Bring It On!
I do not drink alcohol in January, and, as usual, reality has also bitten pretty hard without so much as a drop of beer inside me.
I feel I really want to achieve something in 2010 - particularly getting my book, The Commuter's Tale, on its way. Yet, getting on with it seems such as a struggle!
The Festival Season was good. For my birthday (22 December), I was in Eastbourne on a wonderfully clear and sunny day.
For Christmas I was at home in Lewes.
One of the best occasions was Boxing Day when I - unexpectedly - had the chance to see the Mighty Rooks (Lewes FC) play at home at the legendary Dripping Pan - against the Mighty Tunnellers (Dover).
I don't attend many Rooks matches but, strangely, when I do, they tend to win. I say strange because Lewes win very seldom.
So, I optimistically braved the wind and the horizontal rain with the happy feeling in my heart that Lewes (second from bottom in their division) would beat Dover (second top).
It was great to be back with the guys on the terraces. We found ourselves standing beside the hardcore Dover support - complete with band.
Within a mere 13 minutes, The Mighty Tunnellers had scored twice. Their fans were ecstatic, even a little bit cocky, about it.
I confidently predicted that soon the score would be three - two to Lewes, little knowing that the Mighty Rooks would do much better than that.
To the shock and astonishment of Dover, Lewes FC scored three times in the rest of the first half, and then put in another three in the second half, winning six - two. A miraculous Christmas present! (I even sneaked back the following day, when it was sunny, to photograph the scoreboard.)
The visiting fans were all the more amazed at the behaviour of one of the Lewes supporters - who had apparently arrived at the match after being dumped by his boyfriend and drinking non-stop, without sleep, for more than 48 hours.
He kept shouting the most unpublishable things in a shrill Italian accent.
At half-time, he staged a one-man invasion of the pitch, and dived about in the goalmouth, saving shots from the subs, before being ejected from the ground by the stewards!
Still, he pulled himself up on the wall, so he could watch the rest of glorious match from outside the ground!
When your side loses most of the time, it is amazing to see it win, let alone thrash a good side.
By the end we dancing under our enormous flag, singing: 'Let's go mental.'
It did not seem a long time since we were celebrating the new millennium, flush with hope and hype. It was a very mixed 10 years for me.
Career-wise, life has looked up. At the beginning of the Noughties, I was working overnights at CNN - a Fleet Street hack's equivalent of Skid Row - while writing my first novel, which I completed and edited thrice but, despite years of trying to generate interest in it, failed to get published.
The Noughties were also the decade when I finally gave up performing stand-up comedy (2000), moved to Lewes (2002), worked for Catholic bishops (2002 - 2004), gave up promoting comedy clubs (2005), lived during the week in Leamington Spa (2006-2008), and took up writing and performing poetry (late 2004 to present).
What will the new decade hold?
I absolutely must publish The Commuter's Tale, this year, and start work on a follow-up.
There is no doubt it will be tough going, but I shall not give up this time.
Even during my two weeks at home, I felt refreshed and started to write a lot more poetry than I had done for months.
And considering I have now been on the wagon for seven days, I am surprisingly upbeat.
Let's hope all our hopes and dreams work out this year and this decade.
If the Mighty Rooks can win six - two, anything is possible. New decade. Bring it on!