New Year’s Day? It’s incredible. The accelerating rate at which it arrives! I suppose the reason for that is that each passing year forms an incrementally smaller proportion of one’s entire lifespan, and no doubt that must make it feel as if they fly past faster. I’m not quite sure why New Year’s Day always puts me in mind of the Radetzky March and An der schönen blauen Donau because when I was growing up in Australia invariably we spent it at Metung, messing around on the shores of Bancroft Bay and Lake King, often in sweltering midsummer heat. In his heyday, Dad would join the sail-past in the old Jubilee, and we would give three hearty cheers to the commodore of the Metung Yacht Club—which event is just about as far from the New Year’s Concert in the Wiener Musikverein as it is possible to stray, yet now I am pottering around the house thinking of both: Metung and the Strausses (Elder and Younger), which evidently produce more than the hint of a spring in my step. And somehow this New Year’s Day, I have more of one—being filled with hope and energy and excitement about what this particular year will bring. I wish you, dear readers, as much of the same as anyone can reasonably expect, all the luck in the world, and I send you, wherever you may be, and for what they are worth, my warm greetings for a happy and prosperous 2012.