Sam came round last night with my birthday present – a home champagne making kit which she’d made for me.
In fact, it consists of a bottle of cheap white wine and a soda-stream machine – a 1980’s device for making fizzy drinks at home by pumping compressed gas into them.
I put the wine into the device and pressed the button. The entire kitchen was immediately showered in flat white wine.
Mary - working as a journalist in china is currently reporting on the aftermath of the earthquake. It sounds terrible.
But Rather bizarrely, the earthquake is playing in the media over here as good propaganda for China. After the dreadful, unconscionable response of Burma’s government to the typhoon, China suddenly looks like a model of open government – letting in aid workers, encouraging foreign help, responding with troops and as much organisation as they can put together – and allowing the story to be told globally.
After china’s PR disaster in running the Olympic torch through the world’s major cities – and being challenged every step of the way by protesters demanding a free Tibet, suddenly China is seen in a far better light when they’re just doing what comes naturally – not looking for PR at all.
Maybe there’s a lesson here in not trying to spin too hard.
Maybe the press here and the aid agencies are using the Earthquake in china to talk about Burma.
Maybe we’re just so used to the west being dominant in the world and so scared of China’s power, that we’re only prepared to acknowledge the positive side of China when it needs our help.