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Friday, December 24, 2004

I stopped to get petrol yesterday morning on my way to the nether regions of Ipswich, and attempted to use our country's fine new 'Chip & Pin' system to pay for it. After sticking in my card and waiting in vain for the machine to verify my pin number, the assistant eventually gave up and informed me that there are so many people nationwide doing their Christmas shopping that the system can't cope, and you could wait half an hour for it to verify your number. Meaning I had to sign for it instead.

So the technologically advanced new system increases security and cuts fraud... but only if the shops aren't too busy.

Anyhoo, I made it to my parents, where I found my sister in possession of a multi-coloured talking toucan. I didn't bother asking why. I did take a couple of festive photos of Big Sis with my shiny new camera though, both of which she insisted I delete, and one of which she deleted herself when I kindly refused. I hate digital photography. It was so much better when embarrassing photos were burnt permanently onto a bit of film.

I told my Mum at lunchtime that I wouldn't be pigging out until Christmas day, so by the end of the afternoon I'd only eaten half a tube of Pringles, two pieces of chocolate cake, some After Eight mints and a couple of sausage rolls. I held firm and didn't touch the mince pies.

But amongst the party food I did find time to view endless (well it seemed like it) photos on Sis's laptop, and listen to my Dad playing trout music on the violin. I also discovered that we have an iPod owner in the family, and felt quite jealous.

But on the plus side, my sister's decided to stay in America til 2006, so I may be able to squeeze in one more free holiday. Assuming she can build up a few more air miles in the next six months. Keep spending, Sis.

I've also had an expert opinion on my cat from a leading authority on Persians, who was posing as an odd-job man at my parents' house at the time. Apparently his wife breeds them, so he claimed expert knowledge, and in between cleaning the patio with a power-washer, declared that my little Chloe is a Persian Blue with a good face. Which is one in the eye for Melee, who claims she's ugly as sin, and addressed her Christmas card "To Phil & Lisa (but not Chloe)".

Anyway, family socialising over, I stayed up late last night working on a little extra home-made Christmas gift for Lisa. I won't be revealing what it is until Boxing Day though, partly to create a bit of excitement, partly to maintain an air of suspense, but mainly because I know it annoys her.