Hello again ! I hope you enjoyed the 12 days of Christmas, which end today. I celebrated by going out and buying myself Paul Torday's Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, a deliciously tart antidote to all that tinsel and Christmas pud, soon to be released as a movie starring Ewan Macgregor. Part of the joke is the character of the protagonist, who is mildly autistic or more precisely suffers from Aspergers, the so-called 'successful autists' syndrome. He is in a long line of kindred literary invention which includes Adrian Mole,The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night and the current BBCR4 series A Short Gentleman about a barrister called Robert Purcell. Over the festive season, my mother (aged 94) gave me an eye-opening book about the financial crisis Freefall by Joseph Stiglitz. It is not the newest account of where we are at, but has some truly shocking detail about the behaviour of some banks, notably Goldman Sachs. Once more one has to ask: why did no-one go to jail? (Do I hear hollow laughter?)
Through tatter'd clothes small vices do appear;
Robes and furr'd gowns hide all. Plate sin with gold,
And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks;.. Shakespeare King Lear Act IV scene VI).
I did not give my sister a book, but a rather postmodern literary artefact viz a 'corsage' made out of a book. An enterprising pair who call themselves Nellie and Elsie www.nellieandelsie.com make wonderfully original decorative accessories off the peg using for raw material and inspiration classics such as Jane Austen and Alice in Wonderland.
Finally: get well soon wishes to Roger 'Why Am I Still Here' Lewis who is in hospital with pancreatitis. And last of all: does anyone else think that Stephen Hawking's version of how the world began (basically: one minute there was nothing, then there was something) a colossal cop-out?