As a way to reflect on the past year, I copied the marvellous Nafisa Akabor‘s 25 questions. Check out Nafisa’s blog and her work on technology, consumer products and innovations, start-ups, smartphones, mobile payments, travel tech and electric cars.
1. What did you do in 2022 that you’d never done before?
The stand out thing was the book that I published in March. It was a hybrid memoir and commentary that wove in and out of history.
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t make new year’s resolutions.
3. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Heard about the death of a friend I hadn’t seen in more than 20 years. She was one of the smartest journalists I have known and, well, a long time ago we were close
5. What countries did you visit?
All over Middle East, East and South East Asia.
6. What would you like to have in 2023 that you lacked in 2022?
Nothing different. Good health, shelter, food on the table, and to keep writing.
7. What date from 2022 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The day my book was formally launched
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting the first book out of the way
9. What was your biggest failure?
Not being able to fill the hole
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
The usual; bronchitis.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
About 25 books
12. Where did most of your money go?
13. What song will always remind you of 2022?
Christina Perri. A Thousand Years (or Sia’s Unstoppable, because I heard it everywhere I went)
14. What do you wish you’d done more of?
15. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worry about financial security
16. What was your favourite TV programme?
17. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No. Warmongers, racists, misogynists, homophobes, fascists and antisemites just will not go away.
18. What was the best book you read?
I started reading Joanne Joseph’s Children of Sugarcane, but had to abandon it when I set off for Asia in the middle of the year.
19. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I rediscovered Erik Satie
20. What was your favourite film of this year?
The Irishman – far and away. Still avoiding cinemas because of Covid.
21. What did you do on your birthday?
22. What kept you sane?
Knowing that I have a fresh start, and another opportunity to live every day
23. Who did you miss?
My Late Mother
24. Who was the best new person you met?
A few… Important, for personal reasons, were Malaysian film-makers and journalists, Sheril A Bustaman and Zan Azlee, film-maker Amir Mohammad, and television exec, Leon Tan (See Zan’s website, FatBidin)
25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2022.
Not sure … but I have been astounded by kindness and generosity I received over the past two-to-three years. Hard to believe I deserve it.
Finally, I have been listening to podcasts almost daily for at least 12 or 13 years. A highlight of this year has been the Empire Podcast hosted by Anita Anand and William Dalrymple. Twitter @EmpirePodUK While I have listened to and kept most of the Reith Lectures on my phones and computers over the years, and I always enjoyed the BBC’s Thinking Allowed, hosted by Laurie Taylor and Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time, the Empire Podcast has redefined the genre – at least to me it has.