I had some superb birthday presents this year. I’d especially like to thank Judith for Keane’s Hopes And Fears, Leasey for Ultraviolet, and the Anonymous Economist for the Pierre Marcolini chocolates.

Despite the cliché title, Hopes And Fears is a real delight. It’s indie rock descended from the Radiohead-Coldplay line, but without the guitars. She Has No Time in particular is beautiful.

Ultraviolet is the best British science fiction series broadcast in the history of television. It is stylish, clever, funny, and scary. It also looks amazingly good: it’s well lit and shot on film. If you haven’t seen it or heard of it then it’s important that you read nothing more about it. [This is why I provide no link.] You are one of the fortunate ones. Buy it on DVD as soon as you can. Tell no one. As soon as you have your copy, play the first disc without reading any of the packaging and let its mystery unfold. If, by the time you’ve finished watching the series, you think it’s rubbish I’ll refund your money.

Pierre Marcolini is supposedly one of only four true chocolatiers on the planet. This is because it owns its own plantation. It may well own its own slaves as well. I don’t want to know, because I would have to stop eating their chocolate. It’s the best I have ever tasted—and I’ve eaten a lot of chocolate.

I’d also like to thank the people who bought me foodstuffs that I like, but chose the Fair Trade, organic variety especially to wind me up.