Happy New Year then. I feel abysmal so the first Memoirs Of A Fire Hazard of 2017 is a little more brief than some of its predecessors. For those of you not familiar with my Facebook account I should explain that last night, New Year's Eve, I fell asleep on the couch at some previously unknowable hour of the morning. When I woke up it was light outside but still very quiet in the house. None of Emma, Susan or Roland were up so I thought all things considered I'd better go to bed. I got to the bedroom to find two things of note. Firstly, Moewinckel was climbing all over a blissfully oblivious Emma, which is what he does when he wants his breakfast. Secondly, the clock beside the bed showed that it was 8.30am!! No wonder he wanted his breakfast. It was an hour late and I was only just going to bed!
It was all caused by a whirlwind visit from Helen and Alex. Had it not been for that I would have been in bed just after 2.00. We'd only been in the Springy where nothing unusual or goutrageous took place. Even the karaoke was standard. Bang average. So the upshot of all this was that I didn't get back out of bed until around 12.30pm. I haven't stayed in bed till that time since I was about 14 years old. At that age your dad would tell you that the day had gone and you'd be left scratching your head wondering how that could be a bad thing. Or he'd say the day was wasted while you struggled to conceive of a way that it could have been better spent that didn't involve Kylie Minogue.
But now of course I am old enough to understand that time is precious. Never was this more boldly illustrated than in the space of two chilling days across the season of forced fun when 2016, that crazed celebrity killer, took both George Michael and Carrie Fisher. I get that referring to 2016 as the worst year ever as some do represents a gargantuan lack of perspective. Yet did it really have to rob us so many icons? Following David Bowie, Prince, Muhammad Ali and Ronnie Corbett were these two treasures. You can say what you like about what George got up to in public toilets it will not change my view that he was one of the finest vocal talents the UK has ever produced. Anyone who thinks otherwise has never tried blasting out Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me, which of course I haven't because I only ever do the Elton John bit.
As for Carrie Fisher well.....put simply she defined the childhood of millions. She apparently wrote books on how to deal with mental health problems as well as the odd screenplay alongside her acting. But Christ's bowels....she was Princess Leia. I'm as partial as the next man to Natalie Portman, Daisy Ridley and Felicity Jones provided the next man isn't George Michael, but none of them come close to Fisher's role as the original and best female Star Wars hero. And yes, Disney will no doubt try to convince us that Rey makes far more use of her Jedi powers in episodes yet to come. But I bet they won't free themselves from slavery by choking Sam Allardyce while wearing an iconic chain bikini. That's Leia wearing the bikini. Sammy The Hutt in such revealing garb would be absolutely revolting. Fisher on the other hand is quite literally unforgettable.
Apparently she had finished work on Episode 8 before her untimely death which means there'll be no need for the kind of CGI jiggery and indeed pokery that goes on in Rogue One. But I wonder, as I'm sure most Star Wars fans will, what their plans are for Leia in Episode IX. They have the technology to include a character with a very significant role without the need for the actor who played the character to continue taking in oxygen. Yet some take the view that too much CGI is irritating and so it may well be that they'll have to write Fisher out of the story.
And then we may all have to endure Princess Leia's death all over again.