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A World Turned Upside-down

It’s hard to fathom, for me at least. The richest woman in Britain is the author of a series of children’s’ books, Harry Potter of course. Good luck to her, as I have made a small contribution to her £300 million fortune on behalf of my eight-year old daughter. However, as novels go, it is rather predictable lacks the depth of CS Lewis or Walter Scott. But this is the 21st century and Harry Potter has, with the help of clever marketing, become ‘the’ children’s book of the decade and if it encourages children to read, then I’m not one to criticise.

Of course, the other phenomenon of the week and the century is David Beckham being made a living God in the land of the rising Sun. A nice lad, good with his feet and poor with sentences, Beckham, to my knowledge has never said or done anything that might be considered profound, other than be sent off the pitch at a vital moment in a football match. None the less, his success proves only too clearly that God has a twisted sense of humour and he displays this in the one-dimensional lives of footballers such as Maradonna, Gaza and now Becks. The latter’s million pound a day visit to Japan also show how unspeakably weird the Japanese are in the way that they focus on particular facets of western culture, like Burberry and Beckham and then indulge their interest to excess.

Meanwhile, at the bottom of my road, tents are beginning to sprout. It’s hours away from the start of the annual tennis madness, when the streets around my home become an impassable nightmare. Wimbledon of course. Just try taking your children to and from school, it’s not easy. Strawberries and crowds for two weeks. A license to print money at the expense of the local population who have to endure the chaos and do their supermarket shopping at midnight.


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It’s pitch blackness in places along the sea wall this evening and I'm momentarily startled by a small dog with orange flashing yuletide antlers along the way. I’m the only person crazy enough to be running and I know the route well enough to negotiate it in the dark, part of my Christmas exercise regime and a good way of relieving stress.

Why stress you might ask. After all, it is Christmas Day.

True but I’ve just spent over two hours assembling the giant Playmobil ‘Pony Farm’ set when most other fathers should be asleep in front of the television.

I was warned that the Playmobil ‘Pirate Ship’ had driven some fathers to drink or suicide and now I understand why. If your eyesight isn’t perfect or if you’ve had a few drinks with your Christmas lunch then it’s a challenge best left until Boxing day but not an option if you happen to have a nine year old daughter who wants it ready to take horses by tea time.

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