At the very start of the year I was in hospital, being treated for throat cancer; at its very end I was in a rehab, sober but emotionally rather burnt out. The in-between wasn’t all that magnificent either, what with the long recovery after the chemoradiotherapy, the flat I was staying at before the rehab, the (no doubt related) alcoholic relapse within, the deaths of Ray Collier, Tormod MacGill-Eain and Tom Petty (and others), the way the Brexit talks were developing, and so on and so forth.
All the same, I shouldn’t complain. For one thing, the cancer was apparently cured. Otherwise I possibly might not be here to write this any longer. Also, during the relapse the idea of leaving the town I had learned to hate for good occurred to me, and the rehab stay helped me contrive that. I even fell in love yet again after years . . .
And of course there were all the interesting books I read and iPlayer programmes I watched, meetings with my friends from the college, not to mention minor affairs like making porridge a staple of my diet, or beginning a circle beard.
Ay, as Skipinnish have it, I’m alive, and the stars are on my side. (Notwithstanding, as Jake Bugg has it, I hold two fingers out to yesterday.)