How was it for you?

THAT’S another year over and done with – so how was it for you?

Perhaps you look back on 2011 as the year when Osama Bin Laden was captured; the year when Britain’s lowlife scumbags thought the answer to all their problems was to nick stuff and torch the local sofa shop; the year when Mario Balotelli let fireworks off in his bathroom (and much more).
Or maybe you’re still smiling at how Kate Middleton’s hot sister stole the show at the Royal Wedding.
Me? I’ll remember going to a jazz gig in a library; going to an acoustic gig in a Middlesbrough tea room and attending an Edinburgh Fringe performance in a disused shop.
It will go down as the year when I fell out of bed after drinking Kopparberg for the first time; got very angry and at some kid with a dodgy barnet murdering a Clash song on the X Factor and saw a woman get on a train at York to see her niece off, only to still be there when the doors closed and end up on an unscheduled journey to London since it didn’t stop again before reaching King’s Cross.
For me it was also another year of watching speedway for a living.
And it was pleasing both personally and professionally to see Redcar Bears enjoy a year of progress after finishing rock bottom of the Premier League in 2010.
Okay so a 10th-place finish wasn’t as high as we’d maybe hoped for at the start of the season but it represented a massive leap forward from the same point 12 months earlier.
Not everybody was happy, of course, but you’re always going to stumble across the odd one who will find something to take issue with no matter what – you know, the type who could win the Lottery and then complain they have to go and pick up the cheque.
But the simple fact is that the team of 2011 would have beaten the team of 2010 out of sight. And we’ve got a new posh grandstand that was opened by the mayor.
On a personal level, it was great fun too.
I’m lucky enough to have a great group of friends to travel the country with and once again we’ll end the year with some marvellous memories.
Once again the highlight had to be the Somerset/Cardiff trip for speedway’s social event of the year in June.
Ex-Bear James Grieves was my room-mate for that trip and his win with Joe Screen in the PL Pairs down in Ciderland simply screamed for a celebration. And it got one alright.
It’s now less than 11 weeks until it all starts up again – I shall be raising a glass to more of the same at tonight’s New Year festivities.
I hope 2011 has been good for you and that 2012 is even better.
Happy New Year!
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