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My 2022 in 22 numbers

It’s often said that a life is about ‘what counts’ rather than ‘what can be counted’. But for this post, I thought I’d ignore that and just do some tallying. So, here are 22 numbers in descending numerical order.


I walked 2,002 miles

Another twenty would have been just perfect for this post!

I am lucky to be able to walk to work, and that accounts for a huge proportion of this total. Wendy and I frequently remark on how we walk a lot in population terms (about ten times the national average), but we don’t really feel like we put any special effort into it. This sometimes makes us feeble hosts: when we suggest to visitors that we will walk into town, they don’t always expect it to be three miles, and we don’t give it a second thought.

Oh: it’s 4,765,974 steps, if you’re into counting steps.


My car drove 1,831 miles

A fair proportion of these were driven by Wendy, who tends to drive when we’re together and sometimes borrows my car. I feel unbecomingly smug to have walked further than my car has driven this year, though it’s mostly circumstantial as so many work meetings have been online rather than face-to-face.


Wendy and I took 1,739 photos

Wendy and I have a shared photo library, so my this is a total for the two of us, but even so: this scale would have been unimaginable only a few years ago. We are living in an age of unprecedented documentation, and none of us have really yet figured out the impact of that.


I sent 381 personal emails

I didn’t think I sent many personal emails any more… I was wrong.


I collected 289 coffee shop loyalty stamps

This both embarrassingly high and also a wild underestimate, as I’ve only counted Caffé Nero (220) and Costa (69) who make this data obvious in their apps. I’m not loyal to any particular chain, and have also earned many stamps or points at Pret, Greggs and Starbucks. The only positive spin I can put on this is that many of these stamps were collected for re-using a travel mug rather than a disposable cup.


I placed 226 Amazon orders

This is the item on this list that I feel most guilty about, knowing everything we know about Amazon. It’s my lowest number of orders since 2016, but really, that just makes me feel worse as it makes me consider my impact over years.

Part of the challenge of escaping Amazon’s clutches is not knowing whether alternatives are truly better or worse. For 2023, I’ve resolved to assume that shopping at many places, some of which might be ethically awful, is better than spending so much with one ethically dubious outfit.


My tumble dryer completed 191 cycles

Thinking of numbers to include on this list became challenging. When I realised that my unnecessarily smart tumble dryer automatically logs this data, it was a shoo-in for inclusion.

I’ve no idea whether this is relatively high or relatively low, but it is exactly 19 more cycles than we used in 2021.


I took my blood pressure 160 times

I like to keep an eye on it, but I wonder if this might be a little on the obsessive side?


I placed 122 Deliveroo orders

Well, that’s mortifying, and much higher than I would have guessed. I wish I hadn’t checked.

I plead that some of them are grocery orders, not takeaways… but I bet the total isn’t far wrong once you factor in the takeaway orders I’ve placed via other means.

A little over half of these are salads ordered in when working from home, so this isn’t as artery-clogging as it might first appear, but it’s still environmentally ridiculous.


My car was driven on 73 days

Does it really make sense to own and maintain a car that’s driven little more than once a week? Obviously, not from any reasonable perspective, but I don’t think I’m organised enough to manage without it.


I published 71 blog posts

This compares favourably with only 29 in 2021 or 21 in 2020, mostly because of the 52 posts of Weeknotes.

I’m hoping the total for 2023 will be higher. The oldest post on this blog turns twenty this year, which feels like a significant anniversary. To mark it, I’m going to try to post daily, if often briefly, all year. I’m so on-trend. Though, like all resolutions, this one may not survive the first two weeks of the year.


I read and reviewed 66 books

This is the lowest total since 2018, and I’m okay with that. Books are an escape, and perhaps I’ve felt less need to escape this year than the last few!


I swam 57 miles

Pre-pandemic, I used to enjoy swimming before work one or two mornings a week. I only got properly back into this routine in August, so this total mostly reflects the last five months of the year.

It’s only thanks to my Apple Watch that I really know how far I’ve gone: I enjoy letting my mind wander when swimming, so I’m hopeless at counting lengths.


I made 50 personal phone calls

We don’t have a connected landline, so I can count this easily from my mobile bill. I would have guessed that this number would have been much lower, considering how many calls are via WhatsApp or FaceTime these days. It seems that traditional phone calls aren’t dead, after all.


I borrowed 35 library books

About half of the books I’ve read and reviewed this year have been library copies, borrowed from one of four excellent libraries. A good proportion of the remainder were second-hand; I frequently order from Wob (though I preferred their previous branding).

Borrowing library books feels environmentally responsible, but it doesn’t do much to financially support authors or the industry, and so I’m a bit conflicted about it.


I used 35 single-use paper cups for hot drinks

I’ve obsessively counted these this year, and the total is way higher than I would have guessed. A little more than a quarter of the total is attributable to cafés unexpectedly using disposable cups when I was sitting in, rather than taking away. Others are attributable to people kindly buying me a drink. But mostly, these are occasions when I fancied a drink and didn’t have a cup on me. I must try harder next year.


I spent 27 nights in hotels

Plus one night on a sleeper train and a daytime hotel sleep while travelling. I used to sleep more soundly in hotels than at home, but these days I’m more comfortable in my own bed.


I took 17 flights

This definitely comes with a certain sense of flygskam, but compares with 29 flights in 2019, so I’m perhaps moving in the right direction.


I visited 5 countries

Assuming I can count the UK. None of them were new to me, sadly.


I wore 4 new pairs of shoes

People who hear that we walk more than average tend to comment that we must go through myriad shoes, so this year I counted my new pairs: it’s not an exciting total.

You might wonder why I’m not counting pairs of shoes bought: that’s because I usually have a “new pair” in the cupboard ready, rather than buying at the point of need.

Around the house, I wear Kontex cotton room shoes, which I haven’t included in the above total. I’ve slipped on two new pairs of those this year, and have an embarrassing number of new pairs in the cupboard because they’ve become really quite difficult to source in the UK.


I made 4 blood donations

As I’m able to donate every 12 weeks, some years it’s possible to squeeze in five donations if the dates work out right… but this year, they didn’t.


I cycled 0 miles

I don’t own a bike. I’ve not hired one or borrowed one. Not coincidentally, I also haven’t fallen off one. I’m not a cyclist (though I did do 10 miles on a borrowed bike in 2021).

This post was filed under: Counting, Post-a-day 2023.

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