I’m not writing a proper blog post this week. It’s too close to Christmas and you will have better things to do than read this. Quite honestly, there’s unlikely to be a blog post next week either, although if people say they really want one I’ll probably provide something.

There’s not going to be a lot of writing time in the next week. Like a lot of people, I imagine, we will be setting out for a family Christmas on Christmas Eve and not returning home until late on Boxing Day and then on Thursday we’re spending all afternoon dancing at the Royal Festival Hall. If you are in London with time on your hands I do recommend that you drop by, if only to sit on the balcony with tea and a sticky bun and enjoy watching everybody tangoing away below. It’s free and always a lovely day.

In keeping with the historical theme, the photo shows Dial House in Twickenham. You can just see the date – 1726 – on the sundial. It was built for the Twinings – the tea family – but later given to the parish to act as the vicarage for the church next door. It’s rather a lovely building and I thought the snow scene was appropriately Christmassy.

While I know that austerity and the level of political turmoil, arguably unprecedented since the 17th century (and that didn’t end well) have left their mark on almost everybody and everything, our family seems to have come through unscathed so far and we find ourselves moving toward Christmas with much to celebrate. There have been no new books but my six existing novels have found a home with a new publisher where they seem to be flourishing and further books are planned for 2019. On the domestic front we’ve been able to celebrate our own Ruby Wedding and our son’s marriage to what seems his ideal partner. (We’ll be spending Christmas with them.)

I hope amid the chaos, confusion and bitterness that I fear has characterised much of public life in 2018, you are able to come together with your loved ones to enjoy Christmas and celebrate life, love and our plans and hopes for the future.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.

Tom Williams