Well, I managed to revover from my bug in time for Christmas, which allowed me to eat, drink and make merry - and now I feel as ill as I did before the festive period, but this time because of self-indulgence. I have a few days of austerity and (relative) self-denial, and then it's time to celebrate the New Year.
As a teenager I remember standing in the kitchen of my girlfriend's house, while her father and their neighbour toasted the New Year. Both men agreed the preceding one had been tough, for different reasons, and wished for better fortune ahead. But it was to be their last New Years Eve. Both of them died, years before their time. It was a salutary lesson for my younger self: I vowed not to attach too much significance to changes in dates, bemoan what had gone or hope for the better. Best to take it as it comes, and I've pretty much adhered to that.
However, this year is different. 2012 has been an tough year, for several reasons. 2013 could be even worse, of course, so I'm not hoping for anything better, just raising a glass and hoping the door hits 2012 on the arse on its way out. I have a few exciting plans lined up for 2013, but first I'm taking a bit of a break from things to try and recover some energy and equilibrium.
Which means, I'm sad to say, that this will be my last blog here for a bit. During the past few months it has become increasingly difficult for me to find the time to give it the attention it deserves, and as a result I've been rehashing old posts and ideas. So I'm taking a sabbatical. I plan on returning at some stage in some capacity, even if it's simply as a guest, and of course I'll be visiting daily to read everyone's instalments, and crack some inane jokes below the line. This is a wonderful blog (thanks to our sage and effervescent leader Leighton) and I feel honoured and privileged to have shared webspace with so many fantastic writers and all the warm, witty and generous people who have visited regularly and irregularly for the past three years. Thanks also for all your comments - I hope you've learned a little bit more about This Septic Isle and London in particular through my blatherings.
I'm also delighted to say that my Friday replacement is none other than Caro Ramsay. Caro and I once shared a publisher, and I've met her several times (and on one occasion she upbraided me about using the phrase 'truculent Scot', as if there was any other kind...). She is funny, insightful and a hugely talented writer. She is also, as I indicated, Scottish, and proud of it too, so expect to learn alot about Caledonia and its folk, and a few sideswipes at us uptight, condescending Sassenachs. She'll be great fun and she'll be here next week.