Merry Christmas everyone. Here are some things I learned — or relearned — in 2016.
1. That which does not kill you makes you still alive. It’s weird to think that less than 12 months ago I was in hospital, dosed up with morphine, battered and bruised with a broken clavicle, numerous cracked ribs and a pulmonary embolism which can actually kill you, don’t you know. And now it’s as if the whole thing never happened. Well, apart from the hideous titanium plate, like a giant centipede, which I can still feel all stiff across my collar bone. And the bastard hunting ban my family has imposed on me…
2. Hunting is the only thing. Better than drugs, better than sex, better than — well I’d better not say ‘better than my family’ because it will only stiffen their resolve never to let me go hunting again. Seriously, though. If Ranulph Fiennes’s wife allows him to go on suicidal expeditions, despite that time he fell through the ice, got frostbite and ended up having to saw his blackened fingertips off with a Black & Decker, I don’t see why I shouldn’t be allowed to ride to hounds again. A man needs a hobby. And it’s an urban myth that hunting is dangerous.
3. Books are really hard to write. It’s been ages since I published one. The one I was writing — Mr Delingpole’s Sporting Tour — obviously had to be nixed after the accident. And the one I’ve been trying to write instead, a guide to how to be a man in the age of the Feminazi, keeps taking second place to urgent deadlines, vital dog walks or fascinating threads I’ve discovered on Twitter.
4. Twitter is a life vortex.