2015 has been a great year for me, one of the best, so since it’s near to an end, I’ve been thinking about all the things that have happened during the year – things that I’ve done, people I’ve met, places I’ve been – and I’m going to summarise it, mainly so I can look back and smile to myself.
Saw some of my favourite musicians live
I have been so lucky to see pretty much all my favourite artists live. This year I got to see my favourite singer live, the legendary Frankie Valli from the Four Seasons. I also saw one of my new favourite bands, Molotov Jukebox, and even met the talented beauty that is Natalia Tena.
I also saw Weird Al – who I’ve been a big fan of for many years – and Donovan, who I’ve really gotten into since seeing live.
Making friends isn’t an easy thing for me; my aspergers means that my social skills aren’t great and sometimes just starting a conversation is a nightmare. However, this year I’ve really worked hard and made an effort with things like small talk (urgh!) and it’s paid off.
I made a new friend at work, Laura, who is a fellow musician, Whovian and nice person. I also made a few friends in Wales whilst helping out at the wrestling show.
The Doctor Who festival also proved highly successful, not least spending the day with my former colleague, Kirsty. I also met up with some of the guys from The Gallifrey Times and bumped into a few fans I’d interviewed before who I had a chat with.
Established myself as a Whovian
I think everyone that knows me is now well aware that I’m a Doctor Who fan. The people I work with know it, my family know it, people on social media know it… even my karate instructor got me a Dalek figure for my birthday! Just wearing the 13ft Tom Baker scarf out people have commented on it and I’ve ended up talking about Doctor Who with them.
I’ve really enjoyed this year’s series (except for the finale and Clara not properly dying) and live tweeting it has enabled me to interact with fellow fans more, as well as getting me the most likes/retweets on a tweet ever!
— ben (@BEN_iAmHere) November 28, 2015
Writing and filming for The Gallifrey Times has been an absolute dream and this year I was made Assistant Editor, which is a great honour. It’s also meant that I got to go to the Doctor Who Festival and other comic cons with a press pass, so I was able to interview some of the stars from the show and got to meet loads of fellow fans.
Got confident as a musician
I’ve never been very sure of my music, but this year I was encouraged by a few people to go for it and get my stuff out there. I started by (rather unwillingly) recording videos of some of my songs for YouTube. The first one got a great reaction and a lot of support, so I’ve continued to post videos regularly – it was meant to be weekly but I’m terribly unorganised so that went out of the window pretty quick. They’ve had an average of about 30 views each, which is considerably more than I was getting on Soundcloud.
I also took an even bigger plunge and did an open mic night. The first one was one of the best nights of my life. I was overwhelmed by the reaction and feedback I got, making me realise that my songs are actually half decent and I was able to make people laugh! I hope to do many more open mic nights and live performances next year.
I’ve written quite a few good songs this year, including my first proper love song – which I’m yet to record – and a few Doctor Who related songs. I’ve got loads of unfinished songs that I want to work on this year. I just need to get focused. I have such a short attention span that I start writing a song and if I don’t finish it there and then I just leave it and never go back to it.
Worked my ass off
Work has been going well. This year has been pretty hectic, with a lot of highs and lows, but I’ve produced some great stuff this year and had a lot of fun doing it. I have built up my skills to the point where Mak, who taught me how to design websites, is now asking me how to do things in web design. I’ve become much more confident at work, dealing with clients and answering phone calls with no hesitation. I’ve also written my first eBook, which we are going to promote early next year.
Wrote and wrote and wrote
I’ve been posting on here regularly, with dreams and short stories. I’ve also written half of two short stories (told you, short attention span) one of which I’m planning to finish before I go back to work and the other sometime shortly after that. My hope is to get them self-published and printed. They’re not amazing stories – One is about a man with four eyes who joins a circus and the other is about a living ball of dust – but I’ve written 5,000 words for each of them so I’m pretty proud of that and want to finish them anyway.
Spent time with grandad
This one’s an important one for me and one that I hope will continue into 2016, 2017 and every year that follows. My grandad is one of my favourite people; he’s the nicest man you could ever meet and has a fantastic sense of humour. This year we went on holiday together – the first time being just the two of us – to Jersey & Guernsey. It was such a great holiday that we’re going back again next year! As well as the holiday, we’ve also been writing to each other regularly – using paper and pen! – and going to the cinema and different events like the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular.
Met a few famous people
Thanks to TGT, I am able to get a press pass at comic cons, so I’ve been lucky to meet quite a few famous people, mainly from Doctor Who. This year I interviewed Samuel Anderson, Nicola Bryant, Gareth David-Lloyd and my personal favourite, John Levene. At the Doctor Who Festival, I also got a photo with Jenna Coleman, who is a lovely woman by the way.
Outside of Doctor Who, I also met Natalia Tena – lead singer and accordion player in Molotov Jukebox and also played Tonks in Harry Potter. I love her voice and she’s a very beautiful lady, so I was happy to find out she’s also a lovely person in real life too. She was very friendly and said she’d seen me and Mike singing along – but not dancing – in the crowd.
Made people happy
This is the one that I’m most proud of. I like making people happy. I’m also rather good at it. When I make other people happy – be it through song, joke, gift, kindness, whatever – it makes me happy. My songs have made people laugh and that means so much to me. Christmas was a great time for me, because I had lots of thoughtful presents and nice surprises lined up, most of which turned out perfectly and made everyone very happy. Next year I’m going to continue to be a nice person – that sounds like a silly thing to say, but one year I did think ‘Oh sod it, I can’t be bothered with being nice this year’ – and keep making people happy.
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