Dear John John,

It was on this day, 1 year ago, that you began the next leg of your journey. A journey through places free of the constraints of the laws that govern physical matter, a journey free of the need to make seat reservations with Malaysian Air.

On one of your amazing bikes with its auto-gear-changer, in Milton Keynes.

I’ve missed you this year. It was always a great comfort to know that you were just along the line at Kichijoji, when you weren’t off galavanting the globe, collecting stories of princes and pianists.

I would have loved to have had you here, to mull over my changing impressions of Japan this past year. To share with you my insider information on the education system, and to go on expeditions to try and sort out some technical problem with your satellite TV.

I know you are still with us here in Japan, as you are in the myriad of places you have been with your biscuits and black bag. It’s been a comfort.

Thank you.