, but getting the equivalent is the next best thing.) I’m not sure why I felt the need to rank them, as after every single gig I tend to think “BEST GIG EVER” – which isn’t very objective. You’d think that Queen would be my favourite, but after the more intimate setting of the Shepherd’s Bush Empire for Roger’s solo tour in 2021 they couldn’t quite muscle past Coldplay making Wembley Stadium feel so small.

Podcasts

10. Patented: History of Inventions
9. Ladykillers with Lucy Worsley
8. Betwixt The Sheets
7. Teach Me A Lesson with Greg James and Bella Mackie
6. Films To Be Buried With
5. You’re Dead To Me
4. Partners in Crime with Laura Whitmore and Iain Stirling
3. Three Bean Salad
2. Off Menu with Ed Gamble and James Acaster
1. Tailenders

I’m still listening to way, way too many podcasts. I really can’t keep up with them. And yet… Some on the list were new for 2022, but others are perennial favourites. The most notable new entry has to be Three Bean Salad: I wolfed down the back catalogue of Lukewarm Banter and entered the Sean Bean Lounge on Patreon to show my appreciation, promptly finding myself embroiled in the Old Sean Bean Flute Fight… That will make sense to some of you, I hope. It couldn’t shift Off Menu and Tailenders from the top two spots, however, as they are set in stone constants in my life now – the excellent results of the summer, autumn & early winter allowing the loosely cricket-based show to continue to reign supreme.

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