04 Dec 2013
In the interest of balance I just needed to mention this. Nigella Lawson is apparently in court today. I’m not that interested in the story as it seems rather horrible to look at someone’s married life breaking down so publicly. Anyway the Guardian, yes the Guardian, of all places sees fit to include the following line in its coverage:
“Lawson, dressed entirely in black apart from a white collar on her shirt, said:”…
There’s been a very lurid and unpleasant news story doing the rounds this week. In bald terms it sounds absolutely horrendous – so it’s perfect tabloid fodder then.
There’s a woman. She was pregnant. A “secret” family court agreed that medics could then require a c-section on her and then take her baby away. Orwellian nightmare! So says the judge who insists on the state’s agents explaining themselves.
And it is pretty horrible.
But the real oddity is the way the story was reported. It all seems to be about the faceless bureaucrats merciless stealing a woman’s baby, helped by evil medics doing the state’s dirty work. And, reading that link’s comments, this is how people are reading it. Even Liberty seem to say that this is all horrible and they’re the bastions of uber-PC nonsense and protecting scum [/irony], so it must be bad.
On first thought though it does seem a trifle overblown.
Firstly the medics can’t force treatment on someone unless they’re detained under the mental health act. So clearly there are at least some mental health issues in the story. This is quite an extreme response so I’m guess that the mental health issues are quite extreme. Indeed the last line in that linked story says
“Essex children’s services said a health trust had applied for the forced caesarean after telling social workers it had concerns over risks to the health of mother and baby. It said Italian courts had been made aware of the case and ‘social workers liaised extensively with the extended family”.
That sounds very thorough. No doubt the county court weighed the evidence and came down on the side of the county. Of course there can be errors but to contemplate actions like forced c-section I can’t believe they didn’t have some pretty urgent and valid reasons.
The judge asking them to explain themselves isn’t news – it’s what judges do – that’s what going to court is about.
And Liberty didn’t say it WAS horrible they said
“At first blush this is dystopian science fiction unworthy of a democracy like ours. “
Hardly the same thing. In fact it’s pretty much what I’m saying now. Sounds horrible but without the back story (which we rightly won’t get the full details of) it’s impossible to know.
And of course the flip side of this story could perhaps have ended up with a story along the lines of
“Schizo woman kills unborn baby after social services fail to intervene. Sack those responsible for failing to protect this child.”
25 Nov 2013
Talking of things not done for a while – we went out walking on Saturday.
We headed to Dovedale to show the kids the stepping stones and maybe walk up a hill a bit. Well by the time we got to the stones J’s feet were well and truly soaked. L was in the back pack (my fingers just automatically typed “pain” after “back” there – must be a habit) so was ok and well wrapped up against the cold. N wanted to walk up Thorp Cloud – a smallish hill but quite steep. There was no way J was going up; he’d already dragged his heels on the flat walk so far, and with wet toes it just wasn’t going to happen. Poor R had to take him back to the car and sit and wait for the rest of us.
N was so keen to climb up this hill that I decided to go for it. With L in a backpack.
As mentioned it is quite steep. And it was a tad damp. So footing wasn’t the best. Not normally a problem but then I was more worried re L than me. We made it up with few difficulties but down was going to be harder. I’d already seen someone fall on their bum as they descended and I did NOT want to do that with a small one on my back.
There was a bit of sitting and bum shuffling used but we made it down in the end. My legs had certainly had a bit of a workout but felt ok at the time. Now the DOMS has set in a bit and I’m a wee bit sore. We should do more of this.
It’s been a while since we sat down and watched a proper fillum. We’ve cancelled our LoveFilm account (cue lots of calls from them desperate to get us back) as we never had the time to sit and watch. Anyway R’s folks gave us a fillum they insisted we watch. It’s a Japanese one called “Departures“. It is currently sitting on an IMDb score of 8.1/10 which is pretty high. Hmm.
It’s a tale of a man who plays a cello professionally but soon after he gets a job in an orchestra the company folds and he’s left unemployed. There’s a bit about him having bought a cello for too much money (18million yen – or a touch over £100k) and not really being talented enough to deserve it. But this is a minor issue as he just sells the thing again, in the very next scene, it’s hardly a surprise that an instrument worth that much would probably retain its value. So no jeopardy there then.
We see him discuss things with his wife. She’s young and attractive and has an unspecified job but there are clearly communication issues between them. The wife’s character is very poorly developed – she’s just insipid and wet. There is a point later in the fillum where she grows a back bone but it’s over the most ludicrous issue. Namely:
They move away from Tokyo to the place he grew up in with his mum. She’s died and left him the house/bar she ran. He has no job. Rather than start the bar up again he looks for a job and sees an ad in the paper for someone to work in “Departures” – hmm? Travel agency? Maybe. Anyway he goes to the interview and gets immediately hired by the grumpy old guy. Turns out “Departures” was a misprint and it really should have been “with the departed”. Anyway the job is dealing with the dead, doing a parting cleansing and farewell ceremony. Think your basic beautiful Japanese ritual, only for dead people.
The ceremonies shown were actually the best bit, they were very movingly done. It seemed a very good way to say “bye”.
Anyway the problems. Firstly the wife – oh my word – so insipid. The backbone she grew was when she found out her husband worked with the dead. She wanted nothing to do with him from that point (or did she?); a friend of his also suggested darkly that he should think again.
I feel I might be missing out on some cultural taboo here. Do the Japanese really have an aversion not only to the dead but also to anyone who happens to work with them? Really? I felt this was all too unbelievable.
Then his relationship with his wife was so strained and uncommunicative.
And then the acting, oh no. The nearest thing I can relate it to would be Japanese cartoons where the faces gurn mightily and there are squeaks galore when something is horrible. Very poor. Apparently the main bloke won the Japanese equivalent of the Oscar for best actor. Hmm again. Mind you he could do the quiet moving stuff ok. The wife was either a poor actress or, more likely, just had nothing to work with. The only stand out for me was the grumpy old bloke who hired him but his character wasn’t that interesting either.
More misses than hits for me.
I woke up the other day to find that my phone had managed to update itself overnight. It occasionally does this and there’s no issue. However, this time it’s only gone and stuffed up my phone.
I lost photos, music, games, all my contacts, memos and more. Not best pleased.
Now I’ve tried to restore a lot of stuff but that hasn’t worked. Things won’t install on it neither. So it looks like I’ll have to do a complete reset of the thing but that will mean losing yet more stuff. I can back up the pics and stuff but I have a feeling I’ll lose all my text conversations (there’s some good stuff in there!) and probably other stuff.
18 Nov 2013
Well it’s been an exciting week.
Last Wednesday our lovely childminder turned up looking like she was at death’s door so R sent her home and therefore had to stay home with the kids instead of going to work. Always fun when there’s lots to do. Luckily on Thursday I only had 1 class to run so that was easy to organise with the local grandparents for the couple of hours needed.
Oh but then. We’d been in a rush in the morning. And we’ve had a new front door fitted. The two things are linked. We gave R a lift to the train station that morning. But as we set off she’d left something in the house so zoomed in to get it and then back into the car and off. We dropped her off, good byes done etc… And then home. Half way home I realised that she’d got the house key. Eek. No other local key holder yet as new keys. So quickly zoomed back to the station. Phone calls unanswered. Blagged my way on to the platform just in time to see the doors close and R settling down at a table. I mimed a key turn at her and saw the penny drop on her face. Sadly there was no window for her to hurl the key out of.
So an unscheduled drive to Leicester then. That used pretty much all the time I had that day to get stuff done. Ah well.
Childcare was still off on Friday so I had to cancel my day – grr.
During this time there was also a weird illness. Me, R and the younger kids all felt a bit off. So much so that we cancelled a planned do at our place for J’s 3rd birthday.
Then on Satdy we all felt lots better. So we uncancelled it and had quite a nice time with loads of folk round. J loved his presents and seeing both sets of grandparents as well as little d with her fambly. As he said “This is the best day ever”. It was quite good I must say. At least it was until little L threw up more than could conceivably be kept in her stomach. Poor wee thing.
Then Sunday we sort of chilled a lot and then headed down to Leicester to visit the P-B’s. They were having a do for d as it was her bday the day before J’s. Fireworks, company and food. J seemed a tad overwhelmed by it all and was utterly scared of the fireworks, as was L. I remember being at people’s houses when I was young at fireworks dos and there may have been an occasional scared person there and I have strong memories of thinking “Why on earth are these kids crying?” Just couldn’t understand it. Anyway it seems our kids are the crying scared ones. How odd.
Anyway we had a lovely time with everyone this weekend and thanks to all for making it.
See you all soon.
08 Nov 2013
I love the BBC, it’s brill. People whinging about the licence fee don’t know what they’ll be missing if it goes. Mind you there are always problems with an organisation like it.
Years ago there was a complaint that it was too left-wing. Unfortunately for the righties the problem for them is that most people are naturally left-wing and reality also seems to be. There was a study done last week that suggested that somwehere around 60% of tory voters would prefer the railways and public utilities to be re-nationalised. Makes me wonder if they really know just how loathsome the venal creatures they’re voting for are. Goodness knows what they’ll think about the dismantling of the NHS that’s ongoing now, when it becomes more apparent.
Good job they’re kicking public finances into shape then.. Oh what’s that? The budget deficit has risen? Quite sharply you say? Oh..
So the BBC. Some tory moron suggested the usual “the BBC is left wing” thing and darkly threatened it via ideas such as cutting the licence fee.
Anyway this left-wing bias tag. Question Time was on last night. One of the guests on has been on more Question Times than any one else in the last 3 years. Must be a leftie then. Maybe Tony Benn. No too old. Must be Dennis Skinner or one of the current shadow cabinet, or possibly Alistair Campbell maybe…
No it was Nigel bloody Farage (bloody is his middle name). Rarely will you find a more left-wing agitator…
30 Oct 2013
Bloody kids eh? Who’d ‘ave ‘em? Eh? Eh?
This week is very very hard going. J’s now properly toilet trained and is without nappy at night now. This is great. However this does mean that he occasionally wakes up in the night and needs the loo.
Two nights ago he woke up mildly distressed and needing a wee. I got up (it was 2:30ish) and helped him. Now L was asleep and I wanted to keep it that way so I carried J to his bedside to reduce the possibility of excess shouting and banging around. J immediately ran off away from his bed to the far corner of the room, in the process banging into a big chair and a wardrobe. Then there was a “daddy where’s the bed? Ow!” natter ongoing. The room was dark so I couldn’t see him at all and needed to put the corridor light on so I could help him back into bed. And of course by this time L was awake and crying. A bit of a cuddle and rocking to sleep sorted that out (for a bit). And back to bed for me.
But then I was wide awake. I tried to sleep but there was no chance so I headed downstairs for a bit of a catch up on Pointless (I won the one I saw) and Dara OBriain’s School of Hard Sums. And then back to bed for 2 hours of poor sleep ended by J getting up again at 6. It also turns out that N had a nightmare that involved the death of L, poor thing woke up very scared and also struggled to sleep afterwards.
Then last night L woke up crying. Cuddles didn’t help so more milk required. This kept her quiet for maybe 5 minutes. She did eventually drop off tho. Then J was up at 5 wanting to come into bed with us but not wanting to sleep. He did keep quiet but did keep jiggling. And then I’m up not long after 6:30 anyway.
I’m a bit tired and I’m sure R is too.
17 Oct 2013
Right, quick one here.
R parked yesterday and thought she’d have a look at naybore’s car to see if there was any damage she could see. She couldn’t. This was yesterday when she got back from work, ooh about 6 o’clock.
Last night when I put stuff in the bin and locked up (just after 10) I saw that the numberplate from the front of her car (the only end I could see from the door) was missing. R phoned me up this morning on her way to work to let me know that the numberplate wasn’t there this morning either.
Hmm? Taken in for forensic analysis maybe? Taken in to be damaged and then shown to us as proof of prior damage? Hmmm?
14 Oct 2013
What an exciting title for a post.
Well I didn’t go and chat to her but there’s been no further grumping. All weekend she’s parked a bit further back giving us all ample space to park in front of our houses. Is it just a blip? Or are we going to find a severed head under our car one day soon? Dunno.
On Saturday morning we had a slight scare. There was a knock on the front door, quite firm but not officious. We went to answer and there were 2 men standing there. They looked a little sheepish.
“Are you alright?” one said. We must have looked a little nervous. Are these chaps here to have it out with us about the parking? That’s what we were both thinking. The sheepish look made me wonder if they’d been sent round by her next door and they didn’t really want to come and do it.
Anyway turns out they were from our landlord wanting to measure our front and back doors up as they’re both past their best.
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