The last day of the year is an excellent time to tot up what you've been doing all year... assuming you've been counting, which obviously I have.
My most important count this year, it turns out, is this.
Days without a Travelcard: 56 Days with a Travelcard: 309
When 2022 started coronavirus still ruled the roost, but on 24th February all legal restrictions were lifted and it was worth buying an annual Travelcard again. I have been nipping around the capital ever since, which after almost two years of geographic limitation was a welcome return to almost normal.
I can quantify this because I've been counting how I travelled, specifically how many TfL journeys I took and the average number of miles walked each day. Here's this data for 2021 and for 2022.
Last year I averaged 10 miles walking a day whereas this year it's only 7 (because I no longer need to walk to get anywhere). My post-lockdown average is a fairly consistent six miles a day, i.e. about 15000 steps, and I'm fairly pleased with that. Also I still weigh the same at the end of 2022 as I did at the start, so walking less isn't affecting my waistline.
(If you don't count this kind of thing, look at all the fun you're missing out on)
Another thing I've been counting this year is the number of times I visited each London borough.
• Technically I counted the number of days I visited each borough.
• If I set foot in a borough on a particular day, that counted as 1.
• Standing on a station platform or riding through on a bus didn't count.
Here's the annual spread of my 2022 travels.
Last year I had eight zeroes and seven ones, so this is a huge improvement.
You can tell I live in Tower Hamlets because that scored a near-maximum total of 359 days. Newham came a very strong second, mainly because I live less than 200m from the boundary. Central London boroughs are next, plus Hackney and Waltham Forest which were artificially boosted by umpteen walks round the Olympic Park earlier in the year.
The numbers generally drop off towards the outer suburbs, but note Ealing's elevated total which is essentially because it's now so easy to get there on Crossrail. My three least visited boroughs are Hillingdon, Kingston and Havering, all of which are quite far flung when you only have a Z1-3 Travelcard. But I'm impressed to have been to every London borough at least 18 times this year - on average once every three weeks - because that's how I get to blog across the entire capital. I doubt that many Londoners spread themselves so broadly in 2022.
As for number of visits to counties outside London, this year's tally is still thin gruel.
Fifteen times: Norfolk Ten times: Herts, Surrey Nine times: Essex Four times: Kent Twice: Bucks, Oxon, West Sussex Once: East Sussex, Hants, Northants, Suffolk, West Midlands Never: everywhere else
Norfolk wins because I have family there. A lot of the visits to the Home Counties were just minor boundary incursions. I only visited counties other than those on nine occasions, which is pitiful.
I did better on two of those compass point extremities last year, ffs. But have you seen the cost of rail tickets these days, not to mention how unreliable long-distance trains can be.
I've also been counting the number of London stations I've been to. And by 'been to' I mean entering or exiting the station, not just passing through.
Tube: every station in zones 1-3 (plus 14 other stations) Overground: every station in zones 1-3 DLR: every station Tram: every stop Dangleway: none Rail: every station in zones 1-3 except Mortlake
Mortlake has thwarted me because I failed to go before 17th December, and because due to industrial action SWR haven't stopped any trains there since. Mortlake's next train isn't until 8th January, unbelievably, so my commiserations if you live nearby or near any of the other ten London stations they've totally given up on.
Yes, I've ridden on every single TfL bus route this year (schoolbuses and mobility route excepted). It may only have been a few stops but hell yes, that's every single route from 1 to X140.
I've also checked which bus routes I rode most often (because if TfL insist on sending me a weekly spreadsheet I am darned well going to make use of it).
29 times: 108 19 times: 173 12 times: 132, 425
The 108 wins easily because a) it stops at Bus Stop M, and b) it goes to some unique places. The only other bus routes to reach double figures are the 25, 66, 194 and 607. Close behind are the 287, 488, 93, 110 and 487, should you be genuinely interested.
Please allow me to slip in my usual analysis of Archers episodes. These are the five characters to have made the most appearances in Ambridge this year.
1) Tracy (88 episodes) 2) Chelsea (69) 3) Alice (65) 4) Jazzer (62) 5) Ben (58) 40-something episodes: David, Ruth, Chris 30-something episodes: Brad, Susan, Brian, Pip, George, Alistair, Tony, Natasha, Lillian, Fallon, Kirsty
That's two families and one pregnancy storyline carrying a heck of a lot of the narrative. This year's biggest plummeter is Jennifer, from 5th place last year to just four appearances this year. 2022's most blatant absentee is Johnny who hasn't spoken at all.
Other things I've been counting this year include...
Number of photos taken: 18,600 (↓1500) Number of photos uploaded to Flickr: 690 (↑50) Number of visitors to the blog: 1,004,000 (↑143000) Number of comments on the blog: 10,700 (↓200)
Wahey, that's the first time the blog's ever had a million visits in one year - a total narrowly squeaked yesterday lunchtime. I only achieved this milestone because I blogged about the History Trees in the Olympic Park in 2020, otherwise I'd have ducked just under.
If you've been counting something interesting this year do share it with the rest of us. And if not then do consider starting to count something in 2023 because I'm likely to ask you again next year.
n.b. Proper counts only, thanks. If your count is zero or one then you're not a proper counter, more a raconteur.