Tuesday, 26 December 2006

Thought provoking

I hooked into a stream of blogs written by police officers here in the UK, I've added one to the blog roll. I found them all fascinating; stories of the job and the paperwork and the people and the buzz. This post made me think - on one side the latter parts read like a glorification of violence but I also know that there are times when this direct approach is all that works (I haven't always worked in education - I've given people a tap when it was the appropriate way of sorting a situation which might have gone sideways in a heap). Others are poorly written rants against a system we all face in whatever job we do - sorry folks, that's life! Check out this one - a blog stopped by the bosses and this one is about getting kitted up and walking the beat. I think this post should be required reading for everyone who suffers an crime and this one made me laugh out loud.

And then I hit the Police National Memorial and that made me stop. Here are people who we know work in a dangerous environment, many of them face danger daily when they get a call to a pub fight or a domestic situation but look at how many died in road accidents whilst dealing with traffic accidents or responding to emergency calls. That's when I went and signed the petition for Stephen Oakes. DC Oakes was stabbed during a raid in Manchester and died of his injuries, he entered the flat where Kamel Bourgass had already attacked another policeman. Bourgass was used as a political football, he was found guilty and is now serving a life sentence, the Tories suggested that his presence in the UK was a direct result of the UK's screwed up asylum system and while this was happening the government turned down an appeal that Oakes be awarded the George Cross for his actions. Is the George Cross appropriate? I don't know.

I do know that reading those blogs has made me think about my own views and try to assess where I sit in the coarse topography of sentiment - it seems I'm probably a bleeding heart liberal with right wing leanings, sheesh - that's complicated innit? I'm also sure that awarding Oakes the George Cross sends a signal to all those in the police service that they have wider support and that it's not all "Fort Apache - The Bronx". I know some police officers and they are the nicest people you could ever meet, and I know some who shouldn't be allowed out with civil folks - that shouldn't surprise anyone who doesn't live in a bubble believing that the world is made up of polar opposites and if you want to tell HMG that they should reconsider the refusal to award Oakes the GC the petition is on the Government's petitions site.

Monday, 25 December 2006

Tough stuff

Time for some tough decisions but I guess that's what sorts the men from the boys.

The family have been and having dined on fowl from the East (I bought it in Whitfield which is about 8 miles east of here) and choice tubers they have departed. I was the only one drinking and we all went to The Mermaid where I enjoyed a festive pint and I'm just finished a very agreeable claret. I cooked enough spuds but there are none left for bubble & squeak which is a bit of a bugger but not the biggest deal I've ever dealt with.

The kitchen looks like a bomb has exploded and I have enough washing up for a week or so.
How will our hero deal with all this? Easy really - I've closed the blind in the kitchen so anyone walking past won't worry that the house has been ransacked.

The only decision left to make is whether to hit the Port now or open another bottle of red first - it's a tough old world at times isn't it?
I hope your day has been equally fantabulous.

Sunday, 24 December 2006

Nearly there..

Almost ready to celebrate the feast of feasting. The sprouts are nearly cooked - I put them on early this year, mid-August, as starting them in September as I did last year meant they were a wee bit crunchier than enjoyed by the British palate. Chesnuts in the oven ready for the traditional juggling while trying to peel them hot, still have 20lbs of potatoes to peel and also sweet potatoes and carrots and broccoli and turnips (they'll be roasted with honey). Got a turkey crown so I won't be putting that in brine and the decorations are ready to go up and the presents are ready to wrap.

All that remains is to wish everyone a happy day, whatever you celebrate, and I hope it's peaceful and calm.

Web 2

You know it makes sense! Web 2 will change how we work and here's an advent calendar with goodies!

Saturday, 23 December 2006

Real people "in world"

Some of you may know that I've been exploring Second Life. It's part work and part because I'm curious about all sorts of social networking and SL looks like the big kid on the block right now. And I'm not alone - in amongst the million or so people already "in world" there have been visits from celebs. Now I'm not talking about Boyzone or Bruce Forsyth but real people who are important. That includes folk like Larry Lessig. Check out the full story on New World Notes - including photos of the people and their avs.


Spotted this on Memex (Thanks John!). It's a guy playing Pachelbel's Canon in D Major on an electric guitar. It's absolutely awesome.

Classic game

Here it is!

Thursday, 21 December 2006

And another Christmas wish

Elsewhere I've been involved in a discussion about the best Christmas song. For me it doesn't happen without this one:

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

For those expecting cards

This year I'll be giving to the Salvation Army rather than sending paper and paying Hallmark and Woolworths and the Post Office to do it.


So Jemma and I are just back from the carol singing. I invested a fiver in the Christmas draw and we return victorious! There were 140 prizes and I guess the highlights were the CD player or the electronic keyboard but I'm now the proud possessor of a box of wine. Now this is a technology of which I am aware but I haven't previously used. According to the instructions it holds 3 litres at 12% and once opened must be consumed within a few hours (my glasses steamed up over the later parts of the instructions so I may have misread it). I'm hoping 3 litres of wine will see me through the tricky period between The Mermaid closing at 14:00 on Cristmas Day and then not reopening until midday on Boxing Day.

As if that wasn't enough we also won a Marks & Spencers "Cheese board selection", no board involved but loads of lovely cheese with exciting names (although Dervla Kerwin in the flesh would have worked even better! (She does the voice-overs for those who are confused (and this won't make sense for those outside the ITV area))) - Jemma is a vegetarian so that's her Christmas lunch done and dusted!


Tonight is the annual carol singing in The Mermaid! I'm sure you all remember last year when I tried the mulled cider? If anyone can make it we'll be starting at 20:00 around the tree.

While looking for that post I saw another with photo of the fireplace. Sad to say nothing has changed, the candles are burnt down and there are some different ones. More photos of the children and different logs in the basket but otherwise no change - and it's probably even the same dust!

Sunday, 17 December 2006


George sent me this. It's a webcam in Fuessen, a lovely town in Bavaria - famous for being near Schloss Neuschwanstein. Check it out and see if you spot something unexpected?


So who shifted Nottingham so far north???

Got the train at 06:17 (after running for it as it was in the station while I was buying the ticket) and then crossed London on the packed tube and grabbed another train at St Pancras (Patron saint of livers) and then another at Grantham - famously voted the most boring town in England and the birthplace of Maggie. Three and a bit hours of really useful meeting and then headed back home.

Train from Nottingham to London died outside Bedford so when it limped into Beds we were all turfed off and told to take the next train - anyone surprised that it was full? 40 minutes standing in very close proximity (any closer and we'd have had to marry) to a guy with a limited grasp of English (it was all F*** this and f*** that and trying to get his lady to go in the toilet for a f***) was great prep for hitting the tube at rush hour. Got home at 20:30 fully fried.

No punchline - just a good day surrounded by 10 hours of travel which was less than useful. I don't want sympathy, just throw money! :-)

Thursday, 14 December 2006

Tres bien excellent!

Got me results and I've now got (subject to graduating in absentia at the end of the month) a Master of Education degree! Am I celebrating tonight? Well no - I'm actually completing an assignment and heading for bed as I've got to get to Nottingham tomorrow but I may crack a beer or two over the wekend :-)

Saturday, 9 December 2006

Mr White?

"Mr White? We need to talk!"
If you've seen the film you'll know what that refers to - if you haven't then you have a treat to come.

Calum and I went to the pictures, last time I saw a film on the big screen the acting people didn't speak but there was a jolly nice chap in the corner of the cinema playing the piano to make things more exciting as the girl was tied to the railway line and the baddie twirled his moustache. Imagine my surprise to find that not only do people speak but their lips move in time to the talking! Imagine also my shock to find that our small selection of pick & mix plus a couple of colas cost in excess of GBP14! The tickets were only GBP12.
Damn fine film, high octane, non-stop, lots of twists and action all the way. Enjoyed it greatly.

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

It's nearly Christmas

So it's time for me to post a link to a post I posted last December.

Festive fun for everyone

Except children I guess! Watch out for the rail tracks - I think the game play is probably intuitive.

No comment


Having a chilled day. I'm working at home but I haven't bothered getting dressed yet. Wandering around grabbing cups of tea and pieces of toast and getting crumbs on the keyboard and generally relaxing. The London gig finished on Monday and the projects will start arriving soon, one is already on the web and it's impressive. As the world slows down for the festive season this tasty breakfast snack caught my eye.