On my birthday weekend in December 1980 we moved in to our present house. Best move I ever made. Coming from a rural background I was astonished to find myself drawn to this intensely urban area. It’s the social, human mix that stays the same. In the countryside we mixed with all sorts, and thought nothing of it, of course. Same here. I often say on the Trainspotting tour that Leith is no ghetto and it’s no suburb. It’s a living, mixed, crazy community, and I love being part of it.

And, now, that distant weekend was exactly half my lifetime ago. And to mark the occasion (do the math, I’m not spelling out my age), my dear wife arranged for all but one of the family (the missing one is in Africa) to meet up. It was a secret. The mendacity required to keep the secret was impressive. This was in Staffordshire. Until they all made an appearance, I thought I was either being taken to a motorbike rally or to Alton Towers. Could have been fun. But no, we were all together (except for the one, obviously), the first time in a long time, it gets more difficult as people develop separate commitments. Wonderful! I really must make a note of how much fun you can have in Staffordshire. Very few people seem to know.

I’m getting more and more people to read draft chapters of my book. If you would like to be one, get in touch and we’ll discuss. You’ll appreciate I have to be careful even though it’s easy to assert copyright. One guy who was going to look at the chapter on Trainspotting the film said he has been commissioned to write a big piece on Danny Boyle, and he wanted me to be aware of the risk of my ideas transferring into his stuff. Quite right. That’s the gentlemanly conduct I have come to expect from Trainspotters. So he’s not seeing my stuff. Not yet – he’ll have to pay for it when it’s published.

I wish you all a very merry Christmas, and a happy 2016.