Friday, 31 October 2008

Looking good!

The Sidney Cooper Gallery is in Canterbury, on the High Street towards Westgate. Thanks to Lisa for highlighting it


Halloween and I'm sitting in the dark at a deserted railway station.....

Sent using a Sony Ericsson mobile phone


According to the BBC site the Welsh translation doesn't agree with the English text - check out the news story.

60th Anniversary of the UDHR

New video with folk like Jeremy Irons celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Has to be worth a few minutes of your time doesn't it?

Sunday, 26 October 2008


Paula Radcliffe has just been on the local news because she won the Great South Run. Well done her but how fair was it? From what I could see she was wearing running kit but most of the people she beat were dressed as fairies or hippopotamuses or they were pushing carts or prams. Some were wearing wigs and carrying umbrellas while others were dressed as leeks.

If she wants to be taken seriously she should compete properly and that means wearing the same as everyone else.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Doing the Berrill Dash

From here to the OU campus in Milton Keynes is just over 100 miles, most of them on motorways. That sounds great until one considers that the main motorway involved is the M25.

I set off this morning at 06:45 after a light breakfast of fruit and PG Tips. An accident between J28 and J27 meant a long, slow crawl round the top section - more hold-ups between 22 and 21 and then slow traffic on the M1.

At 10:05 I pulled into my reserved space and was under starter's orders for The Berrill Dash. The route starts on a gentle uphill slope to the first of three glass sliding doors - one is operated by a push-pad while the other two are automagic, none can be rushed. Then through reception and and a short flat section heading for the stairs. Careful here as it's downhill and there can sometimes be people heading up them and we're on the flat again in the Berrill Cafe. Timing is key here - arrive at a bad time and the people filtering away from the servery with skinny lattés form a mobile slalom and then it's hard right to the door. Through there at pace and hard right and the finish line - the urinals.

No idea how long it takes but sometimes my vision is compromised and the footwork isn't good as everything is clenched but I'm sure I can't be the only person who speeds past the receiptionist with a resolute grimace.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

And if you haven't seen this you should... - Try clicking things, try clicking things more than once.


I am not one of those who hoists out a soapbox as soon as someone uses "new English". I know the differences and reasons for the differences between US English and the stuff we use here. I don't gasp in shock when someone uses an expletive on TV or radio. I am, I think, reasonable and reasonably balanced. So why do my hackles rise when I hear "myself" when the correct word is "me"? When did "yourself" take over from "you"? Technically it's called hyper-correction and usually indicates the speech of someone who isn't confident of the correct form so they use the longer version thinking it sounds "posh" but it's crept into everyday usage on the BBC (swoon!). It's wrong, plain and bloody simply wrong. Stop it or our ourselves will pop round to yourselves and explain it with some percussive maintenance.

On an allied subject - Chicken Kiev is a dish where chicken breast is stuffed with garlic butter, panéd in breadcrumbs and fried or - in these health aware days - baked in the oven. Chicken Cordon Blu is the same with ham and cheese instead of the garlic butter. Why does every breaded chicken dish with some form of stuffing masquerade as Chicken Kiev when found on the shelves of supermarkets? I know I should make it from fresh but sometimes these things are easier bought ready-prepared but we're raising a generation of people who can't tell the difference between a veloute, a bechemal and a jus lié and it's just not good enough.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Do not go gently........

In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.

Niemöller's poem was written in a Nazi Germany where secret police encouraged neighbours to spy on each other and to inform on those who might have "anti state" views. This continued under communist oppressors in Eastern Europe until the fall of the Berlin wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Despite our knowledge and understanding of this terrible history we're again seeing civil liberties being threatened by a government obsessed with collecting and storing information about the behaviour of its citizens.

The UK government is planning to create a database to store details of every telephone call, email and Internet visit in the UK. They plan to do this in our name and hide behind claims that it's for our safety.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Careers advice

Awesome - check out this story on the BBC page. Can only hope that he gets some careers advice because it seems he's not cut out for this job.

Third years


Julian Bream