Happy New Year everyone! Hopefully 2020 has been treating you kindly so far. Time for our first Boards update of the new year and decade, so we'll try to make it a good one!

Let’s start the year on an accomplished note with news from two different forums. First up, Sparks43 was awarded the honor of being crowned Super Mario Kart Player of the Year 2019. 2020 will be a big year for them as they’ll be competing in tournaments around the world, including a stop in Paris against some of the best players in the world, the American Championship in March, and the World Championship in August.

Meanwhile, in the Cycling forum, NamelessPhil shared the news that they achieved the Randonneur 10,000 medal from the Audax Club Parisien. In doing so, they became the first person in Ireland to get one. “How do you get one of your own?”, you may ask. Well, it’s just the oh-so-simple matter of completing the following and all within six years!
One Paris-Brest-Paris 1,200km
One ride greater than 1,200km
Two Super Randonneé Series, 200, 300, 400, 600 and 1,000km rides
One Easter Fléché 360km+
One Super Randonneé - 600km, 10,000m+ 60hours
The remainder of the rides have to be BRM brevets
An amazing accomplishment that has us exhausted just reading about it.

Christmas may be over, but there was still some seasonal cheer for Loughc over in the Christmas forum who won a €100 voucher from ChristmasFM. While it’s a random draw (as far as I know), it went to a fitting winner considering their enthusiasm and dedication to the Christmas forum. And while you may think that’s a forum that winds down completely until October or November, you may be surprised to learn that discussion is still ongoing. Loughc shared stats from the forum to showcase how the forum ebbs and flows throughout the year, but keeps a consistent audience. No matter the time of year, both the Mods and the ultra-fans of Christmas are keeping the forum ticking over with content. There’s a “Beat the January Blues” thread, the countdown to Christmas 2020 is underway, and there’s a thread dedicated to Christmassy things out of season.

With the year wrapped up, Myksyk put together a thread in Photography that showcased all of 2019’s Photo of the Week winners. It’s full of incredible photos from a number of contributors and gives you an idea of the talent in the forum. I personally love flicking through the Random Photos thread and always enjoy the POTW showcase posts, so this compilation was a very welcome touch!

Many other forums have been reflecting on the year or decade just gone. The Rugby forum had users reflecting on their matches or moments of the decade. Understandably, the wins against New Zealand, the exhilarating final matches of some of the Six Nations over the years, and some of provinces’ victorious days in the Heineken Cup.

The Gaming (General) forum is ready to vote for the Best Games of the Decade. Mr E has taken all of the Overall winners for every year since 2010 and it’s now time for them to go head-to-head to determine the champions. The survey will remain open until Sunday, January 19th at 23:59 so make your vote count!

Over in the Arcade & Retro forum, users have been sharing some of the things that have stood out to them over the year. beejee’s unfortunate story of purchasing cabinets that they just couldn’t get up the stairs is certainly a memorable one. Partly because we have visions of Friends’ Ross directing them up the stairs and partly because of how it concludes. We won’t ruin the surprise!

If you have started New Year Resolutions, we hope they’re going well for you. If you’re struggling or you’ve fallen off the wagon, it doesn’t have to be the end and maybe you just need some additional support, advice, or an outlet for your journey.

The Giving Up Smoking forum can be a great resource. It may help you to see what has helped others, in which case you should view the poll results here: https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/poll...ts&pollid=7168. If you’re tempted to switch to Vaping or E-Smoking to try to wean yourself off cigarettes, you can find a wealth of information in the dedicated forum.

If you’re reviewing your relationship with alcohol after the festive period (or at any stage in your life), pay a visit to the Non Drinkers Group forum. Sometimes you just need a check in to remind yourself that you haven’t drank in a certain number of days; or maybe you need to find a good alcohol free beer or suggestions as to what to drink when out socialising.

Eating well is another area that people focus on in the New Year. The Food forum is, of course, one of the first forums that you could consult on this. Here, you’ll find recipes, recommendations from retailers, discussion about cooking techniques, and much more. The Fitness forum also contains a sub-forum dedicated to Nutrition & Diet, which is useful for nutrition advice, discussion of programmes or specialised diets, and ensuring that you’re getting the required macro and micronutrients into your body. If you’re tempted by a vegan or vegetarian diet, or you’d simply like to incorporate some meals into your regular routine, you can find specific advice and recipes in the Vegan & Vegetarian forum.

Of course, who can forget about exercise. There are many forums dedicated to exercise and various activities, so we’ll cover a few here that might help you get started. As mentioned above, there is a general Fitness forum. But there’s also a Fitness Logs forum which you can use to share your progress, get tips and advice, or just for moral support.

The Athletics & Running forum - which has a thread dedicated to Goals for 2020 - also features a Training Logs subforum, as do the Triathalon / Duathlon / Adventure Racing and Cycling forums. If you’re not ready to dive into logging training, but just need some general advice or you’re trying to dip your toe in the water, visit the main forums to chat to the regulars who may be able to point you in the right direction.

If you’re interested in playing an online game of Werewolf over in Forum Games, you can see the proposed schedule for the year (and beyond!) here. There are plenty of themed games, complex games, and others to be determined. If you want to be notified of a game starting, it’s worth following this thread. And if Werewolf doesn’t float your boat, there are other games that won’t have you at other users’ throats, including Sheep, Codenames, D&D and more. Take a look at the forum and some game threads (or ask questions) to get an idea of the various games.

Another forum with its schedule for the year clearly laid out is the Golf forum. The Boards Golf Society will once again be in action come February 22nd, but has its full season planned. You can find out more information about the Boards Golf Society, how to get involved, and what they have planned for 2020 here: https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/show...p?t=2058026497

Planning ahead is a worthwhile activity and sharing your plans on Boards gives you something to check back against at the end of the year. The Farming & Forestry regulars are outlining their plans for the coming year and it looks as though many of them have some busy months in store!

We’ll wrap up with a story that thankfully had a happy conclusion. One poster took to After Hours to try to find someone with contacts in Paris or France, or could speak French, as their son was taken to hospital while on holidays. Some users offered practical advice, while another offered to call the hospital or have their mother in Paris (who has a medical background) contact them. And in the end, despite some car trouble and Storm Brendan looming, the poster’s son returned home with the OP ready to nurse them back to good health.

As you can see, plenty to cover from across Boards so hopefully you stuck with that wall of text Thanks for reading and I’ll be back in February with another update.