Thursday, 29 January 2009

Hockey and TV

Yesterday evening, we went to a hockey match.
Ice hockey.
The Vancouver Canucks played like shit, and that's the official opinion, not just mine. But I was totally impressed by the efficient way a huge sea of people were moved from the stadium onto the skytrain station and then onwards. I was also impressed by how good-humoured the fans were. Me, I was cranky, prickly, tired and had a pain in my stomach - well, to be fair, I had eaten too much during the game.

Today was the first of the winter programmes at work. As the class arrived, a dad was on one knee with a professional-looking camera taking pics of everything - and he carried on doing the same. So neither of us noticed when the camera got bigger and had a light on it...and in fact we didn't notice that it wasn't the same chap at all, and in fact, that the camera was a TV camera.
So, elbow-deep in small children and plaster animal footprints, with our most manic smiles, we could be on TV next week, fortunately on a channel no-one watches.

Oh, and the funniest item on the morning news today was this, apparently already going viral on YouTube.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Plus de Neige

I've missed the snow, thank goodness it's back.

Yesterday however, before the snow, it was so bitterly cold that I took my gloves off in the greengrocer's and my fingers were in immediate pain.

God I'm tired.

We're watching the first ep of the last series of the L-Word. The most annoying character is dead, but then everyone already knew that. The baby is bigger and even uglier than ever.

By morning the snow will be gone, but not the jetlag.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Arthur and George

And I'm back. From London to Brighton to Pompey to Vancouver in just four short days, well, travelling both shortens and lengthens days.

Thursday I came back from Brighton, Friday, Austen took me to the station at seven and by midday I was sitting on a plane. The weather was crazy, freezing, beating rain as I left, bright and sunny as I arrived here.

I have read two great books whilst I was away. I have already mentioned 'The Bookseller of Kabul' by Asne Seierstad. Although this is written as the story of one Afghan family, whose patriarch is the eponymous bookseller, it is not fiction. The author spent months living with this family and documenting their stories and details of their lives. As a westerner she was accorded privileges that Afghan women are not, and she moved freely between the male and female worlds of this suffocating expression of Islam.

The other book has equally had me gripped, and it too is a true hostory wrapped up by a master storyteller, in this case, Julian Barnes.
'Arthur and George' is about a cause célèbre at the end of the nineteenth, beginning of the twentieth centuries, and the actual involvement of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a one time resident of Pompey - which gets ample mention.
Both books have been mightily difficult to put down.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009


I'm off to London town in a few minutes, and then to Brighton tomorrow, so I'll be without internet for a couple of days.
Shucks, how did our forbears manage?

This morning, I took Teddy and Ellie to the Southsea Natural History Museum, and what an amazing find this was. Considering what a tiny town Southsea itself is, to find a tiny museum as well set out as this is well, just bonzer. Dunno why I went all Aussie there, but there you go.

It was also fun to revisit some of the streets around where I used to live - albeit at as top speed I could manage whilst pushing a buggy. And of course to see the sea. You beaut. Urgh, it happened again.

I have almost finished reading a book that everyone needs to read, 'The Bookseller of Kabul'. It is strangely written, since in translation, but it expands if you like, from firsthand experience, the peek we get at Kabul from 'The Kite Runner' and 'A Thousand Splendid Suns'. And Oh.My.God. I intend to write more about this extraordinarily powerful book, but right now, Fratton station beckons,

Anyhoo, no updates until Thursday.
Toodle Pip.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

A Night at the Mansions

There was a certain amount of amusement at Sleepy Mansions last night, and at Sleepy's expense, on hearing that Gail had sent her a message to say that a mutual acquaintance had moved back to Pompey.
Said Mutual Acquaintance is a seventh level Sith nutcase and as such will be magnetically drawn to Sleepy's personal gravity well. In short, my friend Sleepy is a fruitcake magnet.
Amusement that is, until this afternoon when I myself was walking towards Palmerston Road and the realisation dawned upon me that I too draw nutters as a white sofa will draw black cat hairs.
I felt the hairs prickle on the back of my neck and I had one of those Jaws journeys where at any moment the black fin could appear from the water.
But it was simple paranoia and the only person I met that I knew was a friend.

I was astonished to last until 1 last night. When I left the Château for Sleepy Mansions, I could have easily gone to bed, the more so since as Ben and I turned the corner onto Rue Albert, we got blown right back to Kansas. Or, was that some other more inebriated time?
Anyroad, the wind was blowing at gale force and the rain was horizontal.

But Aliens Road has some sort of contagious insomniac effect going on and in spite of periodical buzzing in my head telling me to find somewhere to lie down and sleep, once we got talking, I made it to an hour I rarely see even when not jet-lagged.

Saturday, 17 January 2009


January is speeding along, as is my trip.
I met up with my friend Karen today. The two of us have known each other since Infant School and now we're middle-aged ladies. Well, almost middle-aged. I realised as we said goodbye, that I probably wouldn't see her again this year.

Elsewhere in the world, silliness continues unabated. The F-Word blog reports that the American Life League is accusing the Krispy Kreme doughnut company of secretly coding a pro-abortion message into their promotion to mark Obambi's inauguration. 'A free doughnut of choice to every customer,' apparently in fact means, 'get your abortion doughnut here.'
I know.
You couldn't make this stuff up, but clearly someone else could.

From Sleepy's blog, I get the story of the ridiculous Pope Satan the first and his idiocy last year in re-introducing a latin prayer for Good Friday to pray for the conversion of the Jews. Presumably those of them left after the Nazi party he was briefly a junior member of, had finished a different way of making sure there were fewer.
There has also been talk of beatifying the Pope who did nothing to stop the holocaust. Don't mention the war then.
What intense silliness.

I read in the Graun, that 'Wetlands', a novel recently translated from the German has been published in English. The author, or anti-heroine or whatever she is, advises us to dibble our fingers in our womanly juices and dab it behind our ears. This, it seems, has an amazing effect on those you meet and greet by kissing on both cheeks. I bet it does.
'Eeuw,' would be my response, 'get away from me.'

Thursday, 15 January 2009


Brighton, an interesting city, sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a weird and not always sociably acceptable way. Fashionable though. Although large hats, as sported by Dr. Seuss's character I feel are outside of fashion.

When listing things I had forgotten about the other day, I had forgotten about the Lollipop man or lady - but lo, there he is, Cap'n Birdseye, helping the young, the old and the simply confused to cross the road.

Edie Sedgewick tights seem to be de rigueur at the moment, although I'm told they're leggings, not tights by she who knows. Look like tights to me. You'd have to have a damn fine figure to wear 'em.

British Rail and their toilets. The train from Pompey to Havant had no toilets working, a fact they announced, requiring that passengers should come and tell the guard should an, 'extended stop' be required.
At Havant, such a thing was requested, and a man got off the train to do just that.

But the gents was Out of Order and the ladies' was occupied.
'Go and tell the guard,' I advised - sagely in my opinion. As he was talking to the guard, a lady came out of the toilet and I signalled to him to hurry in.
'Thanks,' he said to me as he came out of the loo, but frankly, he could have shown his gratitude by not peeing on and around the seat and by washing his hands before touching the door handle.

In Brighton, I needed to eat. But how do you judge an eatery when you don't know the place and there are literally dozens of them? You go on how clean they look don't you? Sadly, this didn't work either, first one we went into offered only Mexican food and we were ignored, so we went out again.

Dinner was from Waitrose, emporium of culinary delight.
'Do you want some beer?' I asked Ben, envisioning a six pack, we did, after all, have to carry everything back to his flat. Turned out Ben could carry an entire 24 pack of Grolsch, plus the groceries and the stuff from Boots - not an insignificant haul.

Back at 'impecunious music student villas' there is a TV, but they're not allowed to plug it into the arial, since they have chosen NOT to purchase a licence. Thus everyone who stays has to divvy up for a DVD from the cheapo place down the street. I got a film, 'Magicians' for four quid, it starred Mitchell and Webb, of 'Peep Show' fame. Funny, it was funny.

But tonight - I'm back in Pomponius. Pompernickel.
How d'ya like yer seagull, fried or boiled?

And you know what, I still haven't licked the jetlag yet.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Gorund Control to Major Tom

A couple of relaxed days, involving, mostly, eating and sleeping and a visit to Sleepy Mansions.
I was also formally presented at court, or rather, not court so much as Kindergarten classroom. I was presented to Miss Gregory, Holly's teacher.

On the way back from Sleepy Mansions, I saw what I thought was a sheep on a lead, but on closer examination, and I did peer let me tell you, it turned out to be a dog with chickeny black legs sticking out of an elaborately sheep-like doggy coat. Quite surreal.

I swear there are even more Indian food places on Rue Albert. I don't think I've seen that Bangladeshi/Indian one before, maybe I just haven't noticed it.

And the past couple of days have reminded me of things I knew, took for granted and yet have almost forgotten.
That posties ride bikes, Waitrose is a fabulous food Emporium, disgusting people don't always pick up after their pooches, churches and pubs abound in residential areas, that Italy and France make phenomenal cheeses (whilst just calling your company something in Italian doesn't make your cheese better), that Italian waiters make you feel comfortable without annoying informality, that ATMs dispense tenners as well as twenties, that Chavs still exist and that teachers work ridiculous hours.

Now the Prince Harry thing seems a bit out of order. I imagine the remarks were made in an 'inner circle' kind of setting. I know that my youngest son has many friends of Pakistani origin and is allowed to refer to them within the circle, just as they themselves do, as 'pakis'. At one point, my blonde-haired, blue-eyed son happily and continually wore a T-shirt that proclaimed he was 'proud to be Pakistani'.
There are many examples of this, not so much the T-shirt wearing, but the inner circle of friends being allowed to use language that those outside are not. The problem comes when other members of the inner circle are not so loyal, and that's my guess at what's happened here.

Tomorrow I go to Brighton, so, co-incidentally, does Sleepy, but she's going too early for my plans.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Normal Connectivity

I'm such a wimp when the part of my life that is held on the laptop aren't functioning properly. I claim the jetlag amendment.
Last night I was awake at four something, but then went back to sleep around 7.30 ish. When I woke up, I knew what to do to cure the network blues. Ok, I knew because Kevin had told me about four times, but Gott sei Dank, it worked.

Yesterday we went to the Natural History Museum. This is an absolutely amazing National Resource, and free too. Because of those two things, and the ice-carving competition going on outside, by mid-afternoon, it was intolerably crowded and so we left and looked for a café. Sadly, those were all intolerably crowded too.

In the evening we all went to an Italian Restaurant, which in my opinion, is rather suitable for family dinners. We ate well. By the time we got home, all the kids were asleep in the car and Alex and I rushed off to buy some Baileys before the offie closed.

Today we took it easy. A gentle wander as far as Waitrose. A party tea for Teddy when his grandpa came round, and some collaborative essay writing with Alex. Sue made this AMAZING cake.
I offer some photographic proof of a couple of these activities.

Friday, 9 January 2009

The Old Lag

Jet lag, one of those catchall words that covers a multitude of sins. I've been awake since before 5, so decided to improve the shining hour and crash and burn later.

Montreal is an incredible city, and really does have a different feel from other Canadian cities. The people dress quite differently, more like London really, and the hats! Not the dreadful old baseball cap that is so ubiquitous, but Rude Boy hats, Alley Cat hats, Jazz hats, even the RCMP here wear their hats, and of course the trapper hats with the earflaps.
Even the less well-off have a certain style.

And this was without even being able to get into the city proper.

I lost track of time. Thursday, was it Thursday? Checkout was midday then back on the shuttle bus to the airport with all my luggage. At the airport however, checkIN wasn't until 15.40, so I had much time to feel like a bag lady. And it certainly gave me a tiny, teeny, titchy bit of an insight into the that problem for the homeless during the cold weather, where they wouldn't go into shelters that made them leave their supermarket trolleys with all their worldly goods outside.

Post check-in though, my airport world was transformed.

Either to compensate for inconveniences suffered, or because they were the only seats they had (cynical, moi?) we were put in business class. So...we were allowed in the executive lounge. What luxury. The rest of the day went in a delightful haze of free food and drink and leather armchairs, free newspapers from around the world, and watching the snow ploughs clear the runway. I also talked with a really nice couple from Wiltshire and the time seemed to fly by. When it was time, we just sauntered onto our plane to be pampered some more, with champagne. The flight attendant came round with a tray on which were actual glasses of orange juice and sparkling wine.
'Orange juice,' she said, 'or AMERICAN champagne?'
The chairs tipped back and the legrests came out so far and there was so much space, that we were more or less lying down. It was crazily comfortable. There was a booklet menu to choose from for food.
Lush it was, lush.

Then British Rail. How easy it is to forget the ongoing sense of humour of people here. How much fun quite ordinary interactions are. Eeveryone needs to get plugged into it from time to time.

Today we're letting the train take the strain again, it's Teddy's birthday and we're off to the Natural History Museum.


Just a quick post to say that I'm here, finally. At the moment, my laptop isn't playing nicely with Austen and Sue's network, but I will post soon.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009


Well, I've arrived ...just not yet in England. No, I am in Montréal. It's snowing, so that's kind of good.

Our flight crew kept trying to get information from Montreal airport about connecting flights, but none came back. Before we 'de-planed' we were told that an 'agent' from the airline would be waiting for us as we got off the plane.
We went to customer services, who just told us to go to the departure gate, so we did. Virtually ran there. The plane had indeed been delayed and we could see it sitting there waiting.
BUT...we couldn't get on without an Air Canada rep. One had been paged.
None came.
It was a lie anyway, apparently once the doors have been closed, that's it, like contaminating a crime scene, the security clearance of the crew would have been compromised.
We tried to go back to customer services, but we couldn't get back past security, we needed a rep.
None came.
Apparently, we might have bought Duty Free, even though it wasn't open and you have to let them scan your boarding pass when you buy anything, so presumably that's fairly checkable, after all, isn't that the point of computerisation?

Finally, finally, someone arrived. He led us out of the departures gate and back through customs. He gave us a special number to ring so that we could 'get a special rate' because we were stranded overnight. Yes folks, they don't even put you up in an hotel.

The shuttle to the hotel - an old style minibus such as used to transport kids from Mayhem to...well, wherever they were going to cause mayhem - was driven...ok, you know how the French French drive, right? Well like that, only through snow. Hmmm..

We're booked on the same flight tomorrow - let's keep fingers crossed on that one. Apparently, they 'don't fly to Europe in the morning,' well, why would you?

Ok, well, if you're reading this, it's because ..for some reason you read my blog...but also because the inernet actually works in the rooms. this space.

So Finally...

...a `plane has shown up at our gate. I`m not holding my breath, but I am certainly keeping my fingers crossed. Of course, in some ways, at least right now I`m at YVR WITH internet and power. Who knows what Trudeau airport might or might not hold.....

Tuesday, 6 January 2009


Why, I wonder, is air travel not more relaxing. I mean here I am, in a bloody lovely lounge, clean, big windows through which I can see enormous and thus fascinating aeroplanes, there is a HUGE-screen HD TV showing News broadcasts - and I can see the point of a very large screen in an airport lounge. I have my travel bag full of divertimento, books, magazines, my laptop, and there are a few little shops within easy striking distance, including a café.
Blimey, and I have just realised that I actually am online.
Ok, well, already we know that the flight to Montréal is delayed by an hour and there are no seats on any other flights for those of us going on to London, so we have to hope that our flight leaving Montréal is also delayed. We're at the mercy of...oh, who knows what bizarre forces.


So, off to Mighty Blighty in the am. Hopefully. You know how 'they' always tell you not to fret about the things you can't do anything about? Yeah, well, I can't do that. So, I have to change planes at Montreal with only 50 minutes in between. What could possibly go wrong?
Watch this space, and if nothing else appears, I'm doing a Tom Hanks at Trudeau airport.

Before that, I have to pack a mountain into two small suitcases. Good thing I've got that Mary Poppins thing working. Maybe. We'll see.

Today the rain came, big, persistent, pounding rain. So now the snow and the rain are battling it out, to date, neither is winning, but the roads are a shocking mess. Our car park at work was in its worst ever state. The car literally rocked across it like a small boat. I had a last few items to buy, chocs, a Bible, some peanut butter. The usual stuff, bit like the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's towel really. And in fact, I was astonished to find that you could actually buy a version of the Bible called, 'The Backpacker's Bible'. But I didn't. Although... it did look like a rather fancy Filofax. Hmm...which nowadays is a Blackberry I guess.

I love that you can check-in online now and just print off your own boarding pass. That takes away some of the annoy-dom of the whole process. I could have had it sent to my mobile phone by SMS, but I'm not quite there yet.

Ah well.

Still waiting for an Epiphany.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Last of the Whisky Mac

The snow weighs so heavily on the trees in the park that they are bent right down to the ground.

Still, the good news is that the snow is travelling ahead of me and has hit Britain. I'm doing some Jedi mind tricks and whatnot to draw it down south. Very south. As south as it gets.

Anyway, it's not all good news, it seems the Milky Way (not the chocolate one) is going to collide with the Andromeda Galaxy sooner than expected. In just seven billion years in fact. Oops.

The decs are down. The lights are stowed. The cards and Advent calendar recycled. Mince pies scoffed.
Christmas is over. Roll on Fake Christmas!

Sunday, 4 January 2009

700 - 300

I was listening to the radio in the car yesterday, and a Vancouver man was talking about how he had organised a party and invited everyone on his Facebook - 700 in all. You can organise events through Facebook and people can say whether they are coming, not coming, or if they are a definite maybe. The chap himself pointed out that when you get a physical invitation, there isn't usually a 'maybe' option.
About sixty people said they would come.
One turned up.
This taught him something about the nature of 'friendships' on Facebook. I thought it was quite brave of him to talk about it on the radio.

It also made me think about the nature of friendship in general on the internet. I have friends that I have known in real life for a long time who write blogs and I love having the access to their lives that blogs give. Like having permission to read their diaries. And then there are people I know just from reading their blogs, and sometimes, those blogs disappear, like a twinkle in the night sky you're used to, just blinking out. But I still feel as though I've lost a contact that I enjoyed.

But the man on the radio - well, I was glad of the distraction. Since (finally) watching 'La Vie en Rose' - oddly, the English translation of the French 'La Môme', the story of Edith Piaf's life, I have had 'Non, je ne regrette rien,' stuck in my head. Not too bad, but like songs that stick in your head, I only know the first eight lines, so it's a short loop, the short loop to madness.

I can't remember where I was reading this, probably some local rag, but, writing about the Hamas leader who had been killed during a retaliatory strike by Israel, the 'short stocky man' who would swagger around the city wearing a utility belt of grenades as he trained suicide bombers, was described as 'darkly bearded'.
Now far be it from me to stereotype....oh, ok then, in a heartbeat I would do that, but seriously, although you do meet fair-haired Israelis, not so much chez les Arabes. And I thought that beardy-weirdiness was what stopped you getting abused (in the case of women) and / or killed (in the case of beardless men). So the description seems somewhat unnecessary. I mean, 'the clean-shaven blonde man,' now THAT would have been worth mentioning.

Another film we have now (finally) watched, is 300. I loved this film, utterly, utterly loved it. I always admired the Spartans and the art of this film was inspiring too.
But how much I had forgotten from history. Not that Persia came into our field of study at primary school on a very detailed level, but all of the early civilisations at least got a mention, and the Persian empire was extensive, not just Iran in those days.
I do clearly remember learning a song about Leonidas combing his hair - something that the King of Persia was warned to fear. I didn't notice any hair combing however.

Guess what the weather's doing right now? Yeppers. Snowing.
The shelter at the church has been home to up to thirty, including one young woman who is preganant. I can't even begin to imagine what it's like being homeless and pregnant.

We're not so snowy that polar bears have come down from the Arctic, that's just a totally gratuitous bear.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Other Lives

I think I may have been a polar bear in a previous life.

The snow started again last night before I went to bed. When I got up, I noticed that the pavements, and ruts in the ice on the road that had shown through, were now covered in snow.
It stopped around the time Colin and Justin stopped showing off, but soon after, started up again and has been going all day. And I'm still as excited about it as I was at first fall.

Yesterday I went out for a walk on the trails. Walk may be rather an oversimplification. You know those dreams where you are moving through something viscous and not really getting anywhere? Yes, it was like that. I soon became annoyed with myself for wearing a coat. I neither wanted to wear it, nor carry it, but I had no choice.
I saw an eagle. It was very high up, but I could clearly see its white head and tail feathers.

The experience made me a tad, but only a tad, sympathetic to those who get lost in the snow. Even knowing the trail as well as I do, and as clearly cut as it is, with everything covered in snow, there were places where it wasn't clear which way the path led.
But another two skiers lost their lives on Whistler mountain because they didn't follow the instructions of signs telling them not to go off piste, that there were restrictions because of snow conditions.
Today, four people had to be rescued on Grouse mountain because they were where they were expressly told by staff not to go. They are being charged with the cost of the rescue operation and are now claiming they hadn't needed to be rescued anyway. Jerks.

Another thing we did on hectic New Year's Eve was too go to a Chinese Restaurant. This is more daunting than it sounds since here, the Chinese restaurants are full of Chinese people, all talking loudly in their native tongues, and no-one offers you a set meal for six people.
We went with a friend who is Chinese and who did the necessary. Although I refuse to use them myself, chopsticks do render a meal convivial when used by the Chinese. It is their very ungainlyness that renders this. Chopsticks are just pointy shovels really, like eating with spoons but without the spoon part. So there is no ceremony. No-one's watching to see of you're tilting your soup bowl in the right direction, everyone's just slurping and shovelling, sucking up noodles and picking things up with their fingers. The tablecloth is a war zone. Even the Chinese cannot pour efficiently from their own teapots.
And the best thing of all is - there's no Mexican standoff over the last piece of any dish.

My own personal jury's still out on the Hijab. Is it or isn't it? I don't know, but so long as women wear it because they WANT to, then fair do's.
But now, I feel there is definitely a feminist side to Muslim women. There is a court case in London where a Muslim woman is suing an ex-employer for firing her for refusing to wear a dress that would have been to revealing. I hope she wins, it is good for all of us, like the two sisters who fought and won because they were discriminated against because at a certain level in certain city jobs, business is done in pubs and strip clubs. It shouldn't be. It simply reinforces the Old Boys' Club.

And the Poinsettia. What to do about the Poinsettia. By Twelfth Night, the decs must be down and the Christmas foliage out of the house along with the mischievous spirits they have collected. The holly and the ivy are usually in a dessicated state by that stage in the game, but the dear old Poinsettia IS game and has held its own. It seems just wrong to dump it out into the snow.

Well, I figure it's OK to leave it. The plant is indigenous to Guatemala and Mexico apparently and thus must have been unknown to the Celtae who set the rules of, I mean Yuletide.

Outside, the whine, whine, whine of some huge boat-like car spinning its wheels as it fails to move anywhere. It's probably more difficult to rock a car like that using just the gears.

I'm not initially enthused by the new Doctor Who. David Tennant would most certainly have been an almost impossible act to follow, but this chap looks more suitable for a vampire part. But then without the magical partnership of Russell Davis and David Tennant, well, we'll see, we'll just see.
The afterglow of truly golden days can fade fast.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year one and all - may it bring us all wisdom, clarity, insight and personal peace, and not necessarily those found at the bottom of a bottle.

New Year's Eve was somewhat hectic.

At work, we had the ratcatcher in. He sat outside in his van, smoking up the cab. When he came into the building, rank with dead rat smell, he announced that he couldn't smell anything. My colleague, a smoker herself, assured me that when you had just come from your smoke-filled cab, it was guaranteed you could smell nothing.

His first port of call was the roof. Only his ladder wasn't long enough. Colleague found him a longer ladder.
'I can't go underneath the building if it's too wet,' he told us in his French-Canadian accent.
'That rat isn't lying in water,' my colleague told him, 'that rat is stinking because it's drying out and the smell is being sent along the heating ducts.' He went under the building.
'I found nothing,' he said. He was subjected to the Spanish Inquisition but eventually we had to let him go.
'Happy New Year,' he said,
'Et Bonne Année,' I replied.
'This sounds French,' he said,
'Yes,' said my colleague, 'did you think we couldn't tell?'
'I'm from Brazil,' he told us and then entered into a good-humoured account of some differences between the Spanish of other South American countries and the Portuguese of Brazil.
Fair do's.

In the afternoon I had my hair chopped short. The hairdresser's was hectic. The world and her partner were in there.

In the evening, despite threats of more snow, we drove to North Vancouver to our friends' home, where the men cooked a fabulous meal and we women, well, we just sat around putting the world to rights.

When we left, the snow had started, so we drove the whole distance at 40, trying not to brake except when some joker pulled over in front of us without warning.
ABS is scary until you get used to it.

This morning we lay in bed and watched a film - my motivation for not drinking and driving home last night was so that I could lie a-bed this morning.
'Conspiracy' - a film from 2001 and starring Kenneth Branagh and Stanley Tucci as Heydrich and Eichmann, planning the 'Final Solution'. A film that was set in one room and yet which engaged and wrung every emotion from you. When Branagh as Heydrich has bent all to his will, he calmly picks up a long-playing record of Shubert. 'Listen to this,' he tells Eichmann, 'it will tear your heart from you.'
The man most despairing at what he is a part of is Doktor Wilhelm Kritzinger, played with the greatest of skill by David Threlfall, Frank, from 'Shameless'.
A mighty piece of work and worthy of the profession.

Christmas is nearly over. And so is the snow. More flurries tomorrow and tomorrow night, but it's melting, slowly.