Well it's been a strange old year what with the fuss about MPs expenses and all that.
I'm glad the press didn't find out about me claiming "Molly", my campervan, as a second home, or for the moat at Harding Towers being filled with single malt whisky, or the vet's charges for sticking the feathers back on the budgie after the cleaner vacuumed it up thinking it was one of my fishing flies gone wrong.
Then there was the weather. The "barbecue summer" promised by the weathermen had most of us wondering whether we shouldn't have started building arks. Still, mustn't grumble, and I'm sure the webbed feet will go away, given time.
News from the world of folk music, however, has been far more cheering. I saw some absolutely terrific live gigs - from Martin Simpson on main stage Cambridge, to the Demon Barber Roadshow in the Yorkshire Dales.
As for albums . . . when the list of albums to be considered for the Folk Awards came up on my computer I was amazed to see how many not just good but great albums have appeared this year. If fine albums were the only criteria, then it would seem that folk music is in a healthier state than it has ever been.
My own personal favourites? Ruth Notman, Jackie Oates, Martin Simpson, Show of Hands, Colum Sands and Little Johnny England spring to mind. What am I looking forward to? Well, I'm hoping that John Tams and Altan will come up with a new album this year and that somebody will drag Dave Burland into the studio and not let him out until he's produced another great album. And somebody to look out for? Well, if I was a betting man, I'd put money on young Ewan McLennan making something of a stir in 2010.
Anyway, time to dip a glass in the moat to wish you all a peaceful and happy Christmas. See you in the New Year!
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The BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award always gladdens my heart; it is truly wonderful to see so many talented young people so obviously in love with the music.
Though I do admit to feeling a bit jealous as Alan Bell of the Fylde Folk Festival said last week as we watched the rehearsals in the BBC Radio Theatre - "We weren¹t as good as this when we finished, and they're only just starting."
It's been heartening too to see the variety of music coming through.
Last years winners, Megan and Joe Henwood are a brother and sister act who performed Megan's self-penned songs with amazing maturity and conviction. It was the first time a singer-songwriter had ever won the award and Megan and Joe well deserved it.
This year it was a complete turn about and, from out of a grout of extremely strong contenders that included everything from Gallic singing and harping to a group of boys from Northern Ireland playing Irish traditional music brilliantly, the winner was a traditional singer and guitarist James Findlay who played and sang like a cross between Nic Jones and the late Tony Rose.
I think any of you who heard the highlights on my programme on Wednesday night will have been more than impressed by his performance.
If you missed it - listen again here until 16 December.
It's a mark of the standard of performers that have competed in the Young Folk Award over the years that the last half hour of the show is devoted to a Pete Seeger special on which all the Seeger songs were performed by past winners and finalists - the result was a brilliant half hour that would have made a great album in its own right. Perhaps one of the new record labels might think of putting out an album of young folk singing the songs of Pete Seeger?
There's a thought.
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