I ask for a little sympathy at the start of next term, as the chances of me being able to confidently write 60wpm in shorthand or to have read all the politics books by the 19th of January are increasingly looking quite bleak. 

As most of you are aware at this time I have a friend over from Australia, which means taking him to all the wonderful sights this country has to offer and also braving the Channel to go to France. However, all this means that there is never a dull moment these holidays and having spare time to myself is a rare occurrence, let alone having the time to work. :(

Just don't be too surprised if after all the days out in London, Bath, Brighton, East Grinstead and Paris etc, I arrive back completely burnt out and unable to tell you who Margaret Thatcher is! :P

I hope everyone has the chance to relax and enjoy being with family and friends, I will try especially when I get to see my dog and my lil' sister again!



The size of Politics UK made me run a mile! It's been sitting on my shelf collecting dust... along with my shorthand book. Albeit now that I have found my shorthand CD I have no excuse but to get back to it. As for politics - there seems to be some type of force field that propels my hand away from any book on the shelf. Has anyone else encountered this problem?

Oh and Kat - take a picture of Cam standing next to the Eiffel Tower. Then he'll finally know what it's like to be short!

I will try my best lol Yes Politics UK looks like you should throw it at someone rather than read it! Shorthand is making it through at the moment but I don't hold out much hope!

Has anyone actually been doing Shorthand practice?

Having seen all the comments about the politics reading can I refer you to the remarks I made earlier......

Ploughing through a dry textbook was not really what I had in mind. By all means dip in if you like but I would recommend again the various lighter more quirky material which will give you a good feel for the background and context... eg all the diaries and memoirs such as Oona King, Alan Clark, Alastair Campbell, Lance Price, Hugo Young, Tony Wright, Gerald Kaufman  etc etc. Or there is even the excellent comic writer John O'Farrell whose memoir  'Things Can Only Get Better' is a seriously funny read.  All of these will give you a good introduction to British Politics and incidentally be a useful preparation for our visit to Westminster on Jan 20th. Happy Holidays.

And might I add John O'Farrell's a funny bloke, he was very good on Grumpy Old Men. He also supports Fulham, but then again being a Chelsea fan, you can't have everything.

Kat, you're not alone, apart from the few days I spent at my grandmother's over Christmas I almost never come home earlier than early morning and do fun things all day...

But it's just so great to see everyone back home and there's birthday parties en masse, so I can't  - and don't want to - escape. To make things worse, when I showed shorthand to some friends, they looked at me with serious concern and asked why I had to learn hieroglyphs?!

I try to do some shorthand and a bit of reading - since those books caused my cabin luggage to almost exceed the maximum weight, I really hope I didn't carry them around for nothing - but after all, this is a holiday, right?

Oh, and for all those to whom I bragged about the masses of snow Munich has to offer: there has hardly been any so far, it's just very cold and very icy, but at least the skies are Bavarian blue haha.

Oh, I meant to say - tomorrow afternoon when you're all in London and standing outside Charing Cross take a cheeky look at Lord Nelson up on his column. He looks rather preoccupied with his sword. Hopefully see you munchkins sometime in the evening!

Don't blame me