Friday, 16 December 2011

The run up

Friday 16th December. 2011

Racing around, writing cards, wrapping, wrapping, wrapping, finding gift tags, sticking on old ones that I've had in the bottom of the wardrobe since the 1970s, sending out cards in reply to cards from people who weren’t on my list, giving out gifts and going out every night.

I bought myself some Dover sole a few days ago and haven’t been home enough to eat them – that is how I like my life to be.

This run up to Xmas is almost the best bit, an exhausting, breathless canter up to Midnight Mass, the big lunch, and then – what? I used to go into mourning for Christmas Day for about three weeks after but I have come to like the tranquillity of Boxing Day, which shows how old I am.

I was busy wrapping the last few presents whilst listening to a Radio 4 play about the founding of the EU after the war, as an iron and steel agreement, by someone appropriately named Jean Monnet, who wanted economic integration as a way to avoid future war, ie to stop Germany attacking France yet again.

During the play he implied that Britain had let France down during the war and was making unreasonable demands. Ces't plus change or whatever. Quite interesting but shameless propaganda from the BBC who must think we listeners are gullible fools.

Also to my delight today realised that the “bendy bus” has really gone. Not only did D Cameron go to Europe and do something to please the British public, but the mayor has also done what he said he would, and given us back something that looks like a real British bus.

Public transport which shifted from convenience to coercion, has now budged back to something on a recognisable human scale; in memory of the old London bus, these new ones are short, square, double decked, you are not allowed to jump on and off, but at least all the seats face the same way. No more of that horrible forced social engineering when passengers had to sit eye-balling each other. that was fun for psychopaths but tedious for the rest of us.

The 207 to Shepherd’s Bush was a kind of nightmare but now I no longer have to look directly into the ghastly faces of people from my worst nightmares, and they no longer have to look at me.

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