2023: the year of little treats, Maccies and… dolphin-saving?Alice Mainwood for Varsity

I was once told I look like the sort of person who has “never listened to a song.” I took great offence to this, recoiling with shock and horror and retorting that “actually, in fact, my Spotify is very carefully cultivated, I will have you know, thank you very much.”

This is, unfortunately, not true. My Spotify is quite disastrous – and, with good reason, very much private. I’m the sort of person (let’s pretend this is a category of people, not just me, okay?) who can only study when listening to the Hamilton soundtrack, classical music, or All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version). I’m not proud of it. Just for the record, I do actually have many other less embarrassing playlists. But, as you can probably gather, my Spotify Wrapped was nothing to write home about. To protect my good name and modest Instagram following, I didn’t participate in posting my top songs or albums on my story, instead stewing in bitter jealousy at those with cool, understated music taste.

“Apparently, I was invited to '#journey back to 2023'. For God’s sake.”

Basically, I’d rather not look back on any embarrassing decisions, choices and moments that have plagued my 2023.

You can imagine my fury, then, when the whole ‘2023 Wrapped’ thing caught on with other businesses. I woke up on a particularly peaceful Friday last week to the sound of birds chirping delicately and my family dog waiting for a morning cuddle. Could I relax and enjoy this moment? No, because Trainline was pestering me to go on its app for ‘My sustainability story: Your Year in Trains’. Apparently, I was invited to “#journey back to 2023”. For God’s sake.

Trainline wanted to inform me that I saved 232 kg of carbon dioxide – or, in its words, “the weight of 2 pantropical spotted dolphins”. Since when was Trainline meant to be funny? I’d be more up for a light-hearted giggle if it actually told the truth about my local train stations arrivals and departures, but hey, that’s just me. It also wanted me to know, at 8:30am, that it deemed my train-travel habits indicative of me being “obsessed with Colchester”. Obsessed? With Colchester? Because I got 12 bloody trains there? I was bemused.

Was I happier to see Nectar’s Year In Review from Sainsbury’s? No, I was not. I did not need to know that I was in the top 10% of lasagne buyers, or the top 3% of satsuma buyers. Perhaps I’d be more pleased if I’d won a top buyer award such as, you know, ‘Most Committed to Kiwis’ or ‘Most Money Spent on Soy Sauce’.

“We don’t need to talk about Monzo shaming how often I popped into M&S for a little treat”

Little did I know, I should have held my tongue. The worst was yet to come. Monzo, my bank account provider, thought I might fancy a trip down memory lane with it. My bank account. It at least had the decency to call it ‘The Year of Alice’, rather than ‘The Year of Alice’s financial mistakes and little treats’. I also absolutely resent being in the top 10% of McDonald’s customers. I was, however, not too peeved to have Harvey’s Coffee House be my most frequented cafe. I felt a quiet pride upon hearing of my top 5 entertainment retailers, which included MASH and Woo Wednesdays Cambridge.


Mountain View

Fear and loathing in South Yorkshire

We don’t need to talk about Monzo shaming how often I popped into M&S for a little treat. I really, really, don’t think there was any need for it to let me in on that little secret either. It tried to pull things back by comforting me with the knowledge that I’d earned a couple of quid in interest, but I reckon it was much less successful than it’d hoped.

Oh well. Can’t win them all. Or, apparently in my case, I can’t win any of these new Spotify Wrapped copycats. We should have stopped when it was just the one huge corporation shaming me for my year, rather than all of them. Time to comfort myself with Dear Theodosia, a ready meal lasagne, and a trip to Colchester.