Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Hair today

Today is this blog’s first birthday, and I am thinking about my old goatee.

In the mid nineties, every guy I knew seemed to be growing a goatee. At the time I thought it was the fashion, but I now suspect that it had more to do with my age. I was hanging out with guys like myself, all hitting thirty at the same time, all noticing their waistlines beginning to bulge, and all stumbling across the same disguise for the extra chins and blurring jawline. I had one myself.

After a few years, no amount of goatee could hide the fat even from my own indulgent gaze. A bout of unemployment (unwelcome at the time, but in hindsight very fortuitous) gave me six months in which to run five miles a day and swim another two, and as if by magic the weight went away, swiftly followed by the now superfluous fuzz.

I had done the goatee thing.

Now, I’m not suggesting that blogging is an attempt to hide the ravages of age, or indeed anything else. It has been stimulating and gratifying in its own right. I feel like I’ve made some good friends insofar as one can make friends this way. I’ve had fun, and hopefully I’ve entertained some of you too.

For all that, maintaining a blog is not the sort of thing that one can commit to doing forever, especially when you have four kids and an increasingly demanding job breathing down your neck. A year of this was fun, and I could go a while longer yet, but it will not always be so. I’d rather quit now while I still remember blogging fondly than wait until I resent it as a burden. So, as with the goatee, it’s time to draw the line.

I have done the blog thing.

Therefore this’ll be my last entry for the foreseeable future. I might do some tidying up with the labels, and I’ll leave the links up, but that’ll be it. I'll see you all at your own blogs every now and then – meanwhile, thanks for dropping by, and all the very best for the New Year.

It’s been a blast…

Monday, January 01, 2007

Bonne année

The French welcome the New Year in their own inimitable style, by holding a protest against the relentless progressivism of the calendar.

The Front d'Opposition à la Nouvelle Année/Comité d'Organistion National (Fonacon) brought the centre of Nantes to a standstill last night, condemning the approach of midnight.

"It is about time that the passage of time ended," said one of the hooded organisers. "We are fed up with getting older. Why should we follow the fashion? The planet is getting older and warmer. Not us. Stop this mad race towards death."

"Besides, next year is an election year [in France] and has a rather doubtful feel about it. Sego v Sarko? Not for us. No thanks."

The good folk of Fonacon showed true Gallic resolve in the face of adversity. When 2007 arrived regardless, the marchers amended their chants to "No to 2008" without so much as a pause.

Of course, one assumes they were joking. There must be a few people in France with a sense of humour, mustn't there?

And a Happy New Year to you too...