2023 — the year in review

Andrew Howells
6 min readDec 15, 2023

A collection of climate stories mostly

10 years ago this week, Martha, Iona and Fin enjoying supper at Mission Burrito, Park St, Bristol.

This is one of my favourite weeks of the year, reviewing what I’ve written. More importantly, what to do next?

I’ve decided to try and get ahead today. Something I’ve been promising myself all year with this weekly letter but almost entirely failing to achieve. I’m keen to try and finish today.

It’s the last one for 2023 which I think makes sense. Anything that lands in an inbox on Friday 22nd December is expecting a lot, even for loyal readers, given that best made plans are just beginning. Good luck everyone.

Today is dim, a wet December Sunday, where daylight seems to be in short supply. I might as well be in Norway or Sweden where days seem to hold nights at bay in the winter. It also means I have no excuses and few distractions.

Saying that, the photo above is one of those Facebook memories which popped into my inbox this morning. Why was I even looking at email?

When I took the picture, I remember thinking at the time, it would be a good one. It was a school day, probably a Monday or Wednesday and the restaurant, Mission Burrito, a fast food Mexican was deserted. Any students, the most likely customers on Park Street, were long gone, perhaps to the pub or home for their own evening meals.

By the time I’d paid and turned around, they were already sitting in the window, watching the occasional bicycle puffing up the long hill and the shops opposite, closing up for the day.

One fashion shop across the road was called cooshti, the same immortal word of Del Boy’s from Only Fools and Horses. Cushty, slang for enjoyable or good, for some reason read Coo Shitty to me. I’ve been reminded with much mirth many times since.

Martha, in the middle, is now teaching geography in Bristol. Iona and Fin are at university. Ten years ago seems a world away.

Three years ago I started this Friday weekly, writing for friends and family. After 12 months, I wrote my first year in review. You can read it here, if you like. The second one is here.