This is the scene. Tommy has brought quiche in, a fine looking apple tart and is wearing a red paper hat. Leonardo is looking at re-runs of himself on Creature Comforts , has brought in a chopping board which he intends to use in the preparation of “Brazilian drinks” (when we’re off-air naturally) and has abandoned his hat for a pair of headphones. Rabsy is upstairs in the newsroom, having started her shift 9 hours ago , ready to come down and present for us. Fiona is doing her expenses in between serious research on the Kenyan elections and is wearing a purple paper hat. Over on Newshour, there’s a bit of light-hearted banter between them and us and Lyse Doucet is in the chair telling us to keep the noise down. Their team have a BBC trolley of what looks like ham and chocolates. Our trolley hasn’t arrived. Outside, it’s very grey, very rainy and i’ve just seen an open top tourist bus go past with a top deck full of soaked Japanese tourists on board. We’ve all swopped stories about our mornings before we came in and the whole atmosphere is very surreal. A friend of mine phones to say that his wife woke up in the early hours- worried that not every present wrapped for the family was in the right place. She decided to unwrap them all to make sure. My friend was then up at 3.00 a.m to re-wrap them and make sure they were ok. They were. I’ve just had e-mails from my friends Lubna in Baghdad and Izumi in Japan, neither of whom are “celebrating” Christmas but were thoughtful enough to e-mail while we’re at work. I’m very grateful. Ros, of course, isn’t here- tho’ is “on call” in case we need him to go to the Cornwall unattended studio tomorrow, in case the line to Calcutta goes down (Rahul is presenting from there). yeah, sure.
It’s a sort of Global Conversation. Happy Christmas. Oh, and Leo has not only got his chopping board out- he’s got a pestle and mortar out and is mixing ingredients.