2013 Year In Review Part 2 (James H, James P, and Amy)

2013 Year In Review Part 2


James Hodges, James Perrett, and Amy van de Casteele give us a insight on how they have spent the past year whether it be good or bad.

2013 Year in Review- Written by James Perrett

This year’s life progress:


  • Two promotions and one pay rise (excellent work!)
  • One flat move
  • One city move
  • Two foreign holidays
  • One terrifying family rowing trip against tide up the River Dart, accompanied by stern Devonshire man barking orders from the back of the boat and shouting at me for rowing too fast.


My 2013 high point (quite literally) 

My partner and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary in February by going to Amsterdam. We’d heard that the city was not only beautiful but had plenty to offer in the way of sightseeing so, spur of the moment, we booked our flights and off we went to “to enjoy the culture” (to get high and look at whores).

As we descended upon the land of clogs, with camcorder in hand and a directors hat firmly on my head, our first hurdle was to figure out where exactly we were. Both with Grammar school educations and both with degrees (albeit in the arts) we seemed to both have the same questions in common; “Where is Amsterdam? The Netherlands? But where are The Netherlands? Is Amsterdam its own country, then?”

The three days flew by and I’ve never walked so much in my life nor seen so many naked women (obviously) but it was all worth it to see such a beautiful city and share it with a loved one.  The trip was topped off by my favourite memory of the year: the two of us on the last night, huddled on pavement, sharing a smoke and pretending to be Tanya Turner from Footballer’s Wives. We laugh a lot in our relationship but that night took the laughter to another level…especially when I suddenly imagined how ugly my face must look when laughing that hard, which of course set us off even more.


My 2013 low point:

After a difficult struggle with dementia, we lost our granny in the summer. It was, of course, a very sad time for all of the family but I made sure to say goodbye to her from all of us by writing a speech for the funeral and attempting to fill it with as many funny memories of her as possible. Apparently the vicar thought I should go in to public speaking so I’m waiting, eagerly, to hear from No.10 in response to my suggestion that I be the new spin doctor for David. They’re playing hard-to-get…


Aims for the future:


  • Learn to play – or at least pick up – guitar bought in 2009


  • Spend more time writing articles and less time thinking of witty Facebook statuses

Explore the city. But only through ventures that are free

  • Be better with money
  • Get haircut and update clothing style more regularly
  • Pay back debts. Will need to prioritise collectors in order of likelihood to maim, kill or arrest upon not receiving money owed by end of year… i.e Mum first
  • Travel (But not until debts are paid)
  • Be more mature
  • Don’t grow up too fast
  • Be skinny, but manly. But not too muscly that I look like a Geordie Shore reject…but not scrawny or boyish. (Consider the benefits, in terms of both health and eye candy, of a personal trainer)
  • Get back into dance studio

(!)Prepare realistic excuses to explain lack of achievement in all of the above areas, ready for Dec 14 

2013 Year In Review – Written by Amy Van de Casteele

2013, for me, has been a year of both personal and professional growth. It has been a year devoted to motherhood, as I am proud single mother to a beautiful and very vivacious little toddler, but also to slowly but steadily developing my professional profile as a writer. I have taken on extra work for my paying role as a travel writer, have begun writing for other websites (writing articles about everything from my passion, JRR Tolkien and his works, to holiday escapes and the paranormal) and have co-authored an e-book on ghost stories which is due for release in the New Year. I didn’t embark on my pipe-dream project of writing a novel — but that can be my goal for 2014 :-) 

2013 Recap – Written by James Hodges

I started the year by beginning my dissertation for the final stretch of my time at University and it was especially rough. I did it on one of my favourite filmmakers, John Carpenter and although I enjoyed the process of wading through a forty odd year backlog of latex and corn syrup, it was gruelling work to pick out small details in a filmmaker’s career spanning over almost four decades to see how they all thread his movies together and make him a fully realised auteur. But it was fascinating, even for someone like me who is already well versed in the ways of Carpenter and it allowed me to appreciate his work even more, and let me tell you something, Carpenter was doing the whole camera flare thing when J.J. Abrams was still just a kiddie wink.

The other major project that took up most of my time at University was writing and directing a short film titled “The End of Jonah”. Now, this was particularly nerve-racking because in my previous two years the moving image projects were always group efforts but in third year we were required to make a mini-movie on our own.  So, feeling like a small boy who’s just been misplaced by his mother in the middle of a busy shopping centre, I was scared and utterly alone. I knew I had two things at my disposal, a creepy basement in the student house I was staying in and one of the friends I had made over the course of three years who had acting experience. I knew by keeping the movie in one location the operation would run smoother and make the shoot easier to handle, so after a while a came up with the idea of a man essentially losing his sanity and takes to his basement to hide from an impending apocalypse, albeit in his mind.

The script took approximately two months to write, the reason it took so long was because I kept finding incredible information when researching the script, for instance I came across Zeusophobia, the fear of God or Gods and this fuelled my imagination even more prompting rewrite after rewrite but eventually I got something I felt worked. The shoot itself was horrendous; we spent the best part of 12 to 13 hours in a dark and dank basement. The air was stale and thick with damp and by the end our patience with both the project and each other dwindled. But perseverance and burning passion kept our will to carry on ignited and finally we had finished. We emerged from the basement now sporting 70 a day chest coughs, from breathing in the mould and fungus that had accumulated over the centuries, and we were also left ever so slightly high from inhaling the fumes from numerous abandoned bottles of paint thinner.

My life expectancy cut dramatically short, I still walked away with a 2:1 in Film and Television and it’s something I am really proud of. I met wonderful people along the way who made me feel much better about being away from home, made not having my friends and family around seem easier to deal with. Coming out of University and into the real world is scary and also extremely disillusioning, finding work is tough not just in the film and television business but finding work in general. But one day I got lucky and found this amazing opportunity writing for Retro Cult, I feel very blessed being allowed into the cult of everything retro (and contemporary). I wound up my year cooking my very first Christmas turkey and spending the holidays with my family, it was quiet and uneventful just how I like it.