1. Watched some Christmas classics with Murtaugh: A Christmas Carol, Excalibur, Everything is Illuminated, Unforgiven. All extremely good. i enjoyed the book of Illuminated very much and expected a flawed film adaptation – instead, it`s if anything better, boiled down to a core of weird humour and horror and Russianness (or rather Ukrainness). It features a deranged dog, Frodo Baggins in an undertaker`s suit, a potato that falls on the floor, genocide, suicide, Nazis, and so on.

2. Murtaugh has two labradors. Amusing, amiable dogs. As something of a dog man, i appreciate the proximity of houndkind, and they respond to my appreciation with incredible tail-wagging and looks of glee, which in turn increases my appreciation, and so increases the almost lunatic tail-wagging, until the entire body wobbles as if made of jelly. i usually break this virtuous cycle by laughing at them till they go away.

3. Murtaugh has allowed me to accompany the family on visits to local American families. i study Americans with intense curiosity, having read many American books & blogs, but having in the flesh met very few – and those i think entirely Americans who have fled America for the Old World, and so not wholly representative. The second family said “it`s good to see that we`re not all like John Wayne”, to which i responded: “John Wayne is cool!” Impassioned conversations about guns, bullet types, wounds, Patton, Nam, etc., while Murtaugh (a peace-loving man) looked on in horror. Later he said, “why is it Americans always end up talking about violence?” – to which one answer would have been, “because i prompt and encourage them.”

4. i ate the pork pie and didn`t die. Murtaugh filmed me eating it but i might not publicize the footage, as i have an odd aversion to moving pictures (of myself). First damn pie i`ve had since August.