I've decided I should get better at "small talk". Over the Xmas period I've been amazed at how much people can manage without apparently getting bored. For me it's a real chore. I kind of dry up and want to say things like:
"So ... what do you think about The EU then eh?"
"Hmm ... anyway, Iran is looking quite likely to go nuclear soon isn't it?"
Those kinds of things though generally tend to kill off the vibe a bit at social occasions. See I've noticed that "small talk" seems to involve not actually saying much at all, if it's done well. In terms of conversation I'm a bit "bull in a china shop" sometimes. Need to master talking about less 'weighty' issues I think. I'll record my progress here in future entries.
For Xmas I got Robert Anton Wilson's "Email To The Universe" and have been giving it a good thumbing on the tube on my way to work. If you have never read any of his stuff I can't recommend it enough. I suggest you start with "Prometheus Rising", then move on from there. He's a philosopher of supreme clarity. Useless in relation to my mission regarding "small talk" skills though...