I entered my house at 5pm today carrying altogether too many bags which were filled with wrapping paper, Christmas presents, photo frames, ten blocks of cheese and a Grierson award. It struck me that there would be people all over the world similarly weighed down at the end of the last major working day before Christmas.
I spent the morning ticking off a mercifully short list of things to do for the Brass recording. At this time of year, everyone is engulfed by the same panic; the panic which tells us that if it's not achieved before Christmas Eve it will remain undone, probably for ever. That's because all communication in the Western world ends on December 22nd and isn't reestablished until the middle of January! Never ever try to contact somebody from the BBC between now and then!
The Christmas tree went up this morning. It's a charmingly mangey affair, which Nathan tells me is 20 years old. We draped it with a riotous assortment of baubles of different colours and textures. My favourite are almost certainly the scary pin-cushion clown heads we won at a party in New York!
We had lunch with Uncle Archie in Kentish Town, and discussed a few rather exciting ideas for future documentaries. We ate omelettes and stale cake and he presented us with our Grierson Award, which is now sitting proudly on our mantlepiece next to my RTS Award and a load of Christmas cards.
We went from Kentish Town to Camden to buy lashings of Christmas cheese and enough wrapping paper to stretch from Highgate to the moon!
We stumbled upon a little barber shop and decided to give it a whirl, having suffered one or two too many butcher jobs at the hands of various branches of Mr Toppers. The barbers, a highly friendly bunch, were all Turkish and North African, and did a lot of work with cut throat razors, which I found terrifying and exciting in equal measure! They actually offer a shaving service there, with hot towels and things. It's something I think I might try for a special treat one time. Being shaved by someone else is a rather extraordinary sensation. You're forced to place your entire trust in a complete stranger, whilst your subconscious screams "get the f**k out of this chair!" When it's done well, however, it's like being tickled by a master painter!