|I'm not very festive at the best of times, but this year Christmas can go f**k itself.|
(Pic : Bargain Bin Blasphemy Tumblr)
Firstly, I somehow managed get a BBC interview but didn't even make the final edit. That's all well and good; nice experience and all that. Though it's telling me there's a "credibility glass ceiling" that a blogger can never break and I can start thinking about winding things down.
A few weeks later came the overshadowing tragedy. But what you didn't know is that while I was watching my mother die – she deteriorated so quickly I barely recognised her - I was dealing with an incredibly painful and recurrent tooth abscess that took more than a month to get fixed.
Days after starting the slow trudge towards middle age, I managed to catch chicken pox having never caught it when it made the rounds in school. My fever got so bad at one point I was on the brink of a trip to hospital myself. It looks like I've been left with a few semi-permanent scars for my trouble. On my face.
Indirectly, Jacqui Thompson's appeal loss will affect every single blogger in Wales as it appears we've not only started to draw the attention of short-tempered autocrats who want to crush dissent, but also the police and other bloggers issuing veiled threats under the guise of "investigative journalism".
With the Scots bottling it, and the Assembly descending into yet another round of constitutional naval-gazing, I don't have many fond memories of 2014 at all. At least The Arsenal won the cup, I suppose.
On to next year. The Westminster elections will dominate the first half of 2015. As you might expect I'm not going to devote too much time and resources to it because the results are likely to be highly predictable in Wales. It'll be a good practice run, and gives me a chance to try out a few ideas with the 2016 Assembly election in mind.
As it's the last full calendar year before that election, several major Welsh laws are due to be introduced, including what's likely to be a highly-controversial Public Health Bill, a law on special educational needs, a Heritage Bill, a Rent Bill, as well as legislative measures relating to the taxation powers coming as a result of the Wales Bill (due to become the Wales Act early next year).
Because of the Westminster elections, I'm only going to have one big series of posts relating to independence in 2015. I would've done it this year, but didn't for obvious reasons, and I intend to turn all of August over to it. It's one of the most important - perhaps the most important issue - and one of the main reasons nationalists are nationalists in the first place : foreign policy.
I also hope to start my "Vice Nation" series of posts in February – beginning with alcohol - but these will be spread out like the Life, Ethics & Independence series.
2014's Top 10 Posts*
- The Sliding Scale of Nationalism
- Porthcawl regeneration hopes buried under sludge?
- Draft law targets "Popeyes" in Wales
- Carmarthenshire Goes Rogue
- The Aberconwy Funnel-Bebb Spider
- Apocalypse Nawr
- Life, Ethics & Independence XI – Breast-feeding
- Independence Minutiae : Ordnance Survey
- Case for Bridgend-Vale merger outlined
- The NATO Legacy
*Excluding posts relating to my mother's health. My thanks again to those of you who were kind enough to e-mail me, or leave on here, goodwill messages during a very difficult time.
Honourable mentions :
Honourable mentions :
- The Rotten Borough : Carmarthenshire's Smoking Gun
- Wales on Drugs V : The Prohibition Question
- DD Notice : Welsh State Secrets
- Devolution at 15 : The Failures
- Never Mind The Bollocks
Right, that's a mentally and physically exhausting year – blogging and otherwise - over with. Good riddance. I'll be back around 3rd/4th January.
I'll say "Merry Christmas", but I already know chances are you're going to have a merrier one than me.