One of the things that the RA has always done well is celebrate Christmas (well, of course, now it does everything well). I remember my astonishment when I first arrived to discover that much of the inventiveness and creativity of the staff was devoted to making costumes based on an exhibition From Russia, which at the time hadn’t happened and was under threat of not doing so. I went as a Russian general. This year, the Christmas party doubled as my leaving party and I had the infinite sadness of watching a short, but brilliant film of my doppelgangers everywhere in the RA. No more. My office has been packed up. My intray has been emptied. All that remains is for me to return my outfit to the National Theatre costume store and say farewell.