Saturday 27th December. Portsmouth, England.

Isn't life funny? This is a personal webpage, and those of you who are used to reading my updates will know that I'm very honest with my writing. What I feel is what I write, and apart from a couple of very private moments over the last six months, everything I go through in my travels- every thrill, every joy, every pain, every frustration- it all ends up on this page. I guess I think of the readers of this page as my friends, which a good many are. However, there are some things that are too personal to be splayed over a worldwide media, so without going into too much detail, let me just say that these last two weeks have been the most turbulent weeks of my life, and I'm emerging from them slightly scathed from the experience. It may be some time before this page regains the spirit you may be used to.

Ten days ago, as I sipped a cappuccino outside Harts of Kensington, The Savage Files travel project died a sudden death. It was over. There was no next destination. Decisions had to be made, they were made, and my life would never be the same again. Life is funny though, as I say. Since then, my life has been turned upside down, and back again. Where I go from here I just don't know. I would've jumped on the next plane to Australia, if not for a planned reunion with an old friend in the first week of January. Alex, my old kibbutz roommate, is bound for London on the 4th, and I haven't seen him for seven years. He was a great roommate and a dear friend, and as much as I want to be home right now, I wouldn't miss catching up with him for anything.

What 2004 holds for me, who knows. I'm working on a New Years Resolution. Maybe I should re-use an old resolution that I made after Makiko left me. I resolved to expect everything in my life that year to turn to crap. That way, when things didn't work out as I'd hoped, I wasn't disappointed. On the occasions that something actually turned out okay, I was chuffed, as the English say.

So I needed somewhere to chill for a couple of days. Ann, a reader from Portsmouth on the southern coast, had invited me to come and stay with her and her family. I wasn't able to give her much notice, but she said that was okay; it'd give her an excuse to do the post Christmas cleaning up. Ann shares her home with her two daughters; one a teenager and the other a toddler. The only condition imposed on my stay is that I promise to put the toilet seat down!