Tuesday, 20 January 2009

A for America

People sometimes show surprise when I say that I usually only watch television for the football. But today wasn't a usual day: I had it on, and was watching, for the inauguration, perhaps encouraged by press reports that the new President's speech would only last for 17 minutes. I must say, for all its fine words, and I applauded in so many places, it seemed longer.

They do things differently in America. There's this curious informality - handshakes, backslapping etc. - combined with a ponderousness, a self-importance that detracts from the ostensible (and I'm sure genuine) intent. However welcome is The Change, yet there seems nothing more certain than that in this case desire will outmatch performance.

In contrast to the sub-zero temperatures in Washington, we had no frost last night in the Severn Vale. But up near Birdlip, where I went to walk the dog, there was ice galore. This is a photograph I took of a prescient puddle.

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