I begin 2014 with a double apology to my mother. Firstly, for not phoning at midnight to wish her what I've just wished you. (I have since wished her what I've just wished you, so now we're all even).
And secondly, I apologise for not updating this blog, which I regret to inform you will not be any better in the coming year.
My principal reason for not doing so was because I couldn't be arsed (to update the blog, not phone my mother. Honest). However, as much I felt I needed a bit of a break from writing it, I also felt that you deserved a rest from having to read it. Plus, you were probably a tad busy too.
Anyway, we're back and you may even have noticed that I've chosen to start 2014 with a new look. The colours are those of my beloved Coleraine Football Club who are currently enduring their worst run of form since Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble were the strike partnership. They have lost the last eight games in a row and, given that they are 2-0 down to league champions Cliftonville as I write, it looks like becoming nine. But still, I'm doing my bit.
Now then, Christmas. Needless to say I hope you had a good one and the big man who comes but once a year brought you a little splash of personal pleasure.
Against all expectations, he did pay a swift visit to the White household.
And even left a note.
I'm also very relieved to report that Barry Turkey came up trumps, although his brown bum did suggest that it had been a bit of an ordeal for him.
Ah yes, the onesies. As well as the kids, I got one, Vanessa got one and my mother got one.
A mumsie, if you will.
(That'll teach her for giving me a hard time). The similarity to her granddaughter's version is entirely deliberate.
We also had a number of very welcome visitors over the Christmas period.
These included my fellow Aireborough Lions Micros rugby coaches (I use that term about myself guardedly) and their wives.
Oh, and sprogs.
We even had a surprise virtual guest in the tiny form of Wee John, who joined us via the magic of FaceTime.
Also visiting on their way back to Scotland was my old schoolmate Wee Colin Andrews, together with Evie and their ever-smiling little boy Milo (although, ironically, not in this picture).
We look forward to seeing them all again in June when the Tour de France sets off from Yorkshire. They'll be camping in our garden. (They're quirky like that. Plus, Colin's an artist and sleeping in a conventional bed does nothing for his reputation).
Which brings us on to last night, when Jamie unexpected joined us for the fireworks at midnight.
Before leaving us again. (He's asleep, you see. Have a look. Yes? Good work).
So we move on, bravely, determinedly and with a hint of a smirk to see what 2014 has to offer.
But not until the drink runs out (which could be a little while yet).
Chin up - and bottoms up for as long as you can get away with it.