wool gathering

When I lived in Madrid, I had a friend who collected building façades.

These weren’t just the well known landmarks like the bright red bricks and decorative paintings of the Plaza Mayor, the imposing white, wedding-cake like tiers of the Palacio de Comunicaciones or the complex scrollwork of the Palacio Longoria (which was ruined, anyway, in those days, by ugly air-conditioning units.) No. These were the kind of façade you can find on any street – if you’re paying attention.
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desire towards the ‘otherness’

This last year, as there haven’t been any opportunities to go to meetings in person, I’ve been doing a lot of “virtual networking”. I used to attend face-to-face events regularly, and after the first couple, I was reasonably comfortable walking into a room of strangers and starting a conversation. But it’s been difficult to re-create the atmosphere and dynamic of a physical meeting in an online situation.

It’s certainly all a lot easier than it was back in spring last year, and everyone is a lot more confident about being seen on screen, but the hosts are still uncertain who will turn up and how experienced they will be in the virtual world, so they often fall back on fairly simple ice-breaker activities.
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something to look forward to

I usually check the weather forecast when I get up in the morning, although I’m really not very sure why, as they inevitably get it wrong. And sometimes the outlook is so very, very bleak that it’s better not to know what’s in store.

This morning, according to the BBC, the day was set to be grey. Not wet; not thick black cloud. Just grey. There was no sign of sunshine or rain or snow. Nothing but monotonous grey.
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straight ahead

Since it’s New Year’s Eve, I feel I should make an effort and try and post something about the year that’s almost over.

But, really, what can I say? 2020 has been a bit of a trial for pretty much everyone and I think most of us will be glad to see the back of it.

It’s tempting to think about just crumpling the whole thing up and throwing it away.
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family Christmas

I know I am not alone when I look back to my childhood and remember the seasons clearly defined, not just by weather, but by the produce and products available in the shops. But now hot cross buns are on sale at Christmas, and mincemeat and Christmas puddings reach the supermarket shelves at August Bank Holiday.

As I remember it, in our house, although we didn’t really celebrate them all, there was a clear progression from Hallowe’en to Guy Fawkes Night to Remembrance Day. Then there was a bit of a lull, as Christmas wasn’t to be mentioned until December.
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