Monday, 30 March 2009

the benefits of an iced mocha...

... it can hold as many shots of espresso as you need. My one this evening had four shots and has done the job of keeping me awake through the work I've had to do quite well! Reckon I have about another half hour of work left tonight and then home. Will have to do about the same tomorrow and then report will pretty much be done (which is good, as the deadline is close of play Wed, so just enough time to do lots of proofing!).

had a lovely weekend away for Jane's 30th - an amazing house on an island in Essex which you can only get to at low tide. I'd definitely recommend and am thinking of excuses to get a group of people together to go there for a weekend in June. The house sleeps 10 so if anyone fancies, let me know!

anyway - back to work now and then home to bed. Think I may try and do a cycle or swim in the morning to counter the long-day-sitting-at-desk thing.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

on giving women more information about their choices

a review of advertising codes by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Broadcast Committee on Advertising Practice (BCAP) is now going to a public consultation. There are a number of recommendations in the report, the most interesting of which is a change to the rules on advertising family planning services (more from the beeb here).

what bothers me about the recommendation is that the lines that are being drawn are between pro-life and pro-choice organisations - both of which will be allowed to advertise. For me, the distinction is not between pro-life and pro-choice, it's between organisations that will give a women information about all of available options and ones that will seek to promote a particular world view.

I have a bit of experience in this area (having had a termination). When I went to the initial organisation they talked to me about all of my options (including abortion and adoption) but didn't pass judgement on the route I chose. I see this as a completely different thing to going to an organisation who would seek to persuade me to make a choice that fitted in with their views, or worse, attempt to coerce me into making a decision that would not be in my best interests (and effectively take away my right to choose what is best for me). I'm not singling out the pro-lifers here - pro-choice is about choice - to have that, you need to know what you're choosing between.

I think that this report is a great step forward in informing women of their choices. I just hope that the public consultation is not completely sensationalised by the press - there are some issues here that need to be addressed.

one of the many reasons I love Neil Gaiman...

When we hold each other, in the darkness, it doesn't make the darkness go away. The bad things are still out there. the nightmares still walking. When we hold each other we feel not safe, but better. "It's all right" we whisper, "I'm here, I love you." And we lie: "I'll never leave you." For just a moment or two the darkness doesn't seem so bad.
I hadn't heard it before, but it's from Hellblazer #27, "Hold Me." and collected in the DC Comics' Neil Gaiman's Midnight Days collection that I'm going to have to get myself.

Monday, 23 March 2009

a randon end to the day...

... it started of wonderfully - got up early, did some work, had a coffee, Imyril and boy arrived to take me to East London to collect furniture. Came back to flat, set up new library (yay!), headed West for food, and then went to the Electric Cinema to see Watchman. Great day.

arrived home at about 11.45pm and as I was walking to the flat, I saw great bellows of smoke coming out of the abandoned building a few doors down. There were firemen around, so I didn't really pay that much attention. Walking to the flat, the smoke was very thick and I needed to breath through my pashmina. Got into flat and breathed in the clean air. Mistake. Flat was full of smoke, as I'd left the small window in the toilet open. I thought it not sensible to go to sleep in a smoke-filled flat without finding out if said smoke was dangerous. Closed window and headed outside and met Pip and her husband (whose name has momentarily escaped me) who live in the flat next door to burning building. Was told by firemen not to go back to flat if full of smoke. Waited around for a while. Pip and husband were in dressing gowns, so popped back to flat (after checking with friendly police) and got a couple of coats for them. Met Parker, who lives above Pip and husband. Everyone was getting cold, so as I needed to check on the flat, made peppermint tea for all and, as flat was still smoke-ridden, resumed my place on street corner. We were pushed back quite a way across the road and the New Kent Road was closed. Parker's friend arrived from Wapping (where he'd been able to see the fire!). More waiting around and watching the fire. Went back into flat a couple of times to open windows on the side of the flat not receiving smoke. At about 1.30am, checked on flat again and still eye-watering so opened more windows on that side. Got whiskey for Parker, his friend, Pip, and husband. Kalhua for me. About 2.20, firemen came to tell Pip, husband and Parker that they could go into their flats to pick up things, and good news all round - no serious damage to either property. My flat has almost cleared of smoke now and will sleep with windows open. Firemen have confirmed that smoke is not dangerous (not chemical), so I am all completely safe.

going to bed now, as almost asleep. nice to meet some of the neighbours though.

UPDATE: Here's the Beeb report!

Saturday, 21 March 2009

a London thing?

as I was finishing getting dressed at the gym today, the fire alarm went off. As is usual in this situation no-one paid any attention to it (apart from grimacing at the loudness) and we all carried on with life until someone came round to tell us we needed to evacuate the building. At this point, I finished putting my clothes on, put everything into my bag and headed out with everyone. One of the staff-members, who was herding us, said that everyone in the whole gym had exactly the same response - carry on until someone actually says that you have to leave.

my question - is this a London thing, or is it something that everyone does? I kind of equate it to when an announcer on the tube says that the train you're on is terminating at the current station. All of the tourists get off and the Londoners stay put just to make sure (and we're usually proved right - 2 minutes later the train carries on it's original route). But seriously - it was a fire alarm. It could have been an actual fire. We could have been in danger. There was no fear expressed, just a general resentment about the unnecessary interruption.

am also very happy with my gymage recently - I did a 12k cycle followed by a 250m swim today, 10k cycle yesterday and 12k cycles on Wednesday and Thursday. I'm really enjoying it and think that this is going to be the summer that I actually learn to cycle on the roads! (and buy myself a bike - anyone with any knowledge of bike buying - let me know!)

right - now I have to go any sort out flat - I'm converting the office into a library - Yay!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

how sounds can induce emotion

last night whilst listening to Radio 4, I heard a tune. It filled me with excitement and expectation. It reminded me of being young, sitting in the lounge of our old house in Nazeing. The world instantly felt better and life was obviously going to be filled with wonder.

the tune? The old Formula One intro music from the BBC! It's back on the beeb again this year and to say that I'm glad that they decided to use the same music would be an understatement!

it's the small things.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

who knew work was so exhausting..?

I seem to have forgotten the art of working all day and then having the energy to do anything else!

In other news, I saw the tag line for a new film called Knowing. It's "What happens when the numbers run out?" Surely, you just add 1?!