So the year ends with my somehow being awarded an MBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours List for "services to cultural interests in China". Who'd have thought? Feels strange, a bit embarrassing (especially telling people and posting this), but nice - especially the well-wishes and a lovely phone call from Mary & Andrew.
Actually, I was informed three weeks ago when my Director called me into her office. I thought I'd done something wrong but turned out to be quite the opposite. Asked whether I wanted to accept it, it didn't occur to me to say no (although plenty have, including John Lydon and David Bowie).
So a summer trip to Buckingham Palace beckons. And the really nice thing is that Liz and the girls get to go too. And there's the chance we might get to meet a couple of my heroes, Kate Bush and Richard Long (both CBEs).
One last thing. In the very long list of names, we came across Liz's cousin, Michael Cyril Truran, who got an OBE "for voluntary services to Bioscience". So it's a double family celebration.