That was 2007 that was

In conversation with himself Damian looks back at the last year, the high and lows, the ups and downs, the … oh you get the drift.
So another year gone…
Indeed, I don’t know where the time has gone. It’s been very busy.
Is that why you didn’t send any Christmas cards again this year?
Don’t start.
I wasn’t, I just noticed you hadn’t sent me a card, that’s all.
Well, don’t take it personally, I didn’t send any cards. However I have made a donation to Breast Cancer Care for the amount I would have spent on cards and postage. I’m also going to send round a transcript of this chat too so that everyone knows what I’ve been up to.
I’m sure all your friends and colleagues will be suitably grateful.
I’m sure they will be.
So, at the risk of sounding like a hairdresser, been on your holidays recently?
Not for a while, but I have had a couple of really good holidays this year; 2007 started with a bang, literally, watching fireworks in Sydney with my brother Sean before seeing England lose the Ashes with Sean and my friends Rick and Ayesha, before I ventured off to New Zealand (where the highlights included swimming with dolphins, walking on a glacier; complete with a helicopter ride to and from said glacier,) as well as a stint in LA.
What did you make of LA? I gather people either love it or hate it.
I’m on the fence. It was good to see and explore as the city is so engrained in our cultural consciousness, but for me the best bits weren’t those from the movies or TV, but the Getty Museum – a stunning piece of architecture quite apart from the contents of the museum itself – and the Reagan Memorial Library.
Sounds cool.
It was. I also went back to Australia again in the Summer to go and see my brother (who was living there for a year). I did some suitably adventurous (for me) things like climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge, going whale watching and a bit of walking in the Blue Mountains. I also ate a lot of cakes from a fabulous bakery in Sydney’s Newtown, so some things never change.
It’s a long way to go though.
It is, but fortunately I broke up the trip to and from Oz with a bit of time in Thailand, exploring the markets, eating lots of great food and I drove the oldest, most knackered, 4×4 I have ever seen in my life.
My only other real trip was a weekend in Bruges with my old flatmate Russell in September.
Ah, Bruges. I take it you sampled the beer and the chocolates?
Does Dolly Parton sleep on her back?
We were very lucky actually that the trip coincided with a big beer festival. Nobody seems to believe us, but we didn’t know it was happening until we got there. Honest.

I believe you.

Have you been traveling lots with work this year as well?
Not as much, although I’ve taken on projects in the Nations now, so I ended up visiting Belfast and Glasgow (with a few overnights in Edinburgh which enabled me to catch up with my lovely violin playing friend Pam, she also gave me the idea for this update,) a few times. I also had a very long train journey back from Cornwall a few weeks ago. It would have been quicker to fly to New York…
So talking of work, are you still at CSV?
Yes. And we had a really good year this year, despite there being some major financial challenges too.
Go on then, give us the highlights.
Well, 67,462 contacted our helplines with thousands more contacting partners directly, and we won a number of awards including a SONY Gold, a Gillard Gold and the Silver World Media from the New York Festival of Radio Broadcasting.
Nice one.
Thanks. If you’re interested I post occasional work bits and pieces on my blog:
Yeah [assiduously avoids eye contact] … if I get a spare five minutes…
I’ve also started doing a bit of writing for Third Sector magazine on communications issues affecting the voluntary and community sector.
That sounds more interesting.
I had great fun turning my living room into a photographers studio for the headshots which accompany the articles. Although one of my neighbours didn’t quite know what to make of the shots taken in the garden, me being all suited and booted, them hanging up their washing in a pair of old shorts and a top that used to fit them when they were several stone lighter…
It wasn’t great.
So are you still living in Camberwell?
For the moment, although in the throes of moving (touch wood) to a new place in Peckham Rye…
…Nelson Mandela House?
Not quite, although it is only about 5 minutes walk from a pub called The Nags Head.
Lovely Jubbly.
Well, keep me posted.
I will. Who knows I might even have a housewarming this time.
Kool and the Gang. So what else you been up to? Consume any culture that wasn’t in a pot produced by Yeo Valley?
Loads, although most of it seems to have been earlier on in the year.
I took a photography course at the National Portrait Gallery, saw a few exhibitions at the British Museum (the one with the Terracotta Army and another about the first British settlers in the US,) took in some art (Gormley’s Blinded by the Light at the Hayward, Impressionism at the National, Gilbert and George at the Tate Modern and I joined the ICA) as well as a bit of theatre; Rafta Rafta at the National, Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Roundhouse, Underneath the Lintel with Toby from the West Wing, Ramayana at the Lyric and an amazing production of Faust in a warehouse in Wapping.
Was that the one where all the audience had to wear masks?
Yes, that’s the one! You wander round about four floors of this place and there’s different scenes taking place throughout, so you see the show in a fairly non-linear fashion and then on the bus home piece it altogether and finally make sense of it. I can’t really describe how awesome it was, but it was A.W.E.S.O.M.E.
Sounds like it.
I think that’s about it really. I played a bit of cricket in the summer but the weather was so bad most of the games I could do were rained out.
There was also lots of rain at the two summer wedding I went to (Rick and Ayesha’s and Em and Ed’s) but mercifully none at Neil and Celia’s the other week. Although it was damned cold!
So what does 2008 hold?
Not sure yet. I will be trying to work less and play more, I’ve not talked about work much here but those of you who know me well know that it tends to dominate, so in 08 I aim to spend more time with my friends, go to more gigs (I only did one this year) and other than that it’s a bit of a blank canvas. There will probably be a trip to the US at some point as far too many of my friends live there now, but that aside, who knows?

Damian Radcliffe, thank you very much.

Thank you.