Only a couple of days to go until the sweaty bloke in the red outfit attempts mass-scale home invasion.

It occurred to me th'other day that I didn't get around to sending any Christmas cards this year… or indeed any Christmas emails ! It's unusually slack of me, because typically when I say I can't be arsed this year, I wind up sending about 80 or 90 cards !? About the closest thing I've managed is getting into a philosophical discussion with Richard the Beer Swilling Morris Dancer about the validity of the tradition of sending Christmas cards – he reckoned it was a load of bollocks, whereas I maintained that it was a good point in the year to contact those you haven't had as much of a chance to keep in touch with as you'd like and let them know by a small gesture that you're thinking of them. And I then continued that though there should be no barrier to you doing this at any other point throughout the year, Christmas is an excellent time for it because it's generally accepted that if someone's going to randomly be in touch, it'll be around then, and they won't think you've got some hidden agenda like you're about to sign them up for Amway, or something.

Anyway, having been through that great ideological journey, I still didn't get around to it.

It's been a bit weird over here – not least of which because it's my first Christmas away from home – but just the things that have been going on around me have been… I don't know… (oh god this is going to sound stupid) a bit foreign ?

For one thing it's confused the hell out of my body clock/whatever that it's December and it's bloody freezing. I realise this should come as no surprise, but part of December's joy is traditionally to marvel at the stupidity of hearing carol singers belting out “Dashing through the snow”, etc. and having big fat guys in wooly red suits, when it's between 38 and 45 degrees outside. Now, most of that absurdity is absent.

Not that it's snowing, because it isn't. Tell you the truth, it's not even that cold – just a bit nippy. Still weird though.

What else ? Umm… the other night whilst wandering back to the train station through Camden, there seemed to be an unusually large number of police wandering about. I'm not kidding, I saw about 20 of them in various groupings ! At first I thought there was something up, but as they just seemed to be strolling about placidly I guessed they must be there as a deterrent to something or other. But what ? The Annual Christmas Riot ? That normally doesn't happen until AFTER Christmas, and only then it's around department stores ?

Happy… whatever !