To Birmingham early for my work’s annual conference and Christmas party. Except that due to the Heathrow fog all planes were delayed, mine by nearly two hours. The conference had its amusing moments but was largely unedifying – every year we get told the same messages – and, faced with the prospect of more fog-bound delays tomorrow morning I tossed one of the chocolate pennies laid out for us on the table to see whether I’d stay for the party or change my flights and come home tonight. It said come home and I was relieved. I don’t find it easy to chat, much less to get down and boogie, with people I only know from emails. I’m only comfortable talking about work with these people, so I’m an arch-bore at these events. So while the others were tucking into a high-quality meal in their glad rags I was sitting, delayed, in Birmingham airport with a large coffee, a bun and a book and quite happy, thank you.