It’s been a year. My mind is already way into 2013, but I thought it would be timely to think up some annual ‘best of’s, just so I remember them.
My albums of the year are pretty predictable but they were great ones. The gems that haven’t been off my stereo are: Between the Times and the Tides by Lee Ranaldo (like the most radio-friendly pop moments of Sonic Youth – just lovely); Sun by Cat Power (triumphant and synth-y but classic Chan); Old Ideas by Leonard Cohen (OK, L. Cohen is basically Gxd as far as I’m concerned, but his old ideas are still better than everyone else’s new ones); The Haunted Man by Bat for Lashes (the wonderful Natasha has really delivered again). I think my favourite gig of the year was Charlotte Gainsbourg at Somerset House.
Are we all agreed that Gone Girl is the book of the year? Good. I also particularly loved: Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt, Paradoxical Undressing by Kristin Hersh, Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson, Revenge of the Tide by Elizabeth Haynes, You by Joanna Briscoe, Before I Met You by Lisa Jewell, The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides, The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell, Moranthology by Caitlin Moran, Weirdo by Cathi Unsworth. I also loved The Hunger Games quite a lot. In not-at-all-new books, I have also got into Joan Didion, Nora Ephron and Beryl Bainbridge. And, as usual, I spent much of my summer holidays re-reading Jilly Cooper.
Upon consulting my diary, I realise that I haven’t been to the cinema all that many times this year. Must do better. Here is the list in full of everything I saw on the big screen, all of which I actually enjoyed (to slightly varying degrees): The Woman in Black, The Hunger Games, Dark Shadows, Prometheus, Skyfall.
I think this year I have loved TV more than I have loved films, which is probably unprecedented. This is, of course, mainly due to Girls. You don’t need me to write any more words about Girls, as it has kind of been done to death – I will only say that I think it’s the best thing I have seen in years and years, maybe ever; Lena Dunham is amazing and I want her to be my best friend; I am obsessed with Jemima Kirke and now Google her nearly as often as I do Chan Marshall. That’s all. My TV love is also thanks in part to Hunderby – the most brilliant mash-up of so many of my favourite things. I also ought to admit that I had a very soft spot for this year’s I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here – I love Ashley Roberts almost as much as I love Jemima Kirke. Oh, and don’t let’s forget the Olympics, which I loved more than anyone could have predicted.
Well, for the past few months I have wanted to wear nothing but my metallic gold leather shorts. Well, not literally ‘nothing but’ – usually I wear them with my Sonic Youth T-shirt and/or Bella Freud jumper and some thick tights – but you know what I mean: I am seriously obsessed with them. Best £20 I ever spent in Beyond Retro – particularly as I saw a similar pair in Topshop later for £60. Smug much? I have also been wildly in love with my APC parrot vest and grey leopard-print sweatshirt dress and, as usual, anything stripy or involving a Peter Pan collar.
I have been out and eaten food in some really cool new restaurants this year. In London, my favourites have been Mishkin’s (which basically could have been formulated from my dreams – Jewish food and cocktails, booths and gorgeous waitresses) and Burger and Lobster, where I had the most delicious lunch that I have been dreaming about ever since. At home in Brighton, I am obsessed with the new Mexican street food restaurant La Choza – the best Mexican food and best margaritas I have ever had in this country, since it has opened I can scarcely be persuaded to go anywhere else.
I’ve been pretty lucky with some fun travellings this year, although I haven’t left Europe. In the spring, I went to a Greek island so dreamy I don’t even want to tell the name of it – where I spent an idyllic week with a whole gang of friends and family, swimming in the sea, reading, feeding stray cats, and eating vats of yoghurt and honey. Then I had a delightful long weekend in Cork for the year’s coolest wedding – my first-ever time in Ireland. We stayed in a great hotel, drank lots and hung out with old friends, went swimming, walked the streets for hours and hours before hopping on a flight back home. Incidentally, I am now of the opinion that all weddings should be Irish – it was truly special. After only one night at home, we then jetsetted off to Spain, for a week of sunshine, gin and hamburguesas con patatas – me, Jimmy, my Nan and my Nan’s awesome friend Elda. It was fantastic. I spent almost all of my time lying out on my Nan’s patio, armed with Factor 2 oil that appeared to have been left over from the 70s, the complete works of Jilly Cooper, a family-sized bag of crisps, and a cold bottle of beer. I rounded off the year with an icy December weekend in Aberdeen, to visit my gorgeous friend Rachael (who I have known since we were nine), who is somehow now the mum of the beautiful and charming four-month-old Emilie. Heavenly.