So, it’s 2011. Happy new year, folks. Here’s hoping this is the start of something good.

I hope you all had a very splendid holiday period. I enjoyed mine. I did very little. I allowed myself to relax and to not work and it’s helped. I’m feeling better, fresher, more me – and that’s important and it’s something that I’ve not done in too long.

It’s good to relax. It’s good to laugh. It’s good to put christmas cracker remains on pepper mills in restaurants so they look like they’re wearing party hats. It’s good to snooze and doze. It’s good to do snow angels, on the pavement, when no-one’s looking.

It’s good to eat good Bangladeshi food while watching an Elvis impersonator on Boxing Day. It’s good to see your friends dancing.

It’s good to listen to good music and be around good people (and not be around not so good people). And, of course, it’s good to read.

I’ll be back at work tomorrow. I have an awful lot to catch up on, and catch up on it I will. So, sorry to all those who are waiting for things from me – you will have them soon. Promise.

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And a couple of nice little linkies…

There’s an ace interview with the very lovely and super talented Caroline Smailes over at the equally lovely Catt’s blog here (thank you to them both for saying such nice things about my work).

Dan Powell talks about stuff he’s read in 2010 here, and Not So Perfect gets a rather nice little mention (it’s between Raymond Carver and Checkhov – cripes!).

Absence is a key theme in many of the stories (Sobs, Say My Name, The Angel In The Car Park, Number 14 most notably) with characters yearning for some sort of connection (Watching/Listening, Bare and Naked in Siberia, My Heart’s in a Box, The Mechanical Woman) but these are not despairing tales of woe. Each story is garlanded with striking imagery and precise and often beautiful prose, creating something to be treasured in amongst the heartache, whether it’s the impermanent simplicity of a snow angel or the pure emotion that would drive someone to plaster a house in post-it notes.

And the top Decoding Static also mentions my little book here – all top stuff. Thank you. Big time.

Nik’s little square book is a lesson in simplicity and is an excellent book to dip in and out of’


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So, there we are. More from me soon. I hope your 2011 has been great so far, and that it gets better too.

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