Times change. In the kitchen, the light smoke from the glowing briquettes rises slowly, ever so, trying to push its way up past the cold mist settling down into the chimney from the November sky. A damp evening rests upon all; the radio crackles in the closed wintergarden, food sits steaming on cold plates and no-one is home but us.
The World Service continues to offer intermissions of static, from beneath which comes Obama's acceptance speech, raising tones of hope amidst ecstatic audience cheering. There are miles of columns to wade through should one wish, miles lauding, expecting, hoping that this night will be a moment held up with the others in the short, short history of a nation. We have had ours, things could have only got better and since then things have got mainly worse. But of course there are extra dynamics at play here, extra loci which demarcate territories unsullied by previous bouts of electioneering in any other country. This is America and the new president is black.
Closer to home, there are thoughts of home. Times have been a little difficult of late; illness, fatigue, a general laboured soul-searching on our own behalves. Feeling sorry for what we have chosen has become a particular late night theme and it is absurd. There are choices and there and there are decisions and that is all that matters. Happiness is the ability to make choices, despair arises from a deprivation of those choices, tragedy from a deprivation self-borne. So to the preparations for tomorrow - meetings with television stations and technicians ahead of January's conference - begin in earnest. After this I shall take a bath, drink some more of the cheap supermarket Chianti and perhaps read a little with a view to writing more in the following days.