A year that began with the death of David Bowie, and finished with the passing of a dear friend was never going to be the best of years.
It was the year in which the bad guys won. At everything.
Brexit hit us like a bereavement. That is not hyperbole. I know exactly what I mean when I say that. I'm afraid we're not ready to grow up, move on and march on together towards a brighter future with Nigel and Boris just yet. We've started the road towards Italian citizenship. It may or may not work. I hope it does. If our native country doesn't want us, then maybe Italy will.
But apart from that Mrs Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play...?
Strangely, in many ways, it was the best of years. The year of the Great Breakthrough. Caroline semi retired, and I was able to take on a bit less work. I gave up my adult evening classes. It broke my heart, because they were all so lovely, but it has to be said that life is so much more manageable without finishing at 10 and starting again at 8.
I passed a significant birthday, and we held a party for my Italian and British friends. It was a good year for singing. An exchange visit to Rome with the Cantori. Singing Sospan Fach to a restaurant full of Italian friends. Singing mass at San Marco with the Ensemble, and finishing up with Auld Lang Syne at the Frari.
It was the year in which we really and truly felt properly at home here. We thought it might have taken 6 - 12 months. Instead it took about four years. But that's okay. We got there.
A year both to forget and remember in equal measure then. But 2017 will be, at the very least, an exciting one.
On March 2nd, will you be ready to play... The Venetian Game...?
A very Merry Christmas to all, e Dio ci benedica tutti.