My "Best of 2011...."

It's that time of year when everyone is posting up their "Best of" lists so why should I be any different?

I hope mine delivers some more insight into what I'm all about and what goes on in my world, cyber and real.

Some of these ideas and mentions have been in my head for a while now and I'm pretty sure I have also forgotten a bunch of stuff but to hell with it. Below you'll find a mix of the materialistically shallow as well as the personal deep and meaningful.

As Kel (from Kenan and) would say, "Ah here goes!"
  • Movie
You know as much as I love going to the movies there just isn't the time, or at least we don't make the time. That's speaking about grown up movies. We've made an effort to start taking the kids on a Saturday morning to see such gems as Cars 2 and Mr Popper's Penguins. The kids don't yet have as much love for the cinema experience and prefer DVDs at home but we'll keep trying in 2012. (note they DO love popcorn!)
  • Album
OK I've been vocal and said this a few times already but Hip Hop rocked my world this year. And these guys topped the list in no particular order as they are all dope.

Apathy - Honkey Kong
Evidence - Cats & Dogs
Action Bronson & Statik Selektah- Well Done
Slaine & Statik Selektah - State of Grace
  • Gig
This one is tough as I saw some amazing acts in 2011 but I'll break it down to just three and why.
Jane's Addiction - my favourite band. Perry exuded mystical sexual otherworldly awesomeness. Just like I always dreamed he would.
House of Pain - They made it OK to love rap for a skinny white boy in the UK in the early 90s. Credibility, rhyme styles and lifestyles. SA ALL DAY. Heroes of mine, peace to Danny and Erik.
The Rhymesayers Tour - Went to see Evidence first and foremost. Came home musically in love and in awe of the energy and skill presented by Ev himself, Brother Ali and Grieves & Budo.
  • Sneaker
My G.O.A.T. sneaker has to be and always will be the Jordan V. Copped the black 2011 version with the new icy blue sole. Nothing but love for this re-released retro with the anti-yellowing addition.
  • Purchase (Apparel/Sneaker/Other)
Bought my first leather jacket from HD Lee and I swear it made me a man. (I was 35 already but you get me)
 Thanks to my buddy Adam all the way from NJ, I re-copped the Air Max 90 Infrareds. I snapped them up when they re-released but sold them to free up funds for something else. When you don't make a lot you got to make sacrifices.
 One of the best decisions I made this year was to choose the HTC Sensation XE phone. My first android phone, caters to all my needs (music, camera, internet, video) and even makes calls and sends texts. The baby brother of the XL model (but still a big bastard) and comes with Beats by Dre earphones. Every commute I'm smiling and keeping up with the world.
  • Brand
I'm giving this one to the newly established November Red. I'm happy to be in touch with the founder and designer and it's been a real rise for the brand from conception to opening and the offerings of their second collection. The product quality, graphics and even packaging have been second to none. All of this has been shared on Hypebeast and also via Twitter. Other brands that sparked my interest were the likes of Mister, Blood Bath and Crabtree Lane. Keep an eye on 746INDASTREETS for 2012.
  • Quote
Just in (thankfully as I was lost for this entry) and from someone who I follow on Twitter almost fanatically. (although saying that he's a Ralph lover and I need to get him to our Brompton Road store ASAP for a look into the world of the contender to the throne of Classic Prep)

Gary Warnett
2012 sounds fucking futuristic, but it will just be lots of chinos and canvas shoes. Arthur C Clarke never saw that coming.
  • Website
I continue to frequent pretty much the same sites like Hypebeast, Highsnobiety, Freshness. Although lots of the updates and news are shared across these sites, it's interesting to see how they spin it, if at all, to make it different. Hypebeast have taken on some good writers and photographers which I applaud, and is only let down by the ability for total idiots to leave comments on features.
 Another site continuing to excel is The Daily Street. Again more writers have been added to the roster and I enjoyed many recaps of events and dope mixtapes.
 I think the most intriguing website (blog) of the year for me has to be from Gwarizm. I'm starting to understand that his mind is filled with a ton of facts, opinions and even the odd rant or two. His ability to put into words all of the above and make it coherent is a joy to read.
 I've had my eyes opened by countless quite outstanding photos and recollections of events from artist Jun Cha. He says his blog Arudima will take a new form in 2012, always improving and pushing the envelope. Everyone can learn from this man.
 The most fascinating to me personally has to be the blog from my good friend Mel. Another one with a way for insightful words and we share most of the same interests. Check it out it might just be for you too.
  • Person
Lindsey Lohan for her Playboy spread......seriously my wife gets this vote for her unrelenting awesomeness and continued support through thick and thin.
  • Personal Achievement
Just going to pat myself on the back for a hard fought 12 months at work. Also for seeing the bigger picture and opportunity to step aside whilst still coming out on top with regards to my needs, career and future.
  • Notable Achievement
My wife completed her first half marathon in a time of 2 hours. That is amazing to me. She is amazing. End of story. Plus my son started school this past September and is already reading and can count to100.
  • Party
Was lucky to get invited to a few bangers this year but no one does it like Tommy at Christmas. Having said that I was proud to be at the opening party for  The Buttery Store. Great guys, hand picked product and new visions. So many on-line venture clones around it is refreshing to have these guys up to bat.
  • Gift
The iPad 2 from work takes some beating, but I've been privileged to received some amazing works of art in the form of Strings by Camilla Lehn. Hand made and very wearable from the Skulls collection. I wish her all the success possible in business and life in general. Camilla is one of the best.
  • Fail
WTT. Seriously Jay and Kanye,WTF.
 The London Riots.
 Last pair of size UK8 Jordan XI (Concords) in Footpatrol and I passed up. Could have used them to pay for something else on the resell tip. For 2012 I am not going to pass up opportunities to help myself, or do things that will benefit others (without resorting to mindless violence of course).
  • Pick Up
I'd have to say my favourite 'pick up' has to be another work of art by the great Chuey Quintanar on my forearm. Chuey's going from strength to strength and amassing a very big following. I am so glad to have met him and been given the opportunity once more to wear his work. Looking forward to something new in 2012. Got the ideas ready... And just want to ad that I was both envious and in awe of the half sleeve my wife got from artist Lianne Moule of Immortal Ink.
  • E-cquaintances
I took cyber stalking to a new personal high this year and managed to catch glimpses of DJ Muggs, Bun B, Estevan Oriol, Danny Boy and Everlast thanks to Gumball 3000 and the HOP 20th Anniversary tour. Learning to use Twitter to follow some of the people I respect and believe in has been a real blessing. You all know my motto - Life is about meeting people, connecting and making things happen.
  • E-Com
This year I've mostly bought on-line via End Clothing, Sakis, Crookedtongues and Size?. I have to say that the service from Crookedtongues is outstanding.

Recap of Christmas 2011

Christmas is a A time for living, a time for believing. A time for trusting, not deceiving. Love and laughter and joy ever after. Ours for the taking, just follow the master. Or so says Sir Cliff Richard.

For me it's not always a pleasant time and usually comes mixed with apprehension, excitement, anxiety and fear of failure. This year was not too different but came and went without a hitch. It was a blessing to be able to wake up at home and open gifts with the children and their grandmother. Then to be able to visit with my brother and his family until Boxing Day. I think there are going to be a good few 'firsts' happening between our families for 2012 and I can't wait.

Christmas doesn't end until my son has had his birthday on the 30th. Yesterday my son turned 5 and after quite meticulous planning by super Mummy, his party was a complete chaotic success. Magic Billy was on top form, I dressed as Michael Jackson and also danced to Barbie girl. Things a father does for his children eh? There is footage out there somewhere waiting to haunt me.

Looking to the Future

Time to tear down the decorations and get my ass in gear for 2012. I want to set some goals and make them achievable. Anything else that comes along and I can succeed at is very welcome of course.

First real goal is to run in the Bupa London 10k in May. I spent some time at the end of 2011 giving up sugar and soda and felt absolutely great for it. Then I fell off the wagon hard. Now I'm given this chance to start again and get to work on my health and fitness. As Tony Horton would say, BRING IT.

Fundraising Page - Thank you for your Support

I think maybe resolutions are something not every one need to know unless they are able to contribute like with the above. So just rest assured I'm always working to be better.

And that kind of wraps it up. Most of the above is from the last few months of 2011, partly because my memory is so terrible. I should have gone back through my blog and reminded myself of some of what went on, I'll do that next year.

Wishing you all a prosperous 2012. Don't just be good, be the best.