- Visited Krabi
- Saw glow-in-the-dark planktons
- Did a puff on a cigarette; it was every bit as disgusting as I'd imagined it to be
- Did something...bad, I suppose, in Singapore. I can't say what it is because I promised not to tell, but I can say that it's nothing sexual
- Visited the US! Specifically, New York!
- Attended a white tie event/May Ball in Cambridge, all by myself
- Did a puff on a cigar; I ran into Ardie at the May Ball and he was smoking a cigar (so classy), so I tried it. It was more pleasant than a cigarette for sure
- Dated someone who knew more about literature than me
- Joined a semi-competitive tennis league, and emerging the top scoring female by the end of the summer league (too bad no prizes are handed out)
- Ran a race for fun and doing better than I'd thought I would
- Baked stuff
- Hiked up a mountain; this was at the Lake District. We started at 11.30am and only got to the pub for dinner at 7pm. I was knackered beyond belief. We were also so lucky that when we reached the almost-top, there was fog all around us.
- Became the editor-in-chief of an academic journal (or became editor-in-chief simpliciter)
- Used the word 'simpliciter'
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make any last year. For 2018, I resolve to have a serviceable draft of my bloody PhD by the end of 2018.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
The US finally (New Haven, Boston, New York!), Hong Kong, Thailand (Krabi), France (Nice), Switzerland (Basel, Bern and Zurich), the Netherlands (Amsterdam), the United Kingdom (Edinburgh, the Lake District, Oxford).
6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?
A proper relationship with a properly compatible person who can be properly emotionally available and committed.
7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Probably the Magdalene May Ball because it was amazing, and the first time I saw New York (Manhattan, to be precise).
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I have honestly achieved absolutely nothing this year. Well, I suppose finishing the 10K with a better time than I'd set for myself was an achievement, but it's really quite neither here nor there.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Getting dumped by some random person, a.k.a. Matt, and not having the self-assurance to leave what was obviously a shitty situation.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Probably my Aeropress coffee maker and the manual coffee grinder. It's saved me a lot of money as I'm making my own coffee now, and it's turning me into a proper coffee snob. I grind the beans manually every single time I make a cup of coffee - how much more pretentious can one get? But the coffee tastes so good (assuming I get the grind to the right balance between coarse and fine, and get the water temperature more or less right; otherwise, it tastes like water).
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
John and Raffie for keeping me sane in Cambridge, and for looking out for me viz. skeevy and unworthy guys (Raffie especially; I love how judgemental he is as it keeps my standards in check!). My parents, as always, for being supportive and awesome. <<< Pretty much the same answer this year.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Matt, and to a lesser extent, Gareth. Oh and Bruno too, at the start of the year.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Fucking school fees.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Going to the US, for sure.
16. What song will always remind you of 2017?
I can't think of anything.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?
a. More or less the same. Nothing has really changed in all areas of my life.
b. Probably the same.
c. Poorer by logical necessity: still no income, still spending money; QED.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
'Write' has been my answer to this question every year. I'm glad to say that, this year, that will no longer be my answer, as I've written more in the past few months than the last few years combined. But given how little I've actually written, that says more of the dire extent to which I was not writing over the last few years than anything else.
So to answer the question: I wish I'd stood up for myself and what I deserve more against shitty, indifferent, useless men (Matt and Gareth), and got out of shitty situations before getting my ass dumped.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Given Matt way too many chances than he'd deserved (or even wanted, probably). Definitely should have called it quits with Gareth when he apparently forgot our date.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
Last day in Krabi; got up at 7am for breakfast, wrote a bit while facing the sea, packed my stuff, went for lunch, got to the airport too early and sat around reading Midnight's Children, slept on the plane, got back to Singapore at 6.30pm, had dinner at a Penang restaurant, got home at 9pm. Then I watched Iron Fist and slept.
21. Did you fall in love in 2016?
Hell to the fucking no, thankfully.
22. What was your favorite TV programme?
Daredevil! Oh my god, season 1 was the best. It was so Batman Begins-esque. The Good Place is amazing too: Kristen Bell and nerdy philosophical jokes can never do any wrong. I also really liked Luke Cage. It started off slow, but I love the political overtones and the focus on Black America. The soundtrack, too, is fantastic.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Ahahahaha. I don't hate him but I definitely do not like Matt anymore. Actually, I think I'm pretty much indifferent.
24. What was the best book you read?
Virginia Woolf's The Waves, Philip Roth's The Human Stain, Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I can't think of anything, sadly.
26. What did you want and get?
To go to Yale/the US.
27. What did you want and not get?
A published paper. Fuck.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Honestly, nothing comes to mind.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was in Bern with my parents. Went to the Rose Garden and the Paul Klee museum. I was 31.
30. What one thing made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
For sure: finally seeing New York. Oh my, I really want to go back. And doing my solo open-sea-swimming trip in Nice; that was absolutely amazing.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
I'm always classy innit.
Seriously, I love buying classy-looking things at a discount, such as the yellow Warehouse dress I wore today that I bought for 12 pounds.
32. What kept you sane?
My friends, without a doubt.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Not into this anymore.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Gay rights issues.
35. Who did you miss?
My family and friends, especially Barry when he left Cambridge. I still miss him.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
Ivan! It's always nice to have another friend that I can be personal and intellectual with, all at once.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
NEVER lower your standards. NEVER give an unworthy man the time of day. ALWAYS trust your instincts and get the fuck out when the shit starts to stink (which actually, by definition, if it's shit, don't even go there; just don't). ALWAYS put your pride above everything else when it comes to men. No one who makes you feel small and inadequate will ever be worth it.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.