Right, I’m out of here for a while. Holidays in the Harry household involve quite a bit of travelling around and I’m off to Budapest for Christmas and then I’m in East Lancashire for New Years – so posting, from me at least, is going to be light over the next week or so.

I’ve got a review of the (blogging) year thing that I want to post at some stage but for now I’d just like to thank you all for showing interest in what I and the others have put together here over the past year.

I’ve continued to enjoy wading through the huge amount of information, knowledge, opinion and ideas that can be found through this medium and thanks to all of you who have gone to the trouble of emailing and sending in links, suggestions and criticism. Thanks also to the other bloggers on this expanding network for collectively creating a giant daily debating forum across all the sites – it is a privilege being part of it.

And yes, thanks to those of you in the comments boxes who add your own touch to this site. I was quite interested the other week to come across an item on the website of the poet and translator George Szirtes about our comments boxes:

I spent some time reading political blogs, mostly Harry’s Place, which is like a brawl in the corner of an intellectual beer cellar. The amount of time people spend contending with each other there, quoting articles, referring to other sources. You would think it was vanity (you would think so, you probably do think so, if you are female), a kind of bloky competition for top dog, but I am inclined to view it differently.

I suggest that men contend on such matters because they actually want to test ideas. The competition involved in testing sharpens such ideas, however like bragadoccio it might seem or actually be, it is what has made the male of the species inventive, restless, enquiring. You get the good effects as well as the bad ones. But hence air travel, hence vacuum cleaners, hence mousetraps, hence the Pazzi Chapel etc etc. You just have to put up with a bit of shouting and the occasional fisticuffs.

I think that might be a generous interpretation from George but that is certainly what online political discussion should be about and is about on our better days.

Anyway, for those of you who I won’t be raising a glass of palinka with or sharing a pint or two with – have a good one.