.. the prize being keeping my professional practicing certificate when the relevant date comes round in just under 12 months time. Continuing Professional Development points that is. Thinking I'd better go and get some I glanced at the noticeboard and saw there was something on at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies about enviromental law and the human rights act, alternatively something on in the Law Society about A. v. Home Secretary (the nice little mess the Lords' made of the Government's "anti-terrorism" legislation last month). Since (a) the Law Society one cost 10 quid while the other was free; (b) the Law Society sold off the better contents of its wine cellar a few years ago and (c) the IALS one was actually tangentially relevant to stuff I do, I went to that.
The relevance is fairly simple: a great deal of environmental law is about land; property rights in and liabilities in respect of land is a fairly major strand of my practice, so though environmental stuff doesn't come up that often in things that come in to me, I tend to try and keep some vague idea of what's going on in that field. You never know what might be in your pigeonhole tomorrow. I have done very minor bits of work on, for instance, the fall-out from what remains the leading pollution case in England and Wales. That case itself is years old, but the litigation continues, since ever since then two (and occasionally three) parties have been suing one another, in several different cases, originally and still mainly to decide "well, who's really going to pay for all this". When I was a pupil I sat in on one of the trials and heard the judge wonder whether some of the later cases between the parties really owe more to the individuals behind it all really not liking one another very much and spending their weekends thinking up new cases to bring (to quote: "this case is another in the seemingly un-ending string of litigation between X and Y. After two days of argument it remains a mystery to me why the outcome of this case actually matters, practically speaking, to either party, ") but I digress.
The answer to the question
how much difference has the Human Rights Act made to environmental litigation? turned out to be
bugger all, which is probably a good thing.
The wine almost certainly wasn't any better there than at the Law Society, but the conversation afterwards probably was. At least, it seemed so after several glasses of the wine.
In other news, I spent Saturday morning recovering from a hangover, courtesy of A.J.Hall&Co, Saturday afternoon at the first part of the NT adaptation of His Dark Materials in the company of Steve, Martin, Kim, and Kate (comments after part 2 next Sat but in short well worth it, thanks to Steve for organising us) then descended.. there is no alternative to the phrase "from the sublime to the ridiculous" here... to Chinese Elvis on the Old Kent Road with Steph, Rob, Adele, D, and Adele's parents. Words fail me. Sunday I'm unsure what I did but my tax return remains as yet unfiled.
Back from hols, of which more sometime, possibly. Right at the moment I'm trying to deal with an atrocious hangover courtesy of Joff and Harry's wedding, before going out on the piss with Fairymelusine.
I've nothing to say about the Indian Ocean earthquake that hasn't been said already. List of aid organisations here: if you can, and haven't already, use it. And see also the The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Blog.
Being hungover would seem to be the answer of the day. That pre-Christmas run of incipient alcoholism has begun already -party in Kingston last night. And I'm so cold my brane is friz.
What's the worst thing about the new JFK assassination simulation game?:
Every time you win, you get shot to death by Jack Ruby
No multi-player mode, unlike the real version
High scorer lists are immediately classified for some reason
Cursor keeps going back and to the left when it shouldn't
To those of you under 30 I have some bad news to impart. The day after your 30th birthday you will wake up with the worst hangover of your life. You think it's merely an aberration, for obvious reasons. But it isn't. You have lost the ability to drink and wake up fresh and rosy the next morning.
You have also lost the ability, but not the desire, to go out and have fun on a Friday night. It will take you at least three years before this fact finally permeates your thick skull.
There are exceptions of course. The inimitable Eurotrash springs to mind.
I'm not one of them and will be very unhappy tomorrow morning.
Must find neurofen before going to bed.
"I don't know when I'll read it: I don't think it would be healthy for me to get depressed to any further extent. And close engagement with the details of this administration--on any issue--is always depressing."
"Waked in the morning with my head in a sad taking through the last night’s drink, which I am very sorry for; so rose and went out with Mr. Creed to drink our morning draft, which he did give me in chocolate to settle my stomach".
Ah Sam, I sympathise. But.. chocolate and beer?
"Now I usually get myself more organized with a To Do List. It reminds me what I have to do and not do and keeps me organized. I think Ariel Sharon would be able to keep things much straighter if he just kept a goals calendar to keep himself on track. Ariel Sharon, here is an idea to get you started:
- brush teeth
- buy eggs
- do not kill Yasser Arafat.
- go jogging!
- dismantle settlements
- for lunch: a light salad.
- do not kill Yasser Arafat."
Who needs other blogs when you have these three? Well, me, obviously, neverthless they're all high on my list.
It has been pointed out to me, from time to time, that I give the impression of being, frankly, either pissed off or mildly depressed most of the time, particularly here.
In truth, I'm reasonably cheerful most of the time these days, a little ray of sunshine no less. Well, not that perhaps, but generally fine.
As I write this, I'm rather more than fine... I'm sitting on the top of Primrose Hill, the sun is shining, I've cast several clouts though May isn't even in, yet alone out, Palestrina's Missa Dum Complerentur (Westminster Cathedral Choir cond. My Friend Martin) is doing its best to convince me that there is indeed a God, and there's a little green bottle, a little yellow bottle, and some ice helping with the argument.
So yah boo sucks to you all. The laptop battery may soon run out, and there are two files at home requiring attention, but for the present life is fine.
Things weren't quite so good when I woke up. This is largely my own fault: I decided on impulse to join Steve, along with Brendan and Guy, in the Albion.... After much whisky, and some absurd pontificating on music on my part, I did manage to make my own way home and even start making some pasta, as I hadn't eaten all day. Unfortunately I then fell asleep on the sofa, and was only woken just in time to stop my saucepan becoming a casualty. At that point I decided discretion was the better part of valour and went and lay down on my bed, still fully dressed: the next thing I knew John Peel was telling Odd Little Tales of Daily Life on Radio 4 and I felt like death.
I have the mother and father of all hangovers. I also managed to fall asleep on the nightbus last night and was awoken only by Rob ringing me to ask a question about legal things. Why he thought I might have a coherent answer at 2AM when he knew the condition I was in at 1AM is slightly beyond me. At least the answer to my first comment of "where the FUCK am I" received a kind answer from the other pissheads on the bus, and it was only Hampstead, which I could find my way back from.
I also managed to make a classic mistake and wake up in a flat with (1) NO COFFEE, (2) NO CIGARETTES, and (3) Only one neurofen.
Am now wasting time in Virgin megastore listening to a remix of My favourite things. Utterly bizarre.
Rob, I spoke to Steph to give a sober answer to your question earlier, but call me again if you need to. Did I have a small fight with K last night by the way?
I've been so pressed with urgent work today I have only had three cigarettes and one cup of coffee since I got here. Those of you who know me well will surely appreciate just how bad a mood I'm in as a result. I didn't help that I was researching a highly silly, not to mention technical point, a real lawyers', last refuge of the scoundrel point about being out of time by a day or two (the scoundrels would be our opponents, rather than us).
Went to the Cork and Bottle last night (one of London's secret rather good Real Wine Bars -not to be confused with wine bars, Real Wine Bars like the C&B or Gordon's sell decent wine, end of story-) last night and drank with K. and A., Steph, H, and Ian. K having just finished her transfer paper she was actually more in a mood to drink heavily than the rest of us for once, and twisted all our arms. I blame it entirely on her that I woke up this morning with a mild hangover. So I wasn't in a good mood when I started the day. Now my mood is best described as steamingly bad, and I'm going out to dinner with a very old friend in about an hour. Obviously I should chain cigarettes and coffee till then. Weekend, not sure, might be going to see another old friend (both of them come from my first, UCL, university career, more than 10 years ago now, God I get depressed when I think that). Oh, and I have to have a case summary in one of the big cases I'm on done by Wednesday, so I'm going to have to do a fair amount of work too. Bah.
My new, Prudent, Gordon-inspired, tight fiscal policy comes into force on Tuesday... Except for going to see To Kill the King, or whatever it's called, Tim Roth as Cromwell and Rupert Everett as Charles I sounds inspired to me, and the new Helena Bonham Carter thing.. who cares what it's about.
Incidentally, why is it that women, in my experience, can never make the distinction between lust for a celebrity (which is fine, obviously) and lust for someone real (which isn't, when you're in a monogamous relationship?...In any case,you'd think since I'm single I'd now be free to lust after who I please, but apparently not, ho hum.) Answers on a postcard to...
I couldn't find my keys this morning, and wondered desparately, full of confusion, around my flat, screaming out loud, "where are they, I put them somewhere safe, I know it." Much like my dreams.