So, Christmas 08 came and and is all but gone. And it was pretty fun, though as ever, when the time came to return, I was almost relieved.
I caught the train back on the 27th, which took five-and-a-bit hours due to the West Coast Line being rebuilt from scratch or something. My travelling companions for this journey were two slabs of the funkiest cheese since that Lipps Inc. tune – a wobbling disc of ripe Camembert, and a smaller, but scarcely less potent, roundel of goat's cheese named 'Petit Billy'. These were a gift from my brother Dan, brought back from the Alps, and though double-wrapped in tupperware boxes and a carrier bag, the aroma from the overhead luggage compartment was still just about noticable if you were looking out for it.
Also along for the ride was perhaps my favourite present ever – a wooden chough carved by my dad, 'Big Al'. You don't believe me? well here he is. Ladies and gentlemen may I present... Oreb
I've named him Oreb after the bird of the same name in Gene Wolfe's bizarre religious/science fiction epic The Book of the Long Sun. The bird in that was a red beaked 'night chough', an intelligent, crow like bird with the ability to utter short, two word phrases (fish heads? bird good? etc). I think this is a fictitious breed invented by Wolfe, and having dug around t'internet, I find that Oreb is actually the Hebrew name for a raven, so it might be a misnomer, but what the heck. A great gift, anyway, credit crunch or no.
Back in London, now. It's very cold, and very quiet. When I first arrived back, the house was freezing, due to one of the fellow inmates having left his bedroom window open. It felt like the derelict spacecraft in Sunshine. I can hardly believe it's going to be New Year's Eve in two days time, though no-one seems to be hugely fussed this year. I think I might be spending it in The Scolt's Head in DeBeauvoir Town, anyway, where Sam's DJing.
So if I don't blog before then, Happy New Year, to one and all.