Forgive the personal intrusion…Hell! Skip the damned post, Who cares what I’m up to! But I just had it in mind, and to an overwhelming degree, to mention that I’m enjoying the 2017 cigar ( a Cuban, Romeo et Julietta No 2, tubo). When I wrote Hecho a Mano, at least half of it was based on solid, not to say stiff, research! In pre-stent days I was an afficianado of the Nicaraguan cigar (as that story attested), but the Cubans are good too! Nowadays I take this pleasure more infrequently, but that cat which got the Christmas cream looked no more smug than I do right now!

In this mood, I must take the chance to wish you all, a little prematurely I admit…but let’s take it at the flood….. a warm, and most sincere, Happy New Year. Tomorrow, no doubt, I shall resume my more typical Scroogian grumpiness, beneath which my natural bonhommie must wait, perhaps for another year, and another cigar!