There's a strange atmosphere today.
People I have come to regard, in some strange way, as friends- among them Mahud, Jay ,Sara ,Lee and Billy - have either disappeared or taken long leave from the blogosphere. I know how they feel, but damn it all,l I shall miss them, every one.
Then last night I had a marathon dream-a-thon, one vivid experience after another.
In one of them, I was looking out of a window onto a darkened balcony. A man in a neat suit and hat was standing there, only just visible.
Immediately afterwards, I was with an old 'varsity friend - one of the brightest and best students of physics - who was preparing to take a huge bloody drill to the forehead of his still, sleeping lover, a man in the corner of the room. In the dream, I left before the screaming and blood could begin.
So this morning I went cold with shock and not a little fear to learn through Hecate that a dear companion of my last 17 years has been diagnosed with the same damn disease which killed my Mum, at the same age.
But, as he says , he aten't dead and any rumours to the contrary will be seriously snapped at by me, among others.
Dammit - why does this always seem to happen to the brightest and best of us?
The end of this end-of-an-epoch 9 year is drawing close.
May the next year, a 1, be a great new start for all of us.