Friday, December 28, 2012

To the Seeing Again

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.

Until the next time.

Dan - Friday


  1. Thanks for all the thoughts, Dan. May the sun warm your shoulders and the rains refresh your gardens!

  2. Yes, thanks for your helping us visit England. I hope one of the good things involves a new book. Be well.

  3. Some say a brilliant star is never missed until it's gone. I feel an impending void in the universe...though all may not be lost, just away for "a bit." I will miss you, Dan. I've been following you literally (and figuratively on Saturdays) for years and it will not seem like Fridays without you.

    The saddest thing is, unless Caro is a cricket fan, who is poor Stan going to have to play with?

    Happy New Year and all the best with your new projects.

  4. Danny we hardly knew ye. It's funny, we can blog here for years, sometimes ransacking our skulls for something to say, and yet when the end comes, there's so much left unvoiced. We will all miss you, Dan, and here's to 2013 being an annus mirabilus for you.

  5. Ah, Dan, I so much looked forward to all of your posts, and I will deeply miss them.
    Here's hoping we see you back soon, with your batteries charged and with lots of new and interesting things to tell us.
    My wishes for the Happiest of Happy New Years, Mate!

  6. Aw, you're all too kind, but I knew that anyway. I'm wiping away more than a virtual tear here. This place is far too pleasant and stimulating to stay away from for too long, so don't worry: I'll be back around before you know it :-)

  7. I'll miss the only other mad cricket enthusiast - not only for your love of the greatest sport, Dan, but also for your humour and sharp pencil about issues that offend you. See you soon over another pint! Enjoy your sabbatical.

  8. Don't stay away for too long. Your posts will be missed by some of us across the pond, including your incisive political insights and humor.

    Have a good year. Enjoy your time off from the blog, but let us know about book news or jot down a note or two on timely matters.

  9. CARO, you're just too cool for school! Just last week I was wondering what's happened to Dan, and voila, here you are running down the mystery. I look forward to the fruits of your sleuthing--though I wouldn't be surprised if you subcontract the job out to Anderson & Costello.---Jeff