Update ... The Two Weeks Ending December 6

There is no 'editorial' this week, probably because I've been brain-dead. I always get that way at the start of winter. My body turns lethargic and my functions slow down dramatically. Sometimes I think I am a bear reincarnated in human form and I'm missing my much-needed hibernation period.

In any case, you might be surprised to find that Sarah and I have had an active two weeks. We only saw one movie, as review below, but did have two good nights. Last Saturday we went to a club in Kentish Town with Amanda, Greg, Tanya, Craig and Justin. Its called the forum and its an enormous old theatre which probably would have sat well over 2000 people. Well, they haven't really changed much. They did remove all the chairs from the floor, but they left all the plush benches, the tucked-away tables and beautiful light fixtures on the balcony levels. The music was seventies/eighties, not entirely to my liking, but a good night all in all. Getting home afterwards is such a pain. You would think that with a comprehensive night-bus network it would be no problem. Especially when the bus stop just outside the club goes right past our flat. However, the busses are just packed. You stand there on the corner while bus after bus whiz by without even stopping to let people on. They are just too full. The only place you can usually get on the busses is either at its starting point (they nearly all start in Trafalgar Square) or somewhere well outside the city.

On Saturday the 5th Sarah and I had a dinner party in our flat. We made up some nice invitations and mailed them out to our friends. All were able to make it except for one. We had eight people in our tiny flat. We had lots of food, music and talked well into the night. All-in-all an excellent time, well worth all the organizational effort. Just as we were recovering on Sunday we had a call from Tanya and Amanda. They were moving out of their flat and wanted some help. Sarah and I popped down did a bit of lugging, a bit of driving across town, and then decided to hit a pub in Camden Town. We stayed at The World's End for awhile, but left when we started to get hungry. We popped down the street to the Hogsback where the food is always pretty good. By the time we were eating there were six of us. We were also saying farewell as Tanya was leaving for Australia on Tuesday for five weeks. So, before heading home we all went to Rosie O'Gradies for a round of Baileys to say our last goodbye's.

I also can't help but comment on the well-thought-out letter in the guestbook about the London mayor issue. I've got a couple of points.

Firstly, I've never lived in New York, but if there is any mayor in the world that I've ever heard of, its New York's mayor Giuliani. New Yorkers have the right to be proud of their mayor, as do most North Americans. There, mayors hold a powerful role, I feel, primarily because they seem so much closer to the public. No federal politician can start 'dicking around' with a mayor lest he/she turns the entire population of that city against them. New York mayors are very vocal and really get things done. Giuliani is someone you would want on your side of the ring, and most New Yorkers probably feel that way. Livingstone is probably a lot like that too, but maybe a bit more relaxed. He joined the labour party back in 1969 and has been around. I think he pretty much hates the bunch now, but will not turn from the party because of one lot of idiots. I know there are lots of other candidates, and in fact, I also support several among them. I guess I'm trying to enumerate the qualities of a good mayor. Like someone who puts up a banner across from the Parliament Buildings with the latest unemployment figures. The mayor needs to be someone who is empowered, by the people, for the people.

The second point, which is much shorter, is about an article I read in The Times on Sunday. On the back page of the travel section is an article by none other than Ken Livingstone himself, along with a picture. The article talks about what he likes to do on vacations, and it is very well written. Of course there are some paragraphs dealing with the London mayor issue, but they are always well in context. The article left me with a feeling that this man is perfect for the job. About an hour later I started wondering why the heck the article was printed? What was the travel editor of the Times thinking? Are they trying to affiliate themselves with Livingstone? Are they, in a subtle way, supporting him? In any case its odd, why didn't they get him to write a letter for the front page section? Here is a link to his article.

Ed. For anyone who wonders what a PR does, the article on Ken Livingstone is an excellent example.

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