An End of Year Message image

An End of Year Message

2020 has been a difficult year – and I know that just one more difficulty added to the woes of many has been my absence from Think. I am sorry to have caused you this pain.

While my fellow Think ‘writers’ have veered between covid-fence-sitting (how’s that bottom feeling?) and covid-scepticism, I took the altogether wiser course of complete covid-compliance. Frankly, it was simply not worth the potential loss to my parishioners and many other fans to risk myself to the slightest chance of infection, and the almost inevitable fatal consequences that would have followed. (To my mind Neil Fergusson’s models were way too conservative – and didn’t even give due consideration to mustelids: think of the mink Neil, think of the mink.) Hence, I decided to cut myself off from the world.

Unfortunately this self-imposed exile has included a great reluctance even to touch my computer. Despite constructing a series of airlocks in the family holt, with plastic sheeting dividing communal spaces into individual cells and a strict 48 hour quarantine period between different members of the family using shared facilities (yes, this has caused some distress when it has come to toilet needs, but – I’m sure you’ll agree – one can’t be too careful; plus developing such comprehensive bladder control will surely serve a multitude of good uses in the future) it has not been unknown for Mrs S to sneak onto my laptop when my back has been turned – and at times this even without the comprehensive PPE such a manoeuvre clearly required. She claims this has been necessary in order to order online groceries. But surely starvation would have been preferable to the risk of contaminating her husband? Some people are just so selfish. Hence, I have chosen to keep away from the keyboard, only making an exception for this end of year message after suitably vigorous application of sanitizer and wipes. Even so it feels like a risk – but I am, when all is said and done, an otter of faith.

So it has been a quiet year: one of solitary meditation. I feel confident that this reset will enable me to build back better in 2021 though. I’m sure the members of Ring of Bright Water have been just fine without me and will come flocking back once we do finally start meeting again – maybe October is a not unrealistic date to aim for. In the meanwhile I will be working on an updated edition of my bestselling Puffed Up: A Theology of Arrogance, with a new chapter about the vital and ongoing value of facemasks. I have a number of other exciting ideas in the pipeline, and am negotiating with various prestigious publishing houses. Working titles so far include, Brexit: Why they should have asked me; USA2020: A socio-theological exploration of a turbulent year; and NHS Crisis: What Crisis? I have the answer!

Happy New Year everyone!

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