Mmmm the holidays are a time to get fed up. Not just fattened by rich food but also by ill disciplined cultural consumption. So the last two weeks have included:

Watching The REP’s Christmas Carol, which we entered hoping to love but which left us a bit cold. We didn’t really care about Scrooge or anyone in the show and the eight year old struggled to work out what was happening much of the time.

Reading Seven Deadly Sins – David Walsh‘s account of his journalistic pursuit of Lance Armstrong – which I could barely put down until he was caught. Is a great, breathtaking tale that gives us cause to reflect on how lies can be widely known to be lies but, until it is in enough people’s interest to acknowledge them as lies they can remain the truth.

Listening to contemporary albums by both Adam Ant and Gary Numan. I used to love Adam Ant as did everyone my age in 1981, or whenever it was. I also grew to love Gary Newman slightly later as did fewer people. I was brought their two new albums and approached them with extreme caution but was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed both of them. It was fascinating to reflect on how they have moved on and how they have remained unchanged. For some reason I am developing ever increasing interest in how artists evolve over a period beyond twenty years…

Reading… curiously the Dickensian Horror Gothic imagary Gary Numan has adopted for this album is almost identical to the cover image of Peter Ackroyd’s biography of Wilkie Collins, which is the pleasing book (I know nothing of W.C.) I’m reading aloud to the eight year old. This isn’t pretentious or precocious hot housing, it’s just to help her get to sleep after the excitement generated by…

Reading Jacqueline Wilson’s Hetty Feather (me to her) and Secrets (her to me). There are 925 reviews of Hetty Feather here if you want to read them and 263 review of Secrets here if you want to read them (numbers correct at the time of going to press) – oh what it must be to be loved!

Watching… the final series of Borgen has been great. Apparently you must do this if you are to be allowed to continue reading The Guardian which we have also been doing (Sudoku Killer is my vice).

best of all has been reading One Hell Of A Gamble by Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali. Watch this crisis….

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