1. It's official. There are 350 languages spoken in London. (Rex – who's in a position to know stuff like this – casually mentioned this one in passing at the London Walks Christmas Party on Monday.)
2. LW star guide Nick has landed a dream role with the Royal Shakespeare Company: Sir Toby Belch in Twelfith Night.
3. Speaking of Nick, this year he produced another cracker of a Christmas Quiz for "the party". Keep an eye out – it'll go up here in due course. It was a Foodies' London job and sure enough, Ann's table romped home. Took the gold.
4. A vignette from my (David's) Hampstead walk on Sunday: we turn the corner out of Flask Walk and a lovely Israeli couple on the walk let fly – they're giggling for all they're worth. I ask 'em, "what's up?" They say, "we just passed a couple of Israelis who were jabbering away in Hebrew while they were putting up Christmas decorations". That's London.
5. Tuesday's Guardian had a piece whose thesis is: as consumers "the British are more powerful shoppers than ever before, but at work they're becoming less independent". Piece goes on to cite research findings that in a future workforce "only 10-15 percent of us will have 'permission to think'. The rest of us will merely carry out their decisions...graduates will end up on the white-collar equivalent of a factory line".
Now to "cheerify" that note – that ain't us (London Walks guides). And it ain't the people who steer clear of bus loads of packaged tourists – who want no part of that scene, thank you very much. It ain't, in short, you guys – our walkers, the people to whom the London Walks website is dedicated. Here's the word for word: This website [www.walks.com] is dedicated, with respect and admiration, to the modern Marco Polo: to all of you - the tolerant, curious, bright, determined, durable, friendly, funny, switched-on, and ever-gallant London Walkers!