Monthly Archives: February 2009

Zoonoses…

The last few days I have been in a major London hospital, tucked away in the dark and dusty attics. This has not been a nice experience. It doesn’t help when the Health and Safety report comes through saying, ‘there hasn’t been any inspection or maintanence done up in the attics for years so it would best assume that no floor boards are safe (and the several missing ones suggest this is true) there are also no reports on asbestos, so it you see anything that looks like it might be, leave it alone. There is also the risk of zoonoses due to the large amounts of pigeon crap* on the floor.

They failed to mention that there were also no lights of any sort. There is no better way to spend your day than in a dark, dirty, dusty, cramped room. I was also enamored by the fact that access was up a series of rickety ladders. Not usually too bad, unless you have to carry very bulky and heavy kit up as well.

It’s one of those situations where you walk outside, take a deep breath of the London traffic and go, “Ahhh, fresh air!!”

* – I may have paraphrased a little bit…

Do I have to go to school today…??

Well, though I will admit to being up all day Saturday (by which I mean all day) and therefore sleeping most of sunday to compensate I really, really don’t want to be up and about this morning.

Alas The Boss wants me to go do some work so I suppose I’d better finish this cup of tea and find out where in London I’m going to today.

“To see my friends…”

Having counted to ten I now think I can have my rant to those who are against Stem Cell research.

In yesterday’s Metro was the story of an American girl taking driving lessons. Not so unusal so far. However, seven months ago she had 20/4000 vision in one eye and only perceive light in the other.

Having travelled to China for treatment she now has 20/80 vision in one eye and 20/+400 in the other, which is an amazing improvement!! The quote that sold me was, “I always wondered what it would be like to see my friends.” It is just a shame that she was unable to get any sort of treatment like that at home.

Getting more sleep…

I slept in today. All the way till 6pm. It was quite nice.

Now before you start grumbling about how lazy that appears I would like to point out that I didn’t actually get to bed until nearly noon. This was after working (yes WORKING, on a Saturday) all night out on the railways somewhere in north-east London.

It might not have been so bad if I hadn’t been to Bath on the Saturday for a shoot. If I had slept all Saturday I wouldn’t feel quite so tired right now.

Just think, I had planned on posting earlier this week about burning the candle at both ends, after a series of early starts and late finishes, but starting 7am Saturday and finishing 11.30am Sunday sort of puts that to pale.

I’m just going to do nothing now and then getting more sleep.

For those of you who insist…

For those of you who haven’t forgotten, tomorrow (well, today actually) is St Valentine’s Day. For those of you who have all sorts of romantic plans, go have fun.

For those of us who aren’t going to spend money on St Hallmark’s Day, remember that we don’t need a calander to tell us that we’re special. We won’t have to deal with the stress of finding a resturant booking, nor have the waiter hovering for us to finish so they can get the next set of diners in. We won’t have to deal with long queues at cinemas and theatres. We can sit back with our cups of tea/coffee/wine/beverage of your choice and enjoy a regular Saturday.

Afterall, after Christmas I think Valentine’s Day is the most popular day for couples to break up… ahhhh, sweet romance!!

What does this say of angels…??

I think that Kent County Council have too much money. I’m thinking this because they are planning on making a southern equilivent of the Angel of the North. Now I am a big fan of the AotN. I have been there several times and it is fabulous.

This horse-thingy that is the apparently planned idea looks silly (a giant bridled horse..?? I mean really!??!). Sure, the symbol of Kent is a horse, there is even a chalk cut horse on the way into Folkstone but this is no angel.

The Angel of the North has something very elegant about it’s presence. It was made locally and if you’re heading north on the A1(M), especially in the evening, and it suddenly looms against the sodium-orange lit clouds… there over looking everyone on their journeys. It is even more impressive than when you drive along the A303 and Stonehenge comes into view… and that really is a let down!!

I have seen all these photos with the apparent horse supperimposed into them and they look really, really pants.

 

I have also updated the All About Me section over to the right. That damned ’25 things’ meme that has been doing to round. If you want to be tagged, consider yourself tagged!!

What is in a word…

To quote the great Sir Terry Wogan, “Is it me…??

Words are a funny old thing. Actually, language is a funny old thing, but as words make up (a part of, along with grammar, etc) language I’m going to stick with words.  Take the word of the week for example. Golliwog.

A search at dictionary.com will tell you that it either refers to: “a grotesque black doll” or “a grotesque person.” I do notice that it doesn’t say ‘a grotesque BLACK person.’ but that might just be their way of staying on the right side of the PC brigrade.

The thing is this is an offensive word. Well, it has become an offensive word, originally it was the name of a charactor in a book who happened to be black and as there aren’t a lot of identifible black charactors that are widely known in literature has become symnonomous for all black people. If a person is black they are like the Golliwog. They are different from us (the two Dutch Girl Dolls) and therefore are to be feared… at least until we discover that Golliwog is a really nice person.

I can remember being at school (and therefore all young and innocent) and what would now be terms of abuse were not seen as such. The word “Paki” was used by both Whites and non-Whites as a descriptive term. It was only in later life that the meaning that Older People give  to the word meant that it could no longer be used to describe someone of Pakistani descent.

This is the problem with offence. Someone will always take it, (almost) no matterwhat statement you wish to make. Does this mean that we should stop making statments?? Does this mean that we should stop making statements that a certain number of people would find offence at?? Are there groups that we are allowed to offend??

A few years ago there was a big hoo-ha about an opera that the BBC were planning on showing. It was called, Jerry Springer: The Opera and it was the Christian lobby that were getting their knickers in a twist. And this was before it was shown. Now I decided that I would have to know what it was about before deciding if I was going to be offended or not so I watched it and decided that it wasn’t offensive. What was missed was that this wasn’t lampooning Christianity but was lampooning Springer-esq talk shows.

For those that worry whether they may be institutionally rasist (like the guy in The Times today) there is an Implicit Association Test from Harvard University that you can take to see if you do havea  preference to Whites over Blacks. It does warn you that you may not like the answers. According to mine I have a “slight automatic preference for Black people compared to White people.” I would disagree with this but hey, I don’t have a Harvard degree.

What I feel does capture the most likely truth is the song, Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist from the musical Avenue Q. Go listen to it.

Go on… I dare you!!

Extreme dreams…

If you happen to have BBC2 on the tv while you’re eating your dinner you may very well have come across the programme ‘Extreme Dreams‘ with man of all trades Ben Fogle. The format is very simple, Ben takes a group of people on a week long trek though some tough environment (jungle, desert, moutains, etc) with some sort of big finish at the end… a mountain summit or something.

This is the sort of thing I would normally enjoy, and on the whole it is a very good programme. Apart from one thing. The nannyism of Ben Fogle over the members of the group is truely starting to grate on my nerves and how no-one in the group has told him to “eff-off” I don’t know!!

I would also question some of his route planning (he says in the show it’s his route). All the groups are always getting into camp late, but when you consider that the routes seem to include far more cliff climbs than seem necessary I do think that Ben is just making it a lot harder for everyone than it need be.

But the thing that really annoys me is the way every five minutes Ben tells us just “how dangerous” or “life threatening” something is. As if you couldn’t get knocked down by a (bendy)bus in the morning.

Like I said… just the one thing!! ;o)