Saturday, January 03, 2009


Well, it is the New Year at last. It comes every year of course - at the same time too! But we always act surprised and delighted. I suppose it is the fact of getting rid of the old and the bad year that has passed and opening the way to hope for the new. Something like that. We are all basically optimists, although it is trendy these days to be quite the opposite. So what we all try to pretend to be is a sort of hybrid - and a contradiction in terms. We all become pessimistic optimists - we expect the worst but hope for the best.

So, it is now 2009, two thousand and nine years since the birth of Christ according to the Gregorian calendar. The Jews don't agree and neither do the Muslims, but they never agree with anything the other says anyway. Whichever way we look at it, the new year is here and it is the time when we all look forward to a bit of luck, a change in our fortunes, an improvement in our health or, in some cases, just for Spring to get here and warm the place up.

Me? Well, shall I say, I have prospects.

I've got the parole hearing either this month or next. Then I've got a Judicial Review in March. There are discussions going on about pub1ishing - and my cholesterol seems to be coming down, gradua1Iy. Things like that - I count my blessings.

It has just occurred to me that also this March,(March 9th in fact) will see the start of my twenty-fourth year in durance vile, and that is only one year short of a quarter of a century. That's a long time, no matter how quickly you say it.

However, none of the above is the point really. The point I was headed for before I sidetracked myself (as is my wont) was the point that it is at this time of year that people feel this urge for a new start to go with the new year. To this end they make what we term New Year Resolutions.

I'm no different, I do it too.

Every year I resolve to be nicer to those around me, but it has never lasted as long as noon on New Year's day. This year was no different. I resolved 1ast night (as I got into my pile of straw in the corner of my dungeon) to get up in the morning and be nice, friendly and cheerful to everyone.

It didn't last long.

The mechanics are matterless. Someone said something silly and I was quite rude in response, which is normal for me. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't offensive, but I was rudely short.

This brought to mind the words of Stephen Grellet who said:

"I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creatures, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."

I would love to live by that, but never mind. I'll have another go at it next year.

The Voice In The Wilderness

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