The New Year list

I’m deliberately not calling this post ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ because I don’t think I need to change who I am – and nor should you – but because I’m a fan of a to-do list and this is a good excuse to create an ‘action plan’ for 2014…

2013 has been, for the most part, fine. It’s gone ridiculously fast too. There were big changes at the start and end of the year (I got dumped by email in January – ouch) and changed jobs (moving to EastEnders in late December), but for the most part I feel like I’ve coasted along.

However, everyone should take a moment to think about the good bits as well as the disappointing receiving of electronic communications and so here are a few of the highlights…

#Team NCA

The BBC Radio New Comedy Award returned in 2013 (we got a BBC Production Award nomination for the 2012 multiplatform element that I produced which was pretty cool) and I found myself without a budget so recruited a big batch of amazing volunteers to help film and edited each film myself. The core group of Producer Tilusha, Production Co-Ordinator Tam and Production Management Assistant Isma were bloomin’ hilarious and wonderful. And of course the most fabulous Executive Producer Alison Vernon-Smith and the stylish (and talented) Production Manager Hayley Nathan. My favourite production of the 18 months I spent at BBC Radio Comedy.

Grainne & J-Bugg shake up the Beeb

I found two excellent, talented friends in the new Radio Comedy bursary writers…

A Summer of gigs!

Thanks to Elena Dana, I finally started gigging in London, even making my jazz debut. And I got a new telecaster… now to get an amp (see 2014 to-do list…) I also wrote at least three songs I can count among my favourites.

Making my own damn icing, thank you very much

When I baked in the Get Flat in 2012, someone else was around to do the icing while I made the batter. My early solo icing efforts were watery and rubbish. Then one day, thanks to a Primrose Hill Bakery coffee buttercream recipe, I cracked it. (Although I did have a massive icing fuck-up the other day and had to buy the pre-mixed stuff for a Xmas party at Grainne’s but never mind…)

Comedy! Comedy! Comedy!

I saw some amazing shows and met some hilarious, lovely people this year. People who made me laugh included: Bridget Christie, Phil Wang, Steve Bugeja, Rob Carter, Katherine Bennett, Kate Lucas, Adam Hess, Tom Craine, Joe Lycett, Dean Sekhon, Peter Brush, Grainne Maguire, Mae Martin, Nick Helm Sarah Campbell, Nish Kumar, James Bran, Joe Davies, Ivo Graham James Acaster, Dane Baptiste, Jonny Pelham (and many, many more – go and check them out…)

Producing a book… sort of

In the New Year the BBC will be releasing an iBook about writing for Radio Comedy that I produced… I’ll post more about this in 2014!

Anyway, 2013 review aside, there’s loads for me to be getting on with next year, so here’s some stuff I’d like to do in 2014…

  • Buy amp to go with new telecaster (rather than playing through mixing desk connected to computer speakers)
  • Finish painting bedroom – there’s no longer a reasonable excuse for the large unpainted patch behind the wardrobe!
  • Cook a wider variety of foods (other than jacket potato, pasta and homemade sauce and stir fry)
  • Invite friends over more regularly to share wider variety of foods
  • Apologise less for the way I look
  • Be less passive when someone judges the way I look unnecessarily
  • Buy more cushions for my large sofa
  • Keep up the exercise and resist chocolate/ice cream temptations!
  • Practice guitar more
  • Find rhythm section to play with me and Reece (who I’m working on songs with)
  • Get keyboard out again
  • Record more music – and record it better
  • Read more on my Kindle
  • Find permanent contract
  • Renew ISA
  • Fill up ISA
  • Invest in more loose leaf teas
  • Save up for Canon 5D
  • Be better at getting people together – but not feel so guilty if I don’t
  • Enjoy self as much as possible
  • Blog more!

There’s definitely more – most of that reads like a shopping list! I must have January sales on the brain….

The New Year list

Happy New Year, everyone!

I didn’t want to come out and do a ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ post, although that’s pretty much what the rest of this going to be, as I think you can be resolved to change at any time of the year. All you really need to ‘make a change’ (and no, I’m not deliberately quoting Michael Jackson there, although I’m aware that I have now) is a catalyst that spurs you into action.

For example, when I was 18 and in my first year at uni, a bit of heartbreak (and the sudden – thankfully temporary – withdrawal of the student radio station Burnfm.com spurred me onto go beyond Selly Oak and Edgebaston and get involved in the local music and creative communities, gaining a career in the process.

However, it doesn’t always have to be such a massive change – and this refers to both your motivation or your resolution. My move from Shoreditch to Willesden Green (a result of a job change from Channel 4 to BSkyB) meant that I spent more time inside so I used this as a source of self-encouragement to start exercising, which I’ve done fairly regularly for the past year with the help of Davina McCall’s excellent workout DVDs (I have the Superbody, Target and Intense videos – no gyms for me) and the intense street dancing undertaken whilst rehearsing for the London 2012 Opening Ceremony. I’m not super-skinny, but I feel better (and even slightly proud) for it.

So without further ado, here’s what I’d like to attempt to achieve in 2013…

  • Keep exercising
  • Record some music, play gigs and be a more accomplished musician
  • Independently produce a radio comedy or podcast
  • Take more photos
  • Get some artwork, photos (all framed) onto the walls of the ‘Get Flat’
  • Create my own variations of cupcake recipes
  • Keep my job (the perils of a fixed-term contract!)
  • See friends more

So what about you – what’s inspired you to do a ‘Man in the Mirror’ and start something afresh? Have you got a 2013 to-do list?