Well, here we are, exactly one year since this blog began.
It seems we have a birthday of sorts.
It all started with some rather melancholy thoughts on the death of Syd Barrett. (And the mood certainly perked up the next day with some ruminations on social collapse....)
But I like to think that, as the subtitle promises, it's not all been doom and gloom and that the whole gamut of emotions and topics have found their place here.
Closing in, as we are, on 10,000 visits (though with no great rush...and in the somewhat sobering awareness that there are blogs that have this many visits a day...) it is worth pausing to spare a few thoughts for this aimless little venture's brief lifespan.
There have been some high points, certainly.
Having one of my longer and more bilious posts re-published by Butterflies and Wheels, say, or catching a glimpse of the fleeting presence of Momus in the comments to a post inspired by his thoughts on Britain.
It has also been a very fine (though somewhat rare) event to receive supportive comments (and even an award) from people who have bothered to read the letters I have so carefully set in such neat rows. (And being nominated for another award was very pleasant, if ultimately hopeless.)
There was some joy in watching the number of 'blogs that link here' rise steadily to as many as 20 (and then there has been some confusion as they equally steadily dropped to their present 14).
There was the pleasure of hosting the wisdom and wit of the world's best guest contributor.
There was, finally, the satisfaction of managing, through eagle-eyed observational skills, to effect a minor (but, I think, significant) correction in an otherwise flawless piece of journalism in New Scientist (see the comments).
Oh, and the words, yes, there have been so many of them.
There was a series of longer (and somewhat combative) essays I wrote on multiculturalism and integration in response to a debate at Sign and Sight; they were not only enjoyable to write, but also, I think, managed to generate a few worthwhile insights. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.) And there was the needed strangling-at-birth of an insidious and dishonest neologism which--considering that it hasn't re-surfaced in a while--seems to have been effective (though I suspect that this has more to do with its inherent poor design rather than any efforts on my part).
I think, over all, I have managed some quite readable (if lengthy) prose on favoured topics here like war, consumerism, education, death and godlessness.
I've rambled a bit about travel, adored a particular polar bear, and sketched out my own somewhat random development of a historical perspective (and pointed out a few of places where you can see that thinking in action).
We've also, of course, managed to have a little fun too (since 'all work and no play' is...well, it's simply the kind of puritan drivel that is just not in our genes, man).
And I'm very pleased to have made the virtual acquaintance of good people such as Geoff, RJ, Ophelia, Ralph (via here), Sharon, Rosie and Ario.
So, not a bad year, all things considered.
And I like to think that it's been as much fun for some of you as it has been for me.
Well, there we are. There's that one candle blown out.