For Americans, summer camp is a rite of passage.
I entered the holiday period on top of the world. The stipendiary magistrate at Camberwell court saw to that.
The recent announcement by the British government that it is to "cancel third world debt" was a propaganda triumph. What a joy, sang the Guardian. Debt forgiveness, said Bob Geldof, was an "instinct" that was "deeply rooted" in Tony Blair's background.
After Geoff had taken control and persuaded the rest of the party that there was about as much chance of getting an ambulance over to Muswell Hill five minutes before midnight on Millennium Eve as there was of finding some decent alternative to Gaby Roslin on the box, they decided that the only
There were some very impressive answers to my Christmas quiz, which just demonstrated once more that my readers are more intelligent than I am. Here are the answers:
This summer I was sitting by a campfire when one of my companions said that there was a red squirrel on the trunk of the oak tree by the edge of the clearing. I couldn't see it. That was because the squirrel was on the far side of the trunk.
Trevor Phillips, on that rough road to the deputy mayoralty of London, has just hit a troubled patch.
All this millennium nonsense was designed, I feel, to show me up. Yes, I take it very personally - it has all been done to expose me as a terribly superficial person with some sort of attention deficit disorder. I can barely remember what happened last week, never mind 1,000 years ago.
It was supposed to be a Christmas drinks party for my department at the BBC, but after a mere five rounds at the Yorkshire Grey some people were already sagging.
Wherever Tony Blair goes to church on Christmas Day, you may be sure that the setting is appropriately, and unmistakably, Christian.
I'm fed up with the prejudice I encounter every day. The snide asides, the jokes, the condescension. I am the victim of the one kind of bigotry that our society sanctions - bias against Christians.
Even though it sent the headboard crashing to the floor I finally managed to manoeuvre the bed a good three feet nearer to the window and rearrange the duvet and the pillows so that later on that night I'd be able to sleep with my head towards the sea and hear the familiar screeching of the shal
New baby notwithstanding, life is not exactly plain sailing in Downing Street. Bill Bush, former head of political research at the BBC, who perhaps unwisely accepted the new Labour shilling (or many thousands of them), is unhappy about his obscure new role as Tony Blair's adviser.
One of the incidental pleasures of December is the "International Books of the Year" feature in the Times Literary Supplement.
The Nigerian high commissioner requires that Channel 4 cancels Lagos Airport at once. The series gives the country a bad name, he says, at a time when it is eager to attract foreign investment.
The siege of the World Trade Organisation in Seattle shocked those who speak for western power.
I feel about as sorry for Mary Archer as I do for Hillary Clinton and Christine Hamilton - that is, not a bit. All the rubbish that has been spouted about these women standing by their men is thoroughly misguided.
I looked around the other day and realised that encouragement had gone. Remember encouragement?
MPs keep looking for signs of tension in Tony Blair, and some are now convinced that he is feeling the strain. At a hitherto-undisclosed meeting in his room in the Commons, the great helmsman was not at his most self-assured.
Everyone should begin the year 2000 with a project. (Incidentally, one of the many irritations about it becoming 2000 is that you have to keep saying "the year 2000" because it doesn't sound like a year. You never had to say "the year 1995", did you?
I read a report somewhere in the national press that young black men graduate from mugging to armed robbery, mainly of betting shops.
Steve Bell's Guardian cartoon of Ken Livingstone disporting himself before Tony Blair while Blairite functionaries, their faces as death masks, shove a red rose up his rear, was all that needed to be said.
According to the Mirror, the most popular weekly journal in Trinidad and Tobago, the prime minister of that country, Basdeo Panday, recently addressed a huge crowd at a gathering to celebrate the Diwali festival. (More than half of Trinidad's population originated in India.)
After years of uncertainty about the exact status I enjoy in the world of public speaking, it is vaguely gratifying to know that I may now scientifically regard myself as "fairly satisfactory".
Let's be a bit serious just for a moment. The royal baby is welcome. Bringing the next generation into the world is our greatest responsibility - and joy. But let's not get carried away with it, either.
Ten am. 12st 8lb, alcohol units 0, cigarettes 0, calories 357 (according to the outside of the porridge packet).
Don't worry. This isn't going to be another Bridget Jones parody. More a howl of pain.
Just when I thought that my recent visits to the osteopath had got my body back into working order for the long winter, I find myself sitting on a stool in the kitchen at 3am wondering whether I'll ever again be able to manage a proper night's sleep.