The best of the season to all who’ve participated or expressed interest in this year’s (and next’s!) MLS courses. You’ve helped to make this whole year something of a Christmas party for me, for which I thank you all heartily. Since, as Oscar Wilde once observed, no good deed should go unpunished, here’s a little (by my standards, anyway) piece I’ve written to round off this year’s endeavours. It combines family memories (if you reckon you can survive the idea of seven-year-old me in feetie pajamas, read on) with some metaphysical speculations I’ve been dallying with for a long while. Like most of the essays I’ve produced lately, it got a little out of hand, but it was a joy to write. You have been warned . . . but if you do have a look, I hope you enjoy what you find.