Saturday, 30 June 2007

the media...

... I'm really annoyed at how the media are portraying the two car bombs in London yesterday. As far as I can see, everything worked as it should: A member of the emergency services was vigilant, noticed something was wrong and reported it; the second car had been towed away on parking violations and was therefore no longer in a crowded place. Both devices were gotten to before they exploded.

In a major international city, this is what's meant to happen. The police are not going to get a heads-up on every person who wants to kill people with bombs and it is ridiculous to think that they should. What should happen is that people are vigilant, report things they see, and the emergency services deal with these things in a calm and professional way.

This is what happened, but rather than herald it as a success, the media (and the Government) seem determined to use it as a way of scaring people. The only person who sounded sensible about it all was Ken - I just hope he gets re-elected next year...

OK - rant over now, I'm going to watch the final ep of Doctor Who (and then spend the rest of the evening dissecting it on message boards!).

useful insomnia...?

am not asleep, although I'd like to be - I thought I'd make myself useful and do various bit so admin that I'd been putting off. One of them was my tax return (not due until the end of the year, but I'd already done the hard bit of working my way through about 3 trees' worth of invoices and receipts, so it was just a job hanging about). I thought it would be a nightmare as I couldn't find the bit of paper they sent me a while ago, but it wasn't.

the same, really complex user name and password (think random alpha-numeric for both) that I used last year and, more importantly, cunningly wrote down in a Safe Place (has to be the first time I've put something in an SP and then found it again!) are still valid!

so the whole being awake thing has been quite useful (even if it does now mean that I know how much money (that I don't have...) I need to give HMRC in January).

and can I just say that whilst I'm really happy paying tax and think it's a great thing to do, I really dislike Class 4 NI. I don't know what it does or where it goes, but and extra 8% on everything over your basic tax allowance sucks.

mmm... this seems to have turned in to a rant so it's probably time to sign off... I'll try and think some happy thoughts and then head to bed...

oh dear...

... another one of those "where did the last 10 years go" moment. Just watched Claire Danes being interviewed on The Daily Show and she was looking much older than I'd thought she was - my thought process went "she was in Romeo + Juliet with Leonardo DiCarprio and she was really young then - it can't have been more than 5 years ago that it came out"....

... so I've just looked on imdb and it came out in 1996! That's just plain scary...

Thursday, 28 June 2007


... well, today I had, what I can only call, my first proper clarinet practice: The first eight Demnitz studies for 20 mins and then the first three bars of the Mozart Clarinet Quintet for a further 20 mins.

by the end I was able to play those three bars at 84 bpm, with the right tonguing, phrasing etc... the correct speed is 120 bpm... oh well - practice makes perfect!

I now hurt, so am going to sit down for the rest of the evening...

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

whatever you think of him...

... I can't think of another time when the whole of the House of Commons will rise to their feet and give a standing ovation to an MP, let alone an outgoing PM...

new lappy!

lots of excitement over the weekend, but right now I only have the brain to be happy about the lappy! I haven't quite got the whole wifi thing working as yet, so am sat on the floor in the hall, connected directly to the router!

am slowly getting used to where the keys are (the home, end etc have all changed!) and am also getting a bit confused by the fact that it's so quite - I keep thinking it's about to shut down!

most importantly I have Civ2 installed already!

going to sleep soon, as have been up and awake since 9am waiting for lappy to come (it was due to come between 9 and 5, and arrived at 6.45.... oh well - not really that surprising!

tomorrow I'll probably digest all the cool politics that's been happening, but Radio4 said that Hewett has been sacked, so it's looking up!

also - check out Sian's blog for a fab description of Saturday!

UPDATE: still no wifi, but my printer is working - Yay! slowly but surely....!

UPDATE 2: mmm... spoke to soon - the test page printed, and half of the page I was looking to print - then the printer kind of got confused....

Friday, 22 June 2007

exciting few days!

it all kicks off with meeting Sian at Euston at 7.30 tonight. We're going to have a chilled evening watching DVDs and knitting (the bobble for a Jayne-hat!).

tomorrow we're going to a showing of Serenity at Leicester Square Odeon (in aid of Equality Now) in the morning and then at some point go up to Brum. This is because I need to be in Manchester on Sunday morning (too early to get a train from London) as I'm going to the Labour Leadership Conference!

then I'm either coming back to London on Sunday evening, or going to stay at Jules and Keith's in Liverpool and coming down on Monday. Then my lappy is being picked up on Monday afternoon and my lovely insurance company are going to give me a new one, that actually works!

not quite sure what I'm more excited about - very close one!

Thursday, 7 June 2007


went to a fab debate tonight hosted by Amnesty International's Irrepressible campaign titled "Some People Think the Internet is a Bad Thing". It was great - very broad ranging and a really interesting panel (both live and virtual), including a the BBC Technology Editor, a blogger who was in jail in Iran for 5 years, someone from TOR and many others.

it was broadcast as a webcast live, and as of tomorrow you should be able to watch it here.

anyway, Sailing By is now on, so it's time for bed!

UPDATE: They've included the Q&A at the end (listed as Debate on the site), so you can see me asking a question!

Monday, 4 June 2007


have just finished 20 mins or so of clarinet practice and for at least 5 mins of that I had, what I would consider to be, decent tone! Not great tone - decent, but worth a celebration as it's the first time that I've been semi-pleased with how I've sounded!

also - sight-reading has come on a bit and I'm now almost comfortable in the third register!