BY JAMIE FOSTER
Many friends have given me extraordinary advice in my life. None more so as individuals than all of them collectively (although special mention and thanks must go to G and K; and C and L). My special skill to date has been ignoring it. Something has changed; the boy-man has evolved a tiny, incremental and hardly noticeable amount. Instead of apologising and explaining endlessly I am taking some time to myself. I am inspired by a Muse so true and brilliant that she doubts the extent to which she has affected my creative instinct. The proof is in the pudding, or rather in the fact that I have returned to the coal face of showing off in print. I look forward to constructive criticism and the occasional smile.
We lost George Michael today. Given, (like my contemporary, acquaintance and rival as a young actor, Daniel Craig) he was marginally older than me, his death came as a great shock to this child of the 80s. He was my guilty pleasure. My wife introduced me to his music, although I had bopped to him before that. Faith remains a pop classic; despite my being more of a Dire Straits, Springsteen and Billy Joel Fan. If Clapton was God, and this is clearly debatable albeit persuasive to his loyal fans, (amongst whom I count myself firmly among their number) then George Michael was a musician who inspired great faith…
Faith has been an essential guide during my recent unusual Christmas. I’ll not trouble you with the details. Suffice it to say that my winter flu has not prevented me from working entirely, although it has made it far trickier. I have publicly admitted to a private loss that has caused me to need to deal with my private grief. It has inspired a lyricality in my writing that a great and kind patron and guru has suggested I avoid. Other friends have suggested I get more sleep. If it were that easy then I suspect I might be able to give up writing entirely.
Prior to Christmas I managed to attend two important hearings. One was important to my client and the other to the family and friends of Al Blackman. Having watched them both carefully I can only express my respect and admiration for our independent judiciary. It is very tempting to judge but it is an onerous task to do it professionally. I could not take the decisions that a proper Judge is faced with, due to my softheartedness and lack of experience.
As a founder writer of Country Squire Magazine I enjoyed a Christmas Party laid on by Dom Wightman and I appreciated the opportunity to meet Jon Alexander. I look forward to a proper chat about its future.
I also look forward to some extraordinary court cases in January. The Supreme Court, the High Court and the Crown Court all have a remarkable opportunity to establish both their independence and their legal excellence. For my part I have a need, a desire and a requirement to continue my legal practice; to continue to write; and to attend marketing events that I trust will be excellent. Additionally I have begun a process to join a group of men whose charitable endeavours have humbled me.
This is a good time of year to thank those of you who have provided me with love and support. I cannot name you each individually but I trust you will know how grateful I am and how impossible it would be to ever compensate you individually for the unwarranted but gratefully received kindness you have shown me.
You will no doubt forgive me for a brief return to blogging. I am very proud to have penned an article in The Field which I understand will be published in the February edition. Given I had more time to write it and fewer distractions than I am contending with at the moment, I commend it to you.
I hope you have all enjoyed Christmas with your families. We must all remember how hard it is for anyone to spend Christmas apart from those they love. Al Blackman is one such person. He has dealt with this by teaching maths to his fellow inmates. That is both inspiring and altruistic given the stress that he is under. For inspiration which brought a tear to my eye and a lump to my throat, however, our nonagenarian Monarch was non pareil.
I look forward to blogging in 2017. C,L,L and CJ will continue to inspire me. You, Dear Reader will continue to assist me by pointing out hyperbole, typos and the smiles that were raised. Let us hope that it is a glorious year.