After the extreme highs and lows that characterised the year before, 2007 was an altogether smoother affair, but not without significant moments of Personal Growth and Development. I’ll be remembering it as the year when I published a blogging anthology, in a week, for charity (aided and abetted by a fine band of helpers, of course) – and also as the year when I started interviewing singers, musicians and random celebrities of various hues, for the Nottingham Evening Post, whilst continuing to attend as many live shows as humanly possible. (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: where else do you get to hear analogue?)
It was also the year that Post of the Week got off the ground – and although I’ll be taking more of a back seat with it in 2008, in order to concentrate on getting a community blog for our village off the ground, its future looks reasonably assured for now.
Other than that, I gave a talk on blog-writing versus book-writing at a literary festival, I had a couple of fun weekends in Amsterdam, and continued to visit London whenever suitable excuses presented themselves; most notably when Danish Eurovision fans, Portuguese illustrators and Belgian blog-celebs came to town. (Oh, and for the occasional film preview as well – for this was the year that the pushy PR peeps came sniffing around some of us bloggery types in earnest, and I’m not above accepting a freebie or two in certain circumstances.)
On the home front, we saw a lot of K’s warm and wonderful family, as the loss of his sister in the spring of 2006 continued to cast a long shadow. A surprise gathering of the clans to celebrate K’s dad’s 70th birthday at a country pile in North Wales was a particular highlight, not least for the chance it gave me to get to know our two bright, charming and delightful young nieces. The cottage garden (aka PDMG#1) had its best year ever, and will be appearing in a magazine in the next couple of months or so (hey, you know what we’re like). Over in Nottingham, the old concrete yards were replaced by a brand new garden (PDMG#2), and a new kitchen was installed, amidst much corporate f**k-wittery and call-waiting stress (and this latter was another of the year’s less welcome themes). In the cottage, with viciously inappropriate timing, a ceiling collapsed on the day that Shaggy Blog Stories was published, and the deafening roar of de-humidifiers duly ruled our lives over the next few months.
At work, I changed both clients and desks, moving into a lively corner of the office and ending six years of aloof semi-isolation. This was definitely a Good Thing.
In August, I compiled a list of “Twenty-Five Things I Want To Do Before I Die“. By the end of the year, I had accomplished two and a half of them (and as far as one of them is concerned, thereby hangs a lengthy and significantly perspective-shifting tale, but that’s for another day, if indeed at all).
And then there was dear old neglected Troubled Diva, which slid ever further away from its 2002-2004 heyday, becoming little more than a repository for freelance music reviews and interviews. In the past few months, the issue of What To Do About Troubled Diva has dominated my thinking in a way that has yet to yield any firm answers. As the rigours and disciplines of print journalism have taken root and soaked up most of my spare energies, so I have moved ever further away from the “Troubled Diva” persona of yore. Although I remember him with affection, I am already looking upon him as another person, from another lifetime.
All of which begs the question: whither blogging, and whither this blog? As ABC’s Martin Fry warbled, a generation ago: I don’t know the answer to that question. If I knew, I would tell you. Ooh, how enigmatic!
To the few long-suffering regular readers who remain, and to anyone else who might happen to be passing: may I wish you the happiest of new years.
And now I am off down the pub. Some things never change.