Onwards into 2009. I reckon it will be an important one. I don't normally bother with written intentions, but let's try some of these out.
1. Lip up, fatty. The gloom is going to be unshakable for maybe six months. Some of it real but much of it vaporous. This will be my 24th year in the music industry and I've seen many varieties of pessimism and defeat. But there's always a way through it and the resourceful people will get their rewards when the mood rebounds. Some great talent will define itself this year. Also, the creative and social uplift in the NI music scene should continue to grow, at least for a while. Another reason to keep the chin steady and the intentions decent.
2. Music is your radar. When you serve music well, it always seems to repay the energy. When you follow the dollar signs, the vanity or the politics, it tends to diminish. It's a simple law, but mess with it and you will cop the results. Therefore the challenge is to love the great music, be wary of false goods and to keep the mojo nourished.
3. Manage the perspective. As long as the family is close and the bills are paid, it will never be wholly disastrous. There was an excess of drama in 2008. Less this time, hopefully.
4. Look after the health, refresh the head and don't think that an over-adrenalized system is normal. All oversights in recent months.
5. Don't over-analyse. As Mr Morrison once declaimed: "It ain't why, it just is".
6. Fun and frivolity. Some of the best ideas are birthed in a spirit of play. So while the work ethic is needed in 2009, so too are the major laughs and the absurd suggestions. Comrades, I'll see you at the barricades with my tickling stick.