Season's gratings to you all. As the festive gin sinks slowly in the glass, I can't resist sharing the events of the day so far.
1. Pre-Christmas dinner. London is a fine city, but it really doesn't get Christmas. A chap and his gal, unwilling to cook and without a car, find themselves stuck in a place with no public transport and about two restaurants open. In the past, we've tried to get ourselves out - but the choice is either horrendously expensive or unbearably naff. So this time, we did the festive feasting on the 24th, repairing to our favourite tapas place. Nothing says Christmas like patatas bravas and marinaded tentacle.
2. Midnight mass. Always a bit hit and miss, this time we found a very acceptable low/mid C of E place dahn the Caledonian Road. Two priests for full-on clerical action, just the right mix of liturgical poetry and awareness of the 21st century, and that inner-city congregational mix that gives you hope that the word community hasn't been irretrievably debased.
3. Home and the Opening of the Presents. Gentlemen, I put it to you that while opposites attract, the importance of a geek partner cannot be denied. I got a Bladerunner umbrella - the shaft lights up! Let it rain! - and a small Japanese device that simulates bubblewrap popping while, every hundred or so pops, issuing a random silly noise. And, my goodness, a blue laser pointer. The evening has been largely taken up with shining it at things - hence the seasonal gratings, above - and we've had particular success with high refractive index glass, CDs, and the tsavorite jewelry that newly adorns the ear-lobes of the beloved. When combined with a bit of smoke, darkness and a green laser pointer in the other hand, you can keep the fairy lights.
All the while, the iPod is playing a selection of choral music. That relies on the giant magneto-resistive head in the hard disk, another quantum device. It's very pleasing to think that in a hundred years we've gone from just about getting to grips with the electron to engineering affordable devices that take some of the downright weirdest quirks of the universe and deploy them for our idle pleasures.
And on that note, I shall rejoin my enlightened co-celebrant and see if we can recreate the Star of Bethlehem in the skies above the Holloway Road using nothing but hand-held nanotechnology and a satsuma. It's OK, I think we're safe from wise men in North London.