I have always been the kind of person who works tight to deadlines (a friend of mine once christened the characteristic "deadline dancing"). It may sound good, but what it actually means is : "I have always been the kind of person to leave things to the last minute". Many years ago I used to produce the European Union's "European Trade Union Information Bulletin". Although it was only a bi-monthly publication, I used to produce it single-handedly, doing everything from researching the stories, writing them, all the way through to producing the camera ready copy for the printers. Theoretically you had eight weeks to undertake this string of tasks, but not a bit of it: I would work "tight to deadline". This would result in the most enormous bi-monthly crises when I would have to work non-stop for 24 hours to get the thing finished and in the express-post to the printers in Brussels. You might think that after enough of these crises I might learn my lesson, but I produced the Bulletin for close on fifteen years and, if anything, my deadline dancing got worse towards the end.
All this is an attempt to explain why I haven't been posting much during the last few days: I have been deadline dancing again. As I have not yet completed the allotted task, this post will be unusually (and I suspect agreeably) short. And what is this task that imposes such rigid deadlines? At this point of time I prefer not to say, just in case my recent lack of practise in deadline dancing has left me rusty and the project in question never materialises. At the moment I am like one of those competitors in a 1930s marathon dancing competition : tired but doggedly determined. Not much more to do now. Ah well, back on my points.