Bill Drummond, that shaman, that Justified Ancient, postulated that there are four ages of man, and that by happy coincidence they can be compared to the rotational speed of different types of vinyl record. That is, 17, 33, 45 and 78. Youth, adulthood, wisdom, dotage. He’s writing his autobiography as separate volumes based on that idea. The world turns much more quickly than that, of course (although it’s disturbing to realise that the speed of the earth’s rotation varies depending on where you are on the globe. At the equator, it’s something around a thousand miles an hour. Up here in drear old Blighty, things go more slowly). The idea of mapping progress onto a circular path amuses me no end. We are cyclical in nature and habit, making the same mistakes, replaying the same songs over and over, dropping the needle back at the start after the music fades.

This week, I hit the third of Bill’s four landmarks. A birthday this close to the end of the year always leads to musage over what has been done, and how much is left to do. As a writer, it’s been a more successful year than most. My post rates on this here blog have gone through the roof, largely due to an attempt at the WordPress Post-a-Day Challenge. That didn’t last, but it gave me the habit for a more sustained post schedule, and page views have gone up accordingly, which has been nice. Hello to everyone who started looking at Excuses And Half Truths this year. Good to see you.

I’ve also expanded my remit, blogging professionally at ethical clothing retailer Pier 32 and less so for zombie blog UKZDL. Both gigs have allowed me to stretch out creatively, as I’m forced to write about things outside my usual remit.Getting enthusiastic about sustainable trainers has come surprisingly easily. Maybe there’s always been a fashion blogger in me.

2011 also saw me in print again, as a piece of mine was published in the Birmingham-based magazine Dirty Bristow. I’ve submitted another to the third issue, which will hopefully see the light early in 2012.

All this extra work meant that, to my sorrow, I had to spend November without Nanowrimo; the first time in five years that I’ve failed to step up to the challenge of getting 50,000 words of a first draft out in a month. Tellingly, a really good story idea popped into the frontal cortex in early October, which got as far as an outline before sanity set in and I realised I was going to have to sleep at some point. Never say never. Just not now.

Over the next few posts I’ll be rounding up my hits and misses of the year, and resurrecting an idea that fizzled out for no real reason; The News In Briefs. An extended version, of course. The News In Long Johns. Lots to talk about there.

And, as it’s a post with a 45 theme, I’ll close up with one of my favourite singles ever. A record about the act of playing records. The right kind of vinyl fetish.



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Writer. Film-maker. Cartoonist. Cook. Lover.

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