Tuesday, January 30, 2007

New Favourite Website

The Bus Driver's blog.

Having a dad who was a bus inspector and having spent many a happy hour on Glasgow buses this is all true.

Read it - and just try not to die laughing.

Furry and other letterboxes

Way back in the day when I still cared about being a political activist my biggest bug-bear was letterboxes. Little letterboxes, low letterboxes, sideways letterboxes and most frustratingly of all - furry letterboxes that trapped your hand or made you smoosh your leaflets just to get the damn thing through. I am delighted that Tim Roll-Pickering has started a petition to encourage the PM to do something about this scourge on democracy.

The wording is:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to improve letter boxes.
Delivering to the public is an important part of political engagement. We call for legislation to make it easier for voters to be engaged by requiring all letter boxes to be:

*Located at a clear height
*Easy to post through
*Designed to allow leaflets to be posted without destroying them
*Designed to protect people's hands when posting
*Dog proof

In addition we call for doors to have the number clearly displayed and doorbells to be easy to find (with defunct doorbell buttons removed).
I have happily signed this and encourage everyone to join in.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Help A Girl In Need

Well, a bit of an exaggeration, not quite in need - just looking to make the odd pound here and there. Literally.

If you sign up to YouGov you can earn money for giving your opinions on various subjects. If you sign up using this link I can earn money for every survey you complete. The money doesn't come in quickly, but it does build up slowly but surely.

So go on - help a girl in need....

Can't Resist This One

Courtesy of the Herald diary

A DRIVER weaving erratically down the road was asked by the police officer who pulled him over to breathe into a breathalyser, but he declined and produced a letter from his doctor which stated: "This man suffers from terrible asthma. Please don't make him perform any action that'll leave him short of breath."

So the officer asked for a blood sample, but then a second letter was produced which said: "This man is a haemophiliac. Please do not cause him to bleed in any way."

Exasperated the officer said he would need a urine sample, but at that a third letter was flourished in which was written: "This man plays cricket for England. Please don't take the piss out of him."

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

An apology....

Sorry for lack of posts - things are just ever so slightly manic at the moment. Should all quieten down after Sunday.

In the meantime a link to a story from Dizzy. I fully concur with the last sentence.

And a couple of films for you to watch:

Normal service to be resumed soon.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

New Links

My husband has now launched a website for his photography business. Still some work needed on the site, but do visit, enjoy the foxy and think about any photography you would like - family portraits, pet portraits, would you like to buy a wildlife image - get in touch.

Darren Hector - Photographer

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Fat Fighters

Off to my first Slimming World meeting tonight in an attempt to lose my 4 stone this year.

If the consultant is Marjorie Dawes and the diet plans consist of dust then I'm off.

Yucky Search Terms

Have been having one of my periodical search-terms looks, seeing how people end up here. As always most I can guess why they ended up here but not this one

Nude Photos Kirsty Wark

Why on earth would anyone want such things? Yuuuuuuuuuuuurrgh

The Wrong Answer

The Telegraph today reports that the government is actively considering ending the anonymity for rape victims/accusers.

This is a dreadful idea, completely wrong-headed and in an attempt to solve a serious problem would be creating even more serious issues.

There is a problem with false allegations of rape for whatever reason, and the women who do this not only wreck the lives of the innocent men that they accuse, but also make it harder for other women who have been raped to have the strength to come forward with confidence that they will receive the support and help they deserve. The answer to the (relatively) small number of women who behave in such a wicked manner cannot be to penalise the women who most need support.

Having said that - until conviction, the charged man should be allowed his anonymity. This protects both men who are innocent from being falsely identified as a rapist and also the victims, as in over 50% of rapes the attacker is a partner or former partner.

We cannot assume that every man found not guilty of rape has been falsely accused. Only 15% of rapes are reported, 20% of these make court and 6% of these result in convictions. More men are getting away with rape than women are lying. To introduce something else which makes the experience harder for victims would be unforgiveable.

Rape Crisis
Truth About Rape

Seven Deadly Sins

Spotted on Paul Burgin

Envy:Very Low
Lust:Very Low
Pride:Very Low

Take the Seven Deadly Sins Quiz

I think I may have scored particularly highly on sloth as I have no problems with sleeping past noon on the weekend.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Fortune - Million Pound Giveaway

Over Christmas and New Year we recorded a hell of a lot of films and TV programmes (God Bless Sky+). We're now getting down to the serious business of watching them all - well, it's January who can afford a social life?

So last night we watched one of the DVDs we had recorded from last week's TV. And found the campest, funniest, trashiest TV programme ever. Fortune - Million Pound Giveaway where plebs beg five rich people for money. It was brilliant. Perhaps the best telly programme ever, but in a really bad way.

The first bloke on was an ex-fatty who needs £5,000 for a tummy tuck, and we got to see the tummy that needs the tucking. Blurgh. Then the heartstrings got a good tugging by the 11 year old former cancer sufferer who wanted money to buy a caravan for sick children and their families to have a holiday. I cried. I was laughed at....

It's just a nightmare, like Dragon's Den but 300 rungs down the ladder of taste and decency.

I'm hooked.

Friday, January 05, 2007

A Happy Bunny

I am a very happy bunny and feel exceptionally proud of myself. A project I have been working on since about July last year has now almost finished. And damn it's a good project if I do say so myself.

Photo shamelessly stolen from the Rabbit Welfare Fund.

Sound of Music Review

One of the big events over Christmas and New Year (other than our very first time organising a family Christmas in our own wee home) was taking both sets of parents to see The Sound of Music at the London Palladium.

I was addicted to How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria and when Connie won we booked tickets pretty much before Graham Norton finished the show. My mum and dad were (are) huge Connie fans, even to the point that my dad voted. This was a Big Thing!

It was a fantastic night. Connie was fantastic as Maria, from the opening scene where she sings the big number right to the very end where the von Trapp family sing on the mountains she really shines. Her voice is really sweet and she is totally convincing as the will-o-the-wisp, and quite adorable when she realises she loves the Captain and has to run away.

Alexander Hanson is a handsome leading man who is strong enough to really sell his part, but has the nouse to know that really we only care about Maria.

The von Trapp children are great and the night we went the little girl playing in Gretl is just sooooo sweet.

I was also totally bowled over by Lesley Garrett as the Mother Superior, although Darren did think that she over-sold "Climb Ev'ry Mountain".

The set is fabulous, perhaps the best I have seen (excluding the Les Miserables one) and everything just came together beautifully.

If you can - get to London and see it. It's worth every penny.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen resolutions/goals for 2007.

1. Make more of my violin lessons

2. And linking to this - achieve my Grade 1

3. Lose at least 4 stone in weight - probably a year long project

4. Make sure I eat my five a day

5. Learn something new - we're thinking at the moment about learning to fence

6. Not buy so many books - not until I've read lots more of my unread

7. Blog more - and not be so afraid to blog on things I hold strong opinions on

8. See my friends more often - after leaving Glasgow and all during the time I worked for the Conservative Party I neglected my friends. I saw some for the first time in years in 2006, this year I will do better.

9. Not spend quite so much money that I don't really have....

10. Be a bit less grumpy and impatient with people

11. Keep my desk tidy (ok, so we're getting into the realms of wishful thinking here)

12. Move a little bit faster in the morning - it really shouldn't take me over an hour to get ready

13. Think carefully about topics for Thursday Thirteens so that I don't start rambling too much by number 7.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Cheapening of the Honours System

It made the news yesterday that boxer "Prince" Naseem Hamed has been stripped of his MBE after his jail sentence. I must admit to feeling a little bit of sympathy for him. He committed a crime, was sentenced and served his time in prison (although my views on serving 16 weeks of a 15 month sentence is another issue!)so what is achieved by stripping him of his MBE? He was awarded his honour for his boxing achievements - as far as I can tell these achievements still stand.

It's just another example of the Honours System being debased and used as a way of Blair cashing in on the popularity (or otherwise) of specific celebs. Is every recipient of an honour who is found guilty of a criminal offence stripped of the honour? I don't know, but I doubt it. But Hamed's crime was high profile so something had to be done....

I won't go into the whole issue of the Cash for Peerages issue, but I look forward to those found guilty of any crime involved losing their honours - potentially including their membership of the Privy Council. My issue with the Honours System for a while has been the handing out of major honours to people just because of their celebrity status. Kelly Holmes is great, but why did she receive a Damehood? And we all know that if England had won the the World Cup we would have woken up on New Year's Day to Sir Becks.

The Honours System has become Blair's tool to ingratiate himself with the rich and the famous and jump on popularity bandwagons - that is what has truly cheapened it, not the crimes of individual recipients.