I celebrated my birthday on Friday with a delightful boat trip to Greenwich in the sun. A wonderful day, and also a peaceful opportunity to reflect on the past twelve months. A full year has passed since a motorbike struck my car in a hit and run accident that by some miracle left me unharmed physically, although the shock of the incident has stayed with me much longer than I expected, perhaps much longer than seems entirely logical.
The bike incident happened at the end of a truly marvellous week in which I'd received the CWA Diamond Dagger and met up with friends from my youth at a Balliol College Gaudy, and was a stark reminder that life can change in the blink of an eye. In particular, that incident has had the effect of making me more grateful than ever for each day (especially each day of good health), and motivating me to do as much as I can in the time available. I like to think I've always appreciated my friends and family, but again the crash has reinforced my awareness of just how much I owe to their kindness and support. It really does help in so many ways.
Strangely enough, I can't help feeling that the last year has been about the best I've had. There are some specific reasons for this. To my amazement I've received four awards and four nominations for my writing, as well as taking part in some fantastic events and other experiences, not least the Edgars banquet in April. As for Christmas University Challenge, it's something I'll never forget. If I'd scripted the series myself, I wouldn't have dared to write what actually happened. And I've even had my first (and perhaps only!) audio drama recorded by some terrific actors- more about that when the show is actually released, which may yet take a while.
And there are some less tangible reasons as well. Rightly or wrongly, I believe that I'm writing better than ever. The ideas keep coming and the main challenge is finding enough time to turn some of them into stories - even since I came back from London, I've been offered a fascinating commission from the US, which I hope to accept if time permits. I've had a huge amount of good fortune, and although my inner pessimist reminds me that one never knows what lies around the corner, I do feel rather humble as well as grateful to have had the chance of so many magic moments. So to everyone who has contributed to a very happy year - thank you. And now that's enough introspection for the time being - on with the next piece of writing!