I never used to need to read others’ blogs to find inspiration to post my own. Maybe I should. As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to see my own opinions, vantage points and emotional responses as increasingly mundane and rudimentary, and as such I’ve mercifully withheld most of my potential outbursts from you internet-going public. If you were Charlie, blessed with the golden ticket and allowed to peek behind the closed doors of this blog, you would probably catch a glimpse of what we call ‘the storeroom,’ which is something like a basement with grimy jars lining crooked, splintered shelves, containing an eerily glowing ectoplasm, each suspending one of thousands of aborted foetuses, the offspring of awfully botched experiments straight out of B-grade mad scientist sci-fi.

That shouldn’t imply that this whole time I’ve been striving to create some superior blog-like being, down in my lab, dishevelled, calculating, broken test tubes and mice peppering the floor. On the contrary, there is a murky, stale air down there, the lights are all but burnt out, and there are cobwebs on most of the equipment.

A large part of my 2010 involved an utter retreat from confrontation, whether it was with my friends, students, myself, whatever, and instead I often found myself trawling online department stores, trendy-to-the-point-of-sheer-satire style blogs, or the worst offender, tech reviews sites. And as Christmas, that culmination of twelve months worth of material and emotional longing, edges steadily nearer, I am both ashamed yet proud to say I don’t want or need anything. Except maybe a hug.