Christmas parties, I'd almost forgotten about them. Most particularly the hazards of mulled wine. So delicious, so innocuous - it's in a cup, not a glass, so how can it be alcohol?
Pah. I've been here before, (around about this time last year, as it happens), but it turns out that I'm no better than a goldfish, doomed to swim round and round my bowl, forgetting everything I learnt on the last circuit I made.
Which is perhaps why this little bit from Gideon Rachman in the Financial Times Weekend,, 6 to 7 December, 2014, caught my eye today:
'In Kiev ... I met a taxi driver. (I know it is a terrible cliche for journalists to quote taxidrivers, and I was once advised by a colleague to refer to any cabbie I quoted as a "small-business man". But I'll be honest, he was a taxi driver.) The two of us spent so long together that by the end of the day we were discussing the existence of God. As well as being a skilled linguist, my driver turned out to be an original theologian.
As he put it: "I like to keep fish. My fish think they understand their world. They are battling for control of their fish tank. But what they do not know is that standing outside the tank is Me. I like my fish. But if something more important comes along, I will go away and let them die – and buy some more fish when I come back. It is like that with God. We are battling for control of our world, and he is watching us. But I think he is running several universes and our world is just one of them. We have to hope he does not lose interest in us."
I was about to get him to expand on this intriguing line of thought, when we arrived at the airport.'