World of Chig   

Chig's chart chatter

And still Elvis continues to shatter chart records! Not only was it the 1,000th UK number one single last week, but 'One Night'/'I Got Stung' today claims a chart record which has stood since January 1958. That was the month that Harry Belafonte's 1957 Christmas number one, 'Mary's Boy Child' tumbled to number 12 after 7 weeks at the top. Elvis today shatters that record as last week's number one falls to number 20. Last week's number 2 also falls dramatically as the Manics do it again, dropping from 2 to 26.

At least he hasn't made number one THIS week...

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Vote Jeremy to win!

Vote Kenzie to win!

Bloody hell! You go round to see some friends, you get back at 1am and your favourite has gone! Double eviction indeed. Pah! Never mind. We'll just have to look at these pictures and our old Hollyoaks videos instead.

(Above right: "Jezza, you're such a great guy, you know. You make my nipples go all tingly man, innit?")

Photos courtesy Channel 4 and famousmales' forum members.

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"Kenzie and Jeremy are in the shower."

Hoo-bloody-ray, Big Brother! Why did it take 14 days for us to hear those magical words?! Thank goodness I had the video ready on pause... ;-)

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It's On

18:51 So, here's the top ten on this historic chart day. It took 29 years, 6 months and 1 day from the UK’s first number one for Nicole to achieve the 500th. The second 500, to Elvis Presley today, have taken only 22 years, 8 months and 7 days, such is the more recent turnover at the top of the charts.

Let's just see what fresh, original new talent people are buying these days:

01 NEW One Night / I Got Stung - Elvis Presley (Old track, re-released)
02 NEW Empty Souls - Manic Street Preachers (Something new! Hurrah!)
03 NEW Somebody Told Me - The Killers (A single from last year, re-released.)
04 (02)Against All Odds - Steve Brookstein (Cover of track that's been number one before for Westlife & Mariah Carey AND a hit for Phil Collins.)
05 NEW Staring At The Sun - Rooster (Something new! Hurrah!)
06 NEW Strings Of Life (Stronger On My Own) - Soul Central feat. Kathy Brown (They're from Birmingham - hurrah! It's still a cover though.)
07 NEW Live Twice - Darius (with my journalist friend Kim in the video, playing - get this - a journalist!)
08 (03) The Number Of The Beast - Iron Maiden (Old track, re-released.)
09 (10) Out Of Touch - Uniting Nations (Excellent dance track, heavily sampling an old track.)
10 (01) Jailhouse Rock - Elvis Presley (Old track, re-released.)

18:48 Wes reveals, to no one's surprise, that Elvis Presley's 'One Night'/'I Got Stung' has become the 1,000th UK number one single. It's only the fourth single to become number one twice with separate releases (after 'Bohemian Rhapsody', 'My Sweet Lord', and 'Jailhouse Rock' last week). It's Presley's 20th UK number one, pulling three ahead of The Beatles, and closing in on Paul McCartney's personal total of 24. Presley also emulates John Lennon's 1981 achievement with 'Imagine' and 'Woman' and becomes the second artist to posthumously replace themselves at number one. It's also, coincidentally, Elvis Presley's 1,000th week on the UK singles chart.

18.41 Manic Street Preachers' 'Empty Souls', despite Chig buying all three versions on Friday, enters at #2. Gosh, I wonder what the 1,000th Number One could be?

18:36 The Killers enter (or re-enter, to be strictly accurate, as it's a re-release) at #3, same as their midweek chart position, meaning only the Manics and Elvis are left. The excitement is all too...(yawn)

18:06 Jailhouse Rock has fallen a mighty NINE places to #10. That's beaten B*witched and equalled The Flying Pickets in the 'falling from number one' stakes, but not quite nicked Harry Belafonte's all-time record (to #12). So, it's on. We have the 1,000th number one today...(unless something has gone back to number one).

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Done and Busted

And so it came to pass that Busted, 48 hours after telling their fans that they were 'taking a break', have come clean and admitted that Charlie is leaving, so they're splitting up. It is unclear if there is a helpline at this stage. Charlie is releasing a single next month with his 'serious' band, Fightstar - a name horribly reminiscent of Dogstar, Keanu Reeves' attempt at a serious band. Look! Charlie's in a proper band! He smokes in this one!

In what is known as 'The Curse of winning 'Record of the Year'', Busted have gone the way of S Club 7 and boyzone and imploded after winning it. Busted probably realised that there was no getting over the sheer embarrassment of winning the pointless award with a crap movie theme tune which wasn't even the best Busted single of last year, let alone the best in the whole music biz. (The best of Busted's three would have been 'Air Hostess', just for the record.)

To give them their due, Busted's chart career was small, but perfectly formed, with eight hits in two years, every one of which made the Top 3. (Four 4 number 1s, two number 2s and two number 3s.) They fleetingly held the record of lowest-selling number one ever with the unmemorable 'Who's David?' a year ago, before Ja Rule and now Elvis Presley played pass-the-parcel with that particular award. In fact, it's one of the ironies of pop that their best singles ('Year 3000', 'That's What I Go To School For' and 'Air Hostess') didn't get to number one, whereas the aforementioned 'Who's David?' and the similarly lacklustre 'You Said No' did. Who said poplife was fair, eh kids?

World Of Chig couldn't really give a monkey's whether or not Busted exist, to be brutally honest, except for one thing: Matt Willis. For the last two years, Matt has been WoC's favourite popstar. He has played the Robbie role of cheeky chappy in Busted very well, and always entertained in interviews. His many haircuts have kept us all amused for two years, and his 'look-you-can-see-all-of-my-arse' jeans, clinging tenuously to his thighs in Busted's early days were a pure joy to behold. Even the revelation that he was in fact, a naive twat, when he said they'd have to vote Tory now they were earning some money, could only destroy 90% of Chig's love for him.

The thing Chig most loved about little Matty was when he was quite clearly wearing masses of eye-liner on an early cd:uk appearance, causing the goddess Deeley to say, "nice eye-liner Matt" at the end of the song. Respect! You'd never see Westloife with eyeliner smeared around their perfectly clean little faces, would you? Busted were rock'n'roll, man!

At least Busted were able to go out on a high, being given a whole three words to sing on the Band Aid 20 single, ending 2004 with what was effectively their 5th number one and the biggest-selling single of the year, which must have made up a bit for 'Who's David?'. No one else could possibly have sung 'Here's to them' with the same pathos and sincerity as the Busted boys did, and for that I hope the children of Sudan realise how indebted they should be to Charlie, Matt and James.

So let's raise an alcopop, like all their 13 year-old female fans in shopping centres across the country, to the memory of Busted, for they are no more. Let's finish by remembering their legacy to pop music:

"I messed my pants, when we flew over France."

There is no finer poetry in pop than that. Here's to them, indeed. Charlie has passed on the baton of posh public school pop to McFly, who are more than capable. Here's a special message though for The Noise Next Door. Don't think, even for one minute, that this gets you off the hook, okay?

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Campaign update:

It's back - the annoying shrinking gif! That's because Chig has seen the tiniest chink of light this afternoon at the end of a very long Presley-shaped tunnel. It may well be hopeless, but, having visited four of Birmingham's biggest city centre record shops today, it seems there are no more copies of ANY of the three re-released Elvis singles to be found (or the box in which to collect them). HMV even have a sign on the shelves in their Pavilions store, saying that there are no copies of 'Jailhouse Rock' anywhere in the country. Whether or not this turns out to be true is largely irrelevant, except that it suggests a hefty fall from the number 1 spot. (It was #5 midweek, but if there are no more copies, it could possibly end up lower and perhaps challenge another chart record; the biggest ever fall from #1, which was to #12 by Harry Belafonte's 'Mary's Boy Child' in January 1958.) The Elvis releases are limited to 27,000 each, and 21,262 copies of 'Jailhouse Rock' were sold last week, which only leaves 5,738 to go round this week.

Anyway, what really matters is the presence or otherwise of Presley's 'One Night'/'I Got Stung' in the shops, and neither of the two HMVs I visited, nor Virgin, nor Woolworth's had a single copy. This single had a 9:1 margin over the Manics at the beginning of the week, but from a very low all round total. Bearing in mind that schoolkids will be doing most of their buying tomorrow (Saturday), and they're more likely to be buying the Manics (midweek #2) or The Killers (midweek #3), perhaps someone alive has a slender chance after all. One thing's for certain, we WILL be seeing the 1,000th number one this Sunday. It just remains to be seen who it is. I've done my bit to help the cause, by buying all THREE versions of the Manics' single today (for a combined total of a fiver). Although The Killers' single is better, I'm backing Britain! Let the 1,000th number one be Welsh! It's not too late to make a difference!

Diamond Geezer is counting down the first and the centennial number ones. He will be hosting his first ever guest blogger tomorrow when he reaches the 500th number one. Regular World Of Chig readers may find the guest strangely familiar (and the subject matter tediously predictable).

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Anyway, enough about me - what do you want to know about me?

Your help is needed!

One of the perils of being ill for a week is that you think too much. One of the things that's been on Chig's mind is that this here blog has never had a proper introduction to Chig himself. It's only recently that he even bothered to fill in his Blogger profile page, which you're welcome to peruse here. (You'll have to ask Blogger why the 'recent posts' list includes nothing after 3rd November.)

Although that page will probably tell you more than you ever wanted to know about Chig himself, it's not quite what I had in mind. What we need is a good old 'you ask, I answer' interview/questionnaire-type thing. Like Mike did here and again here. Or like someone else did here. (Hey, I never claimed to be original, and why search far and wide for inspiration when it's already close at hand?) However, I'd like some originality with the actual questions. So, that's it really. Ask me questions, as many as you like. Serious ones, trivial ones. Provocative ones, easy ones. The whole range. Whatever you've always wanted to know, fire away! My side of the bargain is that I promise to answer ALL questions submitted. (I never said 'honestly' or 'at length' though.) You can send them in via the comments box, or via the 'contact me' e-mail link (top left). If no one asks any questions, I'll probably just make them up, but I'll probably submit them under another name to make myself appear more popular. I've been signed off work until Monday and now have the energy to type, so feel free to start now. I thank you.

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It's Over

It's hopeless. The midweek sales figures reveal that Elvis Presley's 'One Night'/'I Got Stung' is outselling all other singles this week by a humungous margin (9:1 over the Manics in some stores). This leaves Chig kicking himself that he didn't put money on it being the 1,000th number one back in early December, when he said this might happen.) As you read this, teams of reporters are being sent to the moon, Loch Ness, McDonalds in Billericay and all the other places that Elvis has been sighted since 1977, in the hope that he will give an interview on Sunday when he clinches this piece of chart history.

One for the numerologists and devil-worshippers: Did anyone notice that the two highest new entries this week, apart from both being re-issues of very old hits ('Jailhouse Rock' and Iron Maiden's 'The Number Of The Beast'), had another connection? Elvis was the 999th number one, and if you turn that number upside-down, you get....the number of the beast itself! Spooky.

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Chig has been under a duvet since Thursday night, struck down by the worst case of 'flu I think I've ever experienced. Just writing that bit below on Sunday took all my energy, and I'm feeling dizzy even now. Normal service will be resumed as soon as Chig's body allows (and when Chig is feeling less sorry for himself).

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Blue Mystery

So, Elvis claims the 999th Number One, but never mind that - what's happened to Blue? In the midweek charts. their cover of 'Get Down On It' was heading for a new entry at #9, just trailing the new Kasabian single in sales. Today, nowhere to be seen. The only sign of Blue in the new top 40 is their previous single, 'Curtain Falls', which goes back up a couple of places to #28. So, what's happened? It's hard to believe that sales tailed off so abruptly that Blue's new single has missed the top 40 altogether, so I'm left with two possibilities. It's either a mistake, or the single has been banned for breaking some chart rules. Have you heard anything?

UPDATE: Aha! It seems it has indeed broken chart regulations, due to the inclusion of a calendar. How can big record companies not know about these rules? It's a shame, especially if it turns out to be Blue's last ever single, as many expect. Still, that'll make the much more appropriate 'Curtain Falls' the last entry against their name in chart records instead.

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Oi! Presley! No!

As Chig predicted (and Asda didn't), Elvis Presley's 'Jailhouse Rock' is coasting towards this Sunday's 999th number one spot, outselling Mr Brookstein by a 3:2 ratio. (There are also currently a record EIGHT new entries inside the top ten, including both Erasure and Scissor Sisters in this, the gayest of singles weeks for ages. Some will fall by the wayside though.)

Elvis's next release is 'One Night'/'I Got Stung', out next Monday. Which means, as promised, the campaign starts HERE on Sunday!

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Something only we know

Chig has often thought that Radio 1 doing the end-of-year rundowns before the year has actually ended is, to put it bluntly, bloody stupid. I thought as much last Friday, New Year's Eve, as I listened to Hi I'm Wes counting down the so-called singles and albums charts of the year from 4pm. At the same time, thousands of people were out shopping, spending squillions of pounds (in record tokens) on the albums that Santa was too mean to give them and that they couldn't be bothered to download.

I really wish I'd printed off those so-called end of year charts now, but I didn't and the BBC, no doubt embarrassed, has taken the pages down already. (They're still cached in Google though!) The reason? Well, it has now been revealed that the top-selling album in the UK last year was NOT Keane's 'Hopes And Fears', as revealed by the Butters Boy, It was overtaken on the very last day of the year - while he was revealing the pointless chart - by Scissor Sisters. Hurrah! They came up on the rails and outsold Keane by a mere 582 copies over the course of the year. Hurrah again! And well done to Scissor Sisters. Not that Universal care either way, as they have both Keane AND Scissor Sisters!

The BBC (and HMV) had jumped the gun much earlier actually, with this story on the 21st of December. Of course, all this makes it deeply unfashionable to admit any love for Scissor Sisters now. May I be the first to say that I've never liked them anyway.

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Chig’s Quite Hard Pop Quiz of 2004(ish)

22.25 UPDATE: One more correct answer (number 12). Seven more to go...

16.45 UPDATE: An excellent start AND a visit from a bona fide pop star! (Popjustice have to manage with comments from Rachel Stevens.) Thank you Natasha for finding the time to stop by, especially with your busy schedule writing that 'difficult' second album while helping your brother out with his physiotherapy. It can't be easy. The rest of you…[adopts 'young Mr Grace' voice]…you've all done VERY well… Thank you for restraining yourselves too, as I suspect that some of you are chomping at the bit to answer more of them. So now….it's a free-for-all. Answer as many as you like! All of the answers given (5,6,7 and 9) are correct, so I'll add them under the questions.

As Mike reveals his fave tracks of last year (with a countdown that could last until Easter at this rate!), let's look back on the last 12 months of popdom and chart trivia with Chig's dirty dozen questions. Please put your answers in the comments box. Please only answer one question at a time, even if you know more, to give everyone a chance. If questions remain unanswered, I will announce a free-for-all at some later stage. (Please bear in mind I can’t access this blog myself until late afternoon each day this week!) Be sure to quote the question number with your reply.

If you want to prove how much of a clever clogs you really are, you can e-mail me your answers (chig at cmdh dot freeserve dot co dot uk). There may even be a small prize. Then again, there may not.

Ready, steady, go!

1) Which artist contributed to three top ten hits in 2004, in three different guises, yet didn’t have a single hit under their usual hitmaking name?

2) ‘Bullshit’ and ‘showbiz’ were the alternative opening words of the two different ‘album’ and ‘radio’ versions of which chart-topper? (Artist and title.)

3) ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ aside, which same song has been a hit for one artist on the original Band Aid single and one artist on Band Aid 20?

4) What’s the connection between Delta Goodrem and the Electric Light Orchestra?

5) What did Natasha Bedingfield do in 2004 that both Adrian Gurvitz and Barry Manilow had done before?
They all sang songs about writing songs. (These Words; Classic; I Write The Songs). Even though at least one of them didn't actually write the song!
Correct, Mr Simon, or should I say Mr Bristolcream?

6) Just one person on the Band Aid 20 single had never made even the Top 30 with a single before. Who?
That'll be Skye from Morcheeba (who have never got higher than 34 in the singles chart) Correct, Mr Diamond Geezer! I hope she appreciates just how lucky she is.

7) “Call the police, there’s a mad girl in town.” (a) Which hit single included that line in 2004? (Artist and title) (b) Which hit song included that lyric before – with just one word different? (c) Which two acts had a hit with the answer to (b)?
(a) Kelis, Trick Me
(b) West End Girls
(c) Pet Shop Boys and, er, was it East 17?

Correct on all five counts, Mr David! Or, I suspect, Mr David!

8) (a) What did Status Quo and Paul Weller do together at the end of 1984? (b) What did they both do at the end of 2004? (NB. It’s NOTHING to do with NOT doing the thing they did in 1984!)

9) Donny Osmond in 1973, Mike Oldfield in 1978 and Daniel Bedingfield in 2004. What’s the connection?
Their sisters (Marie, Sally & Natasha) all had hit singles in these years. (I was going to say that they all had singles in the charts at the same time as their sisters, then in the same year as their sisters, but Mike Oldfield didn't have any hits in 1978.) Correct, Mr Mike! Specifically, their sisters all had their first hits in those years, in each case after their brothers. Sadly, Sally Oldfield was never to trouble the chart compilers again, but if you're only going to have one hit, you might as well make it as fabulous as 'Mirrors' was. I downloaded it overnight and it's a pure joy to hear it again after all these years, and yet it sounds less poppy, more folksy and more Christmassy than I remembered it. All together now, "we are, we are, we are, we are perfect..."

10) Who featured on three UK number one singles in 2004, in three different guises, with vocals on two of them and a writing credit on the third?

11) A member of which pop act told Chig last year that one of the other group members can’t sing but is just there for their dancing abilities? (Don’t waste your time searching World Of Chig – I’ve never mentioned it, so you’ll have to guess!)

12) Kylie did it in the early 90s, Atomic Kitten did it in 2003 and Blue are doing it this week. What, exactly? (The answer isn’t ‘cocaine’.)
Covering Kool & The Gang, I suspect. All shite covers as well, even Kylie. Correct, Mr Waitrose David! Having hit singles with Kool & The Gang cover versions. Kylie's doesn't feature K&TG themselves, but the other two do. Have the group no pride?

BONUS QUESTION (for Natasha Bedingfield only): What exactly is a ‘hyperbowl’ and how would you hide behind one?

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One of the unexpected Chr*stm*s presents Chig received from Chigsister ten days ago - unexpected partly because Chig was unaware of its existence - was an amusing little book called 'Eats, Shites & Leaves'. It is, of course, a light-hearted companion volume to the book which Chig was given TWICE twelve months before. (Not that my friends think I'm some kind of anally-retentive, pedantic grammar nerd, oh no.) Subtitled 'Crap English And How To Use It', it complements the original book by Lynne Truss (or the Saviour of the English Language, as I like to call her), rather than parodying it excessively. It gives entertaining and amusing examples of crap English, as used in real life, such as, "Elephants please stay in your car" and "Why not have your children shot for Easter, or have a family portrait taken?"

With this in mind...

Last week, at work, Chig was surprised to receive an e-mail, sent to every single employee across the company, saying that our German parent company is donating a million Euros to the tsunami appeal. I wasn't surprised by the announcement itself, but by the fact that it was in German, and German only! Luckily, my distant memory of German 'A' Level and more recent German Eurovision entries can see me through, but I can't speak for the rest of the UK workforce...

Today then, unsurprisingly, we receive a company-wide e-mail in English from the Big Cheese of the UK bit of the company, explaining what we're going to do from our end. Except that the way they do these things is that he sends it to a few Sous-Cheeses, they send it to their underlings with an added comment or two, then they add something and forward it to their minions, etc., etc. (It's called 'cascading' and it ensures one thing; that several people, somewhere along the line, miss out on important company communications. But I digress.)

So, this e-mail reaches me fourth or fifth hand. The original message is very commendable and strikes just the right tone. However, somewhere along the way, another manager has got hold of it and added the following line. (Only the company name has been removed to protect the guilty.) Prepare to cringe.

"Please forward to your team, [we] are contributing to the disaster."

Textbook. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. So, now you know. It was nothing to do with the movement of the Earth's tectonic plates - it was our bloody company that was largely to blame.

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Well, well, well! A surprise number one in both charts today, as Steve Brookstein, against all odds (geddit?!) climbs a place to the top spot, ending the Band Aid 20 run after 4 weeks. He therefore claims the 998th UK number one, coincidentally allowing us to use the name of one of his X Factor rivals as the title for this post, as we await the one thousandth. Neat, huh?! Album-wise, the kids have been spending their Chr*stm*s vouchers on 'real music' by bands, partly due to the price reductions in the sales. This means spectacular rises for The Zutons (up 30 to #6) and The Killers (up 19 to #5), with Green Day zooming up 12 places to number one!

Band Aid 20 now slot in nicely between the original 1984 version (5 weeks at number one) and 1989's Band Aid II (3 weeks), giving 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' a total of 12 weeks at number one. It's an impressive total for one song, but still fewer than many songs by just one artist (Frankie Laine's 'I Believe' (18 weeks), Bryan Adams' '(Everything I Do) I Do It For You' (16), Wet Wet Wet's 'Love Is All Around' (15), for example). 'Unchained Melody' has spent 18 weeks at number one, as it's the only song to be a UK number one for four different artists. Band Aid 20 is also, of course, the biggest-selling single of 2004 in the UK, knocking Eamon down to number 2.

So, the 1,000th number one is within sight. Hopefuls for the 999th, in the shops tomorrow, include Blue, Kasabian, Scissor Sisters, Manic Street Preachers, Iron Maiden and Erasure, but my money's on Elvis's second number one returning to the top in 7 days' time; Jailhouse Rock. Elvis's first number one, All Shook Up, also goes on sale tomorrow, but it won't count for the chart because it's being sold with a big box, in which to keep all 18 of Elvis's re-released number ones over the coming weeks. This makes it ineligible for the chart. So, in order to have a chart entry the day after what would have been Elvis's 70th birthday next Saturday (8th), the record company are re-releasing his second number one at the same time as the first.

All of this makes it quite likely that the 1,000th number one will now be two weeks today, and that it will be Elvis's 1959 double A-side, 'One Night' and 'I Got Stung', originally the 80th number one (and perhaps two of Presley's least well-known chart-toppers). Time to get to the betting shop before people realise this. Don't tell anyone I told you...

UPDATE: Tuesday 04/01/05. My local Asda isn't stocking the Elvis box with 'All Shook Up' in it, the twonkers, so it's just as well it doesn't qualify for the chart. Interesting to note though, that they had completely sold out of 'Jailhouse Rock' today, despite only putting it at #3 in their prediction chart (behind Brookstein still at #1 and Blue new at two).

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Welcome to the Noughties - second half.

Five down, five more to go. Excellent party last night - thank you Peter. Excellent vodka (no hangover) - thank you Asda. If you're wondering exactly how much fun Chig was having at about 3am today, the evidence is here and here. Full party galleries here and here. Thank you Daren and Justin! Congratulations too on capturing one of the highlights of the party; standing in the middle here.

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[18:45] Chig has been having a blog-free Chr*stm*s and a Chr*stm*s-free blog, while letting normal life intrude (which has been an emotional rollercoaster in itself). Chig has also been busy being a Chr*stm*s curmudgeon, which gets easier every year.

Tonight, however, is Chig's favourite night of the season - all the partying and none of the religious bits to spoil it. A quick drink tonight in one Moseley flat with some friends, then a dash across to Edgbaston for a bigger party in a bigger flat - the same venue as last year, as it was so good. Normal, irregular service will be resumed on here whenever I can be bothered. I'm not normally one for New Year resolutions, but I have vowed one thing; to stop promising on here that things will materialise at some point in the future. Because they rarely do. I have read back some of my postings, and, quite frankly, I'm embarrassed by the number of false promises I've made in the past. No more. And that's a promise.

In the meantime, may all your New Year's Eve parties be as fun as they can possibly be against the backdrop of the suffering that's going on in Asia at the moment. (I'm trying not to sound too trite here - there's suffering going on all over the place, all year, every year. It's just that the tsunami catastrophe is so vast, so upsetting and so all over the newspapers that it's right at the forefront of our thoughts, as we join those poor people who have already seen in 2005 as I write this, with no cause for celebration or optimism.)

Hmmm, that was a jolly New Year message, wasn't it? I think I'd better stop there. Happy New Year to all my friends and readers. xxx Chig.

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