| Wednesday 29th September 2004 21:27MDT | → 1 Comments |
While he’s here, bf is planning to alter his sleeping patterns so he doesn’t get up at 6am which is well before I wake and means snuggling is a distinct possibility. I think this excessive earliness is partly dictated by when he has to take his pills but apparently that is more flexible than first thought.
I’ve nearly bought all his Xmas presents too (as I can’t exactly get them while he’s around). Next step is to hide them in Daryl’s house where I can wrap them without fear of discovery.
| Monday 27th September 2004 22:37MDT | → 0 Comments |
I wrote to The Observer (the editor, not the letters page) to point out that the article ‘Europe finds itself lost for words’ by Alex Duval Smith had confused the Council of Europe with the Council of Ministers when they’re two completely different organisations. Now, the similar names mean the public could be forgiven for mixing them up but not a dedicated European correspondant.
Either ways, the paper printed a correction (which almost quoted my email verbatim) but then today I received a personal letter from Paris from Mr Duval Smith himself (assuming he is a he) thanking me for pointing out such an elementary error! Cute.
| Sunday 26th September 2004 19:31MDT | → 1 Comments |
I went into London today, and suffered yet another tedious time getting there courtesy of South West Trains. However, all my journies were by means of their new (or at least less-very-old) trains so it was reasonably comfortable.
The main purpose for the visit was to get some presents from Hamleys. I always head for the furry toys at the back of the ground floor, though I have noticed in recent years that these toys are increasingly becoming ‘cutified’. That is, they have large, soppy eyes or nauseating smiles in some sort of ‘hyper-Disneyfication’. It was something of an effort to find any ‘normal’ animal toys, and ones that weren’t cats or dogs which seem to be a current fashion. In the event I bought a dolphin for bf (for Xmas) to remind him of our visit to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.
UKIP really have outdone themselves when it comes to anti-European toss: Britain faces Chechen-style war, says Ukip leader:
Mike Nattrass… warned yesterday that Britain might have to fight its way out of Europe in the same way that Chechyna was fighting to free itself from Russia.
Mr Nattrass… stuck by his position, insisting it might be necessary to fight to “liberate” Britain from Europe. His belief that Britain will be trapped in the EU for ever is based on the fact that a qualified majority vote would be required for a country to leave the EU.
If this is supposed to relate to the forthcoming Constitution, then they should be reminded that it is still an international treaty and any country can withdraw from any treaty at any time (legally it’s known as denunciation). As may be expected, withdrawl would be something of an unknown and potentially very messy as it’s not clearly defined in international law, hence the creation of Article 59 in the Constitution (”Voluntary withdrawal from the Union”) which defines a tidy procedure on how to go about it. As for the claim that ‘a qualified majority vote would be required for a country to leave the EU’, Article 59(i) says oh-so-plainly:
Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the European Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.
The sad thing about all this that the public are likely to fall for UKIP’s disinformation. What makes it worse is that the above bit about withdrawl is easy to find in the Constitutional document but most people won’t know because they’ll never bother reading it, which make the reason behind holding a referendum even more absurd. I would almost go so far as to say there’s no point making such democratic overtures to the populus of this country as they’re too stoopid to exercise them in a mature and considered manner.
| Thursday 23rd September 2004 20:29MDT | → 0 Comments |
I went to IKEA last night with Denise. Ostensibly it was to get a catalogue as bf had asked me to send one but they had run out only just before I arrived! I wuz robbed. I wasn’t really planning to buy anything but in the end got a LAKENE light fitting for my bedroom.
It looks like the Lib Dem conference was something of a success but where the hell did this ‘Tough Liberalism’ slogan from? It sounds so crap and so very close to the sort of thing the Tories would dream up. Maybe some of those young turks came up with it. If so, they need a slap.
Bf needed a particular medical test but found it wasn’t covered by his health insurance. Outcome? He had to pay for it himself - $1200. Any right-wingers in this country who look with envy as the US healthcare system are another group that need a slap.
Kerry: you’re welcome.
| Tuesday 21st September 2004 20:03MDT | → 1 Comments |
Again George Monbiot both says what I’ve been thinking as well as stating a fact of bleedin’ obviousness that you wonder why those who rule over us have never stopped to consider it. In his article he asks how western countries can demand others destroy their nuclear weapons and abandon nuclear development programmes when said western countries won’t do the same. In fact, they choose to ignore non-proliferation treaties they demands others follow. In simple terms, who the hell do they think they are, to be dictating terms?
As an aside, the Tories put forward a private member’s bill:
…to establish a criminal offence of desecrating national flags
This is of course entirely in line with their plans to make us more like the US, like demanding the creation of a department of Homeland Security and replacing state social support with charities. In my mind, this makes the Conservative Party the least likely to ‘conserve’ what it is to be British.
I’ve been travelling to the other office for the past four (working) days, though it hasn’t annoyed me as much as usual - probably because the work I’ve been doing there isn’t so stressful.
In the meantime, I really have to continue with my OU course - I haven’t done anything for nearly a week. However, I’m not motivated today and tomorrow evening I’m going to IKEA with Denise (or supposed to be).
Bf seems to be well at the moment, having seemingly recovered from flu. It’s a comfort. The time until he arrives had not been flying by as fast as I’d like.
| Sunday 19th September 2004 15:10MDT | → 0 Comments |
Went to London Open House day with Daryl yesterday. The planned schedule, or rather Daryl’s schedule, was to visit about four or five places. However, despite setting off early we underestimated the popularity and there were ridiculous queues to get into each place, especially for 30 St Mary’s Axe (the Swiss Re building) which seemed to be the most popular for that day. At least this proves that the public does warm to radical architecture despite what establisment pundits claim.
We saw inside the Bank of England (but couldn’t take any photos - boo) as that was the first place we got to. Very interesting and very plush inside, especially how they’ve completely redone the interior buildings but kept the facade the same. We even saw the governor’s surprisingly sparse office, which had a computer running Windows - oh no! No opportunity to see the vaults, though we did learn that the bank itself only owns a couple of bars of gold and they’re in the museum. The rest belong to governments or other banks and institutions.
Otherwise, we (or rather I) couldn’t be bothered to queue for many other places, such as Dr Johnson’s House so we wandered up to Angel, which is an old stamping ground of mine when I worked there and introduced Daryl to the plethora of fine restaurants there. We lunched at Cuba Libre.
Afterwards, we wandered over to the in-progress Wembley Stadium. We couldn’t find how to get in as signs were non-existant but luckily came across a couple of guys also in the same situation but one called his brother who was actually running the tour and came and found us! In the end, it wasn’t a tour of the site but a presentation by the engineers and so was from an engineering point of view, which I found fascinating though I don’t know if everyone else did. Daryl, for some reason, seemed quite taken with the factoid that the new stadium will have 2618 toilets which will be more than any other building in the world. At the end of this, it was around 5.30pm so we headed home in the drizzle.
There are a few pictures here. I think next time, I’ll just pick one or two things that are architecturally interesting but off the beaten path as the whole event has been cursed by its popularity.
| Wednesday 15th September 2004 22:53MDT | → 0 Comments |
A recent ambient purchase I’m very satisfied with: True Stories (vidnaObmana and Jess Pearce).
Also purchased: Democracy by Anthony Arblaster.
I’m slightly ahead of schedule on my course. Yay me. What’s ironic is that the material covered so far has been concentrating on the role and composition of families in society which is something I just can’t associate with, as I’ll never be in a “family unit” myself and am to some degree estranged from most of my own family so I personally have mostly negative views on families (a la Larkin).
| Tuesday 14th September 2004 8:50MDT | → 0 Comments |
My hosting provider bombed out again yesterday for over twelve hours. If I wasn’t already so busy I’d start migrating my site and email elsewhere.
| Saturday 11th September 2004 22:25MDT | → 1 Comments |
I’ve been wandering around Guildford today with Daryl visiting otherwise not-so-public buildings that have been participating in the Heritage Open Days. Our travels included three churches as Daryl seemed particularly interested in scaling bell towers. I just left him to it, though a number were letting people try their hand at bell ringing (I didn’t). I took a small quantity of (fairly random) pictures
Just received a mail from bf this very moment. It looks like he’s feeling better. I’m not sure if his existing pills decided to stop working with a vengance or whether new ones he had to change to are having the usual vicious side-effects. It’s some small comfort. However, I sent him a couple of magazines recently but they seem to have got lost in the post. Ack!
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| Friday 10th September 2004 22:54MDT | → 0 Comments |
Things not quite so bizarre. I met my boss, who I knew well already, and I don’t have to do support after all - I may find myself doing the sort of job as before. He certainly seems to take more of an interest in what I want to do than anyone before.
Bf has apparently changed pills and is not so good. I’ve been trying to convince him that he shouldn’t travel here if he’s still feeling bad come November - I’d rather he stayed at home where he can be better cared for than have the stress of flying make him worse. The whole thing scares me. My life seems to be structured so I only get brief moments of happiness followed by periods of panic and despair.