Just got back from the 2006 Random House Children's Books Christmas Party, my annual excuse to brag that I get invited to the same parties as Philip Pullman and Terry Pratchett. (Though if Pterry was there this year I didn't see him.) No interesting overheard conversations this year, though. And even though we were in the same city as the tornado, we didn't see any of that either. At the time of the really foul weather we were sheltering in a Pret in Baker Street, mournful sax solos playing at the back of my mind as they always do when I'm in that part of town.
Best Beloved came to London too to get biometricated at the embassy for a new passport; then we wandered down Park Lane, she went off to express herself through the medium of retail, I popped into Apsley House with an hour to kill and then onwards in the direction of Berkeley Square to drink wine and eat nibbles. Though there seemed to be a zone around me that only attracted wine waiters and repulsed nibble-bearers.
The things that occur to you on the coach. It suddenly struck me on the way in that World War 2 was a great shame. There are some fantastic examples of 1930s architecture on the A40 into town. The Hoover Building is a particular favourite. The way is also lined with 1930s semis, all larger and nicer looking than many of their modern contemporaries with the same number of rooms. The thirties was a time when we had shaken off WW1 and were finally getting the hang of being comfortably modern in the twentieth century. Then along comes WW2 and condemns us all to decades of post-war austerity and a penny pinching meanness of spirit that still lingers.
Of course, there are other reasons why many people disapproved of WW2 and my gripe is a long way down the list. Still, I offer it for consideration.