What was I wittering about at this time last year? Let's see....
Pick of the Archives:
Favourite Posts, October-December 2011
1) Sometimes the Post Office gets something right - 5th October 2011
I am gratified to discover that the Irish Post Office has issued a stamp in honour of one of my literary heroes, Brian O'Nolan.
2) Cities where I might have lived - 8th October 2011
Quite a diverse selection for my latest 'List of the Month': all the places where I nearly took a job at one time or another.
3) Crestfallen - 13th October 2011
Froog in more philosophical mood, discoursing on the pitfalls of nostalgia, and on how hard job rejection hits him.
4) Driven to abstraction - 14th October 2011
Some examples of the rather odd photographs I took on a recent holiday. [More of the same here.]
5) Looking the other way - 19th October 2011
One of my most serious and painful posts, examining a notorious recent Chinese news story - the appalling death of a toddler in a multiple hit-and-run incident.
6) My Fantasy Girlfriend: Sheree J. Wilson - 22nd October 2011
Another actress! Another redhead! Am I getting too predictable? Well, this month's pick was largely an excuse to post a fantastic clip from Sam Raimi's slapstick comedy Crimewave.
7) Who are you pointing at? - 25th October 2011
One of the more important entries, I think, in my occasional 'War on Chinglish' series - attacking the unfortunate Chinese propensity to use 'those' all the time, even when it's painfully inappropriate. [Another one here, on the even more annoying vice of the constant 'maybe'.]
8) Chinese landlords - 28th October 2011
My landlord's sudden demand for a 35% rent increase prompts some observations on the property market in China.
9) Film List: Quotations - 29th October 2011
Another little trivia challenge for any film buffs out there.
10) Say what? - 9th November 2011
A favourite mondegreen - which ingeniously ties together an observation on my brief, unhappy experience of trying to be a barrister with a rather lovely album of 'world music'.
12) Letting go - 12th November 2011
A minor disaster (losing quite a large wedge of cash) finds me in surprisingly philosophical mood. I reflect calmly on something the great Tom Waits sang about money. [Another great line from Tom here.]
13) The Chinese Way strikes again - 19th November 2011
Amongst the myriad vexations that beset me around my recent moving day, this was one of the most bizarre (and most vexing!).
14) My Fantasy Girlfriend: Jane Seymour - 10th December 2011
The lovely English actress was one of the first ladies to enslave me with her beauty in my early childhood. Never mind Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman; I remember her from an early 1970s British period drama called The Onedin Line.
15) Film List: pleasant surprises - 17th December 2011
I am enjoying have a cable film channel in my new apartment, and this prompts me to produce a survey of some of the 'happy accidents' of my recent impulsive viewing.
16) A new job possibility? - 19th December 2011
My increasingly desperate search for new employment possibilities at least leads me to unearth a fine Gary Larson cartoon.
17) There is an acronym for it - 21st December 2011
For the super-wealthy elite of society, that is. You learn something new every day. The phrase they apparently favour in business circles doesn't seem to me all that appropriate for China's billionaires.
18) No EFFIN way? - 22nd December 2011
A news story about a hamlet in Ireland that Facebook refuses to recognise prompts some recollections of my own experience of the Emerald Isle.
19) A holiday treat - 24th December 2011
I discover a rare early recording of classic winter song Baby, It's Cold Outside by its composer Frank Loesser and his wife (and throw in a couple of other versions for good measure).
20) Just what I didn't want for Christmas! - 27th December 2011
Another bizarre Internet find: two very odd doll designs that would surely traumatize any child.
21) It really is incredibly HARD to learn - 28th December 2011
Another in my 'Why I don't learn Chinese' strand: I discover a witty but devastatingly thorough examination of the language's difficulties for the would-be learner by academic (and Sinophile) David Moser.
22) Making a point - 29th December 2011
A rather spectacular fit of petulance from one of China's 'more money than sense' tycoons.