In 2005, I…

Learned to love babies all over again
Committed to a mid-life transition
Decided to leave New York City after 17 mostly happy years
Sold our house of nine years in Brooklyn
Moved to the Catskills
Enrolled Campbell in a new school
Said goodbye to lots of old friends – hopefully not for ever
Made lots of new friends – hopefully for ever

Became the sole bread winner again
Worked harder than any time in the last ten years
(Which was, coincidentally, when our first kid was born and I was last the sole breadwinner)
Worked on a song together with Jeff Carrigan for the first time in… Did someone say together?
Celebrated the long-overdue release of an Apocalypse album
Saw publication of my short book on the music of The Clash
Updated my Keith Moon biography, saw it republished in the summer and go into a fresh printing about a month later
Signed a new book contract
Optioned a book for a movie
Started managing a band for the first time in many years: fortunately, it was Radio 4
Fell off many major label and publicists’ mailing lists – which means I could finally go back to buying records on other music fans’ recommendations

Ran my fourth and fifth Marathons, setting a new PR at each (though sadly still not qualifying for Boston)
Won my first ever running Gold Medal – for my very final 5k run in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park (I won’t tell you how few 40-45 year olds I was competing against)
Ran my fastest 5 miles in 10 years: I hadn’t realized that the Marathon the week before was but a warm-up for a shorter run
Resumed playing 5-a-side footie for the over-30s league – and regretted having to give it up again
Bought Campbell his own snowboard; treasured our days on Hunter Mountain together as the best in bonding
Enrolled in an Alpine Racing ski course: the veterans who take it every year decided to call me ‘The Kid.’ I accepted the title with relief.

Finally started commuting to work – for the first time since moving to America
Rejoiced in no longer waiting on 4th Avenue in Brooklyn for the school bus to show
Enjoyed instead driving Campbell 17 picturesque miles to school in just 22 minutes – without fail – every day
Dealt with the 300-mile round-trip commute to New York City for work and/or pleasure
Learned to (try to) sleep on sofas all over again

Did not take a holiday outside New York State
Had a first ever calendar year of neither getting on a plane nor, by extension, spending time on British soil – something I plan to rectify before 2006 is a month old

Felt helpless in the wake of the Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the Earthquake in Pakistan; hoped only that my chosen charities were capable of cutting through the red tape to save lives
Took the London Underground bombings personally; abhorred those who tried to justify or excuse it
Felt fully frustrated at global politics: the pervasive threat of international terrorism at one end, the Bush administration at the other, and Iraq inbetween.

Celebrated the sale of our house by letting the wife choose her own car
And buying myself all the Beatles albums on vinyl

Drank lots of great wine
Heard lots of great music
Acquired yet more great books
Saw some good movies
And learned to live without TV – quite happily

Managed to finally get iJamming! redesigned – thanks to Kenny McColl
Resumed contact with Apocalypse drummer and Tenisonian first year friend Chris Boyle, old Dulwich pal Piers, and Surrey Vomet editor Roger Allen, to name but three… all of whom found me through iJamming!
Saw iJamming! Pub membership, New Threads and follow-up posts all multiply exponentially
Appointed Shona the Landlady, though I’m still The Pub’s Guvnor
Wrote for iJamming! almost every single day of the year

Felt proud to have such a lovely wife (and mother). And mother

Wondered whether life might begin at forty (one) after all

Realized just how much work I have ahead of me in 2006

Finally said goodbye to my hair

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September 2022