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December 31, 2006

Good bye 2006!

Well, we have survived another year. And what a year it has been, both personally and on the world stage. On a personal level I have had the interesting experience of retiring, only to find that the days were suddenly filled with more work than I really want! Still it pays the bills, so I had better learn to cope with it. My first novel has been published - albeit through a self-publishing house (Best price for it is still through AuthorHouse UK or AuthorHouse US) - and the second is well down the line of being written, with a more mainstream publisher actually expressing interest. While I doubt this will ever make me into a zillionaire (I should be so lucky!), I do find it is great fun and very relaxing as I try to find believable ways to get my heroes into the situations that make the story.

On a world front the picture is much less rosy I fear, especially with the news that Saddam has been despatched from this life on the end of a short rope. I have no doubt that this will be seen by all the Civil Liberties mob as "Iraq kowtowing to the wishes of the evil US" and by all the Islamic Fundamentalist mob as "Iraq kowtowing to the wishes of the evil US". More bombing and murder will now follow. All in all a year in which the world seems to have lurched closer than ever towards a major confrontation and I have to say that I expect it will happen one of these days, probably triggered by some fundamentalist somewhere who thinks it would be a good idea to obliterate someone he doesn't approve of. I won't take any bets on who, where or when, but the clash of cultures and the present lack of any direction in the West is likely to create the ideal opportunity for some lunatic group.

On a personal note again, the highlights have included my trip to the West of Scotland with Mausi earlier this year, and the various contacts I have had with friends, family and colleagues around the world. June saw a trip to Cincinatti for a Conference which was a huge success. It also provided the opportunity to meet the parents and grandparents of a student I had the privilege of hosting at the college I worked for. Miles seems to have made good use of his time and to have begun to use his skills in a very beneficial way. His family too, made me very welcome and were easily the best example of real American people I have yet met - good solid folks with a great appreciation of the world around them. I also had the chance to visit Belgrade for the first time and to meet and make a range of new friends there. What a fascinating history Eastern Europe and the Balkans share - and what a lot we, in the Western parts need to learn about it if we are to work effectively together in the future.

Well, tonight we say good bye to 2006 and hello to 2007. Let us hope that it brings with it a better set of prospects than we have faced in 2006 and a better and more stable world by its end.

Happy New Year to you all!

Posted by The Gray Monk at December 31, 2006 06:09 PM

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