2009 — 31 December: Thursday

New Year's Eve already? Amazing! It seems the chap who made the films of "Lord of the Rings" has been knighted. News travels fast from Middle Earth these days. (Source.)

I still haven't made up my mind how to say "2010" — "twenty-ten" I guess. It's all the fault of Arthur C Clarke and Stanley Kubrick, of course. Their "two-thousand-and-one" a space odyssey has a lot to answer for. "Open the pod bay doors, HAL". And, by the way, how can that possibly be 41 years ago?


More local readers...

... may well still recall the chap — Steve Gibbs — who established and ran that useful specialist CD shop "Pinpoint Music" in Eastleigh for many years. A few years ago he "upped sticks" and now lives in Northern Kentucky just six blocks from the Ohio River and Ohio/Kentucky state line. He describes himself here as a "fifty-something ex-pat Brit transplanted into America's Mid-West".

Another grey start to the day (at 09:13) while Melvyn B rambles about Mary Wollstonecraft and I enjoy my initial cuppa. And then finally a chance to catch up on that "Bach Fever!" programme.

What's next, Mrs Landingham? Have you cleaned out the car? Yes. How about the store cupboard — there's a long weekend coming up? Oh, OK. And don't forget to roll in the green bin. And recharge the miniature Dyson. And torch batteries...

No wicked for the resting. Off I go again.

What's the etiquette...

... when a stonking great 4x4 Chelsea tractor starts backing out of its Waitrose car park slot after you have started to do the same, and in apparently total disregard for your tiny Toyota's little carbon footprint? Are you allowed to beep, or should you just do as I did and out-manoeuvre the blighter before making your nippy little escape unscathed but with somewhat elevated heart rate? That car park is a gridlock waiting to happen on days like this.

It's 12:34 and my next excitement is the arrival, some time this afternoon, of a long-lost half-aunt and husband en route to a party somewhere but calling in for a cuppa and, if I can allow it to be prised from my grasp, a choccy biscuit.

Thanks, Mr Postie

Here's the last DVD of the year — it's a documentary film that Christa and I would have caught in the cinema had she not been too ill by the time it was showing locally in 2007:


Where, I wonder, are my visitors? I don't want to be late setting off for Cathy's party. Aah. A phone call suggests they should be here in about ten minutes, which brings us to 16:20. I shall apply electricity to the kettle. Now, where the hell are the saucers?


That was nice. I showed them a couple of bits from Across the Universe, demonstrated some of the advantages of having a large CD collection entirely ripped and stuffed into iTunes (other software players are available, but I was using the iMac at the time) and outlined some of the pros and cons of hi-def viewing. I also collected an as-yet unexamined bag of Xmas goodies from the Birmingham cousins (thanks, ladies) but I shall postpone that until after the party later tonight. It's now 18:34 and seems to be getting horribly cold out there. Time to stuff in a few calories and then sort my route out. And then time to relax for just a few minutes. I'm not very used to relatives and socialising :-) though I was (I hope) hospitable. Cheese straws; tea; cups with saucers!

Peter just rang, from Sheffield, to say "Happy New Year" in advance. A sentiment I echo to all my reader(s). You know who you are.