I knew from the reviews that Time Regained was on the longish side but, by the time I tipped out of the Renoir cinema, I had the distinct impression that I'd been out of the country for the best part of a fortnight.
Clause 28, Thatcher's hate child for the gay community, is creating a real palaver at Westminster. The government first announced that its abolition would be a whipped vote, then backed down in the face of religious pressure, then caved in from that position in the face of a revolt by the PLP.
This week I discovered that there is something called the British Association of Toy Retailers. It even has a boring name. Why couldn't it be called the British Association of Toy Sellers? Then it could be known as BATS. That would be a bit funnier.
Here she is, crunching figures on Countdown. There she goes, revamping gnome-infested landscapes on Carol Vorderman's Better Gardens. And, oh, could that be Carol spreading cholesterol-lowering margarine on toast in a commercial?
Tomorrow, in his classroom, your teenage son will be subjected to pornographic videos hailing fisting as fab. Your daughter meanwhile will be deluged with pamphlets portraying lesbian love as the only way to come.
Some weeks ago I spoke at a conference on education of blacks in Hackney, organised by the local MP, Diane Abbott. It was full of anxious parents wanting the best for their children.
Lately life has come to resemble the Harry Enfield sketch "Women, know your place".
It looked absolutely fine in The Good Hotel Guide.
The success of the BBC political correspondent John Sergeant in landing the plum £140,000-a-year job of ITN political editor brings joy to fat, self-regarding 55-year-old Quasimodos everywhere, including me. But the Beeb is in a lather about his replacement.
The other day, a person who had just become a columnist for a scientific journal wrote to ask me how I avoided repeating myself in this column. I was tempted to reply, a la Groucho Marx, that I would never consider giving advice to anybody who was stupid enough to ask it from me.
I can't think what brought it on, but all week I've been imagining that I was a high-ranking government minister and was suddenly required to produce a coherent explanation for one or other of my past moral lapses.
The Blair government's resumption of arms sales to Indonesia ends an unreported hoax. The four-month "ban", supposedly in re-sponse to the renewed repression in East Timor, was hardly a ban at all.
A cross between Goebbels and George Bernard Shaw, even his jokes betray a galloping didacticism. Ben
It's now a month since Christmas and our 12 year old has watched The Matrix at least six times. Admittedly the film is supposed to be restricted to people aged 15 and above, but I don't understand the certification system in this country.
Collectivism is dead, executed by new Labour, as we know. But hark! Fresh stirrings in the undergrowth.
Woody Allen wants to move to London. He feels, according to a forthcoming biography, that his affair with his ex-lover's adopted teenage daughter didn't go down too well in America.
Stop and search is back. Well, not quite. We are three quarters of the way there. The police have invented something quite ridiculous - stop and talk. And then maybe, maybe not, the search.
Have you heard about "clean slate syndrome"? It is - reputedly - a new psychotherapeutic term invented to deal with the tendency for married people to respond to the onset of the "new millennium" by getting divorced.
Jonathan Aitken may have been studying the Bible in the nick, but as homecomings went, his did not exactly follow the script of the parable: no jubilant rejoicing, no killing of the fatted calf.
In the upper reaches of the Treasury a particularly maladroit form of words is known as "a Holmes". This has nothing to do with the Home Office computer of the same name, but with Tony Blair's host in Portugal over the New Year holiday, the ambassador in Lisbon, John Holmes.
There is a stampede to the door of the comedian Ali G. An anti-racist clutch of black comedians have deemed him racist.
Try as we might we simply couldn't get Claudia off cocaine.
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:
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
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.