Well, it’s a new start for me.
On 22 December 2006 I walked out of the offices of Total Film magazine holding in my hands a farewell card (which contained so many signatures someone had to glue a sheet of blank paper to the back so they could fit them all on), a box of silly presents (including an Action Man and an Ice Age 2 rucksack) and a fistful of HMV vouchers (which I’ve already started spending). My last words as an employee of Future Publishing were, “So long, suckers! I’m free! FREE AT LAST! Woohoohoohoo!”
Which, in retrospect, might not have been wise, seeing as I want to return to the magazine as a freelancer. Still, I’m sure my colleagues understood.
So now I’m officially unemployed, have virtually nothing planned for January except for whatever freelance writing gets thrown at me, and I won’t step into an office again until the start of February, when I’m booked for a week of subbing on DVD Review. After that is anyone’s guess, although I’m quietly optimistic. For someone who won’t be getting a paycheque in January, I’m amazingly calm about it all, although I have a feeling The Fear will hit me in a few weeks. I know I’ve done the right thing, though. In my two years on Total Film and four years on SFX I’ve waded through around 80 deadlines – far too many of them as a Production Editor – and that’s something that can wear you down like the Colorado River niggled away at the Grand Canyon. I love working on magazines, I love the people and I love the perks, but the weight of responsibility grew too heavy in the end. Remember Sisyphus, the dude with the rock? I had a rock-shape forming on my shoulder, and seeing as the only rock I like is The Rock, I wanted rid of it.
It’s gone now, thankfully, thanks to some serious, dent-removing R&R. I really enjoyed my Christmas break, although I did so little I fear I veered dangerously close to slipping into a coma. I did leave the house once to see Casino Royale at long last and loved it to bits, managing with almost bewildering serendipity to pull a bar of chocolate out of my bag and eat it just as Daniel Craig walked out of the sea in his tiny swimming trunks. Strangely, I can’t remember much about the rest of the movie!
Looking forward to 2007 – work worries aside – I know that it will be filled with all my favourite things: good friends, good music, good movies, good television. For instance…
There’ll be a new album from Neil Finn, which will hopefully make up for the fact he played a gig in Bath, a few minutes’ walk from my old house, that I didn’t find out about until it was too late to hop on a train. Surprisingly, I’m more upset about missing that gig than I was about my trip to New Zealand being cancelled with only four hours’ notice! It was my biggest disappointment of 2006: missing him playing his new album for the first time anywhere in the world… at the pub I walked by every day for four years. I could spit, I really could, but I won’t, cos that’s common.
There’ll be a new Spider-Man movie, which was the film I was most looking forward to until I saw the trailer for 300 – man, that movie looks goooood. And all the men in it are half-naked: what’s not to love?
There’ll be another series of Doctor Who, too, although my Who love is waning somewhat, along with my Tennant-as-The-Doctor love. I’m hoping my reservations about Who year three will evaporate once it starts; fingers crossed. The Christmas special didn’t feel special at all, and I fear that could be the start of a trend. Still, I came out of it liking Catherine Tate – who I usually despise – so maybe there’s some magic left after all.
And talking of despising people, I watched The Big Fat Quiz Of The Year the other night because Noel Fielding was one of the contestants, and thanks to him I’m now over my irrational hatred of Russell Brand. They were soooo good together! Which reminds me: hopefully Noel will team up with Julian Barratt again and The Mighty Boosh will treat us to a new series in 2007.
If not, there’s still Heroes (the best show of 2006, without a doubt), Studio 60, Battlestar Galactica, CSI, Smallville, Veronica Mars, Medium, The Sopranos and, last but by no means least, Supernatural, the show that somehow stood for everything shiny and wonderful in this big world of ours last year. For me, anyway. Not to get soppy, but I never had any siblings, so I’m living vicariously through Dean and Sam Winchester’s relationship. All the other aspects of the show are just gravy to me. Bloody tasty gravy, too.
(While I’m at it, I’m also living vicariously through Allison Dubois’ marriage to the wonderful Joe in Medium, as well as through Keith and Veronica’s father/daughter relationship in Veronica Mars. I think it’s fair to say that television is like therapy for me, although where The Sopranos and CSI sit within that definition is open to question. Guess I just like ’em cos they’re fab.)
And with that, I fear I’ve wibbled on for too long, so I’m going.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!