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I got collared by the flower seller who hangs outside the shop at the bottom of our road. We exchanged greetings, decided we hadn't seen one another for some time.

I said, 'it's good news about the rain isn't it?'

He said, 'before, we started the year with fighting - war, then with drought, this year we start with blessings; peace and rain.'

Raila Odinga and whoever will go with him (he hoped the whole Cabinet and all foreign ambassadors/partners would attend), is heading up to the Mau Forest tomorrow to oversee the planting of thousands of trees in the launch of the Mau restoration initiative. He says that he is starting the year with 'action', in order to restore Kenya's major water tower 'for our children.' The whole Mau thing has been highly politicised. Apparently Kibaki is not going.

On the ground.....there are lots of new faces around the supermarket, school playground etc. New kids in the classroom. New expat arrivals in town. That's always quite fun and keeps everybody on their toes. I have made a few mistakes in my cheque book writing '09 instead of '10. The usual thing.

It's quite something being at the start of a new decade.

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