The tree on the left has nothing to do with "Left and to the Back", really. It has nothing to do with lost music, good or bad, all it represents is Christmas in its most austerity-driven South London form. And 2016 has been a very mixed year for most people, but I do hope you have a good rest over Christmas... I used to dread the fact that late December provided me with only long stretches of inactivity, with repeats and old films on television, clubs closed, no gigs to speak of and not much news. After this year I'm beginning to form the opinion, however, that sometimes having nothing happening isn't such a bad deal. Sometimes I think we all just need to stop for a bit, and if not have Christmas, then at the very least have a long lie down in a dark room. "If we don't all occasionally stop moving to look at where we've got to, how will we know if we've ever arrived?" as I'm sure somebody said once, but I can't quite work out who to attribute that piece of popular philosophy to. It might even be Prince (Rest in peace, sir). It's definitely not David Bowie (ditto). But perhaps it was AA Milne or even Geri Halliwell.
And where has this blog got to? Well, "Left and to the Back" will be entering its ninth year in 2017. Some children have grown up and journeyed from Junior School to University in that period - a scary thought to contemplate. They've steadily learned how to formulate complex arguments in essays while I still have made absolutely no progress in my ambition to keep my wallet in my pocket while in record shops. Some of us learn, some of us don't.
When I launched this blog back in 2008, I promised myself that it would be updated at least twice a week, and it usually has been. I just thought that by setting myself that target, I'd ensure that things would actually happen and the blog wouldn't just grind to a halt after three months like so many of them do. However, while I want to keep the blog alive, I'm sure I probably will be scaling my ambitions back a little next year and introducing more reuploads and less frequent updates. The Internet has changed almost completely since this blog launched, and it's become increasingly hard to find records which are relatively unheard or unavailable (and harder still to find ones which are actually any good or interesting). What I could do with almost ridiculous ease in 2008 is now quite tough and expensive to fulfil.
One day I'm sure I'll admit defeat and call time on this faintly silly hobby of mine purely because it will prove too impractical (if nothing else) but... there will be another blog entry before the New Year comes round, I assure you. In the meantime... have a nice break.
And if you like what I do here, please do link back through your blog, or on social media, or wherever takes your fancy. All blogs need referrals to keep their audience levels afloat, and with the demise of many of the mp3 blogs which used to direct here (RIP Lord of the Boot Sale in particular) "Left and to the Back" definitely needs new troops who are willing to spread the word.
See you soon.