TWELVE months ago I sent an email to the editor of the Thame Gazette as I had an itch to scratch.
He gave me a number for a very good clinic, but the itch I was actually talking about was the one that compelled me to write.
I have spent over a decade writing allegedly humorous articles. Sometimes controversial, usually stupid, but always in my own unique way.
My usual outlet had been taken away and I needed to write, it was as simple as that.
Thankfully the editor must have been on the Christmas sherry because he asked me to write a couple of sample articles, then let me loose on the public of Thame.
The brief was simple. Write what you like as long as it is local, topical and you don’t charge us for them.
I will be honest with you, I thought I might struggle. Was there enough news in Thame? Were there enough events to write about? How long before I dried up and reverted to the ’Cat stuck up tree’ headlines that fill gaps in local papers?
It has therefore been a massive pleasure for me to find so much going on in Thame.
Every week there seems to have been an event, a festival, a themed market or a bizarre decision by someone in authority to report on (or, more usually, mock).
Frankly, I thought Thame might be a bit dull but writing this column has made me fully appreciate the huge amount of good work going on round here.
We live in a thriving town with a high street that bustles despite the economy. The former owners of the Two Brewers, Spinning Top or Swan might disagree but the centre of town is a vibrant place, boosted by the occasional French or Italian Market Food Festival.
Music lovers have had the brilliant Towersey Festival and excellent Music in the Parks, not to mention Thame’s got Talent.
Sports fans can go and watch the excellent Thame United team in their immaculate home, or go and watch the Egg Chasing at Chinnor.
I have a game of bowls lined up to report back to you from the bowls club, and the tennis club continues to be ace. Our schools win awards, we have a new park, there are great places to eat and hidden gems like Lashlake Nursery to discover.
In short, it has been a pleasure to write these notes every week. If I have ruffled a few feathers along the way then I apologise, but you probably needed a bit of ruffling. It has been a great year and to celebrate I will buy a beer for anyone who finds me in a pub in Thame on New Year’s Eve and says ‘You are the Thamensian and I love you’.
Love you right back, Thame.