A walk down Kilburn High Road this week reminded me of the real world out there, where not everyone pretends to watch Question Time as opposed to The Weakest Link, and where people spend more on their heating bills than on wine.
Not in my wildest and wackiest imaginings could I have conceived that, at the beginning of the 21st century, a boatload of wage slaves, packed shoulder to shoulder, covered in vomit and ankle-deep in shit, with women giving birth on board, would be discovered in the heart of Europe.
He is a businessman with the common touch, a bully, a friend of Alastair Campbell and . . . the next
All that truckling to Buckingham Palace by new Labour, all that pretence of caring about Princess Diana, now proves to have been futile. The royals prefer the real thing.
What is it with all these awards ceremonies? Funniest Politician this, Worst-Dressed Pop Star that: there are now so many fatuous types of award, celebrating so many ridiculous "achievements", that even I have received one.
There was a little boy and a little boy was he.
He ran away to Scotland the people there to see.
The speculation among the heavy political pundits is that, by the time this issue of the NS reaches you, Keith Vaz will have disappeared into the cold, dark night.
Make of this what you will. A veteran Labour backbencher sallied forth to No 10 (don't lie, Downing Street children, I have the invitation card) for a glass or two - and was discreetly offered a peerage in return for his safe seat in the north of England.
Having turned down David Frost's offer to be featured on Through the Keyhole because an ad break lasts longer than it takes to look round my current flat, I am moving again. This has proved a difficult task, made more unpleasant by estate agents. Take one local agency.
Sun, sea and sex is not a bad formula to base your holiday on. Or a business empire. The late Gilbert Trigano made his fortune from the three S's with his Club Med holiday resorts.
And what, Labour backbenchers are asking with a quiet terror, if the re-disgraced Peter Mandelson makes a resignation speech, on the lines of Geoffrey Howe's coup de grace to Margaret Thatcher a decade ago?
What do the glamorous, celebrity-loving Peter Mandelson and that butch bully Alastair Campbell have in common, apart from closeness to Tony Blair? Well, both enjoy playing their public personas to the hilt.
In the smoke-filled working men's clubs, they are using tabloid photos of Mandy in target practice for their dart-throwing. The regulars trade jokes about Reinaldo, shirt-lifters and men in tights.
Davos is cold. Unrelentingly so. This tiny and mildly opulent ski resort, tucked in the waistband of the Alps and close to the Austrian border, has a population numbering about 6,000. In the winter, visitors far outnumber the locals.
Back from a fortnight in Washington DC, and I am eager for respite from the fanaticism that runs deep in the American soul.
I continue to be the bete noire of the Trinidadians in the Caribbean and here in the UK. My younger brother visited me for Christmas and regaled the family with stories about the responses to my recent Channel 4 documentary Trouble in Paradise.
Small wonder that Peter Mandelson looked, according to one account, "distracted" when he gave Labour's National Executive Committee an upbeat assessment of the general election campaign last Tuesday.
From Soho to Bow and beyond, there are angry men in bars and pubs bemoaning the death of the woman who "knows how to take a joke". This fantasy female can be fondled for the price of a drink, never takes offence and still leaves a bloke with change from a fiver.
Profile - Stephen Smith wonders why an old lefty is now singing for the Republicans
I was about to file my column when suspicions of murder most foul just down the road halted me in my tracks. More of that later.
In these parts, there are plenty of opportunities to annoy the Homeless Tsar by giving small change to the poor and/or feckless.
We all know that history repeats itself the second time as farce - but what does it do the fifth time? The new England manager, who is the first foreigner to coach the national team, has arrived at last, and the ingredients of a familiar drama are already falling nicely into place.
It's always warning about floods, and nobody knows what it is. But it's set to be a big green crusad
It very much looks as though Tony Blair, taking victory for granted in a spring election, is turning his thoughts to a shake-up of government structure.
This year, my mantra will be: "Never apologise, never explain." This modus operandi has worked miracles for the Catholic Church over the centuries, and it hasn't done Lord Falconer any harm, either.
Brixton wends its weary way not quite in darkness, but with the shadow of William Hague hanging overhead. A few weeks ago, he came, he saw, but hardly conquered.