My Review of the Last Decade

As we move from 2019 in to 2020 – Happy New Year! The next decade is upon us. Normally at the end of each year I post some sort of Review of the Year but this year the done thing seems to be reviewing the last decade – so here’s my take on the ’10s.

This isn’t meant to be a full account of everything I’ve done in the last 10 years…. just a quick glance at my highlights.

2010: Ten years ago I was still in my first year at Cirencester College, studying for my A levels. German was my favourite subject at the time; In February I spent a very cold week (-17 at night) in Cirencester’s twin town (Itzehoe, Germany) doing Work Experience in a local Kindergarten as part of the exchange programme run by the college. After my visit to the town in 2010 it was another 6 years before I was able to go back.

2011: In the Summer of 2011 I finished at college and moved to the University of Gloucestershire to study Radio Production. I didn’t actually move…. I stayed at home 3 nights a week and lived in Cheltenham 4 nights a week. This pattern more or less remained the same for the duration of my time at uni. I wrote a blog just as I started university and one thing strikes me… The photo of my room in Cheltenham shows I have the same computer keyboard, mouse, speakers as I have now. Some things never change! And my room’s still set up as a mini radio studio (just as it is now).

2012: One thing which has been a constant in the last decade has been my involvement in Corinium Radio. In 2012 Corinium Radio got its first permenant home on the top floor of Bingham House. We remained there until last Autumn when we moved to a new room downstairs in the same building. It was also in the Summer of 2012 that I joined the Conservative Party.

2013: In November 2013 the then-MEP for South West England, Ashley Fox, hosted a coach load of residents from the region in Brussels – and I kept a blog detailing my adventures abroad. This trip sparked my interest in travellling. Prior to 2013 I had only ever travelled abroad for a holiday once a year, for 2 weeks. Now – I go away every couple of months!

2014: I finished university in the Summer of 2014 and graduated in November of the same year with a 2:1 BA (Hons) in Radio Production. I did a week of Work Experience at Heart‘s radio newsroom in Bristol – and in the Autumn I spent 4 weeks on the Jeremy Vine Show at BBC Radio 2. Not long after leaving university I spent 6 weeks in Greece – a trip which I labelled as my Grand Tour of Greece, staying in Athens, Leivadia, Syros, Kalambaka, Thessaloniki and Thassos.

December 2014: I’m throwing this one in for 2014 as well because it has been such a large chunk of the last decade: On my birthday – December 8th – I started a new job at the Plumbase Central Distribution Centre in Fairford.

Originally only a 6 month contract, I’m still stuck there now…but a lot louder and more vocal than I was back then. I’m told I was always so quiet, wouldn’t say “boo” to a goose, and didn’t really talk to anyone else for a couple of years at least! (I don’t know what they’re talking about!!) Stuck isn’t quite the right word actually, as I count both current and former colleagues among my closest friends. 🙂

2015: The world of work gave me new found freedom: I had an income of my own which I could spend on leisure and travel. I went to my first Country to Country festival at the O2 in London and have gone every year since! For the last 5 years I’ve been going abroad regularly but the first trip which kick-started my need to go away for long weekends (and longer) was a trip to Munich in February 2015. I paid for it using my first month’s pay packet. Followed up with 2 weeks in Greece (Tinos, Syros and Athens) in the Summer and a long weekend in Berlin in November. Driving an East German Trabant just a couple of hours before my flight home was my highlight of that trip – and I look forward to returning to Berlin in 2020.

Also in 2015: I got my first car – a 1991 (J reg) Mk2 VW Golf. I only had the car for a year or so, but it remains the best car I’ve ever driven! I didn’t care that it had no power steering, it had a manual choke, no electric windows and no heating – it had character and I loved driving it!

The picture below shows the car parked outside Granddad’s house in Welling (in the South East London Borough of Bexley).

For a car which was approaching 25 years old at the time, it worked brilliantly on the motorway. I remember driving it to London for the first time to stay with Granddad – In the second half of 2015 I frequently drove to London and back to visit Granddad (and because I loved the driving).

2016: Travel’s becoming quite a common theme here! Started the year with a winter weekend away in the Black Forest; In May I went back to Itzehoe and broadcast a live radio show from Germany! I also flew to Hannover for a 1-night trip away, and to Stuttgart for another 1-night trip away. Plus, of course, more holidays in Greece. In September 2016 I became a Director of Corinium Radio.

Also in 2016… In the Summer I waved goodbye to my J reg and replaced it with a 54-reg VW Golf – the car I still drive today. Since the Summer of 2016 I’ve driven the car as far as Norway and Greece. In the 2016 referendum, I voted LEAVE.

2017: Enjoyed a long weekend in the Netherlands – a country I’d never been to before (and now visit frequently). On the return trip, Calais Passport Control asked me if I was aware that bring drugs in to the UK was illegal! I also added Poland to my list of countries, when my sister and I went to Krakow. The Summer saw me back in Germany but this time by car – My first time driving on the German Autobahn! In September I drove to Germany – and back – in 1 whole weekend – just to go to a rock concert (mad!) Plus 2 more weeks in Greece (and this was actually last time I went to Greece with Mum and Dad: But hoping to go with them again this year).

2018: The reason I didn’t go to Greece in the Summer of 2018, was that I chose to use my holiday instead by driving to Norway, for my cousin’s wedding. Norway, Denmark and Sweden became 3 new countries for me. As well as a long weekend in Cyprus in February, and a long weekend Athens for my birthday in December.

2019: We’ve made it to this year (hooray!). My highlight of this year was taking 3 weeks off to drive to Greece. 3 weeks became 4 when the car broke down in Belgium on the way home. 🙁 I also spent a week in Scotland, in the Outer Hebrides.

Looking forward to seeing what the next 10 years will bring!

FH.

Fred Hart

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