It's January 1st and time to look back on 2011 - a strange year for everyone. Here's some thoughts:
I like numbers and statistics - I have been absorbed with my YouTube Channel all year and watched it grow. According to Google Analytics it was viewed 490,001 times in 2011 (including 676 on Christmas Day!) and 543 new subscribers were added to the channel. At current rate of progress - I expect the total number of views (currently at 696,762) to pass 1,000,000 and the total number of subscribers (currently at 746) to pass 1,000 by mid-2012. For me the YouTube channel is the most worthwhile thing I have done in 2011.
In 2011 I wrote 262 blog posts - 46 more than in 2010. During the year I also moved the blog to www.eugeneoloughlin.com and I continue to enjoy writing on anything that takes my fancy. My main topics are about Education and YouTube - but I also wrote about politics, family, some reviews, sport, plagiarism, travelling, broadband woes, my Harley-Davidson, and Preston North End.
This has to be the day just before Christmas when I was not killed crossing the road by a car. In what would have been an accident that would have been entirely my own fault, I did not look right and almost paid the price. Thankfully the driver of the car was far more alert than I was and he evaded me quite smartly.
In what seemed like a good idea at the time, in 2007 we signed up and paid a deposit on an apartment in Spain. Almost four years had passed when out of the blue we got notification last February that the apartment was ready and that we had to pay the balance. I found out this week that 27 of the 32 apartments in our block are either owned by the banks or the developer (Polaris World). Only about 900 of the original 3,000 apartments planned for the resort have been built. The place is like a ghost estate - the "town centre" is also deserted. Though we could not get out of the contract to buy the apartment - I feel that finally signing and paying for this POS will be seen by me as a huge mistake for many years to come.
I find jokes and funny stories hard to remember - but one moment stands out. Last September my daughters "acquired" a cat - they called him "Harley" in an effort to get me to like him. At every opportunity the girls try to show me how cute he is. One Sunday afternoon I was watching football on TV and the cat was curled up in front of the fire. My daughter Claire came in and immediately said to the cat "Look at you watching football with your Daddy!". I burst out laughing.
In the summer I rode my Harley to Murcia - 2,420 miles (3,895 kilometres). I loved this trip and want to do some more. Owning an apartment in Spain (see above) will most likely mean that we will use it a lot - I may not ride that far again in the summer as it is so hot. As in two previous trips to Europe on the bike, part of my trip was through Normandy - I would really like to spend more time there. Anyway - the trip last summer was memorable, and reminded me that I am still young at heart and able for more.
The saddest events of 2011 for me were the death of my aunt Breda Quinn (who is also my Godmother) and my cousin Janet Edwards - in both cases after long illnesses. May the Lord have mercy on their souls. During the year we celebrated my Dad Joe's 80th birthday, Roma's and my sister Kathleen's 50th birthdays, and our own 25th wedding anniversary.
Finally - 2011 was a year in which technology became even more ingrained in our lives. I ended the year with the fantastic Amazon Kindle. Throughout the year I spent a lot of time on-line managing my Blog, YouTube channel, and my www.thereshouldbealaw.org site. It was also a year in which I went to battle with Eircom and overcame some broadband woes. Steve Jobs died. Twitter became a revolutionary tool possibly more powerful that bullets and bombs in the Arab Spring. Apart from the Kindle I acquired no new gadgets in 2011. My computer at work in now in its sixth year, I have my iPhone 3GS for almost two years, and my home computer is three years old.
2011 is dead, long live 2012.