2007 has been a good year. It's seen some changes in my life; a move of house, a substantial weight loss (nearly five stones), and a change in status from amateur writer to pro. 2008 promises to be even better with the publication of my first book. The cork photographed above was the first of several popped ... although I made do with a glass of red wine as, believe it or not, I'm allergic to champagne.
It's also looking good for some of my family and closest friends too. My wife Dawn is setting up her own business; my son Liam's band cut their first album since being signed; my daughter Sarah is being promoted to a managerial role and my other daughter Kerys is enjoying a new relationship and doing a fantastic job in bringing up my lovely grandchildren. Huw is finally finding the time to develop himself as a writer. Murph has landed a fantastic new job where he'll finally get the kind of wage his hard work deserves. Debbie has a wonderful new house to live in after six months of turmoil, heartache and financial strain. Joel is getting his first book published and his profile as a leading expert on comics continues to grow. Dave's Dinosaur exhibition in Ireland opens its doors to the paying public. Boris is training himself to be a professional artist ... it's all going worryingly well. The tiny pessimist in me says that something's got to go wrong. But then the much bigger Optimist in me says 'Sod you, you miserable bleeder!' and pummels Mr Pessimism to a pulp.
Of course, if I were a superstitious cove, I'd point out that the Number Eight is a remarkably popular lucky number. In Chinese culture, it is considered lucky as it sounds like the word for 'prosperity' or 'wealth'. In Numerology, it's the number of building, and in Tarot, Card 8 is 'strength'. But such things aside, it's a popular number with gamblers and lottery players because of its sense of symmetry; it's divisible by 1,2 and 4, can be halved and quartered without recourse to fractions and it looks like a fat and happy snowman.
Whatever your personal beliefs, I wish you all a very, very happy 2008 and I hope that you have as rewarding a year as I hope I will!