So here we are at the end of 2022.It’s been a funny old year, hasn’t it? A sort of good news: bad news kind of a year. Russia invaded Ukraine, but the war hasn’t gone nuclear. A small, self-selected group of not-terribly-bright people elected the most shockingly incompetent Prime Minister Britain has ever had, but she was only there for 44 days. Energy prices have rocketed to the point where many people can no longer afford to heat their homes, but we have yet to face power cuts.

Against this exciting background, daily life has continued remarkably much as usual here, though admittedly rather less warmly than normal lately. After over two years when even visiting Wales seemed like an adventure (and was often impossible) we have started to go abroad again with trips to Sweden (pictured above) and, towards the end of the year, Buenos Aires. It was lovely to get back to Argentina, but generally we’ve limited our travelling to England. It turns out there are still some fascinating places we have never visited before: amazing stately homes like Basildon Park and whole towns like Shrewsbury full of wonderful historic buildings.

Basildon Park

I’ve blogged here about all this, of course. Although I am always threatening to cut down on blogging, I’m still turning out something every week, though sometimes the space has been given over to guests like Carol McGrath and Anna Legat. There have been some brilliant guest posts and all of them are still available on the blog.

Despite all the excitement of Mr Musk’s antics, I’m still on Twitter (@TomCW99). I struggle to amuse on TikTok, but do feel free to have a look at tomwilliams4777.

In amongst all this excitement I managed to publish three books in 2022. The first was Burke and the Pimpernel Affair. All the Burke books are different and this one was a straightforward spy caper with more than a nod to Baroness Orczy’s Scarlet Pimpernel. It’s a fun read and I hope you enjoy it. Also a fun read was Eat The Poor, another story about Galbraith and Pole, this time with a satirical edge to add to the fun.

The third book to be published was Tales of Empire. It’s a collection of just four short stories. I wrote one of them, but the significant thing is that it appeared under the Big Red imprint so Big Red is now definitely a real (if small) publisher and not just a cover for self-publishing. That made me happy. (And Tales of Empire is just 99p, so why not treat yourself and make me fractionally happier?)

So maybe not that bad a year after all. And 2023 might even be better.

Happy New Year.

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