In this era of social media it isn't always enough for journalists to report the news. We have to become it. That's why I'm writing about myself. Again!
Yesterday, I rocked Future Cities with the news that I'm moving to a new job, and I hope you can come to my leaving chat later today. Crying is mandatory.
But let's also remember the good times with this rundown of my ten personal highlights:
- My first blog: Britain's High Streets Must Modernize
This is where it started as I criticised the plans to improve Britain's high streets by self-styled high streets champion, PR person, and TV presenter Mary Portas. I said that some shops will never be filled again and should be replaced with homes, and that it's good to see that more local authorities are getting used to this idea. But will they actually deliver?
- The cartoon star: Mr. Smith Meets the Grim Reaper
Things always go badly for Mr. Smith, but meeting the Grim Reaper on the subway seems bad luck even for him:
- Going back in time: The Only Hotel in Camberwell
I haven't just been consigned to my office. I have been to conferences in Stockholm and Hamburg over the last year. But I had the most fun in London when I went back to my old stomping ground in Camberwell and stayed in its weird hotel. Being woken up at 6:00 a.m. by trains outside my window has never been more fun.
- Most fun to write: Coming Soon: Bruce Willis, Fatberg Destroyer
I never thought a story about a fatberg of congealed grease and wet wipes in Kingston upon Thames would end up as a synopsis for an action movie starring Bruce Willis and Jake Gyllenhaal, but it did. As Willis said in Die Hard: "Yippee ki yay manky sewers."
- References to being a dad and living in Oxford
Yes, I live in Oxford and I've got a daughter. Did I ever mention this? Only every day…
- The glorious cricketing summer
Working at home allowed me to listen to the Ashes in the summer, and not have to explain the rules of cricket to Nicole. I won't dwell on what's happened since then…
- Best city to write about: Amsterdam
I was born in London and always love writing about the city, but the quirkiest stories in the last year have come from Amsterdam. The city is always up to something, whether it’s harvesting urine for green roofs, setting up "scum villages," or turning away from its reputation for legalised prostitution and drug use. It definitely got us talking.
- Most tenuous idea: 4 Lessons for Cities from Grand Theft Auto
When I'm not working or mucking around with my daughter -- remember her?! -- I've got two main hobbies: korfball (don't ask!), and playing computer games on the Xbox 360. So when Rockstar Games launched Grand Theft Auto V last September, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to find lessons in it for urbanists. A fine piece of journalism.
(Source: Ferino Design)
- Best slideshow: 20 Most Interesting Brutalist Buildings
Brutalist buildings are hard to love. Their monolithic look inspired more hatred than any other architectural style, and so I wanted to put the case for the defence with interesting examples from around the world. I hope it made a few people reconsider this style.
- Getting to know you, getting to know all about you
I don't know most of you face-to-face, but I've enjoyed building up a picture of some of you from your comments. If you ever want to catch up I'm @RichHeap on Twitter.
Right, that just about does us. All I need to do now is clear my desk. Oh wait… no I don't, because I'm working at home. Maybe I'll grab myself a beer instead.