I can never quite decide whether taking the three days off between Christmas and New Year really counts as a holiday. The resulting ten-day break is most welcome, naturally, but those who “work” in between (in office jobs, at any rate) impart wondrous tales of blessedly empty offices and extravagant two-hour lunches. On balance it is the futile attempt at catching up on a year’s worth of missed sleep that convinces me to take the time off.

It is a fair sign I have been working slightly too hard that, immediately upon stopping, I fell ill. An uncommon enough occurrence itself, this was some (chaotic) evil stomach bug that took about three days to kick, conveniently running right through Christmas. Between this and last year, I am considering blacklisting the holiday entirely. It is on notice.

Strangely what kept me going was a Skyrim fan’s efforts in porting all the short books contained within the game to ebook format. Loaded onto my tablet, I lay in bed reading the history, mythology and cautionary fables of an entirely fictional world to keep my mind occupied. The personal tale woven by the anonymously penned The Real Barenziah was a particular favourite, standing in sharp contrast to the official line in the Imperial approved Biography of Barenziah. And that is the perfect illustration of what makes the these games so special: that incredible level of detail in which the world is crafted. In each new Elder Scrolls game Bethesda will reproduce the books from previous entries while adding a host of new titles, now totalling some 13,500 pages of text that many (most?) players will never actually read.

Once recovered, I spent a pleasant few days catching up with friends in London and finally delving properly into Skyrim in the way I had expected a month ago (i.e. almost continuously). I saw in the New Year a few roads away at Adam’s new house, with a quick jaunt to Waterloo to watch the fantastic South Bank fireworks. There then followed the traditional struggle to return my sleeping habits to the socially accepted norm before returning to work. With moderate success.