And news of a brief sabbatical…
So it’s this time of year again! I just wanted to take this opportunity, a little earlier than usual, to wish you all a very merry Christmas or holiday season, and all prosperity, success and happiness for the New Year. Thank you so much for reading and supporting the blog this year; and I propose toasts of sherry to those who take the extra effort to comment and brighten my day: Heloise, Dehggial and Isi, my loyal regulars, I salute you all.
2015 has been a strange year: I’ve had the good fortune to see some remarkable places, some of which, like Tokyo, I never dreamed of visiting. There have been many concerts and operas in a whole range of venues, from the Brutalist Barbican to the Baroque fantasy of Versailles. I’ve been able to spend time with some lovely people on our weekends away in Dusseldorf, Halle and Vienna. And I’ve indulged myself with crazy projects which meant a huge amount to me and which turned out better than I could ever have hoped. These pleasing things are what I write about here on the blog, of course. But on the other side of the coin, there have been darker times, particularly in recent months. The desire to see and do as much as possible has taken its toll; I have come very close to burning out; and family illnesses have made me suddenly, painfully aware of how quickly time is passing. I just need a bit of a rest. Despite the many merits of the internet, it can be a desperately lonely place when you can’t bring yourself to reduce life to 140 characters. Ultimately no emoji offers a decent substitute for a good strong hug.
In view of this, I’ll be taking a little sabbatical from the blog in January and perhaps February, in the hope of having time to breathe, and focusing my energies in other directions for a little while to balance things out. I want to devote more time to the job that I love, and I have a couple of cherished projects I’d like to work on. Maybe I’ll even succeed in actually being idle now and then! Of course I won’t be giving up the blog: I’ve been writing it for five years and it’s part of myself. I just wanted to warn you that I’ll be a little quiet over the next couple of months and that it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong. For those on Twitter, you’ll be seeing me very rarely during this time: I just need a break from constantly being plugged in.
Please don’t forget me though. It’s not as if I’m going off to Tibet to herd yaks from a yurt or anything (actually I may be mixing up my geography there). If you normally chat to me on Twitter, why not send me an email instead and say hello? If you know my address, you could even send me a postcard or a letter; it won’t offer instant gratification, but it’ll make my day when it arrives. And, for those who are friends of mine in London, let’s find a date in our diaries and meet up, have drinks or coffee, come round for dinner, go to an exhibition or a concert, talk about books, go for a walk and make the most of 2016.
And so, Merry Christmas to you all, the very happiest of New Years, and I’ll get back to regular service here in the early spring.