So, the season of cheer is approaching, which generally means alcohol consumption – up, calory consumption – up, size of girth – up and an overdose of stress related hormones due to the purchase of presents in unendurable conditions. Well, as Santa says, hey ho!

But, of course it also means the rounds of Christmas parties, and visiting friends, which is always fun, and is also the reason I was digging holes in the ground this week. My good friend Clemens, who hosts a Christmas party of gigantic proportions (for our tastes, anyway) every year, has decided to do it the Maori way this year. This means digging a massive pit, lighting a fire at its base until it’s down to the glowing embers, and then placing the meat over the embers, and burying the whole lot, leaving it to bake for five or six hours. Since I had time on my hands, I was the lucky one who got to dig the pit. Oh, my poor, aching back. The dinner’s tonight, so I’m really looking forward to seeing how it all works out.

I was going to rant and rave about the climate summit in Copenhagen, maliciously comparing the piddling amounts of investment governments are prepared to make to save the world to the massive amounts of cash they have thrown away to save the banks. But I’m not going to give them the satisfaction. So there!