I have just got in from work and eaten. Shortly I will be going to bed ready for a 4.30 am start tomorrow. I have debated staying up and seeing in the New Year, or even just setting an alarm for 11.55 and doing ten minutes, but at my age lack of sleep is paid for dearly the next day, so I will sleep through the whole thing and miss the drunks and the breathalysers and the forced jollity and the morose staring-at-the-wall self-examination jags. It feels a bit wrong, though. I was brought up in the North of England, and up there we take the New Year seriously, with first-footing, lumps of coal and the whole thing. But I have never been all that committed to the idea of celebrating the clicking over of another mile on nature's odometer. Once it stopped being an excuse to snog all those girls who wouldn't speak to you for the other 364, it kind of lost its shine.
So, before I go to bed, allow me to wish you, and all of those you care for, a very Happy New Year, and all good fortune and good health for 2012.
And to all motorcyclists, may I wish a safe, prosecution-free and utterly bend-swinging 12 months. Especially those who are still riding in December.
You know who you are.