Friday, 2 January 2009

Goodbye, 2008...

This is How We Do New Year's in Madrid...

So, the Last Goodbye has been said to 2008, now officially dubbed The Worst Year of My Life (so far). Ah, well, after three years of uninterrupted pleasure and excitement, the disappointment had to come sometime.

Main causes of upset have been the break-up of my family, the financial crisis affecting the entire world, my summer hell, and almost ruining my chances of even arriving in Spain in time for the start of the academic year.

However, some interesting things, have happened; and so I thought I'd have a look back at yet another eventful year.

Politics and Current Affairs: As the global stock markets continue to fall, people start to wonder - "Does this mean recession? Nah..."

Politics and Current Affairs: Fidel Castro steps down as President of Cuba, and his brother, Raúl, takes control. Most people expect it to be business as usual, until some startling changes begin to happen.
Personal Life: I get my first "proper" student job, after a year-and-a-half of attempted laziness. My efforts are paid in food and money.
Other News: A total lunar eclipse crosses North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia.

Politics and Current Affairs: The farce of presidential and parlimentary elections are held in Zimbabwe - Mugabe "wins", again, surprisingly...
Culture: Hype begins to build over the second Batman installment, in no small part due to the death of Heath Ledger, in January.
Personal Life: After two years of membership, I finally perform with the National Youth Theatre - being an "in-house" production, no-one has actually paid to se me. I met Mark Ravenhill, though...

Personal Life: Easter is spent working, eating, and reading. Well, two out of three ain't bad...

Culture: Reading Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure changes my opinion of the world.
Personal Life: See above

Personal Life: Despite my various extra-curricular ativities, I manage to scrape an overall First Class mark for the academic year: no-one is more surprised than myself.
Other News: Expo 2008 is held in Zaragoza, Spain, with the topic of "Water and sustainable development".

Politics and Current Affairs: The 34th G8 Summit, bringing together the leaders of the eight most developed democratic states in the world, makes more promises: this time, they'll pour money into African Aid and seeking sustainable energy as a viable alternative.
Personal Life: I flit between London, Brighton, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Henley-on-Thames. Rock and roll...

Politics and Current Affairs: Spanair Flight 5022, from Madrid to Gran Canaria, skids off the runway and crashes at Barajas Airport with 172 on board. 154 of them are killed and only 18 survive.
Culture: The Games of the 29th Olympiad are held in Beijing, China; opening, running, and closing with great success. Well, dictatorships are disciplined, you see...
Personal Life: Desperate, unprepared, and with no money, I find myself making some of the worst mistakes of my life (so far)

Politics and Current Affairs: President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa resigns after accepting a call by the African National Congress. Good riddance to the arrogant, stupid, AIDS-denier...
Personal Life: I finally get to Spain, with a lot of help from some friends.

Politics and Current Affairs: "Hmm, the world seems to be falling further into financial turmoil. We'd better do something soon, I suppose..."
Culture: The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is officially inaugurated. It is a collaboration of over 10,000 scientists and engineers from over 100 countries as well as hundreds of universities and laboratories.
Personal Life: I make lots of new friends. I miss my old ones, though.

Politics and Current Affairs: Barack Hussein Obama II is elected the first African-American President of the United States of America. 'Nuff said.
Personal Life: Turning 21 makes me realise how much needs to change, in my life.
Other News: Claudia Castillo of Spain becomes the first person to have a successful trachea transplant using a tissue-engineered organ.

Politics and Current Affairs: Israel initiates a series of airstrikes against the Gaza Strip, killing at least 375 (including at least 60 civilians) and wounding over 1,700. And counting...
Culture: Ruins of an ancient Wari city are discovered in northern Peru.
Personal Life: Christmas and New Year's Eve are spent in Madrid, my new home. My New Year's Resolutions are to primarily improve my outlook on life and experience new sensations.
Other News: An extra leap second (23:59:60) is added to end the year. The last time this occurred was in 2005.

Phew! And that was only a small portion of it... Well, here's to the future...

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