The fact that these late-afternoon on New Year’s Eve lines (written to the brilliant musical accompaniment of Queen’s 1986 Wembley Stadium concert) is the first post on this blog since mid-November suggests that New Year Resolution One should certainly be to update it more regularly. Back in September I wrote that for those of us in the academic world the new year really starts in September when the autumn term gets underway. Well, there’s no harm in seeing January as the mid-way point and thinking about whether those good intentions are still there. So, what can I say? It’s been a busy few weeks, and progress on the book remains rather slow, although there has been some (!) in recent days and I feel that I know more about, and can certainly talk at greater length about, Rome in the 1930s that I could a year ago. This suggests that my research is going somewhere and that I’m starting to link up some of the original ideas I had when I started the project. Resolution Two for the year, then, will be to keep up the habit of writing whenever time and circumstances permit, instead of thinking that such a thing as a distinct ‘research day’ can be found in the term’s timetable. I’ve come to think that it can’t, but if anyone can prove me wrong please get in touch! Resolution Three will be to not feel bad about doing this. Hopefully this will give me more to write about in coming weeks. In the meantime, a very Happy New Year to all!