Well, we must carry on, if not quite as before.
2009 is closing in, or opening up, depending on your disposition. At least half the time, I’m an optimist. And happiness can be as profound as sadness and they’re often the same thing. Mrs Brit, who is diminutive in stature and four months pregnant, has developed a waddle.
Thick, sticky snows coat Bristol’s streets and make driving unsafe. Apparently the country is all out of salt as well as money. My office sits at the top of a hill in rural farmland on the border of South Gloucestershire and North Somerset. It is accessible only by a steep, wending and narrow country lane, which means that today it is inaccessible. Most of us made it in yesterday – just about – and we had a terrific snowball fight at lunchtime. Revealing things, snowball fights. Very political, who throws at whom? People are wary at first, but I find that they’re usually grateful if you chuck a good fistful of freezing water in their faces; they melt. It becomes a very cathartic and unifying experience, like a good blog argument.
Duck said that Roxy Music’s More Than This was one of his favourite songs. It is a bit of an atheist's hymn, hovering on the verge of the Maudlin but staying the right side of it. For some reason it’s even more beautiful when Bill Murray sings it really badly.
Duck also liked his poems to rhyme – he was pretty firm on that point. I was flicking through the collected Betjeman when this little one, quite unexpectedly, choked me up.
The Last Laugh
I made hay while the sun shone.
My work sold.
Now, if the harvest is over
And the world cold,
Give me the bonus of laughter
As I lose hold.
We won't be having snowball fights at the office today – it’s positively Siberian out there so we’re hiding indoors and pretending to 'work from home'. No such luck for Mrs Brit, who works in the centre of town. She has waddled bravely in.