I just wish I'd gone down there with the book I'm reading at present - "The Road to Nab End" by William Woodruff. I could have devoured three chapters in the time I had to wait. It is a brilliantly observed autobiography - mostly set in the poor streets of Blackburn, Lancashire in the 1920's. The last chapter gave a child's eye view of the General Strike of 1926 - fascinating.
Wonder what 2009 holds for us all - both in the macrocosmic world that fills our news channels and in the microcosmic worlds that we really inhabit, surrounded by our possessions and the souvenirs we have gathered, affected by our friends and neighbours and the precious ones we call "family". One of my friends - Ian - told me that his mother had died on December 23rd, just six weeks after his father was buried. To lose both parents in such a short time must be really awful. Though he may wish to, I don't think he'll forget 2008 in a hurry.
What do we want for 2009? On the world stage, I want Barack Obama to get off to a good start, I want to see justice and peace in Gaza, I don't want to see any more natural disasters or Japanese whalers pretending to be engaged in scientific research. No more destruction of the Amazon rainforest. No more gas guzzling 4x4 vehicles on city streets. No more second homes sitting empty while homeless people shiver. No more unwatched computers flickering through the night in empty public buildings. No more "terrorism" such as mindless and cowardly suicide bombings.
Happy New Year Everybody!