Now that Christmas and the whole frantic season is over I'll have a lot more time to put words on paper; a small place like this has a sudden rush of blood to its collective head at this time of year and everybody wants to entertain. It is mostly pleasant if a little repetitive and, at times, boring. You meet up with the same people at most houses - it's the same group of middle class professionals from "off" who give and attend parties. Neither the peasants nor the upper classes mix as easily. Still, I've caught up with people I haven't seen for a while. On several occasions I met an absolutely fascinating and intriguing man, a man who lives on a different planet from the rest of us.
Christmas dinner was at my house this year. We decided that we could have a fantastic meal for less than half the price of the meal at the Waterdine, where we were charged £75 per head last year. We had smoked salmon and pate de fois gras, followed by the now (again) fashionable bird in a bird in a bird stuffed with forcemeat with all traditional additions, plus a Waitrose panettone Christmas pud (excellent - light and orangey, not nearly as horribly sweet and sticky as the ordinary Christmas pud), apricots in Amaretto from the deli, cheese and coffee. In order of appearance we drank pink Champagne, Burgundy, Sauterne and Port and Liqueurs with the truffles. Our friends arrived at 14.30 hrs, we started eating and drinking at 3pm and we finally put down the coffee cups and liqueur glasses at 20.00 hrs. Nobody was drunk, nobody felt stuffed. That's what I call civilization! Try it some time!
The BBC's nature programme "Swarms" is great. If you've missed it try to catch it some other time. Vast numbers of a single type of creature are both fascinating and frightening. That goes for man as well. Nothing is as single-mindedly destructive as a horde.
Another programme which is being repeated on Chanel 4 is "John Adams", about the American War of Independence. Brilliant. The photography is very special, the interiors might have been painted rather than filmed. First rate acting, too.
But what has Channel 4 done with my beloved "Houewives"? A girl needs her escapism!