Last night I was talking to my friend Lidia at the other, farthest end of the world on the skipefone for well over two hours at some stupid hour; my first lesson today is only at 12 so I was planning on sleeping till 10; now the postman (who clearly hates me) wakes me up at 9 with a parcel. Can you just leave it in the hallway? No, it has to be signed for. Oh, sorry, I had a late night and it may take me a while to come downstairs. I come downstairs bleary eyed, with hairs pointing in all directions, flailing undone shoelaces and stumbling down the steps because of saiid shoelaces and my knees not wanting to work today -that's novel, normally I have problems climbing steps but it doesn't (it didn't?) usually hurt when going downstairs. 'Sign!' he says, in a sort of Übergruppenführer voice. I sign. I say 'thank you' and he looks at me as if I'd said his mother was a snake. I haven't learned this yet -in London, particularly in public transport but also in some other circumstances, one must never say 'sorry' or even 'thank you'. This is a grievous insult to the other party which merits, at the very least, a fulminating side glance and some muttering under breath. Ah, the happy voices of the Londoners going 'harrmph, bah, humbug'.