Christmas was mostly boring, but had its points. Mainly there was a lot of sitting around in a mostly-empty house. When people were around and talking it was fine - it was good to see folk - but so many of my extended family have died over the years that there aren't many of us left. It was good to see Barney, although he's pretty frail and a bit isolated by his failing sight and hearing these days. He seemed in a good mood when we chatted, although I know he's been very lonely (unsurprisingly) since Agnes died. A cousin of his from New South Wales (one of many, apparently) has been in touch concerning his genealogy hobby - my Mum sent him various odds and ends, and he posted us what he already had. It was interesting to see the bit about what Barney did at Dieppes and on D-Day. He's never really talked to us much about the war, apart from about fatal training accidents and how useless he thought a lot of the officers were.

Kate was looking well. She's been fielding a lot of congratulations recently, and has already started her campaign (insofar as she went to see people in the relevant Labour clubs - wouldn't do to come over all local and then be a total absentee, now would it?).

My parents and brother were as usual - I see them fairly often, so there were no great surprises apart from having a screaming row with my mum on Christmas day. It blew over fairly quickly, but it was established that neither of us are going to be there next year - she's intent on spending it abroad, and I'm going to be right here on my arse in this seat, thank you very much.

I drove Helena and Lorna back here yesterday. Helena's intent on introducing me to a sax-playing friend of hers who was on some old Nick Cave record or other. The conversation was suitably apocalyptic - my conversations with Lorna always are. If drug addiction, prostitution or the death penalty don't get mentioned, then I start to think she's an imposter. All three arose on the journey.

Afterwards, bootpunk called and we arranged to go and see Riding Giants at the Filmhouse. Very fine it is, too, and the take-home message is "these surfers - they're all quite mad, you know".

Then, finally, darkstones' birthday party at the Citrus. This ran until two and was much fun. The music switched between bleepy and doofy (enlivened by nik_strychnine's new lyrics for Covenant songs), and some really rather fine non-bleepy stuff (including "In a rut"). Fiona's friend Marisa was there. I said hello, but she very wisely decided to run away from the creepy ancient bloke. Lara and Seth were there, Adele (and some weirdly normal guy she claims to think might be stalking her), Alex, Alex and Marianne, Caroline, Sharon, Paul and Donna (obviously) and probably loads of people I've criminally forgotten about. Walked home. Slept.

I hope yours went well too.

Finally, anniversary congratulations to turkmenbashi on his first five years as President-for-Life. We anticipate many decades - or, with current advances, perhaps even centuries - of leadership in his own inimitable style.
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  • Current Music: Bamberg Symphonic Orchestra under Georg Singer - Peer Gynt S
Indeed. That Soros is a funny bloke. I'm not entirely sure what to think about him. I think I remember hearing that Sheverdnaze was out, but I'm pretty sure I didn't notice the allegations of widespread foreign involvement until recently.
Thank you loyal western ally!

(P.S. Need a job? I have opening for Minister for Culture since I shot last one.)