Thank you for thinking about me and for your thoughtful message. You can be sure that I think about and pray for you and yours every day.
As for being happy - or allowing myself to be happy: The fact is that I am probably much happier than you imagine. My life is not filled with myriad satisfactions; but those that I do have loom very large.
I had a conversation with Gabe this week in which I was at pains to point out that, in spite of my creakiness, I never feel sorry for myself. More than that, I regard the obligation to be grateful as devotional - as a form of prayer. To reflect on one's sense of gratitude makes it very difficult to be depressed or anxious - at least with respect to my own circumstances. I do have profound anxieties about the moral, political and economic crises in the Western World; but not even Obama's re-election made me suicidal.
I have great hope that Christianity's great capacity for renewal will work wonders in this fallen world. It is growing apace (though persecuted) in Africa. I often think about your friend Matthew and rejoice in the fact that South Korea is 50% Christian and that Korean Christians are such energetic evangelists and missionaries. As China becomes increasingly economically significant, Chinese Christians will too.
There is still a heartening intellectual dynamism in the USA - dozens of institutes and foundations committed to the combat of moral relativism and statist politics. Ideas are incredibly powerful.
UKIP continues to grow in the UK. And there is this amazing blog, Raleigh Street, which is read by nearly half a dozen people each week! I am so glad that I had the good sense to resume it.
I don't see as much as I would like of you and Jonny and your enchanting boys, or of Gabriel and Sam and their delightful womenfolk. Nevertheless, you all contribute to my happiness.
What's more, I love my little house, only 100 yards from St Ann's.
I still haven't decided finally to visit you in the New Year but am inclining to doing so - and visiting Sam and Emily in Singapore on the way back.
Sloppy kisses to you all; and give my regards to Matthew.
Your very loving father-in-law, Chris