Saturday, 29 November 2008

More walks of the wintery kind...

I love that I can take pictures like this without having to get in my car....

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Displacement activity

I am still writing my article.

Here are all the very clever things I have learned in the past month......

  • Ant and Dec still rock
  • Being in possession of a pair of silicone breasts does not necessarily mean that you are not smart, sassy and witty 
  • Cheryl Cole is as genuine as she is gorgeous and really needs to come round to our house for tea
  • Fat, bald men who can't dance make surprisingly good telly
  • Lip gloss in Russian proportions is a difficult look to pull off
  • Kerry Katona likes pastry
Excellent. Article coming on nicely then. 

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Wintery walks..

We woke to snow and sunshine this morning, so we went for a walk up the hill behind the house.

I took my camera and this is what I found....

Saturday, 22 November 2008

am I getting old, or what....?

In 1992 I  was far too busy listening to  On-U Sound and marching with militant to take them seriously. 

in 1996 I was far too busy being post-natally depressed to give a monkeys about their disbanding, let alone call the help-line that was set up by the Samaritans to support their distressed fans.  

But in 2008 I can't help but notice how - like a cheesecake or a chili con carne - Take That are much better for having spent a short spell in the fridge. 

Thursday, 20 November 2008

On the 15th day of November my neighbours gave to me...

... one Chocolate Orange and a brace of pheasants for our tea.

*ends singing*

At 6pm Badger and I are taking said brace of pheasants down to the local pub where the lovely and eccentric landlord (who used to produce Thomas the Tank Engine) will give us a demonstration of how to make them eatable. For they are not, yet. They are just hanging by the front door just as they were when they arrived. Heads, feathers, etc.

This brings us to a dilemma. We happen to live somewhere that offers a plentiful supply of free meat most of the year round. The local farmers have said we can have rabbits for free, provided we do all the yukky bits for ourselves. 

Free range? *check*
Zero food miles? *check*
No carbon footprint? *check*
Low cholesterol? *check*
Cute snuffly noses and floppy ears? *check*

After much discussion we have concluded that if we aren't prepared to eat the local, free meat offered to us then we probably shouldn't eat meat at all. And, having been veggie and also done the almost-veggie-but-I-eat-fish thing, I don't want to give up meat again. We do eat veggie at least half the time, and we only buy free range meat, but that's as far as it goes.

Now, proper veggies I can respect. My little sis hasn't eaten animal bits for a long time and is very serious about it. Fishy-tarians I can also dig - there is something different about fishes, they don't have limbic systems and raise their young like other mammals... and we don't rear them in horrible battery farms. (Oh ... actually we do, but we pretend not to and can choose to buy fish responsibly).

But, it turns out that I might just be a dont-make-me-think-about-it-etarian. Which sounds to me like a synonym for 'hypocrite'. So, I searched YouTube for a video that might instruct me how to prepare a pheasant, in the hope that I might be de-sensitised by the time we go for our lesson this evening. And, OMG it's horrific. Badger and I are in pieces.

Not the blood and guts... that wasn't too bad actually.

No, much worse than that.

The video soundtrack is "You're beautiful" by James Blunt.

Some people are just twisted.

Friday, 14 November 2008

How (not) to reference

I am currently writing an article on postmodernism (Derrida, Lyotard, Kristeva et al)  and its influence on the intersubjective school of  psychotherapy (Schore, Stolorow, Hargaden and Sills et al).  

I am getting in a bit of a pickle (Crosse and Blackwell 1922). 

Not necessarily because I worry that I don't know what I'm talking about (although that doesn't mean that I do.) The beauty of using postmodern theory is that you can fully admit to simply making up stories about the world because, ultimately, all we do make up stories about the world (Grimm and Grimm 1812)

My jam (Weller/Buckler/Foxton 1977) is with academic referencing.

Were I writing an article using specific theories or techniques such as the Drama Triangle (Thespis 534 BC, Euclid 300 BC) or the Script Matrix (Wachowski and Wachowski 1999) it would be straightforward enough. But when you are writing about the pervasive philosophical movements of modernity, the ownership of  knowledge becomes significantly less clear.

At what point does something become part of the canon of received wisdom, I wonder? (Del Shannon 1961). Writers frequently refer to 'paradigm shifts' without referencing Thomas Kuhn's seminal work The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962). Is Kuhn twitching in his grave at not getting a mention? 

Do I really need to reference 25 impenetrable French philosophers if I use the term postmodern?

(As a mildly amusing aside, Derrida once confirmed that a quarter of his work was impenetrable. "I am a French philosopher", he declared. "If 25% of my work was not impenetrable, nobody would take me seriously." At least I think it was Derrida, but frankly I just can't be arsed to look it up.)

I have no wish to be accused of plagiarism (Harrison 1971) so I shall err, naturally, on the side of caution and reference everything - including the kitchen sink (Osborne 1956). 

There is a devil in me, though, that would love (Lennon/McCartney 1967) to just write 'Wikipedia' under the heading references

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

We made a film...

The DVD I've been working on most of this year is now ready to go to press.

This is a sneak preview - the actual DVD has seven films on different themes, so it was a little tricky to capture into just one trailer, but I think you'll get the idea.

Most of the content is aimed at professionals - therapists, MH workers, doctors, A&E staff etc.

The DVD also features a reading by Caroline Smailes and an interview about In Search of Adam, which is lovely.

I'm dead chuffed with all the people who took part - they were honest, authentic and shared in a really generous way.

If you'd like to spread the word that would be appreciated. All proceeds are going to fund services for people who self harm. DVDs are available from

Thanks to Badger and to Ms M for their efforts too - watching hour after hour of rough-cuts and never telling me they were bored...

Soooo. Um. Only say nice things please because I'm not really interested in editorial criticism at this point, with it having been finalised and all that, and I tend to take it to heart.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Doing our bit for global warming.....

Bob* is the best alarm clock I have ever had. He is shaped like a weeble (he wobbles but he doesn't fall down) and has a clever little button on his back giving you access to a variety of functions which you will soon wonder how you lived without. 

Bob's timer mode is invaluable for those times when you are cooking a four-minute boiled egg whilst lying in bed. (We don't use this as often as we might, as Badger has a remarkable gift for judging the exact time an egg needs to be boiled for. She gives it a quick weigh in her hand, declares the amount of boiling it requires and then executes it with precision. Nor does she require me to get out of bed. It is one of the many reasons we will never let anyone steal away our Badger. )

Bob also has a date/year mode. I can't actually think of an occasion when I have needed to know the exact date on the moment of waking - heavens above, is today the date of the American election or is it bonfire night? - but I often wake and wonder what year it is - it's 2008: that means I am a proper grown-up and have a job to go to. Bugger. 

Bob's most useful function - apart from the obvious waking-me-up-in-the-morning part - is that he tells us the temperature.

At first it was fun.  Ooh, Bob says it's 15 Celsius in our bedroom. I would never have known that otherwise. Thank you lovely Bob. 

Then it got serious.

On Wednesday morning Bob informed me it was 12 Celsius. It's a bit parky, said Bob. I suggest you jump straight into the shower or you'll freeze your bits off. 

On Thursday morning Bob informed me it was 11 Celsius. It's more than parky, said Bob. Get dressed under the covers and forget the shower 'cos the bathroom's no warmer. No-one will ever know....oh, and by the way it's 2008 and you are a proper grown-up with a job to go to. Sorry. 

On Friday morning Bob informed me it was 10 Celsius. In my bedroom. Are you completely mad, asked Bob? This is not a house, this is a milking shed. Someone has merely persuaded you it is a house with the clever addition of some windows and a kitchen. You are insane to live here. I suggest you stay in bed, call in sick and ride it out. It can only get warmer. (We know it is a milking shed, by the way, because Daddy Farmer tells us every time he sees us that he used to milk his cows in our living room.)

From November 1st landlords in the UK will be required to issue their tenants with energy efficiency certificates, assessing the property on an efficiency rating from A to G.  We suspect our landlord may have to apply for a new 'H' rating, applicable only to cow sheds. 

And so we are braving the arctic weather with only a log fire and some outrageously expensive night storage heaters for company. Thank heavens for n-a-p, is all I can say. 

*Those of you who bothered to follow the link will note that Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought..........High School Musical? I await my Christmas present with baited breath....