The break was quite wonderful. I'd like to thank the Dish's guardian angel, Patrick Appel, and his co-under-blogger, Chris Bodenner, for mastering the craft so effortlessly, and Dick, Richard and Lane for their prolific and diverse and honest posts. As Patrick wrote, I'm sure you'll visit them in their Atlantic blog from now on.

As for me, it is hard to describe the experience of the long-distance blogger who takes a short rest for a while. A few will know - Mickey, Glenn, and Josh come to mind. Your brain feels like an arm after it's liberated from resting against a wall for a few minutes. You feel bouncy at first then heavier than ever. And just as you start to feel normal again ... it's back to Typepad we go.

It's less the constant attempt to think, or to try to think, about everything while it's still happening all the time, it's the constant emotional and intellectual exposure to the world. More and more people experience this - Facebook, anyone? - but there's an intensity to the high-traffic, high-volume, one-person blog (even with the indispensable Chris and Patrick) that takes its toll on the psyche. You lose the space to wander in your own thoughts in silence, without the constant humiliation of time and public error. You lose solitude. If you're like me, that's a big loss most of the time.

I read a lot at home, I spent time with Aaron and the dogs, a friend and his wife came in to town and we hung and watched bad movies and basketball and went for a bike ride and visited the zoo. (If you ever need a little perspective, the Great Ape House is invaluable.) I became a Kindle addict (about which more later), and transitioned to new HIV meds (the old ones were working but the side-effects on the heart and kidneys are less onerous now). There were a couple of days last week in Washington that were about as sublime as it gets in this city before the soup of summer moves in. It's the light in the evening through the new leaves that grabs me at this time of year. I think it brings back the late summer nights in the English countryside where I grew up - but there's a quality to the slanted green light in Rock Creek in the May evenings that always makes me feel at home.

As I do coming back here. Missed you.