....let steeple bells be swungen etc.
A year is a long time in blogging, and this has very much been a year of two halves on Think of England, halves which we can describe as pre- and post-Dabbler.
Pre-Dabbler, we were swinging along in riproaring fashion. We confronted Tuesday and Mary Beard, sought out the refugees of relative poverty and let loose a blast of the trumpet against the Indecent Left. We examined the Local Character's Zen Bones and the John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood plot thickened.
We learned that the Dungeness Crab is the official state crustacean of Oregon and that every charity shop is obliged by law to stock Wild Swans by Jung Chang. Cupcakes finally jumped the shark and 'jumped the shark' went to Prestatyn. I explained the origins of all sports, discovered a telescope poem, made some films about piglets and had a doss. Obama insulted us, fanatics frightened us.
We had prose poems from a paperblog nutter and Ilfracombe, hungover, and wrote the hit song A Man’s Gotta Do A Dirty Job Sometimes. We correctly identified the fifth and sixth seasons and spotted a Henry Moore potato and some dead animals. Poached eggs! In June I unleashed Chief Trading Post on an unsuspecting world and ludicrously over-analysed my own poem about Boris 'Vuvuzela' Johnson, got tied to the toilet while talking to myself and bought a lobster mug.
And then The Dabbler happened, and poor old Think of England inevitably became a series of pointy signposts to that, interspersed with the odd thing about King Wu of Zhou or Duffy.
Nonetheless, TofE continues, TofE endures. Have a good Christmas, make sure you read the Dabbler's mighty five-post Christmas Compendium, and, as ever, listen to what the Baked Potato say.
See you on the other side.