If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Saturday 31 December 2011

Sink One For Me

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.


  1. And to you Richard,a wonderful 2012!

  2. Sleep well, you won't miss anything important ;-)
    A Happy and healthy New Year to you.

  3. I have worked past midnight on NYE, and the world seems to keep turning! Oh, does riding 200 miles on Jan 2nd count as silly enough?

    Happy New Year to you and yours.

  4. We at the Altzheimer's Society would like to wish you a happy Easter and have a great 1983. I know its early but I suffer with premature congratulation.

  5. Another mile on nature's odometer.....very well said.

    We are usually in bed by 10 and rarely if ever ring in the new year.

    Fingers crossed for a half decent day tomorrow for our annual New Year's Day polar bear ride.

    A happy healthy new year to you.

  6. "...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."

    Unless I've been at a party, I've done that for the last 10 years! :)

  7. Happy New Year from Warm & Windy Yorkshire.

    During the week the bluster tried to run off with Mr Raft's flat hat - he just about snatched it back. Last night it was so warm that he didn't bother with a coat when we went out to see the people in the street.

  8. Thank you all, and very best wishes.

    Conniesdad - that's the spirit! I've got a few days off nowm, and I may just do something similar.

    Ripper - excellent!

    Trob - enjoy the polar bears, won't you? Tip - just keep riding as fast as you can and DON'T FALL OFF.

    JuliaM - parties are good for keeping you cheerful, as long as they are the right people. I have been to some where I have lost the will to live, realising that I share my species with such morons. An early night is far easier.

    WoaR - warm and windy? That's a first for God's Own County. (Whereabouts are you? I was briought up in Leeds but know the Dales well, bith above and below.) Shirt sleeves in January? It's that there warble gloaming again. Like last year.


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