Daily Archives: December 21, 2010


Still at Schiphol

I am becoming quite fond of my little corner of Schiphol airport. I have put up my Christmas cards and a few bits of tinsel. I now have a boarding card for the 0800 to Manchester. This is the sixth boarding card I have had. It is very hard to understand why, time after time, they don’t know a flight is cancelled until some time after it was due to leave and all the passengers have queued at the gate for hours.

Of course, Manchester is a lot further from Ramsgate than Schiphol is, so even if the flight atually goes, this represents rather dubious progress.

Happy New Year everybody.

Remarkably, KLM delivered my lost luggage, including my laptop, at 9.30 pm on New Year’s Eve. At that time a pretty lively party was already in full swing,much improved by the presence of a great many beautiful young women, mostly from Latvia. I am not sure why; my life as ever consists of a bewildering succession of chance encounters with really nice people. I am in the fortunate position of being able to say that Nadira was the most lovely of all, without indulging in dutiful hyperbole.

It was an extremely happy Christmas. Having my mum, both my brothers and all my three chidren together was as great as it was rare.

We have been through the laptop in lost luggage discussion before. The problem is that my shoulders dislocate at the drop of a hat, and I travel without hand luggage to avoid an accident.

2011 is going to be a very important year for me. particularly the first quarter. A number of crucial events are going either to set me up financially for the rest of my life, or result in real distress and failure. At present I have reason to be very optimistic. I am also very absorbed in my life of Alexander Burnes, which I hope will help establish a serious academic reputation.

The Portuguese edition of Murder in Samarkand has sold unexpectedly well in Brazil. The translation of the Turkish edition has just been finished.

I hope to do a Wikileaks retrospective in the next couple of days. Just a quick thought on the case of the poor young gardener in Bristol. Of the Jill Dando case, long before Barry Bulsara’s succesful appeal I blogged that this appeared to be a miscarriage of justice in which the police had fitted up the local weirdo.

Despite not being enamoured of landlords in general, I fear the same dynamic is at work in Bristol, albeit Chris Jefferies is much more intellectually capable than Bulsara. My instinct is that the police have picked up on Jefferies for being camper than a boy scout jamboree and archer than Trajan.

Jefferies’ release on bail has me worried that there was nothing against him other than the “He’s a weird one, guv” instinct of some not very bright cop. The case needs to be closely watched as history shows that the powers of the police to make the evidence fit the suspect are considerable.

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