What with travelling around Asia for six months, getting engaged to a beautiful woman and starting rightplacerighttim.com, 2015 was a pretty successful year for me. I swam with bioluminescent plankton, explored the ancient temples around Angkor Wat, almost died in a cave, and escaped arrest in Cambodia by bribing a policeman. A proper rollercoaster, all told.
Later, upon our return to the UK, we spent four months sleeping on a mattress on the floor in a friend’s spare room as we transitioned back to the London life. That’s not an easy task with a head full of recent memories of warmer climes, but our hosts’ generous hospitality helped mitigate the holiday blues.
So, as 2015 drifts off into the ether of history, we say farewell and welcome time’s latest incarnation: 2016.
In a world…
Yes, 2016 sounds like the setting for a dystopian sci-fi from the 90s, but for me, at least, it holds much promise. I am quietly excited for what these 366 days have to offer.
For a start, I’m getting married. That’s massive. I mean, just writing it feels weird. I’m going to be a husband. With a wife. An actual wife.
But it’s a glorious feeling. I’m looking forward to it immensely – not just the party and the speeches and seeing every one of my friends in the same place at the same time, but the bit where I get to say, “Hello, have you met my wife?” And then live with her for… well – ever.
That’s the bit I’m looking forward to: the forever bit.
On a domestic level, now that we’re finally back in the house we bought two years ago, I’ve more renovations to do: replacing windows, floorboards and door frames, decking the garden and transforming our shed into a massage parlour for Swarana. The Swarana Parlour I think we’ll call it.
Leaps and bounds
Meanwhile, a year of metamorphosis continues at work: a competitor has bought the magazine I work on, so my team is moving from our base in Piccadilly Circus to somewhere near Monument. This means exploring a new part of London that I’m not familiar with and – more importantly – finding a public house suitable for crafting worlds during lunch hours.
Between Soho and Piccadilly I’ve found refuge in the White Horse on Rupert Street (I miss the landlord who used to let me sit upstairs on my own by the window with my laptop – it was like my own personal drawing room); the Coach & Horses on Poland Street (a little too busy to keep me coming back); the Duke of Argyll (on any day but Friday) and the Shaston Arms (excellent booths, but hideously busy in the summer months).
I need a new one. And no, a coffee shop won’t do. I can’t bear to be one of those coffee shop writers. I’m far too concerned with how I am perceived by strangers, for better or worse.
For, you see, the writing is paramount in 2016. This year I will be finishing the second draft of Citadel, with which I hope to coax an agent and an editor into assisting me. I’ll also be sending out short stories to magazines and, of course, I’ll be returning to this blog with renewed vigour. I’ve neglected it for too long.
Now, that’s a lot of writing. But the year is with me – 2016 even includes an extra day upon which to write. And I’ll take it – greedily.