Tuesday, October 31, 2006


My mother in law sent me four pictures of her sofa.

It's a very nice sofa, don't get me wrong, it was just rather unexpected. (And she's an excellent mother in law, she really is lovely). There was no message with the email.

Didn't half make me laugh when I opened the attachments, and they were all sofas. :D

M was convinced the Brainy Baby DVD T was watching had "bull dung!" written on the little stacking men in some of the scenes, and I think he was planning in his mind a stiff letter of rebuke to the makers. It turns out it said "Bill Ding", (a pun upon building, y'know, I don't need to explain it, do I? ... But I will! :P).

Cackle some more.

In memoriam

This morning I was slightly maudlin after hearing A-Ha on the radio. It brought my childhood friend to mind, as when we were close, she was deeply into A-Ha. She had duvet covers and pillowscases with Morten's chiselled features smiling out, posters all over her room. I think she even had lampshades with them on.

She grew up a bit faster than me, although she was a year younger. When she was 16 she moved in with her boyfriend, and I remember my Gran's disapprobrium at the time (and my complete puzzlement :D). They broke up a couple of years later and she moved back in with her parents. She was driving home from work when an unlicensed and probably drunk driver crashed into her head-on: his car landed on top of her VW Beetle. She was a hundred yards from home.

Oh, she was fun. :D We used to ride together: I helped her gain confidence after she started off quite nervously. I think she'd had a fall and that had set her back, although she was mad-keen on horses. Her parents bought her a pony from my Gran and Granddad and I used to spend my holidays at their smallholding, which is how we were introduced. We used to make up gymkhanas and jumps, and hack on the moors, (before the conservationists set a walk-only speed limit :D).

She went on to doing quite a bit of showing and eventing, (I was never interested in competitive riding: I always felt under pressure from Gran, and my Mum expressed rebellion against her at that time by being singularly unenthusiastic. You have to be enthusiastic about going to shows/events: they involve getting up early, washing hosses, cleaning tack, paying for transportation (one way or another), hanging about in the rain and wind, holding onto hosses, catching escapee hosses, a lot of standing about and some quantities of mud. And I'm not really a competitive sport sort of person anyway).

She wanted to be a model.

Her parents' marriage fell apart after her death, they had no other children and I guess they felt their future together had been killed as well.

It's odd thinking about all this, what nearly 15 years on?

Any excuse

I'm looking forward to tonight: S has a fancy-dress party and she wants to go as a vampire. We found this gorgeous black party dress in Woolworths and a cloak to make it vampirey. And I've got face-paints from when we did a lot of theme nights at the pub, still unopened. I love doing face-paint: I did a fabulous (if I say so myself :P) Darth Maul on M one year and last New Year's Eve I did an ice-demon look on him, which worked very well.

We had a bit of a practice a couple of days ago, so it should be alright. S is very excited about the party, and she looks beautiful in the dress. I wasn't too keen on her having anything black, as it seems such an adult colour, but it does suit her and it'll work for other occasions than being a vampire. :D (Funerals, wakes, memorial services, goth meets, coven assemblies, evil atheist conventions, all those sombre occasions you take your 6 year old to, on a daily basis.. :P)

I've cut one pumpkin and have to do the other before the end of school, or I'll get a lecture. :D Pumpkins are a definite advance on my childhood, where we had to scrape out turnips. Now that was hard work!

It's a bit of a weird amalgam, Halloween: a mish-mash of paganism and Christian cultural imperialism, expatriated to the US and deported back with a rash of commercialism and trick-or-treating. But any excuse for a celebration in my book, whether it be Samhain, All Hallows Eve or Halloween. :D It's just fun to me.

I hope we don't get trick-or-treaters tho', cos I don't think we've got anything to give 'em but grapes. I'll just have to tell them it's eyeballs, should any dare to navigate our dimly-lit pathway this evening. :D

Monday, October 30, 2006

Close to Dye-saster

I suddenly decided to colour my hair yesterday, which I haven't done since T was born. I was confident about it, because it has never gone wrong in the past, perhaps too confident. :)

My first mistake was probably having used nit-lotion that day, and my second to have washed my hair only 15 minutes or so beforehand. (It specifically says not to shampoo hair beforehand). And my third was probably ignoring the time limit for leaving the dye on.

The result was fascinating: my hair took the colour well, but I'm afraid I opened a rip in the fabric of time/space and a pink blob creature from another dimension attempted to conquer my scalp. No matter how much I washed it, it oozed and stickied up my hair. I could shape it in interesting ways, poke it up in a mohican, spike it out like an even madder version of Bjork... I felt sure it would harden like a rock! :D I spent about two hours combing out that gunk, since water just seemed to encourage it, and went to bed in the conviction that I would awake with stegosaurus plates upon my head.

However today it seems the blob gave up and went home to Cthulhu. You'd never know the trauma I went through. (Well, actually I sniggered a lot... I make myself laugh! Such a dope).

The colour is a sort of purple/brown. Not too clear on this photo, but I quite like it. I just hope the blob doesn't return when I wash it again. :D

In appreciative mood

Autumn, mellow fruitfulness, and all that. :)

Sunday, October 29, 2006


I'm pleased to have come across this site, which seems to be some Christian geologists trying to defuse the science/religion debate, and say it is possible to combine scientific study with their theology.

Some of the Young Earth people, I have issues with, as they seem totally prepared to throw out anything that doesn't jive with an absolutely literal reading of Genesis. They give the impression that they think it must be a lie and the scientific community are conspiring to keep the truth concealed!

8) Ahem.

I'm not a great one for conspiracy theories, they're fun to play about with, but I'm inclined to lean towards the most parsimonious explanations being more likely than the most convoluted.

The Young Earth view smacks of the Omphalos hypothesis to me, and I think that leads to the position that nothing can be known/verified and we might as well throw it all out, as far as I can tell. Sort of solipsistic: it could be true, but where does it leave us?

I knew I'd get back to this eventually. :D

Friday, October 27, 2006

In Pass-Remarkable Mood

Make me a Supermodel (which I am not watching, it just happened to be on the telly when I switched it on!) is presented by Fern Cotton.

She's a pretty young woman, with excellent legs, but didn't she look badly put together?! For a fashion related show? She appeared to be wearing a bin bag or overlarge-T-shirt covered in red sequins. No shape to it whatsoever. I was moved enough to photograph the disaster.

Shallow and superficial, moi?! Very pass-remarkable.

"Underwear is notoriously hard to pull off" according to someone on that show. Mwhahahahaha.

Must turn it off.

Ha ha

I have booked train tickets to London in December! :D

I'm all nice and chuffed about this prospect. A night away! To see my friends! Free from encumbrances (as I so dismissively describe my family :P)!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Well, that was interesting...

Yesterday I went to meet some people from a message board I use. It was quite pleasant although there were a few things I was uncomfortable with. I'm not sure it's something I'd do again. We'll see, I guess.

At least I know someone new in my home town.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Down with cows!

T had his milk challenge today. The first experiment was to put a little milk on his arm. The next step was to try him on drinks of diluted milk, slowly upping the concentration.

He reacted to the first, most diluted drink, so there we stopped. We had to stay in for two hours afterwards.

At least it is confirmed, all official-like. None of this doubting "possibly neurotic parents" malarkey. It's good to know we're doing (and having been doing) the right thing. Although his allergy is a pain in the arse.

But he may grow out of it. Let's hope so!

Monday, October 23, 2006


10 years!

Every so often you get a real shock about the passage of time.

They are doing a 10 year reunion with the This Life cast in a 90 minute special.

Ten years! Good grief.

Need an oracle

I read Oracle Night, and again it was more about reconnecting with life than disconnection and alienation than I remember earlier Auster's being. I liked it a lot.

I'm supposed to be going to see my Gran today, but S claims a dodgy tummy. I don't want to risk a throw-up in the car or giving Gran a lurgy: but if I don't go today, I won't be able to get until Thursday. Hmmm. What to do? What to do?

It was Gran's 92nd birthday this weekend, you see, and visiting late in the week takes away from the birthday aspect. :(


I had a weird dream about necklaces last night. I think it may have been due to a scene in Prime Suspect where Tennison showed a girl photos of her dead friend who'd had her chain ripped off her neck. (I was actually reading Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett rather than watching Prime Suspect, but that bit sucked me in at the end).

It made me think about something I'd omitted when chundering on about the BA crucifix row. It may well be more than an image related dress code, but a safety issue as well.

Some of the general public have a nasty habit of being abusive and even violent towards people in the service and transport industries. (And even more shamefully, if that's possible, against emergency services). Having something around your neck for the easy grabbing of, would be a bit dodgy. They do have to lean over people to a certain extent and a chain dangling round their neck would make them more vulnerable. You can do a fair amount of damage and cause a lot of pain by throttling someone with their necklace, (she says, cheerfully :P).

I don't know what level of risk cabin crew have, but given the possibility of terrorism and the fabulous, (darling,) reputation of the British on holiday...

Friday, October 20, 2006

The knicker vicar

This story made me smile today.

More pant-tea, vicar? :D

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Cool bacteria

Some pale and interesting bacteria have been found in a South African gold mine.

What is really interesting about these particular tiny critters is that they don't use photosynthesis at all, they're completely independent of sunlight. They are using "hydrogen gas to turn sulphate (SO4) molecules from the rock into hydrogen sulphide (HS). It is the energy-trapping equivalent of photosynthesis. The energy of radiation, which makes hydrogen gas energetic enough to form these bonds, replaces the energy of the Sun."

Tests on the inert gases in the water, such as xenon, concluded the Mponeng water had been isolated from the surface for about 20 million years, which shows that the bacteria had been living without any recourse to photosynthesis at all.

Little Henry was a scientist, Little Henry is no more,
For what he thought was H2O was H2SO4.

So am I in a good mood? No, I am not...

The boy is sickening. It's just a cold, but he cries when he coughs and he's all grumpy & oozing. But it doesn't stop him trying to leg it endlessly when I'm trying to get to the bank, oh no. I'm going to have to get him reins, I think, as now he can run, he likes to run everywhere. He's getting the notion of the road/pavement distinction, but he's too little to be relied upon and too fast to predict. S spent more time in the pushchair at his age, because we lived in a town centre and I rarely drove anywhere.

M got his car clamped in Birmingham and had to pay £80 to get it released. We now have bugger all money until payday. Which isn't too far away, at least, but given his other crimes against the budget this month, makes me apt to kick his arse when he gets in the door. Although when I see him my crossness will just go "phut" and I'll just be glad to see him... The arse! :D

I think I'll have to call off the ice-skating this evening as it's not fair to expect Mum and step-dad to look after T in his state. (Not to mention the financial issue). Last year they caught some bad flu/colds from us, and it knocked them silly for ages. They get flu jabs every year cos of his diabetes, etc, but it didn't manage to save them from our lurgies. I'll have to steer clear of them for a few days. No sherry for me then. :D

So am I in a good mood? No, I am not.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Reading: Paul Auster

It's been a long time, baby, and boy, was it good.

I haven't read any new Auster for maybe four or five years: I went through a phase of collecting his novels after adoring his New York Trilogy when I read it for a college course. I went onto to do that as part of my dissertation, New York Trilogy and Muriel Spark's Memento Mori. Anyway, after a while I felt I was reading the same book over and over: he reworks similar themes and motifs. He does it very well, don't get me wrong, but I had acquired five or six of his novels, and came to a natural halt. I re-read his stuff once in a while, but hadn't actively looked for anything new from him in a long while. At this stage of my life, with plots involving the male protagonist walking away from his life, often leaving a child behind, it wasn't the sort of theme I was too patient with: I was more wanting to kick the arses of his characters! :D

Anyway, the dear old library had a couple of his in: The Brooklyn Follies is the one I've read so far. In this case, the characters are re-connecting with life, with family, rather than disconnecting. So that was interesting and unexpected.

I'm looking forward to trying Oracle Night. :)

Everywhere you go, you always take the weather

I'm in quite a good mood today, although I'm missing M like crazy. His new job is not all it's cracked up to be.

But tell me news, not history.

T and I revisited the soft play on Monday, which went well: the lady in charge deigned to notice us this time, and complimented T's hair. It's looking particularly silky and golden after all the nit-hunting, so parasites are good for something, at least. I did the naughty thing of taking a book with me, and managed to get started, although I spent lots of time admiring the things T brought to show me, and helping him in the ball-pit. It's silly really, given my sociable overtures in some ways yesterday, that when I'm actually in contact with people I hide in a book... but that was Monday... Honestly, keep up!

After school, I took the children swimming. That went pretty well, although T hates his Floatie seat. I dream of him enjoying it, so I could swim floating him along, but no. It's hang onto Mummy in the pool or in the shallow bit with the slide. But I can see his point. I'd quite like to drift in the water, floating gently. But I'm not two years old: relaxation is not in his vocabulary. It's either awake and in furious motion, or asleep. :D S had a fine old time, she's getting better in the water.

Tomorrow she and I are going to try ice-skating again. I think we might get lessons if she stays enthusiastic about it.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

North Korea 101

BenP does it again. :D

Oops, I just realised I allowed the 300th post on my blog to pass without fanfare. It was about nits, so perhaps best left unheralded. Let us celebrate post 305 instead!

Wet weather stopped play

A small sigh of relief escapes me as it pours down with rain, and so my meeting with a stranger from the internet is postponed. I want to meet her, I'm just a bit anxious about it.

So, it is delayed until the weekend, hopefully. And we'll try to meet up for a coffee or something in town. She offered to have me over to her house, but it's a bit difficult to make one's excuses and depart in that sort of situation. Much rather meet somewhere public where it's easier to make like a banana & split (politely), if necessary. Plus distractions of other things going on in case conversation fails to flow. Good, good :).

Sort of excited, sort of fearful.

She's like the wind

Or she's got the wind..

I've agreed to meet someone off the internet this afternoon, which is something I never thought I'd do. But it's been brewing for a while, in that M reckons internet discussions etc are a waste of my time and substitute for a real social life. He thought I should either get more involved and make it real, or stop altogether. I tried the latter for a while, (although this chat with M was not the only reason, by any means) and now I'm going to try going the other way.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained?

It's unusual for me to be proactive about trying to make friends: I got used to having a ready-made social life when we were in the pub trade and I've always been relatively anti-social/self-sufficient.

Just knowing I have a couple of good friends keeps me from worrying that I'm a weird loner (presumably with the potential to ascend clock-towers with firearms :D), but I have this nasty habit of taking them for granted and letting time pass. Anyhow, writing this blog today has suddenly made me think I better get a shift on and do something about my neglected pallywallikins, so in a burst of energy I've discussed it with M and looked into trains. It's do-able! I know T is old enough to survive quite happily without Mummy and M's more than willing to get rid of me for a night, so I'm hoping a trip to London in early December is in the offing. :D

Depends whether the friendies have had a gutful of me yet. Or have other plans. They have lives, you know.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Religious symbols

Discussions about the hijab and niqaab rumble on.

For my part, I think that muslim women should be at liberty to wear whatever they like, but where it interferes with their duties at work, there should be compromise.

Obviously I'm talking about the teaching assistant who has been suspended, after apparently refusing to remove her niqaab when teaching English language to children for whom it is not their first language. If the niqaab was impeding her ability to teach, (which seems reasonable, given it is desirable to see mouth shape when learning a language) then it would seem unfair to the children to have her in that role. Also, if it was discussed before she took the job that it would be necessary, as some reports have suggested, I'm not sure she should have accepted the position, knowing it would be a problem to her.

The niqaab is a thorny issue. As a feminist, I'm uncomfortable with it, but apart from that, it seems to me from what I have read, that it is not generally considered a requirement, but more an extra measure to try to get closer to Allah. Of course, that is very important to the believer, but surely a slight relaxation in the classroom situation would be acceptable, and then to go back to the niqaab the rest of the time?

I guess not.

There's another story of similar-ish bent about a BA air hostess being asked not to show her crucifix at work. BA have a uniform policy that jewellery must be worn under the clothes.

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect her to conform to their dress code. They aren't asking her to get rid of it, just to wear it under her clothes.

The hijab and Sikh turban are exempt from their uniform policy, but I think that in those cases, these forms of dress are a requirement of the religion involved. (I doubt BA would allow the niqaab, but I don't have any information on that). I'm not aware of a Christian doctrine that insists on the wearing of crucifixes.

Thus, it doesn't seem a particularly strenuous or difficult thing to ask her to keep it under her clothes, as with any piece of jewellery. I realise it's more significant to the believer than any old necklace, but still, if it's against the dress code of the company you work for, you have got to expect some comeback if you don't abide by their rules.

The BBC story on it is a bit dodgy, I think. The commentator (Clifford Longley) who thinks it's about causing offence - well, I think he's talking bollocks. It sounds to me as though BA have a policy about the wearing of jewellery and apply it to the crucifix as well. I don't think it has anything to do with this imaginary offence that may be caused to people of other religions (or no religion) when faced by a religious symbol, that is so hyped up by the Daily Mail type media. It's hard to argue that the crucifix is not jewellery. It's not just jewellery to believers, but it also is/has been a fashion.

And if it's not a necessity to the expression of the faith, (which I don't think it is), to attach all this controversy to this issue seems a bit daft. She could still wear it, why get suspended over closing a blouse over it instead of under?

I'm also confuddled by the chairman of Christians in Politics who said: "We think such ostentatious expressions of faith are starting to be pushed into the background in an attempt to treat people equally and I think there's a danger that faith will be pushed into the background at the same time."

Ostentatious is a very odd word to use about something he's presumably advocating. It has very negative associations to my mind: and according to Dictionary.com, "1. characterized by or given to pretentious or conspicuous show in an attempt to impress others: an ostentatious dresser. 2. (of actions, manner, qualities exhibited, etc.) intended to attract notice: Lady Bountiful's ostentatious charity. "

Why does one need to show one's faith ostentatiously? I'm all for freedom of expression, and if someone wants to make political or religious points through their dress, they can do that. But not on their company or school's time. At work, you wear what your employer expects you to wear. If you can't cope with their rules, you work elsewhere. I wouldn't work in a topless bar and expect to keep my vest on. :D :P

Seems like a storm in a tea-cup to me.

Friday, October 13, 2006

"And the children on the bus go 'scratch, scratch, scratch'"

.. sang S this morning. And with good reason: horrid little critters have invaded.

Nits! Argh!

So I've kept her home and treated her and the rest of us with some lovely pesticide, combed hair endlessly and am going to change all the bedding and wash some teddies. And boil hairbrushes.

Little horrible parasites. The nits, not the children. ;)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Keith Richards 100% proof

The internet is a strange place. I got a link to this most bizarre site today:

"The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened. Proverbs 10:27
Average Age at Death of Included Rock Stars (1) 36.9 Years
Average Age at Death of Americans (2) 75.8 Years
(1) Computed from the included list.
NOTE: This is EVERY death of a Rock star we've found. This is NOT a "RIGGED" list to produce FALSE numbers, but an HONEST observation.
(2) From "The World Almanac and Book of Facts", 1997, p.973."

It then goes on to list a load of dead musicians, including Karen Carpenter, Frank Zappa and Florence Ballard (from the Supremes). Who were, by that rationale, wicked?

But there's a fatal flaw in these deathly musings: Keith Richards is still alive!

And if ever there was a rockstar who lived the lifestyle, he would probably be one of the first to pop into your head. :) John Lennon is listed, but Paul McCartney's alive. Kurt Cobain may have topped himself, but Dave Grohl's still going with the Foo Fighters. One of Hole may have kicked the bucket, but Courtney Love hasn't. I could go on, but the whole thing is ludicrous! :D

I can't work out whether the site is serious or not. It's got to be a joke surely?

What worries me, is there is lot more to it than this page: all of which is of the same calibre.

Weighing heavier again

Today we had a paediatric appointment, and T was nice and heavy: he's grown taller as well, and the paediatrician was happy with him. Hurrah! For once I leave the hospital feeling OK and not full of self-doubt.

He has the milk challenge on the 24th, so hopefully we'll know where we are after that. I confess to some ambivalence about this test, because although I don't want him to be allergic or intolerant to dairy products, I also don't want to have removed dairy from his diet needlessly. It has all been on the advice of professionals, but ultimately... I'm his mum and I don't want to have messed up or failed him.

Anyway, before I think myself into a downer or confusion, let me refocus on the positives that came out of today: he's heavier and bigger, and the consultant is happy with how he's doing. Yay!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Children's films

We purchased Shrek 2 as it was going cheap. It's quite good fun. I like the bit where the transformed Shrek steals some people's clothes, as his ogre-y ones no longer fit, and he says in a princely way "I will repay you..." and then adds "if I can find you... and if I don't forget".

A lot of the humour seems aimed at adults: like Pinocchio wearing ladies' underwear. I'm not sure whether that sort of thing is crossing the line. It makes me uncomfortable, so it's crossing my line. I'm sure it went straight over S's head, but still... It contrasts rather markedly with the other children's film we watched recently, Peter Pan. Very knowing humour vs a more wholesome child-centred movie. Clearly the modern film has the adult audience very much in mind.

Although Peter Pan is not without its problems: I'm not at all easy in the depiction of the "Red Indians" and although Wendy resists the role of "squaw get firewood", I'm not particularly happy with the gender stereotyping. Still, it gives me something to think about, and something to discuss with S. She didn't want to be Wendy when we were doing the dress-up for school thing, she was Peter Pan. :)

She describes herself as a tom-boy, which is definitely an expression she picked up at school. Hmmph.

Never put off until tomorrow..

I was carrying in the horse hage and pony nuts from the car, and it was heavy, and I thought "Arse, I'll finish it later!" and left the bag of nuts and half the hage on the path.

Now it's dark, I suddenly realised it was pissing it down with rain, so thought, "Argh! Haven't brought the nuts in! " (They are sold in large thick paper bags). So I hurried out, forgetting I had on my flip-flops with no grip and forgetting the slippery-when-wet paving stone right outside the door.

You guessed it, arse over tit. #Sigh#. Stupid woman.

Ow! I think I twisted my back. But I got the pony nuts in.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The weekend

This weekend we discovered we owned the most annoying toy in the world, without knowing it.

T has a silver car, and M was playing with it with him, when he saw it had a section to add batteries. So being of curious mind, he put in the batteries and switched it on. And lo, the most annoying toy ever invented began to sing and dance (in a car-ry way). It sings "I wanna kiss-kiss-kiss when the night is fine, whoah-whoah, I only kiss-kiss-kiss when the sun don't shine, whoah-whoah" over and over again: the same couple of lines endlessly. S sings it as "I wanna kiss-kiss where the sun don't shine" rather hilariously. The thing flashes its lights and its doors open & close, its sun roof goes up and down and it drives forward and back. It's loud and annoying, and it fills your senses with this repetitious tune that makes you want to strangle yourself with your own tongue.

And the kids love it.

But the joy of batteries is they run out, (or perhaps accidentally fall out).

We also went ice skating. I've never been before, and neither has S, but I wanted to try, and M was hung-over so while the girls wobbled round the edge, he entertained T. We were rubbish, but we enjoyed it and I think we'll try again.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


I've been enjoying adding some information to the Wikipedia, not something I've done before, and I'm still figuring out how & what to do. But it's absorbing and I was pleasantly surprised to find an article where I had something meaningful to add.

The Wiki is an interesting concept, I think, and very useful, although you have to make sure you check things out rather than simply relying on it. After all, people like me can interfere with it. Not that I'd mess with it, cos I'm fond of it and I like the idea behind it.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Homemade or shop-bought?

Everyone else seemed to have shop-bought costumes at S's school today. (I realise the shop is rather redundant, but writing "seemed to have bought" didn't work too well. I guess I should/could phrase it entirely differently, but rabbiting about why I wrote it gives me a nice tangent to colour green).

I had been sort of pleased with myself for being good mum and having made hers, and then as I came away from the school seeing all the pirates and princesses, I felt maybe I hadn't done the right thing. Maybe she'll stand out too much? Maybe we'll look poor?

Hopefully they're still too young for that kind of rubbish.

We don't have the spare cash to buy a costume at the moment anyway, and she's pretty much outgrown most of her dress-up outfits. And she wanted to go as Peter Pan.

I feel stupidly anxious about this. I always seem to get it wrong: I make lots of effort, everyone else seems to turn up in shop-bought stuff. I go to very little effort, as with the Easter bonnet parade, and everyone else looks like they spent weeks making these amazing contraptions.

Argh! Big hairy nadgers!

Cervical cancer vaccine vs our "moral" guardians

There is talk about introducing the vaccine against the human papilloma virus that causes cervical cancer. It really irritates me that some people argue against it, saying it will encourage under-age sex. What a lot of horse manure.

I don't think that all that many teenagers are aware of the link and anyway, cervical cancer is a long-term risk, not an immediate one, and as such is more likely to be forgotten about or pushed to the back of the mind than other STDs or pregnancy.

I think there's that element of wanting to keep sexually transmitted diseases as a punishment: be sexually active and suffer! The sexually active teen in horror films' number is almost always up first, and so shall it be in real life. And joy of joys, it's a wonderfully sexist consequence: only women will suffer for their carnality.

I want people to behave responsibly but I don't think deliberately withholding a prevention for a disease is going to reduce teen sex.

It's surely immoral to be able to prevent illness, pain and death and fail to do so.

It strikes me as unsettling also, that the plans are only to vaccinate teenaged girls. Boys as well as girls should be vaccinated, to prevent potential male carriers transmitting the virus. Vaccinating only girls will be 60-75% effective: it would be much higher if both sexes had the vaccine. Maybe we could get rid of virtually all incidence.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Peter Pan

Today I've made a Peter Pan costume, because it's "be a character from a book" day at school. Very easy to make: I just snipped triangles out of a green t-shirt I got from a charity shop to make the tunic, and S has a pair of green leggings to go with it. The hat was a little more complicated and involved actual sewing, but it's turned out quite nicely. And for once, a MacDonalds toy has proved useful: it's a Peter Pan dagger. (I feel the need to add a disclaimer that we very rarely eat there :D. Must justify myself as a parent in every way!)

Coincidentally, there is a sequel to Peter Pan out today, Peter Pan in Scarlet, I think it's called. The reviews have sounded quite positive and I believe Great Ormond Street is going to benefit from it, so that'll be good. I usually have a sinking of the heart when I hear of sequels (and remakes).

Monday, October 02, 2006

Sound of Thunder

We watched a film called A Sound of Thunder last night on DVD. I only watched it all the way through because for once, I'd chosen what to rent. I thought it would be very bad form to wander off in the middle of something I'd picked, leaving M to sit through it. He never turns off a bad movie.

Blimey, it was pants!

Time travel themed stories have to be very clever if they're to work at all: it's very difficult to get right (or at all plausible). This film wasn't clever.

Sci fi films often contain some poor science, but if it's a fun enough movie you can put that aside and just enjoy it on a shallow level. But this was startlingly bad science, that kind of jumped out and waved its crotch at you! It was terrible. Waves of time changes that physically throw people? Oh please.

But the thing that made me want to beat my head against the wall was the "we are the last creatures to evolve, so we'll be the last to change" angle. Yes, I know it was just a plot device. Grrrrr. Arrrrghhh!

Another misrepresentation of evolution to add to the myriad. (Not that I'd been aware of such things until I started watching/participating in on-line debates with US fundamental Christians. I don't mind people disagreeing about such issues, but deliberate propagation of misconceptions ticks me off. Argue about what it's really about, not what you pretend it is! Blah.)

Soft play

I took T to a soft play morning, and it was very pleasant. There was loads of nice equipment, and the hall was quite welcoming and clean, unlike some, which feel a bit run-down. T played very happily, and demonstrated the art of pushing trolleys into walls with glee.

The woman in charge wasn't particularly friendly and I felt she would have served everyone else with tea before me, if I had allowed myself to be a wallflower. Her eye seemed to skate over the newbie, in search of persons known. But I wanted a cup of tea so made myself visible. It reminded me a little of waiting to be served at a very busy bar, (although it wasn't busy at the tea table).

Of course, I may be imagining this interaction in a over-thinking, paranoid way :).

After an hour and a half, T volunteered to put his shoes on and go home, which was nice. I was dreading suggesting that we leave, in case he got a strop on and I had to peel him away shrieking, as sometimes happens at the library. But he was tired and had had enough of the company of his peers, it seems.

Anyhow, it went pretty well so I'm hoping to repeat this activity next week, possibly even exchanging a few more words with people there.

Or I might take a book. :D