Usually when I attend a posh Oxbridgy event I try to admire the view, enjoy the food, be room filler, and actively avoid the important guests as much as possible, simply because I am sure they will be better entertained by others. This explains how I have dined on several occassions with the Crown Prince of Japan, but never even told him how much I like his shiny hair, suit and shoes. However, last night it all went wrong and James and I ended up with the Ambassador to Japan on one side and the head of Exeter College (Oxford) on the other. The main difficulty for me is alcohol tolerance. Being almost half Japanese, my tolerance is quite low, but it takes a couple of glasses of wine before the honoured guests rise to their full intellectual height, by which time I am well on the way down. Anyway, while embarrassing myself, I learned a great deal - that blogging is bad because words are valuable and people should be paid (in cash) for them, that no journalism in the UK happens outside of London, that the cut in the high end income tax rate is a very good thing, that suggesting that people might be considerate towards each other (in the context of drivers, cyclists and pedestrians) is "banal", and that politicians are wonderful people who only "obfuscate" because normal people can't draw the right conclusions when the hard numbers are laid in front of them. I supose that makes it sound terrible, but it really was a lot of fun, and I have taken these messages to heart, particularly the first one, so will make a suitable contribution towards their valuable time and words when I receive my next shiny begging letters from Oxbridge.
On the way home, 2 of the 3 trainlines between Tokyo and Yokohama were down (due to suicide, as usual), so everyone got on one line, and it was an amazing sardine ride, and we got home very late.
[View is from the Ark Hills Club, Roppongi, Tokyo]