Let’s review how I did on my 2014 New Year’s resolutions.
1. Read and see six Shakespeare plays.
The six were:
- King Lear at the National Theatre
- Twelfth Night at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton
- Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare’s Globe
- The Merchant of Venice at Robinson College in the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival
- The Comedy of Errors at Shakespeare’s Globe
- The Winter’s Tale at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre, Kentish Town
Overall, it’s been an incredibly enjoyable and rewarding experience. I’ve learned a lot, not just about these particular plays, but all kinds of interconnections between them and other drama and narratives, about Shakespeare in general, and the English language itself. The verb ‘to hent’ (to grasp something, especially a fence in the act of jumping over it) has instantly found a place on my shortlist of favourite words. It was my first experience of every theatre I went to, and of the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival. I especially love Shakespeare’s Globe, and the atmosphere in the crowd. At an excellent performance of Much Ado About Nothing (which is now probably my favourite Shakespeare play), the audience was completely rapt, and their reaction both to the comedy and the romance was wonderful.
I enjoyed this resolution so much, I’m going to repeat it in 2015.
2. Avoid using Amazon, and support independent book and music shops.
In 2014, I ordered a total of five things from Amazon. Three of those were through the Marketplace, plus the two I mentioned in the mid-period review, which weren’t available any other way.
On the other hand, I’ve supported independent and secondhand bookshops, and proselytised on their behalf, through word of mouth and online reviews. Here are some of my favourites:
- EJ Morton, Didsbury, Manchester
- New Beacon Books, Finsbury Park, London
- Belgravia Books, Belgravia, London
- Walden Books, Kentish Town, London
- Owl Bookshop, Kentish Town, London
- Black Gull Books, Camden, London
- Primrose Hill Books, Primrose Hill, London
- Stephen Foster, Marylebone, London
- Archive Bookstore, Marylebone, London
- Missing Book Fairs, East Anglia
- Shakespeare and Company, Paris
I haven’t bought much music this year, but when I have, it’s been from:
For 2015, this resolution will have its status updated to habit.
3. Repair my ZX Spectrum and complete The Lords of Midnight.
I never got around to this at all. I will repeat it as a resolution and try to complete it in 2015.
4. Avoid InCaps.
Status: passed and updated to habit.