Friday, May 28, 2010

I'm Spartacus, and so's my wife.

"Keep me close to your thighs, the thought will warm us both." (clip from new series Spartacus. He is tying a favour around his woman's thigh as he says this)


And bleurgh.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


We're having a smashing time of late.

One water-pistol dropped and cracked, thrown away.
One water-gun dropped and cracked, leaks but still usable.
One child's bicycle seat, ridden by too-big child who should have known better, broken, needs replacement.
One broom, stood on, needs new handle.
One inflatable dinghy, seam gave way, unable to be repaired.
One child's digital camera, stopped working for unknown reason.
One zip to plastic greenhouse, broken.
One zip to child's rucksack, broken.
One zip to child's lunchbox, broken.
Entrance area of trampoline, due to age/wear & tear, ripped.
One seat of swing, due to age/wear & tear, cracked.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Wakefield struck off

So Andrew Wakefield's been struck off. He was the chap who initiated the media furore over the MMR and a link with autism, with an incredibly small study shown to be flawed (and sickeningly unethically achieved, subjecting small children to a raft of tests they should never have endured).

This is a good visual summary of the episode and of course Bad Science's coverage.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ghastly FaceBook memes, cubed

"The police are going around pubs and clubs sayin wecant wear our England tops for the footie and gotta take flags down asit's
upsettin the people that dont come from here. Now im not racist but
this is taking the piss.This is our country and we needto make a stand and if you or they dont like it Fxxk off, Would they remove thier turban/burkha cos it upset us?.......exactly.REPOSTif ya agree x"

#Update: 27/05/10# There are reports that a fake cop has been telling people they can't wear their England tops in Worksop.

Back to the original post:

Bleurgh, vomit, bleurgh, vomit, bleurgh again.

If you have to say "I'm not racist but" at the beginning of a sentence, it's a pretty good indicator you're about to say something racist. Which, you know, is a pretty good indicator in its turn that you're a big fat racist.

I heard on local radio (Pirate FM), a Cornish spokesman of some sort complaining about all the England flags, being upsetting to Cornish people. (We have a small movement who want devolution here).

I've seen people worry that the flag has been co-opted by the BNP and therefore says something unpleasant about those displaying it.

And there are stories in the Daily M@!l about the police suggesting it's undiplomatic to cover your car in England flags or wear England regalia in Wales.

But funnily enough nothing, zero, nada about Muslims or Sikhs complaining, (and I'm absolutely sure the M@!l would love to publish such a story in screaming detail).

I don't know when burkhas and turbans became Welsh national dress. It's been a bit of a surprise to me, that. [/sarcasm]


Edited to add: Apparently, one of the hydra head's of this story arose about the town of Boston, but Lincolnshire police say it's a load of old toss anyway. It never had anything whatsoever to do with Muslims or Sikhs.

You who love your England shirts and flags and jumped to the conclusion that a. this status message meme is true and b. it's all about minorities trying to stop you having fun, should catch yourselves on.

The only reason pubs ever ban sportswear and caps, is because of the stupid dickwads who get lairy and violent if their team is losing, (or winning for that matter). I've been a landlady and we had a sportswear ban for that very reason.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ghastly FaceBook memes, part the third

"While you SCREAM at your woman, there's a
man wishing he could whisper softly in her ear... While you HUMILIATE,
OFFEND and INSULT her, there's a man flirting with her and reminding
her how wonderful she is. While you HURT your woman, there's a man
wishing he could make love to her. While you make your women CRY
there's a man stealing smiles from her. Post this on your wall if
you're against Domestic Violence."

This one makes me feel queasy. What it's saying to women is: you can get over being abused by one man, by being validated by another. It's still feeding into the utter tripe of a woman gaining worth through her relationships with men. Surely that's part of the problem with domestic violence: that the woman's self-worth gets tied up in trying to make the relationship work at all costs.

And if it's addressed to men, does it say it's wrong to do all those things to women? No. It just posits misogynistic notions of women as passive, without agency and in need of a white knight, like objects to be owned and 'protected' from 'theft' by other men.

Most of the men I've come across who have been perpetrators of domestic violence have had as part of their behaviour, irrational sexual jealousy. So actual perpetrators may even have their unjustified beliefs validated by this crap.

I hate these things. Any decent person is against domestic violence, but this meme is not only cheap on the issue but also plays into some pretty messed-up thinking.


Lot of people seem to have 'Canyoneros' round here. I blame them (or possibly the woman I don't like much who could've been in the area at the time) for my broken wing-mirror, in the absence of a note on the windscreen.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Heal the word

Oh, just been reading a post on a message board, advising people to make up any rifts they have within their families; their relatives had a falling-out and one of them died before it was resolved.

Yeah, well, it's all very well, and it is a good theory, but sometimes things are unfixable. If it's a trivial argument, it's obvious you should try to resolve it and not let something petty stand between you.

But if it's deep-seated, sometimes there is no resolution and it's trite & annoying to say make an effort, swallow your pride. Sometimes you've already swallowed your pride so much, you've none left.

Some things require both sides to co-operate. You can paint over the cracks if you're both willing to pretend they're not there. Sometimes the other person won't go even that far. Sometimes the other person is willing and it works for a while, but you're always waiting for the other shoe to drop and one day the drunken phonecalls and abusive texts start rolling in.

You can accept that the other person is never going to live up to your expectations, and if you choose to keep them in your life, try to keep the bits that hurt you in a separate box. But that's not perfect, either. But you can't change people, so all you can do is try to protect yourself best you can.

I dunno, that post just pressed my buttons this morning. Learn from this, the poster seemed to be saying. It's all just stubbornness and pride. The way it was titled made it an imperative: "heal family rifts before it's too late" or some such.

But it isn't that easy.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Deer oh deer

Yesterday I heard on local radio that the first reindeer for 800 years in this country have been born in the area, at Trevarno. They intend to call one 'Blue'.

Now that's just silly. It should be 'Purple'.

Or 'Sunny with a chance of'.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The highs and lows of parenting

"This doesn't smell that bad": Daughter, regarding the meal I'd just cooked for them.

But later on, after son had a fall and was crying in my arms, she squirted herself in the face with his water-pistol just to make him laugh.


OK, another thing depresses me. Arse.

We definitely need to change the electoral system.

Calls for a bit of Depeche Mode.

House goes there

There's nothing that depresses me more* than headlines that the 'housing market is picking up'. Bleurgh.

Property is theft. And that kind of thing...

"look, property is theft, right? Therefore theft is property. Therefore this ship is mine, OK?"

* Not true actually, teenaged rape victims stoned to death in Somalia, for example. Lots of other things depress me more...

It's always time for a bit

Of Fry and Laurie

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cat crap mountain

The theory is this, now the cat has taken to unburdening himself in the veg patch*, I will transfer his affections** to a nearby patch of turned-over soil*** beside the compost. This will kill two birds with one stone: his poo will be dealt with, and hopefully it will scare off potential compost-rummaging pests.

It's a nice, tidy, rounded theory and it simply requires catty co-operation...

We shall see. I shall cover the veg patch and hope he gets the hint. Why is he not like other cats, going next door to divest himself?

* It's alright, I haven't planted anything out yet, being slow.
** And the soiled soil.
*** the aforementioned Cat Crap Mountain

Saturday, May 08, 2010


Stiff was quite a fun read. I really liked the other Mary Roach I'd read, Six Feet Over, so was very much looking forward to this book when I found it at a charity shop.

It's a fascinating if macabre look at what we do with corpses. The only criticism I have is that Roach's humour was a bit more hit-and-miss in this book and her shock threshold (or expectation of her readers' shock threshold) is a good bit lower than mine is. I imagine a lot of her readers' actually is higher than she assumes, given they'd presumably be aware of the subject matter when they chose to read the book. I don't know, some of her attitudes seemed quite parochial, and I couldn't decide whether that was her catering to her audience, as she thought, or her real attitude.

Still, it was good fun, grisly at times and there's lot more variety to a cadaver's after-life* than I'd previously been aware of.

* as it were.

Friday, May 07, 2010

24 hr election

I'd never have thought I'd happily spend nearly 24 hours watching election coverage, but I did.

It was fun watching Channel 4's alternate election night, although I have to ask that most important of questions - what was going on with Charlie Brooker's hair? Someone attacked him with a tub of brylcreem or something. But he must have fought them. I'd hate to see the other guy.

Jimmy Carr, whom I can usually watch stony-faced*, made me laugh several times. His description of expense scandal politicians as pigs fucking other pigs while stuffing their piggy faces with stolen pig-food, or some such, made me very happy.

During the day, me and himself watched the BBC coverage, and it was really good fun bitching about it together. We both found it really absorbing and exciting, trying to work out what's going to happen next.

I have to admit I didn't enjoy talking about it with my mum later on - it's the being on the same page that makes it enjoyable. I find it hard to make coherent arguments against my mother, we don't really do arguing. It's winding each other up jovially and skirting issues we excel at.

* Although I usually switch over rather than sitting stony-faced, unless he's demonstrating his zebra.

Ooh, 900th post! Good grief.

Paxman vs Boris

Hilarious exchange between Jeremy Paxman and Boris Johnson about proportional representation and why it suits mayors and not governments, and a potential government needing to have conservatism as the "meat in the sausage". When whether it would be a chipolata or a cumberland was mooted by Paxman, it became even more amusing.

Edited to add YouTube clip of said exchange:

Well hung

So it's officially a hung parliament.

I can't help sniggering at the BBC's coverage in the past few minutes: a newsreader interrupts Harriet Harman mid-flow in order to follow Nick Clegg's car, realises what a pointless breakaway it was as it vanishes out of sight of the cameras into a tunnel and is clearly very angry with himself for not knowing London's geography well enough to make proper commentary on where the car actually is! Haha.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Marking your card

It's election day. That box was marked earlier today, and I'm now watching the Channel 4 alternative election night.

I liked this article at the F-Word, pointing out the struggle women had to get the vote and what we owe the suffragettes. Some people responded to this saying that they didn't think the suffragettes would want women to be guilted into voting.

I disagree quite strongly. Those women were not wilting wallflowers of touchy-feely-do-as-you-please-dom, they were women of conscience and principle and fire. I don't think for a second they'd be happy with voter apathy.

Apathy stinks. It's what let vocal minorities like the BNP get a seat in the Euro election - bigots and fanatics will turn out to vote, while the disaffected and disinterested stay home. If you've a BNP candidate in your area, it's your duty to turn out and vote if only to keep them out. If you don't, you should still turn out and if you really can't stand any of the parties or have an opinion on any of them, then spoil your paper. It's a valid protest and unlike staying home not-voting, shows your disapproval.

Voter apathy suits most of the politicians just fine, and is just taken as people not giving a toss or happy with the status quo.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow is an unusual book, because it's written in verse format. It surprised me when I opened it and would have stopped me buying it from the charity shop had I looked inside, but that gut-reaction would have deprived me of a most enjoyable read. A couple of pages in, and I no longer noticed the format.

On the whole I enjoyed the book a lot, although I wasn't all that comfortable with the depiction of the female characters. It was an interesting take on werewolves and an unusual format.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010