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  • Writer's pictureChris Mads

2022: The List

At the end of the year, I like to go back through photos, notebooks, diaries and the like to remember the highlights of the past 12 months - both big and small. In some cases these moments are intensely personal, sometimes they are big, bold moments that I shared with many others, either directly or indirectly.

This year, I have tried pulling this reflection together into an actual list which I can look at and take in. Since I have been more than a little distant from the blog over the course of 2022, I am also sharing it here as a way to ease myself into 2023 with some regular thoughts and posts.

So here it is, my Big List of 2022.

The harbour wall in Fremantle (WA). The high spot of my year. On the harbour wall, as the sun began to set, S agreed to marry me.

Seeing the Northern Lights.

Taking tea with a Berber. While travelling in Morocco, we met a Berber guide in the Atlas mountains who took us on a tour of the area round his home village. This began with an intimiate visit to drink tea in his house, where we were regaled with tales of the mountain by his father.

Elizabeth's Bookshop (Fremantle, WA). A slice of heaven we found while wandering the streets of Fremantle; S and I got lost for an hour exploring the towering shelves, packed with every genre of book you can imagine.

The work of Austin Kleon. I first heard of Austin Kleon early in the year thanks to the wonderful jazz musician Jamie Cullum, who recommended his newsletter. Since then I have become a subscriber to his weekly missives and read two of his three books - Steal Like An Artist and Keep Going. If you are not familiar with his work, I suggest clicking here to check out his work and subscribe to the free weekly newsletter (there is a paid one too).

Art Matters: Discovering Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell's book. Two masters of their craft come together to share their passion and excellence.

The Staves in Concert. Three sisters united in harmony and having a blast on stage at The Barbican.

The challenging 20222 season of the West Coast Eagles AFL team. I didn't enjoy the anguish it gave fans, in fact I became one after watching them live when we went to visit S's family in Western Australia for the first time in three years.

Faja Dos Padres. A little slice of heaven in Madeira. I wrote more about it here.

The joy of YOLA. We saw her on Jools Holland late last year and in person at the Brixton Academy during the summer. Just a joyful explosion of music and energy.

Watching the Moroccan football team in Morocco. We were all enchanted by the Atlas Lions prowl through to the World Cup Semi Final, I think. Well, most of us did anyway. S and I got to watch the semi final in Morocco with the staff and guests at our hotel all downing tools and holiday reading to support the team together. The locals were still in good spirits even after their defeat.

Finally visiting Pop-up Crisis. I have wanted to visit the annual charity pop-up on Savile Row for years. It did not disappoint.

Neil Gaiman on Twitter.

Daemon Voices. The worlds of Philip Pullman have been a big feature in my cultural intake this year, from the His Dark Materials drama on the BBC, to reading The Secret Commonwealth, the second in the Book of Dust trilogy. This collection of essays gives wonderful insights into how the stories are crafted and created.

Returning to the local cinema. Our local Everyman is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy a film. My favourite this year was Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. It was poignant, thrilling and excellently delivered.

Fully indulging my passion for notebooks. I have always loved a notebook and journal. This year I have finally organsied myself to my daily ledger (which goes everywhere with me), my basic diary for appointments, my logbook, a journal and a scrapbook.

Strolling through cities - both old and new. I love wandering round a city, seeing the side streets and taking in the people, places and atmosphere. This year we began by exploring Reykjavik and finished on the streets of Marrakesh. In the middle we fitted in two long-time favourites: London and Paris.

Quad biking over a Greek island. S and I headed back to the island where my sister got married this summer and commandeered a quad bike to ride up to the temple atop the central hill and then down the winding paths to the beach. Getting lost has never felt so good.

Reading Rolande Barthes' Mythologies on the train.

Comic strips. I have discovered and re-discovered some wonderful comics this year. Among my favourites: Tintin, Snoopy, Mark Millar's Prodigy and Catana Comics.

Discovering new, and wonderful, coffee. Flamingo Coffee. Hotel Chocolat. Coffee Club...and a return to Leon.

The Ralph Lauren Polo Bear. Since I discovered the Polo Bear it has become a staple in my wardrobe, featuring on t-shirts and jumpers. There are also lots of small and extra-small options on eBay for the more pequeno amongst us. Also, check out Short Man Style.

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