Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Cinq minutes pour la terre

Tomorrow in France, all the citizens are being asked to turn off all their electricity between 7.55 pm and 8 pm, the reason being that:

a) the new Intergovernmental Report on Climate Change by the United Nations (I’m translating this, so this could be a bit of a dodgy translation) is being presented in Paris;

b) to show the presidential candidates of the forthcoming elections that Climate Change should be a subject of governmental debate.

The Eiffel Tower is going to be turned off (it sparkles every hour once it gets dark for ten minutes) and a number of other Mairies (town halls) are participating in various ways as well. I’ll let you know how it went, and you can join in too if you want.

Monday, January 29, 2007


If the cold crept in and numbed my very soul,

Then the sun suffused my skin and washed it warm again.

If the moon caused my moods to sway back and forth like the ebbing tides,

Then the stars muted light offered hope and deliverance.

Copyright, 2007, Verilion

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Shalimar the Clown

Initially there is the first page judgement. You pick up a book and read the first few lines and see whether you get hooked. Then you read, over the course of that reading you may decide that a) this book is great, b) this book is pants or c) I’m not sure about this book. When you finish the book you return to the multiple choice question above. Next week, when you are still pondering over response a, b or c, you may slowly realise that actually this book is really rather good for having accompanied you this long. Next year when you are still recommending it as a ‘must read’ you realise it is really rather excellent. And in a few years time you realise there are parts of the writing that have reached inside of you and are now part of you.

I woke up this morning and decided that I would finish Shalimar the Clown a brief snippet here and a few pages caught there were no longer sufficient; it needed my full undivided attention. I hadn’t even given it the First Page Judgement. I saw that Rushdie had a new novel out and I wanted to read it. As I read it I vacillated between response a, b and c. Where was this book going? Why was the writing so different in each part? I wasn’t even sure that I liked any of the main characters. It’s a novel so full of violence, hatred and anger that by the end I felt desensitized and had almost forgotten that it began as a sensual love story. I felt I should be judging right or wrong, but didn’t even know where to begin and as I began to try and deconstruct and understand Rushdie’s aim I began to realise that he had achieved it: this is the story of Kashmir – beautiful and brutal.

So at present I give the book an a, only the test of time will tell whether it’s still an a next week, if I recommend it next year or whether it becomes a part of me.

Of course I do realise that this is my opinion and that you may completely disagree with me and that as a book review I’ve told you practically nothing about the book.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The image in her head...

I was inspired by a comment I read on Debi Alper’s site. Cheers!

Her eyes were closed and she was rhythmically stroking the spine of her book; up and down. He found this arousing, which was a shame: his words were the reason she had closed in on herself.

“I just don’t seem to be getting through to you anymore. You seem to get more pleasure out of eating a cheese sandwich in the bath than from me. I just don’t think we should see each other anymore.”

Copyright, 2007, Verilion

Saturday, January 20, 2007


It’s been one of those weeks where it’s difficult to know whether to rant or scream with joy. Firstly on the positive side, I came 4th for the first time ever (well I did come 4th in a High Jump competition once, but that was more through lack of competition than ability) in a writing competition. My computer is fixed and I finally got the other half of The Magic Numbers album. My computer is fixed; the Server Guy’s Boss is a genius. And we had a wee writing meeting yesterday after work.

On the negative side (alright this is digging into the realms of last week, month, year) work is, was, has been, and continues to be SHITE. The thing is for the 95% of the day when I’m in the class surrounded by ten year olds its fine. It’s just that 5% interaction with absolute stupidity, incompetence and general fuckwittedness that’s doing my head in. I’ve had enough, I’m having vivid dreams that involve a freak accident with a nail gun (but we’ll come to the vivid dreams in a minute) and the glow of my fourth place was well and truly faded by Wednesday when yet again due to the incompetence of those in charge we were left with an unaccompanied student at seven o’clock at night.

And then I went to the Medecin de Travaille. In France it is a legal obligation to be declared fit to work by a Doctor. To do this you pee in a pot, read a passage in French, do an eye chart and then go and sit in her office in your knickers and bra. This is the bit I object to the most. Why do I have to sit in my underwear for her to take my blood pressure and for us to have a chat about my working conditions? Year after year she has chided me over my one or two kilo weight gain, not drinking enough water and the fact that I don’t have a TEACHER’S desk in my class. So this year there was the inverse of weight gain, I’m drinking enough water (tons of it since the migraine last year) and I have a teacher’s desk, there’s just a honking great computer on it and the kids use it more than me, but we won’t tell her that will we. Anyway, after the week that I’ve had, I just let rip when it came to the question of working conditions and thirty minutes later she was finally taking my blood pressure.

“Oh it’s very low.” She murmured and this is where I am starting to get mad, because she did a great job of listening up to that point, but then the moment your blood pressure becomes a bit low it’s as if you become a set of symptoms rather than a human being.

I left her office shortly after with a month’s worth of magnesium tablets.

According to the mumbled words she threw my way after that, what I could understand is that low blood pressure makes me feel tired and magnesium will solve that.

So I didn’t Google it straight away (because the pooter was still being fixed) but I did do it last night, non of the common causes had anything to do with me and all the others were fairly life threatening and I figured I may have noticed those symptoms. So basically why the fuck am I taking a month’s worth of Magnesium tablets? That’s what pisses me off with some doctors (because I have been to some who explain things to you, even one who got so excited that he pulled out a huge great big tome and showed me a picture. There was a bit of a mad gleam in his eye when he asked me if I wanted my lump cut off though), they are thrilled with the medicine and forget that they are working in a people industry. That doctor could have spent a bit more time explaining stuff to me, I’m an intelligent person, I’m not against medication, I just can’t stand not knowing what’s going on. I eventually looked up magnesium deficiency and accepted that perhaps as a vegetarian that my diet may be a little lacking in magnesium, but rich in dark chocolate and sushi (I’m addicted at the mo), but she could have told me that couldn’t she?

I also realised that I never went back to the vivid dreams. Apparently it's a side effect of taking magnesium: you have vivid dreams which you remember... Unfortunately I've always had weird dreams and none of them have ever involved freak accidents with nail guns.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Ta da daa ta da da da da daaaaa

(That's the sound of the heralds blowing their trumpets by the way.) The computer is downstairs being stripped and fixed so I'm posting for work. Apologies for formatting and if the side bar has gone nuts. But anyway, get on with the post...

Yes, why are heralds blowing their trumpets? Is that what you're asking? Well tootle over to The Clarity of Night, because the results for the Silent Grey competition are posted and I came 4th. Yes, little old me. OK, I know it's not first, or second, or even third, but hey I'm used to not winning anything, so 4th is great for me.

Shameless got an honorable mention and I'd also like to thank Minx for pointing out the competition in the first place.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

What on earth is going on?

In the dying days of my Christmas holiday, I curled up on the sofa under my sleeping bag and watched An Inconvenient Truth: Al Gore's overblown PowerPoint presentation on Global Warming/ Climate Change made in an incredibly patronising manner with a catchy little number by Melissa Etheridge at the end. Despite this, the movie is brilliantly simple and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I saw it.

Al Gore didn’t wake me up to Climate Change; part of my choice to become vegetarian was also based in Environmental issues. Before I launched myself into the big scary world of work I volunteered for BTCV and wrote articles in their newsletter about new Sites of Scientific Interest (SSI) and so such. In my first job I was responsible for getting the Environmental area off the ground and then I left England and was hit with poverty like a ton of bricks.

One of my lasting memories of Mexico was wandering through Puebla one Sunday afternoon. A mother wrapped in a bright orange shawl held out a plastic begging bowl while her young mucky faced daughter next to her shat uncontrollably, probably suffering from dysentery.

In Mexico I lived in a compound behind a brick wall guarded by a little old Mexican man, iron fences and a fuck off huge Rottweiler. I got taxis to work when I was late (which was frequently, I never was a morning person) and poverty was hidden away on the outskirts of the city, but every now and again when we got on the buses to this place or that place, it sat right next to you. I began to understand that being vegetarian was a privilege and that had I grown up in Mexico (or even in Mauritius –my parents’ birthplace) survival would be a more urgent issue. I realised that having money allowed you to put plasters over things like environmental issues, but in the end while individual action made you feel better, doing it for yourself is not enough. If you believe in something and you want to change it, you have to shout about it and you have to shout to as many people as possible. Being a politician helps, being a pop star or film star helps, or just being you helps if you SHOUT.

I’m still kind of vegetarian (I had a choice of ploughing my way through a tasty proportion of marine wildlife in Mexico or eat cactus for two years), I have more bins than my tiny flat really needs and sometimes I get a little mixed up and have to retrieve the cotton buds from recycling and contact lenses cases from waste. I have bio washing up liquid, soap powder and three different styles of Monoprix ‘Agisson pour demain’ reusable bags, but what the movie really reminded me was that I wasn’t doing enough for tomorrow.

Before the sun grows grow into a red giant in 5 billion years we need to do something. Gore suggests that you do some stuff. I’ve included the link here. In the movie he also makes a couple of suggestions which I now don’t see in the list:

  • Write to your politician.
  • Vote Green (not necessarily the Green Party – who I have to say always made me want to laugh when they turned up with those enormous sunflower badges pinned to their home knitted sweaters).
  • Become a Politician.
  • Oh and watch the movie, or better still get your kids to watch the movie, because they will not let you forget what they have seen.
So to finish off I'll steal Monoprix's catch phrase: Act today for tomorrow. Now I guess I better write them a letter to say that even though salad comes in a biodegradable bag that turns into compost, their yoghurts are still overpackaged.

Friday, January 12, 2007

La Suite...

So the other day it was all dark and gloomy and today here I am with a little ray of sunshine poking out from behind that cloud (although it is dark outside now).

After posting about thinking of getting a spanking new computer (and doing no work incidentally) I tootled down and had a wee chat with some colleagues about the old laptop and apparently we are all coveting the idea of an AppleMac or Sony Vaio, but I was advised to speak to one in the know. So I went to the see the Server Guy and his boss. Only the boss was there and as I rushed through my explanation of doom and gloom he began giving me this withering look. I left his office feeling well and truly spanked. “It’s only three years old,” he told me. “It shouldn’t be screwed and even if it is a problem with the hard disk a new one is fifty euros...” It went on, but I left after having firmly promised that I would drag the thing in today and he would look at it.

So today I completed my feat of weight lifting and squeezed onto the metro with it, hauled it through the park and then reached the refuge of the staffroom needing a cup of tea. Luckily the boss was there, so he took it off my hands before any further lugging was needed. Then this afternoon I went back for the verdict.

I sat down, all hunched up in my autumn coat (why is it twelve degrees in January? But that’s for another post).

“Well V.” He started. “There is a lot of shit on your computer, but there’s nothing wrong with it really.”

“Really?” My face lit up.

“No, in terms of hardware there is no problem, but in the way it’s been built there is a problem.” He explained patiently how the feet at the back of the computer had worn away so that the air wasn’t circulating properly and that’s why the computer kept shutting down.

“Oh! Is that it?”

So, on Monday I’m going to lug it back. Well, I couldn’t go a weekend without blogging or writing or finding out the results of the Silent Grey competition. Anyway he’s going to restore it to factory settings (after backing up everything that I haven’t – that’s another resolution I have to add to my list: back up more regularly) and he’s going to add bigger feet to the computer. Right now, it’s propped on my chopping board and seems to be working fine! So the old thing WILL be fixed by Wednesday... hurrah.

And just to add to my good news I then got an e mail from France Telecom, otherwise known as the bane of my life. Having received all the bloody paperwork they demanded off me they are reimbursing me the month I didn’t have internet, I don’t have to pay the reconnection fee (which I hadn’t paid anyway) and I get a whopping 21€ off my next bill. It turns out that it was Free who stole my line, which is a wee bit screwy because I’m now thinking of going with them, but should I go with the nasty line stealers who caused me all the problems in the first place? Mmm.

Anyway, I am now hoping that I can turn my attention to all things fictional and creative and have nothing to do with the real world this weekend.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I’ve got nothing but bad news

Do you remember some time ago I complained, ranted, raved about the Electricity and all things Technological Gremlin? Well, the bastard has struck again.

My computer has been playing up for some time and yesterday I packed him up and took him off to the doctor. There’s a whole pile of them advertising in the FUSAC: no fix no deal, no fix no pay. Anyway, I was convinced that my computer had a wee worm or virus or whatever. The last time it was going nuts and I took it to the Server Guy he managed to temporarily make him better (which should have been a clue that perhaps the old Satellite’s problems were more serious). Anyway, then there was this post on Debi Alper’s sites about Trojans and so such so I sent for the Calvary and they seemed to whoop those spy wares and ad wares for a while, but the old thing has still been getting poorly. For so long in fact that it’s been a while since I’ve been able to watch DVD’s on it (not that I like watching DVD’s on the computer, but every now and again the thought of the odd episode of the West Wing while I’m in the bath), burn CD’s, download music, make a video; hah! Anyway, gradually my computer has become nothing more than a word processor and a pretty slow method of checking e mail and surfing more than one page at a time is a wee bit daring.

The Doc was a very quietly spoken calm Scot who just so happens to live up the road. He asked me lots of relevant questions and then threw in: “What time do you go to bed?” which didn’t seem relevant at all, except he then explained that he was a bit of a night owl and if he had any news he would ‘give me a tinkle’ before my bedtime. So, last night as I was struggling over a so called ‘medium’ sudoku (I’ve lost my sudoku mojo too) I heard the phone ring. I sprang out of bed (which is not so easy after the self flagellation of the ‘Bums and Tum’s class at the gym the other night) and heard that soft Scottish brogue again: “I’m afraid I’ve nothing but bad news.” I wasn’t sitting down at the time, but I managed to take it. In the light of day I’m beginning to want to slap the girl who didn’t back up ALL her WRITING, MUSIC, PHOTOS.

Also in the light of day I’m thinking: Right send the Satellite off for surgery and then transplant the insides into a new smashing fantabulous computer; one that isn’t 7.5 kg. The question is which one? I’m having a wee look at the Apple MacBook and Sony Vaio and they are both blooming expensive, but, but, but, the point is here we are all using computers, so some of us must know something about computers. If it can be done on a computer I will find a way of doing it, I love USING them. If it’s a problem, I’ll have a go until I am beaten and bloody. If it’s inside I’ll run screaming beaten to the hills, and basically that’s where I am, so please if anybody knows anything at all about computers: WHICH ONE SHOULD I GO FOR?

But lastly back to the Gremlin problem. I think it’s to do with bragging, every time I brag the exact opposite happens. I noticed this a while ago and I caught myself when I started saying: ‘Tomorrow my computer will be better…’ and then I got all excited and said it again, and again, and again. NO MORE BRAGGING, must stop.

Monday, January 08, 2007

A Wee Bit of Trumpet Blowing

Well, I finally did it, I finally entered one of these bloggy competitions, you can read me here. You can also read me here. To kick start the challenge here are my five hundred words.

She had nothing more than luck and good timing on her side the day she locked me away. But one day I would be free, I just hope that she didn’t kill herself before I could. On my timescale fifteen years was nothing, but she had achieved what lesser demons only dreamed of and that PISSED-ME-OFF. And believe me, I am not someone you want to piss off; not when you’ve let me into your deepest fears.

Her hold had been diminishing for some time now and one day my world shook and a crack appeared, just a slither of light seeped through into my prison, but it was enough for me to slip through and there she lay. In fifteen years the Crystal lady had eaten away at her nostrils and flesh leaving a skin covered sack of bones. No make up could cover up the fact that this mistress had tried to forget me; it almost made me smile.

When she woke up she turned the place upside down looking for the powder for her nose. I heard her crying and moaning, she knew it was somewhere and I knew exactly where it was and finally she saw me. “Fuck!” She exhaled. “You! It can’t...” She trembled and her red-rimmed eyes brimmed over and spilled salt.

“Now don’t tell me you didn’t realise this day would come.”

“I, I, I...” She staggered around the room until her eyes fell on the box in my hand. “Fuck!”

“It’s in here. What you’re looking for.” I opened the box and the sweet poppy smell filled the room.

She fell onto her bony knees, grappling at my legs. “I’m sorry, you scared me. I didn’t know what I was doing.”

“When did you not know what you were doing? The day you sold me your soul or the day you locked me away?” Dribble oozed from the side of her mouth as her eyes begged forgiveness. “It’s in here Lara,” I waved the box in front of her again. “Take it.” I waved the box before her.

“What is it?” Her feral nose wrinkled at the end.

“What you desire.”

“You tricked me before.” She curled up onto her haunches. I raised an eyebrow. “Just tell me?” She begged.

“Are you scared to look?” I took her by the wrist. “You were scared that day weren’t you? The day you held on and couldn’t look.”

“I couldn’t look. All that water, all those bodies.” Her body quivered as I laid her on the bed.

“And I took that away for you didn’t I?” I stroked her feverish forehead and opened the box a crack.

“What is it? It’s so blue?” She craned forward.

“It’s the sea my darling.” I cooed as I pushed her in and kept her under.

In the end the coroner wrote ‘drug overdose’ on her death certificate. He couldn’t bring himself to write drowning on an official document when she lived two thousand metres above sea level.

Copyright, 2007, Verilion

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Challenge Grows

Ok so I'm finally getting round to posting the new challenge. The process of honing something down to fifty words meant getting all the back story in your head and then stripping it down to its essence - at least that's what I did - but there's still a story there in your head. Anne (aka Fanny Powers) and I then talked about expanding it, and then naturally people commented on which stories they liked best, so that's the challenge.
  1. Click on the label FLASH FICTION below.
  2. Choose ONE of the stories.
  3. Expand the idea to 500 words. You don't have to include any of the original entry. In fact it would be quite fun guessing which one inspired you.
Looking forward to reading these. Guess I've really got to get started now. Oh and this challenge will finish 31st January at 12 midnight (my time - which I think is CET, but I can't be sure).

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Wrong Picture

The other day I saw a link on Minx's blog for a writing competition: 'Silent Grey' Short Fiction Competition. I'm quite into short short fiction at the mo, so I thought I'd have a go, but my computer was playing up pretty badly that day and I only got a wee smidgen of a look before I was distracted by other stuff and then the computer crashed and then I got started and then I got finished and then I looked at the site again and then I realised that what I thought I had seen was not actually what I had seen. But seeing as I've written it anyway...

The last time I saw him if I hadn’t been so wrapped up in myself maybe I would have noticed that for a bloke of his size he wasn’t supposed to be that size.

“Do you remember that nutty woman who used to stalk you in the cemetery?

I laughed remembering how my pubescence had hidden her black cloak and wild hair, I had seen breasts, a pretty face and my imagination ran wild until the day I had mistakenly tried to engage her in conversation and found myself momentarily locked into her insanity by her wild eyes. “Where is he? They put him here.” She scared the shit out of me and until today I hadn’t set foot in this cemetery again.

“Adam fancied the local crackpot, looking for her dead husband’s grave.” Christy burst into a lung spilling cough that he called laughter. “She said he’d died of influenza.” Christy’s red face could barely spit out the last words. “In 1875!” I should have noticed the way Caroline was looking at him.

Through grey drizzle I found a splash of floral colour, it had to be him: the grave was fresh and no headstone marked his spot. Plastic covered cards bid Christy Whelan farewell and I sank to my knees to do the same. “Sorry I was late,” I mumbled.

Behind me a voice I remembered sang out: “Christy Whelan. He died of influenza.”

Turning to see her face I said: “I thought you were her.”

Copyright, 2007, Verilion

Friday, January 05, 2007

New Year’s Resolutions

I made some this year. Last year I grouched and grumbled about how much I hated the New Year and that resolutions were crap and that you broke them anyway and you may as well make them any time during the year; like March for instance. But the truth of the matter is that I, not New Years was in a pretty bad place last year*. This year I made them and I’m probably going to break them, but hey ho...

The Ancient Babylonians celebrated New Year over 4000 years ago (probably not by getting pissed and slurry humming to the tune of Auld Lang Syne). They began the year by resolving to return things they had borrowed... Mmm that means I need to find that Ska CD I borrowed off Jane ages ago and I still haven’t read Claire’s books and maybe I should return her screwdrivers...

The Romans seeked forgiveness from enemies ... Well I don’t have any enemies as such, just people who I have little or no respect for and I think tootling up and saying: “Excuse me, could you forgive me for having no respect for you,” might cause more problems.

The Chinese clean their houses, maybe that’s why Mum always spent New Year’s Eve in a frenzy with Mr. Sheen. Anyway, I can put a big fat CHECK by that one. I didn’t start until six last night, but I did finally dust, hoover, change sheets, scrub and just generally tidy up the wee abode. Now I’ve just got to keep it up. I did also consider getting a cleaner, but then I realised the benefit of starting in the evening is that all the cleaning was accompanied by large glasses of vino.

Nowadays health related resolutions are numero uno on the list. Now I do have a gym related one on my list and I was reading some article in the Guardian (during the HOURS I had sitting at the airport) about how the gym membership is the biggest waste of money ever. On this occasion I do actually think that joining in January is nuts, I joined last April and first of all I went three times a week, then I didn’t go for two months because I was on holiday and moving and since September I have gone once a week. Not bad I think, although my new year’s resolution is to go TWICE a week. Realistic I think, although when Lise called last night I told her that resolution was starting on Saturday (well I had the cleaning to do first).

My last two resolutions are the difficult ones. It’s easy to write everyday when I am on holiday, but then work kicks in and it becomes so easy to come home and veg out in front of the telly watching rubbish. Anyway, even if it’s fifty words a day I’ve got to do it.

The last one... mmm, well I’ll let you guess, it’s a pretty obvious one.

* Having said that I really do dislike New Year’s Eve; that pressure to go out and enjoy yourself when actually the most enjoyable New Years have been quiet ones indoors with friends; although having said that, I also enjoyed strutting my stuff like a teenager at ‘The Tower’ in Carlow this year because the band were pretty good (actually they were very good) and it was different.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Year Ahead

I’ve decided I hate flying, I hate airports and terrorists have won the war on terror. My poor little red suitcase has returned with a few more war wounds, my shampoo gave up the ghost and exploded and I sat in a catatonic state in Heathrow airport for too long yesterday.

BMI have somehow made the whole process of checking in painless by getting rid of people and having an avatar on a computer screen. From there on in it all goes horribly wrong. I merrily tootled off to departures and then started following the queue back from departures that zigged this way and zagged that way and zigged... look it was just blooming long OK. So after an hour in that queue with people frantically trying to squish all their liquids into this tiny little freezer bag and me staring at my little tub of Vaseline and wondering how can anyone get that much make up on one face anyway we then get to the x-ray machine. Oh bliss – take your belt off, your coat, your shoes – would it not just be easier to turn up naked?

And then it all got peaceful again. I bought three different types of cheddar; I got a cup of tea and a flapjack. I stared through the mist at the grey green hills of the environs of Dublin, I wished the planes would get out of the way, which to be honest they did and I squinted over at the departure screen. After much squinting I realised that yes, that was my plane delayed until 11.45, but some slow counting in multiples of ten on my fingers and I figured out it was OK, just. Sitting on the plane having lost my window seat to a mere infant who would otherwise have been separated from her family and being told we couldn’t take off until 12.30 I then realised that all hope of being at home by 5 pm was lost.

On landing at Heathrow I followed all the signs at break neck speed and it was like popping back through the wardrobe after being in Narnia. Hey this is where I was last Friday, there’s the hideous smoking room, there’s the check in, there’s the man who showed me how to check in, there’s ... Shit I’m going to have to take my boots off again. And then I tried to accept I wasn’t going to be home by 5 pm, but I still must have looked very very sad when I went to the ticket man at BMI because he gave me a WINDOW seat in one of those big seats up near the captain!

And finally we landed at Terminal 1 of CDG. On home ground at last, yeah! Terminal 1 is like the set of a bad 60’s sci-fi movie with it’s white pebble dash walls and rounded pod holes everywhere and the travelators that go down and up and down and up and then the criss crossy escalators that are actually outside the circular terminal, but inside the circle and finally, finally the moment I’ve been waiting for: THE TAXI RANK. I could almost hear the hosts of angels singing ‘Alleluia!’ Due to the one wayness of my road being the wrong one way from the airport I was still happy to be getting out at the corner of my street and sprinting up the last bit, following the bin man in, lugging the case up the last few steps, keys in the door and then yes, yes, yes, yes ... MY SOFA, with sleeping bag already curled up on it. It’s good to be home.

Yeah I left the Paramount hotel in Dublin at 9 am yesterday and got home at 7.30 p.m. That’s 2 hours shy of a London to Singapore or to Mauritius flight. I’ve travelled from one end of Mexico to the other on buses that took less time than that. I’ve been in a Polo whose top speed was about 75k per hour (top max) and it still didn’t feel like I was going nowhere because oh yeah, I did spend the majority of yesterday going NOWHERE.

So what I was going to write and say was: HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all. It’s going to be a good year. I can feel it, it may be a year where I should just stay at home, but it’s going to be a good year.

PS Thanks to Susan and Minx for your special messages.


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