The bags are packed and lunches made. The summer holidays are over. The weather is wild and wintry, shaking the fruit from our trees. And so it's time to wish you all a happy new year.
January is a poor time for a new year. The nights are long and dark, we're all broke and overweight. January needs all the help it can get. September, however, now that's much more promising. Our whole family follows the academic year, so September it is. New teachers and new students. Time for us to reinvent ourselves.
Soon the parcels will arrive. It's five years since the first parcel of Open University books landed on my doorstep. I still remember the excitement and the panic. Now I've learnt that the assignment book that seems incomprehensible now will, with time, start to make a little sense. This year it's the nineteenth century novel and beginners' Italian. Molto bene.
The running's going well too - I did promise you an update. After two weeks of unrelenting work, I'm back on level ground. As with all my projects I blow hot and cold. I've run four times in five days and it is getting a little easier. As the working week progresses all my good intentions slowly unravel, so it's good to start on a high.
All of this distracts me (a little at least) from the small matter of the Ilkley competition. No news yet, but if the time I'm spending compulsively checking my emails, were spent running, writing or reading, I would be wise and fit indeed.