The Year in Review

2011 draws to a close shortly.  My good mate Martin has inspired me to write a reflective ‘Year in Review’ – by his own version of the same.  So, here are my reflections on 2011:

Moment of the Year:

Lunch at Fraser Gallop Estate – Margaret River, Western Australia.  Local produce and deli-goods such as octopus, duck liver paté, Margaret River vintage cheddar, and the best terrine this side of the black stump.  But none of this would have been quite so magnificent without the truly outstanding and internationally award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot we sipped between mouthfuls!

Woman of the Year:

Hands-down, no hesitation… Suzanna.  This has been a challenging year for me and I am certain I’ve not been the easiest person to live with as I’ve thrown myself headlong into ministry training and practice.  Suzanna deserves this ‘gong’ for remaining with me, and not losing her mind in the process.

Man of the Year:

This is a tough one.  Two men have enormous influence in my life, my father Brian, and my best mate Martin.  But Martin takes the ‘gong’ this year on account of two events – his deliriously happy wedding to the lovely Ingrid in March, and the long weekend the three of us enjoyed in the breath-taking Mackenzie Country in early September.  He continues to impress me as a man after God’s own heart, and my ‘brother from another mother’!

Film of the Year:

Another tricky one – so I have two categories.  Christian film = Courageous.  Sherwood Baptist, GA astounds me with their movie-making giftedness!  A must-see for all fathers in particular!  Non-Christian film = Midnight in Paris.  Best role I’ve seen Owen Wilson in since ‘Marley & Me’, and remarkable for its lack of sex, foul-language, and violence.  A rich tale that left both Suzanna and I smiling contentedly all the way home.

Album of the Year:

Adele – ’21’.  Melodic, anthemic, haunting, and funky… the only downside being that her unique, soulful sound has severely damaged her vocal-chords.  Great album though!

Book of the Year:

‘Loving Monday’ by John Beckett.  John is the CEO of a world-leading business and in this book, he shares how his faith in God informs every aspect of his work.  A brilliant look at how Godly business is good business, and when done to the glory of God, allows one to genuinely love Mondays!

Sporting Moment of the Year:

As much as I’m relieved that the All Blacks won the RWC, my favourite sporting moment of 2011 must be Doug Bracewell ‘rattling the castle’ of Australian test bunny, Nathan Lyon to seal an unlikely come-from-behind victory over our arch-rivals – the first test win on Australian soil for 26 years!

Drink of the Year:

Fraser Gallop Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 – winner International Bordeaux blend over 10 pounds, and deservedly so!

Location of the Year:

You’ll travel a long way to find a more picturesque location than sitting on a warm, sun-baked rock on the edge of the the ‘Iceberg Lake’ at the base of Fox Glacier.  The day was postcard-perfect; Aoraki Mt. Cook rising majestically into the cloudless sky, and Lakes Pukaki and Tekapo irredescent and glistening in the early-Spring sunshine.  My soul sang all of that day!

Purchase of the Year:

One word… Android.  Samsung Galaxy S5830 ‘Ace’ – struggling to recall how I organised my life before I had this ingenious device!

Company of the Year:

Hoyts Cinema Botany Downs – in the space of 30 minutes they went from not knowing anything about the film ‘Courageous’ to deciding to screen it twice a day for two weeks.  Just as well I called, eh!?  Good on you, Hoyts Botany!!


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