...and so on, et cetera. Been otherwise busy these past few weeks. Lately, though, I've been watching the weather - which is currently grey, wet, like a slumped-down cloud but wetter, the rain billowing - and thinking deep thoughts of the kind that are best thought from an armchair - yes - in front of a log fire - check, although they're fake logs made out of sawdust - on just such a day as this.
The trade-deal paperwork is "over 1,200 pages long" and was published on Boxing Day. Parliament has until the end of the week to scrutinise it, vote on it, make it law.
All deals with the EU are closed at the last minute, but this one? 1,200 pages not agreed until Christmas Eve? I wonder how much of the "nearly there" rhetoric was straightforward political theatre.
Boris delivered hie eulogy to the deal without once using the word "fish". Or the word "fishing". After months of burbling along about sovereignty and what it means for our coastal waters. The omission is more telling than anything in the 1,200 pages, I suspect.
Mutated strains of the virus are being found across the world. My book, Back to Nature: A Journal of the Plague Years, is "an account of the mutated-virus outbreaks of the early 2020s". But I'm not here to talk about that. Buy it from that link if you're having a Patreon moment.
Today's combination of politics, technology and communal media gives us the illusion of a permanent status quo: we're still talking about getting "back to normal"; the films have all been made at least once before; there's no debate that doesn't rapidly polarise and thus shut itself down.
Oh, and we're still talking excitedly about AI despite (for example) the exam-grading fiasco of this last Summer. As if AI is a thing to be cheered regardless of the evidence. Ditto the trade deal: we've avoided a No Deal Brexit so we're all madly thrilled.
And yet, as we used to say to each other before the rotten edifice of the present took us in its Soviet Union-like grip, change is the only constant.
Here it comes...