2010 reasons to be cheerful….



Reasons to be cheerful:

1   BARACK OBAMA: Despite the fact that the current security situation means he’s sounding like previous incumbents, he is STILL the best thing to have happened to international politics for many a long year.

2  ECO-AWARENESS: When I look around at my nearest and dearest, and a little beyond into the fantastic people who constitute my PSG (personal support group), I see examples everywhere of people making an effort to live a greener life. And while it may seem insignificant, it DOES make a difference if we (and these are just a few examples) switch off lights, buy local produce, walk more, take public transport, drive less, fly less and STOP EATING MEAT (or at least have meat-free days).

Link to information about why we should stop eating meat: http://www.show.me.uk/site/news/STO873.html

3  THE PEASANTS ARE STILL REVOLTING: The big difference between the first protests I was involved in the 60s and 70s and now is that in those days, we marched and then we went down the pub and thought we had changed the world. All we did was change from sober to drunk. Protest is much better organised these days and action groups realise they will do much better if they IGNORE POLITICIANS and appeal directly to the general public.

4  TWITTER AND OTHER WAYS TO LEAK INFORMATION: It is getting more and more difficult for the bad guys (and they usually ARE guys) to withhold information about what they are doing, be they megalomaniac national leaders, industrial giants polluting rivers, fat cat bankers lining their nests or British MPs lining their moats and bell towers. Someone somewhere will leak information, including photographic evidence of wrong-doing. Whatever fun we made of twitter a year or so ago, it isn’t just something to idle away a few minutes, it’s actually a force for change.

Please add more reasons to be cheerful below.

My first four months of blogging have been an absolute blast, thanks to you, readers and contributors, including my fabulous guest-bloggers. Thank you so much for visiting in such numbers. You have made a happy man feel very old …er … yes…

Catch you later.

New Year's Resolution: Work like crazy and keep June free for serious TV watching...

43 thoughts on “2010 reasons to be cheerful….

  1. Hi Ken and thank you for all the wishes!
    I wish you all the best for the New Year and a happy and relaxing holiday! Thank you for all your amazing posts and for having us as guest-bloggers – one of the highlights of this year for me!
    I am going to Greece for ten days to see my parents, whom I have not seen for almost five months!
    All the best to everyone reading this blog and not only – wonderful holidays to everyone, full of happiness, health, rest and relaxation!
    My warmest wishes,

    1. Thank you, Vicky- it was a great pleasure to meet you in the blogosphere, and I appreciate your positive take on things – something I have grown to enjoy from my frequent visits to Canada!

      Hope your plans for 2010 come to fruition!

  2. Merry Christmas Ken! I wish you, your family and all the peaceful people around the world all the best and that on next year all our best dreams come true. Enjoy your family, your friends, and the simple moments in life because in the end that’s what really matters in our existence.
    I would like to suggest these two gr8 videos as a kind of food for thought… with the first one we can understand how “small” we are compared with the sacred Universe, that’s why our heart and actions must be great in terms of love, fraternity, peace… because we are energy from these huge Universe…

    The second one is “a call to bring the world together”

    from http://charterforcompassion.org/

    So, Merry Christmas !!!

    1. Wow, that first video is a real mind-blow!

      I will watch the second one tomorrow.

      Great message, Giselda and thank you for sharing it. Enjoy 2010 and see you at BrazTESOL, I hope!

  3. I’d like to thank-you quite personally if I may, and the end of the year (although not necessary for giving thanks) does tend to make me reflect on matters over the past 12 months.

    I posed a question on Twitter a couple of months ago, you might remember. I was asking what THE conference is for relatively new teachers. You were the only one who answered. Since then you have stood out as someone with seemingly endless amounts of support for those around you and you’re never dismissive or patronising when the new voices say something.

    So I’d like to thank-you for being welcoming and warm. The small things we do, can make a big difference can’t they and just wanted to let you know, your small reply did!

    I wish you all the best for Christmas with your family. Enjoy some time off!

    Great to see the shed at last btw. Now we know what you’re talking about 🙂

    Warm wishes,

    1. That is a lovely message, Emma… I’m very touched by it.

      My feeling is that you have a robust presence on twitter now, so I’m pleased that your possibly negative initial impressions have changed.


    1. Thank you, Melania, and thanks for your contribution to the guest blogs. As you now know, you got some great responses.

      Yours and Cristiana’s posts remind me how much I miss my regular visits to Romania in the early part of this decade. Hope I can do something about that in the NEXT one.

  4. Hi Ken,

    Warm wishes from Lincolnshire winging their way to you and your family. Have a good break!

    Amanda 🙂

    1. Thanks Amanda – good to know there are outlying members of the clan in the fair county of Lincolnshire.

      Remember – where there’s a will, there’s a Wilson! 🙂


    1. thanks, A-Z!

      Did you know they named a London map book after you? 🙂

      Thanks for kicking off my guest-posts in such a brilliant way.

      1. How true – and there are some really nice pocket-size ones but with extra large central sections on shiny paper that you can spill your coffee on 🙂

  5. Hi Ken,
    Lovely post here, I chose all answers:)) and I would like to grab this opportunity here to thank you for all your wonderful ideas and for animating us here.
    Have a festive year and keep up the good thought shared with Melania of coming back to Romania in 2010.
    Sending you good thoughts

    1. Thanks, Cristiana…

      it’s funny how we all wish each other the best at this time of year, but it’s a positive thing to do and new year is a good time for reflection and (maybe) changes.

      I’d love to get back to Romania, maybe to promo ‘Just Right’, which has recently been acquired by a new publisher.

      We shall see 🙂

  6. Good grief! There I was, searching for stuff on Steely Dan, and you popped up! Remember me from Newsrevue?

    Season’s Greetings and all that…


    1. Diane,

      Blimey! Newsrevue! What great days. Wish I still had time for that sort of thing.

      Actually, I WOULD have time for that sort of thing if I didn’t blog and tweet so much.

      What on EARTH were you doing searching for stuff about Steely Dan at 10.19pm on Christmas Day??

      Will contact you on Facebook. Do you tweet?

      1. Not quite tweeting yet, but will write to you on facebook…(ANY time is a good time to look up stuff on Steely Dan, isn’t it???)

  7. Thank you for this great post. Yes I agree with all the things you have written and here are my reasons to be cheerful; I have a great family. I LOVE the job that I’m doing and I’m happy I have met all of you. The feeling of being a part of something is incomparable to anything else.

    I wish you a Happy New Year with the people you love and care.

    Eva Büyüksimkeşyan

    1. Thanks Eva, that’s a very positive start to the new decade. Looking forward to seeing you in Istanbul in February and March.

  8. Hi Ken

    Thank you for another great post. I always enjoy reading what you have to say. Happy New Year! I hope 2010 will be a fantastic year for you.

    Reasons to be cheerful in 2010? Exciting projects like continuing with the restoration of our house in Abruzzo, buying chickens, making homemade pasta with the future eggs, taming the jungle area, growing enough tomatoes to make tomato sauce and cultivating our olive trees. I’m not sure where other stuff will fit in with all this, but I’ll do my best!

    Look forward to reading more of your posts.

    All the best to you and your family


    1. Thanks Janet! The eco-word which springs out of your comment is self-sufficient, one that I didn’t mention in the main post, but a terribly important one for people, like you, who are in a position to do something like this.

      Not so easy with a narrow strip of London garden, but we can all contribute to the global warming response in different ways 🙂

  9. 25 years on and Half Man Half Biscuit are still touring in 2010!!

    Hanoi will be 1000 years old. The lake in Lenin Park will be refilled.

    I will go home to see my folks, old friends…and maybe even new ones! :-)))

    Recommended read for 2010: A bit dated, but still fabulous, ‘A Green History of the World.’ by Clive someone… and I don’t even get a share of the royalties 😉

    1. Aha…

      A Green History addresses the influence of the environment on human history over the past 10,000 years, starting with the expansion of hunting and gathering groups, and the transition to settled agriculture. Clive someone describes how exhaustion of the resources to which they had access doomed many human societies.

      Looks like a fun read over the toast and coffee 🙂

    2. Half Man Half Biscuit?! I saw them in Kentish Town around 20 years ago!

      Back in the DHSS, I Hate Nerys Hughes (From the Heart), I Love You Because (You Look Like Jim Reeves)…wonderful stuff!

      1. As i said to Laura earlier, Back in the DHSS is one of those titles that is SO obvious and SO brilliant when someone finally comes up with it.

        But be honest, you HMHB fans – are they any good musically?

      2. btw, was watching Alistair McGowan on TV last night – do you remember the shy young man who used to be at the Newsrevue Monday night script meetings, and whose contribution to a Smoker was a Trainspotter nerd sketch?

  10. Sorry… I forgot.. Reasons to be CHEERFUL!!

    In THAT case… You don’t have the book, right?! 🙂 So, cheer up…you could be reading that instead of laugh out loud slim novels with great Morrissey titles. 😉

    1. The Vlitos book ain’t that slim – it’s 300+ pages long and printed on very thick paper – and the font is enormous. Someone spent a lot of money on its production, possibly by mistake.

  11. HMHB any good musically? Well, it’s pretty basic stuff but they do it with ‘conviction’, let’s say!

    Do I remember shy Alistair McGowan? Erm, actually, I went out with him a couple of times, Ken…perhaps he became a little less shy after that… 🙂

  12. HMHB music…? I think they play instruments… But I’ve never heard any music and I have all their CDs! Knowing your not mixing comedy/ music thoughts…you’re better off sticking to the lyrics… Or being spoon-fed them in appropriate chunks at inappropriate times by yours truly.

  13. My reason to be cheerful this year = my PLN. A daily reminder that there are some GREAT people in this profession dotted about the globe who are genuinely keen to help their colleagues in whatever way they can. And why? Just to be kind! How cool is that? I have received abundant support in the last few months from people (you know who you are) whose altruistic acts of kindness have helped me no end. For the majority of teachers in EFL, it’s never going to be a career that’ll make you a mint, but perhaps that’s why it’s such a nice clan to be part of. Our motives are good and what drives us and keeps us enthusiastic is not measurable in monetary terms. That kind of helps to maintain my faith in human nature and makes me very-merry-happy. As does the warmth that radiates from this blog. Thanks, Ken, and all the bestest for 2010 🙂

    1. Thank you, Callie – you have a lovely attitude to your work and to life in general – i hope it spreads to everyone you come into contact with – colleagues, students, people you meet at conferences etc…

      and i’m very proud and privileged to be part of your PLN…

      PS I hope I AM part of your PLN 😛

      1. The fact that it was you who defined the acronym PLN for me (remember that?) speaks volumes. And I am muchly flattered by your remarks. Looking forward to meeting you, and others from my PLN, this year 🙂 Roll on ISTEK!

  14. Hi Ken,

    I love the positivity of this post (not that the other posts are any less so). I think 2010 is going to be a GREAT year, and hopefully the start of a fantastic decade. The world seems to be getting smaller and people’s voices louder.

    Also, any post with Calvin and Hobbes in it can only fill me with joy 🙂 (reminds me of a speech balloon gap fill I once did with a class)

    Hope you have a fab year


    1. Thank you Mike!

      and best of luck with your new blog.

      Do you tweet? Twitter has become a great forum for ELT ideas, and is a good place to advertise your blog.

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