The final day of 2013. An intriguing year, composed of lengthy pauses and new experiences. Outside the window the rain is falling steadily; rare normality after twelve months of damaging extremes. I picked a good summer to take up cricket.
Any illusions that cricket would help me embrace middle-age were soon dispelled by the realisation that I’d have to act at least 15 years younger to achieve anything at all, so growing up remains on permanent hiatus. To make absolutely sure, I became a student. And I don’t mean the increasingly widespread nerdy kind who fixate on deadlines and don’t go to demos.
This year I’ve been on more demos than ever before, the friendship and camaraderie of the Norfolk People’s Assembly a welcome fringe benefit of government policies intent on turning Britain into a kind of crap version of India.
Keeping me on the knife edge between sanity and mayhem are my two delightful bits of oyster grit. Number One Son descends periodically from his super-hero überverse to dispense pearls of wisdom like some blend of Thor and Alain de Botton. Little Princess, meanwhile, combines the costume-change frequency of Beyoncé with the run-you-down-in-a-truck attitood of Marmalade Atkins. I don’t know where they get it from…
As for next year, I think I need to spend it getting better at all the stuff I’ve started this year. But hey, no point in standing still. In the words of “the worst ever phrasebook”, “The stone as roll not heap up not foam”.