It is New Year.
Time to throw out the old and herald in the new.
In parts of Southern India it is the tradition to pull out all the old furniture and build a pyre with mattresses and tyres. Not very environmentally friendly, I grant you, but a symbol of change. They also tend to crowd the beaches, of an evening, like a pack of lemmings and more than a few unfortunates end up dying in the surf. Sad but true (if the Chennai Times is anything to go by).
It does have a certain Reggie Perrin quality about it all and kind of fits the mood that I have been in, of late.
I have decided that it is time to close the doors of the kitchen and to concentrate my energies elsewhere.
I feel like I have said pretty much all I have to say (in this incarnation, at least). Blogs tend to follow the same format as a Sitcom. The first couple of series are often the best, but the least well attended, and then as things go mainstream the show starts to lose its edge; the freshness that first brought it to a wider audience.
Granted the castle kitchen has not, necessarily, become more popular but I am running out of new ideas, different ways to say the same things, and I can't help feeling like the best is behind me now.
Many (Keith) moons ago I remarked on blogging being the new rock 'n roll. I don't want to be like the Rolling Stones - churning out the same dross, year on year, and getting progressively older and more embarrassing.
The kitchen has taken a lot of commitment and I am finding, increasingly, that I do not have the time nor the energy.
Worse, like some kind of drug addict, I am finding that it is eating into my work and family life. Sometimes I lay awake, at night, thinking about my next post. I find myself playing games and, rather than enjoying the moment, I am turning over in my head how I am going to report the event.
Like a photographer who spends all his time on holiday taking pictures and never stepping away from the lense, to just take in the full beauty of the scene, or the dad videoing at a school nativity who forgets to actually watch the play, I am finding that I am not appreciating the real world.
As they have done, to so many before, the weighty stones of Gormenghast are slowly crushing me.
At the very least I need to take some time off; to read the backlog of books on my Kindle, to watch the multitude of DVDs on my shelf (Firefly, Game of Thrones, and a few stops in between), to play more games with an open heart and to, occasionally, sit and watch junk TV with my wife.
I can still post my unfocused thoughts on Google+ where there is a thriving game community, interact with many of you on Twitter to discuss whether The Hobbit is longer and more rambling than an Elven song, and I may even start posting a few more reviews on BGG.
All of these things have taken a backseat to my obsession with cooking something up, in the great kitchen, and I feel it is time for some 'intellectual crop rotation' and to seek pastures new.
Think Titus Alone rather than Titus Groan.
I may, in due course, come back to the kitchen although, right now, I doubt it; it's been a fun conceit but I do feel it has run its course.
In the meantime, may I thank my sadly small, but loyal, following. I suspect most of us will continue to meet in cyberspace. For many of you I'm guessing it will be a relief to not have me talking at you.
I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
*in a confusion of genres Steerpike slips on the ring and disappears*
*lights dim and soundtrack plays 'Out of the Blue' by Dave Gilmour*