Sunday 30th December 2018

It’s always something of a sobering time when the last Diary entry of the year rolls around.

As much as because I need to pinch myself that I’ve kept these entries going this long, there is the clear observation that the end of another year imminently beckons – and there’s not an endless supply of those years on tap. The trick is to apply the brakes on the remaining years.

How has the past year panned out for me? No complaints really: certainly not one of my busiest years admittedly, however that was intentional - as I recognised the need to re-adjust the business life/personal life balance – with the emphasis on the personal side of things.

I’m pleased with how that worked out: I’ve spent several extended periods out of the country, over the past twelve months – culminating in not having been in the UK since 31st October and latterly having spent the best part of three weeks in New Zealand. Travel for me is therapy. You will have heard me, in one or two past entries over the years, make mention of the fact that I’m never as content as when I’m on the move. Of course, the majority of the travel I have incurred during the past forty years has been the cost of the touring clients that I have been involved with. Of late, the cost of my substantial personal travel has been self-funded.

Having said the above, I would like to think that I have exercised the same frugality on the cost side of things, whether I was booking travel for myself or my clients – keeping in mind that (for a variety of obvious reasons) “recognizable” celebrities utilize business-class travel.

Having just returned from New Zealand (involving over a day’s “solid” flying) in Qatar Air’s economy class – which, along with Emirates, surpasses that of British Airways in my personal opinion – I can maybe see the day that advancing years call for personal business-class travel, to visit either my daughter in Vietnam or my son in Australia. Such a change would necessitate a substantial increase in my flight costs – but may be “the only way to go”, come that time.

With only about thirty-six irretrievable hours of 2018 left, I feel in a comfortable place with my plans going forward for 2019, in respect of how to apportion the upcoming twelve months – between work and personal time. Right now, my work involvements only total around three months (and that’s fine with me). However, additionally, I foresee some “consultancy” work that may be accomplished “at distance” – and doesn’t require me to be out on the road.

Such a “workload” will allow me sufficient time to (again) avoid the UK Winter next year; to visit both my children, at least once, in their currently distant locations; to schedule my football involvements more realistically – but also to allow me to do my own thing for a while.

However, more than ever – now - health considerations must be placed at the head of the queue. Not that there’s anything majorly amiss with my health right now (that I know about, anyway!) – but at this time of life a little “preventative maintenance” does no harm whatsoever.

Well, as this “progressive” year draws to a close, in my sixty-sixth year, I give thanks that I am still here - and leave you in the musical company of one, who is sadly not: Joe Cocker. May everything that you wish and hope for in 2019, surely come to fruition. Happy New Year. XX