'Twixmas....... the dream-like days between Christmas and New Year spent in a fug of festive leftovers and daytime TV. For me, it is traditionally the time to do a little forward planning and think about potential projects for the coming year.
2016 has been a rat bastard year and I don't expect anyone, except perhaps the omni-odious duo, Farage and Trump, will be sorry to see the back of it.
I'm not particularly hopeful of 2017 being much better, but aside from battening down the hatches and sitting in the understairs cupboard awaiting Armageddon, there's nowt else to do but get on with it.
As ever, this 'Twixmas I'm bemoaning my lack of progress on most of last year's projects, while still heedlessly (and hopelessly optimistically!) adding even more.
Will I ever learn?
2017 will see the start of a perfect storm of life changes, as in April I will turn 59 and enter my 60th year. I wish I could say retirement was on the cards but as I'm likely to have to work till I'm dead that's a phase of my life which appears tantalisingly close... but is in fact, frustratingly far.
People who are employed have a quite straightforward path to retirement. They know exactly when it's going to happen, how much they are likely to receive, and when the time comes they submit the required notice period and off they pop.
Retirement planning for the self employed is a whole different kettle of fish. It isn't just a case of switching off the lights on your way out. Dismantling and disposing of a business takes an unconscionably long time and requires forward planning akin to the logistics of the Normandy landings.
So, here's the thing.
In the spirit of 'belt and braces' forward planning, I've put a handy-dandy countdown timer on my laptop screen, where it will bleep away the seconds, minutes, hours, weeks and months till 23 April 2018.
It's currently sitting at 480 days, which simultaneously feels a long way away... and just around the corner.
Tower House Dolls, as a business entity, has been around for 28 years. But the clock is ticking and I'm starting to think about winding it up.
The business that is, not the clock.
30 years is a nice round number. Pleasingly it will be half of my lifetime. Always assuming I make it to 60, which is by no means guaranteed.
So when I am 60, THD will be 30 and will then gradually cease to exist in its current form.
As a complete, standalone business it would be impossible to sell, so it will be dismembered and its constituent parts sold off. I have SO MUCH stuff, it will take ages.
However, till then, I'll still be working hard on transforming as many of the raw materials into magical miniatures. Speaking of which, one of my first tasks of 2017 will be to take a complete inventory of everything in my workroom.
That's the contents of every single cupboard, shelf, storage unit, bookcase, drawer, box, file and folder....
If I keep at it I just might be done by the time that helpful timer hits zero.