01.11.2008 - 04.11.2008 10 °C
Snippets of news from London.
I went and saw the new James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, which was released a week earlier here than in North America, because he is Britain's super-spy. I liked it, though critics have been pointing out the fact that it is short and not very Bondish - you could have easily replaced Daniel Craig with Matt Damon and called him Jason Bourne instead and had a decent 4th Bourne film. However, I liked the Bourne films and liked the new Bond film too. It takes place (partially) in Bolivia, which long time readers will know as being my first high-altitude nemesis. I was thinking as I watched it that La Paz seemed strangely flat. I remembered it much more hilly, so I stuck around at the end of the movie to see where it was filmed, and it was filmed in Mexico and Chile, so luckily Daniel Craig didn't have to suffer any altitude related problems.
I also noted that they did have the line at the end of the credits saying "James Bond will return," but unlike some of the earlier films, no mention of the title for the next instalment.
I walked out of the theatre to a dark, wet and misty night. Actually, it was early afternoon, around 4:30pm. It gets really dark here, really early. Walking back to my flat in the cold, my hands in my pockets as I weaved in and out of the Canary Wharf traffic I felt a little bit like I could be a British super-spy, trying to shake a tail so I could meet my source. Sadly, I just went to Asda and grabbed some chicken to serve on my pasta for dinner.
It is getting quite chilly out, so I was looking at coats to buy. I have a nice winter coat and a good wind-breaker, but I need something in between for those not-quite-winter-but-too-cold for autumn days. I saw a nice coat at Marks and Spencers for £126, which I almost bought. But then I committed the sin of conversion, and realized that the coat was almost $300 (Canadian). D'oh. Instead, I walked home hunched against the cold.
Saturday, November 2nd saw the running of the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix. British driver Lewis Hamilton was 7 points ahead in the standings, and all he had to do was come in 5th or better to win the race. I went to the Sports Cafe on Haymarket to watch the race with like minded F1 fans. Well, at least some like minded fans. There were a few Ferrari fans there, including this couple that had split loyalties.
It was a thrilling race, with rain at the end messing with the running order, and Lewis Hamilton barely passed Timo Glock at the last corner to come in 5th and secure the championship. He is the first British driver to win the championship since 1996, the youngest driver to ever win and the first black driver to win. He also dates a Pussy Cat Doll.
All this was excellent news for Barack Obama. Why, you might ask? Because In the past 32 years, only in years which British champions have won the Formula 1 championship has a democrat been elected, and vice-versa. 1976 was Jimmy Carter and James Hunt. In 1992, Nigel Mansell and Bill Clinton, and 1996 was Clinton and Damon Hill.
In the event my blog is the first news source you have in the last 24 hours, last night Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States of America. Amazingly, this was such big news that it even managed to knock the ongoing saga of Russel Brand and Jonathan Ross' off the front page of the papers. Apparently getting elected to the most powerful political office in the world is more newsworthy than the outrage of people at two comedians known for doing boundary-pushing, tasteless jokes on late night radio doing... well, a boundary-pushing, tasteless joke on late night radio.
With the win last night of Mr. Obama, this year continues the trend with Lewis Hamilton being the world champion and Barack Obama being president-elect. To further the spooky connections, in the same year we see the first black F1 champion and the first black president-elect!
Well, yeah, okay, it probably is a coincidence. ...but it's still cool.