As we reach the end of another year and Storm Barney is Behind Us (that sounds like the title of a porno) we can sit back, relax and take in all the wonderful things 2015 has brought us, like terrorism and airstrikes and stuff.

If it’s now 2016 and you’re reading this, congratulations on still being alive – it’s good that you’re not dead basically. If you were alive for the whole of 2015, you may have been unfortunate enough to open a Gallery magazine to the Soapbox page and read a whole lot of nonsense that either makes me sound like I’m trying too hard to be funny or just generally preachy and lame. Anyway, if you happen to accidentally enjoy reading my articles, I love you. Thank you. As you won’t hear from me again until February, I thought I’d so a sort of ‘summary’ edition, with a quick round up of the past year in Soapbox musings. I toyed with the idea of calling it a ‘winter summary’, because it’s like summer and winter together and everyone would be like ‘whaaaaat?’, but I guess that would be a bit lame.

So, here we go – let’s revisit the year from the point of view of an out-of-shape bearded chap in his mid-twenties. Hold on tight…

February 2015
The theme for the first edition of 2015 was ‘Pairs’ and after an elongated joke about pears (the fruit) probably to bump up the word count,  we talked about the Paris shootings at the Charlie Hebdo HQ. Gosh, that was a bit much – thankfully though, Paris has been terrorism free since then, and nothing else ‘terroristy’ has happened there…. (Not!). On a lighter note, I also talked about the joy of camaraderie and what it means to be together with someone – not in a ‘sex’ way, just in general. Sex is cool too though.

March 2015
The world went mad with pancake puns, or ‘puncakes’, if you like. I got them out of the way early and went on to discuss more pressing matters like cool successful pickup lines, dating advice and stupid things that need to go away like racism, shootings and paedophiles.

April 2015
Jersey had an Earthquake or something didn’t it? Or perhaps ‘earthquiver’ would be a more apt name. Nobody really noticed it, and those that did claimed the rest of us didn’t really miss much. We then went on to discuss how lucky we are to have earthquakes that 60% of us don’t notice, rather than world shattering natural disasters killing millions (Note: this should have made it onto the ‘things that need to go away’ list from the month before). According to my skim read of April’s article again today, I also got on my high-horse about Jersey’s education system. Basically, don’t take away the next generation’s opportunities; and I stand by that vague and unclear statement.

May 2015
In this issue I described my experiences of a delayed flight from Jersey airport. One terrible excuse for a human decided to blame a potentially faulty aircraft on the nice lady who was just trying to make sure everyone knew what was going on. My focus here was on people’s sense of entitlement, which I hate. Nobody owes you anything, shut up.

June 2015
I went through a phase of being healthy, active and happy. It didn’t last long.

July 2015
There are a large amount of charming local pubs all around the UK, Jersey included, and some are friendlier than others. National pride CAN be a good thing if the most extreme thing it leads to is boasting about local achievements like how quickly ‘Old Mick’ can down a pint.

August 2015
Gallery’s theme of RIVALRY for this month led me to divulge my most embarrassing secret: my biggest enemy is a cat. Not just any cat, but an abnormally large-balled cat who sneaks in and pees in my house for fun. Like National Pride, rivalry can be a good thing, provided it doesn’t lead to squirting cats with water from your bedroom window.

September 2015
In September we brought it right down to an ambling pace and talked about the benefits of taking it slow. I am a master of being slow, relaxed and various other disguising synonyms for lazy. All jokes aside, there’s a lot to be said for slowing down and taking time to enjoy the life you have.

October 2015
There’s no such thing as normal. Think of all the weird things in society like yawning, applauding, offering divine blessings when someone blasts snot from their nose… that sort of thing. Embrace your inner weird, that’s what I learned in October.

November 2015
According to the research I did for November’s article, there was this one guy who claimed everything that could be invented had already been invented. What a twit. Anyway, he was wrong and now we’ve got a cool robot on Mars who sings himself Happy Birthday every year.

Now!
Well, here we are. As I write this it’s the nearly the end of the year and I’ve stayed at work late to write this article. Mainly because I know that if I say I’ll do it when I get home I’ll ignore myself completely and just play PS4 in my pants instead.

2015 has been a fun year, a scary year, an odd year. I’m excited for what 2016 will bring, but I’m also a bit scared. Let’s hope the world calms down a bit, eh? In the meantime, I hope you’ve all enjoyed my articles – nothing like the ill-informed opinions of a loser to distract you from the brink of World War III!