It was January 2016 and I was seated at a restaurant with some friends. We had our phones out, googling which Chinese year we were about to enter.

“The Year of the Monkey.”

We googled further to find out what that might mean, and the words that came up were all evocative of volatile change and cheeky unrest. I was struck by a description of how, when a monkey swings between two branches, there is always a point at which it is holding neither.

2016 has been my year of free falling.

It has swiftly become a cliché to say so, but 2016 has truly been the hardest year of my life. I’ve never been more mentally unwell, and Koeksisters was just one of the many arenas of my life that felt the repercussions. At times I used it as a creative refuge, at others it was a place to feel real when I all but didn’t exist, but mostly it was a vast and intimidating beast that haunted me silently as I failed to feed it.

Thanks to a cast of individuals – some I sought out for help, some I’ve known forever, and many I met through Koeksisters – I’ve reached a point where the future seems worth sticking around for again.

I’ve finally managed to grab the next branch.

Here’s to coming back to life. Here’s to a new website. Here’s to 2017.