image: backlit tree

This year has, luckily for us, been relatively boring. Neither has fallen ill, lost a job, or been turned (back) into a toad.

I wrote little poetry, but for one humdinger: on hearing of the death of the grand duke’s dad. It surprised me: royalty is not a subject I thought I’d explore.

I’ve snapped some portraits. I’m not sure how far this will go: such photographs require social skills to get right, and I’m fundamentally antisocial. My people reading skills are, at best, shallow. I feel I should try to bring in some abstract sensibility, but that might prove difficult given many subjects’ self–image. It’s a challenge!

We did the holiday thang, a trip to visit my in–laws in China. Although the food was interesting, it didn’t appeal to my palette, so I lost weight—I consider that a good thing. We spent a few days in the mountains in northern Beijing, visiting the Tanzhe temple, and being eaten by mosquitoes. Disappointingly, my intention to start learning Mandarin was scuppered by misplanning.

Blighty’s insanity is committed. I do not like being divorced by my own countrymen, but the nasty cut their nervous breakdown gave my identity has scarred over. I no longer bleed. I’ll never forgive them, though.

The saddest event was the unexpected death of one of the poets I publish at corrupt press, Reuben Woolley. He was growing quickly as a poet, and clearly had some greatness in him. Unfortunately for all, a transplant failed.

And, on that depressing note, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all! Bah!