So this is Christmas (and what have you done?)
Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Now there's two different sorts of families at Christmas. There are some who enjoy being with their nearest and dearest, love picking out presents for friends and relatives, can't wait to see what Santa has brought for them and watch the Queen's speech with deep interest to see if the Commonwealth has had a good year.

Then there are those who recoil at the sight of wrapping paper, begrudge every card they write, grumble endlessly about how the season starts earlier each year and "over-commercialisation" then feign sleep in their armchair rather than play charades. To those people I say

I love Christmas. I love the idea that there's a day when we have to be nice to one another because people should see how easy it is to smile and have a cheerful greeting on hand to perfect strangers. It should be a joyful time of year.

Sadly this year has been overshadowed by the tidal flood that has devastated huge amounts of the world (note to American readers: you may have seen this as a brief mention on your news, after the bit about the dad selling his kids' presents on eBay) but I suppose that just means we're going to have to dig a little deeper from the Christmas spirit this year.

That aside, I've had a very good Christmas. Presents, catching up with people, games (EyeToy was a big hit. The sight of my mother pretending to box was something to see) and lots of food. Ah, it's all good. Just a pity it wasn't a White Christmas where I live. Oh well, always hope for next year.


Thursday, December 30, 2004 6:54 AM


My point about Blair's negative qualities is that, yes, they are undesirable, just like being overwhelmingly religious is undesirable. It leads to flying planes into buildings and introducing constitutional amendments that go against the entire idea of the constitution (wouldn't be the first time, remember prohibition). And if mainstream America isn't like Bush, why did they re-elect him? (Indeed, why oh why oh why did they re-elect him?)

The figures quoted by the BBC are what the various governments have said they have given, not something they've made up themselves. And I wouldn't be looking for god's judgement on funds given, unless you think he communicates by earthquake.

Are you seriously saying that mainstream America aren't gun owners? Or insular? Because, well, you are. You might not be as mainstream as you think. You're certainly articulate as opposed to all the masses I see on the Internet. "AMerica rulez all u lame contries!!!!!!! U SUX!!!!" would be their equivalent of your argument (told you that you were articulate).

But this is turning into a conversation, not a blog. So I'll just join you in your sentiment that we all try to outdo each other in good deeds this year.

Thursday, December 30, 2004 3:05 AM


I'd have to say that our leader does represent our country quite well. He's pleasant, always looking for solutions, charming, arrogant, always has a smile on his face, traditional, religious but in a quiet way, occasionally pompous, likes to interfere in other countries. He's a pretty good match (hence his election victory by two landslides). Your leader is overwhelmingly religious, patriotic, inarticulate, a gun owner, slightly xenophobic, insular, charismatic, anti-gay. Doesn't that sound like mainstream America to you?

As far as my figures for governmental aid, there's a good round up here:

You can also see that the good people of Britain have already donated £20m (about $39m) themselves as well as other resources. I sincerely hope that Americans will far surpass that.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004 4:29 PM


Okay, slightly ironic twist, that was me below but I wasn't logged in. Don't know what happened to your first anon comment but they're obviously allowed.


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