Not on holiday

Good Lord but there’s a lot of stuff in my flat. Lots of it seems to be in boxes now, although a lot of it still isn’t, and there’s plenty of it still uncategorised, lying around on top of various surfaces waiting for a gap in another box. Packing should be something I’m quite good at now, but I still find myself looking at things not sure if they deserve a new box or can go with the others. Partly it’s because I’m conscious that this time if I pack something it won’t be unpacked for another six months. Really, I think, I’m just confused at the amount of stuff I can’t put online, the number of pieces of paper that I might need that I can’t upload to somewhere where they don’t take up any room.

On the plus side, I’ve found a whole load of music I’d forgotten about, music that’s safely wrapped up as mp3s and taking up no space, although the CDs it came on seem to exist still and will be a job to move into a van on Thursday and no mistake. I wonder how many gigabytes the boxes in my sitting room represent?

More importantly, the coronation of Mr Abe as Prime Minister of Japan seems to have proved a flaw in my hair-based assessment of the contenders’ chances of a few weeks ago. Now he’s won, I’m reminded that of the three in the photo I originally discussed, he had the most individual hair (parted very near the centre), which might reflect a new willingness to embrace idiosyncracy after Koizumi’s mane proved itself to be worn by a man capable of bringing major reform to Japanese society. Something else that occurs to me is that I have no way of telling whether the photograph was reversed: in that case, Mr Tanigaki may have actually been wearing a right-hand parting, while Mr Abe and Mr Aso would have been wearing left-hand partings. If that’s so, then perhaps the original hypothesis of the paper (that a right-hand parting is more conventionally associated with success in public life, but a left-hand parting is associated more strongly with exceptional individuals) needs refining to take into account the distance from the centre of the head.

While we’re thinking about outgoing Prime Ministers, I’d like to show everyone the archive of Koizumi’s regular email columns, “Lion Heart” and “What’s up around the Prime Minister”. The title “Lion Heart” is “a reference to the Prime Minister’s lion-like hairstyle and his unbending determination to advance structural reform”: this clarification appears at the bottom of each mail and doesn’t really reflect the calm and insightful (although still diplomatic) content of each issue, in which Koizumi travels the world like a wiser Candide, marvelling at how deep holes can be dug, or how relevant a particular poet’s writing is still today. Of course, it’s released by the public relations department, and it’s hardly going to contain any gossip: still, I can’t help wishing that our spin and presentation had the same character.

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