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You might think January 10th is a bit late for new year, but mine started on Saturday 6th, as a day before New Year’s Eve I got something gastric & fluish that you don’t want to know about, and hence the creaking table of food and wine that I was looking forward to turned into an early night, chills, fever & a depressing phone-in on LBC.

Luckily for me, my hosts (for a clue & the menu, see here) were kind enough to restage the event at Epiphany instead, and as it turned out, I was crowned King of something. There was a young man under the table, I had to eat some pie, swallowed something strange and won a prize.  It could be the beginning of an autobiography, but it was all part of the Galettes des rois ceremony that the French go through at Epiphany. I missed out on the bit where I got to choose my queen, it seems.

It was a beautiful day, and I’d recovered enough to cycle to Canary Wharf, and then on to Victoria Park (see left – & spot the choreographer on the bike). 6 courses, 5 hours and as many bottles later, I got back on my bike and made it to Tooting in what seemed like 9½ weeks, but was a pretty impressive (considering my intake) 45 minutes.

It was an odd start to the year – until Sunday, I felt like I’d got out of the year on the wrong side, let alone my bed. Normally quite an enthusiast for new beginnings and resolutions, I was uncharacteristically miserable as sin, and gloomy about the year to come. I’ve now realised this is actually quite a good way to start  January, because with such low expectations, things can only improve.

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Jonathan Still, ballet pianist